Are Les Pauls popular with the 24 and under crowd?

MGT

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I think a big part of it is that Fender is doing a killer marketing job. If you watch the late night shows, most up and coming band are playing new fenders. Fender is sponsoring young artists, doing artist spotlights, making videos, sponsoring concerts and festivals.

I think it's more than just affordability and fads. Fender is trying to get younger artists,and more importantly female artists. Gibson has just been a mess for the last decade.
I think there's something to this. I was listening to a podcast/interview with Justin Derrico (he's a Les Paul player & shredder type who's played with Pink for well over 10 years and for The Voice) and he said that he's been having problems with getting guitars, etc lately....the guy is in front of huge numbers of people every show yet they worry about a few thousand dollars for a guitar?
 

eurotrashed

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I mean the kind of guitar music that is popular with the younger crowd is indie and alternative. The Les Paul has never been that popular in this circle of music. I've seen them used, but hardly anyone is known for playing one. Plus the SG is better and cheaper.
 

bluesbreaker59

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I didn’t get my first Gibson Les Paul (a used sunburst 2003 Standard) until I was 32. Couldn’t afford a Gibson Les Paul until then. I later sold it for a Gretsch Duo Jet. I hated the 60’s neck and the tone didn’t do it for me.

I now have an R4 and R7, they are both keepers and sound phenomenal. If I had to keep one it would be the R4, it’s truly amazing, it does everything well. The R7 absolutely NAILS old Allman Brothers tones, and does a great job with ZZ Top as well, and the clean sustain is effortless, so it also stays.

I’m soon to be 37 and I have a couple of friends that are players in their 20’s. They are definitely Fender fans - offsets and Telecasters mostly. The older pros around here still use a lot of strats and some Teles. Hardly ever see a Gibson and I’m like the only Gretsch player in my area.
 
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ifallalot

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A Tele and an LP can sound pretty similar especially a P90 LP, but put a humbucker in a Tele neck position and you have the best of both words in a more ergonomic and usually lighter package.

Look at what Graham Coxson said on his That Pedal Show interview about switching from an LP to a Tele.

Add price, stability, and durability to the equation and there you go
 

dansworld

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I'm well over 24, but I agree - there is plenty of guitar music going on, but you've gotta work to find it a bit.

I live in Brooklyn and go to a lot of shows with a lot of guitars. SxSW had a lot of bands with a lot of guitars.

No one expects or wants another Jimmy Page-style guitar god, and for the most part, this won't be Top 10 music, but the guitar is not going away.

Saw Khruangbin play a few times recently. Mark Speer (who also plays with Solange, I believe) is a ripping guitar player and the audience was going crazy when this guy would let loose.

Skip around in this video and you'll hear some shredding.


I LOVE this Khruangbin stuff! Thanks for posting!
 

dansworld

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Flamey heavy Les Pauls are for geezer rock and blues lawyers. I do see a fair share of LP JRs and SGs out and about among the garage rock/punk set. The reputation for Gibson as a premium, expensive brand probably throws off a lot of the DIY rock and roll crowd. Same with Mesa.
Yet, didn't Steve Jones play a Les Paul Custom?
 

scelerat

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Also, remember (maybe someone has already mentioned it in this thread) that all your Les Paul-playing heroes from the '60s picked it up at least partly because it was an abandoned, discontinued model and nobody wanted them. They picked it up for the same reason many young and hungry musicians do: they were inexpensive used instruments.

That's not what the Les Paul is today.
 

xjojox

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i think the problem is not so much that the price of used guitars have gotten out of reach but rather everything else - housing, education, and health care are a lot more expensive for the average person now, even accounting for inflation, than they were several decades ago.
Much truth to this. I'd add that there are "necessities" nowadays that didn't even exist back then. Smart phone with a data plan, for instance.
On the other hand, talking to someone in the next county. let alone another state, cost an arm and a leg back then relative to now. Another country? Fuggedaboudit. We are much better connected nowadays, so the cost of that smart phone and data plan is offset by increased connectivity (and lack of a land line for most young folks).

I still really think the key issue is that the quality gap has changed between cheap and expensive instruments. My first guitar in '68 or so was made of plywood, had no truss rod, and had action probably 1/4" or more... with medium guage black diamond strings. Ouch. My first electric was $65, Japanese, said "Capri" on a sticker on the headstock but who the hell knows what it was. But it was a typical entry-level electric guitar in those days. And per any online calculator, that's about $450 now. A $450 electric now blows doors compared to that thing. You can go out and gig with a modern entry-level guitar. My first amp was a $71 Kalamazoo ($500 in today's dollars), solid state, 10" speaker. Sounded like tin cans. $500 now? You can buy a giggable amp. So it's a lot harder to justify the price of a LP nowadays because for a fifth of the price you can get the job done. In 1970, you scrimped and saved until you could buy a pro-level instrument, mostly because you simply couldn't get the job done with a cheap one. Now, you absolutely can.

