Songwriting Sessions with John Mayer

By 
Danielle Dreilinger
October 31, 2008
Mayer focused on making each song the best it could be, paying close attention to such details as rhythm and phrasing.
Mayer told Keppie Coutts not to be scared a producer would change her song too much: "You're only going to work on what you're willing to compromise," he said.
If he hit it right, Mayer told Mike Aljadeff, "you'll see people who've never heard the song singing along to it before it's done—it's that sort of chorus."
Lee Moretti plays her song for Mayer.
Mayer joked with the students in the Mix One control room over minor technical snafus.
Aljadeff played his chorus to get Mayer's input on how to set up the drama of the song.
Mayer with Berklee president Roger H. Brown
The group in Mix One studios. Front row (left to right): Mike Aljadeff; Stoddard Backall; Will Wells; Berklee professor Tomo Fujita; Alison Rapetti. Back row (left to right): Songwriting Department chair Jack Perricone; alumna Keppie Coutts; Mayer; Erica Stenquist; Liz Longley; Lee Moretti.
Photo by Phil Farnsworth
Photo by Phil Farnsworth
Photo by Phil Farnsworth
Photo by Phil Farnsworth
Photo by Phil Farnsworth
Photo by Phil Farnsworth
Photo by Phil Farnsworth
Photo by Phil Farnsworth

Students come to Berklee expecting to hear talks from world-renowned artists, and maybe shake a hand or two. But would they have imagined getting a personal songwriting session with John Mayer?

Along with talking to a standing-room-only crowd at the Berklee Performance Center, Mayer came down to ground level—coaching aspiring songwriters the week of October 6. Though he's known for his stage presence, he shone in putting his talents to serve other people's songs.

Twelve students and one alumna, chosen by songwriting faculty with input from knowledgeable people across the college, played their compositions for Mayer and got one-on-one expert feedback on improving their work.

Mike Aljadeff, Jonathan Carr, and Keppie Coutts '08 got even more: Mayer's services as a producer recording their tracks at Mix One Studios. Click on the photo to see more.