#1
The SG is one of my favorite guitars, I love the classic aesthetic of the guitar and many influences on my playing are known for using SGs however, whether they've been Gibsons or Epiphones all SGs seem to have this unique feel to them that for me makes them hard to play. For comparison I currently have a Brent Hinds Flying V and previously had an Epiphone Thunderhorse Explorer, Worn Epiphone SG G-400, & Squier Strat both of which I sold. I now have a Tony Iommi Signature SG that I received brand new from the factory as a replacement for my Explorer.

Namely, the neck it seems that it's a key trait of pretty much every SG that they seem to have this wide flat neck. Which normally wouldn't be a problem but every SG I've played also seems to have high action which is where the difficult to play part comes in for me. Even when set-up properly the strings just seem to naturally sit higher on the guitar versus my Flying V or Explorer. The high action is especially prominent the higher on the fretboard you tend to play. It's not like I have small hands either. I have extremely long fingers yet I'm still having issues adjusting to SGs after a year of private lessons and routine practicing. The Flying V is a lot more comfortable for me to play but I really like that SG style of guitar. It's just that due to this, I never grab it when it's time to practice because the guitar just feels awkward to play. Anybody else have similar experiences?
#2
I don't like the wide SG neck either. I hang the guitar pretty low and my hand rides high on the neck, so that width is really noticeable for me. It's a shame, because I love virtually everything else about SGs.
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#3
I'm the opposite. I've never really been able to get interested in SGs for the look. And they tend to be neck heavy and they push your left arm over further to the left when they're hanging in the strap because the body's short and those little pointy horns get the side of my left hand. So that's yes on "awkward." I'm not sure about the "wide neck" on them; they've mostly only ever been exactly as wide as any other Gibson except in the '70's when they had a 1 9/16ths" nut and they were narrow.

As for high action -- I hope everyone is kidding about that and realizes that any guitar can have action right on the deck if the frets are level. I've tossed $200 B Stocks on the PLEK and had the strings low enough to fret with a light breeze. It's not a guitar function, and every guitar I know can have low action. I think. Anyway, just because yours isn't set up properly, the genre isn't defined by that. And yours is not set up properly.
#4
I've never had a problem with either of my SGs - they don't even suffer from the neck dive I often hear people talking about. If anything, they're probably slightly easier to play than my Les Pauls purely because of the better access to higher frets.

The truth is though, no matter how much you like the look of SGs, if you aren't getting on with playing them, you need to move on & try something else. Playability is far more important than looks.
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#5
Totally with you - the neck feels weird, plus the placement of the control knobs feel very unintuitive for me.

HOWEVER! since the guitar is tiny, slim and weighs next to nothing, it's perfect as a backup guitar. I always keep it in a mono dual case with my main, just in case...
#6
SG used to be my main gigging axe.It took over the LP i had and actually felt more comfortable for me.Everyone is different though.Never had trouble with the action though.
#7
I have 14 guitars of various shapes, sometimes it just takes some time to adapt but if you have played a certain shape for a good length of time and are still not comfortable with it it may be time to abondon the cause. Personally I have been able to adapt to any shape I have owned or currently own.

I really like V shaped guitars I like the way they look and play but some people really hate the way they play especially sitting down for me I have always just put my leg in the middle of the v when sitting but some people don't like how it makes the neck raise up. I have more difficulty playing a strat or LP style when in a traditional sitting position, after playing V's for so many years I'm used to that higher neck angle so when I play one of my superstrats in a sitting position I put the back of the guitar near the strap buttion on my leg to kick the neck up.
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Last edited by Evilnine at Aug 25, 2016,
#8
Quote by dspellman
I'm the opposite. I've never really been able to get interested in SGs for the look. And they tend to be neck heavy and they push your left arm over further to the left when they're hanging in the strap because the body's short and those little pointy horns get the side of my left hand. So that's yes on "awkward." I'm not sure about the "wide neck" on them; they've mostly only ever been exactly as wide as any other Gibson except in the '70's when they had a 1 9/16ths" nut and they were narrow.

As for high action -- I hope everyone is kidding about that and realizes that any guitar can have action right on the deck if the frets are level. I've tossed $200 B Stocks on the PLEK and had the strings low enough to fret with a light breeze. It's not a guitar function, and every guitar I know can have low action. I think. Anyway, just because yours isn't set up properly, the genre isn't defined by that. And yours is not set up properly.


You're right my SG isn't set-up properly, but still I've played Gibsons that felt the same. So in my experience it's not an isolated event limited to just one guitar, multiple SGs that I've played have felt similar. That being said, one can assume another budding amateur guitarist might feel the same way and choose not to buy an SG based on how most of them come from the factory. When I first picked up my Explorer and Flying V both of those from the moment I played them had low action with next to no buzzing and felt slick, fast, and fun to play. I can't say that about many SG guitars that I've tried. That won't stop me from playing them though, I'll be sure to set mine up properly and see if that helps. The radius of the fretboard is noticeably different to my V though.
#9
Quote by Evilnine
I have 14 guitars of various shapes, sometimes it just takes some time to adapt but if you have played a certain shape for a good length of time and are still not comfortable with it it may be time to abondon the cause. Personally I have been able to adapt to any shape I have owned or currently own.

