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Is John Mayer any good?


Hardtail

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Before the GP issue a few months back, I never heard of the guy.

 

Since then, I see traces of him all over the place. He has his own guitar from Fender and he's interviewed on SRV's "Live at Montreux DVD".

 

For all of this though, I've never actually heard his music.

 

Is this guy any good? Maybe I'll "buck up" and spend a $1.00 on iTunes for one of his songs to see.

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It's hard to know if he's really good enough to merit the exposure he's gotten so early or if he just has a good marketing staff who knows how to hype him.

 

Well... I reserve judgement on any of this until I at least give his stuff a listen.

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Yeah, he is a good guitarist, pretty rare for a pop musician. He isn't breaking any new ground (yet), but is a decent blues player. From the interviews I have seen, he is passionate about the guitar so he will hopefully keep at it and keep getting better too. I can't call him a guitar hero as such, but he has chops, groove, and tone.

 

If you wanted to check out his guitar playing, the live trio album "try" would be a good one. I haven't bought any of his other albums, which I have heard are mostly pop with guitar kind of held in check. He is known for his songwriting so his playing never turns into what some folks call "wanking". He is always musical and even on extended guitar pieces doesn't seem over indulgent.

 

The main thing is, since he is very popular amongst younger people, he might spur some of his generation to take playing more seriously. The guitar isn't a prop to him like it is for most pop musicians.

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I think it's just the opposite. The first we heard anything of him was "I want to run through the halls of my high school" which in my opinion was a bit too poppy for my tastes. If you watch the show he played with the John Mayer Trio, you'll see that he is for real. His style is very similar to the way Jimi played with a clean sound. Guitarists that play with little or now effects are very confident in their ability to communicate with out any distraction.

Thomas

www.yourhomestudio.com

 

Free Home Studio Newsletter - addmenow@yourhomestudio.com

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Yes I think he is a good player. I I agree that because of his pop image he can do allot for how the instrument is percieved by his peers. On thing I really like is his respect for the blues! I like how he talks about the blues greats and his general attitude towards taking the guitar upward in peoples eyes. I think he in the long ron is going to be one of the good guys!!
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He's a good player, but he sings like he has a mouth full of tobacco juice, and live I can hardly understand him. I like his electric stuff more than his acoustic stuff, but you hardly ever hear his electric stuff. He's just way too mellow and poppy for me though. He's alot like a toned-down version of David Matthews.

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I've got my ship, and all her flags are flying. She's all the I've got left, and MUSIC is her name!!

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johnmatthewsjackmayerdavejohnson or something

 

can't tell 'em apart.

 

is he good? maybe. but he's not interesting or unique enough to stand out or capture my attention. a little too saccharine for my taste.

 

i heard a little bit of a solo from that live "blues" trio he has - at first i thought it might be the allman bros. then i thought it might be srv. after about 8 bars it was clear that it was just some cat that was very good at emulating his heroes.

 

i dont know, it didn't knock me out and it didn't suck. seemed like stuff any decent player could pull off with the same conviction.

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Well this always seems to be an interesting debate. For me personally I think he has some really good chops, especially in the rythym department, but his soloing is not too shabby also. He has done some amount of time at Berklee so he has some schooling in harmony and arrangement. The fact that he has been there is evident to me in some of the chord voicings he plays.

 

I suppose many will take or leave his voice.

 

The guy can write songs that touch people, that is evident. He is hugely popular with the fair sex. I think he is a really good songwriter.

 

He is way more popular and way more finacially solvent by way of it than probably most of us here. So I guess the answer must be..."yes, he is good "

 

It is just going to come down to whether you personally like him or not.

 

I really don't mean to be argumentative, but I don't really get this question, and I have seen it applied to other successful artists... here and elsewhere.

 

To me, if someone makes it to the top or near it and amasses huge album sales and garners huge public popularity, they have to be doing something right. And those who have struggled to get heard, actually spent time in the trenches trying to "make it".... they know how hit and miss it is, how tough and how heartbreaking the rejection can be after a while.

 

This leads those to, more often then not, have a deep sense of respect for anyone who does break through. And if they conduct themselves in such a manner as to stay in good graces with their position, even more respect is deserved.

 

So yeah, I may not be rushing out to buy every Mayer record, but I respect him highly for making it, I enjoy listening to him occasionally, and I don't judge him by what I see in the media.

 

That's my take....Funk Jazz put it really well as welll.

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ABout his voice,,,yes, when he's doing his pop stuff, he uses this dave-mattherws-like, inarticulate mumbling, which I can't stand. When he does his Blues thing, he tries to sound like SRV. He needs to find his own voice.

 

About his playing, he knows what he's doing and how to adapt to the style that he is going for. Because he came onto the scene as a pop singer-songwriter, people were not quick to accept that he has real chops. He does.

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Yeah Fumble, I hear ya, well there are always two ways to look at success in the music business I think. There is the fan/public/non-musician way and there is the musicians way. I think we as musicians tend to assess another players abilities by comparison to our own degree of accomplishment in playing, not in the business of music but strictly in the playing ability. For instance, I would assess a players abilities hearing him in a bar playing situation the same as I would in a concert situation. I would think for instance SRV was as incerdiable a player in any situation. The public I think READS IN their popularity, fame and hype through the media coverage and can be taken in by the show itself eg. lighting, clothes,stage antics, rap on the mike between songs etc. it's the complete show that is important to the public. I think musicians pretty much only look at the abilities on the instrument. I think the players ability to make money is a far second place to how well they play. Yes your point on respect for them being able to make it through the mess that the businees is, is yet another reason to respect them, but again this is second place to their ability on the instrument.
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Originally posted by Squ:

I thought this was cool: http://youtube.com/watch?v=hcHMECuLQiY&search=john%20mayer%20bold

Thanks. I keep forgetting about this YouTubes site. I'm going to have to poke around on it more.

