The Gibson Experience: Exploring the Different Guitar Series and Models (Part2).


Exploring the Different Guitar Series and Models: The Gibson SG Series

In the second part of our series, “The Gibson Experience,” we delve into the fascinating world of Gibson SG guitars. Originating as a departure from the Les Paul design, the Gibson SG has carved its own distinct identity in the guitar landscape. Join us as we explore the origin of the SG model and its evolution into a beloved instrument cherished by musicians worldwide.

Departure from the Les Paul Design

The Gibson SG, short for “Solid Guitar,” emerged in the early 1960s as a departure from the Les Paul model. The decision to introduce a new design was driven by Gibson’s desire to address evolving musical trends and respond to player demands for a more versatile and lightweight instrument.

The most noticeable departure from the Les Paul design in the SG model was the elimination of the single-cutaway body shape in favor of a double-cutaway design. This alteration not only improved access to the upper frets but also gave the SG a sleek and streamlined aesthetic appeal.

The SG’s body construction also changed compared to its Les Paul predecessor. While the Les Paul featured a solid mahogany body with a maple top, the SG showcased a thinner and lighter all-mahogany body construction. This modification contributed to the guitar’s enhanced resonance and increased sustain, giving the SG its unique tonal character.

Origins and Evolution

The SG’s initial release in 1961 was met with mixed reactions from musicians. However, over time, the guitar’s distinctive features and sonic capabilities won over a dedicated following. One of the notable factors that contributed to SG’s growing popularity was its association with influential guitarists of the era.

Talented musicians like Angus Young of AC/DC and Tony Iommi of Black Sabbath helped solidify the SG’s reputation as a rock powerhouse, known for its biting and aggressive tone. These players showcased the SG’s versatility, from bluesy crunch to full-throttle rock and metal riffage, cementing its status as a go-to instrument for hard-hitting genres.

Throughout its evolution, the SG model has seen variations in features such as pickup configurations, finishes, and neck profiles. From the legendary PAF humbuckers to the powerful ’57 Classic pickups, Gibson has consistently provided a range of sonic options to cater to diverse playing styles and tonal preferences.

Conclusion: The Gibson SG represents a departure from the Les Paul design while forging its path as an iconic guitar model. With its double-cutaway body, lightweight construction, and distinctive tonal characteristics, the SG has carved its place in the guitar landscape and earned the admiration of musicians across genres. From its early days as an innovative response to changing musical trends to its enduring presence on stages worldwide, the Gibson SG continues to captivate players with its blend of versatility, playability, and unmistakable rock ‘n’ roll attitude.

Unique features and aesthetics of the SG series

Exploring the Different Guitar Series and Models: The Gibson SG Series
SG Standard ’61 Faded Maestro Vibrola

Renowned for its unique features and distinct aesthetics, the Gibson SG series has left an indelible mark on the music industry.

Slim Double-Cutaway Design

One of the standout features of the Gibson SG series is its slim double-cutaway design. The contoured body allows for effortless access to the upper frets, enabling guitarists to explore the full range of the instrument comfortably. The streamlined silhouette not only enhances playability but also contributes to the guitar’s sleek and modern appearance, making it an iconic symbol of the rock and blues genres.

Mahogany Body and Neck

The SG series boasts a mahogany body and neck construction, which significantly influences its tonal character. The resonant and warm tonal qualities of mahogany contribute to the SG’s rich midrange and pronounced sustain. This tonewood choice helps create a powerful and punchy sound, making the SG an ideal choice for players seeking a guitar that can deliver both cutting-edge and smooth, creamy tones.

Double-Horned Aesthetics

The double-horned body shape of the Gibson SG is instantly recognizable and adds to its unique aesthetics. The symmetrical design with two pointed horns lends a sense of aggression and style to the instrument, capturing the attention of both performers and audiences alike. The visual appeal of the SG’s double-horned body has made it a timeless icon in the world of rock music.

