John Mayer’s Guitar Pedals and Gears
John Mayer is one of the most skilled guitarists and artists. There is not question that he pays a lot of attention to his guitar sound and tone. It is known that he owns hundreds of different pedals. He has different pedal combinations set up for different songs.
Guitar pedals are some of the easiest and cheapest ways any guitarist can improve on his or her tone. They are also modular thus allowing the player to swap out one pedal for another continuously until they find a tone that is in their head.
Below you will find some essential guitar pedals and gears that John Mayer uses.
John Mayer Guitar Rig Rundown
Overdrive and Boost
Overdrive/boost pedals are the most important type of pedal that you will need. This pedal will push the magnificent Fender/Dumble clean tone into the smooth overdrive Mayer is renowned for.
left to right: ts-808, ts-9, ts-10
The Tubescreamer is an essential pedal for any blues player. Many blues guitar players like SRV use it to for the distortion sound from the clean channel.
The Tubescreamer is the most enduring pedal in the John Mayer lineup that is available in many varieties. Mayer has been known to use all 3 Tubescreamer pedals by Ibanez – The TS-9, TS-10, and the TS-808. The TS-808 was the first original Tubescreamer.
Ibanez TS9 Tube Screamer Demo
Fulltone Fulldrive 2
The Fulltone Fulldrive 2 is another pedal worth an honorable mention in the Tubescreamer category. John has used this pedal in the past and many other players favor it over Ibanez model since it has an added boost function. It is like getting two pedals in one.
Fulltone Full-Drive 2 Demo
The original Marshall Bluesbreaker pedal is yet another pedal famous for being ideal for making Mayer tones. Let not the current version of this pedal – Bluesbreaker 2 lure you. You want to go for the original Bluesbreaker from the 90’s. Too bad it is out of production. Luckily, some two companies sell kits that enable you to build your own clone even though many that compare them to the original have questioned their accuracy.
Marshall Bluesbreaker II Demo
Boss BD-2 Bluess Driver
Even though Mayer owns and uses numerous overdrive pedals, some two that have showed up frequently and are worth a special mention. Not to mention they are still widely available.
The Boss BD-2 Blues Driver is the first. This one has a somewhat crunchier tone and has a different style of overdrive from the Bluesbreaker and Tubescreamer. Rumours suggest that many of Mayer’s tones from his trio album are from the Blues Driver. The stock version is not very costly either, thereby making it easy to add it to your collection. Mayer uses the version of this pedal modded by Keeley.
Boss BD-2 Blues Driver Demo
Keeley Katana Boost
Keeley Katana is the final pedal to consider. This pedal is more of a boost pedal than an overdrive even though if used correctly it can overdrive your tone. It is very helpful since it is like having you own personal mixing engineer ride your fader.
|Pedal||Katana||BD-2 Blues Driver||Full Drive 2||Blues Breaker|
John Mayer uses two delay pedals primarily.
Way Huge Aqua Puss
The Way Huge Aqua Puss is the first with a delay time of around 1/3 of a second. You can use the pedal either as a slap back pedal or to thicken up tone and is a wonderful pedal that is widely available.
Way Huge Aqua-Puss Analog Delay Demo
T-Rex Delay is the other delay pedal Mayer loves. The delay has great sounding pedal that has good delay options.
T-Rex Delay Demo
|Brand||Way Huge Electronics||T-Rex Engineering||Keeley|
|Pedal||Aqua-Puss MkII||Replica Delay/Echo||Katana|
There are various other pedals that John Mayer uses that are worth noting. Most of these he uses sparingly but can be important if you are looking to create Mayer’s tones.
The Roger Linn Design Adrenal Linn versions II, III, or I are some of the most interesting. These are the pedals that Mayer used to generate the special effects on “I Don’t Trust Myself with Loving You,” “Bigger than My Body,” and “Heartbreak Warfare.” Remember that these pedals are only necessary if you are looking to recreate those special sounds.
The Electro Harmonix POG is yet another interesting pedal. This pedal is the one responsible for the organ tones at the beginning part of “In Repair.”
Mayer also uses the Electro Harmonix Micro Synthesizer to help him produce an octa-fuzz tone such as the one in “Belief” on the live album “Where the Light Is.”
Even though John tunes most of his guitars backstage before every song, he has some Boss tuners on stage if the need for tuning mid-song ever arises. These pedals are quite popular and many players use them.
Finally, Mayer has been spotted with the Boss RT-20 Rotary Speaker Simulator as well as the Boss GE-7 Equalizer on his pedalboard.
|Pedal||TU-2 Pedal Tuner||PT-Pro Pedalboard|
In conclusion, this article sums up most of the pedals that John Mayer has used most. Remember that the overdrive pedals are most important followed by the delay pedals. After that, you can add whatever you want depending on what you would like to play. You can use many different substitute pedals to do the trick.
Finally, do not forget to get a home for all your pedals. Mayer uses a high-tech switching system for his big performances. However, he has been seen using the Pedaltrain, which is one of the best and easiest ways of keeping your pedals organized.
John Mayer inspired pedal board