Top 10 Common Differences Between Gibson Les Paul and Fender Stratocaster

Fender Stratocaster and Gibson Les Paul are two of the most popular guitar models ever created. Both have been used by many great guitarists. Two of them are rivals of each other.

I am just writing about the very common differences that can be easily noticed.

Prominent Stratocaster players - Jimi Hendrix, Ritchie Blackmore, Eric Clapton, David Gilmour, Dick Dale, Mark Knopfler etc.

Prominent Les Paul players - Jimmy Page, Slash, Randy Rhoads, Pete Townshend etc.

The Top Ten

1 Stratocaster has straight lined tuning keys, Les Paul has divided tuning keys

The biggest pro of Fender guitar. Fender telecaster also have this kind of feature. While les paul has three tuning keys on left and three on right. Which can be seen in most guitar. The straight lined tuning keys help the guitar to be more tuned than divided keys.

2 Les Paul has a bigger/heavier body than Stratocaster

Easily noticeable. Look at Jimmy Page how he is holding his guitar and then Jimi Hendrix for example.

3 Stratocaster has a built in vibrato (tremolo) bar, Les Paul doesn't

Or at least what you could see Les Paul has a fixed bridge. Stratocaster features the bridge like that so you could install your vibrato bar easily.

4 Stratocaster has a longer scale than Les Paul

Les Paul is something like 24.5" and stratocaster 25.5. Which makes a major difference in tone.

5 Les Paul has four control knobs, Stratocaster has two/three control knobs

Just under the bridge, les paul has four control knobs which could be seen easily. And stratocaster has three knobs. I have also seen two. Maybe that could be fake. But it has less than les paul.

6 Stratocaster has a double cutway, Les Paul has a single cutaway

Oops my mistake, its "cutaway". Which I already wrote for les paul but missed a for stratocaster.

Easily noticeable.

7 Stratocaster has three single coil pickups, Les Paul has 2 humbucker pickups

Stratocaster has three pickups, two straight and one slightly curved. While les paul has double straight humbucker pickups.

8 Stratocaster has a wider neck than Les Paul

You could say that les paul has wider neck, but actually stratocaster' neck is kinda parallel. That's why the average width of stratocaster's neck is wider than les paul.

9 Les Paul sounds more deep/warm than Stratocaster

Someone mentioned that it's the body, not the frets. How a guitar's body can be close to each other if a guitar has only one body? Plus guitar scale means the length from bridge to headstock (nut). That means the strings also have to be longer. So, the frets much be more gaped. Its not the body but frets.

By the way, frets may not impact on tone directly but it will impact indirectly. The more gap means less pressure on strings. Fewer gap will create more pressure on strings. That's why it'll create a warmer/deeper sound. What you could see in Les Paul.

With the point 4, "Stratocaster has a longer scale than les paul". Les paul's frets are kinda closer, that's why it created a warmer/deeper sound.

10 Les Paul have been used by blues rock/hard rock guitarists, Stratocaster have been used by hard rock/metal guitarists

Not necessary, but les paul is mostly popular in hard rock, while stratocaster is mostly popular for using metal.

The strat is not manly metal and rock. people like David Gilmour (pink floyd), mark knolfer (dire straits), eric clapton, etc, uses it in blues, country and jazz

The Contenders

11 Different shapes
12 Les Paul has a glued neck while Stratocaster has a bolt on neck.

This, combined with the fact that a Les Paul has a deeper headstock angle, makes the Les Paul more prone to breaking its neck.

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