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John Mayer Quits Twitter So He Can Write Music Again

John Mayer
Ethan Miller, Getty Images

John Mayer was an addict, and he realized he needed help. Mayer’s crutch wasn’t alcohol or drugs, but Twitter, and he believes he had to quit the social networking site to find time to write songs again.

Mayer said at a recent appearance at the Berklee College of Music that Twitter was not only eating up his time, but it was training him to compress his thoughts into brief soundbites, which made writing meaningful songs more difficult:

“You’re coming up with 140-character zingers, and the song is still four minutes long … I realized about a year ago that I couldn’t have a complete thought anymore. I was a tweetaholic. I had four million Twitter followers, and I was always writing on it. And I stopped using Twitter as an outlet and I started using Twitter as the instrument to riff on, and it started to make my mind smaller and smaller and smaller. And I couldn’t write a song.”

Mayer’s last release was 2009’s ‘Battle Studies.’ He told the students about his new guidelines for his next album: “Here are the rules for recording this record … No drum machines, no loops, no keyboards to start out with, no excuses, no breaks, no laptops, no nothing. If you take a break, it’s to eat. If you’re done, you go home.”

Mayer also advised the aspiring musicians not to resent the success of anyone who doesn’t have the same musical talent they do: “If you’re good, and you know you’re good, and you know you’re better than those people getting paid to do it, you still have to have an open ear … Nobody’s music is the enemy of your music … The idea that someone else has made it when they shouldn’t have made it is toxic thinking.”

Listen to Part 1 of John Mayer’s Berklee College Speech

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