Getting Together with Pat Metheny

So Pat Metheny calls me and says he hears I’m good with the MIDI guitar stuff.

I say well yes its true, so he asks if he can come up and work on some Axon related issues he’s having (Axon is the MIDI system he and I use). He had the new robot project he was working on and wanted to get better results with his Axon.

When he arrives, he watches me play and says that clearly my set up is better because it tracking much more accurately for me than it does for him. So I give him my guitar and he starts to play but now its perfoming very poorly (the Axon, not Pat. He sounds great!).

Turns out Pat has a very unique playing style that causes the Axon to become confused (some machines are such bone heads). Pat picks on the side of the pick and places his left hand fingers more on the frets than in between. This causes more harmonics that the Axon confuses for notes. So it mistakenly starts firing off notes it thinks you want. There is nothing wrong with the way Pat plays in the world of analogue. But when you try to convert those notes to MIDI, then things get messy.

Anyway we worked on it for a bunch of hours and he seemed to be quite happy when he left.

Pat is truly awesome. Very open minded, very warm. He gave me a very kind feedback:

“Not only is Burr Johnson the world’s leading authority on electronic guitar systems and how to get the best and most musical results from them, he is also an absolutely incredible player. He can just flat out burn. The day that I spent with him had a big impact on how I think about using these systems and the tips that he passed on to me reflected his mastery in how to get the guitar to communicate effectively first to the machines, but ultimately to the audience”

Scroll to Top