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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: Martin's Nail Salon

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to the beautiful world of nail care.
No, I bet you didn't think you'd be
that on a a guitar lesson, would you?
But, here you go.
This is very important.
If you wanna know, anything about
Ask a finger style guitar player.
Ask a classical guitar player.
Flamenco guitarist.
It's, it's quite an obsession for us
because it's something that seems
superficial, because it is for most
But for us, it's very important.
It's part of our instrument.
Now, if you look at flamenco guitarists,.
They always used to use, I don't know
the flamenco guitar players still do this,
but they used to use.
A, a glue, to, to strengthen the nail, and
they used to get tissue paper,
put a coating of tissue paper on there,
and then, some glue.
And then another, coating of tissue paper,
down on it, another, get some more glue,
and then they, they build, build the nail
up, and.
It isn't very good for the nail, because
the nail has to be able to breathe.
So a new thing came out a few, number of
years ago where called silk wraps.
So, you have these very fine layers of
silk that go on, on the nail.
You put that on the nail.
You then put some special kind of glue on
there, and
then again you, you build that up.
And I used to use that.
Then there's also acrylic.
That came in, and that's another thing to
go to some kind of nail.
Parlor then if you're not too shy about
that it's,
I think they're actually very nice places.
You meet some very nice people there.
So if you go to a nail parlor what they do
with, with acrylic
is they kind of rough the, the surface of
the nail up to get some kind of.
Grip for the acrylic and they put it on,
on the nail.
And then they do a few coatings of that.
What I do, or my wife does this for me,
she's, she's a, fully qualified for
this job we use gel is another kind of
product you can use.
The same kind of thing, a, gel.
It's just that it's, it's easier for, for
this to come up,
cause every so often you have to, you have
to redo it.
You have to fill in, every so often you
have to fill in the gaps,
that's about ready to be filled in there.
And if there's a problem with that, I
would just quickly do that.
And, so that that's not gonna catch.
See, so, the other thing is, so that's the
coating of the nail.
Now, if you are blessed with fantastic
nails, fantastically strong nails,
then you don't to worry about this, but
most people aren't.
But make sure you use good products like
acrylics or
gels that don't destroy the nail, because
if you still things
on the nail the nail has to breathe, you
can also get infections under the nail,
if you are not careful, so you need to go
to someone who knows what they are doing.
And they'll put something on there that
will protect your nail for
you to play, but at the same time, won't
cause any type of harm to that.
Now, so, the next part of this is actually
the shape of the nail, and this is
entirely up to you, really.
For me, I don't use a lot of nail, some
people use less, some people use more.
But, you wanna get some kind of shape to
the nail.
And what I do is I'll, I'll shape that.
I, may nail tends to come out slightly
more in that direction,
because I played that kind of way.
And if you've got a coating on, you'll
need a fairly,
a fairly rough nail file to start off with
Get that to the shape you like.
Now, this is very important.
If you just use a, a nail file like that
get the nail the shape you want it to be,
it'd be fine, but it'll sound scratchy.
So, what you have to do then once you got
the shape, you have to polish it?
And then you get things like this.
These, these kinda things here.
That one's slightly rougher.
That's, like, smoother.
So then.
You would start smoothing it with this
one, and it'll become smoother.
And then smooth it with that one.
You can also get these kits that a lotta
classical guitar players use that.
Have like little bits of paper.
They're like little bits of emery paper,
and they get finer, and finer, and finer.
But, you want that nail to be really
smooth sounding,
because it's gotta, it's gotta be very
If there's any jagged parts on that, it's
gonna pick up and
you're gonna get a scratchy sound.
And that sounds really horrible.
But, experiment with it.
See how short you can keep your nails
cause you don't really wanna grow, that,
that long but
see how short they can be with it still,
still sounding right.
So that's really just a few tips on that,
you know.
If you are gonna use a coating, use
something like.
An acrylic, or or a gel.
Go to somebody that's knows, what they're
Always remember when you, when you do
shape the nail,
always make sure that you polish it
afterwards, the surface afterwards,
otherwise it's gonna sound scratchy, and
that sounds really horrible.
Well, I hope you.
Enjoy that little interlude into the
beautiful world of nails.
Thank you.
Teach the world.