What is a Les Paul?

When you think of an electric guitar, the first model that comes to mind is very often the Gibson Les Paul. You’ve seen the Gibson Les Paul on stage in the hands of many of the world’s most renowned guitarists. But what makes a Les Paul unique? Let’s start with a little bit of history. The Gibson Guitar Company joined forces with guitar virtuoso and inventor Les Paul to design one of the industry’s first solid-body electric guitars. Introduced in 1952, the Gibson Les Paul advanced the existing concept of the solid-body electric guitar with an innovative design and features that made it an instant classic. These included:

  • Gibson’s iconic single-cutaway design
  • A carved maple top, reminiscent of popular Gibson archtop models
  • A solid, lightweight mahogany body
  • A glued-in “thick” mahogany neck
  • A rosewood fingerboard with trapezoid inlays
  • Dual pickup configuration

Les Paul Features

Today, Gibson offers many variations of the Les Paul, but for now, let’s just get started with some of the basic Les Paul features:

  • Classic Single Cutaway Design Crafted with a Carved Maple Top and a Solid Mahogany Back
  • Glued-In Mahogany Neck with a 22-fret rosewood Fingerboard
  • Dual humbucking pickups with Independent Volume and Tone Controls for each Pickup and a 3-Way Pickup Selector Switch
  • Tune-O-Matic Bridge and Stopbar Tailpiece