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John Mayer: “I’ve never seen more people get more out of playing electric guitar than I have this past year”

John Mayer
(Image credit: Kevin Winter / Getty)

John Mayer always draws a lot of attention, but it seems that recently he has been thinking about how he can use his megastar powers to give something back to the guitar playing community.

Mayer, who released the 80s-flavoured Sob Rock this summer, grew up idolising the likes of Eric Clapton and Steve Lukather and clearly still remembers what it’s like to be a fan. As such, he has spent much of the past year demonstrating the positives of social media, posting clips and goodies for home-bound players to enjoy.

“You know, I’ve never seen more people get more out of playing electric guitar than I have this past year,” he told GuitarWorld. “It is such a community. And it brings me back to my roots as a guitar player, as a guitar player alone in my house. So it’s a way of saying that we’re all in the same boat.”

The guitarist has used his TikTok channel to post videos of everything from playing tips for Neon, to err, 'small dances' (see above), but one of the most popular moves was his Last Train Home Guitar Out mix, which removed the recorded solo and invited fans to record their own takes.

“If I can offer a little support to people who love playing guitar and don’t quite have the opportunity to play as much as they want or in all the situations they want, then I’ll do that,” says Mayer. “Because when we were coming up, we didn’t have anything without a lead guitar, right?”

“I had to play over B.B. King. I had to play on top of Stevie Ray Vaughan. The nerviest move you could ever make! And so if I can say to the mix engineer, 'Hey, will you give me one without the lead guitar?,' I’ll do it.”

In particular, the Mayer has cited Clapton’s 80s-era Journeyman record as a huge influence on his Sob Rock tone and writing and says he understands how much these gestures mean to players. 

“Do you know how flipped out I would have been if I walked through a CD store in 1991 and there was an Eric Clapton import CD from Australia or something that said, 'Journeyman – Lead Guitar Out Version'? I would’ve never gone back to school! I would’ve never left the house. I think about that sometimes. And so that’s why I’m always going to keep doing it if I can. And I can. So I will.”

Check out the full John Mayer interview over on GuitarWorld.