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How Did John Mayer Learn Guitar

How Did John Mayer Learn Guitar?

Would you try looking up to John Mayer for guitar inspiration and aspire to play like him? If you answered yes, you’ve come to the correct spot.

John Mayer is widely regarded as one of the best guitarists of our time. Guitar icons such as Eric Clapton and Buddy Guy have openly lauded his skills on the instrument. This made me wonder how John Mayer got started playing guitar.

John Mayer began playing guitar at the age of 13 after seeing the Back to the Future sequence in which Marty McFly begins playing Chuck Berry’s “Johnny B. Goode.” Shortly after, he discovered Stevie Ray Vaughan’s music, which was the most influential on John Mayer’s guitar approach. Al Ferrante was his guitar teacher, and Tomo Fujita was his main mentor.

In this post, you’ll learn how John Mayer learned to play guitar, who taught and inspired him, how many hours he practiced, and how you might mimic John Mayer, among other things. Continue reading to find all of the answers you want.

When Did John Mayer Begin Playing Guitar?

John Mayer began playing guitar at the age of 13 in 1990, inspired by Marty McFly’s “Johnny B. Goode” performance in the film Back to the Future. He eventually became acquainted with the music of the famous Stevie Ray Vaughan. A neighbor gave him a tape, which turned out to be the genesis narrative of a legend. John Mayer got enamored with Vaughan’s music after that. Vaughan has been credited as inspiring much of Mayer’s blues guitar playing.

As soon as he started playing, John fell in love with the guitar. In fact, he understood right away that he wanted to play guitar full-time. He mentioned in his high school yearbook that he aspired to be a full-time musician. Mayer began playing at local pubs and clubs after taking guitar instruction and rehearsing for a few years. Even though he was still in high school at the time, he established a name as a theatrical performer.

He attended Berklee College of Music after graduating from high school. He honed his skills here under the famous instruction of Tomo Fujita. John Mayer established a distinct songwriting approach throughout this time. Pat Pattison and other lecturers also provided him with useful advice. After two semesters at Berklee, he left out and moved to Atlanta with his college friend Clay Cook.

How Did John Mayer Start to Learn Guitar?

John Mayer has established himself as one of the modern period’s most accomplished and skilled guitarists. He has ruled the mainstream world, introduced blues rock to a new age, and is now a driving factor in introducing the Grateful Dead to a new audience. So, let’s find out how he got started playing guitar.

John Mayer’s genesis story is similar to that of most of us. John occasionally took up the guitar at friends’ houses and was always fascinated by it. His father would not rent an acoustic guitar to him and his brother until he was 13 years old, along with guitar tuition.

John began taking guitar lessons with Al Ferrante at Fairfield’s Professional Music Center on Mondays in 1991. These teachings, however, would not survive long, lasting only another 1-2 years.

After experimenting with acoustic guitars…

After experimenting with acoustic guitars, John’s interest in electric guitars grew as he found more and more musicians. John paid $900 for the SRV Fender Stratocaster model after working at a gas station and trading in his Takamine 12-string and a Mesa Boogie distortion pedal. This was when his genuine development began. He ultimately discovered Stevie Ray Vaughan’s songs. Stevie was a pop sensation in the 1980s, not long before John began polishing his craft.

Simultaneously, he found Jimi Hendrix. Mayer believed he had discovered something that would permanently alter his music. He used to spend 5-6 hours every day online, listening to blues music. John Mayer spent hours learning the ins and outs of every music he heard.

He formed a band called Villanova Junction in addition to performing in his bedroom. His musical skill blossomed as he began to include additional aspects into his compositions. Playing with his pals inspired him to look beyond the box and include more originality in his music. He possessed a strong intuitive sense as well as an excellent musical ear. This enabled him to disassemble songs and make them play more quickly than other guitarists. It was clear when his band sang Texas Flood in 1994, only four years after he first picked up a guitar.

Berklee College of Music

He attended the famed Berklee College of Music after graduating from college. His tenure at Berklee, however, did not continue as long as he had hoped. He rapidly recognized that he did not want to be just another guitar student. He was more interested in making his own music and writing his own songs. John Mayer has been blessed with exceptional musical talent. When it comes to playing guitar, he is naturally gifted, and he is highly dedicated and dynamic.

John is lucky to be gifted musically; he is both dedicated in his practice and naturally gifted. When you combine these two, you get John Mayer. Everything else is history. John Mayer Trio was formed, he played guitar on numerous records other than his own, he played with superstars like B.B. King and Buddy Guy, and he currently tours with the Grateful Dead. He’ll travel wherever the guitar leads him.

What Sparked John Mayer’s Interest in Playing the Guitar?

Stevie Ray Vaughan was his main influence when he first started playing guitar. Mayer discovered the renowned Vaughan after one of his buddies handed him an SRV mixtape. John Mayer was born in the 1980s. It used to be that changing the station meant hearing well-composed and performed music.

SRV provided Mayer a window into the blues music scene as a white boy from a well-off family in the suburbs. John Mayer grew preoccupied with attempting to imitate Stevie Ray Vaughan’s guitar skills. In reality, he purchased the SRV Fender Strat model and began performing covers with his band, Villanova Junction.

Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, Albert King, and Buddy Guy were among his other prominent inspirations. As you may have observed, his inspirations were primarily blues musicians. He also found inspiration in B.B. King. Not only was King a fantastic guitarist, but he was also a fantastic singer. B.B. King strummed his guitar as though it were singing. John Mayer saw this and worked hard to incorporate it into his music. B.B. King’s CD “Live at The Regal” had a big effect on John Mayer.

When it comes to his playing style,

When it comes to his playing style, John Mayer isn’t one to be confined to one genre. He frequently discusses how, despite having a successful career, he is continually inspired by emerging musicians. He never hesitates to draw inspiration from the new guitarists who are just starting. This is clear when comparing his playing style before and after joining Dead and Company. John Mayer has always attempted to develop his musical style, and he has been fairly successful in doing so. From the outset, it was clear that he was trying too hard to sound like SRV combined with Hendrix and King.

These are, of course, untouchable names in the music business and belong in the pantheon of greats. Mayer was doomed to fail if he attempted to replicate their sound. This is how he came to develop his own distinct style, which won him enormous fame and acclaim.

How Many Hours Per Day Did John Mayer Practice Guitar?

John Mayer used to practice 5-6 hours a day when he was younger. He was not involved in any sports or recreational activities. Instead, he used to come home after school and spend the entire day playing guitar. Having 5-6 hours of guitar time daily helped him create the groundwork for becoming a skilled musician.

On weekends, he’d play for 8-10 hours a day, sometimes barricading himself in his room. He had occasionally claimed that he did not spend much time outside when he was little. This was because he spent every hour he wasn’t at school playing the guitar. His pals went to parties regularly and enjoyed a social life. Meanwhile, Mayer was listening to B.B. King and Stevie Ray Vaughan in his bedroom.

During his high school years, he wasn’t exactly a popular man. This provided him plenty of time to practice his guitar with fewer interruptions. In fact, he has stated that if he had dates in high school, his guitar would turn to dust. Because of his continuous playing, his mother imposed a guitar curfew on him.

He had to stop playing by 9:30 p.m. every night and go to bed. As John Mayer’s career progressed and his fame grew, he began to cut back on his practice time. He couldn’t practice as much as he used to. Instead, he devoted time to songwriting and mastering new melodic patterns. He couldn’t resume his former guitar practice habits until he joined Dead and Company.

How Can You Learn to Play Guitar Like John Mayer?

Emulating your favorite musicians and their guitar-playing styles may be difficult yet rewarding. This will assist you in improving your technique and tone while expanding your song repertoire. Here are some of the things you should work on if you want to be like John Mayer.


John Mayer’s blues guitar skills are always impressive. If you study his approaches, you’ll be able to adapt them to your own skill set. It is evident how mastering new methods will help you enhance your guitar playing. It will also teach you about Mayer and the artists who affected him and his approaches.

Learning how a great guitarist plays can lead you down a rabbit hole of diverse styles. After that, you may study them and apply them to your own guitar abilities. While Mayer has claimed to be highly influenced by B.B. King, he lacks the trademark King vibrato. You might be interested in this because the only way to learn and practice Mayer’s approaches is to spend time researching and practicing his inspirations.


It’s difficult to argue that John Mayer has one of the purest Stratocaster songs in the business. People have been hunting for the sound that he had on the intros of “Gravity” and “Slow Dancing in a Burning Room” for years after releasing “Continuum.” You may spend hours analyzing his gear, such as pedals, amplifiers, and guitars, yet not find the answers.

However, this learning process will eventually help you establish your own distinct tone with your arrangement. This is the most significant point. The key to understanding your own sound is to understand how your gear affects the tone. Reading about John Mayer’s tone will undoubtedly offer you a basic understanding of how various equipment impacts the sound.


Learning only Mayer’s approaches may be tedious. This is why you should learn how to perform songs utilizing John Mayer’s approach. Fortunately for guitarists of all abilities, John Mayer’s tunes range from beginner to expert. Aside from new methods, learning new songs will considerably expand your repertoire. Many of these approaches apply to other artists’ songs as well. This will make learning songs much easier in the future.

How Did John Mayer Learn Guitar? | Conclusion

Thank you for your time. Hopefully, you now know much more about John Mayer, including how he learned to play guitar, who inspired him, how many hours he practiced, and how to replicate Mayer as a guitarist. John Mayer has always been a guitar prodigy. He began playing the guitar at the age of thirteen. His obsession with the guitar began when he was inspired by Marty McFly’s “Johnny B. Goode” in the film Back to the Future. John Mayer was trained by Al Ferrante, his guitar teacher, but just for two years. His instructor Tomo Fujita then taught him the trade’s tools.

If you are a fan of John Mayer and want to learn his songs from the right place, you can visit Deplike Guitar Learning App. On the other hand, if you want to become a guitarist like John Mayer, you can check out Deplike’s other articles on guitar techniques, and stay tuned to the Deplike Blog for new ones!


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