About Aaron Matthies

Aaron Matthies is a guitarist and guitar tutor living in Australia. Aaron has been playing guitar for most of his life and has been teaching for over ten years. This site contains basic lessons and articles written by Aaron for beginner guitarists.

Check out new lessons and guides in the new site aaronmatthies.com

Guitar Gear Finder

Aaron writes reviews on guitars, amps, effect pedals and other guitar gear over at guitargearfinder.com. If you’re looking at buying new guitar effect pedals or any other guitar gear, check out the reviews and guides first so you can make an informed decision. Aaron also writes lessons on different types of gear so you can make the most out of your equipment.

Tempo Music Cards

Tempo Music Cards produces guitar flash cards to help beginners learn the most basic chords on guitar. In addition to the pack of cards available, there are lessons, articles and tips to help you learn guitar faster. You can read Aaron’s lessons and articles at the Tempo Music Cards website.



15 comments on “About Aaron Matthies

  1. really your gud guitar tutor for me .My name is Rechal, im from INDIA.im intrested in learning guitar your lessons are so helpful for me thank you so much

  2. Hi, my name is Ebony. I’m a beginner in every sense of the word. I’m fortunate if I even hold the guitar right. Your finger exercises are great, thanks for posting. My problem is I don’t have long fingers. They’re maybe almost an inch shorter than yours. So placing my pinky finger on the 4th fret is very difficult. Any suggestions for us pudgy finger people?

    • Hi Ebony. I’m glad you’re finding the exercises helpful. I’ve taught many students with small hands and even some people with crooked fingers that lock into position. The best tip I can give is to always make sure your thumb is in the proper position behind the neck. Because if it isn’t (eg: off to the side or reaching over the top) it makes it extremely hard to stretch your fingers out.
      If you keep working with the exercises and try to use your pinky as much as possible, you’ll find that eventually you’ll be able to stretch it further and further. You may not be able to stretch it all the way for the 1-2-3-4 exercise, but it should be enough for normal playing.
      So keep doing what you’re doing, make sure your thumb is in the right position and you’ll find it gets easier over time. Good luck!

      • Awesome….I’ll try that and keep practicing. Thanks for your time.

  3. Hi Aaron, this website is really helpful. I have never played guitar before but now i play guitar and im getting good at it even tho i have no tutor. i really appreciate you putting this website on to help to be a really good guitar player. Please keep posting helpful comments and topics. I really hope you become a professional guitar player and play with famous singers.

  4. Hello Aaron, I am looking for a larger collection of beginner songs like in your simple song lessons. Those are written exactly how I want them, with music and tab notation, easy one note at a time melodies, of well known songs. Where did you get those? Thanks, Trevor

    • Hi Trevor, thanks for your comment. I actually wrote up those song transcriptions on my own so unfortunately I don’t know of any sites that provide similar songs. I guess you can always try searching on http://www.ultimate-guitar.com for the melodies you’re looking for. You can choose to buy a program called ‘Guitar Pro’ which displays both Guitar Tab and Standard Notation together. There’s a large range of Guitar Pro transcriptions available online so it may be worth looking in to.

  5. Hi Aaron,

    I’ve been using a book to teach myself guitar for the past 2 weeks. It teaches with music theory. I’ve also been checking out many websites. I’m memorizing notes and how to place my hands. I’ve been able to play songs decently as long as I have the music in front of me. What I’m not doing great at is memorizing songs. Should I wait and memorize songs before I teach myself new notes?

    • Hi Brandi,
      It’s a good idea to memorize any songs you’re learning before moving on because it will help you memorize the notes used. A lot of beginners have trouble because they try to rush ahead on lessons instead of memorizing the current material. It’s very normal to have trouble memorizing songs when you’re just starting out because there’s so many different things to think about.
      The trick to memorizing a song is to break it down into small parts and play each part over and over. Then you simply link all the parts together. The best way to memorize anything is to repeat it often with breaks in between each practice session.
      I’ve written a detailed lesson on memorization here: http://www.tempomusicards.com/blog/lessons/the-best-way-to-memorize-chords-on-guitar/
      Although the lesson talks about memorizing guitar chords, the same principles apply for memorizing songs or notes. Check it out and hopefully it should give you some ideas on other ways to practice. There’s a few more lessons on memorization on that website worth reading.
      Good luck!

