All That Jazz: The Art of Songwriting, and How to Play “War Torn Johnny,” Part One

The following content is related to the January 13 issue of Guitar World. For the full range of interviews, features, tabs and more, pick up the new issue on newsstands now, or in our online store.

This month, I’d like to address the sometimes tricky process of songwriting. Most of my songs start as a germ of an idea that comes to me during an improvisation. I’ll have a cool little nugget of “stuff” that catches my interest enough that I am inspired to investigate it further and perhaps forge a composition from it.

I think that for many of us, a new song idea springs from a moment of improvisation. From there, it becomes a question of how to take a cool little riff and expand it to something that can actually be played by a band. That’s the challenging part.

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