As a guitarist/teacher, I collect guitar instructional materials and anything else that would be helpful.
When I started on guitar I was sort of a Pat Metheny disciple for a while and I still find a lot of his music extremely inspiring.
But this book meets only my criticism, let me explain why.
This book takes the following form:
- A short introduction, which is supposed to explain the process behind this output, i.e. 'mindless noodling'.
- A bunch of etudes, comprised of long streams of 8th notes, a lot of which containing patterns one could just as easily extract from things like Bach etudes and such.
What would be helpful?
As said by other reviewers, this book contains long 8th note lines in standard notation and tabs, but no chord suggestions, no explainations at all as to various ideas or how to get something out of them.
If there would be at the very least an accompanying CD where everything could be listened to as played by Metheny himself, that would be a major improvement, but not enough.
There would have to be definite assurance about positions aswell as fingerings, because with these transcriptions we cannot be sure that these are the actual frets/strings these phrases were played on.
To me, the concept of it isn't clear enough. What we as eternal guitar students need, is insight into the process and most helpfully an explaination by the artist himself as to where he's coming from and how to apply the underlying principles that lead to stuff like this.
I would prefer detailed notes for each and every etude, where specific patterns would be highlighted by naming measure numbers, explaining sequences, stuff like that, in the very least as one may find in the various "Signature Licks" series by Wolf Marshall (of which I find the analysis somewhat minimal, but good enough).
If it is Metheny's intention to communicate that these are things that cannot really be explained, I see no reason to put in the effort of producing this material, other than making a quick buck on it.
Helpful would be:
A DVD with Metheny doing one of his 'warmups', where he would interrupt himself and explain where he's coming from. For example: "Ah, here's a pattern I learned 23yrs ago when I was out on the road in Spain and working from a bunch of Bach Cello Suites. These seemed to have creeped up in my playing along the years. What you could do to get some benefit from stuff like this, is practise this:......"
Stuff like that.