Slash, born Saul Hudson, is one of the most easily recognized guitarists in the world today. That’s probably why video game maker Activision chose him to write and perform the theme music for its best selling Guitar Hero game. Slash is also a playable character in the game and his distinctive wild-haired, top-hatted image is used in its marketing campaign, as well.
Like most professional guitarists, Slash owns dozens of guitars, but he has said that two Gibson Les Pauls that he got in 1988 have been among his favorites from that day until this. ’87 was the year that Guns N Roses released its debut album Appetite for Destruction. Slash used a Les Paul in the recording studio, but he ordered two custom made versions to use on the road trip that followed the album’s release.
Slash says that he always loved the look of a Les Paul. Some of his idols like Jimmy Page, Brad Whitford and Joe Perry played them and he thought they had a cool appearance that was perfect for the hard-driving sound he loved.
Slash’s custom Les Pauls were based on the famous ’59 Les Paul Standard model. They had jumbo frets, a comfortable neck and chrome tuning pegs. These days, while he is in the recording studio, Slash usually chooses a Gibson of some kind. Among his favorites are a ’56 Goldtop, several vintage ‘50s standards or one of his Custom Les Pauls that he usually uses for stage performances.
During the 90s, Gibson released two signature Slash guitars. One was a special edition Snakepit Les Paul complete with an inlaid snake that slithered up the neck. The other was a Slash Signature model in Dark Tobacco Sunburst. It was outfitted with a Fishman power bridge and Seymour Duncan Alnico II Pro humbuckers. In recent years, Epiphone has also come out with a Slash model and Gibson has released some limited edition models as well.
Slash had been closely involved with Gibson in the design of all the instruments that carry his name. He says that the feel of the neck is the most important thing to him, and he’s very happy with the way Gibson creates those components.
Gibson Custom Shop is releasing two new high-end Slash models. The first is the Murphy-aged Inspired by Slash Les Paul that is a replica of the guitar he played on the Appetite for Destruction tour. It has been aged by Tom Murphy to look exactly like the instrument that Slash still owns today, including the scratches, dings and cigarette burns that accumulated with hard use.
The second custom axe is the Vintage Original Spec Inspired by Slash Les Paul Standard. This one looks like the brand new ’88 model that Slash ordered for the G N R tour. Slash says seeing it brings back lots of good memories for him of the days when his career was beginning to take off.
If you dream of sounding like Slash, you might want to consider using a Les Paul. In addition to that, we have reviewed some fantastic guitar lessons that can help you reach your goal. Metal Method is the top-rated course for learning to play lead guitar. Learn and Master Guitar is the best overall DVD-based system, and GuitarTricks is recommended for online learning. No matter which course you choose, with persistence, diligent practice, and hard work, you too can have the hard driving sound that has made Slash a true Guitar Hero.