Everything You Need to Know About Les Paul Scratch Plates

Everything You Need to Know About Les Paul Scratch Plates

Les Paul guitars are iconic instruments that have been played by some of the greatest guitarists in history. One important component of a Les Paul guitar is the scratch plate, also known as the pickguard. In this blog post, we will explore everything you need to know about Les Paul guitar scratch plates, from their purpose to their various styles and materials.

What is the purpose of a guitar scratch plate?

The primary purpose of a scratch plate on a Les Paul guitar is to protect the guitar's finish from scratches and damage caused by the player's pick. It acts as a barrier between the pick and the guitar body, preventing unsightly marks and preserving the guitar's aesthetic appeal.

What are the different styles of scratch plates?

Les Paul guitar scratch plates come in various styles to suit different preferences and aesthetics. Some common styles include:

  • Single-ply: These scratch plates are made from a single layer of material, such as plastic or celluloid. They offer a classic look and are available in a wide range of colours.
  • Multi-ply: These scratch plates are made from multiple layers of material, usually with a contrasting colour or pattern. They add depth and visual interest to the guitar's appearance.
  • Tortoiseshell: These scratch plates mimic the appearance of real tortoiseshell and are highly sought after for their vintage vibe.

What materials are scratch plates made from?

Scratch plates for Les Paul guitars can be made from various materials, each with its own characteristics. Some common materials include:

  • Plastic: Plastic scratch plates are lightweight, affordable, and come in a wide range of colours. They are a popular choice for many guitarists.
  • Celluloid: Celluloid scratch plates have a vintage look and feel. They are known for their durability and resistance to scratches.
  • Acrylic: Acrylic scratch plates offer a modern and sleek appearance. They are highly durable and resistant to cracking.

How to choose the right scratch plate for your Les Paul guitar?

When choosing a scratch plate for your Les Paul guitar, consider the following factors:

  • Style: Decide on the style that best suits your personal taste and the overall aesthetic of your guitar.
  • Material: Consider the pros and cons of different materials and choose one that meets your preferences for durability, appearance, and feel.
  • Fit: Ensure that the scratch plate is compatible with your specific Les Paul guitar model and that it fits properly without any gaps or misalignment.

By considering these factors, you can find the perfect scratch plate that enhances the look and functionality of your Les Paul guitar.


Les Paul guitar scratch plates are not only functional but also contribute to the overall visual appeal of the instrument. Whether you prefer a classic single-ply design or a multi-ply scratch plate with a unique pattern, there are options available to suit every guitarist's style. By choosing the right scratch plate for your Les Paul guitar, you can protect its finish and add a touch of personalization to your beloved instrument.

Feel free to check our wide range of Les Paul pickguards out by clicking here

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