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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.
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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 the 10ths: The Scaffolding

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[MUSIC]
A lot
of the way I play is based on the interval
of tenths.
Now you may think well in the scale
there's eight notes we have.
If I play the scale of G major in
position.
Across the fret board.
[MUSIC]
One,
two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight.
That's a one octave scale.
A two octave scale would be.
[MUSIC]
If we leave out every other note and
play the, the first, third, fifth, eighth,
this is an arpeggio.
[MUSIC]
And we can do it again, the next octave.
[MUSIC]
If we play the, the root note together.
And the third together we get this,
this is something, don't worry about what
I'm playing here at the, at the moment.
Just listen to the sound of it.
If I play this scale in thirds, we hear
this.
[MUSIC]
That's a sound, you're very familiar with.
If we play thirds, lower down the further
we go down,
because of the vibration, we play thirds
low down in a low octave.
[MUSIC]
It sounds very stodgy, very.
[MUSIC]
But if we take the third note.
[MUSIC]
And we play it an octave higher.
That becomes a tenth.
So that third note, in the key of G is a
B.
[MUSIC]
If we play it an octave higher.
[MUSIC]
The B is here.
So that becomes one, two, three, that's
our third.
Four, five, six, seven, eight, and then we
carry on counting.
[MUSIC]
Nine, ten.
Now that interval, because we're giving
some space there.
[MUSIC]
Which helps with the vibration,
rather than being here.
[MUSIC]
Which is dull.
[MUSIC]
That has a really nice wide big
sound to it.
And where I really, really got this from,
was listening to piano players.
You hear this a lot.
A lot of jazz piano players, the left hand
boogie woogie piano playing, in jazz,
you hear that.
[MUSIC]
It's that sound, so you know that sound.
Now, this then acts as a kind of a
scaffolding that we can
build lots of things around with this.
Now, I'm not, I'm not giving you kind of.
New things to learn, I'm not adding lots
of things.
You, you're, you're probably already
playing this, so don't worry about it.
It's not like a load of more stuff to
learn, I'm actually just taking you back.
Because what this is gonna do, it's gonna
act like a key to open up
your understanding of how, how chords
work, how harmonies work.
And playing in tenths can make, make
making music a lot easier,
it kind of holds things together.
If you can think like, if you can think
this way, not to, not necessarily
playing it all the time, but if you can
think in intervals of tenths.
Then it can open all kinds of things,
because it takes you then away from this
whole idea of playing block chords.
Because it's a, it's a shape, it's a hand
shape, it's a finger shape.
[MUSIC]
And that's confining, so we're,
by thinking in terms of intervals, the
root note and the tenth.
[MUSIC]
We're gonna be.
We're gonna break away from that.
We're gonna be able to play music.
And then we're gonna.
I'm gonna do the same thing as well with
other intervals for you.
Very often when you play a chord that you
want, to make sound big
if you make it a, a six string chord
or,or, or of.
A five note chord.
It can just sound cun, it can sound heavy.
But, if you can space the intervals in the
right way like this way, taking the third.
Playing an octave higher so it became,
becomes a tenth.
You've got that lovely space there.
That sounds a lot bigger than it really
is.
It's only two notes.
[MUSIC]
See how nice that sounds,
and you can base a lot of things around
that.
So using these kind of intervals,
these we, we sometimes call, we call these
inversions sometimes.
So, we invert the the note to a different
octave.
And the way you do that can give a whole
different texture,
to to the way a chord sounds.
You can be playing the same, what is
essentially the same chord, but the way,
where you, where you place the intervals
can give it a,
a completely different feel.
And a different texture and a different
sound.
So, I'm not giving you extra work here.
If you're playing chords, you're already
playing these things.
I'm actually gonna pare it right down.
I'm taking it right back, back to the
skeleton,
to this kind of scaffolding that you're
gonna work around.
Once you've got that.
Scaffolding set up, then you can start
creating.
But, we need to do this, this first.
[MUSIC]
And I'm gonna do this first of all using
the we can, we can basically say that the
bottom three strings m the E, A, and D.
They are, they're gonna be our bass
strings.
So I'm gonna show you how to play a tenth.
Using the the sixth string, fifth string,
and, and fourth string as as anchors.
And then once we've done that I'm gonna
expand it a bit further, and
I'm gonna make you play some other
intervals on there.
And after we've done tenths, we're then
going to go on to, to sevenths.
And, once we start doing that, all kind
of,
all kinds of muses can start happening.
And you're gonna start creating ideas of
your own through this.
You're gonna get all these.
Rather than being stuck with all these
shapes.
All of those notes.
You're gonna get those to move around and,
and see what they do.
It's exciting stuff.