Fingerboard and Inlays

The SG models typically feature a rosewood fingerboard, adding a touch of elegance and a smooth playing surface. The use of rosewood enhances the guitar’s tonal warmth and provides a comfortable feel under the fingers. As for the inlays, the SG series offers a range of options, including classic dot inlays, trapezoid inlays, or intricate custom inlays, adding further visual distinction to each model.

Variations and Finishes

Gibson offers a wide range of SG models with various finishes, catering to different preferences and styles. From the classic cherry red finish to ebony, heritage sunburst, and vibrant custom colors, each finish option adds its unique character to the guitar. These variations allow guitarists to select an SG model that resonates with their personal taste and stage presence.


The Gibson SG series stands as a testament to the artistry and innovation that have made Gibson guitars legendary. With its slim double-cutaway design, mahogany body, and neck, and distinctive double-horned aesthetics, the SG offers a visually captivating experience. Its versatility, from searing rock tones to soulful blues, makes it a go-to instrument for countless guitarists. Whether on stage or in the studio, the Gibson SG continues to inspire musicians with its unique features, striking aesthetics, and iconic sound.

5 good reasons you should play a Gibson guitar

Explore the tonal range and sonic possibilities offered by SG guitars.

Versatility and Tonal Range

The Gibson SG is celebrated for its impressive tonal versatility, making it a popular choice among guitarists across various genres. With its dual humbucking pickups, the SG offers a wide range of sonic possibilities that can be tailored to suit different playing styles.

The SG’s pickups deliver a powerful, yet balanced, tone. The bridge pickup delivers a tight and focused sound, perfect for high-gain rock and heavy metal riffs. It provides clarity and articulation, allowing notes to cut through the mix with precision and intensity. On the other hand, the neck pickup produces warm, rich tones ideal for blues, jazz, and soulful solos. It offers a smooth and creamy sound with a touch of vintage character.

The combination of these pickups, along with the SG’s mahogany body and neck, contributes to the guitar’s distinctive tone. The mahogany body adds depth and resonance, enhancing the midrange frequencies and providing a solid foundation for the instrument’s sound. The neck’s construction and scale length contributes to the SG’s excellent sustain and playability, allowing guitarists to explore a wide range of expressive techniques.

Sonic Possibilities

The SG’s tonal range and sonic capabilities make it suitable for a myriad of playing styles. From classic rock to blues, from hard rock to alternative, the SG excels in delivering the perfect sound for each musical genre.

When played with high-gain settings, the SG’s powerful pickups produce thick and crunchy distortion, enabling guitarists to unleash aggressive and energetic rock tones. The guitar’s inherent sustain and clarity make it an excellent choice for solos and lead playing, allowing notes to sing with expressiveness.

Furthermore, when dialing back the gain, the SG reveals its versatility in producing clean and clear tones. Its neck pickup offers a warm and mellow sound, while the bridge pickup delivers a snappy and punchy tone. The SG’s responsive nature to different playing dynamics allows musicians to achieve a wide range of tonal variations, adding depth and expressiveness to their music.

The Gibson SG stands as a testament to Gibson’s commitment to innovation and exceptional craftsmanship. With its versatile tonal range and sonic possibilities, the SG has earned its place as a beloved and highly sought-after guitar model. Whether you’re looking to rock out with aggressive distortion or explore the nuances of clean and expressive playing, the SG delivers a world of sonic potential that continues to captivate guitarists all over the globe.

Prominent SG models

In this paragraph, we will delve into prominent SG models, including the SG Standard, Special, and Modern, each offering its unique characteristics and contributing to the versatility of the SG lineup.

SG Standard

The Gibson SG Standard is a true classic, representing the epitome of the SG series. With its dual humbucking pickups, solid mahogany body, and comfortable slim-taper neck profile, the SG Standard delivers a wide range of tones and effortless playability. Renowned for its rich sustain, punchy midrange, and cutting highs, the SG Standard has been a go-to choice for countless guitarists across genres.

