#1
I have always loved the sound of Les Paul's, of course I have, I am a metal head at heart. However, I have never liked playing them. I always feel really uncomfortable holding one of the beasts due to their weight and the neck thickness/shape.

Lately though, I really am hungry for that meaty sound. Especially since some of my students have been bringing in their Les Pauls's, I have been liking them more and more.

I would like to get rid of my stubbornness and buy one. I was just wondering, has anyone else bought a Les Paul simply for the sound of it and eventually liked or got used to playing it? Is it right of me to buy a Les Paul just for the sound even if I despise holding and playing one? Its kind of similar to getting with a woman because she has a nice personality, its just not me, good looks AND a good personality is my preference :')

Also, I have gone through all kinds of experimentation with a few of my other guitars (ive had much fun adding different pickups several thousand times) to achieve a similar meaty tone and have come very close, but nothing can quite replicate the impact of the LP for obvious reasons, unless there are alternatives I do not know about.

Someone please convince me otherwise.........
A guitar is a very personal extension of the person playing it. You have to be emotionally and spiritually connected to your instrument - Eddie Van Halen
Last edited by MarkAlanIrwin at Mar 16, 2015,
#2
There are lots of companies and luthiers making LP-inspired axes. Some aim for flawless emulation, others aim for evolution. Sounds like you want lighter weight and a neck that is a little more on the slender side.

What kind of budget do you have, and where do you live?
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Last edited by dannyalcatraz at Mar 16, 2015,
#3
yep , you can get a LP style guitar that is lighter , less boxy and a neck heel that's slim for easy access to the high board ....
#4
Hey man. I'm living in Liverpool, Uk. I have thought about buying an alternative and have played a few but I really do want to get the Les Paul. Was just wondering if anybody had bought one out of similar circumstances and learned to enjoy it.

In all honesty, I was going to buy one for my recording studio to use just for recording so I suppose that would be a win win, I wouldnt feel guilty about not using it for gigging then. At the same time, I would prefer to buy something I can use for both.

Guitar Player problems eh?
A guitar is a very personal extension of the person playing it. You have to be emotionally and spiritually connected to your instrument - Eddie Van Halen
#5
Quote by Fumble fingers
yep , you can get a LP style guitar that is lighter , less boxy and a neck heel that's slim for easy access to the high board ....


Would that be the SG you're talking about or a different design of LP?
A guitar is a very personal extension of the person playing it. You have to be emotionally and spiritually connected to your instrument - Eddie Van Halen
#6
Quote by MarkAlanIrwin
Would that be the SG you're talking about or a different design of LP?

Nah, he's talking about things like the ESP Eclipse series and its derivatives; the same kind of body shape and styling but with much more modern appointments about it.
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#7
If the sound is all you need, there is no reason to get a Les Paul if it feels uncomfortable to you. Pretty much any guitar with two medium-high output PAF style humbucker pickups will hit the tone you want. Countless options.
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#8
Quote by the_bi99man
If the sound is all you need, there is no reason to get a Les Paul if it feels uncomfortable to you. Pretty much any guitar with two medium-high output PAF style humbucker pickups will hit the tone you want. Countless options.


Any specific examples man?
A guitar is a very personal extension of the person playing it. You have to be emotionally and spiritually connected to your instrument - Eddie Van Halen
#9
i have owned 2 Les Pauls and just couldn't bond with either of them. love LP sound and many of my fav guitar players use them but just not for me. why try to force yourself. as mentioned there are other options. personally right now i use a BC Rich NJ Classic series Eagle to cover my LP needs. i can get a sound out of it that is very LPish to the point where i use it often for blues rock stuff like Peter Green or early Clapton (bluesbreakers). works fine. jimmy page licks roll out of it no sweat and of course it does the metal thing as well.
#10
The Electra Omega comes to mind when I think more ergonomic LP copies, but it still has a vintage 50s neck like a baseball bat apparently.

You could go with the ESP Eclipse series or Ibanez ARZ series, though the ESP will probably have better hardware overall. I've also played quite a few Epiphones with slim necks I liked better than Gibson LPs.
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#12
Very cool that you come from Liverpool. So do I.

