Most Notable John Mayer Guitars
John Mayer, the American blues rock and pop singer-songwriter, and musician, is known for a mellow voice, and a signature sound. It’s a sound you might come close to replicating by coupling Fender Stratocaster with a Fender amp and one more key ingredient.
He is not shy about revealing his collection of guitars and guitar gears. That is part of what gives his music a uniquely rounded variety of sounds, after all. What happens when you pair more than 200 guitars with all those pedals? Girls fainting, audiences singing along, swooning, and just pure blissful music results.
With a collection of over 200 guitars, John usually takes at least 40 of them on tour. This article will focus on the most notable guitars that he plays. John also likes to switch his guitars and effects to get a different tone and feeling for the same song. Sometimes he will play the same song switching between electric guitar version or acoustic guitar version.
John has a large collection of 200 different guitars. However, his most famous and well known is still the Fender Stratocaster (Strat). He has made famous using the Strat and own his signature John Mayer Strat that Fender introduced in 2005 and discontinued in 2014.
He was heavily influenced by Stevie Ray Vaughan when he grew, his first main guitar was a used Stevie Ray Vaughan Signature Stratocaster that he saved up to buy in 1996 while working his first job after high school at a gas station. Stevie Ray Vaughan was one of his idols and the instrument has stories.
SVR Signature Stratocaster
John attended Berklee College of Music for two semesters, and while there, he engraved his initials JCM on the backplate of his SVR guitar. A year or so later, he thought it would be cool to hit the drum cymbals with it and it broke the bridge. Either way, he loves this guitar and plays it for a few songs per show. He even recommends it as the guitar for up and coming musicians to use to make a name for themselves.
Fender Stevie Ray Lenny reproduction Strat
Another John Mayer guitar that carries his hand print and name is the Fender on his own Stratocaster. For additional custom play, he went back to his beloved Stevie Ray Vaughan for the Fender Lenny Tribute Stratocaster.
Jimi Hendrix Monterey Pop Strat
John also uses his Jimi Hendrix model Fender Montery Pop which is a Stratocaster. His take on this guitar model is that it is smaller and easier to take along on cramped places.
John plays “Slow Dancing In A Burning Room” Live with the Jimi Hendrix Monterey Strat:
John Mayer Signature Stratocaster
Fender John Mayer Stratocaster tone review and demo
Fender John Mayer Stratocaster in 3-Tone Olympic White
The Black One
He does have the Fender John Mayer, lovingly named “The Black One”, which is a Stratocaster relic he’s used in numerous performances. Most notable perhaps was a performance with B.B. King.
John talks about the story behind his signature guitar “Black One”
Fender John Mayer Stratocaster Black 1
Fender John Mayer Custom Shop Limited Edition Stratocaster Black 1
Ending with Fender
One day after his 37th birthday he discontinued his relationship with Fender. That was the last of the John Mayer line of Fender Stratocasters.
Playing The Blues
There are certain guitars taken to the stage for one variety of songs over the other. John Mayer plays plenty of blues, and beyond his epic performance with B.B. King, he turns to his electric Gibson, a Custom ES-335 from 1959, Neck VOS.
Gibson ES-335 (red)
John also uses some Gibson guitars on his live performance. His custom electric Gibson L-5 CES comes in a beautiful natural wood color and sets with him on stage too. The dark red standard electric Gibson SG accompanies him on stage as well. Another of his guitars performs with is the Mike Campbell Signature Dusenberg.
Gibson Custom L5 CES featured throughout “Where The Light Is”
John plays the Gibson Custom L5 CES at this “Where the light is” concert intro
The Martin 0045 is one of his favorites — among Martin’s rarest models — because of its throwback features and look. Of course, this boy can play it, without question he would not turn to it or have it in the collection if it was not of use to him.
Martin, if you have been living under a rock, custom builds its guitars. They are guitar artisans more than anything else. If you were wondering, he played Martin’s OM-42 at the Grammys.
John talks about martin guitar:
Perhaps the biggest gift of all to the artist with more than 200 guitars is having a hand in designing some models for mass consumption. He obviously had a say in the 45SC Stagecoach Edition, the Martin OMJM, an acoustic guitar that carries his name.
Martin’s John Mayer OMJM John Mayer
Martin OMJM John Mayer Special Edition Review – How does it sound?
It speaks mostly to the abalone inlay, which rests underneath the fret board. It gives it an appealing, enticing glow, which will attract guitarists from miles away like moths to a flame.
Look for the Martin ECHF Belleza Nera, the Eric Clapton Signature in ”Half Of My Heart” and also ”Who Says” on his acoustic in Tokyo.
He takes the Martin D-45 in “Where The Light Is” and ”In Your Atmosphere”. The Fender Cabronita performs ”Perfectly Lonely”. One unique fact is that he uses the Stratocaster with the golden top exclusively for performing ”Vultures”.
It’s plenty of guitars to keep aficionados busy watching what John Mayer is taking to the stage with for his performances. You will start watching what he’s playing on stage, more now than ever. Making notes of time stamps on videos, and comparing back to what guitar was on stage with him might become a healthy obsession and hobby.
Look out for future videos and articles featuring his oldies but goodies, and new acquisitions. Listen to hear what makes each guitar, amp, and pedal combination special to every song and performance. As they say, musicians — especially John never give the same performance twice.