"It is an interesting instrument because nobody agrees on it" – Pat Metheny explains the fundamental way the guitar is unique in music

Pat Metheny
(Image credit: D'Addario / YouTube)

Jazz great Pat Metheny recently sat down with D'Addario guitar strings to talk guitar and his perspectives on the instrument. It's easy to forget that Metheny isn't just a pioneering jazz fusion musician and composer, his progressive mindset has extended to gear with everything from strings to the type of delay setup he uses. As a musician who began on trumpet – he's also able to view the guitar in context, including what makes it so unique.

"My oldest son who's great, he's a really cool guy – he always has an interesting perspective," says Metheny. "When he was about eight, he said [about the guitar], 'I like it, but guitar, it's so 20th century'.

"However guitar, all it is is an instrument – all anything is is a potential manifestation tool. It is an interesting instrument because nobody agrees on it. Nobody agrees how to hold it, nobody agrees how to touch it, nobody agrees how to play it. Every person that picks it up finds their own way to do it. There's no other instrument quite like that – almost every other instrument has, this is how you play that instrument. There is not that with guitar. And, you know, that's pretty cool."

Agreed! Check out the full interview – and more about the XL Chrome electric guitar strings he developed with D'Addario – in the video above.

Rob Laing
Guitars Editor, MusicRadar

I'm the Guitars Editor for MusicRadar, handling news, reviews, features, tuition, advice for the strings side of the site and everything in between. Before MusicRadar I worked on guitar magazines for 15 years, including Editor of Total Guitar in the UK. When I'm not rejigging pedalboards I'm usually thinking about rejigging pedalboards.