Best Strings for Les Paul

The Les Paul is a unique and premium electric guitar. Compared to other electric guitars in the market, Les Paul guitars have a shorter scale length of around 24.75”. The scale length heavily affects its characteristics as a guitar. Les Paul guitars are more associated with rhythm playing. They have a thicker and muddier tone, and it is also not very adept at bending notes. 

That being said, being unconventional, the guitar also requires fitting guitar strings to produce the desired tunes.

In this article, we will walk you through the features of electric guitar strings the fit a Les Paul Guitar and list out a choice of the best strings for Les Paul as we see fit.

Buying Guide 

With so many brands selling so many different guitar strings for electric guitars, finding the perfect strings that enhance your Les Pauls' performance can be difficult. 

Strings are a significant part of your guitar. They play a massive role in the tone of the music as well as the feel when playing.  When the strings feel and sound great, you will get the best sound out of your guitar as well. So it is necessary to select the best strings for your guitar.  This guide will help you identify the important features for your Les Paul guitar and aid your purchasing decision.

Material

The most common material for Les Paul guitar strings or any electric guitar strings for that matter; is Nickel. Most electric guitar strings are made using Nickel-plated steel. However, pure Nickel or stainless steel strings are also quite popular. Nickel strings are vintage.

It produces classic and warm tone music. Stainless steel strings, on the other hand, produce very bright and round tones good for modern music. Nickel-plated steel falls in between, making a good choice for every setting, making it the most popular choice.

String Gauge

The string gauge is, simply put, the thickness of your string.  It can range from extra light to medium to heavy and so on. These are represented in the short-hand by the number denoting the high E string. The tone depth depends on the string gauge. Lighter strings, for instance, have a thinner tone.

They are easier on fingers and bend easily. However, they snap easily as well. Heavier strings, on the other hand, last much longer. They also produce a thicker tone but require a lot more effort to play.

Since the Les Paul guitar has a short scale, most players prefer lighter string, and it is better for beginners to use as well. However, depending on what type of tones you want to produce and what genres you play, light, medium, and heavy strings can all work excellent on the Les Paul guitars.

Coating

Guitar strings can be coated or natural. Uncoated strings have a natural feel to them, but they are not very durable or long-lasting. On the other hand, coated strings are more durable and cost a little more. The strings have a thin coating over them to shield them from dust and sweat build-up.

It protects the strings from rust and corrosion and extends the strings' lifetime. Nowadays, coated strings are made to give a feel as close to natural strings as possible. Both type of strings work well with Les Paul, but if you want long lasting strings it is better to go for coated strings.

Durability

No guitar string is strong enough to be fully break-proof.  The manufacturing process and material of the string determine its strength and durability. When purchasing strings for your Les Paul, it is necessary to look for strings with high tensile strength.

Lastly, guitar strings are not very expensive. In fact, considering how expensive Les Paul equipment are, it is one of the cheapest parts of your gear. Moreover, since they are not very durable, you probably need to buy them every once in a while. 

So, it is possible to experiment with different types and brands of strings to find which one fits your playing style and feel.

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Product

Features

Price

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D’Addario NYXL Nickel Wound Electric Guitar Strings

High-carbon steel hexagonal core

1 - 3.5 kHz frequency response

0.026, 0.036, and 0.046. string gauges

Nickel-plated string

$$

Ernie Ball Regular Slinky Nickel Wound Set

tin plated high carbon steel hexagonal core

nickel-plated steel

0.010 - 0.046 string gauges

$$

Elixir Strings Electric Guitar Strings with Optiweb Coating

Nickel-plated steel

Optiweb coating

Anti-Rust Plating

0.010-0.046 string gauges

$$$

Fender 150R Pure Nickel Strings

Nickel core

Nickel wire cover

0.010 - 0.046 string gauges

$$

Gibson Brite Wires Electric Guitar Strings

Swedish steel hexagonal core

Nickel plating

0.010-0.046 string gauges

$$

1. D’Addario NYXL Nickel Wound Electric Guitar Strings

D’Addario’s NYXL Nickel Wound Electric Guitar Strings are engineered with a high-carbon steel core and plain steel alloy that delivers enhanced tuning stability and a precise tone. The nickel wound has gauges of 0.026, 0.036, and 0.046 for comfortable playing.

