Though the Gibson SG guitar is perhaps not as well known as the Gibson Les Paul or the Fender Stratocaster, the SG has been one of Gibson's top-selling instruments since its introduction in 1961. There have been many incarnations of the instrument over the years, but the same basic shape and style have made the SG a sought after instrument for many players. Let's talk about what makes the SG a unique instrument in its own right.
Gibson is probably best known for the Les Paul guitar and rightly so - it's an iconic instrument that has been used in everything from rock and metal to blues and even country guitar. But it's also pretty heavy, and some guys (and gals) just have a hard time with the size and weight during the course of a show. One of those guys is Angus Young, the noted AC/DC lead guitarist. By his own admission, Angus is a pretty small fellow, and a Les Paul just about breaks his back! The SG is lightweight and has a smaller neck that is far more suitable for people trying to avoid the back-breaking weight and size of a Les Paul. In addition to Angus Young, noted SG players include Derek Trucks, Eric Clapton, Pete Townsend, Frank Zappa, Elliot Easton, and Tony Iommi.
The double cutaway construction of the SG also facilitates access to the upper frets. This construction also gives the SG its iconic shape, which helps set it apart from the single cutaway style of the Gibson Les Paul. Typically, the SG is constructed from solid mahogany, though some models have maple tops as well. Most models feature dual humbucking pickups, though there are many SGs that boast three humbuckers or dual P90-style pickups. There are even models like the SGJ that come it at a price point much lower than traditionally higher-priced models.
Currently, Gibson produces several different models of the SG. Some are more traditional and resemble SGs from the past (and are in fact designed as tributes to these instruments, such as the SG Original and 1961 Les Paul Tribute) while others contain such modern additions as electronic tuners. There are also many SG models that are artist models designed in conjunction with such noted SG users as Angus Young, Derek Trucks, Kirk Douglas (guitarist for the Roots), and Brian Ray. So regardless of your budget or needs, there is a Gibson SG out there for you!