[MUSIC]
[MUSIC]
A lot
of the way I play is based on the interval
of tenths.
Now you may think well in the scale
there's eight notes we have.
If I play the scale of G major in
position.
Across the fret board.
[MUSIC]
One,
two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight.
That's a one octave scale.
A two octave scale would be.
[MUSIC]
If we leave out every other note and
play the, the first, third, fifth, eighth,
this is an arpeggio.
[MUSIC]
And we can do it again, the next octave.
[MUSIC]
If we play the, the root note together.
And the third together we get this,
this is something, don't worry about what
I'm playing here at the, at the moment.
Just listen to the sound of it.
If I play this scale in thirds, we hear
this.
[MUSIC]
That's a sound, you're very familiar with.
If we play thirds, lower down the further
we go down,
because of the vibration, we play thirds
low down in a low octave.
[MUSIC]
It sounds very stodgy, very.
[MUSIC]
But if we take the third note.
[MUSIC]
And we play it an octave higher.
That becomes a tenth.
So that third note, in the key of G is a
B.
[MUSIC]
If we play it an octave higher.
[MUSIC]
The B is here.
So that becomes one, two, three, that's
our third.
Four, five, six, seven, eight, and then we
carry on counting.
[MUSIC]
Nine, ten.
Now that interval, because we're giving
some space there.
[MUSIC]
Which helps with the vibration,
rather than being here.
[MUSIC]
Which is dull.
[MUSIC]
That has a really nice wide big
sound to it.
And where I really, really got this from,
was listening to piano players.
You hear this a lot.
A lot of jazz piano players, the left hand
boogie woogie piano playing, in jazz,
you hear that.
[MUSIC]
It's that sound, so you know that sound.
Now, this then acts as a kind of a
scaffolding that we can
build lots of things around with this.
Now, I'm not, I'm not giving you kind of.
New things to learn, I'm not adding lots
of things.
You, you're, you're probably already
playing this, so don't worry about it.
It's not like a load of more stuff to
learn, I'm actually just taking you back.
Because what this is gonna do, it's gonna
act like a key to open up
your understanding of how, how chords
work, how harmonies work.
And playing in tenths can make, make
making music a lot easier,
it kind of holds things together.
If you can think like, if you can think
this way, not to, not necessarily
playing it all the time, but if you can
think in intervals of tenths.
Then it can open all kinds of things,
because it takes you then away from this
whole idea of playing block chords.
Because it's a, it's a shape, it's a hand
shape, it's a finger shape.
[MUSIC]
And that's confining, so we're,
by thinking in terms of intervals, the
root note and the tenth.
[MUSIC]
We're gonna be.
We're gonna break away from that.
We're gonna be able to play music.
And then we're gonna.
I'm gonna do the same thing as well with
other intervals for you.
Very often when you play a chord that you
want, to make sound big
if you make it a, a six string chord
or,or, or of.
A five note chord.
It can just sound cun, it can sound heavy.
But, if you can space the intervals in the
right way like this way, taking the third.
Playing an octave higher so it became,
becomes a tenth.
You've got that lovely space there.
That sounds a lot bigger than it really
is.
It's only two notes.
[MUSIC]
See how nice that sounds,
and you can base a lot of things around
that.
So using these kind of intervals,
these we, we sometimes call, we call these
inversions sometimes.
So, we invert the the note to a different
octave.
And the way you do that can give a whole
different texture,
to to the way a chord sounds.
You can be playing the same, what is
essentially the same chord, but the way,
where you, where you place the intervals
can give it a,
a completely different feel.
And a different texture and a different
sound.
So, I'm not giving you extra work here.
If you're playing chords, you're already
playing these things.
I'm actually gonna pare it right down.
I'm taking it right back, back to the
skeleton,
to this kind of scaffolding that you're
gonna work around.
Once you've got that.
Scaffolding set up, then you can start
creating.
But, we need to do this, this first.
[MUSIC]
And I'm gonna do this first of all using
the we can, we can basically say that the
bottom three strings m the E, A, and D.
They are, they're gonna be our bass
strings.
So I'm gonna show you how to play a tenth.
Using the the sixth string, fifth string,
and, and fourth string as as anchors.
And then once we've done that I'm gonna
expand it a bit further, and
I'm gonna make you play some other
intervals on there.
And after we've done tenths, we're then
going to go on to, to sevenths.
And, once we start doing that, all kind
of,
all kinds of muses can start happening.
And you're gonna start creating ideas of
your own through this.
You're gonna get all these.
Rather than being stuck with all these
shapes.
All of those notes.
You're gonna get those to move around and,
and see what they do.
It's exciting stuff.
[MUSIC]