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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: Phrasing

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[MUSIC]
I want to talk about phrasing.
Now this is particular important with
single string lines.
When you're, whether you're just playing
single sting or if you're,
you're super imposing the, the melody line
or an improvised line on the top.
Phrasing is really important.
When you hear all the great singers, and
how they,
how they phrase the lines to, to when
they're interpreting lyrics.
It's pretty much, It's the same, the same
kinda thing.
So, what we're trying to do is, it's not
enough just to play
a line, or a, you know a, a bar or a
couple of bars of, of a line.
We have to phrase them.
There's different ways, and this is really
interpretation.
How you interpret something.
And when we're, we still have that within
instrumental music,
even though of course with a singer, they
will phrase according to, to lyrics.
And, that's, that's very important then.
But, we can phrase things in different
ways.
It's like if you, once you bring phrasing
in to the music,
then it, it can become very poetic.
In the same way that when you, if you were
to write write something, or if you,
if you write a piece of poetry.
It has a rhythm to it, and a phrasing.
And, that's, that's open to
interpretation.
That's why you know it can be really
interesting to hear
a different musicians playing the same
tune and how they phrase.
And also, you get you get a lot of
musicians
the way they phrase becomes pretty much
like the the the way they speak.
So it becomes very personal.
You, you'll hear this with a lot of, a lot
of musicians.
I'm trying to think of people like if you
hear Stan Getz interpreting a melody
he had a certain way of phrasing.
And that becomes very, apart from his
sound of course,
is very identifiable by the way he, he
will phrase something.
And not play a phrase just exactly as
it's, as it's written down.
And in doing this we can incorporate a lot
of things.
We can incorporate a lot of our expressive
techniques.
[MUSIC]
That's sliding.
[MUSIC]
Hammers.
Pulls.
[MUSIC]
Trills.
[MUSIC]
All these kinds of things can,
can go into the way we.
We choose to phrase and interpret a, a
piece of music.
And without timing, articulation, and of
course dynamics as well,
you might want to start a phrase quite
quietly and then build up.
[MUSIC]
And then,
then take the dynamic down again.
[MUSIC]
See I'm
incorporating dynamics and some expressive
techniques there.
[MUSIC]
Another trill.
[MUSIC]
Slides and pulls and hammers.
[MUSIC]
It, with phrasing when you have dynamics
in there, it, it stops everything just
being on that, that same, that same level.
One of the big differences with,
with jazz as opposed to a lot of popular
music if you want to use that expression.
A very broad, broad expression,
is that jazz is very similar to classical
music in that we use a lot of dynamics.
When you, a lot of music you hear pop
music it is, it's pretty much,
it's on one level.
Dynamically, it's on one level.
It just, it just this kinda level all the
time.
Whereas for us we're more like classical
music.
Where when we're interpreting phrasing
that dynamics becomes a very important
tool for us.
In, in telling our story of bringing the,
the volume up and down.
Not only the volume, but the intensity of
how we play.
Sometimes you can play quite wistfully.
[SOUND] And other times you can, you can
play a note really intensely.
[SOUND] So these are im, important things
to think about.
When you're playing something don't just
think of it as, as playing the melody.
Think about how you phrase it.
And the expressive techniques that you use
within that not giving every phrase,
every note in the phrase equal emphasis.
You can, you can, you can change
everything slightly.
With your ar, articulation and dynamics.
So, these are things to, for
us to bare in mind when we're, when we're
playing a line.
If I just take a scale,
[MUSIC]
There's things I can do to start
phrasing that.
I can, I can do little slides
[MUSIC]
And on.
[MUSIC]
These little,
little things I can do to, to to phrase a
scale.
[MUSIC]
And an arpeggio.
[MUSIC]
So I'm not just playing the scale.
[MUSIC]
Try different ways of playing that.
[MUSIC].
Some legato things.
[MUSIC]
So you don't wanna play staccato all the
time.
[MUSIC]
You can put some legato things in there.
Mix it up.
[MUSIC]
Then you can do it with oth,
other phrases.
[MUSIC].
Rhythmically you can then change it as
well
[MUSIC]
There's all kinds of things that
you can do rhythmically, dynamically with
the way you articulate everything your,
your timing.
To, to phrase things differently.
And that's all really it's all part of,
how you interpret music,
and phrasing is, is very, very important.
And what I would suggest to you, if you
really want to learn how to,
to phrase an a melody, is really to listen
to a lot of singers.
As some of the great classic singers, Nat
King Cole and
Frank Sinatra and Mel Tormey.
Mel Tormey's great great phrasing.
So listen a lot to singers,
I listen a lot to singers probably more
than I do to instrumentalists.
I, I really enjoy listening to the way
singers interpret a song.
Not just the lyrics, but, how they
interpret the melody.
Don't forget we can always learn such a
lot from
musicians of other instruments, singers,
percussionists.
Don't just limit, lim, limit yourself to
just listening to other guitar players.
Just listen to music, music.
So wherever it comes from, whoever is
playing it,
whatever instrument is being played on.
It can all have a great effect on our own
musical development.
[MUSIC]
Teach the world.