The fact that LP's are not very ergonomic isn't controversial at all. There are so many companies out there that'll make an LP-styled guitar that is more ergonomically designed. Including Gibson themselves with their Axcess model, but that thing demands a silly price.

There's lots of options, but it really depends on your budget. While I'm not huge on ESP or LTD in terms of their guitars' designs not being all that inspiring imo, I would definately get one over the LP's that are made these days. Their Eclipses are guitars you're probably going to like if ergonomics are the biggest issue you have. Although their thinner bodies don't have quite the thickness in tone of an LP imo.

I'd also look into the PRS SE Singlecuts.

What is your budget? Does the guitar you're interesting in have to be an LP style?
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Last edited by T00DEEPBLUE at Mar 16, 2015,
#13
Yeah it is the heaviness that puts me off. I'm a big Ibanez user which means skinny necks and fairly slimline and light. Thanks for all the help so far. I probably will end up buying one anyway as I do this with a lot of new guitar purchases. It's probably the guilt of buying another guitar and trying to justify it to explain to my other half :')
A guitar is a very personal extension of the person playing it. You have to be emotionally and spiritually connected to your instrument - Eddie Van Halen
#14
Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Very cool that you come from Liverpool. So do I.

The fact that LP's are not very ergonomic isn't controversial at all. There are so many companies out there that'll make an LP-styled guitar that is more ergonomically designed. Including Gibson themselves with their Axcess model, but that thing demands a silly price.

There's lots of options, but it really depends on your budget. While I'm not huge on ESP or LTD in terms of their guitars' designs not being all that inspiring imo, I would definately get one over the LP's that are made these days. Their Eclipses are guitars you're probably going to like if ergonomics are the biggest issue you have.


Nice to meet a fellow Northerner on here ha. I quite like ESP so may venture down that road eventually. Eclipses sound good, will definitely check them out man!
A guitar is a very personal extension of the person playing it. You have to be emotionally and spiritually connected to your instrument - Eddie Van Halen
#15
Same here, I love Les Paul sound, but I hate their discomfort. I never played another guitar that has that special LP sound. An ESP Eclipse looks like a LP, but imo doesn't feel or sound anything like it. An SG with the same pickups is much more comfortable, but sounds different (great on its own, but not that particular LP sound...).

Now I'm used to Jackson/Charvel shred-heaven compound necks with jumbo frets and ergonomically shaped bodies, a LP just feels awful to me these days. But that sound...
Last edited by Knarrenheino at Mar 16, 2015,
#16
Quote by Knarrenheino
Same here, I love Les Paul sound, but I hate their discomfort. I never played another guitar that has that special LP sound. An ESP Eclipse looks like a LP, but imo doesn't feel or sound anything like it. An SG with the same pickups is much more comfortable, but sounds different (great on its own, but not that particular LP sound...).

Now I'm used to Jackson/Charvel shred-heaven compound necks with jumbo frets, a LP just feels awful to me these days. But that sound...


Exactly my dilemma man. Spot on!
A guitar is a very personal extension of the person playing it. You have to be emotionally and spiritually connected to your instrument - Eddie Van Halen
#17
They do the "Les Paul Less" now (new for 2015 I think), basically a more ergonomic LP that's thin and light as an SG. But I found it sounds... thinner.
#18
Keep looking for the right one gibson les Paul's range from 6 to 10 pounds. Maybe there's one out there for you. But I have never bonded with a guitar I didn't like from the start.

Also don't discount other bands completely. I know most copys just don't have that les paul tone but I have a washburn from the USA custom shop that nails it Better then most les Paul's I have played. I think this is another case of play everything you can get your hands on and hope you find the one.
#19
Quote by MarkAlanIrwin
I have always loved the sound of Les Paul's, of course I have, I am a metal head at heart. However, I have never liked playing them. I always feel really uncomfortable holding one of the beasts due to their weight and the neck thickness/shape.

Lately though, I really am hungry for that meaty sound. Especially since some of my students have been bringing in their Les Pauls's, I have been liking them more and more.

I would like to get rid of my stubbornness and buy one. I was just wondering, has anyone else bought a Les Paul simply for the sound of it and eventually liked or got used to playing it?


