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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: Using Thumb Upstrokes

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[MUSIC]
This brings me to another point.
And this is another distinctive
characteristic of my playing.
Apart from the clarity, which we've
already spoken about,
spoken about here, I use upstrokes with my
thumb.
This is fairly unusual.
But, I use, I use up strokes really as a
percussive device.
And, to em, to do a kind of a
impersonation of a,
of a string bass player.
So-
[MUSIC]
So yeah, I can do these kind of things.
[MUSIC]
You hear a, hear a string bass player in a
jazz group playing that.
[MUSIC]
That's all done with a bass.
[MUSIC]
You hear that?
[MUSIC]
See my dapper's a string bass player.
He's a jazz musician.
So, I grew up with this, this sound.
This it's coming back so you know I was in
that sound was imprinted in,
in, in my mind from from day one.
So-
[MUSIC]
So I'm doing that with,
with little comps in the middle as well.
[MUSIC]
And I'm giving,
notice I'm giving them different textures.
[MUSIC]
I've got those little
wispy comping things in the middle.
[MUSIC]
And
if I played that with a melody when I've
got that kind of walking baseline.
With a melody as well and some comping in
the middle we get this kind of thing.
[MUSIC]
Try and develop that right thumb upstroke.
I think one of the reasons people haven't
really,
guitar players haven't really go into this
this upstroke
with the thumb is probably because it can,
it can wear your, wear your thumbnail out.
And now that we've got stuff we can put on
our nails, we can do that now.
Because really, you shouldn't really be
playing.
Finger style guitar on a, on a steel
string guitar.
Many people would say, because it can wear
your nails, nails out.
But, but we can get, we can get it to
sound very, very expressive.
And when we've got some kind of coating on
our, our nail,
we're not gonna wear the nail out.
So you can keep doing that.
You know, I do so many shows a year.
And really, don't have any problem because
of, because of this.
I'm able to-
[MUSIC]
So there's a,
just a kind of quick overview of that.
So we've really looked at the independence
of, of,
of the, the things on the right hand.
Bringing out the clarity of the notes.
The dynamics, internal dynamics being able
to play each string at a different volume.
Giving each string a different texture.
Having the ability to, to, to, to do that,
little about thumb strokes, too.
With, with, with the upstroke.
Another thing, I'll just quickly hit on
very briefly here.
My guitar doesn't have, a volume control
or anything.
I would, I always say I don't have any
brakes on my guitar.
So, when I come to the end of a tune.
[MUSIC]
And I want that note to fade out.
Some people would turn their volume
control or a volume.
It's good to develop this technique and
you can find out what works best for you.
I'm just damping the string your wrist.
So-
[MUSIC]
I usually do that.
Our great camera up here will be able to
pick this up, and
you should get a pretty effective fade
with that.
So th, that's something else worth looking
at.
So, everything is in the right hand.
And these are the very, very fine details.
These are things that you don't see.
When you're, when you're looking at me
there, all you see is the back of my hand.
You don't that, now, you can see
everything is revealed.
Everything is in there, and it's the very
fine detail.
It'll take a while for you to develop
this.
It will take quite a while to to keep
working, working on it.
Because it's, it's, it's something that is
quite difficult to, to teach.
Like, for me to actually be here sitting
to you.
And telling you about this because it's,
it's very, very it's fine stuff.
It's very, absolute, fine detail, it's
the, the fine brush work.
But, just, tiny little detail will make
all the difference.
As you heard, when I played, Satin Doll,
with everything just, at the same level,
and I made very, very, minor adjustments
to each note, and it came alive.
That's the important of, importance of
right-hand technique.
[MUSIC]
[SOUND]