Matt O'Brien
West Chicago, IL
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Matt O'Brien

Matt O.

West Chicago, IL
Profile-background-check Background Check
This teacher successfully passed a thorough criminal background check with SterlingBackcheck. This badge verifies trusted teacher status.
Teaching Locations:
Profile-location-online Online
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio
Teaching Locations:
Profile-location-online Online
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio
Levels taught:
Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced
My blues guitar teaching style consists of a fun, relaxed, and engaging student paced learning environment.
My instruction is always tailored to my student's short term, and long term goals.
My promise to you as my student is that together we will discover what it takes for you to become a proficient musician with the ability to perform in front of any audience.
My classes with you will include the following content:
• Warm up exercises
• Fundamentals
• Mindfulness techniques
• Note reading
• Tab reading
• Sight reading
• Left hand/ right hand techniques
• Burst practicing (burnout prevention)
• Micro movements/economy of motion
• Proper posture both sitting and standing
• Stage performance techniques
• Embellishments
• Improvisation
• Unorthodox techniques
• Scales and Keys
• Theory
• Fretboard mastery
• Chords (all types)
• Songwriting
• Transcription
• Memorization
• Self sufficiency

About Matt O.


Whether you are starting from square one, or you've reached a point where you can't go further on your own, or you would like to sharpen skills you already possess and want to take them to a higher level, I'm your guy.

I've helped thousands of students reach their goals and I've shown every single one of them how to have the level of success with their instrument that they've always desired.

I have 20+ years and 20,000 hours of guitar/string instrument teaching experience and a total of 30 years of guitar playing experience with a bachelor of arts degree in music.

I focus my lessons strictly on the needs and skills required to ensure my students can perform ANY genre of music in front of ANY audience.

I have taught various forms and techniques in basically ALL genres of music both past and present.

I embrace ALL forms of music and I will always encourage my students to pick out songs that they enjoy to make the lesson rewarding and engaging!

I will also provide the student with exercises and drills that will strengthen their core, empowering the student to learn newer songs quicker and easier.

I firmly believe I'm the teacher for you for one reason: you will see instant results, not only on the first lesson, but also in every lesson moving forward!



Write a Review
24 Reviews
Profile-location-online Online

I have been learning tenor banjo (Irish tuning) from Matt. Although I'm a complete beginner, Matt has been a very patient teacher. He balances lessons between learning songs and music theory. His wit and humor make every lesson enjoyable.

Posted Sep 17, 2021
Profile-location-online Online

I've been taking lessons from Matt for more than 8 years now since I was young and he's super friendly and encouraging! Highly recommend as he has experience with many different areas of guitar and that offers freedom to learn whatever you want.

Posted Oct 5, 2020
Luke Lehman
Profile-location-online Online

Matt is able to spot small things that make a big difference in a musician's journey no matter how far along they are. His demeanor puts his students at ease, and always encourages and builds up. I'd recommend Matt to anyone, at any level, wanting to grow as a musician!!

Posted Oct 2, 2020
Profile-location-online Online

Matt is a great teacher with an extensive knowledge of guitar and music as whole. He is willing to help teach any song you want and has a great sense of humor.

Posted Sep 30, 2020
Profile-location-online Online

Matt is an excellent teacher. I am an older adult and have been taking lessons with Matt for a year and a half. I am amazed at how much I have progressed. Matt makes it fun too!

Posted Sep 29, 2020
Chris Woodford
Profile-location-online Online

I have been taking lessons from Matt for about 4 years and highly recommend Matt as a teacher. Matt has also taught both of my daughters. As a 50 year old student who picked the guitar back up he has been instrumental in helping to elevate my skills and understanding of the guitar and music. He can teach any type of musical style and is always positive and supportive.

Posted Sep 28, 2020
Emily H.
Profile-location-online Online

Matt is knowledgeable, patient and fun! My son, 9-year-old, is a very beginner acoustic guitarist and enjoys his lessons each week. He has learned quite a lot. Matt tailors the lessons to my son’s interests in music to motivate him to practice and keep trying his best. He is encouraging and clear with his feedback, which we really appreciate as we are learning virtually for our lessons. I would highly recommend Matt for acoustic guitar lessons.

Posted Sep 28, 2020
Profile-location-online Online

Matt is a great teacher he has helped me learn Enter sandman, wherever I may roam, and seek and destroy By Metallica. I have done lesions for 3 years now and never had a bad experience with him.

Posted Sep 28, 2020
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

I began to play the guitar at a pretty young age. I've taken many lessons before but I never progressed. Then I found Matt. After being a student of his, my progression rapidly increased. We began with the basics and before I knew it, we were playing advanced songs and scales with ease. I guarantee that Matt is one of the best guitar teachers out there. He goes beyond teaching and never gives up on his students. He made me who I am today and I can't thank him enough!

Posted Sep 27, 2020
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

I have taken lessons from matt for over 5 years and have progressed immensely as a guitarist and a musician. He is versatile in all sorts of playing and can help no matter what style of music interests you. 10/10

Posted May 7, 2020
Kyle Melles
Profile-location-home Student's Home

Matt was my guitar teacher from 5th grade to 10th grade, teaching me electric guitar for over five years. Now as a Junior in college, I am still thankful for the lessons Matt taught me to have a great foundation in playing guitar. Matt is one of the most knowledgeable people a student could learn from. He pays special detail to the habits that many guitar players fall into when beginning, and made sure these habits were eliminated quickly. I had both parents, grandparents, and friends sit in on our lessons and all were impressed with the careful and thorough approach of Matt’s teaching. Thank you Matt!

