“When he signed his note, ‘Your friend,’ I truly felt like he meant it. I am really friends with John Mayer!” Meet Ryan Woodard – the 17-year-old artist who was gifted his dream guitar by John Mayer following a viral cover of Gravity

Ryan Woodard
(Image credit: Press/Ryan Woodard/Instagram)

When Reginald Guillaume of the Guitar5000 YouTube channel set up his filming equipment outside the Anaheim Convention Center earlier this year to film some impromptu street collaborations with NAMM 2023 attendees, he probably had no idea what he was about to set in motion.

During filming, he came across Ryan Woodard – a talented, then-only-16-year-old guitarist and singer living with autism, who answered Guillaume’s sign that invited passersby to sing a song with him. Woodard quickly spoke of his love for John Mayer, and before long the two were performing Gravity.

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Matt Owen
Senior Staff Writer, GuitarWorld.com

Matt is a Senior Staff Writer, writing for Guitar World, Guitarist and Total Guitar. He has a Masters in the guitar, a degree in history, and has spent the last 16 years playing everything from blues and jazz to indie and pop. When he’s not combining his passion for writing and music during his day job, Matt records for a number of UK-based bands and songwriters as a session musician.