From pickups to paint jobs, we collect the coolest mods for our latest PG reader gallery.

This was Bernardo Egito Amarante’s first Strat. He was about to sell it when he got the idea to take three Korean pups from an ESP/LTD and install them into the Strat—along with lots of beer bottle caps, which he says he hammered into the guitar’s body. “No screwdriver work there, just pure violence,” Amarante says. “I also cut a big part of the pickguard to make a frankenstrat-like style (you know, Van Halen’s old axe) and added an on/off switch next to the volume knob (which was the only knob installed). A few weeks ago, I added some patches and a guitar jack to hold my picks. Here’s the crazy result.”

Throughout the year we collect stories and photos of guitar-mod projects created by you, our beloved readers. Some of these guitars are so inspiring we’re compelled to share them with everyone in this annual Hot Rod issue. As always, you don’t disappoint. And by using fetching racecar flame designs, several readers even revealed their devotion to the original “hot rod” culture!

We couldn’t fit all of your mod submissions here, but look for more stories in our “Hot-Rod Gallery – Reader’s Edition” online next month.

Magnatone unveils the Starlite, its new 5-watt amplifier with a vintage look designed for the office, backstage, or the studio.

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Diatonic sequences are powerful tools. Here’s how to use them wisely.

Advanced

Beginner

• Understand how to map out the neck in seven positions.
• Learn to combine legato and picking to create long phrases.
• Develop a smooth attack—even at high speeds.

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Knowing how to function in different keys is crucial to improvising in any context. One path to fretboard mastery is learning how to move through positions across the neck. Even something as simple as a three-note-per-string major scale can offer loads of options when it’s time to step up and rip. I’m going to outline seven technical sequences, each one focusing on a position of a diatonic major scale. This should provide a fun workout for the fingers and hopefully inspire a few licks of your own.
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