Intro to Reading Music (Guitar Lesson)

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Matt Brown

Intro to Reading Music

This introductory lesson will walk you through the basics of reading music and reading rhythm.

Taught by Matt Brown in Reading Music and Rhythm seriesLength: 15:07Difficulty: 1.5 of 5
Chapter 1: (15:07) Intro to Reading Music and Reading Rhythm Welcome to the Phase 2 Reading Music and Rhythm series! In this extensive lesson set, Matt Brown will provide you with the necessary tools to completely master rhythm and reading music.

Why is rhythm so important?

-Rhythm is the single most important aspect of music. If you can't play something perfectly in time, then you can't play it. As a result, you should spend the majority of your practice time perfecting rhythm. This task can be accomplished in a variety of different ways. The important rule to remember is to practice with a metronome as much as possible. Playing along with recordings is also great practice.

-Rhythmic skills are essential to playing with a group of other musicians. As a guitarist, you can't simply say: "I’ll just play along with the drummer. After all, the drummer is responsible for the rhythm." This is a horrible mindset to have. YOU must be responsible for rhythmic perfection at all times. That way, if the drummer is playing incorrectly, you can address the issue as needed.

Rhythm and Reading

Reading music and rhythm are skills that go hand in hand with one another. However, it is easiest to master these concepts by isolating them as much as possible. It is much easier for the brain to absorb new information when it breaks the information down into smaller, more manageable units. In this lesson series, some lesson material will be devoted specifically towards rhythm. Other lessons will deal primarily with reading skills. Finally, some lessons will combine the two skills using famous repertoire.

Why is reading music so important?

-First and foremost, learning to read music will make you a better player. Reading skills will enhance the overall musicality of your playing. Continuing with these lessons will make you sound better. Period. After all, isn't that the goal we're all after?

-If you can't read music, you cannot interpret written music or tablature properly. This is due to a lack of understanding of how notes function with one another from a theoretical standpoint.

-It is impossible to learn music theory without basic reading skills.

-Musicians that play other instruments don't use tablature. You cannot communicate with these musicians without reading skills.

What will be covered in this series?

This series starts at the very beginning. It starts with the assumption that you know very little about notes and the staff. In due time, the lessons will gradually become more advanced. This series will close with the most difficult music in the guitar repertoire.

When learning any new skill, it is absolutely necessary to build a strong foundation. If you don't understand the basics, you will easily get lost as the lesson material becomes more difficult.

Here's a brief overview of some of the topics and materials that will be taught throughout the course of this series:

Note names and the staff
Clef signs
Rhythm exercises
Time signatures
Key signatures
Reading children's melodies
Reading music across the fretboard
Rock, folk, jazz, and classical solo arrangements of varying difficulty
Guitar duets
Advanced rhythmic concepts such as polyrhythms and Eastern rhythm concepts.

Books to Check Out

In addition to this lesson series, be sure to pick up the following books for additional information and practice:

-Progressive Guitar Method Book 1 by Gary Turner and Brenton White
-A Modern Method for Guitar books 1, 2, and 3 by William G. Leavitt
-Classical Studies for Pick-Style Guitar by William Leavitt
-Melodic Rhythms for Guitar by William Leavitt
-Approaching the Guitar by Gene Bertoncini
-The Fingerboard Workbook by Barry Galbraith
-Daily Exercises in the Melodic and Harmonic Minor Modes by Barry Galbraith
-Guitar Comping with Bass Lines in Treble Clef by Barry Galbraith
-Jazz Conception by Jim Snidero
-100 Graded Classical Guitar Studies by Fredrick Noad
-Charlie Parker Omnibook
-The Library of Guitar Classics
-The New Real Book by Sher Music

Final Thoughts

We all hope you enjoy this lesson series! If you have questions about anything in this series, feel free to send emails to Matt Brown’s JamPlay email account. Or, you can ask a question in the Q and A section. Thanks, and have fun!

Video Subtitles / Captions


Supplemental Learning Material



Member Comments about this Lesson

Discussions with our instructors are just one of the many benefits of becoming a member of JamPlay.

