I once heard a guy say that you should never ever play this song at an open mic. My interpretation of that statement…ladies are not impressed by dudes who play this song unless you are the real John Mayer. It is not John’s most macho tune; I would go so far as to call it saccharine. Still, it’s a great song to ease you into what I call the John Mayer hybrid funk-chuck technique. Dudes are also very impressed by chicks who play this song. Any chick who plays this song has my approval.
You can play this song just using plucks and empty chucks…but that would be lame. I mean, if your goal is just to play the song and have it song right, that would be fine. In my opinion, this song has the rare gift of being an easy intro into funk thumb technique, and it is a meaningful albeit slightly cumbersome reduction of the actual band texture. The bass line in this groove is pretty steady, and maintaining the 8th note groove requires simultaneous thumb and finger plucks. That would seem easy enough, but if you watch the video listed below, you will see that John doesn’t just use a pulsing downstroke thumb pluck. No sirree, he slaps it like it’s a bass. He double thumbs like Victor Wooten.
It’s not essential to the sound that you do that. In fact, as I said, it’s a little cumbersome because you have to do that thumb stroke without creating too much of a buzz on the neck. The typical reason for this type of thumb stroke is to get a bass note while getting the bounce-off-the-fret buzz effect, but the vibe of this song would be absolutely destroyed by that sound. To make it work, you have to almost neuter your stroke and thumb is softly…Kind of a good analogy for the whole song. You have this really masculine technique that you mellow out because that’s how your girlfriend likes it. Maybe not the best use of the technique…but it’s a good way to learn this technique. Trust me, this is as easy as this is gonna get, so take it however you can get it. That is my advice.
As is my style, I’ve included a link to a live performance of this song. This particular rendition has a really good window into how he plays the bridge. In other sources it is a little hard to to pick out, but in addition to getting some really good shots of each hand, there is an additional little bridge jam right before the return of the chorus. This section uses riffs and techniques that will show up in the other songs in this miniseries, so if you’re feeling adventurous you might want to start early and learn the bridge jam. You will see as we go on that it is part of a set of phrases that John juggles between all of these songs to make up the in-between sections of the songs.
Full Song/Record Transcription