We know that you know that tone is in the hands. Still – like watching Lewis Hamilton drive a cheap, compact car (opens in new tab) – it's always a blast to watch an electric guitar hero take flight, and sound just like themselves, on a relatively cheap rig.
Such is the case in this video from August, which shows blues guitar master John Mayer nailing his slow-burn classic, "Gravity," with a youth band.
Shot on August 8 at LA's Fernando Pullum Community Arts Center, and posted to Instagram (opens in new tab) by the Center's Executive Director, Fernando Pullum, the video shows Mayer – armed with an Epiphone Les Paul through either a small Roland or Fender combo – playing the song's gorgeous intro perfectly.
Now, such a rig is nothing to be ashamed of. It's just that Mayer's usual setup consists of his signature PRS Silver Sky and guitar amps from the likes of Dumble or, more recently (opens in new tab), Fractal amp modelers.
Though Mayer kindly cedes the solo to one of the students backing him, you can hear from the intro that – even with gear most commonly associated with beginners – his playing doesn't lose one bit of its extraordinary expressiveness and vibrato.
We can think of few better ways, as a guitar student, to learn the "tone is in your hands" lesson than seeing a master prove the adage true firsthand...
Jackson is an Associate Editor at GuitarWorld.com and GuitarPlayer.com. He’s been writing and editing stories about new gear, technique and guitar-driven music both old and new since 2014, and has also written extensively on the same topics for Guitar Player. Elsewhere, his album reviews and essays have appeared in Louder and Unrecorded. Though open to music of all kinds, his greatest love has always been indie, and everything that falls under its massive umbrella. To that end, you can find him on Twitter crowing about whatever great new guitar band you need to drop everything to hear right now.
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