Is the sg the easiest playing guitar? Why or why not?

Discussion in 'Gibson SG' started by Horax, Dec 19, 2017.

  1. Horax

    Horax Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2014
    Messages:
    355
    Likes Received:
    153
    I’ve always been a tele man first and foremost.
    Never liked strats.
    Jaguars are fun but limited.
    Only met a few LPs that I’ve gotten along with.
    However, nearly every sg I’ve played has been so simple and comfortable.

    Is it the narrow body? The unlimited fret access? The light weight body?

    What makes it so magical?
     
  2. Col Mustard

    Col Mustard Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2009
    Messages:
    7,969
    Likes Received:
    8,033
    Location:
    Tucson AZ
    One man's ceiling is another man's floor. I'll reply here because I bonded with my
    first SG in a music store, on an evening when I really wasn't intending to buy
    a guitar. I actually didn't know what was happening to me then, only that playing the
    individual SG made me very happy, just standing there by the rack, unamplified.

    Before I touched that SG and was forever changed, I had played my whole career with
    two main instruments, a six string acoustic and an old electric bass. I added another guitar
    about ten years into my journey, and used that as my alternate, and for open tunings.
    I was not a G.A.S. driven guitar nut. My instruments were tools of my trade and I took
    good care of them and felt like they did everything I needed done. I didn't buy and sell
    guitars every week, I felt like the ones I owned were right up there with the best.

    But I went to Guitar Center one evening with an amplifier that needed work (bad idea).
    On my way out, I did a classic double take, attracted by a rack of SGs. I'm old enough
    to have been envious as a teen when I saw guys in bands playing SGs. I was a teen in the
    sixties. Teles rock, and Strats kick butt, but there's always been something about the SG
    in my way of thinking. In the Sixties, Les Paul guitars were discontinued due to lack of interest.

    But I had never had one in my hands. I wasn't rich as a young buck, and I needed to spend money on College expenses and not on fancy expensive Gibsons, and later needed to spend money on baby supplies and bills, not on expensive Gibsons and Fender Amps. I desired these things from a distance, because
    there was no way. So I bought a used Fender bass for $100.00 in 1972. When I began getting gigs,
    I upgraded my acoustic to a used '75 Mossman Dred, which cost me $600 and was a major expense
    for me then.

    Fast fwd to 2008, when I was turning 60. I was depressed and downhearted, the economy had tanked,
    my house was worth less than I owed on it, my business was shakey, my girlfriend was gone and I
    was feeling pretty radical. I'd been leafing through guitar catalogs, thinking of a new guitar as a life
    ring... But not seriously going to actually buy one, oh no.

    I walked over to the rack of SGs. I took one down, tuned it, and played a few chords. Yeah, yeah...
    I took down the next one in the rack, the faded brown one. I tuned it, and it responded sweetly to
    my touch. I played it a little, and WOW! it seemed like that thing came alive in my hands. It rang like a bell, the neck was fast and comfortable, it nestled itself next to me in a very intimate way. By 2008 I was
    a seasoned pro, and not so easily impressed, not me. I put the guitar back in the rack, and took down
    the next one, which was priced at twice what they wanted for the brown one. It didn't sound as good.

    I walked away from the rack. I was NOT buying a guitar that night, no way. I went and looked at the
    Telecasters, trying to pretend I wasn't interested. I looked at the Strats... but I kept looking back out
    of the corner of my eye. I kept thinking about how that one guitar had felt in my hands. When I realized
    that I was actually worried that some other gorilla might come over and get his hairy paws on it and find out how good that SG was, I went back and took it down again. It was the best sounding guitar in the place, unamplified.

    About that time, the sales guy came over. (he'd probably been watching me, having seen this movie
    before...) He didn't bug me, just made himself available. I was playing the SG, and looked up and asked
    him: "Do you have a quiet place where I can try this guitar out?"

    He did. I played that brown 2007 SG faded special for more than thirty minutes, plugged into amps I
    could not afford, and then slowly realized that it was my guitar. The only thing left between us and the road home was some paperwork. MasterCard, get me outa here.

