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Gibson Les Paul Tribute

Updated on March 4, 2012
Gibson Les Paul
Gibson Les Paul | Source

Playing A Gibson Les Paul

I have played the guitar since I was a teenager, but I hadn’t had the pleasure of playing a Les Paul until about a year ago. The Les Paul may be a rather expensive guitar, but they are among the very best, as well. Since their introduction in 1952 they have been a favorite among many of the world’s best guitarists. Jimmy Page, Paul McCartney, and Zakk Wylde are among a few artists who have with the help of the Les Paul, defined music as we know it today. There are many good guitars that one could buy, but if you want the best you should look into buying a Les Paul. Mainly this writing is directed towards those who are experienced guitarist and want to take their sound to the next level. The Les Paul probably isn’t really for the beginning guitarist, though any music enthusiast may find an interest in the role that it played in the development of music through the last fifty years. One might consider an Epiphone Les Paul which is similar to the Gibson, but about a third of the cost. This would be my suggestion if you want the sound without the price tag. All though, it doesn’t hold its value like a Gibson, and it isn’t held to the same standards in craftsmanship. Only a true Gibson Les Paul guitar is capable of creating those fine nuances associated with it. You should be aware of the counterfeit Gibson Les Paul market. They may look completely authentic, and cost the same as the real thing, but are not even close in comparison in most cases. This is honestly something I’d never thought about; until I found the article, Get a Gibson in Oakdale? This article talked about the problem of counterfeit Gibson guitars being sold at a music store in Oakdale, New York. So, be sure that you’re getting the real thing if you are planning to buy a Les Paul, because you never know.

The Iconic Les Paul

The Les Paul is an icon to music enthusiasts all over the world, its melodic tones can be heard in music of all genres, throughout the last fifty years. The sound of bands like The Who, Kiss, Rush, Guns N Roses, Led Zeppelin, Ozzy Osbourne, and many more have been defined by the full bodied sounds created by a Gibson Les Paul. The mere mention of one inspires delight in the eyes of guitarists like me. The body of it is crafted out of solid Mahogany and embellished with a carved Maple top. Humbucker pick ups are always used, though different ones are used in different models. Other than a few minor changes the Les Paul has remained the same since its introduction in 1952. Unprecedented attention to detail and the use of only the best materials, make the Les Paul one of the easiest playing, best sounding guitars in the world to date. I try to imagine the sound of Guns N Roses, one of my favorite bands, without Slash’s Les Paul in the equation. Honestly I can’t imagine it. It wouldn’t have the impact that it does without those rich vintage sounds. The music in my opinion would be no more significant than, say, Milli Vanilli. Though the basic concept of the Les Paul’s craftsmanship hasn’t changed in over half a century, don’t be fooled into thinking that it is an old fashioned guitar. The design hasn’t changed because it doesn’t need to be changed, not because of social oppressions or opinions. Sometimes, something is designed so close to perfection that there is no need for improvement, I would say that is the case in this instance. The Les Paul has defined many genres throughout music, and continues to fit in, even in today’s diverse and fast paced culture. Bands like Zeppelin and The Who might never have had their influence if not for the influence given them by this timeless masterpiece.

Epiphone Les Paul
Epiphone Les Paul | Source

The Gibson Guitar Corporation

The Gibson Guitar Corporation manufactures acoustic and electric guitars. Aside from the obvious Gibson name, they manufacture guitars under such names as Epiphone, Kramer, Valley Arts, Tobias, Steinberger, and Kalamazoo. Gibson also makes pianos, drums, and many accessories. The Les Paul is manufactured under the Gibson and Epiphone names exclusively. Orville Gibson, the founder of Gibson made mandolins in the late 1890s, and invented the curved top guitar, after the curved top of a mandolin. Acoustic guitars and the first commercially available hollow body electric guitars were available by the 1950s. Gibson’s first solid body guitar The Les Paul was introduced in 1952 and the rest is history. Gibson Guitar Corp. is a privately held corporation; it is not traded on a stock exchange. In 1975 a serial number system was implemented and is still in use today. With this number, you can trace the guitars production date and location and the order of production, that day. Gibson has been around a long time and has a solid reputation in the music industry, the Les Paul is the most revered and sought after guitar of its classification, and sets a standard in the industry. Knowing that it is backed by a solid company that has stood the test of time is just a bonus to any potential buyer.

Don't Invest in A Fake

Remember to be aware of counterfeit Gibson Les Paul Guitars, while Epiphone may have approval to copy it and even use the name Les Paul, no other company does. It isn’t uncommon for some of these guitars to be altered simply by changing the name from Epiphone to Gibson. Keep in mind that the Epiphone version lacks quite a bit in craftsmanship, value, and performance when compared to a Gibson. The Epiphones are still very good guitars and worth having, but not at the price of the Gibson. Few, if any, other guitar on the market holds its value quite as well as the Gibson Les Paul, so they make good investments. Some signature series and limited addition Les Pauls may actually raise considerably in value over time. Therefore, if you intend to purchase one do some research, before you make your purchase. If you are a contasour you can tell the real thing from a knockoff just by the sound. The Gibson version is also heavier than the Epiphone, which might clue you in to it being a fake. If you’re not sure, contact Gibson, trace the serial numbers and see if it is authentic for sure.


The Gibson Les Paul may be rather expensive; they range from around a thousand to several thousand dollars. If you are looking to buy one you may want to check out, or possibly EBay, but beware of imitations if you shop places like EBay especially. If you want to try before you buy a nearby music retailer would be a good place to start, not all may have an original Gibson Les Paul, in stock. The lesser Epiphone version can be found more easily and you may have to really look for a Gibson, but if you want the best you have to at least give the Les Paul a try. Pawn shops may be another avenue, but again I caution you to be aware of is authenticity. Even music stores could be a possible problem, so just keep in mind that the problem exists. I’m not saying that the musical instrument retail industry is corrupt in general, but it never hurts to do a little homework.

I Highly Recommend Them

In conclusion, I suggest the Gibson Les Paul guitar for any experienced guitar player, who wants to have one of the best tools of the trade at his or her disposal. The sound, quality, and appearance are superior to most other comparable guitars. The company behind them is well known and respected in the music industry. Many great guitarists have built their careers on the sounds of this unique guitar. Gibson Les Paul guitars hold their value as well or better than any other guitar on the market today. Just owning one gives one a prestige among other guitarists, in a general since. I personally recommend them, all though I do not own one myself. I want one, but at this point haven’t prioritized getting one to the top of my list. I have however played one a few times, and simply love the way they play and sound. They have light and easy finger action, and a vintage sound that can only be described by thousands of performances by thousands of performers over the last half century. I may not be an expert on the subject, but have played a good many other guitars over the last twenty-three years, and have found no other to compare with the Gibson Les Paul.

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    • dmop profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Cambridge City, IN

      Thanks for stopping by and for your vote Magicdust Staff, it is much appreciated. Have a great day, and keep rocking out to all the greats.

    • Magicdust Staff profile image

      Magicdust Staff 

      6 years ago from Sydney, Australia

      Top hub - I've loved Gibson guitars and the Les Paul particularly since I was a teenager listening to the bands you named here and the brilliant dual lead guitar format of Thin Lizzy. Especially at their peak when Brian Robertson and Scott Gorham always used Les Pauls for that work - aahh , good times :)


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