Ridiculous.  That is the one word that comes to mind when trying to describe Ron's music and playing.  Well maybe...  Nope.  Just ridiculous.  Now let's clarify, I mean ridiculous in a good way.  Like, "That's the most ridiculous arpeggio I've ever heard," or "That interval lick is just ridiculous."  Anyway, you get the idea.  Ron sent us a tape with four songs on it, two of them can be found on Mark Varney's "Guitar On the Edge 2 & 3," and one can be found on "Ominous Guitarists From the Unknown" from Mike Varney.  There are so many different styles and techniques here that are so cool, that it is hard to know where to start.  Ron has a sense of humor in his music that puts you in the mind of Vai, but that is the obvious surface comparison.  There is alot more to this guy than a comparison to only one player can get across.  Ron is extremely fast, but not in the typical "one string fast" kind of way.  He seems to be able to play equally fast whether he is ripping up a scale or playing some extreme intervals.  He also demonstrates some unique two-hand technique.  The thing about his music is that it isn't just 12-bar blues with riffs, there are stops, time changes, total chaotic moments, and grooves thrown in for good measure.  Ron is overall a guitar monster, just as good and better than most of the "big guys," we are glad he is involved with the Guitarist Network and you can expect to see more of him in future issues.




Guitarist: Ron Thal
Age: 19
Influences: Yes, Beatles
Main Guitar: Bad Ronald Swiss Cheese Guitar

    Inspired by Kiss at age six, Ron says his earliest musical goal was to play like Gene Simmons if someone decided to do a Kiss version of Beatlemania.  At the time his hands were too small for bass, so he focused his attention on guitar.  By eight he was covering Led Zeppelin tunes at block parties and even played a hotel in the Catskills.  He began playing copy tunes in clubs just five years later, and then focused on creating original material on his home 8-track.  Currently Ron solos and sings for the New York-based group Legend.  He recently entered the Sam Ash Guitar Solo Contest, played a spontaneous solo, and walked off with first prize.

    Thal's demo tape is amongst the most impressive I've ever received.  It contains elements of classical, blues, and jazz, and at times reminds me of Frank Zappa.  His transcriptions are most impressive and detailed, so fans of hot transcriptions might be interested in seeing these musical masterpieces on paper.  With its clever melodies, contrapuntal lines, intricate rhythms, and ultra-complex ensemble sections, Ron's sheer musicality will surely gain him much acclaim.

Talent scout Mike Varney owns Shrapnel Records and is a successful independent record producer.