Slash was not born with a Les Paul in his hands, but first played an acoustic guitar with one string
A Les Paul guitar is as recognisable a feature of Slash’s appearance as a top hat and dark shades. You could be forgiven, perhaps, for believing he was born with Gibson’s most iconic axe permanently welded to his hands. However, in an interview for guitarist community site All Axess, Slash’s first guitar was much less glamorous. In actual fact, it was a classical guitar with one string!
There are those who have taken the single string guitar to a large audience- Seasick Steve’s famous Diddley Bow, for example, and the similar instrument that Jack White builds at the beginning of the documentary ‘It Might Get Loud’. Slash moved on from there, however, to a cheap singlecut guitar, then to a BC Rich.
The interview, whilst reassuring that even the mighty have humble beginnings, does seem to illuminate the fact that, these days, you can get a really great Les Paul, at a beginner friendly price. Plus, it will have all six strings when you buy it- bonus!
So here are five great, yet more affordable Les Paul models that. Had Slash learned to play on one of these, he might have grown into quite a good guitarist….
Epiphone Les Paul Standard Plain Top
Over the years, Gibson ‘s sister brand Epiphone has become the first choice of beginner’s instrument for many guitarists. Rather than simply bearing the ‘Les Paul’ name, the Epiphone models are closely based on the Gibson equivalent, offering a healthy dollop of Les Paul performance at a fraction of the price. The Epiphone Les Paul Standard is among the most popular. With the distinctive sunburst finish, and thick, rich tone, this is a great instrument to learn on. Specification can be found here.
Epiphone Les Paul 100
The Les Paul 100 is a cosmetically more simple option in the Epiphone range, but still with a mahogany neck and mahogany body, albeit slimmer. The price is also considerably slimmer, making this one of the least expensive ways to get a Les Paul guitar. Click here for full details on our website.
Epiphone Les Paul Black Beauty
The Epiphone Les Black Beauty is visually similar to the classic Les Paul Custom. With the gloss ebony finish that Les Paul described as smart, ‘like a tuxedo’ for black tie events, and an additional middle pickup, this adds flexibility to the classic features.
Epiphone Les Paul Ultra III
In essence, this guitar takes a Les Paul Standard and packs in with plenty of technology. A Nanomag pickup adds further to the sonic palette, with a toggle switch to switch between this and the two Probucker pickups. A built in tuner and USB output add further to the tech onboard.
Gibson Les Paul Studio Faded
If your budget will stretch this far, this genuine Gibson Les Paul is something of a bargain. With a mahogany body with carved maple cap, and Burstbucker pickups, this is a bona fide Les Paul spec. The simpler cosmetics keep the cost to a fraction of a Gibson Les Paul Standard. Get the specifications here.
So there we have it. Five great Les Paul guitars, ideal for the beginner and beyond, that will give you a ‘head start’ over Slash. Well, sort of…
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