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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: All The Things You Are

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[MUSIC]
Now I've
chosen an old jazz standard All The Things
You Are.
Anybody that follows this kinda music,
follows jazz will know this tune.
And I, I just thought it would be a, a
good one for us to do.
To for, for us to work on because it has a
very interesting chord sequence
that moves around quite a lot.
But what I want to do is,
is to talk you through really seven stages
that we, we can work on here.
So, but first of all, before we get on to
the,
start going through these seven stages,
I'll just talk you through the form.
So this, and I'll, I'll go through a bit
more detail in a moment, but
this is basically, very basically the
tune.
Just the chords and melody.
I'll play it out of time as well.
I'm not going
to go into time.
[MUSIC]
So that's the very basic form of it.
Just to give you an idea you, you may be
familiar with this tune or
you may, you may not be.
Now let's start at stage one.
Step one, let's play the melody.
[MUSIC]
So, that, that's our melody.
So, the second part, the second step here,
we have are the chords.
That I'll, I'll run through these with you
and I'll call these out.
So, the first bar.
[MUSIC]
F-minor seventh.
[MUSIC]
B-flat minor seventh.
E-flat seventh.
A-flat major seventh.
D-flat major seventh.
Then we spit, we split the bar.
[MUSIC]
D-minor seventh.
G seventh.
C-major seventh for two bars.
[MUSIC]
C-minor seventh.
[MUSIC]
F-minor seventh.
[MUSIC]
B-flat seventh.
[MUSIC]
E-flat major seventh.
A-flat major seventh.
Split bar.
A-minor seventh.
D seventh.
G-major seventh for two bars.
[MUSIC]
That's F-sharp minor seventh.
B seventh.
E-major seventh.
[MUSIC]
G-minor seventh.
[MUSIC]
C seventh.
[MUSIC]
Back to the melody again.
F-minor seventh.
[MUSIC]
B-flat, B-flat minor seventh.
[MUSIC]
E-flat seventh.
[MUSIC]
A-flat major seventh.
[MUSIC]
D-flat major seventh.
[MUSIC]
D-minor, D-flat minor seventh.
[MUSIC]
F-sharp seventh as a split bar.
[MUSIC]
Another split bar, C-minor seventh.
[MUSIC]
We can do, we can actually play a, a,
a B seventh there.
And that was a split bar, then B-flat
minor seventh.
A split bar to an A-flat seventh and then
we got the our A as, as we finish there.
And when we go around again,
we can have a turnaround, which would be
G-minor seventh.
The C seventh and then back to the melody
again.
So that's our, our second step.
Now, so we have the melody and we have the
chords.
We can, we can then voice the chords so
that we put our melody on the top.
This is called chord melody playing.
[MUSIC]
[MUSIC]
So, we've taken it with our melody chords.
We've put the two together, and we have
chord melody playing.
Now, very often, this is where players
stop here.
They only take it as far as this.
And it actually, what we need to do now.
In order to go forward, we have to go
backwards.
So, for our fourth step, all we're gonna
do,
is we're gonna simplify everything now.
Instead of playing those blocked cords,
with the melody on top,
all we're gonna play, is the root note,
and the melody.
So, we're stripping everything down,
just remember all those lessons on tense
and seventh.
This is, is what's happening.
So, we're just gonna play the melody.
[MUSIC]
With bass note.
[MUSIC]
Now, as I'm doing this,
you'll see that I'm kind of forming the
chord.
The way I'm kind of fingering this, I'm
kind of forming it, the chords,
but I'm not actually playing the whole
chord.
[MUSIC]
But
in my mind, I'm visualizing those chord
shapes, actually.
I'm visualizing that, so think of that as,
as if it's underneath
the notes you're playing, there's a little
pencil sketch underneath.
You know, when, when an artist paints
there's a, maybe there's a, a,
a, a pen and ink drawing, before they
actually do the penning,
they do a little sketch underneath.
So, it's like that, so with just the base
and melody.
[MUSIC]
So, there we are.
[COUGH] Stage three, which was chord,
chord melody.
As I say, that's where a lot of players
stop but it's kind of flat.
So, what we're doing now, we're stripping
it right down, just these intervals.
Those lessons on tenths and sevenths, see
if you can identify where they are.
[MUSIC]
First chord, F minor seventh.
[MUSIC]
That's a minor tenth.
[MUSIC]
Major tenth.
[MUSIC]
Major tenth.
[MUSIC]
Minor tenth.
[MUSIC]
Major tenth.
[MUSIC]
Major tenth.
You identify where they are.
So, melody with with bass, that's our
fourth step.
Fifth step, is now we start building up
again.
Remember, we got those cords underneath as
our little sketch, but
we're not actually playing those notes.
Every so often, bring one of those notes
in, from that cord.
[MUSIC]
So, we're now starting to build it
back up again, instead of having the two
notes of the, the,
the root note and the melody, we now have
a, a third interval in, in there.
So, it starts to build back up again.
And our sixth stage, stage six, is we want
to add some movement.
So, with that, a, a third note that we've
added,
let's get it moving around, and make it
interesting.
Move away from that kind of block chord,
that that flat way of playing.
So, you get this kind of thing.
[MUSIC]
You can put something like that in.
[MUSIC]
And then what I would do here,
is I would start moving, putting some
other things here.
[MUSIC]
These kind of things wi, with Phil's.
So, we've got three lines going on, we
have the melody, the base, and
we have an interval in the middle that
we're moving around.
And this makes it so much more interesting
than just playing block cords.
And you get stuck in that.
That's why, there's method in my madness,
when you,
you look back at those early lessons,
where I'm teaching you how to play all,
all these very basic intervals, and moving
them around.
This is where, this is when it starts
coming into action, and
you can start to identify those.
So, that's taking us through those six
stages.
The seventh stage, is really important.
The seventh stage, is when you submit a
video to me, so that we
can get working together, and we can start
working through a guided arrangement.
[COUGH] Work through these steps.
It's, actually, it's very good, because
what you can do,
you can work on each one of these steps,
one day a week.
So, you get through 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6.
Then on the seventh day, you can then send
me a video,
with some of your ideas, that you have.
And this is a, this is a great way for us
to work.
So, what we're doing, we're starting,
we've got the form of the melody.
So, number one melody, number two chords,
number three we bring the melody and
chords together, number four, we strip it
right back to the basics,
melody and base note, five, we add an
interval, six, we add a movement,
seven, you submit a video to me, and we
get working to, on this together.