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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
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Fingerstyle Guitar Lessons: English Garden

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>> I'm gonna play a tune now for you that
it's, it's a tune that I've written
recently for my band Spirit of DJango.
And on our CD, Last Train to Hauteville,
and the whole mood of the,
the album is has a very French feel to it.
And I wrote a lot of the music when I, at
my house in France and
this is actually there's a little garden
very near where I lived called La Garden
Anglais, the English Garden.
And just walking around there I got this
kind of mood if you,
if you know some of those French movies
like from the, the 60's the the,
the whole kind of feeling of, of, of those
With the cars from that era and the dress
from that era.
And it's like walking through, through an
English garden park.
And just having that feeling like, like
You know, you got a bit of a spring in
your step and it,
it's like a nice kind of day.
And that was really the, the mood that I
very often I get inspired to write music
by just looking around, around me.
And I think, if this was a movie what
would the music be to this?
If I had to write a piece of music for
everything that I'm seeing right now what
would the, what would the soundtrack be.
So when I was walking through that garden
in France, which ironically is called
the English Garden, this was kind of the
thing that I, that I came up with.
And what's interesting here, well you'll
find interesting, is that I wrote this for
the band and actually wrote it for my
accordion player.
And he was playing the melody on a French
So I've never actually played this before
It wasn't written as a, a solo guitar
piece or anything.
But with the melody and the, the chords
what I'm doing is I'm
gonna be using all the mechanisms and the
method that I, that I'm showing you here.
In order to come up with a a solo
interpretation of this song.
So wish, wish me luck.
[LAUGH] We'll see what happens.
>> Teach the world.
really what I've done here is as I wrote
this melody for,
for my accordion player, I have a very
French theme.
So this is the melody.
It's a jazz waltz.
It's three, four time.
So it's got that kind of, real skip type
feeling to it.
And in a lot of French, French music and
listen a lot to Michel Legrand's
where you sometimes have a motif but then
it, they change the key.
Then the same motif but in a different
Remember I was talking about going up a, a
minor third, how that gives a, a lift.
That's what I'm doing here.
I'm playing a minor third higher.
Then up again a semitone.
Then going back so
I can get back into the key again.
I, I start out by really setting out that,
that kind of skipping along as you're,
as you're walking a little brisk walk in
in a jazz waltz time, so.
The first thing I want to do is establish,
as we did with the other songs, establish
the feel.
So I've got to establish the fact that
this is in a a three-four jazz waltz.
So I started off with a, a kind of, it's
in C.
So I played a pedal G.
When you play a pedal note,
we call that a pedal note, you can change
the chords underneath the bottom.
So you can play.
So really what I'm doing here is I'm just
establishing the, the feel of the tune.
Now when I start playing
this melody as I've said.
The chords for this are.
And as I said, I, I hadn't played this
But I'm using these mechanisms that I've,
that I've been showing you, and tents.
Now, see where these tents are.
Remember that's our old friend?
Remember we're playing that?
So here we go.
It starts off with that.
Here they are again.
There's a minor.
So if I play this, just the bass line and
the melody.
When a lot, a lot of guitar players start
playing solo jazz guitar one of the
easiest ways to start doing that is take
the chord and have the inversion with the,
of that chord, with the melody on the top.
What I'm doing here is I'm just cutting
out all the middle,
I'm playing the top note, the, the melody,
and the bass line.
See, I could play.
I don't
wanna do that because I wanna get some
interesting things going in the middle.
Once I've established the bass and the,
the melody.
I could start filling in the middle.
So we've got the tenth here, remember the,
the seventh we were doing, and
the moving seventh.
See, I'm only playing three notes.
That sounds big.
I'm only playing three notes at any, any
given point.
I'm not playing any big chords,
but, so I'm playing it out of tempo for
If I bring those things in the middle.
If I bring those in rhythmically using
that, that jazz waltz feel,
that jazz waltz rhythm, I can just put
little chords in every so
often, or just one note or two notes in
the middle.
Which goes back to the left hand of the
when we hear jazz piano players
just play little fills with
their left hand so you get.
Teach the world