Reading Music and Rhythm

Skill Building Guitar Course from Matt Brown

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.

52 Lessons

Complete course with step-by-step lessons and practice examples.


Course filmed with 6 cameras for the perfect angles.

Guitar Pro

All tabs and notation provided in PDF and Guitar Pro formats.

Tabs & Info

Download tabs, helpers, JamTracks and docs included with lessons.


Access this course, along with all other courses with Membership.

Full Course Breakdown

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 Music

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

15:07 Runtime

1.5 Difficulty


Reading Music

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

43:32 Runtime

1.5 Difficulty

View this Lesson

Rhythm and Time Signatures

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

22:01 Runtime

1.5 Difficulty


3/4 Time Signatures

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

22:20 Runtime

2.0 Difficulty


Reading Music Practice

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

25:43 Runtime

2.0 Difficulty


On Top of Old Smokey

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

15:54 Runtime

2.0 Difficulty


He's Got the Whole World

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

13:18 Runtime

2.0 Difficulty


Amazing Grace

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

15:22 Runtime

2.0 Difficulty


Shoo, Fly

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

14:46 Runtime

2.0 Difficulty


Scales and Key Signatures

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

14:09 Runtime

1.5 Difficulty


Minor Key and Aura Lee

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

12:11 Runtime

2.0 Difficulty


Scarborough Fair

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

16:29 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty


Second Position

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

29:52 Runtime

1.5 Difficulty



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

20:17 Runtime

2.0 Difficulty


On Top of Old Smokey Review

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

7:56 Runtime

2.0 Difficulty


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.

12:02 Runtime

2.0 Difficulty


Shoo, Fly Review

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

8:56 Runtime

2.0 Difficulty


Rhythm Strumming

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

25:38 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty


Down by the Riverside

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

15:02 Runtime

1.5 Difficulty



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

12:31 Runtime

1.5 Difficulty


Fur Elise Pt. 1

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

24:03 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty


Fur Elise Pt. 2

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

13:12 Runtime

1.5 Difficulty


The Entertainer Pt. 1

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

16:30 Runtime

2.0 Difficulty


The Entertainer Pt. 2

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

14:06 Runtime

2.0 Difficulty


Sea to Sea Pt. 1

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

20:36 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty


Sea to Sea Pt. 2

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

10:17 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty


Stars and Stripes Forever Pt. 1

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

21:31 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty


Stars and Stripes Forever Pt. 2

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

7:39 Runtime

2.0 Difficulty


D Major in First and Second Position

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

17:55 Runtime

1.5 Difficulty


Danny Boy Pt. 1

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

16:28 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty


Danny Boy Pt. 2

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

12:03 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty


Silent Night Pt. 1

Matt teaches the Christmas classic "Silent Night."

18:17 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty


Silent Night Pt. 2

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

4:55 Runtime

1.5 Difficulty


Funiculi Funicula Pt. 1

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

14:39 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty


Funiculi Funicula Pt. 2

Matt Brown teaches the accompaniment to "Funiculi Funicula".

16:40 Runtime

1.5 Difficulty


Strumming Triplets

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

23:30 Runtime

2.0 Difficulty


Strumming Sixteenth Note Rhythms

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

17:28 Runtime

2.0 Difficulty


Song of the Volga Boatmen

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

11:33 Runtime

0.5 Difficulty


Song of the Volga Boatmen Pt. 2

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

8:35 Runtime

1.5 Difficulty


Dance of the Ukraine

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

15:37 Runtime

2.0 Difficulty


Dance of the Ukraine Pt. 2

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

13:36 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty


Etude by Ferdinando Carulli

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

21:20 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty


Morning Pt. 1

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

18:44 Runtime

2.0 Difficulty


Morning Pt. 2

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

8:08 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty


Bach's Minuet Pt. 1

Matt Brown teaches Bach's classic Minuet.

14:55 Runtime

2.0 Difficulty


Bach's Minuet Pt. 2

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

5:53 Runtime

2.0 Difficulty


Little Prelude in C Pt. 1

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

16:23 Runtime

2.0 Difficulty


Little Prelude in C Pt. 2

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

7:49 Runtime

2.0 Difficulty


Clementi's Sonatina

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

23:46 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty


Bach's Invention #1

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

21:42 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty


Third Position

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

7:16 Runtime

0.0 Difficulty


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.

15:11 Runtime

0.0 Difficulty

Let's Start. Together.

Setup your account and explore our courses, teaching tools and resources.

Get Started
  • Dayton, OH
  • Playing since 1996
  • 165 lessons at JamPlay
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.
Reviews & Feedback 76/100 with 124 ratings

I just need this, please never quit, I need you a LOT!! as a student. Because of Music Theory, you know and I know without a doubt; if you do not read music you can not survive in the Music Field. Because of you teaching music theory that is t


Importance of rhythm and reading music.


It was hard to me.


The song is ironic cause your helping an old dog learn a new trick.Also, I totally get why your starting wth such a simple song.