Why Georgia (John Mayer)

How to Play Why Georgia by John Mayer (Fingerstyle Guitar Lesson)

  • 5th July 2018
  • Songs
  • 0 Comments

Scroll down for full video lesson (with tab) of Why Georgia by John Mayer.


Why Georgia was recorded in 2001 by guitarist and songwriter John Mayer, it appears on his album 'Room for Squares'. The song was his third single from the album after 'No Such Thing' and 'Your Body is a Wonderland', and went on to reach number 2 on the 'US Adult Alternative Songs Billboard'.

Why Georgia is no. 31 on my Top 60 Fingerpicking Songs of ALL TIME list. If you've not seen the list be sure to check it out and sign up to my weekly email lesson so you don't miss learning any of these great fingerstyle songs.

Mayer is known for his clever songwriting and highly technical guitar techniques. There's no doubt that his songs require some dedicated practice to get to the point of mastering them. He regularly adds percussive taps to his acoustic playing and all sorts of other tricky nuances. In lessons to come we'll be learning his songs 'Stop This Train' (no. 41 on the top 60 list) and 'Neon' (no. 49), which really are quite remarkably well written and difficult to play. Why Georgia is a good stepping-stone before learning either of those two songs and for that reason we're attacking it first.

Mayer has a pick tucked away in his fingers as he fingerpicks the intro/first verse of the Why Georgia, then as he goes into the pre-chorus he pulls it out and starts to strum with it. I recommend taking this approach to playing this song as the pick will cut through a bit more when you come to strumming the chords, but this is optional and you certainly don't have to.

One other thing to watch out for is the percussive taps he has used on the main riff. By knocking your right hand into the strings and hitting them into the frets, you produce a nice tapping sound, this is replicating a snare drum being played on beats 2 and 4. You definitely want to get this in as 1. it sounds 10x better with it and, 2. it's a great technique to have in your arsenal that you'll find yourself using all the time once you have it mastered.

Song Details:

  • Key - G major
  • Tempo - 97 bpm
  • Tuning - standard
  • Difficulty - intermediate/borderline advanced

The Lesson:

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Intro/Verse 1:

Why Georgia Intro

Pre-Chorus:

Why Georgia Pre-Chorus

Verse 2:

Why Georgia Verse 2

Bridge:

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Why Georgia Bridge


If you want to make sure that you're really on the right track with fingerpicking, then try one of my fingerstyle guitar courses - find out more here.

If you have any questions or want to share anything at all, then please leave a comment below.

I hope you've found this lesson useful and thank you for reading.

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