Top 5 Things that Make A Gibson SG Great
Now, most people recognize this instrument as one of the greatest guitars of all time, but not many musicians know why so many professionals and rock and roll icons cherish it so much. Today we are going to talk about the top 5 things that make Gibson SG great, so let's get started:
1. Classic, yet versatile sound
The SG is one of the most popular solid-body guitars ever made. In fact, the earliest prototypes are more than half a century old, and it's still considered one of the ‘strongest', most full-bodied guitars available on the market.
Even though it comes in a variety of different styles and prices, most Gibson SGs are made of premium-quality mahogany and rosewood; these tonewoods are a commonplace nowadays, as they've set the bar for sonic quality.
Furthermore, Gibson's SG guitars are packed with two humbucking pickups and multiple tone control knobs that allow players to heavily customize their sound on the fly. These are just some of the reasons why an SG will have a classic sound no matter what amp you plug it into, but this also goes to show that players will be able to lean towards different playing styles and tones should they want to.
Gibson being the industry's leader in terms of hardware, SG guitars are also pre-strung with top-shelf strings and come supplied with exceptionally well-made bridges, nuts, and saddles. In short words, the first thing that makes Gibson SG great is its unparalleled sound backed by a myriad of quality bits and pieces.
2. The looks and the attitude
The aesthetics of an SG guitar became so popular that the abbreviation ‘SG' (which used to signify a ‘solid body guitar') took on a completely different meaning – it became a short term for the iconic rock ‘n roll guitar body.
The guitar's pointy wings are the first thing that most people notice on an SG guitar. However, there are dozens of other nuances that set it apart from other ‘tamer' guitar bodies and styles. SG guitars feature flamboyant finishes, with Heritage Cherry and Ebony being some of the most popular ones.
Another crucial aspect of SG's uniqueness and exquisiteness is the fact that its original design remained the same throughout the decades. You may see some minor tweaks that certain custom shops may have done in terms of using different pickups or volume control knobs, but SG's body style is the same when compared to the original prototype.
3. Excellent playability made it approachable to musicians at all skill levels
Whether you've been shredding your guitar for years or whether you've just picked up the instrument, you can rest assured that a Gibson SG will be a perfect fit for you. It's essentially a very playable guitar that feels very natural due to its optimal weight and height.
A Standard SG features 22 medium-jumbo frets and a scale length of 24.75 inches; these specs make it optimal for any style of music and pretty much every guitar player regardless of how proficient they are at this instrument.
It looks smaller than it actually is, and handling it is a breeze, which is the reason why many professionals such as Angus Young have stuck with it up to this very day. It's made of lightweight tonewoods, and its pointy horns afford easier access to higher frets; this is why an SG is a perfect guitar for solo guitar players while its decently sized frets make it an excellent choice for rhythm players.
4. Some of the best guitarists have started on it
Rock 'n' roll legends such as Frank Zappa, The Beatles' very own George Harrison, Robby Krieger from The Doors, the legendary Eric Clapton, The Who's Pete Townshend, Black Sabbath's icon Tony Iommi, and of course, AC/DC's Angus Young are just some of the guitar gods who have made Gibson's SG popular.
It should be obvious enough that if it was good enough for some of the best, it should be perfect for all the rest. All of these players have made some of the most eclectic and most wonderful music of all time on an SG, and if you want to get closer to achieving their sound, using an SG will certainly help you find it more than using any kind of processor, pedal or amp.
On a side note, nearly all of the rock 'n' roll legends who've started out with a Gibson SG have their own signature SG models, featuring little tweaks that make these versions a little bit closer to the original sound of the artists that have developed them.
5. The Mystique behind one of the most popular guitars of all time
Even though it's been gracing the world-wide rock ‘n roll and metal stage for more than five decades, the Gibson SG is still shrouded in a veil of mystery. Not many people are aware of the fact that Les Paul himself collaborated with Gibson when designing the original prototype, for example.
Another trivia fact is that the original SG was available in four different pickup configuration versions, including one with two PAF humbucking pickups, the second with one P90, the third with two P90s, and the custom with three PAF humbuckers.
Gibson's SG became the go-to guitar for rock guitar players mainly because it lent its innate distorted sound provided by the overwhelmingly gain-ridden pickups. As a matter of fact, players could completely ignore the gain on their amps and still have enough mud in their sound by simply tweaking the tone knob.
Last but not least, almost the entirety of the Revolver, which is among the most popular Beatles records of all time, was recorded with an SG guitar. More precisely speaking, George Harrison & Lennon used the Gibson SG '64 version to record the tracks for the aforementioned album.