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 a Fender guitar is the feature also present in the Fender Telecaster. While the Les Paul has three tuning keys on the left and three on the right, which can be seen in most guitars, the straight-lined tuning keys help the guitar stay more tuned than divided keys.

2 Les Paul has a bigger/heavier body than Stratocaster

Easily noticeable. Look at how Jimmy Page is holding his guitar and then compare it to Jimi Hendrix, for example.

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

Or at least what you can see is that the Les Paul has a fixed bridge. The Stratocaster features a bridge that allows you to easily install your vibrato bar.

4 Stratocaster has a longer scale than Les Paul
5 Stratocaster has a double cutway, Les Paul has a single cutaway
6 Les Paul has four control knobs, Stratocaster has two/three control knobs

Just under the bridge, the Les Paul has four control knobs, which can be easily seen. And the Stratocaster has three knobs, though I have also seen two. Maybe those could be fake, but it has fewer than the Les Paul.

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

The Stratocaster has three pickups, two straight and one slightly curved, while the Les Paul has double straight humbucker pickups.

8 Stratocaster has a wider neck than Les Paul

You could say that the Les Paul has a wider neck, but actually, the Stratocaster's neck is somewhat parallel. That's why the average width of the Stratocaster's neck is wider than that of the Les Paul.

9 Les Paul sounds more deep/warm than Stratocaster

Someone mentioned that it's the body, not the frets. How can a guitar's body be close to another if a guitar has only one body? Plus, guitar scale refers to the length from the bridge to the headstock (nut). That means the strings also have to be longer, so the frets must be more spaced. It's not the body but the frets that matter.

By the way, frets may not impact the tone directly, but they will impact it indirectly. A larger gap means less pressure on the strings. A smaller gap will create more pressure on the strings. That's why it'll create a warmer/deeper sound, as you can see in the Les Paul.

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

Not necessarily, but the Les Paul is mostly popular in hard rock, while the Stratocaster is mostly used for metal.

The Stratocaster is not only for metal and rock. People like David Gilmour (Pink Floyd), Mark Knopfler (Dire Straits), and Eric Clapton use 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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