In the guitar community, when Jon Mayer speaks… a whole lot of folks listen 🙂

Now, maybe you’re a fan, and maybe you’re not, but Jon’s a great player and if you’ve never heard him really dig in and play some blues, I encourage you to do some YouTube searches and find some examples.

Recently, he took to the Instagram and did a lesson, of sorts, that seemed to set the internet all a flutter…

So I watched it… and wouldn’t you know, it’s something I’ve talked about for years 😉

First, here’s his video, skip ahead about 5 minutes and watch a little… it’s a little jumpy, and if you’re not fairly comfortable with blues soloing it’ll be tough to follow, but I think you’ll get the idea:

What he’s talking about is a concept that I call “left facing” and “right facing” patterns that revolve around root notes. Here’s is the concept as I teach it, this video is from 2014, but it’s still just as relevant today as it was the day I made it:

And if you like the flash card idea, I’ve got a tool now to do this for you here. I recommend it to all of my students, so I hope you’ll try it out.

Now, I will admit, that Jon talks a little bit more about migrating your licks to these other options when it comes to playing your scales. If you’ve comfortable with that, it’s a great idea, but most people aren’t that comfortable looking at their scales in this way, so get that going first. Once you’ve done that, trying out your licks in different patterns will make sense.

    15 replies to "Jon Mayer Agrees With Me"

    • John Biotelho

      Thanks alot Griff , you are a great player as well . I appreciate and enjoy everything you put up . I love John Mayer saw him several times and watch his videos as well . I love the blues and can’t get enough. Thanks again . Stay safe be well . Johnny B. Somerset Ma.

    • juan

      great lesson.just made all my flash cards,,thank you very much

    • Ken M

      Tks for the link to the Jon Mayer video. I have two of his cds but I rarely listen to them ,
      He is one of the very best guitar players around. I just wish he’d play more BLUES .
      The video demonstrates how much fun playing can be . Yes I did see your lesson a few years ago on left and right facing pentatonic scales And I am still practicing the concept.
      But man he can play !!!!

    • Gregory L. Senich

      Some months ago I was watching a Ross Campbell video and he was flying through some odd licks to try to explain something–not the licks–and for some reason I got attached to one, so I proceeded to attempt it. Quite odd and complicated for me. On and off for weeks I worked on it until I had it. (It really took that long for me to get it). Then, remembering your advice, I decided to take it to another box. Wow, how odd again, but it came quicker. Then I did another box. Due to the nature of it, that was all it work with but it was SO Fun to be able to place it anywhere, and it sounds unique in each box–not to mention feels so new. Now I spend more time looking for other ways to place licks in different boxes. I think that trainer may well have helped me a lot in this journey to move them around. You’re undoubtedly the best ‘splainer I’ve ever seen. I feel blessed to have run across you ‘lo those years ago. Stay Well.

    • Christopher Morris

      I love the flash card tool and use it fairly often. This and your note naming exercise have become part of my regular practice routine. Once I deal and find the root, I don’t think in terms of boxes but look for the intervals. Usually after the first interval (either a major second or a minor third) the rest of the scale falls under my fingers. It is only then that i realize, “Okay, that’s box 3.”

    • John

      Wouldn’t watch 45 minutes of Mayer holding forth if you paid me. Don’t care how good he is or isn’t. My attention span is barely more than 45 seconds. He wore me out in the first 15 seconds. This is why I’m not a better guitar player, but I swear Mayer never goes anywhere without at least one mirror.

    • Dave R

      Mayer’s video suffers from a problem I’ve seen (heard) with a lot of on-line instruction videos. The volume on his guitar is WAY louder than his voice.

    • Scott R

      Thanks Griff…. as is often the case, you’re up there at the front of the pack.
      I’ll go back to this, as I didn’t fully catch it first time round…

      Lastly, JM’s idea of an intermediate player, and my definition are vastly different.

    • Donald Wolfe

      Isn’t this blatant plagiarism? Griff you have made multiple videos demonstrating connecting major and minor scales – You have, which I have, a great course on this. I’ve seen other guitarist demonstrate the 3 fret rule as the way to connect them. AND EVEN MAYER SAID THIS LEFT RIGHT IDEA CAME TO HIM THE LAST COUPLE OF YEARS!!!!!!! I couldn’t bring myself to watch his whole video, a minute or two was enough. But I’m sure a big check is headed your way!

      • DirtyHippieFeats

        Yeah, I’m sure he never heard this while at Berklee

    • tommytubetone

      Your courses made John Mayer’s lesson understandable, otherwise I’d be scratching my head. He’s a good player but not the best teacher. 😎👍

    • Barry Stephens

      Hey Griff – interested in this process. Is there a left-handed version of your ‘flashcard’ tool?

      • Stew Wyndham

        I knew a Barry Stephens, last known residence was in Abbotsford. Are you the same guy? Stew

    • Keith Kuepfer

      Thanks for sharing this one, Griff. Though most of it is currently a physical impossibility for me just yet, thanks to you teaching, I actually understand what Jon Mayer is talking about. For me that’s huge!

    • Graeham

      Justin Sandercoe also sees it that way. It’s probably the best analogy and therefore teachers may come to the same conclusion independently. Good wishes to all other BGU fans.

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