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"Les Paul Guy"

TommyTouch

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Feb 15, 2006
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When you show up at a gig with your Les Paul (be it a Standard, Historic reissue) do you feel somehow compelled, or maybe expected to play like the Burstslingers of the glorious past. I realize the Les Paul is versatile and I use mine for blues, rock, and other genre of music. I have even heard comments like "Oh, he's a Les Paul guy." which I took to mean "All he plays is old Fleetwood Mac or Bluesbreakers etc." Maybe I am paranoid (you too would be paranoid if you knew everyone was out to get you) but I feel some folks have a pre-conceived notion of a "Les Paul Guy". Just last night I played a gig with a Soul and Funk music band, with a Les Paul of course, and a few comments were along these lines "I didn't know a Les Paul could be used for James Brown tunes". I know most of you here, like me are "Les Paul Guys", have you ever encountered this type of thing? Is it just me? What say you?
 

thin sissy

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Jan 2, 2006
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I think I know what you mean. Where I live there is a tradition of blues bands (mostly older guys though) with a festival and other concerts every now and then. It's a small place but there are quite a few musicians there. Almost everyone play strats.

When I come to a gig or a jam with a Les Paul, people often make comments and ask me what year it is and so on (when I say that I get comments, it's mostly positive comments) and most people seem interested in the guitar.

With me being "the young guy" in that scene, I sometimes got comments on how I was not "traditional" because I didn't play strat through twin reverb. It used to make me bitter, and I always felt I had to proove my worth just because I didn't play Albert King riffs or whatever. The people who made those kind of comments were never musicians though, they were mostly the hosts of the pub or guys who wanted to play but never learned.

These days I rarely hear things like that, or maybe I just don't care. You can't please everyone.

I now realize this reply got longer and more confusing than I intended :) ... But in short, playing a Gibson in a non Gibson crowd might make you "stand out" a bit, but in my experience it's mostly a good thing.
 

reswot

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Jan 22, 2004
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3,295
I think most folks have never heard old Fleetwood Mac or the Bluesbreakers; thus, I'd have to say that they don't expect me to play like that.

1970s-style rock? Maybe.
 

sonar

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Jan 10, 2003
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3,589
Thanks for an intelligent thread that isn't some fictional drivel, disguised as a question.

While the Les Paul is a pretty versatile instrument, it does lend itself to a particular approach from a player. Some players play the same on whatever electric they pick up, but others look at it as the right tool for a particular job.

I tend to think of pockets and positions on a LP with an emphasis on mids. So I naturally drift towards power chords, pentatonic or blues scales when I play a LP. 70's rock anyone? Obviously I try to do other things on the LP, but this is my natural inclination. On a Tele (post '54 style) I look more at going up or down the neck with double stops, hybrid picking and tend to use more chromatic/diatonic patterns compared to a LP. Also, the timbre of the Tele's I like have more scooped mids and a defined note separation that a LP can sometimes lack.

Not all of us are trying to capture the Beano record and the LP is capable of so much more, but if british blues is your thing, it's hard to beat a LP.
 

EdMcL

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Jun 11, 2010
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338
No
I am what you call a "strat-cat", as it were
and I use a paul or two to throw them off my scent!
:biggrin:
<SO far this one is my fav, follwed by the LP Jr Spec and the Trad Pro
 

jrfisher

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Oct 24, 2003
Messages
1,124
I get the "Ohh you've got a Les Paul" every now and then. I think it's because people know how expensive they are and you don't see as many of them because of the cost.

I can't play fast and hard but when I slide up a string with a little reverb and hold a note with a little vibrato, well; that humbucker just says it all :)
 
Y

yeti

Guest
Think of it as "making a statement", it's a good thing. I don't pay attention to "strat guys" anymore because i know what's being served before they play a single note. I am so tired of those middle position "lisp" sounds of a strat, they all sound the same to me nowadays. with a Les Paul it could go either way, buzzsaw wanking with too much gain a-la Slash or sweet tones on the verge of breakup with that thick midrange. I'm a Tele guy but I like being called a "Les Paul guy" when I bring my '56 jr.:2zone
 

spikester

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Mar 1, 2004
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334
I get the " Oh, you've got a Les Paul? " every now and then also.
And I say " No, (with a long pause) I've got Three " and just Smile!!!!
 