I've got, I dunno, eight or ten LP style singlecuts, some of them very heavy. I've also got a number of doublecuts that act, sound and weigh like LPs, from Moonstones to old Ibanez Artists to Yamaha SG2000s to a relatively inexpensive P90 LP Special-ish. It's probably not going to come as a shock that Gibson doesn't necessarily make the best Les Pauls (using the term generically, like Kleenex). You CAN get other neck thicknesses/shapes. You can also get some that are pretty lightweight. And you can get some that have neck heel contouring for better upper fret access and some that have tummy/rib cuts for more comfort. You can get them with Floyds, you can get them with 24 fret necks, you can get them in different scales.

There's really not much excuse for not having one other than that you flat don't like them. I started out with (mostly) Les Pauls and did NOT care much for strats or teles. These days I've made SOME progress in that direction; I've got some neck-through superstrats and a couple with single coils and even a bolt-neck superstrat or two with humbuckers. I've come to terms with them. You'll probably do the same with LPs.
#20
Quote by MarkAlanIrwin
Yeah it is the heaviness that puts me off. I'm a big Ibanez user which means skinny necks and fairly slimline and light. Thanks for all the help so far. I probably will end up buying one anyway as I do this with a lot of new guitar purchases. It's probably the guilt of buying another guitar and trying to justify it to explain to my other half :')


Have you looked into the Ibanez ARZ series? Les Paul shape, but extremely light-weight, and comfortable to play with the tummy-cut in the back. full 24 frets, and the neck isn't quite as thin as the wizard necks on the RG's, but still quite thin, and by no means the "baseball bat" thickness associated with some Les Pauls. Plays fantastic, comes with locking tuners and EMGs (swapped mine out for the Het Set), and has nice low action with no buzz. 799 USD new (~540 GBP).

http://www.ibanez.co.jp/products/u_eg_page15.php?year=2015&cat_id=1&series_id=7&data_id=223&color=CL02
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#21
I frequently play a strat and a tele but learned to play guitar on an epiphone. My first serious guitar was a 92 Les Paul Standard. I found it in a music store at a bargain price because they were relocating. The first chord I ever played on it was an open G, and I still remember the sound of that chord to this day. Beautiful, like not other guitar I had picked up during my search.

All that said, I often refer to that guitar as "the beast". Its got a big fat neck that can be hard to wrap your hand around. I had to buy a thick leather bass strap to play it standing because it is so heavy it would start to hurt my shoulder. The scale is shorter and cut off because of the heel of course, so higher notes are a greater challenge.

There is no other guitar like it in my arsenal however. It can nail heavy rock tones like nothing else. Through EL-34s it creates massive harmonic thunder that sings like every amazing heavy rock song you have ever heard. The beast is also capable of lucious warm clean tones that are almost impossible to get on a single coil strat. I also love it for jazz chords and running scales over those chords with the warm cleans.

My biggest challenge was learning to play a fender after having grown up on Gibsons. When I got my first American strat, I was confounded by the way the distortion worked. My Gibson "heavy" finger positioning was ungainly on the strat maple fretboard. It took many months before I was able to appreciate the clean sparkly tones a strat can sing, and its searing lightning ice leads and icy cold power chord tones. Today I love that strat and often rotate between it and the Les Paul, enjoying one and then the other. The neck on the strat seems to like the slide of the finger up and down the frets and requires much less physical strength to play than the Gibson.

But to the original question regarding the feel of the Les Paul - you can conquer it and master the guitar. It requires some different things from you however. One will definitely be wrist and finger strength, especially if you play standing. The other will be the positioning of your fingers on the fretboard, which will be different from the angle of your fingers when you play something like a fender or a Jackson. I go through this frequently, especially when I spend time away from the Gibson on another guitar. It usually takes me about a week of steady hard playing and then I am at home again on it.

What is really cool though, is how well you can play it and feel comfortable on it once you put in the time. Much like my first experience with the strat, you have to give yourself time to get to know it and bond.
#22
OT.

I'm from Crewe and went to have a look at Liverpool when I was over there three Christmases ago. It would be over 20 years since I was last there. I can remember when it was one of the great ship building cities of the world, but now that's gone, and the docks didn't look like they carry a lot of import/export traffic. However, the centre of the city still looks wealthy. - Nice shops selling expensive stuff. So where is the money coming from now?

