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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: Improvisation Part 9: Melodic Improvisation Single String Introduction

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we come to that moment, that moment of
fear when you're on the bandstand,
and then everyone's soloed, and then they
turn to you.
And you've got to play, you've got to come
up with a, with an improvised solo.
And you're sitting there and you're, oh my
they've all just played fantastic solos,
what do I do now?
Sometimes it can be that moment of fear, a
moment of kind of freezing, and I know
what that feeling is, and we all know what
that is, but there's a way to overcome it.
And I wanna give you some key points that
will equip you to, to deal with that
situation, and enjoy the situation because
that, that's what you're there for.
Now I'm, I'm know best as being a, a solo
Of playing, fingerstyle, solo guitar, but
my background before that,
and even, even now I still play a lot of
single line things too.
I also work with, in groups situations,
when I was with Stephane Grappelli.
I started out, I used to play in, in, in
straight ahead jazz, bebop type
type of jazz and, and playing with a pick
and, you know, even now I still do that.
I've got my own group Spirit of Jango and
I play a lot of single string improv lines
And what I've tried to do is actually
integrate the single
line playing with my finger style solo
playing as well.
Because, we got a little bit of a hangover
in guitar playing that goes back to
a time where you were either a lead
guitarist or a rhythm guitarist.
They, there was, that, that whole thing
went on for, for quite, quite a while.
And while we don't think in those terms
as, as much.
Guitar players don't class themselves,
most of the time,
as either a lead player or a rhythm
Very often when,
when we're playing we can then think now
I'm playing lead, now I'm playing rhythm.
Now I'm playing with single lines,
now I'm playing finger style with lots of
harmonic things going on.
So I want to try.
I've integrated that.
And I, and so I don't think in those
I don't divide the, the two.
I'm probably going to play with a pick at
the moment to, to do this.
Now there's many approaches to, to
improvisation and
single line improvisation.
Now there, they're all valid.
So I'm not saying to you, this is the only
And whatever, way that you've, you, if
you've done this before and you've,
you've worked with a particular system,
that's also valid.
And they can, they can overlay, they can
overlap each other.
You know, they can be placed one on top of
the other.
So that's not a problem.
This isn't, this isn't the method.
But this is the way I do it, this is the
way I've always approached improvisation.
I've always approached it from a melodic
So what I'm gonna show you to, how to do.
Is, we're gonna strip it back to the very
Real basics.
Playing a triads and then we're gonna
build it up.
We're gonna go from playing very melodic
we're gonna take it a little further out.
We're gonna, we're gonna start bringing
some other things in.
And we're gonna take it further and
further out as we go along.
And this will seem, it seems hard at
But after a while once it starts to,
it does start to become natural after a
The reason it seems difficult at first is
cuz you're having to think, and thinking,
I always said, thinking is not good when
you're playing music.
You wanna kind of want to do that before.
Once you got, you've kind of, thought out
what you're gonna do,
then you kind of want to put the thinking
process slightly in the back of your mind,
and use that knowledge that you've, that
you've gathered.
But don't let it overtake everything, let
the music then, then build from that and,
and build on that that knowledge you have.
So what I'm gonna do here is, is start
really, really simple.
Now I'm gonna play this very straight.
And it will sound very unhip at first but
as we progress I'm gonna,
I'm gonna rephrase things so I'm not gonna
play it straight.
And hopefully it'll become a little hit
hipper as we go along and
I'll show you just how hip I can really