Richie85Richie85 replied

I went to see Tommy Emmanuel last month and he seemed pretty happy that he didn't read music!! Your snobbery of being ablee to read is really off putting! Makes me want to rebel and not read!! However I must work around your arrogance and my own judging of your character and learn purely because thats what I want to do!!

gasepiogasepio replied

Waiting for the lessons. Usefull.

apjamplayapjamplay replied

While people will often say it's better to learn to read music right from the start as a beginner, having gone through a few lessons of this set, I think I'll learn to play a bit better first and learn the fretboard as, in the absence of that, it's hard to follow what's being taught. At this stage I need more on how music is written, how it sounds and the reasons etc rather than leaping straight in to playing songs on lesson 3. It's really teaching me how to read music at the moment. The books you suggest are on order and I may just stick with them and the theory side rather than leaping in to the playing side.

mattbrownmattbrown replied

Hi! Thanks for your comments! I personally would either work on Mark Brennan's lessons first or do his lessons in conjunction with the lessons here. I think it's important to have a balance of basic techniques, fun playing examples, etc. when working on your reading skills. Otherwise, your practice routine might be a little unbalanced and you might get frustrated.

apjamplayapjamplay replied

Hi. Looks like another great Jamplay series. I am new to the electric guitar and I MEAN new!!! First days and never played before. I am using a private tutor for a while and also Jamplay. Committed to learning music too, not just tabs. Am buying the books you suggest too. Just one quick question. Is there a need / point to go through the Mark Brennan intro lessons first or will this cover all there + more. Thanks

gibstratgibstrat replied

beautiful prs you have there matt

mattbrownmattbrown replied

why thank you!

andrew37andrew37 replied

I just signed up for Jamplay today. I wanna learn the right way so I got in the chat room and asked where I could find instruction on how to read music. They led me here. I look forward to learning your series. I'm getting ready to retire from the Army. I'm 37 years old and have only played for about 6 weeks so I'm hoping this will teach me the right stuff so it can take me anywhere. Another reason I want to read music is because I have short-term memory loss so I need to have something to look at because I forget everything so fast. I'll keep you updated on my progress!

mattbrownmattbrown replied

Hey Andrew! Glad to hear you're starting these lessons. I think they will help you gain a better understanding of fundamental music knowledge and better sense of why and how certain things work. If you ever have questions, don't hesitate to ask. Also, feel free to email me recordings or videos of yourself playing so I can give you some pointers. I check these comments at least once a week, so hit me up anytime! Good luck and have fun!!!

htfdehtfde replied

Well, contrary to the message in the lesson that guitar players are the laughing stock of musicians my experience is that drummers are usually even worse off. :)

mattbrownmattbrown replied

Yeah...You're probably right about that one! You can easily lump all drummers out there into two categories: drummers that are actually musicians and drummers that just hit stuff.

rundirundi replied

Hi matt, I'm only a bit rusty. I learn reading music when I start play many years ago. With the guitar the worst is that there are many ways of playing the same note I have some difficulties in finding the more appropriate fingering....I have to spend many time on the music sheet without tablature. I follow your course on jazz music too and I start playing the sheet Buzzy...It is a very easy lick but I spent 20 minutes to get it from the music. I have to practice very hard. thx Marcello.

rundirundi replied

I always want to learn seriously to read musicc and to apply it to play directly on the guitar. I'll try your lessons and I hope..... many thanks Matt.

mattbrownmattbrown replied

Good luck! Developing reading skills can be frustrating for a lot of people. If this is the case for you, don't give up! Your playing and your overall musical knowledge will expand by leaps and bounds if you hang with these lessons. Be sure to let me know if you ever need help with anything.

cwarden84cwarden84 replied

Hey Matt. Really enjoying your lessons and learning a lot. You had a couple of book recommendations...several of them can be bought in various keys (the New Real Book and the Omnibook for example can be bought in E flat, C, B flat, etc.). Does it matter which key I get or is there a key you would recommend? Thanks!

mattbrownmattbrown replied

Hi! You want to go with the key of C. The other books are for transposing instruments (trumpet, sax).

alnrhondaalnrhonda replied

I just wanted to say that I'm excited to get started. You have a really good approach to this subject and, as you said in Lesson 1, I've put it off because I thought it was too hard. I know this and the supplemental information will only help make me a better musician. Thank you in advance for your time and effort. Al

mattbrownmattbrown replied

Glad to hear you're taking the plunge, Al! Let me know if you ever need help with anything. Good luck!

