Reader Guitar of the Month: Greenie

A Strat player in Finland gets hooked on scallops.


Name: Steve Webb

Location: Finland
Guitar: Greenie

I’m 66 and have spent 48 years behind a Strat. I’ve still got my 1963 bought in 1967 for £90, serial number L00231.

This is my new main squeeze, Greenie. l had a desire for a long time to have a scalloped fretboard. I first saw one on an ES-335 owned by John McLaughlin, which must’ve been around 1978. I have four Strats but didn’t want to take a chance, so l bought a neck and body and then started filing. The scallops are mainly on the treble side, but move deeper above the 5th fret. The first idea was to make a gold blingy stage guitar, so l sprayed the body, but the store-bought paint … well, it wasn’t gold! It was more like baby caca, so then l decided to do a two-tone and put on the green. Wow! Worse!

I was going to respray it to neutral black, but there’s a guy around here who tends to copy whatever l do to my guitars. He’s a great player but very competitive. l thought, “Hmm green … not a popular color—he’ll never copy this!” So, l finished the paint, found a scratch plate that worked, and loaded it with some Fender Custom Shop pickups l had lying around, intending to put humbuckers in later. The frets were very rough, but l took it out on a gig and, wow, it worked!

Then off she went to my go-to fret guy and he refretted it, put on a graphite nut and my favorite string savers, set her up, and l’ve been playing this guitar ever since. l do about 200 gigs a year at any old bar. The scallops make the higher fretting much more clear and accurate. This may not be for everyone, but since l got hooked, I’ve done a scallop on my Japanese 1980 Squier, my Epiphone Les Paul, and my Ibanez acoustic. I love your magazine and often pick up new ideas from your lessons and articles about musicians’ stage setups. It’s a never-ending quest regarding stage setups! Big hugs all around.

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