SG Special

The SG Special offers a more stripped-down and raw approach, focusing on simplicity and affordability without compromising performance. Featuring a solid mahogany body, dual P-90 pickups, and a comfortable rounded neck profile, the SG Special delivers a punchy and aggressive tone. It is favored by players seeking a no-frills rock machine with a distinctive bite and gritty character.

SG Modern

The SG Modern represents a contemporary take on the classic SG design, offering modern features and enhanced versatility. Equipped with powerful humbucking pickups, coil-splitting capabilities, and a contoured heel for improved upper fret access, the SG Modern caters to the needs of today’s guitarists. Its sleek and ergonomic design, along with advanced hardware and electronics, makes it an excellent choice for players seeking a versatile and performance-driven instrument.

The Gibson SG series encompasses a range of models that have captivated guitarists for decades. From the timeless SG Standard with its iconic sound and playability to the raw and punchy SG Special and the contemporary versatility of the SG Modern, each model offers a unique playing experience. Whether you’re drawn to the classic rock tones, the no-nonsense simplicity, or the modern innovations, the Gibson SG lineup continues to inspire musicians with its exceptional craftsmanship and powerful sonic capabilities.

Well-known artists associated with the SG series

Gibson Sg series

With its distinctive tone, sleek design, and playability, the SG has captured the hearts of musicians across genres. In this article, we will delve into the world of well-known artists who have embraced the Gibson SG, showcasing their contributions to its legacy and impact on the music industry.

Angus Young

One of the most recognizable figures associated with the Gibson SG is Angus Young, the lead guitarist of the legendary rock band AC/DC. Angus Young’s energetic stage presence and blistering guitar solos have become synonymous with the sound of the Gibson SG. Known for his incendiary riffs and blues-inspired rock style, Young’s affinity for the SG has solidified its place as an emblem of rock ‘n’ roll.

Tony Iommi

Considered the godfather of heavy metal, Tony Iommi of Black Sabbath has played a significant role in shaping the sound of the Gibson SG. His dark and heavy guitar tones, forged by detuning and using heavy distortion, have become hallmarks of his distinctive playing style. Iommi’s partnership with the SG has left an indelible mark on the genre and has influenced countless guitarists in the heavy metal realm.

Derek Trucks

Renowned for his mastery of slide guitar and soulful playing, Derek Trucks is another notable artist associated with the Gibson SG. His versatile approach, blending blues, rock, and jazz influences, showcases the dynamic range and expressive capabilities of the SG. Trucks’ melodic improvisations and resonant slide guitar work have made him a revered figure in the world of guitar playing.

Frank Zappa

Known for his innovative and eclectic musical style, Frank Zappa embraced the Gibson SG as his instrument of choice. Zappa’s virtuosic and experimental approach, combining elements of rock, jazz, and classical music, pushed the boundaries of guitar playing. His association with the SG reflects the instrument’s versatility and ability to adapt to diverse musical contexts.

Other Influential Artists

Beyond these notable figures, a host of other influential artists have embraced the Gibson SG, further cementing its status as a beloved and versatile instrument. Artists such as Carlos Santana, Robby Krieger, and Pete Townshend have all incorporated SG’s distinct sound and playability into their musical journeys.

The Gibson SG series has attracted a diverse array of artists, each leaving a unique imprint on its legacy. From Angus Young’s electrifying rock anthems to Tony Iommi’s heavy metal prowess, the SG has played a crucial role in shaping the sound of iconic bands and genres. Derek Trucks’ soulful playing and Frank Zappa’s experimental approach highlight the versatility of this legendary instrument. Together with a host of other influential artists, they have contributed to the ongoing allure and impact of the Gibson SG, solidifying its place as a staple in the world of music.


In conclusion, the Gibson SG series embodies the spirit of innovation, craftsmanship, and sonic excellence that Gibson is renowned for. Its departure from the Les Paul design and unique features have attracted guitarists seeking a sleek, comfortable, and versatile instrument. With its wide tonal range and association with influential artists, the SG has become an iconic symbol of rock ‘n’ roll and continues to inspire musicians to push the boundaries of their creativity.

How to Set Up a Gibson SG

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