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Okay, I think I don't like Les Pauls! What should I do now?

#1 User is offline   theflyingturtle 

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Posted 13 August 2017 - 03:05 PM

So I have been shopping for a Les Paul for a few months and so far I have come up dry. I've tried guitar after guitar and for some reason when I pick them up and play them I am not connecting. I honestly have found them forgettable. Now I didn't come here to bash Gibson or complain about quality control or anything like that. I just want to say that I keep picking them up and then I put them down and walk away with no interest at all. I thought I wanted a LP. In fact I've wanted one real bad but the experience and the guitars are not intuitively compelling to me. So where should I go? For those of you that have spent time with multiple Gibson electrics, what should I try next? SG? A flying V? I really have a slot open for a short scale electric guitar with humbuckers and no matter what I do I can't seem to bond with Les Pauls. It's very, very frustrating. It is considered by many to be the best guitar in the world. Why don't I like it?
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#2 User is offline   american cheez 

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Posted 13 August 2017 - 03:20 PM

View Posttheflyingturtle, on 13 August 2017 - 03:05 PM, said:

Why don't I like it?



this is the question you must answer before moving on, imo. what is your current, or fav number 1?. is it a hss strat? semi-hollow? do you like lite weight or heavy solids?
what kinda music you playin? on blind reccomendation i would say try an sg std or a 335. the sg is light weight, but still rocks. has good upper fret access. the 335 is a bit nerdy-lookin, but is actually the rockinest guitar ever made in the history of guitars. alot of folks don't like the big body on it though.
a weight relieved explorer is a nice guitar, and are very well balanced. great upper fret access too. the drawback with those is, the case is big enough to use as a raft in a flood.
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#3 User is online   Rabs 

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Posted 13 August 2017 - 03:50 PM

Which type of LPs have you tried?

One thing that took me many years to realise about Gibsons after having a LP studio for many years is that they have two very different neck sizes (actually they are all slightly different) but mainly a fat 50s neck and a slim tapered 60s neck.. The studio I had, had a 50s neck and I always assumed that if I bought a Standard it would be better, it cost more so it should.. But it doesn't work like that.. When I went to try my first Standard it also had a 50s neck (maybe even fatter than the studio) and I was very disappointed..

I spoke to the shop owner and he suggested a LP Classic which has a slim neck.. And wow, it was just night and day for me.. I now have four Gibbies and a 60s neck is a must for me.

But also LPs certainly arnt for everyone. If its not for you its not for you, theres plenty of alternatives out there.

Also Gibson have two very distinct ranges.. The HP (high performance) and the T (traditional) lines.. The HPs have more modern appointments and wiring options with auto tuning.. The T line are based on the traditional specs (fairly obviously :)).

Theres also LP Specials and Double cuts.. which also have their own thing going on but still give you a Gibson sound.

So yes, theres lots to understand and try out.. Hope this helps a bit [thumbup]
"Im the one thats going to have to die when its time for me to die. So let me live my life, the way I WANT TOO" Jimi Hendrix
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#4 User is offline   'Scales 

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Posted 14 August 2017 - 04:42 AM

Wow. Suddenly I don't feel so alone! [laugh]
Strats and Teles are about a 50-50 hit and miss with me, but that feels like how it should be, with LPs I can't take a trick. The good thing about this is that when I find the 'right' one, I'll know it instantly and take it home or put down a deposit [thumbup]
we had longer ways to go, but no matter, the road is life.

a few of my songs from first ever gig for originals band
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#5 User is offline   MichaelT 

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Posted 14 August 2017 - 06:05 AM

After playing a particular Les Paul Custom in the early 80's, I wanted a Les Paul. I also wanted a Flying V. I now have two Flying V's and two Les Pauls and they all have a similar sound and feel. The neck is more of a 60's neck on them all. I finally bought my Les Pauls this year, both are 2017. One is a Standard, the other a Tribute. I love them both and play them all the time. I spent most of the day yesterday playing one of my Flying V's and they all had that same feel and similar fantastic sound. The V body shape takes a bit to get used to but you can't beat them for high fret access.