 

I like his playing. He's being safe for the middle America audience here but he definitely has some nice chops. I'm sure he'll improve over time.

 

Vocally, he sounds a little too much like the Blues Traveller. He needs to growl just a little bit more.

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I haven't really been too impressed with anything I have heard him do.

 

I thought that "i wanna run through the halls of my highschool" sucked.

 

I have seen him play lead a few times, he just sounded like a million other blues guys. I live across the street from a blues bar called Memphis Smoke. EVERY SINGLE NIGHT, there are great blues players. I have never seen anyone play there that sucked. My point is, that style is run into the ground. I get so bored listening to guys playing that stuff now. I mean can't ANYONE mix it up a little? You don't have to approach blues playing on guitar like that. I mean when I hear a good pianist playing blues, they do WAY more around the chords and stuff.

 

There was a John Mayer interview somoene posted a few months ago where he really makes himself look like an ass saying NOBODY can bring a pop element into blues, except him. He seemed pretty arrogant, especially the way he said it.

 

Like he thinks he is the greatest or something.

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FLAGSHIPMILE makes a GOOD POINT!:0)... my keyboard guy approaches his blues riffs much differently than I do! He's a Jimmy Smith fan and his right hand blues technique is of that style. I play keyboards but I haven't really ever tried to learn Jimmy Smith style riffs (gonna do though!) there is allot to be learned from listening to these keyboard players and I'm going to get Kurt to sit down with me and see if I can get some interesting blues riffs that he uses coverted over to guitar...GOOD suggestion and observation there FLAG!!!!
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Originally posted by flagshipmile:

I suck at blues because i just play what i want which in the end doesn't sound like blues cuz I dick around too much.

I know exactly what you mean. Because I've "dicked around too much" when "playing the blues", I've made a concious effort to really explore this music better and the guys who do it instead of must spewing out the trusty ol' pentatonic.

 

ellwood has helped me out greatly in my studies.

 

I have no idea if I want to be a blues player. I just know I'm having a lot of fun learning it right now.

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Maybe just cuz I'm young and in the scene, but I really like JOhn Mayer. Room for squares didn't do much of rme but I really like heavier things. I like to think of his music as chill music, like when I relax throw on Heavier things and just jam. Yeah JOhn mayer is the shite.
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John Mayer's been on the GP cover twice in the past few years. I think the only other artist than can claim that (in recent history) is Carlos Santana. So I guss GP rates him highly - a good guitar player who can sell magazines!

 

John Mayer is good by me. Its obvious that he can play/has chops and I guess he wanted to showcase his skills. He's taking a big risk by moving away from his tried and true ($$$) pop style.

 

I also like his music column (Music Lessons with John Mayer) that he writes for Esuqire magazine. In the past, they ran a contest where Mayer published some partial lyrics for a song he couln't quite finish and asked the readers to complete it for him. The lucky winner won one of his signature guitars.

 

Here's a sample...

http://www.keepmedia.com/pubs/Esquire/2005/06/01/805175?ba=a&bi=1&bp=7

"Spend all day doing nothing

But we sure do it well" - Huck Johns from 'Oh Yeah'

Click to Listen to Oh yeah

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He is a good player, but there are TONS of great players out there.

 

Personally, I remember Guitar Player used to actually feature tons of diversity in the 80's. They would have tons of different styles of players that could make it on the cover.

 

Why isn't Ty Tabor worshipped!!?? He is one of the coolest rock players in the last 20 years. Nobody ever talks about him, he has tone, technique, style AND most importantly he writes great songs and riffs. One of the best rythmn players in rock. King's X is given tons of credit for being a pioneer of grunge by the musicians that were made famous. They all know. Too bad nobody else does.

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I like to look at it this way i take the musicians

hat off i don't diesect every little thing a musician does when he plays.Who gives a f$%# if

the the guy can or can not solo over a diminished

scale,or his chord voicing is bad.I never even

thought of shit like this until i started hanging

around guitar players.Musicians got to be the biggest snobs when it comes to music we forget what its all about,we start to get better at our craft,people tell ya how good you are and all of a sudded we become know it all's. :mad:

 

I like him whimpy or the blues it don't matter

the man knows how to connect to the human spirt

The story of life is quicker then the blink of an eye, the story of love is hello, goodbye.
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I don't care what they can solo over. I just care what I hear. If they bore me I turn it off. I don't care about technique, or scales or any of that, songs mostly. Like I think the guy in the Mars Volta rocks.. Musicians ARE the biggest snobs. I don't care for alot of music. I am picky.

 

I think if you went to an art school they are probably snobs too. But somebody has to be picky, it drives the art.

 

Look at the state of radio, and the state of music for that matter. It is in utter shambles. Music that wouldn't float in a toilet is being fed to us every day.. I don't listen, but you know alot of people do.

 

I am not saying John Mayer sux or he isn't good. I am sure he is probably a total badass. I am just moved by the stuff I have heard or seen.

 

But to each his own. I pick apart music because thats all I think about 24 hours a day. I have no choice.

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