Les Paul – Guitar Designer and Master Player

Truly one of the greats of Guitar design and play is that of Les Paul. Paul has taken the Electric guitar to the iconic status it enjoys and added the right flair ingredient to the guitarist that completes that look. They are some of the finest in the world and antique versions can reach incredible sums. You can simply buy new and used ones at Guitar shops Gloucestershire, Yorkshire, Cheshire in fact the length and breadth of the country and the global or you could just go to https://www.guitarsmiths.co.uk/ as a start. What’s the story behind the Les Paul guitar? Glad you asked.

Image credit

Les Paul was an innovator and inventor. He could also play a mean guitar and this affinity with the instrument and ability with it was to help him design some of the most incredible advances in guitar sound and technology. He had first begun with a guitar known as the “log”. This was a simple Spanish guitar, but Paul had incorporated a solid pine block into the guitar to give it a solid body as opposed to parts. The Gibson Company needed a rival to the Fender Telecaster, the first of the solid body designed guitars, and Ted McCarty the president of Gibson saw that Les Paul could be the man to provide that impetus to give them the guitar they needed for the market.

The Gibson Les Paul was not cheap but there was a reason for that. Paul had stated that it would be a good idea to use golden wood and a gold finish to the guitar to make it look special and to stand out. Fenders offerings, although cheaper, looked it as they were mass produced. Many had likened them to car colours and emphasised their mass production even though the Gibson Les Paul was slated to be mass produced itself. The Guitar was given its launch at the Astoria Hotel in New York by Paul himself in a masterclass to other notable guitarists at the time. It was also a great way for them to see the instrument and endorse it.

Image credit

Les Paul not only innovated with the instrument but with how it was played as well. He brought in new techniques fo the electric guitar that were to prove popular with Rock and Roll, Rock, Heavy Metal and Punk bands for the rest of the century and beyond. He was famous for licks (a short series of notes to produce a melody) and trills ( a mixture of melodic notes interspersed with rhythmic notes and even a few dissonance chords to break up the flow before returning to the original melody). He could play country, even having a short career in the genre but was known more for his Jazz and Pop playing such as his “How high the moon” collaboration with Mary Ford to show his excellent style of play. He lived to the ripe age of 94 and remains an icon for many still living legends of guitar today.