All that being said, it took me many years of playing different Les Pauls to find THE ones. I've played some since and the ones I have are the best ones for me. It just may take some more searching and playing. What didn't you like about them? The neck? The sound? The feel? I'm not happy with most guitars until I get them set up to my liking, which includes lowering the action a tad and swapping out strings to 9's. I'd suggest keep trying and perhaps some time you will find the one you connect to. I've probably played 40 to 50 Les Pauls in my life and I've wanted to buy three but missed the opportunity on one of them. I'd suggest figuring out what you don't like and post that. If a Les Paul doesn't work for you, other Gibsons or other brands may be "the one." I love my V's, that's for sure. That was my "go to" guitar for three decades.
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#6 User is offline   merciful-evans 

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Posted 14 August 2017 - 06:43 AM

View Posttheflyingturtle, on 13 August 2017 - 03:05 PM, said:

It is considered by many to be the best guitar in the world. Why don't I like it?


No one can tell you why you dont like it. IMO it doesnt even matter why you dont like it. Why not simply try something else?
SGs feel different. ES-335s & ES-339s feel different again. They sound different too. All excellent Gibson guitars.

Outside of Gibson is more choice. PRS easily fit your remit. Fender do Humbucker versions of their models now also.

If its the LP appearance you like, maybe try a Duesenberg (Germany) or Greco (Japan). They might appeal to you.
Hagstrom Deuce / Fylde Acoustic / Variax Standard / Gibson ES-339 / Gibson LP Less+ / PRS SE Custom24 / Hofner HCT-J17 / Camps Spanish / Jackson Soloist / Rickenbacker 650 /Squier Esprit
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#7 User is offline   kidblast 

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Posted 14 August 2017 - 07:40 AM

so what is it you don't seem to like?

for other gibsons, SGs are a toss up. Some guys love em, some don't. (I have two and I dig em as long as I can minimize neck dive with a good suede strap)

I guess a 335 would be my next train stop but - it would be an expensive stop..
/Ray
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#8 User is offline   Eracer_Team 

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Posted 14 August 2017 - 09:48 AM

Always Heritage Guitars look like an LP.
Made in Gibson's old plant
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#9 User is offline   theflyingturtle 

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Posted 14 August 2017 - 10:25 AM

First of all thank you for all the helpful replies. Having the ability to bounce ideas off of other guitarists helps me a lot so, really, thanks. I think I should add a little more. Right now I have a Strat, a tele, and a PRS Custom 22 and 8 or 9 acoustic guitars. I usually hang out in the acoustic forum. I am mainly a singer and rhythm guitarist but can play some lead but it isn't really my thing. It is basically blues and classic rock at my house. The guitars I buy usually act as different colors on an artist's pallet. The plan was to have a guitars suitable for any song when I friends come over to jam. If we do a Clapton number I have a strat If we do some Albert Collins there's a Tele, and if we do some Gary Moore or Zepplin there should be a LP. The LP was going to be the last electric I was going to buy although a semi-hollowbody... You know. What I find frustrating is that the LP produces some of my favorite recorded guitar work but when I pick them up I cannot connect those classic tones to my brain and fingers. I feel dyslexic when I play a LP and since they all seem to sound different I still can't decide which flavor sounds "good". I have played every LP at Guitar Center and my local music shops. I have played the range from Studio to R8 and the differences are too subtle. The R8 felt more solid and the pickups were clearer but the heavens didn't open up. When I hear a LP played in a concert it hits me square in the gut but when I play one it plays, feels, and sounds meh! It isn't technique or practicing. I want a LP badly. I want to learn first hand what it is about them that people love so much. I want to understand that before I die and all I've run into is a brick wall. I want to learn and I can't open the door. It is very frustrating and I've never, ever experienced this before.
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#10 User is offline   merciful-evans 

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Posted 14 August 2017 - 11:15 AM

View Posttheflyingturtle, on 14 August 2017 - 10:25 AM, said:

The guitars I buy usually act as different colors on an artist's pallet. The plan was to have a guitars suitable for any song when I friends come over to jam. If we do a Clapton number I have a strat If we do some Albert Collins there's a Tele, and if we do some Gary Moore or Zepplin there should be a LP.