Loved St George's hall - that organ is something else - and the Maritime Museum, where we spent most of the day.
#23
I remember getting back into Guitar some years ago and reviving my 93 MIA Strat Plus which needed some work. At that time I realized I had second guessed my 1993 choice of which "classic, high end guitar" to buy and was leaning towards a Les Paul.
I tried every new LP like guitar I could find (Ibanez, ESP, LTD) and none felt like a Gibson but I couldn't afford or justify the then price tag in Canada od over 3K. After a stellar review of the Epiphone Elitist 57 Gold Top in Guitar Player (the same issue gave a much less favorable review of the Ultra model) I chanced a special order from L&M and waited. Well when I tried to play it it felt awkward with a chunky (to me) neck and I was unfamiliar with the ABR style bridge. I took it home and after about 1 hour of playng that evening I was hooked. Eventually I talked myself into buying real Gibson (2010 Trad+) which had an ven beefier neck and the feel of the guitar was something (sounded better than the Elitist as well). From then I moved into the Custom Shop fairly quickly and my R7 & R8 have even beefier necks and replaced all my previous LP loves.
So just my story but if you give it a chance you should know fairly quickly (few hours) if you can learn to love an LP. Consider some models have a 60s slim neck that is considerably smaller than RI or USA 50s style necks.
Moving on.....
#24
I love les Paul's I have one now.and iam saveing up for a better one now,
But I will get a strat down the road,
#25
I have an Electra Omega Prime, and it is my second favorite LPclone in my collection. They say it's a 50's C style neck, but I'm not picky about such things, so that doesn't bother me, and I can't really say how "bat-like" it feels.

For a lighter weight LPclone- without going to a semihollow or some kind of semi-custom, import, or other pricey option- look into some of the smaller-bodied, skinnier-necked options, like the Fernandes Monterey, DBZ Bolero, the Dean Zelinsky StrettaVita or Zenyatta. Reverend's discontinued Roundhouse might be another option.

Godin has a few very good LPclones, but I don't know how pricey they are in the UK. Their aesthetic is also slightly askew of the traditional form, with a slightly exaggerated upper curve.

Fret-King is a British company, and they also have an LPclone of their own. I have one of their Stratclones, and it is very nice. One of my in laws is a gigging musician in New Orleans, and has a 1970s Bill Lawrence Strat- he was impressed by mine. I think that speaks well to the quality of their products.
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

Why, yes, I am a lawyer- thanks for asking!

Log off and play yer guitar!

Strap on, tune up, rock out!
#27
I started out on pointy slab bodied guitar-like instruments. I didn't get an appreciation for Les Pauls until much much later. Those and explorers are kind of my go-to's now. Both set-neck. My early guitars were all bolt-on, which will typically have less neck pitch and affect the position of your fret hand somewhat as someone above mentioned, although I think I'm sufficiently long of limb that I didn't notice that or the changes in scale length much.

My lightest guitars are my SG's which are fine, but sound and feel-wise they haven't become my go-to's. Yes, you can learn to deal with a Les Paul if you have to but to someone else's point above, why force yourself if it bothers you that much? That could take away from your enjoyment of playing the instrument. On the other hand, you want to nail THAT sound. Well, you've got to accept that you're going to be making compromises in other areas. You can't have your cake and eat it too. This is all to satisfy an OCD-ish need to hit some elusive tonal holy grail that may or may not exist for real and may be heavily influenced by psychology (the brand name on the headstock). I don't criticize when I say this, I know full well that to SOME extent, we all have prejudices like that and that's ok. Just analyze what you're looking for and come up with the best workable solution with the fewest and least painful compromises.