BuffyLOLBuffyLOL replied

I am really looking forwards to learn to read music. Thank you Matt for putting these lessons together.

mattbrownmattbrown replied

No problem! Let me know if you have any questions or run into any problems.

hereticsound666hereticsound666 replied

there is still no supplemental content here what the crap?

thebraverygirlthebraverygirl replied

if it isn't fun, be a politician ;D

bluesman1bluesman1 replied

Have to hold the guitar lest we forget what were here for!

barryrbarryr replied

Just started this series. It is perfect; exactly what I was looking for. Thanks, Matt

mattbrownmattbrown replied

Hey Barry! I'm glad that you're enjoying these lessons! If you ever have a question about anything, please don't hesitate to write a comment within the lesson or shoot me a private message. I almost always check my forum and the comments in the lessons twice a week (on Mondays and Fridays).

jtarbaljtarbal replied

Hi Matt, I finished Mark Brennan phase 1 lessons and I am starting now your Rock series. I am enjoying a lot Jamplay. Although, I have been playing the guitar for many years, I never studied it with a method and I feel there are many things that are not clear to me. I would like to have a reference book (or many) that covers both music theory and guitar techniques. This way, It would be easier for me to have a solid base and I would take more advantage of the video lessons. I saw that you listed some books in this lesson, but there are too many for me… If you had to chose 1 or 2 books covering guitar theory and techniques, which ones would you chose? Thanks a lot!

mattbrownmattbrown replied

Hi! I always have students work through these books in this order: 1. Progressive Guitar Method: Book 1 by Gary Turner 2. A Modern Method for Guitar - William G. Leavitt While you're working through these books, check out these books to get in your theory and ear training: 1. Berklee Music Theory Book 1 by Paul Schmeling 2. Essential Ear Training for the Contemporary Musician - Prosser If the theory information in these books is a little bit over your head at this point, I recommend you check out Music Theory for Dummies or the Complete Idiot's Guide to Music Theory. In addition, make sure that you check out Steve's theory lessons here on JamPlay. If you ever have questions, jump into a Q+A (doesn't matter which teacher) and we'll be glad to help you out. Oh, and don't forget to play stuff that is fun and inspiring! Play your favorite songs and write some of your own. Good luck!!

jtarbaljtarbal replied

Thanks a lot for your reply!

supahgloosupahgloo replied

Cheers Matt, Ive always wanted to learn to read music as i feel totally inadequate being a tablature player. and now i know you like meshuggah and tool, im definately sticking with you lol. Adam Jones and Fredrik Thordendal are like my idols man. Thanks...

tjlucerotjlucero replied

after 1 1/2 weeks i'm through lesson 15 and am making good progress. crazy how i'm reading the actual notes instead of the tab and am able to understand the keys (so far) and timing. lots more to work on and memorize but after "playing" guitar off and on for 10 years i now really feel like i'm actually starting to play. hope to be through (competently mastered) all 50 lessons by March. thanks for this series Matt.

mattbrownmattbrown replied

Wow! This comment really made my day. I'm glad to hear that you are having a lot of success with these lessons. Just to warn you, there is a big leap in difficulty between lessons 48 and 49. I'm going to film some new lessons in the near future that will hopefully fill in all of the gaps between these lessons.

vespianvespian replied

What kind of guitar is that..?

mattbrownmattbrown replied

It's a PRS Custom 24.

camcdonaldcamcdonald replied

Matt, I am already excited from just the intro of the series. I saw Tool and Meshuggah in Texas. I just saw Tool's recent "mini tour" in Phoenix. It really helps when a instructor digs the same type music. Keep up the good work. Obviously you are familiar with Aloke Dutta's tabla drumming?

mattbrownmattbrown replied

Hey! I just saw Tool a month ago at Lollapalooza. Amazing as always! I am definitely familiar with Aloke's drumming. I can't tell you how much I've learned from studying non-Western rhythmic concepts.

