John Mayer and Cory Wong swap signature guitars and trade licks in new studio jam session

John Mayer and Cory Wong
(Image credit: Cory Wong/Instagram)

We’ve heard many tales of guitar heroes swapping signature guitars, such as rockers Adrian Smith and Richie Kotzen on their debut album, but the latest installment in this niche six-string saga is bound to particularly grab the attention of fourth-position fans.

In what is arguably one of the most inevitable team-ups of the year, funk lord Cory Wong joined forces with blues-pop icon John Mayer for a studio session that saw the pair trade both signature licks and signature guitars.

In case you were wondering, Mayer’s PRS Silver Sky is more than capable of keeping up with the Vulfpeck guitarist, who dials up the speed-o-meter of his right-hand for a rapid-fire run-through of The Fearless Flyer’s Assassin.

Mayer – who has previously proven that he sounds exactly the same no matter what guitar he plays – looks equally at home behind Wong’s recently unveiled signature Fender Strat. That should come as no surprise, though, given Mayer was a staunch Strat slinger before he defected to the ranks of PRS.

The Sob Rock sensation also understood the “signature lick” assignment, using the factory-tuned funk machine to play arguably his most well-known melodies: the lead line from Continuum’s Gravity and the progression from Slow Dancing in a Burning Room.

To be honest, you could give Mayer a cardboard box rigged with rubber bands and he’d somehow make it work, so giving him Wong’s well-spec’d signature was only going to result in one thing: a demonstration of his remarkable fingerpicking prowess.

The video is less than a minute-and-a-half long – just long enough to be satisfying, but short enough to leave us craving more – so here’s hoping the pair recorded more than just 90-odd seconds of nonchalant noodling. An extended version of the pair trading licks – and playing together – is desperately needed. 

Based on his original Highway One, Wong’s Fender Stratocaster made its debut earlier this year, with the funkateer telling Guitar World, “When you design a guitar with Fender, you want to make it unique, so it stands out against all the other Strats.”

Likewise, the latest iteration of Mayer’s Silver Sky, which arrived in a ‘80s-approved Roxy Pink colorway – the same model that Wong can be seen playing – also came out this year, coinciding with his latest studio album, Sob Rock.

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Matt Owen

Matt is a 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.