You must be very committed to sound like the source material. I know lots of players are.
Personally, I'd just rather sound like me all the time.

I wish you luck with the LP dilemma. I cant wrap my head around that approach though. Sorry!
Hagstrom Deuce / Fylde Acoustic / Variax Standard / Gibson ES-339 / Gibson LP Less+ / PRS SE Custom24 / Hofner HCT-J17 / Camps Spanish / Jackson Soloist / Rickenbacker 650 /Squier Esprit
Miele S5 Power 2200w Vacuum Cleaner
Makita BO3710 Finishing Sander
Verdict 6" vernier scale calipers
Whittard of Chelsea Florence blue teapot
Spear & Jackson 1712PF/INS12 trenching fork

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#11 User is online   Rabs 

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Posted 14 August 2017 - 11:18 AM

Well actually it sounds to me like maybe you are lacking some Amp experience.. I myself am not much of an amp person but I know how to dial in the sound that I want.

And indeed getting to understand what amps you like can be just as much of a learning experience as learning what guitars you like.

It also sounds like you want some of the more mellow pickups from what you describe which is obviously a large part of what produces the electric sound... On an acoustic its the woods and the size of the body... On an electric while (I think) those things to add to the sound, since most of us play with distortion a lot those subtleties are lost anyway... but that's a WHOLE other discussion to which different people think different things.. Which is why this is so hard, its not about what other people think, its about what makes you happy which we cant tell you. It is a bit of a journey for all of us (which never seems to end [rolleyes]) Because as well as all of this, as your taste changes and you get more experience you will want different things again.

Check these vids as using the controls is also an important part of this



"Im the one thats going to have to die when its time for me to die. So let me live my life, the way I WANT TOO" Jimi Hendrix
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#12 User is offline   pippy 

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Posted 14 August 2017 - 11:19 AM

I think you just haven't been able to dial one in properly for some reason.

Before I read the replies I was going to offer much the same advice re: SG / PRS / a.n.other but if you can cope with the restricted upper fret access (Jimmy Page, Gary Moore, Billy Gibbons, erm...Les Paul all managed), don't mind the shape/weight(s)/neck-profile(s)/top-carve/numerous plastic-feeling inlays and love the sounds associated with the thing as a general rule then I can't come to any other sensible conclusion.

I know - through your posts in the acoustic section - you are a chap who knows what he's on about and I see you don't have ANY Gibson electric.
They DO need to be properly dialled-in to an amp. You could plug a Strat into a half-way decent cow-pat and it would still sound like a Strat. Similarly a Tele. They each have such a fantastic sonic fingerprint they don't mind who they hang out with; 'any old amp & settings in a storm' will do. Gibson electrics (IMO) are slightly more stand'off-ish; to sound their best they require a little bit of effort from the player in terms of amp-configuration. Just IMX.

FWIW : I love Les Pauls but I've only ever really managed to get my LPs to sound good through Fender-style amps. I KNOW LPs and Marshalls are like bacon'n'eggs but I can't seem to get that sweet-spot made famous by decades of other - and even better! - players....

Pip.
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#13 User is offline   MichaelT 

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Posted 14 August 2017 - 11:47 AM

I think you've just touched on the issue. The issue is that oh-so-famous tone, not the playability, right?

