John Mayer’s acoustic guitar is a Martin OM28-JM. This is a signature model made for him by Martin Guitar. He’s used this instrument since 2003 to play live concerts and has also used it to record in the studio.

How to Sound Like John Mayer

To achieve the distinctive sound of this master guitarist when he performs on acoustic, you’ll need three things. Fantastic technique, a big dose of talent, and a great instrument.

Lots has been written about Johns’s electric guitars. But in this post, we’ll answer a different question. What acoustic guitar does John Mayer play, and how can you play one like it. (Well… almost like it)

Also, we’ll look at a few other secrets to his sound.

The Martin OM28-JM

Martin Guitars released the first official John Mayer signature model in late 2003. They manufactured only 404 of these guitars. 

John owns at least two of these instruments. He plays one of them extensively. If you look closely at some concert pictures, you can see quite a significant wear mark on the guitar body. It’s below the pickguard near the bridge.

The design of this signature guitar is based on the Martin OM-28 standard orchestral model. However, the Mayer model uses Engelmann Spruce for the solid top and has a slightly different neck taper to the standard model.

Is the John Mayer OM28-JM available to buy?

Unfortunately, no, they sold out almost immediately. However, Martin has released a production line model which is available to purchase. This is the OMJM special edition model which incorporates most of the same refinements as the limited edition OM28-JM.

What strings does John use on his acoustic?

John uses Ernie Ball 2148 Earthwood Light Acoustic Guitar Strings. These are a phosphor bronze string set gauged .011 to .052.

Other John Mayer Acoustic Guitar Models

Martin has released several further JM models. 

The Martin 00-45SC limited edition was released in 2012, and only twenty-five instruments were made. Martin has also released the more widely available 00-42SC production version.

In 2018 Martin released a limited run dreadnought styled signature guitar. The D-45 JM.

What Kind Of Guitar Does John Mayer Play With Dead And Company?

When performing with Dead and Company, John plays an electric guitar designed by Paul Reed Smith. It is the PRS Super Eagle model. 

A signature version, the John Mayer Limited Edition Private Stock Super Eagle II, was released in 2016.

He rarely plays an acoustic guitar with Dead & Company.

What Kind Of Amp Does John Mayer Use?

John has used a wide variety of amplifiers for electric guitar over the years. Typically he has favored single-channel guitar amps with lots headroom to spare. 

In 2017, in collaboration with PRS, he designed a new amp. The J-MOD 100. He currently uses a pair of these signature amplifiers on the road with Dead and Company.


John Mayer is a true artist who has experimented with a tonne of gear throughout his career. He has used a wide variety of electric guitar amps and speakers. However, for a guy who reportedly owns over 200 guitars, his choice of what to play on stage has been pretty consistent. 

For electrics, before his switch to PRS, he favored strats. He still plays his famous (and severely beat-up) black Fender Stratocaster.

His approach to acoustic guitar has been even more consistent. He uses Martin OM style guitars with Ernie Ball phosphor bronze strings all the way.

His Martin OM28-JM remains his weapon of choice.

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