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Introduction To The Martin Taylor Guitar Academy
This "introduction" block sets the stage for what is to follow. Put down your guitar, and enjoy learning about Martin's background, influences, and philosophy about music and the guitar. If you are anxious to get going, you can skip ahead to the "Underlying Concepts" block or even "Learn By Playing Tunes" block. Just be sure to get back and watch these important videos!
Underlying Concepts
The "Underlying Concepts" block starts very basic and progressively lays down the foundation for Martin's approach to fingerstyle guitar. Even if you are already an advanced guitarist, Martin asks that you go through all of these lessons. This block ends with Martin teaching two versions of the jazz classic "Satin Doll."
Developing Technique & Musicianship
Here we switch almost entirely to music, musicianship, and advanced techniques for making music on the guitar. To get started right, Martin teaches a simple but soulful version of his own composition "True." Martin uses this tune as reference point throughout the curriculum. More techniques flow from Martin's presentation of jazz blues, "Somewhere Over The Rainbow", and "My Romance."
Learn By Playing Tunes
Watch, listen, play. It's all here: A progressive collection of tunes that represent every skill and technique Martin employs in his fingerstyle guitar playing. For many of these tunes, Martin provides a very detailed analysis of all of the techniques employed. All of the tunes are presented with alternate camera angles (you can see exactly what Martin sees using the "topview" camera angle), and slow-motion versions. Many of the tunes have downloadable notation PDF files, though Martin prefers you to use you eyes and ears rather than the notation which can become a "crutch" and inhibit progress.
Auxiliary Lessons
This is the place where material will be placed that relates to specific topics not covered in the core curriculum, such as accompanying a singer, gear, etc.
Guided Arrangements
30 Day Challenge
Video Exchange Archive
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Fingerstyle Guitar Lessons: The Flow: The Psychology of Music and the Guitar Part 1

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Course Description

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I'd like
to speak to you about my philosophy of
music, of, my philosophy of playing music,
and, this kind of musical journey that
I've been on for the last 50 years,
and, I can really, kind of, break this
journey into three, parts.
The first part being, teacher.
Or teachers.
We don't really have one teacher.
We can have a formal teacher.
We can learn from other teachers along the
For the moment, I'm your teacher.
We can learn from people.
If somebody can just play something that
we don't, we, we can't play, for
that moment, they become your, your
So is very important for this first part
of the teacher student process is for
the, just to have an open mind about
everything, to just absorb music,
to listen as much as possible to all kinds
of music.
Don't close your mind to anything.
Listen to, it's amazing where.
You can find inspiration.
For instance, for, for myself, even though
I'm self taught,
I really just picked up the guitar as, as
I went along the way.
My dad showed me a few chords at the
beginning, so
he was like kinda my teacher at the
Then, I'd watch some of his friends play.
They kinda became, unofficially, my
I met Ike Issacs in I think 1977, and
he became the nearest thing to being a
formal teacher for me.
Then when I worked with Stephane Grapelli,
I learned a lot from him.
I've learnt, from, from so many musicians
that I, that I've been in contact with.
That's why, I always like to acknowledge
where this all comes from.
And, sometimes it can be from unlikely
It can be from listening to a musician
that doesn't even play the same
instrument as you.
I've, a lot of my teachers from,
from listening to recordings of, have
played other instruments.
Saxophone players, piano players some of
the great orchestrate,
orchestrators and like Nelson Riddle, and
Billy May.
So these teachers that I've had along the
way I, I'm very grateful for.
And I I've always liked to let everybody
know that
who they were and acknowledge them
whenever possible.
The second point is from these teachers is
the knowledge, the knowledge that they
impart, the knowledge that we receive from
our teachers.
And this is like being, it's like being
given a gift, really to when you have.
And somebody a musician that can pass on
their knowledge to you it, it's,
it's a really it's a great experience to
have on, when it along the way whenever
I've learned things from, from somebody
I've always seen it as being, and given a.
A really gift beautiful gift that I can
then kind of becomes my own to do with it
what, whatever, whatever I want.
And then once we have this knowledge, this
gift, it's then important for
us to share it as well.
And that starts the, that, the whole cycle
of being given.
The knowledge from your teacher.
Then you become a teacher.
Then you start sharing that knowledge with
other people.
The flow is really in, in four parts.
Now, I really break this into create,
vocalize, vocalize and play, and play.
I get a lot of guitar players that come to
see me because they.
Even though that many times, they've been
playing the guitar for a long time.
But they have a kind of creative block,
they've got musical ideas that they know
they want to play, but then they have a
very difficult, great difficulty with
those musical ideas then going from the
mind into the, into the finger tips.
Now, I always I think that everybody is
really everybody's musical.
You can, you can see somebody walking down
the street.
Whistling a tune.
[SOUND] You know, something, whatever off
the top of the head,
they're creating something in their mind.
The only difference is, is a musician we
take that further and we refine it.
And we, we, we get musical knowledge and
harmonic knowledge.
But, when somebody.
We have to kind of go back to that idea
that we can all, all create music.
Now those ideas get blocked from, from
somewhere along
the line between creating those ideas,
those ideas you've got in your mind.
To, to play in them.
And I've found a good way to do this is,
to take those ideas and to vocalize them.
Now for instance I'll, I'll just play you
an idea, play you something here.
I'll just do this.
Now whenever I do that, I,
I always say to guitar, what, guitar
players, what was i doing there?
And usually, they give the wrong answer.
They say that I was singing along to what
I was playing.
It's actually the other way around.
I was playing.
What I was creating in my mind, and I was
creating a bridge by vocalizing it.
So, I was only singing it, as you can tell
I'm not a singer, but
I was vocalizing the musical ideas I had
in my mind.
Then after I vocalized those ideas.
I was, I was playing, playing them there
as well, then I dropped the vocalizing and
I was really those lines I was, I was
playing, but
lines were just coming that I was creating
internally, but
I created a bridge between my musical
ideas to the instrument.
That's where the block comes a lot of the
So, this is something you can practice.
You can practice even without the guitar.
You can walk around, and you can think of
musical things, sing them.
Just sing them out loud.
Don't worry if you can't sing, it doesn't
Sing those ideas.
Then pick the guitar up.
And first of all, you can just sing the
You can, you can just sing the,
the idea first of all, then copy it, then
play it on the guitar.
Then after a while.
You can then do that, in real time.
And as your creating it, vocalizing it,
and playing it at the same time.
Then drop the vocalizing.
That vocalizing is your bridge.
You've now got to the other side, of the
You don't need it anymore.
Teach the world.