An Interview With soYmartino
I recently mentioned soYmartino in an article listing the best YouTube channels for fingerstyle acoustic guitar. While researching, I discovered that soYmartino had launched a ‘guitar school’ via his website. There’s a variety of fingerstyle guitar school’s available online (Martin Taylor, Tommy Emmanuel, etc.). But I thought soYmartino’s was interesting because his playing has a different flavor. He emphasizes nylon-stringed classical guitars, has numerous nods to metal influences, and seems to lean more towards a Rodrigo y Gabrela aesthetic.
soYmartino agreed to answer a few questions for an interview. Here’s a few insights on his guitar school, his name, and his music.
Jesse: What inspired you to start the online Guitar School on your website?
soYmartino: Starting the Guitar School website was mostly on request of my fans, who wanted to play like me, wanted to play the arrangements I write, wanted to know how do I practice, what do I practice.
Jesse: What’s unique about your Guitar School that potential students should consider?
soYmartino: I think the unique thing my Guitar school offers is the teaching (and learning) without unnecessary words around it. Most of the lessons you find on the internet waste too much time on speaking. I believe the ears and the eyes are more important when learning, rather than the musical language symbolized and translated into words. And I believe people can learn better when their senses are fully concentrated. I design the exercises that way, so that students get the “theory behind it” subconsciously.
Jesse: It looks like you play a lot of classical guitar. How will the guitar school help “steel string” players vs classical (or “nylon string”) players?
soYmartino: Steel string players and nylon string players perceive the differences mostly only in their fingertips. I don´t use guitar picks or the artificial nails. You can find two of the same guitar picks or artificial nails, but you surely won´t find two of the same human hands, with the same fingers, the same natural nails, etc… and that (naturalness) helps you to sound different from the other players, to have your own sound, identity. That´s the goal I am looking for.
Jesse: Where does your name “soYmartino” come from? And why is the “Y” capitalized? (What do your friends call you?)
soYmartino: My nickname goes back to my Spanish adventure…I used to play on the Canary Islands with another Martin and our duo was called “Los Martinos”. Then the other “Martin” left and I stayed in Spain playing alone. Nobody called me “Martin” anymore, and if so, I used to correct them: no soy Martin, soy Martino (I am not Martin, I am Martino). That´s where it comes from. The “Y” is there just to separate two words without using spaces and it became a part of my logo.
Jesse: If someone was going to watch you play for the first time, which one of your YouTube videos would you have them watch, and why?
soYmartino: There are some arrangements (covers) I wrote, which have for me some special meaning , because at the time of arranging it, I couldn´t find anybody else on Youtube who had arranged it for one guitar before me. Most recently it´s “Voyage Voyage” (Desireless), “One” (Metallica), “Budapest” (George Ezra), etc… there are more that I’m happy I did.
You can check out soYmartino’s Guitar School here:
This is “Voyage Voyage” (performed by soYmartino):