franrfranr replied

Hi Matt, thanks for these lessons ... I started out on the phase 2 jazz lessons and found out that it required learn ing to read music. So what greater motivator can I get to start doing this :)

reddog47reddog47 replied

Matt im a beginner when it comes to reading music.thank you for this very important lesson.I hope i can follow along

rienzi25rienzi25 replied

Thanks Matt. I'm very interested in your lesson. Exciting..

jamcatjamcat replied

Matt I was wondering if anything by Mel Bay is acceptable as a resource?

ignacio12ignacio12 replied

thank for this sction

ironsonironson replied

I think its great you've added this section. When I signed up, I was disappointed to learn there really wasnt very much music theory, and music reading instruction. This will contribute a lot toward me staying with you guys. One note, can you list any recommended reading material in the supplemental content section of the lessons? Thanks

mattbrownmattbrown replied

check the lesson info section for some book recommendations.

trey21trey21 replied

Dude Matt your the friggen best add your wit into your lessons to lighten the mood and i burst out laughing sometimes...and i'm glad you added music theory cuz i really wanted to learn it man so thanks and your a badass...late

mattbrownmattbrown replied

yep...I'm working on it. The supplemental content and lesson information for all the lessons in this series should be up by early next week.

mattbrownmattbrown replied

supp. content will be posted in the next few days. thanks!

Reading Music and Rhythm

Found in our Beginner Lesson Sets

Matt brings all of his years of education right to you with this fantastic series on how to read music. You will start with the very basics and work up to some very advanced concepts.

Intro to Reading MusicLesson 1

Intro to Reading Music

This introductory lesson will walk you through the basics of reading music and reading rhythm.

Length: 15:07 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Reading MusicLesson 2

Reading Music

Learn how to identify notes, the key signature, and the staff. Implement your reading skills by playing a few simple tunes.

Length: 43:32 Difficulty: 1.5 FREE
Rhythm and Time SignaturesLesson 3

Rhythm and Time Signatures

Learn the basics of notation and time signatures. Practice these concepts with a few timing exercises.

Length: 22:01 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
3/4 Time SignaturesLesson 4

3/4 Time Signatures

Now that you've learned a bit about 4/4 time, it's on to 3/4 time.

Length: 22:20 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Reading Music PracticeLesson 5

Reading Music Practice

Now that you know the basics of reading music, it's time to put that knowledge to work with some exercises.

Length: 25:43 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
On Top of Old SmokeyLesson 6

On Top of Old Smokey

Get some more practice reading music and rhythms during your rock fest rendition of "On Top of Old Smokey".

Length: 15:54 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
He's Got the Whole WorldLesson 7

He's Got the Whole World

Matt Brown reviews the G major scale and teaches "He's Got the Whole World".

Length: 13:18 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Amazing GraceLesson 8

Amazing Grace

Matt Brown explains how to read music in the key of F major. He uses the song "Amazing Grace" as an example.

Length: 15:22 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Shoo, FlyLesson 9

Shoo, Fly

Matt Brown teaches the song "Shoo, Fly" as another excellent rhythm and reading example. This song is in the key of G.

Length: 14:46 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Scales and Key SignaturesLesson 10

Scales and Key Signatures

Matt Brown returns with the 10th installment in his Reading and Rhythm series. In this lesson, Matt discusses key signatures.

Length: 14:09 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Minor Key and Aura LeeLesson 11

Minor Key and Aura Lee

In this lesson Matt Brown covers the first minor key song in this series, "Aura Lee".

Length: 12:11 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Scarborough FairLesson 12

Scarborough Fair

In this lesson, Matt introduces the A Dorian mode. He applies it to the song "Scarborough Fair".

Length: 16:29 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Second PositionLesson 13

Second Position

In lesson 13, Matt Brown discusses and demonstrates second position.

Length: 29:52 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
RhythmLesson 14


Lesson 14 is all about rhythm. Matt Brown discusses its importance and provides several exercises.

Length: 20:17 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
On Top of Old Smokey ReviewLesson 15

On Top of Old Smokey Review

Matt Brown reviews "On Top of Old Smokey". This time around, the melody is played in second position.

