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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 7: Melodic Improvisation

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[MUSIC]
The way
I improvise is often described as melodic
improvisation.
And a lot of people that play jazz in a
more kinda mainstream
side of jazz are often described as
melodic improvisers.
Well what does that mean?
Well I can remember,
when I was a little kid, my dad playing me
records of Django Reinhart.
And him saying to me, after Django had
played the melodies,
all these other things would start going
on.
And he'd say, he's improvising there.
So I said, what's that.
And he said, Well, and my dad who was a
kinda he was a,
you know, he spoke very, very simply and
plainly.
He said to me, Well, he said, Imagine
this, imagine the,
you've played the melody over the chords
and then you make your own melody up.
On the top.
So, you think of another melody that will
also fit the chords.
Now, this is nothing new.
We go back to our old friend Johann
Sebastian Bach,
who I've mentioned many times here so.
They had in the old days, they had
variations on a theme.
[COUGH] Something that's often forgotten
about, is that the classical
composers of Europe, hundreds of years
ago, were improvisers.
Because, basically composition is
improvising.
So when you're making up you're making up
a melody or you're make a piece of music.
The only difference is with improvisation
is it's instant.
It's on the moment.
You haven't got time to think about it.
What shall I play on this?
I know it's one other.
It's it's something that happens
instantly.
And hopefully with the knowledge you have
in, in your background,
you backs up any inspiration that you, you
have during that time.
So we're.
That's how I started to improvise,
I used to take a melody like melody I just
played.
[MUSIC]
Now I can, I can do a variation on that.
[MUSIC]
That's, that's kinda keeping the melody a
little.
But I'm, I'm just moving away from it a
little, a little bit.
So, I can do another one.
I'm just making up another one now.
I'll just start off using the same first
few notes of the melody,
just to establish it.
[MUSIC]
Here's another one.
[MUSIC]
So I'm taking the melody, but
also because I know the chord structure
[MUSIC]
,.
I'm able to play around that as well.
So.
[MUSIC]
So I'm, I'm playing variations on
that theme.
And each time, I can move further and
further away from it.
So, here's the melody again just to remind
you.
[MUSIC]
Now, here's an improvisation on-
[MUSIC]
Every so often I was going away from
the melody, slightly, but bringing the
melody back in.
[MUSIC]
>> Teach the world.