Thalia Capos introduces wooden flatpicks

Thalia Capos, whose innovative clamp-style devices using exotic wood veneers to improve the aesthetic have become such a hit, have taken the next logical step in guitar accessory production.

The company was founded back in 2010 when Chris Bradley, a mechanical engineer and industrial designer, was posed a question by his then eight year old daughter. She was pondering a Taylor Swift poster that showed the young country artist with a guitar made from highly-figured wood, with a common, plain black plastic capo on the neck. Knowing that her dad was a guitarist as well as an inventor, she asked why Taylor didn’t have a capo as pretty as her guitar.

That set Chris off on a quest to build a functional capo that could be visually appealing as well as practical, and ended up with a lightweight clamp design with an inlaid veneer of hardwood or abalone on the top surface, and named it for his daughter, Thalia.

Since they first hit in 2014, the Thalia Capo has won a number of design awards, and a ready market among guitarists seeing the value in a capo “as pretty as their guitars.” That they require very little hand pressure to install on the neck is a nice bonus.

Now they are using their computerized veneering cutters to create flatpicks made from exotic hardwoods. They cut them into very thin layers, and then glue them back together with the grain at 90 degrees to make them stiff enough for use as a pick.

The Thalia Exotic Wood picks are made from Santos rosewood, and offered in three shapes: the standard, Fender style, the small teardrop size preferred by jazz players, and the larger triangle size that grassers like. A set of six are priced at $12.99 for a half dozen of either type, or a mix of all three.

The company put together this brief video to explain how they are produced.

Thalia contends that the tone produced by their wooden picks is quite different from plastic or resin-based products, and it is yet to be determined how well they would hold up to the heavy strings and aggressive playing style of bluegrass rhythm guitar. But especially with the price so much lower than many boutique pick products, we suspect a lot of grassers will give these a try.

They can be ordered directly from the company online.

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About the Author

John Lawless

John had served as primary author and editor for The Bluegrass Blog from its launch in 2006 until being folded into Bluegrass Today in September of 2011. He continues in that capacity here, managing a strong team of columnists and correspondents.

  • Herbie Beasley

    I have 3 Thalia capos, having gotten a couple through their crowdfunding effort to start their business last year or year before. I got one of their 2.0 (200 Series?) capos last year too. Love them all – the work great, the tune-ability factor is pretty solid too. I cannot, however, comment on their picks as I haven’t tried any of those yet.