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This year sees the launch of the Derek Trucks signature model SG, complete with mods found on Derek’s stage guitars.So tell us more...
“The new signature model has all the little tweaks we’ve made to my own SGs over the years. It has different volume pots, so the swell is cleaner, and different capacitors. Y’know, my SG [a ’61 SG-shape Les Paul with a Lyre vibrato] had a vibrato on it, and we just took a hacksaw and yanked it off and put a stoptail in.
"The guitar they finally ended up building for me is great. On the rack, it’s a normal setup: it’s not set up for slide. But even the way I play my own SG, in open tuning, the action is not unreasonably high, so it’s not far off that anyway.”
What made you choose an SG for slide?
“The SG has always served me well. I mean, my first few guitars were just garage-sale and pawn-shop beaters, but my first real guitar that I was excited about was an off-the-rack SG in the early 90s. I played that forever. I tried other guitars, but I would always come back to the SGs.
"It just felt like there was something about the weight, and the sound for slide, and the access that you have way up on the neck. It just felt right. It’s always been my go-to. So I guess in the last five years, I’ve been fighting the urge to try other things.”
Do you have a particular setup?
“Y’know, I mainly play in open E, and I think because of that, I don’t have to keep the action as high. My SG has got a relatively low action, but the tension of having it tuned up, I think, makes that possible. It’s nothing too unique. I always feel like the bulk of it is really in your hands. It’s less about the gear, and more about the approach and the attack.”