DHBucker

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Jul 18, 2007
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My best friend "was" a strat guy like forever and about 5 years ago we met and he never thought he would like Les Pauls. Well, as time has gone on he now gigs a GO and a PRS Grissom. Both humbuckered guitars. His last gig was about 90% lester! He is now a Les Paul guy.....I blame myself. :dude:

He regularly comments on how cool the sound is now.

Oh....He has an SG too and those F guitars miss their daddy! :rofl Doin' my job!
 
Y

yeti

Guest
My best friend "was" a strat guy like forever and about 5 years ago we met and he never thought he would like Les Pauls. Well, as time has gone on he now gigs a GO and a PRS Grissom. Both humbuckered guitars. His last gig was about 90% lester! He is now a Les Paul guy.....I blame myself. :dude:

He regularly comments on how cool the sound is now.

Oh....He has an SG too and those F guitars miss their daddy! :rofl Doin' my job!


This is really interesting because back in the day, before they made decent Les Pauls again, I would have never used a Les Paul myself, because the ones you could buy were so far away from what a good Les Paul should be. Conventional wisdom was that humbucker guitars are lacking top end ( well, they did back then because it was all about high output and they all weighed 10 pounds and didn't ring at all, a few exceptions not withstanding) and don't have the open sound of singlecoils and that you need a Fender to have that tone. I think by now it's common knowledge that a good Les Paul can get really close in the upper ranges without sounding choked. If you're a Fender guy it might be time to look at Gibsons again.:jim
 

Pat Boyack

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Oct 19, 2011
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4,449
With me being "the young guy" in that scene, I sometimes got comments on how I was not "traditional" because I didn't play strat through twin reverb. .

Those guys are ignorant. The electric Blues didn't start with a strat and a Twin. Look at Muddy, Hubert, Freddie and countless others who played Goldtop Les Pauls. In the later 50's into the 60's guys like Otis Rush and Magic Sam had strats but not many played them. And many played through Fender tweed amps.

Fear not my man, you are more traditional than you think.
 

mbowen

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Mar 6, 2009
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I would much rather be called a Les Paul Guy than a Strat Guy.Most of the guys i know hooked on strats all play like SRV clones and most of them sound the same to me.IMO call me a Les Paul Guy all you want.Mike B.
 

capitalbear

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May 17, 2011
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1,048
Interesting, I've never seen a scene more dogmatic than in this forum. The Les Paul stalinists persume that the Les Paul is the only acceptable guitar and it HAS to be played through a Fender/Marshall amp with low or mid gain without any effects and you HAVE to play slow/mid tempo, preferably old stuff like 12 bar blues, Fleetwood Mac, Led Zep or Clapton (in his pre-Strat phase of course). And you have desperatly trying to sound just like them.
Les Paul guy, Strat guy, Tele guy doesn't have any particular meaning for me, all are great instruments and can sound fantastic. It's much more the player than the gear.
 

DHBucker

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Jul 18, 2007
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2,367
This is really interesting because back in the day, before they made decent Les Pauls again, I would have never used a Les Paul myself, because the ones you could buy were so far away from what a good Les Paul should be. Conventional wisdom was that humbucker guitars are lacking top end ( well, they did back then because it was all about high output and they all weighed 10 pounds and didn't ring at all, a few exceptions not withstanding) and don't have the open sound of singlecoils and that you need a Fender to have that tone. I think by now it's common knowledge that a good Les Paul can get really close in the upper ranges without sounding choked. If you're a Fender guy it might be time to look at Gibsons again.:jim

What you say is interesting because I held out and didn't buy a Les Paul until 1990. I had a 54 junior as my first guitar experience and it killed it for me regarding the "new" Les Pauls being cranked out by Gibson/Norlin in my late teens. I just couldn't find one that was up to snuff, then Gibson got their game together after Norlin was gone. So at least 20 years ago Gibson started building good guitars again IMHO.
 

John Vasco

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Jun 23, 2002
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2,063
...then Gibson got their game together after Norlin was gone. So at least 20 years ago Gibson started building good guitars again IMHO.

Rubbish! Gibson produced good guitars in every era, and likewise produced 'dogs' in every era also.

I'd put this Norlin '69 LP Custom up against anything in the last 20 years or so:


and my '76 Deluxe against anything on cleans:


Unfortunately you appear to be one of those who toss out glib put-downs on all Norlin era Gibsons...
 
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