John Mayer knows his guitar playing skills on “Neon” are impressive, but he didn’t think they would become a trend on TikTok.
During his first show at the Los Angeles Forum on Sunday (Mar. 13), before playing “Neon,” he shared that the song “is interesting to me because it’s one of my oldest songs, and I would have thought that time would just send it down the assembly line and the older songs go in the back and the newer songs go in the front.”
“But, suddenly, this song now feels like a TikTok trick shot video challenge song and I feel kind of bad about it, because I wrote this song when I was playing alone in bookstores and cafés and stuff and wanted to get people’s attention,” he continued. “It’s a little cynical in the sense that it’s like, a little bit of circus trick.”
The “TikTok trick shot video challenge” he’s referring to started back in March 2021, when Mayer uploaded a video to the platform sharing a “guitar tip” on how to play his 1999 hit. The tip was to move your thumb and index finger back and forth on the guitar strings, which is difficult for the normal hand. “U forgot to explain the step where u just dislocate your thumb,” one of the 15,000 comments reads.
“I need a tutorial for this tutorial,” another says. Fans went on to post point-of-view videos poking fun at Mayer’s brief “Neon” tutorial — while subtly flexing that they can play the song.
“I feel bad because I have thumbs like a mile long,” Mayer said at the LA Sob Rock tour stop. “You know, like, the kid in school who could turn his eyelids inside out? That’s sort of what this is. It’s this one freako thing that I can do.”
He went on to flawlessly play “Neon,” only as John Mayer and his mile-long thumbs can do. Watch the whole bit via a fan video below.