Posted May 1, 2020
Donny Mcneel
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

Matt has taught me electric guitar through High School and I had learned techniques beyond I thought I could ever conquer. He is a exceptional teacher and is very inspiring to my guitar playing and music capabilities.

Posted May 1, 2020
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

I took lessons from Matt for just about ten years and it was a great experience! I'd gladly recommend him to anybody, regardless of prior experience playing guitar.

Posted Apr 30, 2020
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

Been taking lessons from Matt for 5+ years, amazing teacher!

Posted Apr 29, 2020
Profile-location-online Online

Matt is an exceptional teacher. I am adult student and Matt was able to work at my speed. Would definitely recommend.

Posted Apr 29, 2020
Profile-location-home Student's Home

Matt taught both of my kids over the course of three years. He taught them how to play acoustic, electric, and even the ukulele. He’s an amazing student of music and I believe he has a degree in music as well. He started them with the basics and foundational skills required to play. Not only does he know the instrument inside and out, he is super attentive in understanding how to teach the instrument to children as well as adults. Highly recommend him for any of the string instruments. He is the real deal, not a hack that taught themselves guitar.

Posted Apr 26, 2020
Bill N.
Profile-location-online Online

Matt has taught me SO much and I advanced so quickly in my playing! Matt taught me how to play the songs and styles I wanted to learn. He introduced me to new styles of music and playing to open my abilities up, and backed it up with the theory of what’s happening in the music I’m playing to understand it.

I became a better player, much tighter with my timing, turned my “chunky” picking into smooth, controlled, efficient, much better sounding playing. Matt helped me lock in to better timing (even different time signatures), and through the nuggets of theory he passed on - gave me the tools I needed to write MUCH better music! I started lessons with Matt to just “learn how to play guitar better”. I definitely got that PLUS a fun well-rounded music education too!

Matt is truly an inspiring teacher who is uber friendly and enthusiastic about teaching. His teaching makes you want to keep picking up the guitar as often as possible!

Posted Apr 3, 2020
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

Matt taught me guitar all through middle and high school and helped me immensely in acquiring the knowledge and skill that prepared me for the collegiate level. Matt is a great teacher, who has been a major influence to my music!

Posted Apr 1, 2020
Profile-location-online Online

Matt is the best. He can play Rammstein which is a big plus with me.

Posted Mar 29, 2020
Profile-location-home Student's Home

Matt loves what he does and it shows. He's very knowledgeable, pays attention and explains things when teaching. I would recommend him to anyone.

Posted Mar 29, 2020
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

Took lessons with Matt for several years. He is great guy and an excellent teacher. He's very passionate about music and has a lot of technical training too. Would recommend to anyone at any level.

Posted Mar 19, 2020
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

My son took guitar and then bass lessons from Matt. Matt was thoughtful, patient, and ensured the lessons were tailored to my son's musical tastes. Through working with Matt, my son deepened his appreciation for music and learned how to perform at live events. He's awesome!

Posted Mar 17, 2020
Profile-location-home Student's Home

Matt is a great teacher. Patient, knowledgeable, and always adding little interesting bits to the lessons. He pointed out my mistakes and was guiding me to make my playing much better. He opened me to the various interesting topics in music theory and pointed out importance of posture and exercise – playing scales and various simple arrangements. He has a great repertoire of songs of different genres at different levels, for his students – even those like me, who like classical music. I would very strongly recommend him for anyone wanting to learn or improve guitar playing skills.

Posted Mar 17, 2020
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

I’m a peer of Matt’s. Matt is very knowledgeable about all things guitar. He specializes in heavy metal and harmonic minor lead guitar, but can show you much more than just that. I’ve seen Matt use alternate tunings like Led Zepelin or Rolling Stones do to create something completely different sounding than standard tuning. I substitute for him on occasion, and his students are on a method book and a song to play each week. Students showed me what they were working on, and it appeared Matt wrote out every song the student was interested in week to week. From my experience as a teacher, this helps the student stay motivated to play and continue their practicing/studies if they genuinely like the song they are working on.

Posted Mar 17, 2020

Photos & Videos

58 Photos & Videos


Guitar Instructor
Mar 2006 - Present

Private Studio

Guitar instructor at a family-owned Chicago suburban music store since 2006. I am working 6 days a week, teaching 40 to 60 students weekly, and I'm also currently teaching 2 student bands.

Cycle of Infinity
Mar 2011 - Apr 2016

Io Records

My full length, science fiction, heavy metal concept album. Available through most streaming apps and music sites. I began writing my album with guitar riffs I had created during breaks of teaching guitar lessons. Utilizing all my musical knowledge, skills, and techniques I'd learned throughout my musical career, this album allowed me to showcase my abilities not only as a guitarist, but also a composer and producer.


Aug 1996 - Jun 2001

Roosevelt University

Aug 1994 - Dec 1996

Illinois State University



Fluent / Native Proficiency


Limited Proficiency


Limited Proficiency


Bachelor of Arts Degree
Jun 2001

Roosevelt University

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