The Best Strings For A Gibson Les Paul: My #1 Picks For 2020

By Christoper Horton •  Updated: 09/19/21 •  5 min read

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.

  1. Ernie Ball 10-46
  2. Ernie Ball 10-46
    $5.99

    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.


    Buy Now
  3. Elixir POLYWEB Super Light
  4. Elixir POLYWEB Super Light
    $11.99

    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!


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  5. D'Addario EXL117
  6. D'Addario EXL117
    $4.89

    If you want to tune your guitar down REALLY low, like Drop A or Drop B, then you'll need the right strings in order to keep adequate string tension. The D'Addario EXL117 are an excellent option for this, allowing for ultra-low tunings from Drop B to even Drop A.

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  7. Ernie Ball 2215 Nickel Skinny Top/Heavy Bottom
  8. Ernie Ball 2215 Nickel Skinny Top/Heavy Bottom

    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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    We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

  9. D'Addario NYXL1046 Light Electric Guitar Strings
  10. D'Addario NYXL1046 Light Electric Guitar Strings
    $12.99
    • 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


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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:

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 Best Strings For A Gibson Les Paul: My #1 Picks For 2020
Ernie Ball Regular 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

The Best Strings For A Gibson Les Paul: My #1 Picks For 2020
D’Addario Regular Light

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

The Best Strings For A Gibson Les Paul: My #1 Picks For 2020

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 Horton

Christopher has been playing guitar and piano for 27 years. He has been active in the professional music industry for over two decades. He has toured for years with several bands and music projects. He worked in LA as a studio musician and engineer working with bands like IAMSOUND, Baroness, Kylesa, Black Tusk, Reflux, and Tripping Daisy. In between giving private lessons, he is recording a solo album for 2022-2023. Christopher plays Schecter guitars, BOSS amplifiers, and uses STL Tones in the studio.

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