Waiting for your favourite artist to release new music can be a painful thing. So, with John Mayer’s new album on the way and a handful of eight-second previews of a new single uploaded to TikTok, guitarist Mary Spender took on the task of completing the track herself.
Mayer broke the news about his upcoming album last week on TikTok. Revealing that the as-yet-untitled album was ready for release, he shared a post captioned: “My album is recorded, mixed and mastered. I’ve just been chilling and sharing it with friends for the past couple of months.” He then started sharing preview clips of an 80s-inspired track, which provided the basis for Spender’s songwriting exercise.
While not a practical way of hearing music before its release, the exercise does provide a great jumping-off point for exploring the nuts and bolts of songwriting. As Spender herself says in her video: “I thought it might be fun… just to challenge myself. He’s been dropping eight bars in these little TikToks… What’s the worst that could happen?”
The process started with Spender learning the guitar and vocal parts that were actually available on TikTok. From here, the verse and middle eight had to be written from scratch – based, of course, on the feel and sound of the bars available. To create a more Mayer-esque solo, Spender brought her PRS Silver Sky into the mix as well.
While the copyright status of Spender’s finished track would probably require a room full of lawyers to establish, Mayer is yet to take down Spender’s video – in fact, he took to Instagram stories to praise the finished product. Whether that’s because she got nowhere near, or he’s trying to save face after she successfully figured out the full track, doesn’t matter in the end, as in any case, the video is an excellent exploration of how a song comes together.
You can see the results in Spender’s video below.
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