Potent Pairings: How to Sound like John Mayer

Disclaimer: Our Potent Pairing series aims to get you in the ballpark of the sounds on your favorite recordings using affordable, accessible pedals. The pedals featured are not the exact pieces of gear used on the recordings.

The guitar world was set ablaze earlier this month when full details of the new John Mayer signature PRS Silver Sky were finally revealed, after a year of rumor and conjecture. When we had the chance to try one out in the Reverb studio, we figured there'd be no better way to explore its tonal potential than by giving it the full Potent Pairings treatment.

In the video above, we pair a PRS Silver Sky with an array of different pedals and a Fender Super-Sonic 22 to replicate the many tones of John Mayer. With selection from both Mayers' radio-friendly rock records to his straight blues work, we tried to cover the gamut of Mayer's playing styles using The Dude from J. Rocket on a fairly clean setting for a Dumble-like base coat.

On "I Don't Trust Myself (With Loving You)," we used a tap tremolo to trigger a Q-Tron Plus Envelope Filter as a stand-in for Mayer's original use of a setting on the Roger Linn Andrenalinn III. A Zvex Woolly Mammoth through a TS808 got us most of the way to the sound of the pricey Cornish NG-2 that John uses.

And that's just a few of the tricks we employed here—watch the video above to see how close where were able to get to the tones of John Mayer, and click on any of the graphics below for more on each of these pedals.

"I Don't Trust Myself (With Loving You)"
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"Rosie"
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"Something's Missing"
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"Slowdancing in a Burning Room"
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"In Repair"
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"Crossroads"
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"Wildfire"
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