I really like V shaped guitars I like the way they look and play but some people really hate the way they play especially sitting down for me I have always just put my leg in the middle of the v when sitting but some people don't like how it makes the neck raise up. I have more difficulty playing a strat or LP style when in a traditional sitting position, after playing V's for so many years I'm used to that higher neck angle so when I play one of my superstrats in a sitting position I put the back of the guitar near the strap buttion on my leg to kick the neck up.


I'm the same way, as soon as the Hinds V was announced I knew I had to have it. Once I did receive it I spent a lot of time practicing chops exercises and sitting position with it, I'm fully accustomed to playing a V sitting but sometimes depending on the chair I need to have my left leg slightly elevated. I find the more classical position required to play a V sitting makes alternate picking and sweeping easier for me. My picking arm tends to be more relaxed and I don't get shoulder fatigue as I used to playing my Explorer or Strats, even SGs occasionally.
#10
Quote by anthonymarisc
You're right my SG isn't set-up properly, but still I've played Gibsons that felt the same. So in my experience it's not an isolated event limited to just one guitar, multiple SGs that I've played have felt similar. That being said, one can assume another budding amateur guitarist might feel the same way and choose not to buy an SG based on how most of them come from the factory.


Gibson generally cuts its nuts for a medium-high action. In the past, that was done to mask indifferent fretwork, and to mask the *intention,* the website and Gibson pundits have constantly suggested that medium-high action is the best way to go for tone. So you're right, multiple SGs and other guitars have felt the same.

And yes, you can assume that someone unfamiliar with proper setups assumes that's the way the guitar will play forever.

When I worked for a music store, we'd select the guitar we wanted to move next, give it a really great setup, and make sure that it made its way into the hands of most customers. Worked like a champ. And this is why I don't ever recommend to people that they play a lot of guitars until they find one that "sings to them" (or other such wonderfulness) or just seems to play itself.

Almost all guitars can profit from a really good setup (which sometimes requires a fret level, since some guitar manufacturers are lackidaisical when it comes to fretwork). And pretty much everything can be set up to play with low action up and down the fretboard.
#11
SGs are very comfy to me.


I have an Elitist with a super slim neck and it KILLS
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#12
I had a similar experience with SGs. I was shopping for a new axe years ago and tried a couple SGs, but had the exact problem with the neck feeling too wide and thin. Everyone's hands are different and you may have thicker skin where others do not, or a wrist angle that others do not. SGs are great guitars I'm sure, but just found they where not for me. Same with ESP oddly enough. I like the look and sound but, every ESP guitar I picked up in the store awhile back and just didn't fit my hands at all.

In your case, shop around. There are loads of SG-style guitars from different builders and they will have different necks so its worth a look around if you really want that kind of guitar.
#13
Sg is my favorite design because the neck goes straight into the body with the least amount of body sticking out behind the neck. Mine is perfectly balanced. I can hold it by the lower horn in my palm perfectly ballanced. Some will have a big fat mohogany neck, but mine has a thin maple neck. The tone is not great but the playability is. The high action is strenuous but allows huge amounts of sustain.
#14
You will probably just have to deal with it. MY favourite body style is the explorer, and so far i had two, and i just couldnt play them. They were uncomfortable for me, the necks were weird, the non carved top was horrible to play, the necdive was bothering me... I just tried out the chapman ghostfret, that i thought was my last chance to get a decently shaped explorer that plays nicely, and it was just as bad as the rest. So now i made my peace with never having an explorer guitar, because they simply dont do it for me, and apparently its the same with you. The sgs simply dont feel good to you, so you really shouldnt bother to love a guitar just cause it looks awesome.
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#15
look for an SG with the 61 neck spec. that neck is really thin and not wide at all. the one downside to them is they break easy if you aren't reasonably careful.
#16
My 67 SG special is just the opposite. Very narrow neck and the lowest action on any of my guitars. I played this one as my main axe for 30 years and it is now pretty road worn and due for a significant refresh. Over the last 10 years I have increasingly played Fenders as my interests have evolved. SRV, Mayer, Brad Paisley, Vince Gill, Robben Ford are the guys I am taking my cues from these days and they are mostly Fender players. The SG still comes out for a little old school Santana.
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Last edited by Cajundaddy at Aug 26, 2016,
#17
I have an Sg special 2014. The neck is actually quite "normal". The width is the same as a les paul. I have no problems switching from a strat, les paul to an sg, but indeed sgs' do feel different. Better IMO.