Pat Metheny Changed my Approach to Guitar Playing Part 2

Hope you enjoyed part 1! Where I started to learn the jazz version of ‘Our Spanish Love Song’ performed by Pat Metheny and Charlie Hadden. And how through this experience, my guitar playing & approach really changed.

This is when I stumbled across this Metheny tune and the problems I faced when trying to learn it.

I was so used to playing power chords and simple progressions that my fingers were not used to these extended chords in the song. I must have spent about 2 weeks just trying to get a smooth transition between the first three chords, which were an Fm7, Gm7b5, resolving with a C7. This was my first time experimenting with barre chords which really emphasises the struggles I was going through with this song.

After a gruelling 2 weeks though, I managed to get the transition between these changes sounding relatively smooth.

When I got to the solo section of the song, I was in a state of total disbelief and awe of Metheny’s playing. His phrasing and understanding of the fretboard was something I have never seen in a guitarist and I just had to figure out what he was doing. After a bit of research and watching a few tutorial videos, I came to the realisation that he was using a combination of arpeggios, modal ideas, chromatic lines, whole-tone runs; amongst many other things I hadn’t heard of at the time.

The vocabulary of jazz guitar playing is so unique to each player that it can never be perfect. This is what I loved about listening to Metheny for the first time and why I still love listening to jazz. The intricacies involved can provide you with a constant urge to keep learning.
By stumbling across this one song, I was opened up to the many possibilities available on the guitar. No more was I stuck jamming along to classic rock songs, or recycling blues licks in the pentatonic scale. I have now been playing jazz since 2014 and the significance of it all dates back to expanding my horizons and learning something that was unfamiliar to me. Had I not Listened to Pat Metheny (and other jazz guitarists since), there is no way I would be as good a guitar player as I am today.

In the future, I will definitely try to draw from different genres and inspirations to help me become more competent and also an open minded guitar player.

Other genres that I would love to get better are like fingerpicking songs, like Tommy Emmanuel and even more pop genres like John Meyer.

Here is another Pat Metheny song for you to enjoy.