John Mayer’s 2000s Fender Stratocaster Stevie Ray Vaughan Signature #2

access_time First seen circa 2003

John was first seen using this Stevie Ray Signature Stratocaster in Australia 2003 [John Mayer – Live at Music Max in Australia, September 23, 2003], but it is likely that he owned the guitar for at least a few months back, and used it during the 2003 US tour. If you happen to find photos and/or videos from anywhere between late 2002 and late 2003 with John using this guitar, or for that matter – a guitar that is not on this list, please be sure to get in touch.

Since this guitar looks suspiciously similar to John’s first SRV Signature model, it is important to point out that there are differences. First, the wood grain on this guitar is different from the one John had since 1996, especially around the area behind the bridge leading towards the strap button. Second, this guitar features a black pickguard (compared to tortoiseshell on the first one), and lastly, the second guitar does not have a sticker on the back of the headstock, which the old one of course has (more details on this in the 1996 Fender Stratocaster Stevie Ray Vaughan Signature page).

Peek at the back of the headstock of John's second SRV tribute Stratocaster. September 23rd, 2003.

A look at the back of the headstock of John’s second SRV tribute Stratocaster. September 23rd, 2003.

It, of course, makes sense that John would pick up another guitar to use on tour, and save his old Strat from stage abuse and any potential damage that might occur during live shows. He went the safe route and picked up what’s essentially the same exact guitar, allowing him to avoid getting used to new neck shape or pickup sound, that would obviously also influence and change the way his songs sound in a live setting.

For a final note it is worth mentioning that based on video evidence, this guitar was used at least to some extent on John’s second album ‘Heavier Things’, perhaps even in favor of John’s old SRV Strat. If you look at the footage from the studio sessions [John Mayer – Heavier Things Studio Sessions], at around 2:43 you’ll notice that the guitar he’s holding has no stickers on the back of the headstock.

 

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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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