Les Paul or Strat: Which Guitar Is Right for You?

(Image credit: Damian Fanelli)

The Gibson Les Paul and the Fender Stratocaster may be iconic electric guitars designed in the early Fifties, but that’s where the similarities end.

From their tone woods and hardware to their pickups and method of neck attachment, each of these models is designed to achieve tones that are distinctly different from one another.

So which guitar is better suited to you and your playing style? Or if you own both, which guitar is better suited to certain styles of music?

Darrell Braun—who, may we say, has the sweetest guitar tone and licks of any online guitar instructor—takes up the matter in this video, “Les Paul or Stratocaster—Which Guitar is Right for You?”

In addition to looking at an American Les Paul and Strat, Darrell tosses in a Squier Strat and an Epiphone Les Paul, “just simply because I know not everybody can afford an American-made instrument,” he says.

After running through some of the models’ features, Darrell puts the guitars to work in a range of musical settings, with some seamless camera that lets you quickly compare the tones.

Check it out, and when you’re done visit his Darrell Braun Guitar channel on YouTube for more of his videos.

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Christopher Scapelliti

Christopher Scapelliti is editor-in-chief of Guitar Player (opens in new tab) magazine, the world’s longest-running guitar magazine, founded in 1967. In his extensive career, he has authored in-depth interviews with such guitarists as Pete Townshend, Slash, Billy Corgan, Jack White, Elvis Costello and Todd Rundgren, and audio professionals including Beatles engineers Geoff Emerick and Ken Scott. He is the co-author of Guitar Aficionado: The Collections: The Most Famous, Rare, and Valuable Guitars in the World (opens in new tab), a founding editor of Guitar Aficionado magazine, and a former editor with Guitar WorldGuitar for the Practicing Musician and Maximum Guitar. Apart from guitars, he maintains a collection of more than 30 vintage analog synthesizers.