Derek Trucks’ 2000 Gibson SG ’61 Reissue

Derek acquired this guitar sometime in the early 2000s, and it quickly became his main axe to be used for the next decade or so. We, unfortunately, couldn’t find any info on the story of how Trucks actually acquired the guitar, so if you happen to know anything please be sure to leave a comment below.

Normally when I find one instrument I try to stick with it, just so I don’t have to think about it. The instrument becomes the second nature, and you can focus on other things.

Musician’s Friend interview with Derek Trucks
An early photo of the guitar, before Derek removed the pickguard and installed a stop-tailpiece.

The guitar originally had a tremolo tailpiece that was replaced with a stop-tailpiece, but Derek liked the look of the Gibson Maestro Vibrola plate so he kept it sort of as a counterweight. He also had the pickguard removed due to the fact that he doesn’t actually use a pick while playing, and possibly for aesthetic reasons.

Except for that, is equipped with two ’57 Classic humbucker pickups, and a custom set of tone and volume pots.

My main road guitar is a 2000 Gibson ’61 SG reissue with a stoptail bridge in place of the vibrato arm. Its loaded with ’57 Classic humbuckers and strung with DR nickel-plated strings gauged .011, .014. .017, .026, .036, and .046. I tune it to open E [E, B, E, G#, B, E, low to high], and my tech, Bobby Tis, installed different tone caps and volume tapers.

Ball & Chain, Derek Trucks and Susan Tedeschi’s Blues Union

Derek used this guitar as his main up until around 2011, and it can be seen and heard on nearly all major gigs and albums spanning from the early 2000s up to that point including the Crossroads Festival in 2010, a Live album recorded at Georgia Theatre, and the Tedeschi Trucks Band’s three studio albums (although he did not use this guitar exclusively).

Derek with the guitar in 2010 at the Crossroads Festival.
Derek with the guitar in 2010 at the Crossroads Festival.

Similar to Derek’s first SG, this guitar is also filled with signatures of the people Derek toured with over the years.

Also, in 2012, Gibson released a Derek Trucks signature model, which was based on this guitar.


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