  6. I’ve reviewed a few lessons including how to read tablature and warm up exercises. Do you have any advice for older adults? Im 52 and am learning to play on a classical guitar. I’ve just started a college level beginning guitar class with lots of theory and a teacher who introduces new concepts quickly. I have no musical training and am starting to feel a little overwhelmed especially sorting out the different number/note relationships. I’ve reviewed a few lessons including how to read tablature and warm up exercises and found them very useful.

    Thank you!
    Debra, Phoenix, Az

    • Hi Debra, it’s very normal to feel overwhelmed in the beginning. There are a lot of concepts, techniques and theory to learn and in the beginning it may not seem apparent why certain topics are important at all. I would recommend focusing on one aspect/concept/technique at a time until you feel comfortable with it. Pick a concept or topic you feel a bit confused on and search YouTube for lessons to hear how other people explain it. Quite often all that is needed is to hear somebody else talk about the topic in a way that makes sense to you. Then when you feel you understand the topic you can shift your focus to a different topic. So if you have trouble understanding the different number and note relationships, search on YouTube to hear how other guitar teachers explain the topic. Every topic can be explained in different ways so keep looking until you find a video that makes sense to you.
      Do the same thing when learning new skills. For example start by focusing on a specific technique such as hammer-ons. Work on any exercises your teacher gives you then search online for other lessons and videos on the technique. Focus on developing your hammer-on ability until you feel comfortable with it. Then change your focus to another technique.
      With this approach you won’t feel like you have a large number of topics to learn – you will only be focusing on one thing at a time.
      Good luck and remember that the learning process is never easy. Things only feel easy after you’ve done the hard work.

  7. Hello Arron. I’m in the US. I’ve been trying to teach myself guitar. Having been a teacher in a former life, you would think it wouldn’t be difficult. Then, a doctor rarely operates on himself….

    What I was searching for this morning was a list of lesson plans, a syllabus, or some other text-book type of guide. Thus far, even the books I’ve looked at on Amazon and the library locally have been lacking in any sort of scientific, logical teaching manner. Books that have been recommended in the local music stores haven’t been very helpful – most of them make assumptions one has more knowledge of the subject (even the beginner’s books) or the beginners books are so simple (I’m beyond knowing the parts of a guitar, which seems to be taught incessantly by everyone…) that it is difficult to not throw the books out of frustration!

    With that said, I’ve marked down your site as one to read through. Thanks for taking the time to create the site.

    I’ll drop in again soon and leave some comments.


    • Hi R.D., thanks for your comment. I definitely agree with your observation about the range of books available for guitar students. I often flick through guitar method books in shops and always feel disappointed with what I see. There have been many attempts in creating a scientific and logical teaching method book and I’ve never been impressed with what I see. I hope my lessons and articles help steer you in the right direction. The lessons I have written are very fragmented so I highly recommend you use a range of different websites to ‘complete the picture’.

      My only other suggestion for you is to consider what you want to achieve as a guitarist (eg: styles, abilities) and work out what you need to learn (eg: specific techniques, music theory, etc.) to work towards those goals. That way you can focus on the topics that will make a difference to you without being distracted by other less important topics.
      Good luck and let me know if you have questions!


    • Hi Ben, great to hear you’re going to try and learn guitar! I don’t know the extent of your injury and how it might affect your playing ability, but hearing that you’re going to give it a go is great!
      What I recommend is to check out this lesson here: https://aaronmatthies.wordpress.com/2009/03/17/simple-songs-beginner/
      It teaches you very basic melodies. The video demonstrates these at a slow speed so you can follow along and see how to place your fingers on the guitar. I recommend taking your time and setting a goal to learn one of those melodies. A lot of beginners struggle to get these at first so don’t get frustrated if it doesn’t come together straight away.
      If you can learn one of those melodies, that’s a great sign that you will be able to continue with more complicated material.
      Good luck and all the best!

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