Length: 7:56 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Reviewing Angels We Have Heard On High Lesson 16

Reviewing Angels We Have Heard On High

For lesson 14, Matt Brown reviews "Angels We Have Heard On High". The melody is now played in second position.

Length: 12:02 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Shoo, Fly ReviewLesson 17

Shoo, Fly Review

Matt Brown reviews the song "Shoo, Fly" in second position.

Length: 8:56 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Rhythm StrummingLesson 18

Rhythm Strumming

This lesson covers right hand rhythm technique. Matt introduces syncopated strumming patterns.

Length: 25:38 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Down by the RiversideLesson 19

Down by the Riverside

Matt teaches the melody to "Down by the Riverside". This tune is used as preparation for learning accompaniment techniques.

Length: 15:02 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
AccompanimentLesson 20


Matt uses the song "Down by the Riverside" to teach accompaniment techniques for rhythm backing.

Length: 12:31 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Fur Elise Pt. 1Lesson 21

Fur Elise Pt. 1

Matt teaches the classic tune "Fur Elise" in a two part series. For Part 1, Matt demonstrates the melody section.

Length: 24:03 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Fur Elise Pt. 2Lesson 22

Fur Elise Pt. 2

In lesson 22, Matt teaches the accompaniment sections to Beethoven's "Fur Elise".

Length: 13:12 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
The Entertainer Pt. 1Lesson 23

The Entertainer Pt. 1

Lesson 23 starts a 2 part series on the classic tune "The Entertainer".

Length: 16:30 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
The Entertainer Pt. 2Lesson 24

The Entertainer Pt. 2

Lesson 24 completes the two part series on "The Entertainer". You will learn the accompaniment in this lesson.

Length: 14:06 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Sea to Sea Pt. 1Lesson 25

Sea to Sea Pt. 1

Matt starts another 2 part lesson, this time on the tune "Sea to Sea" by William G. Leavitt.

Length: 20:36 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Sea to Sea Pt. 2Lesson 26

Sea to Sea Pt. 2

Lesson 26 completes Matt's 2 part series on "Sea to Sea".

Length: 10:17 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Stars and Stripes Forever Pt. 1Lesson 27

Stars and Stripes Forever Pt. 1

Matt introduces the B flat major scale and teaches the song "Stars and Stripes Forever".

Length: 21:31 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Stars and Stripes Forever Pt. 2Lesson 28

Stars and Stripes Forever Pt. 2

Matt completes his two part series on "Stars and Stripes Forever" by teaching the accompaniment.

Length: 7:39 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
D Major in First and Second PositionLesson 29

D Major in First and Second Position

Matt Brown teaches the D Major scale in both first and second positions.

Length: 17:55 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Danny Boy Pt. 1Lesson 30

Danny Boy Pt. 1

Matt Brown demonstrates "Danny Boy" in both first and second positions.

Length: 16:28 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Danny Boy Pt. 2Lesson 31

Danny Boy Pt. 2

Matt Brown teaches the accompaniment to the "Danny Boy" melody.

Length: 12:03 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Silent Night Pt. 1Lesson 32

Silent Night Pt. 1

Matt teaches the Christmas classic "Silent Night."

Length: 18:17 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Silent Night Pt. 2Lesson 33

Silent Night Pt. 2

Matt teaches the accompaniment to the "Silent Night" melody.

Length: 4:55 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Funiculi Funicula Pt. 1Lesson 34

Funiculi Funicula Pt. 1

Matt Brown teaches "Funiculi Funicula" as an exercise in reading and playing in 6/8 time.

Length: 14:39 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Funiculi Funicula Pt. 2Lesson 35

Funiculi Funicula Pt. 2

Matt Brown teaches the accompaniment to "Funiculi Funicula".

Length: 16:40 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Strumming TripletsLesson 36

Strumming Triplets

In lesson 36, Matt provides exercises to help you strum triplet patterns.

Length: 23:30 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Strumming Sixteenth Note RhythmsLesson 37

Strumming Sixteenth Note Rhythms

In lesson 37, Matt Brown demonstrates how to strum sixteenth note rhythms.