For me, my Les Paul plugged into my Marshall, turning it up a bit and playing with the tone controls has opened it up for me. For years I was playing a Flying V through a Randall half stack. I played mostly rock/metal but I had the capability to get other tonality as well when needed. I've played just about every kind of music there is, using that same combination. Rock, blues, metal, country, southern rock, classic rock and whatever else my band at the time played, I would adjust the volume and the tone on the guitar when needed, still playing the same combination. When I got my Les Paul home, it went into my Fender Mustang first. After playing through it, since it was small and right next to me, it sounded really good but not great through that little amp. Put into my Randall, again, it was good and after playing with the tone controls on the amp, I got the sound I liked out of both the Les Paul and the Flying V's. Then, when I plugged the Les Paul into my Marshall and again, adjusting the tone on the amp and then turning the volume up some, that's when it really seemed to open up for me. That's just me and other people have other combinations that they love.

Merciful-evans seems to have a similar approach that I have. I want to sound like me playing on those cover songs. Sure, the parts are the same (mostly) and the tone is similar but essentially when I pick up any of my electric guitars and put it through any amp, I sound like me, no matter the guitar. I LOVE the Andertons videos and I've watched several. One of the things I've noticed is that through them all, no matter which guitar or amp combination they use, they each sound similar due to the way they play. The same would go if I had Jimmy Page's guitar and amp combination, I'd sound like me playing Led Zeppelin, not exactly like him. It's cool to have that as a base quest to see how close you can get to the original. Getting a tone that you love that's all your own is even better, and then really rock that sound.

I wonder what all amps you've played through and what you typically play through. I'd grab a Les Paul that feels the best to you as far as playability, then plug into your favorite amp and play with the tone on the amp, maybe even the guitar. Take some time and play with other guitar/amp combinations. It often takes people some time to find that right combination of what they like.

I hope that helps some. Basically, I think people are saying that it's ok if you don't like the Les Paul but maybe some playing with different amps and guitars might help you get that sound you're looking for. Good luck!
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#14 User is offline   charlie brown 

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Posted 14 August 2017 - 06:46 PM

My first question, while reading the OP's original post, was: "What AMP were you running all these various LP's through?
Your amp, the stores amp (like your amp) or just "whatever amp" was handy?

I have, what seems to be a "Like-Love" relationship, with my Les Paul's (never a Love-Hate)! I've had a Les Paul of some variety,
since 1968, which was a new (at that time) Les Paul Custom. I played it constantly. Then I got an SG...and I played THAT constantly.
The LP Custom, stayed in the case. Then I got an ES-355 Stereo, that I played constantly. Both the LP Custom, and SG Standard,
stayed in their respective cases. After awhile, I started rotating them, and to my delight, and relief, decided I Loved them ALL, but for
their differences, their respective "strengths," as it were. Same, with my Telecaster, Strat, Ric 12-string(s), etc., etc., etc.! I have figured
out, over the years, how to get "the sound" I love, regardless of what amp/guitar combination I'm using, and it always involves tone and
volume controls both on the amp(s), and the guitars. I get "the sound," yet due to the characteristics of each brand of amp (currently
Vox AC-30, Marshall TSL 100 half-stack, and a variety of Fender amps), that sound is always within the "voice" of those particular amps.

So, I concur, that "that sound," whatever it might be, is dependent on both guitar, amp, and the EQ settings, on each. And, should be attainable,
regardless of what amp/guitar combination you use, taking into consideration, each of those element's voicing. And, using ONLY the amp, and guitar,
w/o Any Pedals, whatsoever.

IMHO, as always... [biggrin]

CB
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#15 User is offline   Allenjason95 

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Posted 14 August 2017 - 07:19 PM

View Posttheflyingturtle, on 13 August 2017 - 03:05 PM, said:

So I have been shopping for a Les Paul for a few months and so far I have come up dry. I've tried guitar after guitar and for some reason when I pick them up and play them I am not connecting. I honestly have found them forgettable. Now I didn't come here to bash Gibson or complain about quality control or anything like that. I just want to say that I keep picking them up and then I put them down and walk away with no interest at all. I thought I wanted a LP. In fact I've wanted one real bad but the experience and the guitars are not intuitively compelling to me. So where should I go? For those of you that have spent time with multiple Gibson electrics, what should I try next? SG? A flying V? I really have a slot open for a short scale electric guitar with humbuckers and no matter what I do I can't seem to bond with Les Pauls. It's very, very frustrating. It is considered by many to be the best guitar in the world. Why don't I like it?


