So you would like to buy your first Les Paul. Well, consider yourself very lucky to have stumbled upon MyLesPaul.com. Hopefully through reading this you can avoid many of the pitfalls that can occur if uninformed prior to your first purchase. The purchase of a Les Paul should be a rewarding experience from beginning to end and hopefully you will acquire "that" guitar that will become a friend for years to come. There are several factors that should be seriously considered in order to avoid buyers remorse, purchasing a guitar that is not what it is represented to be and the worst case scenario, you being separated from your hard earned Les Paul budget altogether with nothing to show for it. All of those situations happen regularly and many people show up here after the fact. Therefore, your in luck because you're here before buying. Why do bad situations happen ? Ironically those situations often happen for the same reason that this site is as popular as it is. There is an overwhelming emotional component to owning the decedents of the most iconic guitar in rock history. And as such, first time buyers often make their decisions on an emotional basis without a solid background of knowledge about the guitar that they are about to buy. This is where MLP can help. Before spending thousands of dollars of your hard earned cash, invest the time here to learn. Not only will it keep you from making some grave errors in your purchase, it will make that purchase all the more rewarding. Where to start ? The very first place to start is by reading R9's Les Paul Primer http://www.mylespaul.com/forums/gibson-les-pauls/50210-gibson-les-paul-101-a.html At this point you may find that you are more confused than when you arrived, that's good. Now use the forum search function to clarify each of the individual topics discussed in that thread as needed. Almost required reading on the subject is the book "Beauty Of The Burst" which is referred to all over the site as BOTB. Another excellent book is "Million Dollar Les Paul" Both of those books will take you on a journey through the storied history of the instrument. At the same time as increasing your knowledge and and giving you all kinds of impressive facts to use to blow people away with at parties, they will also give you an appreciation for the romance and mystique that surrounds this legendary instrument. Buying Ask questions here first and not after you buy. Therefore, before picking out an individual guitar, hang out and ask questions on the Les Paul in general. Be honest, respectful and open with the members about your knowledge level. Remember many of these people know more about Les Pauls than Gibson does. Get 50 posts before moving on to researching individual instruments for purchase -that's important. Before buying on EBAY - research the subject here so you know the risks attached. Visit these threads http://www.mylespaul.com/forums/historics-reissues/67850-noob-just-got-58-historic-reissue-wondering.html http://www.mylespaul.com/forums/online-auctions/25681-help-need-advice-ebay-item-not-shipped-jimmy-page-tom-murphy.html And search, there are others. If at all possible, get in the room with the guitar yourself before handing over your cash. If you are not sure that a Les Paul you are looking at is real DO NOT START A THREAD asking if it is fake. Remember those 50 posts ? PM a knowledgeable member and ask them. The danger of starting "is this a fake?" threads is many times you will get responses from people who will call a perfectly legit guitar a fake and in the process trashing some poor guy's sale. The bottom line is don't ever pull the trigger until you are completely certain. Patience is your best friend in the Les Paul buying game. Whenever possible, buying new is best done through an authorized dealer. Get to know the folks here and ask for recommendations in your area. Check the MLP Sponsor Classifieds - My Les Paul Forums to find site sponsors. Posting on MLP Above all, be respectful for the knowledge that many of the members here have of the instrument. Over 1000 years combined experience at your finger tips! As said earlier, honesty about your own level of knowledge is the best way to fit into the community here. Read the rules http://www.mylespaul.com/forums/front-desk/1315-mylespaul-rules-please-read.html A few of tips for beginners to avoid getting flamed: - although its a topic that any of us here could go on about for hours on end, some aspects have been done to death. SEARCH FIRST. - pick the proper forum for your post - don't start inflammatory discussions. Feel free to express your opinions, but remember that all types of LPs are passionately represented here. - if you have a problem with your guitar, make sure you have exhausted all avenues with your the store you bought it from and/or Gibson prior to venting here.