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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: Improvisation Part 1: Using Both Hands

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Course Description

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When we're building a solo,
an improvised solo, there's this two or
three elements tho, to this really.
We can have single string chordal voicings
And we can mix those, mix those all
And in previous lessons I've kind of been
preparing you to get to this point.
Now within those elements it's important
that we have a, a smooth transition
when we're, we're mixing the two together
from going from playing single lines to
playing some chordal things, and playing
little comps here and there.
You know, there was a time, I don't know
whether it happens so much now,
but guitar players very often define
themselves as you know,
I'm a lead guitarist, or I'm a rhythm
And even guitar players that played both
would often very much put it into two
It was like, okay now I'm playing some
single string line, lines.
Now I'm playing some chords.
What I want to instill in,
in your mind is to make a smooth
transition between whatever you're doing.
Whether when you're playing chordal things
and then you suddenly go into a little
single line phrase and then you go back
into, into some, some chord playing again.
I think that's really important.
I used to, I used to play a lot in, in
jazz groups in piano, bass, drums,
and horn player and, and in that context,
very often,
I was having to play mostly single string
string, single string solos.
Because everything else was really being,
being taken care of.
And the reason I, I really wanted to
explore solo guitar
playing more than any other form of guitar
playing was because I,
I became fascinated watching piano players
and how they,
they would, piano players would sit down
and be able to play chordal things,
accompany themselves, play and played
single lines with the right hand.
And it felt to me if I was only playing
the guitar, if I was only playing single
string lines all the time, that was a
little bit like a piano
player only playing with their right hand,
having left hand tied behind their back.
Or if I only played cords then it was
just thumping away with the left hand and
not, not using the right hand.
I wanted to be like a piano player.
Both hands.
So, but at the same time,
I didn't want to be to be a big
distinction between the two.
Now I'm playing rhythm.
Now I'm playing chords.
Now I'm playing single string.
The way play, I integrate, I, I, I
integrate these elements together.
So I will play a single string line.
That's more like the way a piano player
would play.
That's the, the single lines of the right
hand of the piano the left hand is
the left hand comping.
This is what really started to fascinate
me, fascinate me.
And this is what I want you to do.
When, whether you're playing single string
lines, chords comping.
Whether you're harmonizing things, like
playing in tenths.
Or thirds.
Whatever you're doing there,
try and think it think of it as an, a, an
Try and make that smooth transition and
think of them, think of it as a, an
overall concept.
Rather than separate elements that you're,
you're, you're going from one to the
other, backwards and forwards.
Now I'm gonna play rhythm.
Now I'm gonna play some chords.
Now I'm gonna play some single lines.
Integrate everything.
This style of guitar playing really comes
from for me, has been coming from studying
piano players.
Watching what piano players do and how I
can translate that onto the guitar.
So here's, here's the kind of way that I
would integrate the,
the two things together.
Trying, trying to have a smooth transition
from playing single single lines.
might wanna put a little chord or comp in
And there's some cordal things.
And bring some single line in.
That's very smooth.
I'm going from from single string,
chordal comping harmonization.
So it's not disjointed.
It doesn't sound like, now I'm doing this,
now I'm doing that.
It's very smoothly going in from, from one
to another.