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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!
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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."
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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."
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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.
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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.
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Guided Arrangements
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30 Day Challenge
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+Music
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Video Exchange Archive
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Fingerstyle Guitar Lessons: The Nearness of You

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[MUSIC]
I really wanted to include The Nearness
of You in this guided arrangement section,
because a number of my students here
have-have submitted.
Now videos before are a number of
arrangements more than some in some cases
more than one.
A Laurance Reichel in France, Steve in
England,
Dan Mitchell in the States John in Toronto
did something very very nice with with
his where he used the tense, that we use
that I teach at the very beginning of the.
Of the curriculum that's John in Toronto
did a beautiful version,
I think he actually submitted two versions
of, of that, and also Andrew Hobbler
on the Gold Coast in Australia, he also
did a very very beautiful version of this.
And what was interesting, what was very
nice, now I'll try and
include some of this in Andrew.
Use this, this mechanism, when you play a
minor chord
[MUSIC]
Like an A minor, we can do this,
we can play the ninths of that chord, but
in the mid-register.
So there's, we've got.
There's the root.
We can either call it the second or
the ninth because that's either the first
note or the eighth.
So but it's the B.
So you have to play an A minor.
[MUSIC]
Instead of playing the, the A here,
we play
[MUSIC]
And then we can do a little run like that,
we can also do it in the major key.
[MUSIC]
So
this is a very nice thing to use every so
often as a fill, so
rather than just playing that minor chord.
We can have something, little movement,
you know Im always talking about having
movement going on
all the time rather than just playing the
melody with block chords underneath.
So, it seems all the students have played
this in the key of D.
Although it's not the written key.
I think the written key is F.
But D works very well on the guitar, and
I've recorded it in the key of D,
in the past on a couple of CDs.
So, I'm gonna play in D, for you, and I'm
just gonna play, again, the,
the skeleton, simple arrangement just so
we can find out geography so
we know where we are, so we know [COUGH]
we know the tune.
We know how the, the harmonic sequence is.
There's a transcription that you can
follow of this.
There's a, there's chord symbols,
there as well which at just they're all
there as a guide just ki, so
you kind of know, how it all works and how
it's all put together.
So here's our skeleton arrangement.
[MUSIC]
Okay.
Very, very simple.
That's how we, we can work our way around
that.
Now I'm gonna, start adding some movement,
embellishments,
some chord substitutions as well.
I'll put some of those, little descending.
The things I showed you.
[MUSIC]
Put some of those in.
And what I'll do, as well, every so often,
I, I'll I may just speak,
as well, and explain as, as I'm playing.
So again, this is just, some little
examples to,
to show you examples of what you can do
with this, how you can move this along,
and just make it a little bit more
interesting.
In fact, a lot more interesting from just
that, that template skeleton arrangement.
So here we go.
Let's see what I can do with this.
[MUSIC]
Now, now straight away,
I can do something here.
I can play.
[MUSIC]
This kind of movement
[MUSIC]
So, we have a little counter line
that's going on.
[MUSIC]
So, in other words, I'm not playing the
whole chord.
I'm just picking out little, intervals in
those chords.
Moving, moving them along to then hit,
almost like a target note of in the next
chord.
[MUSIC]
Here's that thing.
Play it in
time.
[MUSIC]
There it there it is again.
[MUSIC]
Here again.
[MUSIC]
And again.
[MUSIC]
There we go.
[MUSIC]
The core substitution.
[MUSIC]
That's like a, a c major chord.
[MUSIC]
With a b flat base.
[MUSIC]
An a pedal.
[MUSIC]
F sharp F sharp minor
[MUSIC]
,.
so I just played a little run, single
string run on, on that chord,
on the F sharp minor.
[MUSIC]
E minor, I can play a
[MUSIC]
A little run there.
All I'm playing is a, is a A minor scale.
[MUSIC]
So,
there's just an idea of the kind of thing,
things that you can do.
But when you start embellishing on this
and
moving away from that skeleton
arrangement.
Don't [COUGH] don't get too far away from
it, just
each time you play it, just start adding
some of those other little things
that I've been talking about here, some of
those movements and embellishments,
little ones, and if we work together on
this as well.
You, you, you need some advice on some of
these chord substitutions as well.
We can work on that together.
I can work on that with each individual
student.
The amazing thing about this site is that
it's interactive and
that we, I can work with each individual
student that submits a video.
And we can work for whatever level you're
playing at, at that particular time.
If you're new to this playing, this time,
this way of playing the guitar
then we can kind of ease into it, if
you've been doing this for awhile then we
can work together on maybe some ideas that
you haven't thought, thought of before.
But the important thing is just start off
with that skeleton and, and, and
work from there.
Submit a video to me and I can guide you
through an arrangement.
It will be your arrangement, not mine.
And I just, I can help you.
I can advise you.
I can put you in the,
the right direction where it's like
walking down the path together, you know.
That's we're on the same journey together.
I've just, I, I've been on the path
[LAUGH] this path, a little bit longer,
I've done this quite a few times, so I can
help you, I can guide you,
I can steer you in the right direction,
and sometimes, also, this is very
important too, I can hear something in
each player that is slightly different.
They've got something of their own, and
then I will make a point of really trying
discern something that's very good that I
can hear that's kind of a little germ of
an idea that you have that maybe you
wouldn't take any further from that.
I can help you work on that and turn that
into something very musical.
And that's the kind of thing-
The, all, all musicians that have an
individuality and a,
a personal stamp on their music, all have
these little ideas that have,
have, have, have come from their, their
from their, their own ideas.
But the, they've been worked on and
they've ha, had other people to encourage
them.
So if you've got a little germ of an idea
that I can hear and I think,
oh that'll be good, but you might not know
where to take it.
I can help you with that.
So, I look forward to your video
submissions on this this tune.
Thank you.
[MUSIC]