Length: 17:28 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Song of the Volga BoatmenLesson 38

Song of the Volga Boatmen

Matt Brown demonstrates the melody and tips for playing the Russian folk tune "Song of the Volga Boatmen".

Length: 11:33 Difficulty: 0.5 Members Only
Song of the Volga Boatmen Pt. 2Lesson 39

Song of the Volga Boatmen Pt. 2

In lesson 39, Matt teaches the accompaniment to "Song of the Volga Boatmen".

Length: 8:35 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Dance of the UkraineLesson 40

Dance of the Ukraine

Matt Brown teaches and demonstrates "Dance of the Ukraine."

Length: 15:37 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Dance of the Ukraine Pt. 2Lesson 41

Dance of the Ukraine Pt. 2

Matt demonstrates the accompaniment to the "Dance of the Ukraine" melody.

Length: 13:36 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Etude by Ferdinando CarulliLesson 42

Etude by Ferdinando Carulli

Matt Brown teaches an etude for classical guitar by Ferdinando Carulli.

Length: 21:20 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Morning Pt. 1Lesson 43

Morning Pt. 1

Matt Brown teaches the melody section to "Morning" by Edvard Grieg.

Length: 18:44 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Morning Pt. 2Lesson 44

Morning Pt. 2

Matt teaches the accompaniment for Edvard Grieg's "Morning."

Length: 8:08 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Bach's Minuet Pt. 1Lesson 45

Bach's Minuet Pt. 1

Matt Brown teaches Bach's classic Minuet.

Length: 14:55 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Bach's Minuet Pt. 2Lesson 46

Bach's Minuet Pt. 2

In lesson 46, Matt Brown covers the accompaniment section to Bach's Minuet.

Length: 5:53 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Little Prelude in C Pt. 1Lesson 47

Little Prelude in C Pt. 1

Matt Brown teaches Bach's "Little Prelude in C."

Length: 16:23 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Little Prelude in C Pt. 2Lesson 48

Little Prelude in C Pt. 2

Matt Brown teaches the accompaniment to "Little Prelude in C" by Bach.

Length: 7:49 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Clementi's SonatinaLesson 49

Clementi's Sonatina

Matt Brown teaches the 2nd guitar part to Muzio Clementi's famous "Sonatina."

Length: 23:46 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Bach's Invention #1Lesson 50

Bach's Invention #1

Matt Brown teaches Invention #1 composed by J.S. Bach.

Length: 21:42 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Third PositionLesson 51

Third Position

Matt takes a look at playing in third position. This lesson will set up future reading lessons that require the third position.

Length: 7:16 Difficulty: 0.0 Members Only
Third Position PracticeLesson 52

Third Position Practice

Matt Brown has you working through Jean Philippe Rameau's Minuet for third position playing in lesson 52. He provides a play along and accompaniment to help your sight reading and playing.

Length: 15:11 Difficulty: 0.0 Members Only
Matt Brown

About Matt Brown View Full Biography Matt Brown began playing the guitar at the age of 11. "It was a rule in my family to learn and play an instrument for at least two years. I had been introduced to a lot of great music at the time by friends and their older siblings. I was really into bands like Nirvana, Alice In Chains, and Smashing Pumpkins, so the decision to pick up the guitar came pretty easily."

Matt's musical training has always followed a very structured path. He began studying the guitar with Dayton, Ohio guitar great Danny Voris. I began learning scales, chords, and basic songs like any other guitarist. After breaking his left wrist after playing for only a year, Matt began to study music theory in great detail. I wanted to keep going with my lessons, but I obviously couldn't play at all. Danny basically gave me the equivalent of a freshman year music theory course in the span of two months. These months proved to have a huge impact on Brown's approach to the instrument.

Brown continued his music education at Capital University in Columbus, Ohio. He completed a degree in Classical Guitar Performance in 2002. While at Capital, he also studied jazz guitar and recording techniques in great detail. "I've never had any desire to perform jazz music. Its lack of relevance to modern culture has always turned me off. However, nothing will improve your chops more than studying this music."

