This is our review of the very Best Strings for Les Paul guitars.
My advice right from the word go is to get a few packs and see what suits you and your guitar style best.
Some strings are suited to particular genres of music and certain guitars. In this case, we will look at the 5 best strings I’ve loved with my Les Paul.
Below you will find some famous guitarists and their string choices and a deeper look into the build and tones you can get from each pack.
Let’s get straight into it.
Quick View: 5 Best Strings For Les Paul Guitarists
Huge Selection Of Choice
Get That GnR Sound
Best For Drop Tuning/Hardcore
That Vintage Blues Tone
Most Verstile Strings
How To Choose The Best Guitar Strings
Remember, the following strings will be available in all sizes, from light gauge strings for smaller fingers, regular strings, and heavier strings for those who want a more significant tone.
String Gauge Tips
09‘s- (9-42 or 44, 46 reg bottom)
Anything less than a 9 is generally perfect for string gauge for a child or beginner. Although you won’t be getting much in the way of longevity or tone. A 9 gauge string set is very light and easy to press down on without hurting your fingertips. Thinner strings are great for beginners to learn bending notes and glissando without trying too hard.
10’s– (10-46 or 49 Jazz)
10’s are possibly the most popular set for Les Paul lead guitarists. As you’ve got a perfect match of tone and flexibility to tear through your solos without needing too much finger strength. A set of 10’s is also much better for keeping a guitar in tune. Although a little more challenging to play for beginners, I would still consider 10’s as lighter gauge strings.
11’s– (11-49 or 50,52,56 Hvy. Bottom)
11’s are my choice of strings. They’re much stronger and give off a thicker tone in comparison to a set of 10s. One set lasts me a good couple of months before wearing down. As 11’s are a heavier gauge, they’re easier to play alternative tunings, like G or Drop D. I feel much more in control of my lead playing. I would consider 11s to be ‘regular strings.’ You can really get some nice body to your tone at this thickness.
12’s- (12-52 or 54,60 Hvy)
12s are a good starting point for acoustic guitars or electric rhythm playing. If you’re a big fan of open chords, then thicker strings like these are the way to go. The tone is big, bold, and warm. The strings are unlikely to break but are much more difficult to bend or fret chords higher up the neck.
13‘s– (13-56 or 60,62)
Unless you’re Stevie Ray Vaughn, I wouldn’t recommend 13s. Firstly, your guitar will need to be set up differently due to the strings pulling the neck out of place. The nut will also need filing if it hasn’t already. On the flip side, if your low tuning down for heavy metal or Jazz. Heavy strings definitely bring the best tones. Huge tones that can fill a room. Just don’t be expecting to bend or move these ‘cables’ unless you’re very strong in the finger department.
Understanding String Material
Different materials are used to make guitar strings; each material produces different a tone and feel.
When looking for new strings, you might notice that some sets are made with nickel or steel metal, which are common string materials.
Changing strings regularly will help keep your guitar in tune and keep your strings performing at their best.
Traditionally, the type of strings you choose is tied to your preference in sound. Therefore, choose the right strings according to the genre of music.
Nickel Plated Strings Vs Steel Strings
- Guitarists who favor heavy metal music often use steel strings because they have a very bright tone that cuts through the mix well.
- Steel strings are also easier on beginners’ fingers because they’re heavier and harder to bend.
- Nickel strings have a warmer, mellower tone than blues and country players often favor.
- They’re also more expensive than steel strings.
Brass Vs Bronze Strings
- Brass strings are made of brass, a metal alloy made of copper and zinc.
- They have a slightly brighter sound than bronze strings.
- Bronze strings are made of bronze, an alloy that is mostly copper with 10% tin and often some other metals.
- They have a warmer tone than brass but are less bright sounding than the steel strings.
Titanium Vs Regular Strings
- Titanium strings are composed of titanium metal which has a brighter tone than regular strings.
- They are also more expensive than steel strings, but they last longer.
- Regular strings are the most common type of string made with traditional materials like bronze or nickel.
- They have a warmer tone that is preferred by some guitarists.