If you want something more ergonomic and it has got to say "Les Paul" on it somewhere (and not necessarily "Gibson"), maybe look at an Epi LP Ultra or Ultra II? I believe those have belly cuts on them and some additional pickup options for additional flexibility and they cost a HELL of a lot less than an Axcess. I had an Epi Std plus top a while back and it was actually a surprisingly good guitar given it's price point. It felt a lot closer to a "real" les paul than their SG models does to an SG. I kind of regret giving it away but it went to a good cause. If weight's your primary concern, I don't know which models are chambered this year vs. traditional weight relief. In 2006 Gibson went to a chambered body on all their non custom shop les pauls and then the following year released some "traditional" models that wer ento chambered, I think largely in response to complaints. I have chambered LP and it IS lighter, but it's not light as a feather. The standards I played in 2006 felt like they didn't sustain as well (subjective opinion), but I did some unscientific testing later on and came to the conclusion the chambered bodies were also more prone to earlier feedback at high volumes/gain.

But I've always considered Les Pauls to be a heavy guitar and even though these days it kills my back to wear for too long, it's part of the charm for me. Makes it feel more substantial (there's that psychology creeping back in).
#28
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

Why, yes, I am a lawyer- thanks for asking!

Log off and play yer guitar!

Strap on, tune up, rock out!
Last edited by dannyalcatraz at Mar 17, 2015,
#30
I'll put in a plug for Agile AL-3000 series. I love the LP sound but hate fat necks, and the Agile ALs fit that bill rather well. They're heavy, but I can handle that. It plays like a dream and sounds fantastic.
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#31
Quote by offrhode92
I'll put in a plug for Agile AL-3000 series. I love the LP sound but hate fat necks, and the Agile ALs fit that bill rather well. They're heavy, but I can handle that. It plays like a dream and sounds fantastic.

Please read what TS has posted. He lives in the UK. Getting an Agile makes little financial sense.
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#32
If sound is the only way you really like about them, and dislike all the other features and don't care for the body shape, I really don't think there is much point in forcing yourself to get one.

As previously said, there's plenty of guitars with various shapes that can give you the same kind of sound (mostly a matter of pickups - it's not really my specialty so can't tell you which exact models to look for, but I'm 110% sure every single one of the big companies has a set that can emulate it almost perfectly), and will be more comfortable to play and look far better.

I think PRS would be my starting point to look at in this department, as they generally aim for this kind of "vintage meets modern" aesthetic/sound, but there's a lot more. I really wouldn't pick a guitar just based on the sound alone unless it's something completely extraordinary, and in this case it's one of the most common tones ever.
#33
Quote by tc1072
Have you looked into the Ibanez ARZ series? Les Paul shape, but extremely light-weight, and comfortable to play with the tummy-cut in the back. full 24 frets, and the neck isn't quite as thin as the wizard necks on the RG's, but still quite thin, and by no means the "baseball bat" thickness associated with some Les Pauls. Plays fantastic, comes with locking tuners and EMGs (swapped mine out for the Het Set), and has nice low action with no buzz. 799 USD new (~540 GBP).

http://www.ibanez.co.jp/products/u_eg_page15.php?year=2015&cat_id=1&series_id=7&data_id=223&color=CL02


That looks incredible man I might have to try get a go. Cheers for the shout!!
A guitar is a very personal extension of the person playing it. You have to be emotionally and spiritually connected to your instrument - Eddie Van Halen
#34
Quote by Tony Done
OT.

I'm from Crewe and went to have a look at Liverpool when I was over there three Christmases ago. It would be over 20 years since I was last there. I can remember when it was one of the great ship building cities of the world, but now that's gone, and the docks didn't look like they carry a lot of import/export traffic. However, the centre of the city still looks wealthy. - Nice shops selling expensive stuff. So where is the money coming from now?

Loved St George's hall - that organ is something else - and the Maritime Museum, where we spent most of the day.


Did you manage to pay a visit to Curly music? Such a good guitar shop. I guess the money is coming from tourism due to football and probably the new shopping centres such as liverpool 1 etc. Tis a very commercial city nowadays
A guitar is a very personal extension of the person playing it. You have to be emotionally and spiritually connected to your instrument - Eddie Van Halen
Last edited by MarkAlanIrwin at Mar 17, 2015,
#35
I'm one of those weirdos that admit that I don't like how LPs play higher up the neck. You do get used to it (have to modify your grip a bit) but it is a hindrance for sure. I mean, if you're just doing pentatonic wankery it probably isn't a big deal but for everything else, that heel needs to be shaved down and that cutaway shaped up properly.

