Strings are usually a pretty personal choice. The different gauges produce a totally different feel. The best strings for a Gibson Les Paul will depend on different factors. Let’s take a look at them!
String Gauge can be a hot topic, and everyone has their own personal idea of what strings go with certain guitars. Today we are going to take a more hands-on approach and take a look at the 3 string sets that are most popular to use with your Gibson Les Paul.
Oh, and please note: these strings will work just as well on Gibson Les Paul alternatives from other brands like Epiphone.
And if you need a case for your Epiphone Les Paul, check out this guide.
Number 1 will be my personal favorite. The other two we will be looking at in an unbiased way. This way, you can pick the one that sounds like it best suits you.
These are my wild card pick for the best strings for a Gibson Les Paul. Some people swear by Elixir strings and become life-long customers. Elixir is a coated string. This provides more longevity to each set of strings. While a regular set of strings may only last a couple of weeks, Elixir is known for lasting for a month or more!
Ernie Ball 2215 Skinny Top/Heavy Bottom Slinky Electric Guitar Strings are the perfect hybrid set for those who like thick bottom strings without sacrificing the ability to solo on smaller strings. This makes them PERFECT for Drop D tuning.Pros:
- Gauges: 10-13-17-30-42-52
- Perfect For Drop D
- Low Strings Nice & Thick
- Can Be Used For Standard Too
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- Features D'Addario's exclusive revolutionary high carbon steel alloy
- Offers more strength, break-resistance, and improved tuning stability compared to traditional nickel wound strings
- Wound strings contain enhanced mid-range frequency response in the 1-3.5kHz range - boosting presence and crunch
The Best Strings For A Gibson Les Paul: Scale Length
The biggest factor in determining what gauge strings you use, should be the scale length of your guitar. Different companies use a varying array of scale lengths:
- Fender: 25.5 Inches
- Paul Reed Smith: 25 Inches
- Gibson: 24.75 Inches
What is scale length, though?
Scale length is described as the distance the string travels between the nut and the bridge. This effects the tension of the strings, and the space between frets as well.
Everyone eventually either finds that they prefer a certain scale length, or conversely, they decide that they really don’t have a preference! I have never met a guitar that I didn’t like a little bit.
Gibson Les Paul’s ship with a brand new with a set of .009- .046 gauge strings. But that doesn’t mean that you have to use that set of strings with your Gibson Les Paul. In fact, that is not the most popular gauge.
Let’s take a look at my picks for the best strings for a Gibson Les Paul:
#1 Ernie Ball 10-46
The Ernie Ball 10-46 gauge strings are my absolute favorite for a Les Paul guitar. They are one step up in tension from the strings that come on a Les Paul from the factory.
Because the Les Paul has a shorter scale length, these strings that have a higher tension feel better to play, in my opinion. They allow for easy note bending, while at the same time keeping the lower strings tight.
Why Ernie Ball? Like I mentioned earlier, this is just a personal favorite. I find that they are pretty consistent when it comes to quality and longevity. Plus they come in a cool neon pack!
#2 D’Addario 10-46
D’Addarrio is a close second for not only me, but players everywhere! These are the same gauge as the Ernie Ball strings in the number 1 spot. They differ mainly because of preference.
You see, most strings are very much the same when it comes to composition and construction. Brands are usually something a guitarist decides on early in their playing career. Sometimes by chance!
I switched to D’Addario a few years ago because of availability. It had nothing to do with the brand or the strings themselves! The choice is up to you.
#3 Elixir Polyweb 9-42
These are my wild card pick for the best strings for a Gibson Les Paul. Some people swear by Elixir strings and become life-long customers. Elixir offers a few more benefits than your regular strings.
Elixir is a coated string. This provides more longevity to each set of strings. While a regular set of strings may only last a couple of weeks, Elixir is known for lasting for a month or more!
The other difference Elixir offers is feel. Some people use string cleaner on their strings after playing. You do not need to do this with Elixir, since they are already coated with a proprietary blend.
This is also the only set on the list that is in the 9-42 range when it comes to gauge. That is because Elixir seems to have a different feel and tension when you use them on a Gibson Les Paul.
The Best Strings For A Gibson Les Paul: It’s All Up To You!
I always say that newer players should experiment, and see what they like. Some people play with a lighter touch (Billy Gibbons, for one) and can get away with a very skinny gauge. At the same time, you may prefer a heavier gauge.
The only way to tell is to get out there and play them! Whichever you choose, there is no wrong answer. Different players have different feel, touches, and preferences.
Playing guitar is 50% experimentation! Find out what works best for your Gibson Les Paul. Me? I love my Ernie Ball strings. Always have done. They’re cheap, they’re excellent quality, and they play brilliantly every time.
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Christoper HortonChristopher has been playing guitar, bass, and piano for 28 years. He has been active in the professional music industry for over two decades. Chris has toured for years with several bands and music projects across the United States. He worked in Los Angeles as a studio musician and engineer working with many genres, but mainly Pop, Rock, and Metal. In between giving private lessons, he is usually recording under his various projects at home in Georgia. Christopher plays Schecter Guitars, BOSS Amplifiers, and uses STL Tones in the studio.
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