Coated Vs Uncoated Strings
- Coated strings are strings that have a polymer coating on the string’s windings.
- This coating helps keep the strings clean and provides a longer lifespan for the string.
- Non-coated strings don’t have this coating and will corrode and rust over time.
Which Strings Are Right For You?
That’s ultimately up to your personal preference.
Some guitarists like the bright sound of steel strings, while others prefer the warmer tone of nickel strings.
It’s essential to experiment with different strings to find what sounds best to your ears and the genre of music you’re playing.
Let’s look at my personal favorites best suited to The Gibson Les Paul or similar.
5 Best Strings For Les Paul
1- Ernie Ball Super Slinky Nickel Wound Electric Guitar Strings
Used by Jimmy Page, Eric Clapton, Angus Young, and Keith Richards. Great for Classic Rock
- Pros: Huge Range To Choose From,Very Popular In The Guitar World, Affordable.
- Cons: Not As Long Lasting as Competitors
Are you looking for a guitar string that can give you that signature tone?
Look no further than Ernie Ball Super Slinky Electric Guitar Strings.
Ernie Ball strings are made with the highest quality nickel-wound alloy, so you can rest assured that your sound will be top-notch.
Their signature Slinky gauge provides the perfect balance of easy playability and rich tone. As a result, making them some of the most popular electric guitar strings on the market.
So why not try a set today and see for yourself?
Ernie Ball Super Slinky is the perfect choice for anyone looking for a balanced, well-rounded tone.
The nickel plated steel wrap gives your guitar a bright sound that compliments all playing styles, while the tin plated high carbon steel core provides a warm, mellow tone.
These precision-manufactured strings are made to the highest standards and most exacting specifications to ensure consistency, optimum performance, and long life.
With a vast range of options available, you can find the perfect set of strings to personalize your tone.
Super Slinky Electric Guitar Strings give you that perfect Gibson Les Paul tone!
They’re hugely popular for a reason. Possibly the best choice for guitarists searching for that bright, snappy sound. They’re also calibrated to be just the correct tension, so you can play them all night long without fatigue.
They deliver the perfect balance of clarity and warmth, making them ideal for Blues and Rock guitar styles.
A perfect fit and starter string for all Les Pauls. Every guitarist should try a pack of Ernie Ball Super Slinky at least once.
2- Ernie Ball Slash Signature Electric Guitar String
Slash used Ernie Ball strings throughout his career
- Pros: Get A GnR Tone, Affordable, Reliable Build, Great Fit For A Les Paul
- Cons: Not As Versatile As The Slinky
They’re made specifically for Gibson Les Paul players who want to achieve those iconic, raw tones of Slash and Guns N Roses.
If you’re looking to up your game, these strings are definitely a must-have.
Whether you’re a beginner just starting out or an experienced player looking to change up your sound, these strings will have you sounding like the man himself in no time.
Wound strings wrapped with Paradigm plasma-enhanced pure nickel strings-plated steel around ultra high strength tin-plated steel hex cores.
This mixture provides a bright, balanced tone that is perfect for any style of music, let alone the power of riff rock.
What’s more, the strings are treated with patented Everlast nanotechnology, which protects them against corrosion and wear, giving you longer lasting performance.
And if that wasn’t enough, the reinforced plains strings (RPS) feature heavier brass reinforcement for better tuning stability and strength.
Ernie Ball strings have always been the choice of Slash and other top guitar players. Now you can get that same great GnR sound.
They’re precision wound with nickel-plated steel for maximum bite and output, giving you that fat, raw rock tone you’ll need. Plus, the custom packaging is designed to look just like Slash’s iconic Les Paul guitar.
So if you’re a big Guns and Roses, these are a must for your Les Paul.
3- Dunlop DHCN1150 Heavy Core Nickel Wound Guitar Strings
Zakk Wylde uses Dunlops. Ideal strings For Metal Players
- Pros: Super Strong, Longer Lasting, Perfect For Metal, Great For Drop Tunings
- Cons: Not Sweet Enough For Blues Players
Looking for a guitar string that can handle some severe punishment?
