Am I facing my Eric Clapton moment?

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2,795
I've always been a Gibson kind of guy, with various Les Pauls and SGs. Initially it was knock-off Ibanezs and Epiphones, and then as my disposable income grew I got my Gibsons - current a couple of LPs and a SG.

In parallel with this I've tried to get into Strats but I never hung onto them for long. I got my current Strat a few years ago and converted it to HSS (or HS-minihum) in search of the holy grail of a Swiss Army guitar that can do quack and heavy saturated tones. I've always liked those Dave Murray / Mick Mars type of Strats, but I wanted classic Strat tones too. After a few years, I have come to find that it does a pretty good job of straddling the divide, and I've really come to enjoy the feel of the guitar (jumbo frets don't do any harm).

What is concerning these days is that I suspect I play better guitar on my Strat. Thus I find myself wondering if I will go all-Strat.

The difference with Clapton is that (a) I don't have any discernible talent, and (b) no-one will lament about the great tone I had back in my Gibson days. On the other hand, they won't complain about me losing a decade or two with addiction either, so there is that.

On balance, I will probably drive on both sides of the road. But it is interesting to think about.
 

chandra

Member
Messages
1,580
A lot of players go through that cycle, I find. I started on Strats and Teles. But when I noticed my collection had "H-H" or "H-S-S" , I decided to take the plunge and bought a Les Paul.

I didn't look hack for about four or five years.

Over the last six mknths, I've come back to Fenderland. While Les pauls, 345s, Firebirds are cool and all, my songwriting and playing are much better on single coils. I also enjoy a variety of tones that a Tele or Strat will get me, compared to a singular iconic tone that Humbuckers provide.
 
Messages
5,047
I've always been a Gibson kind of guy, with various Les Pauls and SGs. Initially it was knock-off Ibanezs and Epiphones, and then as my disposable income grew I got my Gibsons - current a couple of LPs and a SG.

In parallel with this I've tried to get into Strats but I never hung onto them for long. I got my current Strat a few years ago and converted it to HSS (or HS-minihum) in search of the holy grail of a Swiss Army guitar that can do quack and heavy saturated tones. I've always liked those Dave Murray / Mick Mars type of Strats, but I wanted classic Strat tones too. After a few years, I have come to find that it does a pretty good job of straddling the divide, and I've really come to enjoy the feel of the guitar (jumbo frets don't do any harm).

What is concerning these days is that I suspect I play better guitar on my Strat. Thus I find myself wondering if I will go all-Strat.

The difference with Clapton is that (a) I don't have any discernible talent, and (b) no-one will lament about the great tone I had back in my Gibson days. On the other hand, they won't complain about me losing a decade or two with addiction either, so there is that.

On balance, I will probably drive on both sides of the road. But it is interesting to think about.
I'm sure you have talent in spades; and Clapton has been regurgitating the same tired licks for decades-if that's any consolation! I was also pretty much a Les Paul player until I was rescued by a Telecaster, and I have played them, and enjoyed them, much more.
 

sadhudude

Member
Messages
122
Many years ago my first proper guitar (as opposed to a Japanese copy) was a beautiful Gibson SG. I played it for a couple of years and it wasn't until I got a Strat, a fairly nondescript 70s one, that I felt I could play somewhat decently. I also owned a lovely Yamaha SG for many years and struggled with that too. I just seem to be someone who is most at home with Fender style guitars and also by extension with my PRS Custom which to me plays very much more like a Fender. I GAS for a nice Gibson but whenever I play one it seems to slow me down and hamper my dexterity but that's just me I am not criticizing and make or model. Strangely enough it doesn't bother me with acoustics, I just play a different way.
 

lkft

Member
Messages
1,271
I too am a Gibson guy first. I like the thick mids and fat tones from that big slab of mahogany and maple. The shorter scale means I can play slightly thicker gauge strings. The frets have a pleasing profile that make the guitar play itself practically. But I have always had a Strat or Strat style (nowadays a HSS config) and I just can't live w/o that neck pup and the in between 2 & 4 positions. The bucker in the bridge allows me to get that honk when I need it, it's a very versatile guitar that I can easily play a three hr gig w/just that one whereas the LP would come up short. Just hang on to the best Gibson and offload the others for a nice Strat style and you'll have your cake and eat it too.
 
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3,860
Most of my favorite players played Strats, but most of my favorite times were made with Les Pauls or at least humbuckers. I bounced back and forth between LPs and Strats for years until I settled on...

PRS. Doesn't sound like a Strat or LP but it works in all the situations in which I'd previously had to choose between the two.
 
Messages
2,795
I forgot to mention that I deck the trem on my Strat and the straight pull of the strings through the nut gives superior tuning stability to the Gibsons. I love that.

For the Gibson die-hards, please don't lecture me about re-cutting nuts, nut lube and nuts made of pure lubricant - been there, done that.
 

Flogger59

Member
Messages
10,782
I oscillate.

