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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: Improvisation Part 3: Youre On!

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[MUSIC]
So
now, you're on the bandstand, and the
theme's been played.
Maybe, one of the, the piano player or sax
player has has played a few choruses.
It's now your turn.
And.
Okay.
How we, how are we gonna star this?
How am I going to start my solo?
It's like having a blank page and, you
know, you've got to start your story now.
You're sitting there in front of the,
the screen of the computer with your,
you're about to write a story.
Where do I begin with this?
Well, there's a number of things you can
do.
First of all, what I suggest you do is
obviously,
you've got to know the chord structure.
So, kind of memorize that chord structure,
structure.
Have that in your mind and think of that
as a sketch.
Imagine you're an artist, and you're going
to paint a picture.
Or, not even paint the picture.
I'll tell you what you're gonna do.
You're gonna do a picture, a portrait of
somebody with a pen and ink.
Before you do that, you need to know, you
need to get everything right.
You need to do a sketch.
You need to get the proportions, say of
that person's face.
You need to get the proportions, where the
eyes are,
the nose, get everything in, in, in
proportion.
So, you do a sketch and you do lots of
little drawings, and, and,
and made lots of lines, get everything in
there.
Then, when you come to actually do your
pen and ink.
You have a look, you don't have to draw
every single hair on the persons head.
Every line, every mark.
You can look at the person's ear and you
can say, well,
the way the lights coming down there.
A really good artist won't draw every
single line of that ear.
He'll go [SOUND], and he'll draw like two
or three lines.
That says it all.
And, that's what we're doing.
If you think of the chord structure as a
sketch, that's like a pencil sketch.
So, that, that's what you're gonna work
around now.
So now, you need to decide.
So, say, you have.
Let's do it, like two, five, one, turn
around.
[MUSIC]
D minor seven, D seven, C.
So, if we play scales on that.
[MUSIC]
That's, that's your sketch.
[MUSIC]
You don't need to play all those notes.
Something that's very good.
You can target an interval.
So, you know that first chord is D-minor.
[MUSIC]
Target the third, the minor third.
[SOUND] Make that your start note.
Maybe, do a little run up to that.
[SOUND]
And, find a little motif on that.
[SOUND]
There you are you got that triad.
[SOUND]
Then,
when you come to the G, maybe you'll go
for the third there.
[MUSIC]
So.
[MUSIC]
And then, to the C.
You can hit the third there.
[MUSIC]
So,
you can target one of the intervals in,
one, just one of the notes in the chord.
[MUSIC]
[MUSIC]
So, you can, with a D minor, you can go
[MUSIC]
But maybe, just pick out
a couple of notes.
[MUSIC]
G seventh
[MUSIC]
And to C.
[MUSIC]
[MUSIC]
Just very simple.
Just play a few notes.
[MUSIC]
That's D minor to G-seven, C.
You don't have to play.
Sometimes, when people learn from scales
and modes, they take things too literally.
They think, well I've got to play all of
these.
What, what, what modes and scales are
doing they're,
you can use them to analyze actually what,
what you're playing.
But, you don't necessarily, you don't have
to play all those notes.
In fact, you don't want to play all those
notes.
You wanna use that as your sketch.
Think of that scale, that mode, if you u,
if that's the system you use, and
you understand, use that as your sketch.
It's just [SOUND] a mechanism.
It's a way of making music.
And then, from, from that, when you say,
well there's a D minor, [SOUND] Well,
what notes are in D minor?
Well, you got D, we've got, we've got A.
We got and F a natural.
Just play one of those notes.
Listen to this.
If I, If I play.
[MUSIC]
There you go D minor, G7, C, I can play.
[MUSIC]
Just, just a note on each one.
[MUSIC]
This is.
This F is defining the D minor.
B is defining the G.
And, I can actually go play the third of,
which is a D.
Each one of those notes is defining that
chord.
That's all you to need.
And then so, you can elaborate on that
three notes.
[MUSIC]
You know, your eh, it's suggesting.
All those other notes, you don't need to
play those.
So, that's, that's really a good way to do
it.
Aim fo, aim for an interval of, of chords.
Say, okay, I've got D minor here.
What have you got in D Minor.
[MUSIC]
D Minor 7.
[MUSIC]
So, you can play
[MUSIC].
That's it, you've played D Min.
You've improvised something on D Minor 7,
G7, C.
You haven't had to play everything.
[MUSIC]
That's an improvisation right there.
Don't bog yourself down with thinking
about too many notes, too many,
you don't have to do that.
Just pick some out.
[MUSIC]
That's, that's basically the sound we're
having.
So, we're suggesting a lot of things just
by playing something very, very simple.
[MUSIC]
[MUSIC]