John Mayer wields ultra-rare Martin double-neck acoustic guitar at first solo arena tour show

John Mayer playing a double-neck Martin guitar
(Image credit: elysiumabovo/YouTube)

Last weekend, John Mayer embarked on his first-ever solo arena tour of North America – an unaccompanied stint around the States that promised to showcase Mayer like we’ve never seen him before.

Indeed, as per the initial announcement, not only would Mayer play predominantly acoustic guitar, he’d also throw a bit of piano in there, too, all while road-testing a handful of new compositions.

However, despite being informed well in advance that we’d be seeing Mayer’s extensive Martin acoustic collection throughout the tour, we weren’t made aware of the exact models the Sob Rock guitar hero would call upon.

As it turns out, Mayer made an eye-catching start to his solo tour by pulling out an ultra-rare double-neck Martin acoustic, which offers both six-string and 12-string fretboards.

The guitar in question saw action for a rendition of Edge of Desire – a track lifted from Mayer’s 2009 album, Battle Studies – and it was the six-string fretboard that was used first for the song’s rollercoaster major scale-based finger exercise.

Around the 3:30 mark in the video above, Mayer migrates to the 12-string ‘board, ratcheting up the volume and treating his solo performance of Edge of Desire to the luxurious chorus-y effect that six extra strings provides.

A Martin double-neck acoustic guitar truly is a sight to behold, and though we’ve got no concrete details surrounding the specificities of the model Mayer used, it looks to be the same one that Martin showcased back at NAMM 2010.

That model was built by Tim Teel, and featured a whole load of pearloid inlays, a shared soundhole for the two necks, a shared bridge and a smattering of high-end appointments that make it perfectly understandable why it never became a production model.

All in all, it looks to be far easier on the eye than those crazy double-neck acoustics that were spotted at Walmart last year.

Joining Edge of Desire on the setlist were many of Mayer’s biggest hits, including Slow Dancing in a Burning Room, Stop This Train, Who Says, The Age of Worry, his popular cover of Tom Petty’s Free Fallin’ and his live-only cut In Your Atmosphere, which has never received a studio release.

And, true to his word, Mayer also debuted a new song, titled Driftin’, for which he used a standard capo-equipped six-string Martin guitar. That track – with its emotive circling of the F# minor chord, capo considered – can be heard below.

The Martin double-neck wasn’t the only eye-catching guitar that John Mayer was spotted wielding last week. During an appearance at the Love Rocks Benefits Concert, Mayer reunited with Fender Jimi Hendrix Monterey Stratocaster for his first blues trio show in six years.

Thank you for reading 5 articles this month**

Join now for unlimited access

US pricing $3.99 per month or $39.00 per year

UK pricing £2.99 per month or £29.00 per year 

Europe pricing €3.49 per month or €34.00 per year

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Prices from £2.99/$3.99/€3.49

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.