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2 Simple Tips To Improve Your Les Paul Guitar

I'm a huge Les Paul guitar fan and have been for countless years. Like a great many other supporters I would die to personally own the holy grail of all electric guitars the Gibson, Les Paul 1959 Standard, but of course the knowledge that it is more expensive than countless homes makes this a dream that won't be coming true in the forseeable future.

What I did buy fairly recently was a Gibson 1959 VOS (Virtual Original Spec) modern-day version of that extremely collectible guitar. The colour is Ice Tea and the book-matched flamed maple top is an absolute stunner! This is Gibson's re-edition of their own 1950s work of genius, utilising a lot of the same materials and building procedures of the expensive originals. It's a magnificent electric guitar but still had a comparatively high price tag. After a few months of proudly owning it I was compelled to carry out couple of straightforward adjustments to make this great guitar even better.

My first subject of minor dissatisfaction was that the frets were not as polished as I would've thought on a guitar of this worth. It was beginning to bother me when bending notes hence the time had arrived to give those frets a good shine.

I protected the entire fretboard with masking tape aside from the actual frets which I left exposed. Put simply, the parts in between every one of the frets got a good covering - this was to protect the fretboard when polishing the frets. I then took fine grade wire wool and began polishing the many frets until eventually they had a nice even shine. I chose not to employ a polishing compound, only the wool and hard work. I then removed all of the masking tape and wiped the guitar fretboard clean of any dust.

The frets were now shouting for a set of brand new strings which brings me to my 2nd alteration. Another thing that frequently bothers me a little with a Les Paul guitar is the fact that because of the steep climb the strings make from the tailpiece to the bridge, the tension of the strings is somewhat less comfortable when bending notes whilst playing. The simple technique is to pass the strings through the tailpiece as if they're going out of the rear end of the guitar and then wrapping them back over the tailpiece and over the bridge. This reduces the string angle and tension and it is a method used by some significant names including ZZ Top's Billy Gibbons and blues great Joe Bonamassa.

With the shiny frets and string threading job I'm thrilled to say that my guitar now plays like a dream. I have since substituted the conventional, fairly nice Burstbucker guitar pickups with a set of terrific replacement aged humbuckers from a boutique maker in the UK. All the proper 1950s pattern materials are employed in the building of the pickups including Butyrate bobbins and plain enamel wire, identical to the old originals.

These easy changes can be carried out on all Les Pauls and copies, not only highly-priced VOS models.

I'm pleased to say that mine is now a fabulous guitar all-round.

About Author Todd Witzken :

The author has played in various bands over the years and owns a variety of electric guitars. He loves to customise his instruments and strongly recommends the excellent replacement <a href="" target="_blank">PAF pickups</a> and informative <a href="" target="_blank">Guitar Blog</a> posts at

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Article Added on Wednesday, March 14, 2012
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