Pat Metheny Quotes

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'The Unity Band' project has been life-changing for me. I have led many groups of talented musicians, but this is unlike anything else.
— Pat Metheny

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A lot of jazz artists think people should like what they're doing just because it's jazz. I don't buy that.

Pat Metheny

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For me, let's keep jazz as folk music. Let's not make jazz classical music. Let's keep it as street music, as people's everyday-life music. Let's see jazz musicians continue to use the materials, the tools, the spirit of the actual time that they're living in, as what they build their lives as musicians around.

Pat Metheny

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From 1962 to 1965, the guitar became this icon of youth culture, thanks mostly to the Beatles.

Pat Metheny

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I can't really say enough about Chris Potter. He is one of the greatest musicians I have ever known, and every second I have been on the band stand with him has been an absolute pleasure.

Pat Metheny

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I didn't want there to be a computer on stage. When I see people with computers on stage, I think, 'Are you sending e-mail?' That's so corny.

Pat Metheny

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I don't know if I would qualify as mainstream. I think I have managed to function pretty successfully on the fringes of the music world and have been able to play exactly what I have wanted the way I have wanted.

Pat Metheny

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I don't worry too much about the fundamentalist principles that are in almost any discussion about jazz.

Pat Metheny

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I hate the way chorus boxes sound.

Pat Metheny

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I have three young kids and a great family. I love hanging out with them more than anything.

Pat Metheny

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I love playing and working on music. It is something that I feel really lucky to be able to spend my life doing. And I don't sleep much!

Pat Metheny

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I realized that equipment really had little to do with why I sound like the way I sound.

Pat Metheny

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I saw A Hard Day's Night 12 or 13 times.

Pat Metheny

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I think I have a basic sound aesthetic that is in most of what I do.

Pat Metheny

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I think I represent a more left-wing view of what jazz is.

Pat Metheny

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I think jazz is actually quite unforgiving in its disdain for nostalgia. It demands creativity and change at its highest level.

Pat Metheny

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I used to love going and playing jam sessions, doing things spontaneously. I can't do that anymore. Everything you do is documented, nothing is casual anymore.

Pat Metheny

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I was able to work with the best musicians in Kansas City starting when I was really young.

Pat Metheny

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I was deep in the zone of practicing almost constantly.

Pat Metheny

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I would always contend that talent is an element, but over the long run, ultimately, a minor part of it all; it is mostly hard work.

Pat Metheny

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I'm always inspired when there's a robustness to the material in front of me.

Pat Metheny

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I'm always trying to find 'connections' between things. That art is the juxtaposition of a lot of things that seem unrelated but add up to something recognizable.

Pat Metheny

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I'm triggering acoustic instruments. I'm literally beating, smacking, hitting, blowing, doing physical things. It's an incredibly exciting way to make music.

Pat Metheny

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If we are going to list guitar influences, the biggest one by far is Wes Montgomery. Also, Gary Burton was obviously huge for me in a number of ways. But beyond that, Clifford Brown, Miles Davis and Freddie Hubbard.

Pat Metheny

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If you come to my house, you won't see a wall of trophies or things like that. I'm sort of 'on to the next thing' all the time.

Pat Metheny

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It's more about conception and touch and spirit and soul than whether my hardware was in place.

Pat Metheny

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Jazz is not something that can be defined through blunt instruments. It is much more poetic than that.

Pat Metheny

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Listening is the key to everything good in music.

Pat Metheny

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My older brother Mike is an excellent trumpet player. By the time he was 12, he was playing around Kansas City in classical situations. He was already an amazing talent.

Pat Metheny

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No two notes are ever the same volume. With the guitar, you really have to model in your mind this wider thing; you're trying to create the illusion of a bigger dynamic range.

Pat Metheny

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One of the things jazz has always excelled at is translating the reality of the times through its musical prism.

Pat Metheny

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People sometimes say it takes a long time to become a jazz fan, but for me it took about five seconds.

Pat Metheny

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Somehow, trumpet is the reference point for me - it was actually my first instrument.

Pat Metheny

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Someone who knew me when I was 14 said I was the oldest 14-year-old on the planet. Now I'm a 14-year-old who is 60.

Pat Metheny

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The beauty of jazz is that it's malleable. People are addressing it to suit their own personalities.

Pat Metheny

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The first thing I learned was the theme from Peter Gunn.

Pat Metheny

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The guitar for me is a translation device. It's not a goal. And in some ways, jazz isn't a destination for me. For me, jazz is a vehicle that takes you to the true destination - a musical one that describes all kinds of stuff about the human condition and the way music works.

Pat Metheny

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The pianist Cecil Taylor is extremely melodic; the guitarist Derek Bailey is extremely melodic, and Ornette Coleman.

Pat Metheny

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The reality of music itself, which is the fabric of life for me, is where most of my attention is.

Pat Metheny

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There are musicians who go through their lives sort of shedding their skins. For me, I've always felt backward-compatible to Version 1.0.

Pat Metheny

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There are some musicians who are talented and see themselves as some kind of natural geniuses or something because of a certain amount of natural ability. But that is often rarely the case over the long term.

Pat Metheny

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What I look for in musicians is a sense of infinity.

Pat Metheny

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Whatever my recorded output is, it's a reflection of a general love of music.

Pat Metheny

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When talking about writing, I often use the analogy of archaeology. There are these great tunes all around. Your skill as a musician allows you to pick them out without breaking them.

Pat Metheny

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'The Unity Band' project has been life-changing for me. I have led many groups of talented musicians, but this is unlike anything else.

Pat Metheny