Watch John Mayer play an Epiphone Les Paul into a Roland combo – and sound exactly like John Mayer

UPDATE (08.13): The below footage appears to have surfaced from a performance on Sunday August 8 at L.A.'s Fernando Pullum Community Arts Center, which was posted to Instagram (opens in new tab) by the Center's Executive Director, Fernando Pullum.

If you're reading these words, you've likely heard the old adage, 'tone is in your hands.' For those unacquainted with this wisdom, the idea is: even if you take a guitar hero away from their signature, (likely extremely expensive) fine-tuned electric guitar and amp and give them a cheap rig more suitable for beginners, they'll still sound like themselves.

We've seen the likes of Joe Satriani prove this before, and now, a new video of John Mayer has surfaced that gives proponents of this saying still more ammo.

The context of the video – which was uploaded to YouTube earlier this week by user Mic00 (opens in new tab) – isn't quite clear, but it obviously shows Mayer jamming with a (quite competent, mind you) youth band on his classic tune, Gravity.

Though he kindly cedes the song's guitar solo to the band's young guitarist, Mayer – armed with what looks to be an old Epiphone Les Paul played through a small Roland (or perhaps the adjacent Fender) combo – takes on the song's slow-burning, vibrato masterclass of an intro, and sounds... exactly like himself.

Never mind that Mayer's live rig usually consists of his signature PRS Silver Sky and – before he started becoming more fond (opens in new tab) of Fractal amp modelers – elite guitar amps from the likes of Dumble.

After the band finishes up with Gravity, the video cuts to an equally pleasing, horn-heavy jam. If only we could all sound that smooth through any rig...

If this leaves you hungry for more Mayer, be sure to check out the new issue of Guitar World, which features the blues guitar star discussing the joys of channeling ’80s Eric Clapton, his pink Silver Sky and more. You can pick up a copy of the mag via Magazines Direct (opens in new tab).

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Jackson Maxwell

Jackson is an Associate Editor at GuitarWorld.com. He’s been writing and editing stories about new gear, technique and guitar-driven music both old and new since 2014, and has also written extensively on the same topics for Guitar Player (opens in new tab). Elsewhere, his album reviews and essays have appeared in Louder (opens in new tab) and Unrecorded (opens in new tab). Though open to music of all kinds, his greatest love has always been indie, and everything that falls under its massive umbrella. To that end, you can find him on Twitter crowing about whatever great new guitar band you need to drop everything to hear right now.