John Mayer’s 2000s Fender Stratocaster Custom Shop (Charcoal Frost Metallic)

access_time First seen circa 2003

John first appeared with this guitar sometime after the release of Heavier Things album, circa late 2003. The guitar was likely a Fender Custom Shop master-built and served the purpose of a back-up guitar for the upcoming tour.

One of the earliest photos of the Charcoal From Metallic Strat

The earliest known photo of the Charcoal From Metallic Strat. December 28th, 2003, NYC. Photo by TommyGuitars

If you happen to come across an interview where John mentioned these early Strats with stripe design, please be sure to get in touch. While the specs on the post-2004 models are relatively known, since they were based on John’s Artist series, these early guitars are pretty much still a mystery.

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access_time 1994

1990s Squier Stratocaster

This was John’s first ever electric guitar, acquired and used most likely sometime between 1991 and 1993. Prior to this, John was using an acoustic guitar which was rented from a local guitar shop, although there might have been a couple of more acoustic guitars going through his hands before he eventually acquired this Squier. [John […]

access_time 2004

2004 Fender Black One Stratocaster

This is perhaps the guitar that John is most often associated with, at least during his most popular years. It was built by Fender Custom Shop master-builder John Cruz in Corona, California in late 2004 – with direct input from John, who also participated in some of the handworks. The guitar was delivered to Mayer in November 2004. I […]

access_time 1996

1996 Fender SRV Stratocaster

John acquired this Stevie Ray Vaughan Signature Stratocaster in 1996, trading it for a Takamine 12-string acoustic and a Mesa Boogie distortion pedal, and paying the difference from the money he made working at a gas station. He used the guitar for bedroom practice in the early years, and during the two semesters spent at […]

access_time 1994

1990s Fender/Squier Stratocaster

John was first seen using this guitar sometime in the summer of 1994. At that time, he was playing in a band called ‘Another Roadside Attraction’ [John Mayer: Someday I’ll Fly – 3:35]. The guitar likely directly replaced the black Squier that John played prior to this. What’s particularly interesting about this guitar is that, […]

access_time 2005

1963/64 Fender Stratocaster

John acquired this guitar sometime prior to the Continuum album (mid to late 2005), and used it on at least one song during the studio sessions (see quote below), but at the time of writing this, it is unknown which one in particular (if you happen to have any information regarding this, please be sure to get in contact). From then […]

access_time 2003

1960s Fender Stratocaster (Heavier Things)

This guitar was featured on the cover of John’s 2003 album ‘Heavier Things‘. It is possible that the guitar was used to some extent during the studio sessions, although there doesn’t appear to be any official word on it from John. If you happen to come across an interview where there’s gear mentioned in relation to […]

access_time 2005

Fender Custom Shop John Cruz 1962 Relic Stratocaster

Mayer started using this guitar during the Trio era to play the song ‘Gravity’ live. As far as studio usage, there are photos of Mayer playing this exact guitar in the studio during the recording of Continuum (one of those photos was posted on John’s Instagram account – of him smoking a cigarette and sporting a fake […]

access_time 2003

Fender Monterey Stratocaster

John started using this guitar sometime towards late 2003. One of the earlier appearances of the guitar was on December 30, 2003, on Late Night With Conan O’Brien, when John played a set with Buddy Guy and Double Trouble. The guitar was subsequently used on the 46th Annual Grammy Awards show on February 6th, various dates throughout the 2004 tour in […]

access_time 2007

Fender Reverse Proto Stratocaster

This guitar was used by John during the 2005 John Mayer Trio tour. It was also used on some later dates, including Mayer’s performance at the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles, California on December 8, 2007, which was eventually released as a live DVD album ‘Where the Light Is’ [Where The Light Is: John Mayer Live In Los […]

access_time 2018

PRS Silver Sky

John started using this guitar in early 2018. It has been developed as a close collaboration between Mayer and Paul Reed Smith, the main goal being designing an instrument that would be a future of the classic design, taking inspiration mainly from early 60s Strat models which John is known to favor. It’s been a dream […]

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