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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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Fingerstyle Guitar Lessons: Improvisation Part 5: Opening Your Mind

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This page contains a transcription of a video lesson from Fingerstyle Jazz with Martin Taylor . This is only a preview of what you get when you take Fingerstyle Guitar Lessons at ArtistWorks. The transcription is only one of the valuable tools we provide our online members. Sign up today for unlimited access to all lessons, plus submit videos to your teacher for personal feedback on your playing.

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[MUSIC]
Now,
I'm gonna say something that's maybe,
maybe a little revolutionary.
I don't know.
But, what happens if these ideas don't
come?
You know what I'm saying?
Well, create ideas in your mind.
What happens if you don't actually have
those ideas?
Well, that's kind of a test for you.
That means maybe, that means you gotta
really start listening to the music,
learn the language.
You, you couldn't write something unless
you understood.
You couldn't write something in English
unless you can speak English.
And, you've heard English spoken, and
you've read in English, and you've, you,
you get understanding of the language.
So, if you feel, well, I'm not really
getting enough ideas.
You will have ideas.
Of course, you got ideas.
But you say, well, you're not happy with
those ideas,
or you think those ideas are limited in
some kind of way.
Then, what you need to do, you really
start,
you need to really start listening more.
Go back to listening to all the really
great jazz artists of,
of the past and of the present moment.
And, start immersing yourself in that
language.
As I said, I had a, an,
advantage over a lot of people because I
grew up with this music.
So, I was immersed in this music from day
one.
And, making some kind of sense of it and,
absorbing it, and, and then creating it
myself.
So, if you feel that you, you don't have,
you're finding enough ideas or you're not
happy with your ideas, go and listen.
Listen as much as possible.
Copy, you know, copy things.
You know, I'm gonna say something that
you, you you may not be aware of, but
one of the ways that jazz is taught is, is
with the, the modal system, with modes.
And very often, guitar players come to me,
and they ask me about modes.
And, I have to stop them and say, look.
I actually don't know what these modes
are.
When you talk to me about a Dorian mode I
don't actually know what a Dorian mode is.
I do, if you played it to me, I, I would
recognize, I would recognize the sound.
I don't know what mix ad lidium is.
I, I thought mix ad lidium was a disease
that rabbits got
in the 1960s [LAUGHS] in England.
Oh, no, that was mix ad mitosis that's
what it was.
So, I can play this music.
I don't actually what those sounds are.
I can't put a name to them, but I know
what those sounds are, and
I know I've built up my own musical
vocabulary from listening so
much to music that I know what those
things are.
I know what effect that, that, that scale
makes.
I know, that I can play this over this
phrase over a certain
cord because I've just, I've ab, absorbed
it in that kinda way.
However, I'm not saying to you, don't do
this,
to don't don't look into the, the modal
system.
I think it's really important.
It's just that I was so far into playing
music before I'd even heard about modes.
All of a sudden, I'd been playing for
about 20 years,
and people started talking to me about
modes.
And I said, well, I don't know what they,
maybe I should learn them.
And then, I realized, well I played them
anyway.
So, I didn't really I had come about it
in, in a different kind of way.
But I, I, I think it's really important
for
you to know, whatever way you come to
this.
Whether it's through playing scales.
Whether it's through mo through modes.
Whatever system you use, they're all,
they're all valid.
They're all valid.
I just happen to, I don't use those,
because I learned in a very,
a very old fashioned way.
I learned to play the guitar by, someone
sitting front of the guitar, in, in front
of me playing the guitar, who played
better than me, who knew more than I did.
Not oh, look at that, wonder if I can try
that, you know.
We're doing it here, in, with a bit of
modern technology, slowing things down.
We've got an overhead camera.
I didn't have that that advantage.
You've, in many ways you've got an
advantage over me.
I could only learn to play the guitar from
watching other people
I knew that lived near me that could play
the guitar.
And knew, knew more about the guitar than
I did.
There's a whole new world out here of
being able to to learn how to do this.
So, whatever your system is, whatever
system you use, they are all valid.
Then use that, but only use that as a tool
as a, as a means to an end.
Because ultimately, I want you singing in
your mind.
I want you think yeah, walk down the
street.
I remember talking to Gary Burton once.
I worked a few times with Gary Burton, the
great vibes player, and
of course he was the head of Berklee
College of Music, and for for many years.
And I asked him once, how did you get
into, like, playing solos?
And, he said, well before a gig, he
thought must go for a walk.
And maybe, go walk down the street or
through the park.
And he said, I would just imagine that I
was playing a great solo.
And, as I was walking along, I would hear
this
fantastic vibraphone solo going on in my
mind, and I would try and capture that.
And then, when I went on stage, I would
try and and, play that.
I, I used to get that a lot.
And I, I still do sometimes where I wake
up from a dream and
I've just heard a great solo.
And, that's, and, and then I've picked my
guitar up,
and I've tried to, to, to play some of
those ideas that I've heard.
Or, I've put a, put a recording on and
I've heard a trumpet solo and
thought what a great line, wow, you know.
And, I pick the guitar up and I, I play
that.
And incorporate that in, within my musical
vocabulary.
You know, I've been, I've been playing
guitar for 50 years.
So, I've got a, a 50 years worth of
experience of vocabulary of,
of messing around with this music and and
playing with it.
And so whatever system you wanna use,
use it, and but ultimately the music comes
from you, it comes from inside you.
And, we need to develop a flow so that all
those ideas that you've got, and
as you develop them, you don't just keep
them to yourself.
They're gonna come out, they're gonna
flow.
And, use vocalizing as your bridge between
you and the guitar.
[MUSIC]
[SOUND]