Growing up in Fairfield, Connecticut, Mayer listened to pop music, but it was not until the age of thirteen that his inspiration for playing the guitar began. When a neighbor gave him a Stevie Vaughan tape, Mayer discovered the blues and learned how to play the guitar. After two years of practice, he started playing at blues bars and other venues in the area. While in high school, he was in a band called Villanova Junction.
After playing the guitar for several years, Mayer enrolled in the Berklee College of Music in Massachusetts at the age of 19. He soon realized that instead of studying music, he was more interested in writing and playing it, and chose to cut his studies short in favor of moving to Atlanta, Georgia. He began his career in earnest there, quickly making a name for himself in the local coffeehouse and club circuit.
Mayer has toured with many groups, including the Counting Crows and the Wallflowers. Some of his most popular and well known songs include "No Such Thing" and "Your Body Is a Wonderland". He won the 2003 Grammy Award for Best Male Pop Performance.