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Old 03-31-2013, 02:14 PM   #1
Dom Hawthorn
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John Mayer Tone!?!?!? ARGH!

Hey, so I'm a big John Mayer fan, and like many I'm a huge fan of the tone he gets from his 'The Black One' strat. I know most of his tone is to do with the pickups, but I was just wondering if anyone knew how to get close to his tone without the scooped mid pickups?

This is my tone at the moment. The pickups are fender custom shop texas specials, and I'm using the blackface model in guitar rig.

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Old 03-31-2013, 02:15 PM   #2
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Old 03-31-2013, 03:58 PM   #3
stuntman chris
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i think i read somewhere he also owns a dumble or some other obscene piece of gear
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Old 03-31-2013, 04:07 PM   #4
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I get a damn good tone that's fairly close with my Gibson SG through a vox ac30 and a voodoo lab sparkle drive. I think tone, while influenced a shit ton by gear, still has a lot to do with playing style
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Old 03-31-2013, 04:12 PM   #5
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Tada!
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Old 03-31-2013, 04:20 PM   #6
GonzoBeatz
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He uses Big dipper pickups in positions 2 and 4 with a Dumble Steel String Singer and his Two Rock signature. He also uses lot's of pedals including a tubescreamer, Marshall Bluesbreaker and a Klon Centaur.

I'm kind of a fan...

If I were you I'd get into the 2nd postition (Bridge and Neck pickup) Make yourself a clean tone and then mess with the EQ until you get that JM tone, then add a touch of reverb. You can then built your dirty tone from there either by boosting the gain on the amp sim or by adding any digital overdrive pedals inside guitar rig. Remember not to much distortion it's mainly just a boost. Also watch out for any tone shaping knobs on the pedal, they will mess with your EQ
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Old 03-31-2013, 07:01 PM   #7
food1010
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Don't fail to overlook how much technique affects tone. You likely wont get the same tone, even with the same gear and settings.

I mean, it'll be close, but that does make a significant difference. You'd be better off trying to make your own tone better, rather than imitating his tone.

Edit: I just noticed you're using Guitar Rig. As good as that program is, you won't get the tone of a real amp with any software.

I have a big beef with amp modeling in general. If you want that tone, you need that gear. Simple as.
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Old 03-31-2013, 09:32 PM   #8
wiggedy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dom Hawthorn
Hey, so I'm a big John Mayer fan, and like many I'm a huge fan of the tone he gets from his 'The Black One' strat. I know most of his tone is to do with the pickups, but I was just wondering if anyone knew how to get close to his tone without the scooped mid pickups?

This is my tone at the moment. The pickups are fender custom shop texas specials, and I'm using the blackface model in guitar rig.


He's got a lot of pedals


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Old 03-31-2013, 09:41 PM   #9
TDKshorty
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Like Food says, technique is a big part of it. I don't think he uses a pick, and anytime I use my fingers, I can pull of a john mayer tone. I really have to grip whichever string with my index finger and thumb.

I don't know how to explain it, I just kept messing around until I found his tone, by just imagining it and then playing until I got it.
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Old 04-01-2013, 03:04 AM   #10
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Volume baby buy a good tube amp. All that tone is in the contrast of the dynamics. On a tube amp when you pick harder the tone shapes, and he just has a different dynamical volume sweetspot for every moment.

This is btw most often the way to get a good tone in general.

Think of it as speech. You talk with a different certain dynamic and tone for everything you say, whether it be something funny,serious or exciting..yet it is always recognizable as your voice/you.

I think ur base tone is good, but you need to play it on a more dynamic amp.
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Old 04-01-2013, 07:55 AM   #11
AlanHB
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TS buy a real amp.
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Old 04-01-2013, 04:33 PM   #12
Dom Hawthorn
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Thanks for all the replies guys, helpful stuff. I know john mayer uses two rock amps and other really expensive equipment, but unfortunately I can't afford that kind of gear. Maybe I should have worded my question better. Does anyone have an idea of how I can get a good John Mayer tone with the stuff I already have? The stuff I already have being guitar rig 4, and a Vox AD50VT, and a Marshall Guvnor pedal. I'm a strong believer in the 'tone comes from the fingers' thing, but I also gear settings and stuff have a fair bit to do with it. Also, I'd just like to clarify I'm not trying to imitate JM's tone so I can use it like, for all my playing, I use different tones for different things and I'm just trying to get a decent JM tone for when I'm playing JM stuff

Thanks again for all the replies! As I said, really helpful!
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Old 04-07-2013, 10:32 PM   #13
Vantage
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From a fellow Mayer imitator (even though he is one too), I'd have to say the closest you can get to his "sound" is with a Fender amp, strat in neck or neck/middle pup position, learn his licks and try not using a pick.

A BD-2 or a TS9 type pedal would work wonders too. Those big dipper pickups aren't absolutely necessary to get really close to his tone.

EDIT: ALSO, roll off the volume knob on the guitar. Set it to 6-8.
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Old 04-08-2013, 12:11 AM   #14
cdgraves
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I don't listen to much Mayer, but it sounds like plain strat tone. Also, he's heavily influenced by players like Jimi Hendrix, so look there, too.

Most of your tone is in the fingers. Make sure you have solid legato technique (bends, slides, hammers/pulls/trills), as well as good vibrato. Right Hand nuance is extremely important - practice all degrees of accenture with the pick, from very light to aggressive and snappy.

And slather the technique on like butter, seriously. Use pre-bends, grace note slides, heavy vibrato, trills. That stuff should be automatic.

Getting good technique will get you sounding professional, which means you can do a decent imitation of whichever players you like. But don't expect results overnight.
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