Matt Brown currently resides in Dayton, Ohio. He teaches lessons locally as well as at Capital University's Community Music School. Matt's recent projects include writing and recording with his new, as of yet nameless band as well as the formation of a cover band called The Dirty Cunnies.

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A JamPlay membership gives you access to every lesson, from every teacher on our staff. Additionally, there is no restriction on how many times you watch a lesson. Watch as many times as you need.

Live Lessons

Exclusive only to JamPlay, we currently broadcast 8-10 hours of steaming lesson services directly to you! Enjoy the benefits of in-person instructors and the conveniences of our community.

Interactive Community

Create your own profile, manage your friends list, and contact users with your own JamPlay Mailbox. JamPlay also features live chat with teachers and members, and an active Forum.

Chord Library

Each chord in our library contains a full chart, related tablature, and a photograph of how the chord is played. A comprehensive learning resource for any guitarist.

Scale Library

Our software allows you to document your progress for any lesson, including notes and percent of the lesson completed. This gives you the ability to document what you need to work on, and where you left off.

Custom Chord Sheets

At JamPlay, not only can you reference our Chord Library, but you can also select any variety of chords you need to work on, and generate your own printable chord sheet.

Backing Tracks

Jam-along backing tracks give the guitarist a platform for improvising and soloing. Our backing tracks provide a wide variety of tracks from different genres of music, and serves as a great learning tool.

Interactive Games

We have teachers covering beginner lessons, rock, classic rock, jazz, bluegrass, fingerstyle, slack key and more. Learn how to play the guitar from experienced players, in a casual environment.

Beginners Welcome.. and Up

Unlike a lot of guitar websites and DVDs, we start our Beginner Lessons at the VERY start of the learning process, as if you just picked up a guitar for the first time.Our teaching is structured for all players.

Take a minute to compare JamPlay to other traditional and new methods of learning guitar. Our estimates for "In-Person" lessons below are based on a weekly face-to-face lesson for $40 per hour.

Price Per Lesson < $0.01 $4 - $5 $30 - $50 Free
Money Back Guarantee Sometimes n/a
Number of Instructors 126 1 – 3 1 Zillions
Interaction with Instructors Daily Webcam Sessions Weekly
Professional Instructors Luck of the Draw Luck of the Draw
New Lessons Daily Weekly Minutely
Structured Lessons
Learn Any Style Sorta
Track Progress
HD Video - Sometimes
Multiple Camera Angles Sometimes - Sometimes
Accurate Tabs Maybe Maybe
Scale/Chord Libraries
Custom JamTracks
Interactive Games
Learn in Sweatpants Socially Unacceptable
Gasoline Needed $0.00 $0.00 ~$4 / gallon! $0.00
Get Started

Mike H.

"I feel like a 12 year old kid with a new guitar!"

I am 66 years young and I still got it! I would have never known this if it had not been for Jamplay! I feel like a 12 year old kid with a new guitar! Ha! I cannot express enough how great you're website is! It is for beginners and advanced pickers! I am an advanced picker and thought I had lost it but thanks to you all, I found it again! Even though I only play by ear, I have been a member a whopping whole two weeks now and have already got Brent's country shuffle and country blues down and of course with embellishments. Thank you all for your wonderful program!

Greg J.

"With Jamplay I can fit in a random session when I have time and I can go at my own pace"

I'm a fifty eight year old newbie who owns a guitar which has been sitting untouched in a corner for about seven years now. Last weekend I got inspired to pick it up and finally learn how to play after watching an amazing Spanish guitarist on TV. So, here I am. I'm starting at the beginning with Steve Eulberg and I couldn't be happier (except for the sore fingers :) Some day I'm going to play like Steve! I'm self employed with a hectic schedule. With Jamplay I can fit in a random session when I have time and I can go at my own pace, rewinding and replaying the videos until I get it. This is a very enjoyable diversion from my work yet I still feel like I'm accomplishing something worthwhile. Thanks a lot, Greg


"I believe this is the absolute best site for guitar students."

I am commenting here to tell you and everyone at JamPlay that I believe this is the absolute best site for guitar students. I truly enjoy learning to play the guitar on Yes, I said the words, ""enjoy learning."" It is by far the best deal for the money.

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