The Les Paul Tone

Gibson’s humbucking pickups contribute immensely to the Les Paul’s unmistakably classic tone.  These pickups help produce not only a higher output signal, but also give the Les Paul’s tone a mellow quality with markedly decreased treble frequencies.

The heavy wood body of the Les Paul also contributes to its full and mellow tone.  These are some of the heaviest guitars and this helps them easily sustain a deeper bass.  Hardware on almost every Les Paul is standard.  They each consist of 2 volume pots, 2 humbucking pickups and tone controls.  Each of them has a switch that enables three separate combinations.

Gibson Les Paul Classic Humbucker Pickups

  • Position 1: Switch flipped downwards; the Bridge Pickup. This generates a crunchy sound, mostly used for lead guitars (Example: Guns N Roses´s “Paradise City” intro).
  • Position 2: Middle Position (both pickups active), this position provides a sound not too bright nor too mellow, perfect for balanced tone.
  • Position 3: Switch flipped upwards; the Neck Pickup. The sound you get from this position is deeper and more “grave” sounding, with rich sustain perfect for slower solos. Turn the tone control to 0, and you get the well known “woman tone” commonly used by Eric Clapton and Slash.