FWIW my first "nice" electric was a '67 ES330, bought used for $150 in 1974 when I was in ninth grade. That's $800 in today's dollars.
I wanted a 335 (same dude was selling one for $250...$1330 in today's dollars) but I couldn't afford it. My guitar teacher told me I shoulda bought a "funky old telecaster" and he was right but oh well.
 
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mikebat

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10,880
Huh? Classic rock IS "mid gain or less tones".
My point is there is lots of slightly broken up tones in pop. The hollowed out single coil sound lends itself to that better (and of course not exclusively) to that.

It’s just a theory.

As for classic rock (dad and grand dad music) it is arguable to say, but my contention, single coils sound better in that lowing gain and clean application than hb’ers. You can name 100 songs with clean HB’ers, I know. But it is easier to come up with 200 single coil equivalents.

Same for the Marshall/Fender divide. Sure both can do both ends of the gain spectrum, but one is much prefered in one, the other, in the other end of the spectrum.
 

paulitk

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I think there's something to this. I was listening to a podcast/interview with Justin Derrico (he's a Les Paul player & shredder type who's played with Pink for well over 10 years and for The Voice) and he said that he's been having problems with getting guitars, etc lately....the guy is in front of huge numbers of people every show yet they worry about a few thousand dollars for a guitar?
Oh yeah, I can't count how many artist Gear interviews I've never seen where people are talking about the Fenders and Gretschs they scored from Fender artist relations. What better marketing is there? I used to hate Telecasters as a kid until I saw Jonny Greenwood and Jeff Buckley with one. Now they are my favorite.
 

JDandCoke

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In the UK at least its cost. Im 28 but when i talk to the younger bands at gigs they view gibson as gibson and fender as fender. Cheap fender is a squire. Cheap gibbo is epiphone.

What this means is their entry level 'real' les paul is a usa studio for about £1k.

Entry level 'real' fender is mim fender for about £450. You can get usa specials for £850.

These are the aspirational guitars. Learn on an epi or squire and dream of a 'real' fender or gibson. The fender is just so much more obtainable. Id say the vast majority of guitars i see on stages at the local/national level are mim fender or cheaper end usa fender. Occasionally a les paul studio. Very very rarely do i spy a les paul standard or above in this age group. A more established nationally touring band might be on usa fender standards.
Partscasters or heavily modified squires also make a decent appearance.
Custom shop anything is for grandads
 

mbell75

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These are the aspirational guitars. Learn on an epi or squire and dream of a 'real' fender or gibson.
Thats thinking from 40 years ago when those two brands produced many poorly made guitars, a ton has changed. Squier has really stepped things up and have been on par or better than any MIM Fender for years now with their higher end models, especially the ones out of Japan and Korea and more recently, Indonesia. Some of the high end Squiers even rival some US made Fenders. Epiphones are more hit or miss, but so are most every sub $2k Gibson I've played or owned over the past 5 years. Ive played and owned under $500 Epiphones better than most $1500 or under Gibson of the same model. I paid $250 for my Squier Bullet Tele with upgraded electronics, fret level and polish and Fender locking tuners. I'll put it up against any $1500 and under Tele and it was a fraction of the cost. I could even upgrade the bridge and pickups (doesn't need it though) and still be WAY under the cost of most Fender Teles.
 
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sixty2strat

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When I was in high school, no one had an LP in the early 80's.
It was strats n SG teles and 1 firebird. Then one guy was boasting he was getting an LP for xmas, it was a firebrand...lol....maybe the last 20 were every one has an LP
 

TheWayfarer84

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I can’t remember the last time I saw a young act with an LP on stage (speaking mostly of indie bands). It just seems to be more of a Fender led genre. That goes for their amps too.
 

Stratburst70

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Dr. Phil guest brat turned rapper 'Cash Me Outside Girl' has a new rap song video with 100 million YouTube views.

No one give a crap about Greta Van Fleet, relatively speaking.
Enough people cared about Greta Van Fleet to give them two #1 singles and put their record at #4 on Billboard.

YouTube plays don’t pay squat. Billboard hits do.

As for the OP’s question, Fender is marketing heavily towards younger musicians while Gibson is still selling to middle-aged blooz lawyers.
 
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