Chicago’s three-day, punk-rock carnival was host to Slayer, Jawbreaker, Raconteurs, Patti Smith, Rise Against, Bob Mould, Rancid, Bikini Kill, Lucero, the Struts, and more. Here are our favorite guitar-related moments from the 15th annual gathering.

Bob Mould

The former frontman/guitarist for groundbreaking punk trio Hüsker Dü brought the fury during his solo set that was anchored by a bevy of 1987-’89 Fender Strat Plus models, with late-’80s Lace Sensor Blue pickups in all three positions. In a 2016 interview with PG, he said this about these particular Strats: “I have four more—grey, black, seafoam green, and sunburst—that are almost identical. They’re all pretty much late-’80s Strat Plus factory gear, but I’ve swapped out the pickups for the Lace Sensor Blue pickups because I prefer the original Blue ones.

Now that they’ve got so many variations, I can’t keep up. I just bought one of the newest hot Blue ones, which I think are supposed to sound like Hüsker Dü. I think it actually says that in their catalog, but we’ll see [laughs]. They’re a little fatter and gnarlier sounding, and those are in one of the two guitars that I used on the record. The green Strat has the new hotter pickups, and the grey one is exactly like the blue Strat—same pickups, same wires, and everything.”

Rig Rundown: Adam Shoenfeld

Whether in the studio or on solo gigs, the Nashville session-guitar star holds a lotta cards, with guitars and amps for everything he’s dealt.

Adam Shoenfeld has helped shape the tone of modern country guitar. How? Well, the Nashville-based session star, producer, and frontman has played on hundreds of albums and 45 No. 1 country hits, starting with Jason Aldean’s “Hicktown,” since 2005. Plus, he’s found time for several bands of his own as well as the first studio album under his own name, All the Birds Sing, which drops January 28.

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



• 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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