jamie goode's wine blog: NWR: Les Paul (guitars)

Saturday, August 15, 2009

NWR: Les Paul (guitars)

As a guitarist, I was sorry to see the passing of Les Paul this week. While I'm unfamiliar with the man and his music, his name is on one of the two definitive types of electric guitar.
It's fascinating that of all the different styles of electric guitar, there are just two main types: the Gibson Les Paul (twin humbucker pickups, glued on neck, fixed bridge, slightly shorter scale length) and the Fender Stratocaster (three single coil pickups with a five-way selector switch, bolt on neck, tremelo bridge, longer scale length). [Perhaps I'm being a little unfair to the Telecaster here.]

Guitarists are usually either Les Paul or Stratocaster. I'm more Les Paul. I've never owned a strat, but I've nothing against them.

But it seems that the Gibson Les Paul may not have had all that much to do with Les Paul himself, and that he had limited input into the wonderful design that he put his name to. Even so, his name will be on the lips of guitarists for generations to come.


At 9:47 PM, Anonymous Michael B said...

Are you sure there are just two types of electric guitar? Hmm..

At 6:23 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jamie, why are you more of a Les Paul fan? Is that a trendy thing? You think they're cooler?

At 9:54 AM, Blogger Alfredo Ketterer said...

I'm more a stratocaster guy... but Les Paul have its thing too...
However Jamie, I suggest you start seriuosly consider what for me at this moment is the more lovely, elegant and great guitar: PRS.
What a guitar!
Cheers man, congrats for the blogg!

At 10:01 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

There are way more than just the Stratacaster and the Les Paul!!!

Rickenbacker, for instance!

At 11:40 PM, Anonymous David Boyer said...

Hi Jamie,

I too love the Gibson Les Paul but the Strat was great for other reasons - mostly tonal. Having produced and engineered records for twenty five years (it was my full-time career, not just playing around in a basement) I was very fortunate to work with great artists in amazing studios. Even though Mr. Paul allowed Gibson use his namesake, he was nonetheless a great inventor.

I believe it was in the 1930s when he began tinkering with the concept of amplifying a guitar and his earliest version used a telephone receiver somehow attached under the strings, if you can imagine that. He of course later went on to not only perfect the electric guitar but also to invent multi-track recording, which was the precursor to modern recording technology and today's incredible audio.

By the way, I will be putting your link on my site and please know that these days, you, and people of your stature are my fix for the music industry that no longer exists - I'm a huge fan and you played a big part in my wine education, for which I am indebted.

Best Regards,

David Boyer classof1855.com

At 9:02 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

On the subject of guitars, would you be the same Jamie Goode that played guitar in 'Tintagel'? I'be been playing 'Lizzie at the Fair' this week and came across your blog whilst looking for info on the band's history/output. Still love those old tapes. Take care, Graham

At 10:30 AM, Blogger Jamie said...

Yes Graham - a long time ago but I really enjoyed that era!

At 10:36 AM, Anonymous Ben Smith said...

Years ago I worked in Macari's in Denmark Street. An American guy came in and pointed to a Les Paul on the wall. I got it down for him to try. He confided in me: "It's actually pronounced Ley Paul... it's French, named after Paul McCartney". Amazing, eh?!
Ps I was / am definitely Strat man.

At 8:30 PM, Blogger Ben said...

There are way more than two types of electric guitar, not forgetting the many types of acoustic guiar as well. It's not all in a name. The tone, more than the technical attributes and brand, are what counts.

At 8:59 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Let's not forget Steinberger either. Where would tin machine or Lou Read circa songs for drella have been without those headless wonders? and as they had active pickups you could make them sound like all sorts of things (apart from a tele which is obviously the owrking mans choice of guitar)


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