Connecticut native John Mayer is an American singer-songwriter who has released seven studio albums, but does he write his own songs?
John Mayer is a gifted songwriter and musician who pens all of his songs. The majority of his tracks are written solely by him, and he began writing music as a teenager. Of his seven studio albums, all have been released with Columbia Records.
Read on to learn more about Mayer’s writing skills and his standout guitar skills.
The Role of a Songwriter
John Mayer writes all of his own music, and has done since the beginning of his career.
Forbes recognized Mayer as “one of the sharpest and savviest musical minds you will ever encounter”, who has a complete dedication to his music.
This commitment is nothing new. John Mayer’s obsession with music began when his father rented a guitar for him when he was 13. It soon consumed Mayer’s attention to such an extent that his parents, seriously concerned about their son, took him to see a psychiatrist.
He played in a band in high school and continued to hone his music, starting to experiment with songwriting.
Mayer’s hits are too extensive to list, and his songwriting wisdom regularly features on songwriting guide platforms, to influence and educate aspiring writers.
Explaining the role of a songwriter in an Instagram Live, Mayer told attentive fans “you need to understand that as a songwriter, half of your job is bullshitting yourself, and maybe other people around who are in earshot of you”, adding that you have to begin with “pure bravado”.
Along similar lines, John Mayer gave a radio interview in which he said it’s about forcing yourself to be “fearless” and just getting stuck into the process. He then gave a demonstration of his songwriting process by improvising, using things in his vision as cues.
The result of this approach is that Mayer has hours and hours of audio recordings of him singing the “trash” that comes before the magic, but he jokingly insists that because of this, no one can accuse him of taking credit for songs he didn’t write.
Though John Mayer’s fame has put him under public scrutiny, and drawn speculation for the personal meaning behind his lyrics, Mayer is adamant that songwriting should narrate the lives of listeners, rather than that of the songwriter.
In testament to his skill, Mayer’s friend, Stever Nicks, told Billboard, “everybody matures over the years, but John has a lovely childlike spirit that doesn’t change. That’s what makes a great writer”.
Listen to John Mayer’s song ‘Your Body is a Wonderland’, released in 2002, in the YouTube video below.
Whilst Mayer’s crooning vocals have been key to his success as a singer and performer, Mayer’s music began with a guitar.
His guitar skills have received significant praise and guitar legend Eric Clapton said in an interview after working with Mayer, that he was “gobsmacked” by Mayer’s playing, adding that he’s “extremely gifted, his facility is phenomenal, he is a master”.
Though Mayer has been known to play the guitar almost obsessively, he also loves to collect various models and has a huge collection of equipment.
Among his collection are guitars that Mayer has designed in collaboration with guitar companies such as Fender and PRS Guitars.
It was after a tour in 2004 that Mayer decided on a whim that he wanted to build a guitar. He told Musicradar about his thought process at the time: “I want to build a guitar – I want to put my own hands on a guitar and I wanna build it.” He did, and explained the outcome as a “dream-come-true”.
It’s Mayer’s impressive guitar skills and willingness to jump headfirst into his music that have helped him become an authentic, and best-selling, singer-songwriter.