Top 10 John Mayer Fingerstyle Songs

John Mayer's famous fingerstyle playing techniques shown in a video. From his oldest to his most recent songs.

Ultimate Guitar
Top 10 John Mayer Fingerstyle Songs
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John Mayer is a very talented musician so it shouldn't come as a surprise that he's a master of the guitar fingerstyle technique as well. Fingerstyle guitar is the technique of playing the guitar by plucking the strings directly with the fingertips, fingernails or picks attached to fingers, as opposed to flatpicking (plucking individual notes with a single plectrum, commonly called a "pick"). 

1) We kick off this list with "Why Georgia," a song from the very first studio album of John Mayer, "Room for Squares." A great fingerstyle song with a slight slap of the right-hand thumb and lots of hammer-ons and pull-offs. And note that he does a lot of fretting with his left hand thumb.

2) "Neon," probably one of his most difficult fingerstyle songs to play and with this LOW E string tuned to C it sounds pretty unique too. The weird right hand technique of using just the thumb and the index when you play four strings in a row in combination with the difficult left hand shapes makes it a real finger twister!

3) The third song is probably the most iconic, from his wonderful album "Continuum," is "Stop This Train." This song features his signature fingerstyle technique of doing a slap combined with his index finger strumming a note, or a chord. Very hard to master, but when you got it you can use it on a lot of occasions!

4) "Heart of Life." A beautiful song, originally played on the electric, but live also played on the acoustic. What he does in this song is incorporating a melody on top of the chords, combined with his signature slapping technique.

5) "Free Falling." A song originally written by Tom Petty. Beautifully performed on his "Live in LA" DVD with David Ryan Harris and Robbie McIntosh. Just using three chords, but the beauty is in the nuance of the fingerpicking and playing melodies over the chord changes.

2 comments sorted by best / new / date

    that John Mayer is a hell of a guitarist - was hoping it was going to be him in the video though, or a collection of the actual parts of the songs he played on.