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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
Video Exchange Archive
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Fingerstyle Guitar Lessons: Serafina

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Course Description

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I'm gonna guide you through making your
own arrangement of one of my original
This is called Serafina.
I actually recorded and filmed on, on this
If you go into Performances and More
you'll, you'll see that I did a.
I don't know about you, there's actually a
trio, we had a bass player with us too.
Brian Sutton, and I did a version of this,
this tune.
But, I've never actually played a solo
version of it before.
So, I'll be kinda working with you on this
as well.
So, what we're going to do here,
what I'm going to do is just first of all
give you the skeleton arrangement.
There's, this is this part that's
I'm gonna play you the very simple
skeleton so that we,
we have, this is our little template that
we can, we can work on.
And then, I'll also play you a few little
ideas, just to kick start you, give you a,
a kick start.
So here's the first one, this is just a
very simple skeleton arrangement, so
we know where we are.
And the, the, the transcription will help
you as well.
So that's very basic.
So now we can start elaborating a little.
These, these, I'm just giving you some
ideas and you, you can copy these ideas.
Or just use them as a way of giving you a
little kick start to come up with some of
your own.
So we can do things like this.
[SOUND] We can have a, a counter line for
a start.
This is.
We can do this, a counter line.
So the melody goes up.
I've, I've actually done, I've spoken
about this before on the site.
When you have that kinda ascending melody,
we can do a descending, counter line.
That's our ascending melody, and we can do
So we'd get this.
The E-flat minus are a flat 7th.
We can do, we can do this.
We can do those little
Those nice little moving chromatic lines
in the middle, always very effective.
So, and the second part.
We can, we can do it again.
We can do a descending line wherever we
get a, an ascending melody.
One of the things about this tune and
coming up arrangement with this.
There are times when you can actually cut
out where you only play the melody, so
you can be really quite sparse with it,
Or put it just put that,
that descending line as
Here we go.
Our 10ths with a 7th, with a moving 7th.
goes right back to the early lessons in
the curriculum.
Now you can see why it's important,
it doesnt matter how long you've been
playing to really start
with those lessons right from the very
Because they occur.
Now you know that once you've,
once you've been through those lessons on
those intervals.
You can then, now would be putting into
practical use.
This is something we can do as well.
We can sometimes do a pedal note, with the
Just a little single line fill.
That could be nice.
So there we are.
We've got, we've got the very, the simple
skeleton arrangement transcribed.
We've got a camera here, where you can
see, you can see this full-on.
You've got the overhead camera,
transcription, given as much information
as, as possible here.
The next part is up to you.
Cuz the next part you have to do is,
submit a video of you playing either.
It doesn't matter how simple it is, or,
whether you want to already
start adding a few things of your own,
some embellishments.
Just send that to me, any ideas that you
have, and you say,
Martin, I came up with this idea, do you
think this works?
Just give me a little example of that, and
we can get working together, and
I'm gonna walk you through creating your
own arrangement.
It'll your arrangement, it won't be mine,
it'll be yours.
And then you'll find that, well the idea
is that you then come up with,
with my help and guidance.
You'll start building up a vocabulary of
things that
you can use on just about, just about
So a lot of things about playing music,
particularly this kinda music which isn't
kinda carved in stone.
Where this is organic, we're changing all
the time.
The, one of the, the, the important things
is that we
build up a vocabulary of lots of different
musical devices.
That, that we can use.
Even you look at the listen to the music
of the the the great
composers the great orchestral composers.
Oh right through the ages you can see they
all had their favorite
things that were part of their vocabulary.
So lets start building up the vocabulary.
So submit a video, and I'm gonna guide you
through your own arrangement of Serafina.