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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: Using Parallel Fourths

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[MUSIC]
I
wanna show you something now that is
really, this is really interesting.
And, it's, it's a very straight forward
thing to do.
Because, you know, I've been showing you
all these things about playing in, in,
in a harmonizing scales.
[MUSIC]
That has a certain sound.
And, I been, been saying to you, you know,
that these.
You can, you can start hearing these
sounds and, and understanding them.
But it's always good to throw in other
ingredients.
And you know I'm,
I've explained to you that I'm really
basically a melodic improviser.
But if you, if you only do that, if you
only make everything very.
Melodic and pretty.
That's what it is.
We need to sometimes bring other elements
in that to,
to add a little bit more of, of an edge.
And one of the great things to do in, is,
is like parallel fourths.
[MUSIC]
You know, the guitar's a.
[MUSIC]
You know that sound.
You've heard that.
[MUSIC]
Whenever I hear that,
I always think of the great piano player
McCoy Tyner.
Some of the things with Miles Davis, you
know, had all these kind of sounds.
[SOUND]
Now, you can break up the,
the prettiness of some of this sound by
throwing some of these in.
So, in a if I was to play.
[MUSIC]
Using those tense.
[MUSIC]
I can do that instead.
See?
We're not gonna C or
either, either C or here with E.
I can play the C.
I can play that
[MUSIC]
Instead of playing it a G seventh, or
G 13th.
[MUSIC]
These kind of more edgy kind of sounds.
[MUSIC]
You know the great thing about this
as well, it works really well with the
guitar.
One of the things about the, the, the
guitar
that can be a problem playing Jazz is that
nothing falls under the fingers.
When you look at Blues and Rock guitar
playing.
It was, everything was, that music was
created on the guitar,
the guitar is central to it.
In jazz, the guitar is just one of the
many instruments that you can
play jazz on.
So jazz lines and phrasing and everything
is, isn't designed for the instrument,
you just have to find a, a way of doing
it.
But this,
[MUSIC]
these parallel fourths are something that.
Look at that.
It's so easy on the guitar.
You just put your finger, and make a bar.
And, in solo playing, it's one of the
reasons I use a lot, apart from the, the,
the effect that it gives, and the another
color, an ingredient that it gives
within what I'm playing, is, look at that,
it frees these fingers up, like
[MUSIC]
So instead of playing.
[MUSIC]
If I was to play
this parallel fourth instead,
[MUSIC]
I've got these three fingers to do
all kinds of.
[MUSIC]
And that's very much inside harmonization.
You have got very close intervals,
Intervals of thought are very close and
when you get.
Intervals are close like that.
Whereas we've got these open intervals,
you know, that,
where the 12ths we've been 10ths, we've
been doing.
[MUSIC]
That has a very open feel.
When you start putting intervals very
closely together,
like in intervals of fourths, look at the
difference.
That's closed, it's closed, and it's a
darker sound.
[MUSIC]
So
if I want a kind of darker sound to come
in somewhere,.
[MUSIC]
If I, if I was gonna do
[MUSIC]
But if I want a darker kind of set.
[MUSIC]
You see the difference that makes.
And it's a, it's a, it's a great thing to
use along side.
All the other things that we've been
doing.
[MUSIC]
All the other intervals that we've been,
we've been practicing.
If you just throw those in, it just adds
a, another dimension.
It's another color.
If we go back to our painting analogy,
it's like we've got a whole other array
of.
Of colors on our artists palette that we
can draw on.
[MUSIC]
It's one of those things you can just move
around.
And when you want to move away from
playing and improvising in a very melodic
way and you want to start taking things
out a little bit more,
parallel force is fantastic.
[MUSIC]
You get all these kinds of sounds, here's
another one.
[MUSIC]
These are inside voicings,
very, very darker sounding, whereas all
the others I've been playing.
They're kind of very bright, open sounds.
Remember this is all to do with creating
atmosphere and
telling stories, and this is.
Parallel forth is, is another thing for
you to add
within your, your, your repertoire and
your musical vocabulary.
So now that I've shown you these parallel
fourths it'd be great if you could
incorporate those in some of your,
your solo playing, and in some of your
improvisations.
And just find l, little spots, just, just
kind of go very easy on that.
Just, just find little places where you
think they, they may fit.
Where y, you feel you need a.
A kind of an edgier kind of sound.
So if, if you want to make a video send me
a video
of you playing something, even something
you've played before,
or some of the things you've been playing
earlier.
And incorporate some of these parallel
fourths,
that would be, that would be great.
I'd, I'd love to hear that.
I'd love to see that.
And I'll do a video response.
[MUSIC].
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