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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 10: Melodic Improvisation Single String 2-5-1

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jazz improvisation is taught, it, we
always come up straight away,
right from the beginning, with 2-5-1, you
hear that being spoken about all the time.
That's a turnaround, a harmonic turnaround
that we find in so many jazz standards.
So it's something we really need to learn,
we need to hear what it sounds like, and
know how we can navigate that when we're,
when we're improvising on it.
So it, it's a good point to start.
So by 2-5-1, say we're playing in C.
So the two would be D.
The five is G.
And the one is C.
There we go.
If we harmonize that,
we've got, D-minor, so D-minor seventh, G
seventh, C.
That's what a turnaround sounds like.
And a lot of the time in jazz, when.
then moved around into different keys.
You'll hear this a lot in jazz.
That's the sound we got.
Remember, very early in the curriculum I'm
talking to you about all the intervals and
it's, it's.
If you, if you play them over and
over again you get to hear what they sound
like and, in the same way with this.
That's what a, a 2-5-1 sounds like.
And it's not something that's exclusive to
jazz because you hear it in everything
from nursery rhymes to choral music the
classical music, 2-5-1.
So it's not something that is exclusive to
jazz by any means.
So we have this D-minor seventh.
G seven, C.
Now, let's start playing some single line
things on that D-minor
seven with this cord.
To a, a G.
To a C.
Doesn't sound very jazzy at all.
You've heard that in other kinds of music
but not jazz, you'd think.
That's a 2-5-1.
Not played played very straight, not in
the jazz, jazz style at all.
So we can look at this now, we can play.
Well how do I play around a.
When someones playing.
When that's being played at tempo.
So we can do this, we can play the but do
it very simply.
I'm not gonna play the whole scale just
like a, a triad.
So we, if we play the triad starting on
the one, the root note.
So if we play D-minor.
G seventh.
That's very basic, try it on it.
we're basing that on the, the root note.
[SOUND] So, a C.
This is gonna be important cuz I'm gonna
show you something after this, so.
So, D.
Now, we can do the same thing.
Instead of starting on the, the root note,
let's start on the third.
What does that sound like?
All right, we're at the third of the
So here we have.
That's that's based on the third.
We can start on the, the fifth of each
So in D-minor we'd start on A.
On G seventh we'd start on a D.
on the C we start on the G as the fifth.
We can also do it on the seven,
so on a D-minor seven.
And the seventh of G.
so, we have, we can, we can use those,
when you're thinking of these chords,
don't think of the whole scale.
Think of in, break it down to triads, and
then think of.
You play those triads starting on the
or the third, or the fifth, or the
Because these can then become target notes
for you.
So what happens here?
When we do, when we have target notes.
If we use,
if we use the, the the root as our target
We go we'd, we'd have.
D, G, C.
The third is our target note.
Would be, in D-minor, would be F.
G would be a B.
C would be the E.
on the fifth [COUGH] we'll have.
Okay on, on the seventh we would have.
If we're playing a major seventh.
Say on, on the, on the C.
So, thinking of those, those, those
chords, but
then breaking it down to the triads and
thinking in terms of target notes.
So, when you say well I know it's a
D-minor seventh, G seventh to a C,
you can get really fuddled.
This is when the fear factor comes in.
Because you think oh, D-minor.
G seventh.
To C.
[LAUGH] And you don't have to play all
those notes.
You can just play.
You can just target one note out of each
chord when you're, when you're
So what I'm gonna do now is I've recorded
a backing track.
And I'm gonna play some of these things
and then start moving along as we go.