Electric Guitar 101 (Part 5 – SG)
Welcome to Part 5 of your 6 part series, designed to educate you on everything you need to know before you buy your first (or next) electric guitar. In this article we’re going to be stepping back in time to discuss a little rock n’ roll history before we dive into the world famous SG.
By 1960, Gibson Guitars had seen a decline in sales of their Les Paul model and had decided it was time to make some changes when they introduced the world to their brand new model. Working with Les Paul himself, Gibson was able to create a new slimmer and more streamlines mohogany body guitar that was touted as having “the fastest neck in the world.”
Originally called “the solid guitar”, the name was abbreviated to “SG”. The SG was also much less expensive to produce, which meant that not only would Gibsons production costs be lower, but they could also release several “entry level” models for new guitarists who couldn’t afford the more expensive Les Paul.
The SG is a solid-body rock guitar with a very distinctive look with it’s double cutaway body, that give it its devil horn look we all know and love. The devil horns make it easier to player higher up the neck of the guitars.
The contoured mahogany bodies, bolt on necks, and the Gibson humbuckers give the SG its distinctive sound. The SG body is lighter and the neck is thinner making it more comfortable and easier to play for newer guitarists, however if you’ve been playing a Les Paul for a while you may find it very difficult to switch over to an SG.
Scale length: The SG has the same scale length as the Les Paul. It has less tension which makes it a touch easier to play. A lot of people like the SG over the Les Paul because you can get get a sound similar to the Les Paul but you get a lighter guitar.
Tremolo bridge: Nearly all SG’s have a fixed bridge, however there are certain models that have a Tremolo bridge.
Some of the most famous guitarists to play the SG include Tony Iommi, Jerry Garcia, Frank Zappa, and Angus Young.