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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: The Fair Haired Child - Adding Harmony

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Now we've broken everything down,
to these two components of the melody
line, and the root note.
Very, very simple.
It's a little tricky at first when you
play that,
it's a little bit like tapping your head
and rubbing your stomach at the same time.
But you know, just kind of bear with that,
it will all come, come into place.
Now, thinking about those chords that we
had earlier,
when we were, when we were going through
the, the chords.
If we can try and visualize those, those
chords there,
we can start filling some things in the
middle by adding,
some very simple harmonies, maybe
sometime, one-note, two-notes.
Sometimes even get a little bit of
movement with those notes as well.
But we're still basically, we're basing
everything around that melody and
bass note and we're gonna try and just
fill some of the bits in the middle.
So, I'm gonna I never play it the same
every time so
I'm just gonna play very slowly for you
and give, try and give you some.
Some examples of how this is done.
There we have those chords,
those notes in there.
What could be more simple than that?
There we go on A minor.
Some notes from the D minor chord.
That's going from the D minor to the G.
And that's our magic note, magic two
They've got the seventh.
And the D and then when we play G, that
becomes our tenth.
Sevens and tens.
So I'll do
that again.
Now it doesn't have to be every time.
So if I play it the second time round.
I'm playing it a little,
that's, that's on the scale of A minor.
We've got some movement there.
I've never played that before,
that's only just come in.
See how I'm just filling that in?
I've got, I've got, we've got our melody
the root note, and what am I playing
I'm playing the third, or the, or the
tenth, and now seventh.
Tenths and sevenths again.
Root, root, melody note, tenth, seventh.
We can play a little something like that.
I think maybe put another note in there.
We can play a little around with
the melody, as well.
We don;t have to play exactly the same.
We're playing the melody, the root note
and we're having fun with these notes,
these intervals in the, in, in the middle.
Once you learn how to do this
you can apply it to every tune you, you
can take a tune, someone can give you the,
the lead chart with the melody on the top
and the, and the chords.
And then you can break it down like this.
After awhile, like the way I play now, I
don't have to break it down in that way.
I, I kind of do it instinctively because
I've been doing it for such a long time.
But this is, this is a great thing to do.
This can be applied to everything.
Something that a, a few students have said
about the learn to play by tunes.
Is that missed the, missed the point of
The, the whole thing about learning to
play by tunes isn't really so
that you just learn parrot fashion.
It's so I can show you how all those
earlier exercises
are then incorporated, what, what the
connection is.
Because once you, once you have.
Say that my, my arrangement, like I've
played a, an arrangement of this.
And then, you, you know about these
You know about the, the, the root note,
the melody, the intervals that we can play
in the middle.
You can apply that to absolutely
And til you get to the, the point where.
It becomes really quite, quite natural,
because you start building up a kind of
musical vocabulary, vocabulary of what,
what you can do, so,
I can play that,
if I want, I can play that different.
I can play it here.
Yeah, when I play it's different.
melody and root.
I'm just playing something on the scale of
D minor.
This only works, though, if you do the all
the, the preliminary things of learning
the melody and learning the chord,
and kind of getting that under your skin
so you're really familiar with that.
Once you, once you don't get to the point
where you don't have to think about it
then, you can break it into down to those
those components of the melody note and
the root note.
Then you build it up with putting some of
those little harmonies in the middle.
You can then make some of those harmonies
into lines by when you play a D minor.
You can play some of the notes from the
scale of D minor.
we have these nice little moving lines.
And it's all based around the root note
and melody.
Something I do as well on here.
Is, I play some dissonant things as well.
This is something you can kind of
experiment with.
Just to give something like this, which is
so, it's such a pretty song.
Sometimes you want something to have a
little bit dissonant in there,
to just have a slight edge which brings in
that kind of tension and release.
See it's, that's a major seventh on the
On the, on the A minor.
But you gotta move away from it.
That's the tension.
And then going up semitone is the release.
Whoa, there's a, there's a,
there's a distance
On the, on the A-minor.
Using some open string sometimes is really
good, too.
So, when I play, I can be.
So now we've got to this point.
We've got everything built up again.
This is when we can get to the point when
we can have fun.
Follow the rules on this.
The rules are, learn the melody, learn the
chords, learn the,
then learn to play the melody and the root
notes together.
And then, from knowing the chords,
start filling in some small harmonies in
the middle.
It, it works on this, and
it will work on, everything you play,
you'll have great fun with this.
So you're gonna have a lot of fun with
So I'd, I'd really like you to start
playing around with, with this.
You can do it on this tune.
And don't stick exactly to what I'm doing
you know,
really you're free to have a good time.
But just keep that melody and root, and
then everything that goes on in the
Whatever you want to put in there just do
You know don't don't get too busy and and
don't play too many notes
in the middle cause we, we just sometimes
it sounds bigger when we play less notes.
So what I'd like you to do is try that
come up with some ideas and at any point.
Just send me a video submit a video, and
I'd be very happy to respond.