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10. Whatever you do, don’t forget the most important part of setting up a rig…
Termini: This will sound ridiculous, but having all your stuff plugged in all the way [laughs]. I really can’t stress this enough. I’ve torn apart rigs only to find that things weren’t plugged in all the way. Check and make sure all your AC power blocks and pedal power supplies have good batteries, and then find a great place to plug in your main AC power supply so you have the cleanest power possible and it won’t get kicked out by a wandering stage hand or security.
Trejo: For me it’s intonation—I’m a stickler for trying to get intonation as perfect as I can. I’ve had some pretty good battles with some guitars, but in the end, I usually win [laughs]. It’s one of those things, if you’re not in tune, to guitar players in the crowd, it’ll sound like nails on a chalkboard no matter how great the guitars, amps, and pedalboard.
Dickson: I’d have to say clean nut slots, stable neck, clean saddles, and if possible, an intonated guitar. From all the tours I did with Eric and one-off shows across the world we fly into, we never knew sometimes what we’d have for amps so if I could keep the guitar, consistent and familiar, a good guitarist—which I think Eric is [laughs]—will be able to handle the rest. Oh yeah, do not tie knots with cables—that’ll just lead to issues down the road.
Buffa: Solder joints and input connections are some of the littlest components in a rig, but are of the biggest importance so I’ve learned to love soldering. Even if a rig is up and running or everything appears to be ok after a pedalboard has set for months, I’ll investigate all the connections and heat up the soldering iron—I just have a little more piece of mind knowing everything is 100 percent connected and tone isn’t being lost.
Farmer: Comfort. Trust me, whether it’s me playing or if I’m tech’ing for Warren, it comes down to comfort. I could tell you a big list of things to check and double-check, but ultimately those things all add up to comfort. If you’re relaxed and feel good, you’ll perform at your best no matter if you have a $300 First Act or a Custom Shop Les Paul. Get in the pocket, crank up the guitar, and have some fun—that’s what playing music is all about no matter if you’re playing for ten people or ten thousand.