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The Crazy Crap We Do to Our Guitars

by vaughn skow August 20, 2014 2 min read

Hidey-Ho friendly friends!  Confession: yesterday I committed a guitar atrocity … and it’s far from the first time, too!  And … it was awesome!  Yea, I know, I’m sick, right?  Well … let’s talk about that.

Here’s the way I look at it.  Some folks who ride motorcycles are perfectly happy to ride a stock bike, while others love to hack, weld, and chrome-plate their bike into a one-of-a-kind ride … same goes for cars … and, I contend, guitars.  Needless to say, I fall into the camp of the “self-modifiers”; take, for instance, my 5-pickup FrankenStrat (ie, StratoBastard):5 pickup Fender stratocaster

So, back to last night’s festival of guitar carnage.  I needed a Les Paul style ax to audition my various pickups on ( … and I wanted to be able to switch pickups fast.  Really fast.  So I took a cute little Epiphone LesPaul Special and did what any perfectly insane dude would do, I routed the pickup cavities clean through from front to back and stubbed in pickup lead wires for each pickup cavity. 

Now, I can simply insert the pickup in the back, adjust it to the desired height, wire-nut the leads, and … in less than a minute I’ve just changed pickups!  Ugly, maybe, but dude does it serve a purpose, and ain’t that what guitars are all about when it comes right down to it?  Actually, with the little black foam inserts I cut out, it doesn’t even look too terrible from the back!

With this in mind, I present a couple of “modified” guitars from my buddy Jeff Miller, who plays guitar in one of my little hobby bands, Wind Up Monkey (I play drums in this one).  First is an Epi Les Paul Standard that he sanded … and sanded … and sanded until spots of the mahogany body began to show through the maple top.  Outfitted with a hot P-90 in the bridge and a “something” in the neck, it’s actually quite a pleasing (and one of a kind) workhorse of a guitar.

The second guitar started life as a dual bucker JB Player that received a complete head to toe sticker treatment … don’t know about you, but I think it’s cool as heck!  If ya all got a “modified” guitar ya’d like to share with the class … post it here as a reply … or if that doesn’t work for ya, email it to me to post

See y’all next week :-)

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