Stop This Train [1/2] by John Mayer

This is Part 1 of a two-part lesson. Find Part 2 here.

This track from John Mayer is a favorite among the guitar community, even if it does give us all a bit of trouble! Off of his smashing “Continuum” record, “Stop This Train” will give you plenty to practice.

For this lesson, I’ve done my absolute best to sort out the fingerings, rhythms, etc. to be as close to the original recording as I could. However, as many of you may well know, John Mayer’s hands are abnormally large – and I mean this in the best way possible! Unfortunately, because of this, I simply can’t manage to get my fingers into some of the positions he does, so I’ve adjusted the fingerings accordingly. I imagine this will be useful to the majority of you watching this, unless you’re similarly genetically gifted as John is.

After sorting through everything and breaking down each component of this song, it feels much less daunting as it did at first. I think you’ll find that it’s not as difficult as you might think it to be, but keep in mind – this is not a beginner-level song! It will (and it should) take a good amount of practice to get some of these techniques down.

The fretting hand is actually not the most difficult component of the song. The chords for this first part are fairly simple, but you’ll probably have to work on your strumming hand deliberately and carefully. In fact, I spent about an hour just getting my thumb to do what I wanted it to do! Getting the techniques down first will ensure that everything is consistent once you go to play the song.