1967 Gibson Melody Maker SG

CRAVE Guitars says…

Thumbs up: Size and weight, colour combination, vibrato, originality and condition, OHSC

Thumbs down: Single coil pickup, headstock shape, student reputation

Decree: A superb example of an underrated student SG model Melody Maker

Model Description

The Gibson Melody Maker was Gibson’s response to Fender’s successful student models, the Musicmaster, Duo‑sonic, Mustang and Bronco. The first version of Gibson’s budget starter model Melody Maker appeared in 1959 as a single cutaway, Les Paul‑like solid body. It went through two further revisions as double cutaway models before its final variant, the SG‑like ‘type 4’ was introduced in 1966. The SG model proved popular until it was discontinued in 1971, ending the original incarnation of the Melody Maker series. The SG variant was the only one to come with one, two (D) or three (III) pickups and the Maestro vibrato was standard issue, rather than an option. It was also available in a greater range of colours than previous Melody Makers. There was even an SG‑shaped Melody Maker Bass and a 12‑string guitar to provide broader choice for consumers. Gibson subsidiary Epiphone also released versions of the Melody under its own brand. One might wonder why the Melody Maker was discontinued in the early 1970s without any obvious replacement. While Gibson has reissued the Melody Maker several times over the years, the SG‑shaped version only reappeared in 2011 for a brief period and sporting a single humbucker. The diminutive Gibson Melody Maker remains quite a vintage bargain compared to other Gibson guitars from the same period and are proving enduring popular with enthusiasts, if not collectors.

Guitar Description:

Pretty huh? This 4th version of the Gibson Melody Maker is particularly appealing, due to its visual comparison with its bigger brother the Gibson SG and particularly the SG Junior. This example is a striking 1967 SG‑bodied Melody Maker in vibrant Fire Engine red with white scratchplate, one single coil pickup, and gleaming chrome hardware. The Melody Maker’s look is both minimalist and very cool. This Melody Maker is 100% original and in superb condition for its age, with hardly anything at all to detract from its basic appeal. I really dig all the Melody Makers (except perhaps for the ‘amateur’‑looking 1965-1966 ‘type 3’ shape). Many don’t like the narrow headstock but I do. The benefit of the single pickup model means no additional switches, pots or electrical gubbins to go wrong or to interfere with the pure vintage tone. Just plug the Melody Maker in and that funky sole bridge single coil pickup sings, and the factory Maestro vibrato also adds an authentic 1960s warbly vibe. Melody Makers are traditionally quite petite and lightweight and this one is no exception, helped by the thin mahogany body and slim mahogany neck. The overall package for what was originally intended to be a low‑cost ‘student’ guitar now exudes pure vintage cool. Some investment ‘collectors’ still turn their nose up at the Melody Makers but that is their loss in my opinion, they will eventually cotton on when there’s money to be made. The single pickup Melody Maker SG is simplicity itself and all the better for it – if you want more, this model also came with 2 or 3 pickups. Nice. Melody Maker by name and by nature.


  • Made in Kalamazoo, Michigan, U.S.A. in 1967
  • Mahogany double cutaway SG solid body
  • Fire Engine Red nitrocellulose finish
  • Mahogany set neck
  • Unbound rosewood fingerboard with 22 frets and pearloid dot markers
  • Scale length 24¾” (629mm)
  • Original Kluson tuners with white plastic buttons
  • Original large white scratchplate
  • Original single-coil covered Melody Maker pickup
  • Original knobs, white strap buttons and jack socket
  • Original ‘lightning bolt’ compensated bridge
  • Original Maestro vibrato/tailpiece
  • Original Gibson hard shell case

Detail Gallery:

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