So yeah, you get used to the access and the weight to a certain extent but tbh I still hate playing my LP standing up. The strap really digs into my shoulder and im basically dead 40 minutes later.
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#36
Quote by MarkAlanIrwin
Did you manage to pay a visit to Curly music? Such a good guitar shop. I guess the money is coming from tourism due to football and probably the new shopping centres such as liverpool 1 etc. Tis a very commercial city nowadays

Oddly enough I'm a good customer of Pete's, the tech at Curly Music. I send him my guitars for fretwork and repairs I cannot do at home and his work rates are excellent.

The range they have there isn't great, the range at Dawsons is far, far better, but the customer service at Curly is really good, and I like to try and support small independent businesses whenever I can, hence the plug.

But yeah honestly an LTD Eclipse is likely what you're looking for if you want a Les Paul-style guitar that is lighter in weight. The Korean made 1000 Series are the best LP-style guitars in the price bracket. I'd much rather have that than any Ibanez equivalent.

http://www.espguitars.com/products?categories=ec-series
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#37
i love my LP's. they are truly unique compared to the ergonomic guitars that every brand makes in the same shape. i remember when i struck the first chord on what was to be my first LP, and i don't think i will forget it.

an ESP or ibanez or PRS, etc LP shaped guitars don't get the same feel and tone.

if you want something LPish, i would look into grecko or tokai, etc.

but look for an older studio, they are pretty cheap, and IMO pretty awesome.

note: i have no problem with the 22nd fret access on a LP. and also i now play more on telecasters.
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#38
I have found mys of in a similar position. As a total novice, I started with a cheap used Epiphone LP100, then picked up a PRS SE Singlecut. Both play nicely and are relatively comfortable. I became a Les Paul guitar fan boy. But strangely enough, whenever I played a traditional LP (Gibson or Epiphone), I became disenchanted by the weight and clunkyness of the big and heavy guitars. Then I played a Strat that really caught my eye and I fell in love with it. It is sooooo comfortable and easy to play that I that I have hard time rotating the PRS in. The PRS sounds better and is generally a higher quality guitar, but the strat is easier on the hands. I want to love Les Pauls, but I don't even enjoy playing my lighter easier to play versions of the classic style as much as the more comfortable and (for me) the more playable strat.
#39
Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Oddly enough I'm a good customer of Pete's, the tech at Curly Music. I send him my guitars for fretwork and repairs I cannot do at home and his work rates are excellent.

The range they have there isn't great, the range at Dawsons is far, far better, but the customer service at Curly is really good, and I like to try and support small independent businesses whenever I can, hence the plug.

But yeah honestly an LTD Eclipse is likely what you're looking for if you want a Les Paul-style guitar that is lighter in weight. The Korean made 1000 Series are the best LP-style guitars in the price bracket. I'd much rather have that than any Ibanez equivalent.

http://www.espguitars.com/products?categories=ec-series


Yeah thats why I like the place as it feels like a nice creative environment. They have saved my back a few times supplying me with cheap mic stands etc after mine have either broken or been forgotten before a gig. The range of electrics in there is not anything to boast about but their acoustic range is pretty nice. Lots of Tanglewoods which I'm a big fan of. No Gibsons or any high end acoustics last time I checked but still, tis a great place to go for your small bits and pieces and the guys are very cool. I reckon I have spent about 25% of my life in there when I was younger jamming with a guy called Carl who I dont think works there any longer. Music shops are dying out man but Curleys always feels like a classic music store. There used to be a place called 'Frets' by where I lived and when I first started playing guitar I was never out of there either. It was very similar to Curleys except a lot smaller but it was owned and managed by musicians and this really did have a good impact on the customer service and it was basically another place to go for a jam without judgement. Nowadays it feels most guitar shops are just places of business, and yeah there's something quite cool about going into Dawsons and seeing the amazing range of equipment they have plus some of the staff are also really good musicians and generally cool people, yet it just does not feel the same as going into a small muso shop and literally jamming with the owners for hours.
A guitar is a very personal extension of the person playing it. You have to be emotionally and spiritually connected to your instrument - Eddie Van Halen