Started off as a Gibson guy, made the rounds of a The Paul, ES345, LP Heritage Std 80, and a TV Special before getting my first parts caster with a 63 Tele neck, which got stolen. Replaced it with a Strat I never bonded with, so I offed that for a Pacifica 904 that I proceeded to play the frets off for 20 years.

Then I landed the Gibson chair in a band, so back to the Heritage for 5 years. I scored a Tele last August and it's all I play now.
 

bettset

Member
Messages
4,085
i'm a gibson guy. i have 2 1983 fender tele elites. they are good. tried strats. great tones there, but the hands didn't seem to like it for who knows why. gibsons.......les pauls have been great to play and the weight never bothered me. but prs ruined me for gibsons over 12 yrs ago. no regrets. i always admired prs's when i was a kid. when i got my chance to get a prs, it's been the one to go to since :munch
 

DigiPOV

Member
Messages
2,451
I've always been a Gibson kind of guy, with various Les Pauls and SGs. Initially it was knock-off Ibanezs and Epiphones, and then as my disposable income grew I got my Gibsons - current a couple of LPs and a SG.

In parallel with this I've tried to get into Strats but I never hung onto them for long. I got my current Strat a few years ago and converted it to HSS (or HS-minihum) in search of the holy grail of a Swiss Army guitar that can do quack and heavy saturated tones. I've always liked those Dave Murray / Mick Mars type of Strats, but I wanted classic Strat tones too. After a few years, I have come to find that it does a pretty good job of straddling the divide, and I've really come to enjoy the feel of the guitar (jumbo frets don't do any harm).

What is concerning these days is that I suspect I play better guitar on my Strat. Thus I find myself wondering if I will go all-Strat.

The difference with Clapton is that (a) I don't have any discernible talent, and (b) no-one will lament about the great tone I had back in my Gibson days. On the other hand, they won't complain about me losing a decade or two with addiction either, so there is that.

On balance, I will probably drive on both sides of the road. But it is interesting to think about.
IDK why people think heavy mahogony slab guitars have better tone. Unplugged they sound resonant and full but amplified it is another story. There tends to be a hole in the mids on mahogany that solo players will tend not to like. (At least I'm not fond of.)

The only problem is picking a certain guitar because of price or brand cachet and thinking that it is "better". A $400 alder mexi-strat may suit you better than a $4000 Les Paul. Its not about the price.
 

DigiPOV

Member
Messages
2,451
I too am a Gibson guy first. I like the thick mids and fat tones from that big slab of mahogany and maple. The shorter scale means I can play slightly thicker gauge strings. The frets have a pleasing profile that make the guitar play itself practically. But I have always had a Strat or Strat style (nowadays a HSS config) and I just can't live w/o that neck pup and the in between 2 & 4 positions. The bucker in the bridge allows me to get that honk when I need it, it's a very versatile guitar that I can easily play a three hr gig w/just that one whereas the LP would come up short. Just hang on to the best Gibson and offload the others for a nice Strat style and you'll have your cake and eat it too.
Thick mids? Les Paul have more of a hi-fi "U" shape curve. Lots of bass and mahogony sparkle on top. LP sounds big, but not because the mids are over represented.
 

sonhenry

Member
Messages
1,006
Why all or nothing? Buy what you love, gig what works. It's ok for those to be different.
 

Barnzy

Member
Messages
3,373
It is clear to me after years of playing that I am meant to be a Strat guy too. I didn't quit Gibson...Gibson just doesn't get along with me. I don't do well with the Les Paul setup and my playing suffers for that. Guitar playing friends say that I sound really at home on a Strat. So that's why I keep going back. For my Les Paul/ humbucker tones I rely on my '95 PRS CE22 and it gets the "Gibson" job done for me. It has a bolt on neck, floating trem and slick neck feel, but a slightly shorter scale length, mahogany wood body, maple carved top and Fralin pure PAF humbuckers. I wired it to 3 way switching because again, this guitar is as "Les Paul" sounding as I can go before my playing starts to suffer.
 

stryker59

Supporting Member
Messages
837
I've always been a humbucker guy and my no. 1 go to has always been Les Paul's. I also enjoy SG's. I have tried to bond with strats over the years and couldn't quite get them where I wanted them. I like the feel of them but couldn't get over with the sound. Until I got the Clapton sig. That changed the whole dynamic for me with the midboost. Try one of those and you may just find what your looking for.
 

lamenlovinit

Member
Messages
3,820
I would just keep doing what you're doing, with one exception. Consider why you think you play better on the strat. Can't be tuning stability. The obvious left remaining things would be string feel (due to scale length, and "anchoring" into the block as opposed to TOM and Tailpiece), scale length, ergonomics (the way it sits on your body), and fundamental tone. Could be something else of course, but you know, eliminate the obvious, and what remains blah blah blah...

I'm going to assume you can hear what you are doing better on a strat. And just like having a conversation with a person, when you listen to what they are saying the conversation is better.
 




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