John Mayer’s Songwriting Contest

Cool Contest RD showed me 🙂

Esquire:Feature Story:The Giveaway: John Mayer’s Songwriting Contest: “The Giveaway: John Mayer’s Songwriting Contest

While working on his new album, the Grammy winner offers up a handful of lyrics swimming around his head and asks you to do the rest.

By John Mayer

One of the most natural (and absolutely maddening) facets of creating music is that the product is constantly being refined. What you thought was a brilliant song title yesterday is probably just good enough to be a passing lyric in the third verse. That chorus you lost sleep over? Turns out the chords work perfectly in the bridge of that other tune you’ve been trying to finish for eight months.

I’ve never experienced anything like the recording process involved in making Continuum, my third-album-to-be. The songs continually beg for more work when they fall short of being great. I had been working on a very trance-inducing two-chord tune when I wrote the lyrics below. As it turned out, the song didn’t need lyrics at all. Looking to make some use of the time and emotion I spent writing them, I’ve decided to share a few random excerpts with you here:

I keep a note that I wrote on a taxi receipt

It says, Don’t listen to anybody other than me

I hit the big time for a nominal fee

You lose a friend in the end for every dream that you see come true

I got scars upon scrapes, I’ve got bruises on breaks

Masochistically committed to see how much of this I’ll take

Three years under water, and I ain’t even got the shakes

I’m going deeper and deeper and deeper

I’ve got dreams to remember, I’ve got days to forget

I’ve got some phone calls in to God but he ain’t called me back just yet

I’m still not done with these lyrics. But I don’t want to let them sit idly on my mind’s shelf. So here’s my offer: I’m inviting all aspiring songwriters to write their own chords and melodies around my lyrics. Go ahead, I’m not using them. You can tell people that we wrote a song together. I want to hear what you come up with, so send a CD of your song to the address listed below. The best submissions will be featured here on, and I’ll announce my favorite in an upcoming issue. But don’t be surprised if these words end up in some other song I’ve yet to write. Until they wrap my album in cellophane, anything can happen.

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