    Something happened to me when I got that guitar in my hands. I played other guitars that night,
    trying to pretend I wasn't taking the lady home. But she kept calling to me on some level...
    "Come on, big boy, take me with you where you are going..." I'm glad I didn't deny that feeling.
    She remains the Queen of my music room. I am blessed with great guitars, including an excellent Tele
    which has its own mojo and its own voice and its own place in my music. But that one SG is the best
    guitar of any kind that I have ever played. It's some combination of neck and body, tone and setup.
    Mine's setup perfectly of course. I've pampered that one instrument with all the best of everything
    I could buy or make. And she rewards me with stunningly beautiful tone through a Vox VT-30 or
    an Orange Micro Terror and a home made cab with 1/10 and 1/12.

    That's the effect that an SG can have on a man. Maybe other players relate to their instruments
    in similar ways. Some guys insist that you gotta play a Marshall... Some go for the Mesa Boogie or
    the Fender Deluxe... Each of those will have its effect of course. I feel like I can plug that SG into
    any damn thing and she'll sound great. I named her Luna.
    IMG_1097@100.jpg
     
  3. Bonzo21

    Bonzo21 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2016
    Messages:
    424
    Likes Received:
    250
    Location:
    Canada
    I consider it gibson's tele. Its a no bullshit does what it advertises kind of guitar. I had to get used to how long it feels, but after that I agree that it's very comfortable. I don't think it's magic, I just think that it stays out of your way and you don't have to think much about it. It allows the magic to flow out of you (ok put that last line on a fuc*ing t-shirt). All jokes aside, I think its the simplicity.

    I like teles over strats too, but LP and SG are like children to me. I can't love one more than the other, and if I had to choose... The answer might get me kicked off this forum.... LOL
     
    Col Mustard, dexspeed and Horax like this.
  4. Bonzo21

    Bonzo21 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2016
    Messages:
    424
    Likes Received:
    250
    Location:
    Canada
    Great story col Mustard. My SG story is very different to say the least. I'm glad Luna got you back on the right track after some sh*ty times.
     
    Horax likes this.
  5. Horax

    Horax Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2014
    Messages:
    355
    Likes Received:
    153
    I used to think sg’s were ugly l’il things that screamed Devil Music due to the horns. Never wanted one at all.

    Then I had an opportunity to get my 66 at a great deal. I bought it unable to play it because it was disassembled at the time. Put it together, refinished and BOOM!

    I have since owned several sg’s and now own my 66 and a BWG Las Vegas SG style string through.

    Love em! I WILL own a standard someday. Not sure which one or when I will get it, but I know it’s in the cards.
     
  6. dngrsdave

    dngrsdave New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2012
    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Sollitt , Il.
    Great story Col.Mustard.

    I also think a Guitar has to call to you and feel right in your hands. I stop at music stores every couple weeks ,mostly looking at used guitars. It took a few years before I found my LP. I have Charlie Brown hands and a fat neck guitar doesn't feel right for me. I always wanted an SG but could never find the right one.

    I saw this G400 & it had a small gouge in the face below the bridge. I'm not really into the "distressed" looking guitars and keep all mine well maintained & clean. I thought I would never buy this guitar but I'll at least play it a bit and see how it felt. I knew right away this was a special guitar & I would have to buy it.

    Having no strap in the GC, I played it sitting down. The Neck felt Great ! Just like my EPI LP.Not too thin yet not fat either. Later I discovered my LP & the G400 were made within a month of each other in 2003 in Korea . No wonder they were so similar.

    I will admit, after playing the SG with a strap standing up took a little getting used to because of the neck length & dive. Now, I'm planning on using it the next time playing out.
     
  7. pedecamp

    pedecamp Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2013
    Messages:
    572
    Likes Received:
    288
    I remember in high school a friend had an SG that was setup so badly I wrote them off. It wasn't until almost 30 years later I was looking for an LP and saw the SG as an affordable alternative, I never wanted one but the SG was a quarter the price of the LP I was looking at so I got the SG. The SG quickly rose to the top out of all my guitars, even when I finally got that LP I still play the SG the most. Its got a huge sound, light weight, easy fret access, easy to play sitting or standing, there's nothing to not like about it. :yesway:
     
  8. Notabot

    Notabot Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2017
    Messages:
    130
    Likes Received:
    62
    Your input is amazing and unparalled BUT could you please change your text editor? Whatever you're using has word wrap all messed up.
     
