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Hot Rod Guitars makes music from Chattanooga's past

Bruce Bennett plays a guitar made from wood found inside a historic Chattanooga building.

Every musician has his own sound and one custom guitar creator in Hixson is making sure that sound is unique.

When Bruce Bennett tunes his guitar he's listening for a lot more than perfect pitch. "A custom luthier can sit down, take his time, listen to the wood while it's still a board, select much more carefully what he wants," Bennett says.

For Bennett, there's never been a question about what he wanted. "I wanted a guitar when I was 7 or 8 years old."

His dad's reaction when he wanted an 800 dollar Gibson? "He said you want one of those you better learn how to build one."

So that's exactly what Bennett did. And among his finished pieces, a piece of Chattanooga's past. When crews tour down some of the buildings on the 700 block of Market Street, Bennett got his hands on a block of wood from inside. He made a guitar from that wood. "It actually came out really good, it came out to a guitar with a phenomenal sound."

But it's not just building guitars that keeps Bennett busy. His bread and butter is making new guitars look like they're used, specifically by rock legend Eddie Van Halen. Bennett takes Van Halen look alikes, and adds the familiar scratches and dents.

For more on Hot Rod Guitars, click here.

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