What do you mean why don't you like it? You don't like it because we don't have a hive mind. Asking strangers why you don't like a LP is like someone asking strangers why they don't like chocolate ice cream.

Go play guitars until you find one you like.
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#16 User is offline   Allenjason95 

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Posted 14 August 2017 - 07:24 PM

View PostRabs, on 13 August 2017 - 03:50 PM, said:

Which type of LPs have you tried?

One thing that took me many years to realise about Gibsons after having a LP studio for many years is that they have two very different neck sizes (actually they are all slightly different) but mainly a fat 50s neck and a slim tapered 60s neck.. The studio I had, had a 50s neck and I always assumed that if I bought a Standard it would be better, it cost more so it should.. But it doesn't work like that.. When I went to try my first Standard it also had a 50s neck (maybe even fatter than the studio) and I was very disappointed..

I spoke to the shop owner and he suggested a LP Classic which has a slim neck.. And wow, it was just night and day for me.. I now have four Gibbies and a 60s neck is a must for me.

But also LPs certainly arnt for everyone. If its not for you its not for you, theres plenty of alternatives out there.

Also Gibson have two very distinct ranges.. The HP (high performance) and the T (traditional) lines.. The HPs have more modern appointments and wiring options with auto tuning.. The T line are based on the traditional specs (fairly obviously :)).

Theres also LP Specials and Double cuts.. which also have their own thing going on but still give you a Gibson sound.

So yes, theres lots to understand and try out.. Hope this helps a bit [thumbup]


Why do some people call Gibsons "Gibbies"? I mean, I've never seen a Fender called a "Fendy". I've never seen a Gretsch called a "Gretschy". Writing out "Gibbie"is the same amount of letters as writing out "Gibson" so it can't be for convenience.
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#17 User is online   Rabs 

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Posted 14 August 2017 - 07:25 PM

View PostAllenjason95, on 14 August 2017 - 07:24 PM, said:

Why do some people call Gibsons "Gibbies"?


Why not?
"Im the one thats going to have to die when its time for me to die. So let me live my life, the way I WANT TOO" Jimi Hendrix
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#18 User is offline   Allenjason95 

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Posted 14 August 2017 - 07:32 PM

View PostRabs, on 14 August 2017 - 07:25 PM, said:

Why not?


Because it sounds like baby talk?

Do you call a guitar a "guitary"? How about your socks? Are they "sockies"? Do you call a door a "doory"?

Like I asked, do you call a Fender a "Fendy"? Is a Gretsch a "Gretschy"?
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#19 User is online   Rabs 

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Posted 14 August 2017 - 07:39 PM

View PostAllenjason95, on 14 August 2017 - 07:32 PM, said:

Because it sounds like baby talk?

Do you call a guitar a "guitary"? How about your socks? Are they "sockies"? Do you call a door a "doory"?

Like I asked, do you call a Fender a "Fendy"? Is a Gretsch a "Gretschy"?

Sheesh... Its just a word... Chill out...

I guess I do it out of affection.. I only said it when I spoke about my own Gibbies... Its like a nick name for my small collection of guitars....
"Im the one thats going to have to die when its time for me to die. So let me live my life, the way I WANT TOO" Jimi Hendrix
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#20 User is offline   Allenjason95 

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Posted 14 August 2017 - 07:49 PM

View PostRabs, on 14 August 2017 - 07:39 PM, said:

Sheesh... Its just a word... Chill out...

I guess I do it out of affection.. I only said it when I spoke about my own Gibbies... Its like a nick name for my small collection of guitars....


Sorry, I didn't mean to sound as harsh as I did. I just genuinely wonder why people add the "y" sound to the end of certain words, like "veggies". I've never heard anyone say "meaties".
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