  9. Logan

    Logan Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2016
    Messages:
    1,147
    Likes Received:
    1,291
    Location:
    The St. Louis area on the Illinois side.
    At the time I got my SG, I was G.A.S.'ing for a new guit-fiddle, and I wanted to get a U.S.A. made one. I was originally looking at Les Pauls (because I was used to my Telecaster and wanted a good single-cut with humbuckers). So I was looking at the 2015 Les Paul Classic and the 2013 Les Paul '60s Tribute. I wanted the classic, but when I had finally figured out how to pay for it, it had sold. And so did the '60s Tribute. My dad suggested that I try the SG because it looked nice. I took it off the wall, strummed a G Chord, and at that moment, I knew that it had to be mine.

    So me and my dad haggled, and got $400 off of list price, and I put it on layaway for the next 8 months. The shop owner would let me get it out every once in a while so I could play it. After I had it in there for about a month, I plugged it in, and I found out that not only did I like the way she sounded when strummed acoustically, but I found out I loved the way she sounded plugged in too. The '57s were so articulate, and I could get just about any sound out of her by pulling up on the volume knobs to coil split the '57s and adjusting the volumes. And after how long I've had her, she's just gotten more pissed off and more angry.

    But compared to my other guitars, she has the best neck access (the next being my Firebird, then my Jazzmaster), and sits closer on me to where my bass would, so I don't have to do as much adjustment as I would on say a Les Paul. She also has the wide necks 2015s get love/hate for, which I happen to really like the way they feel. And combined with all of the rest of my SG, it's a great thing to play.
     
    Col Mustard likes this.
  10. Bonzo21

    Bonzo21 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2016
    Messages:
    424
    Likes Received:
    250
    Location:
    Canada
    I've always been a LP guy, just never GAS'd for an SG. In early 2016 I went to my local used/vintage guitar shop and found an SGJ for 400$ (CAD). I played it and told myself I couldn't leave it there for that price. Did a bunch of set up work, changed the knobs and added a pickguard. Its one of my cheapest guitars but it became and remains my #1. Plays great and sounds great! Not as good a story as most of you, but there it is. I didn't want one, and I bought it because it was cheap. Now I'm an LP and SG guy.... ahhaha Maybe one day I will run into a firebird that changes my mind...
     
    Col Mustard likes this.
  11. iblive

    iblive Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 9, 2009
    Messages:
    2,419
    Likes Received:
    943
    Location:
    North East Illinois
    Well. I was an acoustic player only from 1974 till 2009 when I bought my first electric. Used G400. My reason. All my friends played Strats, Teles and maybe one LP. Wanted to be different. Turned out. I really liked the guitar as did my other guitar playing friends.
     
    Col Mustard likes this.
  12. rotorhead

    rotorhead Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2017
    Messages:
    815
    Likes Received:
    594
    Location:
    Jacksonville FL
    "Easiest to play" is much like "sounds the best", etc. It's mostly subjective and purely based on the individual. But, the ones I've had over the years have been pretty sweet, none the less.

    I think my ultimate easiest playing guitar was my old '84 LP deluxe.
     
  13. dexspeed

    dexspeed Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2015
    Messages:
    90
    Likes Received:
    131
    This is a great thread! I don't know if I would necessarily say easiest. I find I'm often fighting with my SG, but hey, that's half the fun!

    What is definitely easier on an SG than just about any other guitar I've ever played, is the ease at which you can get to the high notes, and the amount of room you have down there to bend and add vibrato thanks to that neck joint placement.

    Great write up by Col Mustard on his first SG calling moment. I had one a little less dramatic.

    The first 'nice' guitar I ever purchased/played after labouring away on learner instruments for a few years was a Pelham Blue G-400. I remember saving up for this thing, and the wife pitching in some cash as a present so I could afford to buy it.

    [​IMG]

    This was the first guitar I really 'started' playing on. This is the one I learned to jam with other musicians with; the one I first started exploring lead playing with. This is probably the reason why SGs feel easier to me to play now, or at least more natural to play. I still own this guitar and play it often, and you know what, I still like everything about it. I like the pickups and the way they sound I like the neck shape, hell, I even like the vibrola unit on it!

