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Tom DeLonge - Blink 182

By Rick Okie


Tom De Longe's cool sound and hilarious approach to music inspired a whole new generation of young musicians to take guitar lessons and start blasting away in their garages and bedrooms.  But what's behind that thick, driving BLINK 182 sound?  VideoGuitarLessons.com has the 411 and here it is...

Tom's guitar is – and always has been a Fender Stratocaster.  In the '90's Fender asked him to endorse his own signature model, and since he had replaced the bridge pickup in his own guitar with a Seymour Duncan Invader pickup, that's the config that was used in the Tom DeLonge model.  There's a guitar lesson here – don't settle for stock – experiment with different things till you find your own sound.

But the guitar is only the starting point.  DeLonge's sound on stage is HUGE, and requires some big boxes to create.  His main amp is a Mesa Boogie Triple Rectifier, played through two 4x12 cabinets (that means four 12-inch speakers in each box).  He backs it up with a second amp consisting of a Marshall JCM900 head and another Mesa Boogie 4x12 cabinet.  Don't be discouraged if you can't afford all this at once.  Start building your rig piece by piece, adding elements as you go along.  Emulating amps or PODS are a cheaper alternative to big rigs – you can set your sound and play big-venue sounds at small-venue volumes.

Effects-wise, DeLonge's sound is quite clean, so there isn't much to tell.  He does use two Shure wireless units and an A/B/Y Amp Switcher to connect guitar to amp while leaving him free for his onstage antics.  More important is his combination of strings (Ernie Ball “Skinny Top, Heavy Bottom” .010 - .052) and picks (Dunlop Tortex .60 mm standards) to allow his ferocious attack on power chords without going too far out of tune.

That's your rig-of-the-week guitar lesson for today.  Keep it simple, keep it clean, keep it LOUD!

Now that you know the gear you need, check out GSN's ROCK BEGINNER through ROCK INTERMEDIATE courses to get the guitar techniques you need to play BLINK 182-style, taught by charismatic shredder Marc Seal.  Guitar lessons on power chords, scales, right-hand techniques, sweep picking, rhythm, and much much more.

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