Pat Metheny Changed my Approach to Guitar Playing Part 1
As a guitarist from a blues and rock background who relied heavily on the pentatonic minor scale, I was really stepping out of my comfort zone when I first discovered jazz guitar.
The song that first sparked my interest in jazz was a version of ‘Our Spanish Love Song’ performed by Pat Metheny and Charlie Hadden, and I was blown away by Metheny’s approach to the fretboard. This tune is not too complex and fairly easy to listen to compared to other jazz tunes, and this is what dragged my narrow mind into this genre of creativity and expression.
The simple yet dissonant melody captivated me, and I instantly set myself the goal of trying to learn it. I had been playing guitar for nearly 4 years at this point so learning the melody was not too difficult, however I experienced some problems when trying to figure out the accompanying chords which set the foundation for this hook.
In my first 4 years of playing, I was only learning the songs that I enjoyed at the time and would very rarely experiment with new music.
This would include mainly classic rock songs, a few metal riffs and all the blues licks I managed to stumble across. This was fine and I was having a good time with my practice, but if I wanted to become a more well-rounded guitar player I knew I would have to venture into other musical avenues.
Being able to play different genres for me, meant I was going to feel much more competent as a guitarist.
And with dreams and hopes of becoming of a professional musician, I felt that being able to play at least some jazz will be very useful. As it’s sampled and come up in many pieces of music.
Jazz is very different to other genres of music, and for many guitar players. They consider it to be a much more difficult challenge.
That’s why I wanted to try to play this song. But on top of that, I wanted to actually understand the music and what it meant for me.
Instead of just coping the music as it says on the page. Even though that was difficult enough. There’s a lot of tricky fingering in jazz. and some of the chords and their names are just bizarre.
Anyways it was a great challenge and a lot of fun. If you would like to hear more about it, then read my part 2!