    Year's later, the next SG that really grabbed me was this old '83 special. I was in the market for a 'real' SG whatever that means and could not find one that I was bonding with at the local guitar stores, so I started searching on Kijiji. I found this thing looking like it had been gigged in a super smokey bar, weekly, showing a lot of signs of wear and tear, but all from honest playing. A very checked finish, some worn spots showing bare wood, a couple of broken pickup rings, some poorly installed aftermarket tuners. The finish used to be a silver metallic if you can believe that! I suppose some would call this honest relicing?

    [​IMG]

    Anyhow, after some tinkering and 'fixing', this thing was playing like a beast and to this day is what I would consider my #1.

    This thing is the most recent one. I bought it for a steal at a local Best Buy of all places. I've never seen one of these browns quite so dark, which led me to the mistake of picking it up and playing it....and well, now it's at home with me... you know how these things work....

    [​IMG]

    This one is all I'm playing at home currently and it has really re-ignaited my passion for good old hard rock. I can't seem to stop playing Motorhead on this damn thing! Unbelievably comfortable to play, especially beyond the 12th fret. Very refreshing after playing quite a bit on a start lately.
     
    grausch likes this.
  14. bwotw

    bwotw Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2012
    Messages:
    1,037
    Likes Received:
    1,206
    "Easiest to play" is a very personal thing, but light weight, countoured body and great upper access are surely a great place to start!
     
  15. cerebral gasket

    cerebral gasket Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2017
    Messages:
    3,489
    Likes Received:
    4,376
    The SG is the most ergonomic guitar to play IMO.
     
  16. Col Mustard

    Col Mustard Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2009
    Messages:
    7,969
    Likes Received:
    8,033
    Location:
    Tucson AZ
    Great pictures on this thread, of some great guitars.

    I was told by members here when I first came aboard in like 2008 with a
    new SG: that my guitar playing would likely improve and I'd find myself playing
    parts that I never would have thought I could.


    I was like, "Yeah, right..." but it turned out to be true. So this goes with the "easiest to play"
    question. Part of it is the joy that I feel when I play this one SG, and part of it is the time that
    I spend plugged in, which relates to the joy. Practice is not a chore, but something I look
    forward to. How about that? Part of it is the joy that comes from feeling progress on the
    instrument, and THAT translates to other guitars.

    I might play something on Luna, and repeat, and repeat, and then put her down on her plush lined
    guitar stand (kidding...) and pick up one of her handmaidens, just to hear a different tone on the
    same thing. And it doesn't matter if it's an acoustic or a Telecaster, I can play better on the other
    guitar because I played better on Luna. That's priceless.

    Luna 3@100.jpg
    10 onstage01-05-13@100.jpg
     
    Logan likes this.
  17. rotorhead

    rotorhead Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2017
    Messages:
    815
    Likes Received:
    594
    Location:
    Jacksonville FL
    Wow I didn't know George Carlin played an SG!


    Kidding. Juuuuuust kidding :)
     
    Winecaster, bwotw and Col Mustard like this.
  18. bobbiehart2013

    bobbiehart2013 Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2017
    Messages:
    161
    Likes Received:
    47
    I agree with this Post 100%, I also was not intending to purchase that day, but I picked up my SG and it was love at first feel ....soooooooo nice ... we've been together for quite sometime now and the love is still strong .... LOL
     
    Col Mustard likes this.
  19. Norlin SG

    Norlin SG Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2012
    Messages:
    634
    Likes Received:
    418
    Well IDK, I think it's more about how well you bond with any instrument, really. "Easy to play" for the most part depends a lot on your skill level and your motivation to develop it.

    Of course it's possible to not get on well with any instrument. I was that way with my SG for a long time until I quit trying to "improve" it with mods and started to find it's voice and holy crap, I had perfection all along and didn't even know it.

    An SG is one of those rare things where the Whole is Greater than the Sum of its Parts. (Plato) Really so true.........
     
  20. dub-setter

    dub-setter Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 9, 2013
    Messages:
    611
    Likes Received:
    322
    Location:
    berlin
    cool stories here...

    i like the fast frets/ ability in playing higher notes with comfort
    on the long neck and also the sound of the sg..
    (attack & bite , but also warm)

    on the minus side is i cannot really deal with the necks of most sgs..
    to fat and the profil doesn t fit really for me.

    i like most the sgj s or juniors( depending on the model) for their neck shape.




    sgs are also a candidate for headstock brake...
     

Share This Page