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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!
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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."
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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."
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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.
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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.
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Guided Arrangements
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30 Day Challenge
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+Music
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Video Exchange Archive
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Fingerstyle Guitar Lessons: Introduction to Fingerstyle Playing

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[MUSIC]
I'd like to go over a few points for
those of you that are newcomers to playing
finger style guitar.
Maybe you've been playing for a while,
you've been playing with a pick or
you've been, been strumming on chords.
So, just, just a few ideas for you.
Now, first of all,
I'll, I'll just say that when I play, I
rest my little finger on here.
Now, technically speaking, that's, that's
really, it's a bad habit.
But it's a habit, bad habit I got into a
long time ago.
But I,I can play that without actually
resting my finger.
But it's just a habit I got into.
But I would suggest to you, you find,
whatever way feels comfortable for you,
but, if you've been playing open chords,
even
these kind of things, what I want you to
do,
is to start getting a kind of rolling
motion with the finger style.
So we can start off just by doing this
kind of thing.
[MUSIC]
Now generally speaking,
the lower strings, we would use the thumb.
But there are, there is a kind of cross
over point.
And that's really up to you, whatever,
whatever feels comfortable for you.
So we can get some exercises going here.
This kind of thing.
Then, we can play.
[MUSIC]
Also makes strings,
that can sometimes be tricky.
Once, when you've been used to maybe just
strumming the guitar or
even just playing, these kind of rolling
movements.
When you get to play jumping strings that
can sometimes feel a bit,
a bit strange at first and when you first
doing that you.
[MUSIC]
You know, you're probably miss strings, I
still do that myself sometimes I'm playing
on a I, I jump for a string and I miss it.
[MUSIC]
After while you get to.
[MUSIC]
You get to be able to really judge it and
get a good feeling for it, it's almost as
if you,
you visualize that in your mind where
everything is as you close your eyes.
Sometimes if I got my eyes closed I can.
I can kinda see where the, where those
strings are and then when you've got this
[MUSIC]
You can start changing chords.
[MUSIC]
Now I'm
not gonna give you any precise, specific
exercises for
this because I want you, to kind of make
up some things of your own.
And as you get more proficient with this,
you can start speeding up a little bit
surely but surely.
There's no rush.
[MUSIC]
The great thing about this site,
is that you can just take your time, and
don't rush forward.
You can just keep going back to things.
[MUSIC]
You know, you don't have to move on until
you feel comfortable, you feel you've
actually, learned the lesson.
[MUSIC]
So you can start getting these kind of.
[MUSIC]
In
a very short time that will start feeling
very natural for you.
Just do it very gently don't try to play
loud, or very hard
[MUSIC]
Now we do it with bar chords as well.
[MUSIC]
Actually,
this is probably a good point for me to
point out to you.
If you haven't already started the playing
bar chords sometimes it can be,
it's, it's a, big leap sometimes.
When you've been playing these kind of
chords.
[MUSIC]
And you just get these under your belt.
And you think oh yeah, I've really got
this.
And then you discover there's a chord
where you've gotta play this.
You've gotta put this, this finger here.
Now, I've discovered, over the years, that
if you try and show.
Somebody how to just say, say play the the
the e chord.
[MUSIC]
And you wanna play an f chord,
which is here, so the bar, what the bar is
doing is taking place of the the nut here.
[MUSIC]
Very
often when people go wrong where they're
trying to learn a bar chord,
is they try and put the bar down first.
So they do this.
[MUSIC]
Try and get this.
[MUSIC]
And at first you know, some of the, some
of the notes don't ring out right and then
they try and put their fingers down here.
Try it this way, if you're having
difficulty.
Here's the chord of E, E Major, now, you
know, I emphasize
that it is not important that the fingers
that you use a lot of the time.
Don't think, there's only one way this
chord must be this shape.
I must put that finger there.
Look at this, these are the notes that are
being pressed down here.
That one, that one and that one.
Do this, shift it all along a little bit.
So like that, use that finger, for this
note, this finger here.
Now you've got this finger free, okay.
That's your E.
Now move those up, to the next fret.
[SOUND]
Now press that down.
[SOUND]
You'll find it a lot easier,
if you think of it that way.
[SOUND] Anchor these fingers down first
and then put the bar down.
[SOUND] And you'll probably find that a
lot easier.
I think where a lot of people go wrong,
they try to anchor this down first.
They get too.
Kind of head up about this cuz
[MUSIC]
It's not sounding right some of the,
some of the strings some of the notes
aren't really singing out and
they have trouble with it.
Anchor these, these down first.
Then put your bar or if it's a, if it's a
fret an A minor,
going up to B flat minor the same thing
here.
[MUSIC]
And when you play these kinds of chords,
where your root note.
Is on the fifth string, you don't have to
play this note.
You don't have to put the, your finger all
the way across.
Just,.
[MUSIC]
Where that root note is,
just put the tip of your finger on there.
[MUSIC]
And after a while, you'll,
you'll discover as well you don't have to
one of the big mistakes people make,
is they, they feel they've really gotta
press hard to, to get it to sound.
Just find the right spot, because you know
you've got the, you've got
that part of your finger there, where if a
string gets caught in the middle of there,
[SOUND] You're just gonna get that kind of
sound.
[SOUND] But anchor these notes down first.
[SOUND]
Then maybe try it up here.
Press that down.
[MUSIC]
After awhile you'll just,
it'll just seem very natural for you just
to
[MUSIC]
To play bar chords.
And I want you to think of that.
I want you to think about that, that
finger for the bar chord because,
I play a lot like this, where I use these
three fingers.
[MUSIC]
And that kinda frees you up.
Get, use your little finger.
A lot of guitar players don't use that
finger very much.
Start strengthening up that finger up as
well.
So going back to, our finger style as
well, try some of these exercises.
Just mess around, change chords around.
And what I'd like you to do, is send, send
in a video
and if you're having any problems with
this.
Like with the, with the bar chord, playing
bar chords.
And if it's not coming out right, video
it.
Video yourself doing this.
Send it to me and I, I'll try an fix it
for you.
But I will fix it for you, without a
doubt.
So, send the video in.
And if you're having any problems with
that,
that's one of the great things about this
site.
Is that I can catch.
Any problems, any difficult, any
difficulties you're having very early on,
so we can, we can eliminate those, as soon
as possible.
So, send me the vizeo, video, and another
thing you can do, when you're watching it,
anything that I'm playing don't be afraid
to press the pause button.
Don't be afraid to go back.
Just keep looking over things and don't
rush everything.
There's loads of time.
So send me a video when you, if you feel
you'd like to do that and
I'll send a response.
[MUSIC]
>> Teach the world.