Their advanced computer-controlled winding technology ensures high durability and break-resistance for high-quality performance. With these strings, you can produce an emphasized mid-range frequency within 1 - 3.5 kHz.

PROS

  • Fast tuning
  • Fusion twist feature limits detuning the strings
  • Maximum tuning stability 
  • High break resistance
  • Corrosion-resistant packaging

CONS

  • String breaks easily

2. Ernie Ball Regular Slinky Nickel Wound Set

Being in the market for over 60 years, the Ernie Ball Slinky electric guitar strings have been a choice of many legendary musicians, including The Rolling Stones and Green Day. The guitar strings are made of nickel-plated steels coiled around a carbon steel core with tin-plating. They produce a classic, balanced tone with excellent intonation and high consistency.

PROS

  • Element Shield Packaging keeps strings fresh and increases string life 
  • Lock twists prevent slippage by securing the wire around the ball
  • Suitable for all guitar types and playing methods

CONS

  • Strings snap easily
  • Inconsistent tuning

3. Elixir Strings Electric Guitar Strings with Optiweb Coating

Elixir guitar strings are made with nickel-plated steel wrap wires coated in Optiweb. The coating doesn't only give the strings a natural feel but also protects them from corrosion. The thin coat ensures a bright and firm tone and subdues external noises.

It heavily reduces the damage from dirt, moisture, and sweat. These strings also have anti-rust plating that protects both the string's outer surface and the gap between the windings. As a result, these strings have a longer tone life.

PROS

  • Feels like a natural uncoated string
  • Protects from corrosion by preventing dirt/sweat build-up
  • Firm, crisp and warm tones
  • Decreases noise from finger squeak
  • Long-lasting tone life

CONS

  • Strings break easily

4. Fender 150R Pure Nickel Strings

Being in the market since 1946, Fender is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of electric guitar chords, guitars, and other musical instruments. Fender original 150’s guitar strings are nickel core strings with high-quality nickel wires.

They produce classic vintage tones, which are good classic rock or blues music. The tried and true designs of the strings ensure modern-day consistent, premium quality tunes.

PROS

  • Vintage tone suitable for jazz, blues, and classic rock music
  • High quality and consistent tunes
  • Loud and crisp tones 
  • Reduces finger squeaks

CONS

  • Poor quality control
  • No protection against rust

5. Gibson Brite Wires Electric Guitar Strings

When talking about Les Paul guitars, you can't miss out on Gibson as they are the proud innovator of this popular electric guitar. They are well known for their guitars and guitar accessories.

The Gibson Brite wires electric guitar strings are made with premium quality Swedish steel hexagonal core. It is plated with Nickel that increases durability and produces a warm and full tone. The strings are specially designed to produce bright and crisp attacks.

PROS

  • Gives your Les Paul guitar a bright crisp strike
  • Warm and round tones
  • Good for beginners and experts
  • Suitable for different types of guitar and music genres

CONS

  • Strings break easily
  • Comparatively expensive

BONUS! Here are 10 more guitar strings that are great for Les Paul guitars –

  • Ernie Ball Super Slinky Nickel Wound Set

  • Gibson Vintage Reissue Guitar Strings

  • Elixir Strings Electric Guitar Strings with Polyweb coating

  • Ernie Ball M.steel Regular Slinky Set

  • D'Addario EXL 110-10p Nickel Wound Guitar Stirngs

  • DR Strings HI-DEF NEON Guitar Strings

  • Elixir Strings Electric Guitar Strings with Nanoweb coating

  • SIT Power Wound Nickel Guitar Strings

  • Dunlop Heavy Core Electric Guitar Strings

  • Optima 24K Gold Plated Electric Guitar Strings

Conclusion

String choice is very subjective as it depends on personal style and what genre of music you play. While Les Paul guitars require strings that fit their characteristics and shorter scales, there are a lot of different strings that suit the guitar. And since the strings aren’t that expensive, feel free to experiment with different string sets until you find the one that fits you best. 

We hope this article serves you as a guide to choosing the best string for Les Paul guitars and help you produce outstanding music with your guitar.

Read: Makala MK-C review.

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