Aerosmith: Joe Perry Guitar Rig Rundown

Aerosmith guitar tech Trace Foster talks about Joe Perry's guitar rig, detailing his customisations and effects setup. There's plenty to learn from a technician at the top of his game here, so check it out.

Ultimate Guitar

When you're in one of the biggest rock bands in history, you're going to end up with a very experienced guitar technician at the top of their game.

Aerosmith guitar technician Trace Foster recently spoke to Premier Guitar about Joe Perry's rig, how his guitars have been customised and what his effects rack looks like. You can see the full video below.

The first guitar on show is his trademark clear Dan Armstrong with custom pickups. Foster says that it's not one of his two original versions from the 1970s, though Perry still has them in his home studio. Explaining the tuning, he said: "It's a Keith Richards style open-A, five string, but what Joe does is throw a bass string on the bottom and make it an A as well, so it gives it that growl."

Perry currently uses this guitar on "Draw The Line": "He used to beat it up a lot, he used to throw it down... he's kind of mellowed out with it now. It's a good work horse, it's one of his main guitars for sure."

The other guitar that comes to mind when people think of Joe Perry is his bling version of the B.C. Rich Bitch. Perry uses a 10-string version where the D, G, B and high E strings are all in unison but at different gauges for a slightly more interesting chorus effect.

Interestingly, the switches on his guitars are often disconnected to keep things simple.

"For what we're using it for right now, it became a lot easier for just to [just use the B.C. Rich Bitch] volume and a tone so I rewired past all these," explains Foster. Why? "We would hit something and it would change the whole complexity of the tone. So we went straight back to just volume and tone, Les Paul style."

The rest of the video has some fascinating insight into the technical approach to the Aerosmith guitar sound. It goes on to talk about his effects racks, which show that Perry is a big fan of TC Electronic pedals.

"The funny thing about the delay and verb is that they have not had to change in two years. In 2010 we changed every week... [but] when we put those in he never changed them."

Watch the full gear video here:

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Did you enjoy this rig rundown? Let us know if you learned anything particularly interesting in the comments, and if there's plenty of interest we'll look to publish more like this.

7 comments sorted by best / new / date

    This was great to watch. I'd like to actually hear them plug the gear in and compare and contrast the pickups, effects, amps, etc. but that would take about 4 hours considering some mega-rigs like Joe's.
    UG needs to put more of these articles out instead of useless articles of Axl being late to a gig. There's a lot to be learned in the live production industry...from backline techs to lighting and sound reinforcement and the business aspect of it. How about interviewing some of the greatest FOH engineers for great bands like Dave Rat (RHCP, Blink 182, etc...), Big Mick (Metallica), Pooch (Linkin Park), Joe O'Herlihy (U2)? All of these engineers and techs can give a tip or 2 for startup bands too.