Planning on putting new p'ups using the "cheat method"
On my fully hollowbodied Epiphone Joe Pass.
So after I've clipped the wires on the stock p'ups
Is there a way to test the clipped wires that are still in
the guitar for hot and ground with a VOM?
Be excellent to each other ☺
the easiest way to test the wires on a pickup that are still soldered to the pickups base plate and all like regular pickups are manufactured is with resistance. I sold enough pickups to build a coffee table and at most guys bring multimeters and just test resistance and I do the same myself. But over the years I learned more and more about what my multimeter can do and more about pickups. So here's some tips.

so firstly resistance
use 20k in Ohms
if the pickup has a resistance over 20k (Rare) use the next one up to 200k.
on 2 wire pickups put the probes to either wires. It's signal in and out so not rocket science.

with 4 wire pickups it gets fun. You can get various readings.
how much resistance is in each coil (coilsplits) for that single coil tone
in parallel (coiltap which is hum cancelling)
and so forth , color codes on guitarelectronics.com help for name brand pickups if you're curious and it saves you the trouble of unraveling a pickups cloth wire around it. I've modded many pickups and it helps. Resistance isn't end game for high and low output but it's a start.

you can also see how much life is in a battery comprehensively using gator clips and a 25k resistor. I saw a video of it on youtube.

ultra nerdy stuff to let you test/mod pickups. I do this all the time.

the only way without unraveling the pickups tape around it to test wires is with continuity mode (that beeps when there is a continuous connection say hot to hot or one end to the other on a wire) on the bare wire and touch the metal base plate of the pickup. The others it's risky for beginners. continuity mode is something everyone should know as it tests input jacks and a bunch of other stuff. The other ones are more difficult to explain but I'll give it a shot. You can change a 2 wire pickup to a 3 or 4 wire pickup if you'd want to which is cool. 3 I tend to do when I'm lazy and just add the 3rd wire to the coiltapping wires , it looks strange if people were to look at my pickups but who will see it once it's properly in right?

I have a blog on this if you're interested but stick to resistance. If not I can give you some pointers in a private message as I don't want to write a massive wall of text.

hope I could help
Last edited by Tallwood13 at Mar 23, 2015,
Is there a way to test the clipped wires that are still in
the guitar for hot and ground with a VOM?

Set the meter to continuity, any range. Test by touching both probes together, note that reading, it means direct contact. Note what it says when they are not touching so you'll know the difference. (I have no idea how much you know about using the meter so I'm taking baby steps)

Touch one probe to the guitar bridge, it should be grounded. Then check each wire. The one that gives you a reading of direct contact is ground. Make sure pickup switch is in the right position for whichever pickup wires you want to check, volume and tone knobs full on. Hot (positive) wires should show no contact with bridge, ground (negative) should show continuity. One side of the output jack should be grounded too, but the bridge is a known ground point, best place to check the way I see it.

Mark each wire with a small flap of masking tape as you check them, + or - B for bridge, N for neck pickup.
Hmmm...I wonder what this button does...