They’re designed to give your playing some extra muscle, perfect for heavier styles of music. Plus, the nickel-plated wrap wire provides a warm, mellow sound that’ll satisfy even the most discerning player.
So if you’re looking to add some weight to your tone, grab a set of Heavy Core Nickel Wound Strings and see what they can do for you.
If you’re looking for a tight and defined low end in your guitar sound, then these babies are your best bet.
These strings are designed explicitly for dropped and lowered tunings, so you can get that aggressive full bodied tone you’re looking for without sacrificing playability. Plus, their quick attack makes them perfect for metal or hard rock styles.
Dunlop Heavy Core guitar strings are perfect for players who like to “dig in.” These strings offer a tight low end, focused midrange, and smooth top-end with a unique core wire and proprietary wrap ratios.
Whether you’re playing clean or distorted, Heavy Core strings will give you the girth and power required to shake the rafters.
4- DR Strings Pure Blues Heavy Electric Guitar Strings
Best For Vintage Old School Blues Tones Like B.B King or Peter Green
- Pros: Made In USA, Very Popular, Clear And Bright Tones, Longer Lasting
- Cons: Can Sell Out Pretty Quick
If you’re looking for an electric guitar string that will give you sustain, vintage tone, and low tones for rhythm to lead playing, then look no further than Pure Blues™ strings from DR Strings.
Made with pure nickel wrap wire and round wound upon round cores, these strings are perfect for anyone who wants the best possible old school blues tone.
These strings are made with a round core and Nickle wraps, providing a monstrous and mellow tone. Longer lasting and reliable for all your blues needs.
I’ve been a longtime fan of DR Strings, and I think their Pure Blues Heavy Electric Guitar Strings are some of the best on the market. They last forever, have a very short settle in time, and are affordably priced.
Plus, they have a great vintage blues feel to them – absolutely spot on for the clean B.B King or Peter Green Les Paul blues sound.
Give them a try and see for yourself!
5- D’Addario Nickel Wound XL
King Of Versatility
- Pros: Super Reliable, Can Play Any Genre, Reliable, Warm and Full Bodied
- Cons: None
Proven All rounders, best electric guitar strings.
D’Addario XL strings are the perfect choice for any musician looking for a guitar string with great tone, longevity, and flexibility.
The nickel-plated wrap wire provides a bright and punchy sound that will stand out in any mix, while the high-quality construction ensures that these strings will last for years to come.
Plus, the extra-light gauge is perfect for players who need a little bit of extra breathing room on their fretboards.
These babies will cover all genres better than the rest of the reviewed strings when it comes to versatility.
D’Addario’s XL Nickel Wound strings are a top seller for a good reason! These strings are made with nickel-plated steel and offer a bright tone and perfect intonation. At the same time, the hexagonally shaped core ensures stellar magnetic output and long life.
Plus, they reduce premature fret wear, so you can concentrate on your music – worry-free.
D’Addario XL Nickel Wound strings are the player’s choice amongst players of all genres and styles.
With extreme precision, D’Addario can manufacture strings using the most modern technology, resulting in a specifically designed string.
Printed gauges and tensions can be found on the back of each packet, so you always know what you’re getting.
These would absolutely be my go-to choice for the best versatile strings for your Les Paul.
Best Les Paul Strings
The Industry standard D’Addario EXL Nickle Wound strings are still my favorite because they are strong and suit the way I play. I use the gauge 11s in the EXL because they produce a warm tone and sound great on my Les Paul.
It’s as simple as that. Does it matter how they’re built and what process they have to go through?
The Best Guitar Strings are the strings that suit you the most, not the most expensive or the best selling strings on the market.
Find a set that suits your playing style.
The EXL nickel-plated steel and suits a wide range of musical styles. The strings, in my opinion, are longer lasting and can take more aggression.
The string construction combines strength and durability. In addition, the winding and steel core ensures tonal quality and longevity, unlike the competitors.
There’s a reason they’re the world’s most reliable guitar strings.