Blink-182’s Tom DeLonge says he writes everything on a “little shitty acoustic”

“If I can make it sound good on that, I’m like, ‘It’s gonna sound really good once it’s on an electric guitar.’”

Tom DeLonge of Blink-182

Image: Monica Schipper / Getty Images

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How does Tom DeLonge of Blink-182 write his riffs? Not with anything fancy, he reveals; he says that he writes everything on a “little shitty acoustic”.

In a new chat with Fender, DeLonge takes us through his relationship with the guitar and the thought process that goes behind much of his songwriting.

“Whenever I write anything, I try to figure out what’s the most simple, repetitive way to play this, and hopefully it’s a little clever in some spots,” he says. “You know, a lot of people grow up, you’re like, you can be really good at guitar or maybe you can like work your whole life and be a really great singer.”

“And I was like, eh, maybe I could be decent at both, ’cause I just wanted to write my own songs. That’s all I cared about.”

He adds: “Our guitar riffs are no different than the way we rewrite our vocal melodies and stuff. Everything’s really kinda simple. And I used to always say it was like nursery rhymes on meth, and everyone likes nursery rhymes, because you can whistle it, and usually you can go up with your two fingers and play it on piano… a lot of the Blink melodies are that way.”

And while the guitarist is most famously associated with his Fender Strats and Starcasters, he shares that he actually writes all the “little riffy things” on an acoustic guitar.

“I just have a little shitty acoustic in my house,” DeLonge says. “It’s probably worth like 200 bucks. Everything gets written on that, and if I can make it sound good on that, I’m like ‘it’s gonna sound really good once it’s on an electric guitar.’”

Elsewhere, DeLonge also reveals the thought process that went into the creation of his newly released Fender Signature Stratocaster, saying “Okay, so I remember when I was buying my first guitar, and I was like, ‘Okay, I’m gonna make this investment. I’m gonna get myself a Stratocaster.’”

“And they all had all these pickups and knobs and switches, and I was like, ‘Well, what do all these fuckin’ things do?’ And they’re all, ‘Well, if you do this one, it’s the pickup on the neck.

“If you do this one, you know, ‘it bucks the hum’ or whatever.’ Like all this weird shit, and I’m, ‘Well, can I just like turn it up and play?’ So when I had a chance to make my own, I was like, well, just one knob and one pickup.”

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