Meet Your Instructors...
Aaron started playing guitar his senior year in college (Fall 2006). He started out playing a Yamaha classical guitar that his father,
Big Rick Gallagher, had gotten him in high school. He had never gotten around to learning until the end of college when he took some
lessons from Tony Hamrick, a guitar instructor at West Virginia Wesleyan College. After learning basic chords and other basic techniques
from Hamrick, Aaron graduated from college and began teaching himself. He used the internet extensively and attempted to use YouTube
videos to learn songs. What he found was a library of "lessons" where guitarists simply showed off for the camera. That did not help
him learn at all and he wanted to do something about it. At that time, Aaron simply was not at the level to teach lessons, but that
decided that someday he would try to make lessons that were both simple to understand and fun to play.
Being almost exclusively self-taught, he also knows what that magical first moment feels like when you play a song in front of someone
and they recognize what song you are playing without you having to tell them. After about a year and a half Aaron put a video up on
YouTube teaching a friend how to play Here Without You by 3 Doors Down. To his surprise, the video began getting thousands of views
and he began receiving comments, messages, and requests for new songs. As he spoke with YouTube users, he discovered that his lessons
were helping them. From that moment on, Aaron has been making as many videos on as many songs as possible can to help beginner
Over the Christmas Holiday of 2008, Aaron's younger brother Matt Gallagher expressed an interest in joining in the cause of helping
millions more learn to play the guitar. Matt has joined the Free and Easy Guitar Team and he looks forward to making videos of his
own to teach you all new songs and techniques. In January of 2009, Austin Kritzer (Paradigm) and David Lawson (Solo artist) joined
the Free and Easy Guitar Team with a future focus on lessons in the metal and blues genres. Aaron has stated that these two guitarists
will be a huge asset to the site and their lessons will be wonderful for the guitarists on the site.
Thanks for stopping by the site. I hope that you find everything that you are looking for here and I hope that music can bring as much
color and enjoyment to your lives as it has to mine. Take care and welcome to Free and Easy Guitar."
Founder & Owner
Free and Easy Guitar
Matt Gallagher is the younger brother of Aaron and has been asked by Free and Easy Guitar to join the team and become part of this new and exciting guitar learning experience. Matt has been approached by Free and Easy Guitar to focus on both acoustic and electric lessons along with any other input that Matt sees fit. Matt Gallagher is from Bridgeport, WV and has been playing guitar for about 2 years. Matt enjoys many different genres of music, but when asked stated that he enjoys acoustic stuff and country mostly. Some of his favorite bands are Shinedown, Seether, Goo Goo Dolls, Corey Smith, Sam Thacker, Staind, Breaking Benjamin, Three Days Grace, Flogging Molly, Foo Fighters, and Lost Prophets. He also is a huge fan of John Mayer's new stuff and plans on teaching many of those songs here on this site.
Matt began playing guitar his junior year of high school and although having a few lessons is mostly self taught. He learned to read tabs and then took off on his own, delving into many different genres of music. As Matt and his music progressed, he began to enjoy the music of some otherwise less known artists such as Sam Thacker. Matt and Sam met at one of Sam's concerts and since then Matt has been a fan of Sam's music. Matt looks forward to adding more lessons to the library here at Free and Easy Guitar during his free time.
Matt enjoys playing baseball and is a member of the Faulkner University baseball team in Montgomery, Alabama where he studies Pre-Law. In Matt's spare time he also enjoys working out, playing video games, and of course his guitar. Get to know Matt and check out some of his earliest lessons on songs such as
Austin Kritzer was born on December 1, 1987 and raised in the city of Fairmont West Virginia. Austin's father, Roger, and Uncles, Ben, Fred, and Tom, introduced him to classic rock at a very young age by constantly listening to the genre. Austin soon fell in love with the sound of an electric guitar and was hooked on any style of music that featured a guitar solo. At age 8, Austin received his first guitar
when he found an old electric in his grandparent's basement that belonged to Austin's grandfather. After 4 years of failed attempts of self instruction, Austin began to take lessons at Showtime Music under the instruction of David Zinn. Under the instruction of Zinn, Austin was introduced to heavy metal and began studying the musical styles of Metallica, Megadeth, Pantera, Black Sabbath, Black Label Society, Lynyrd
Skynyrd, Neil Young, Nickelback, Dream Theater, and other various artists from other genres. Austin took lessons from Zinn for almost 3 years.
Meet Your Moderators...
During his freshman year of high school, Austin started his first band, No Tomorrow, where he took on responsibilities as the lead guitarist. Austin also began construction of his home studio that would not be finished for almost four years. No Tomorrow played their first show at Fairmont Senior High School at a school pep rally that ended in a riot when the school's principal unplugged the band in the middle of a set. Soon after, No Tomorrow starting playing shows at various bars around Fairmont. After 3 years of playing with No Tomorrow, Austin left the band due to creative differences. Austin immediately began gathering all of the instruments he would need to record his original compositions that he had completed.
After spending about 6 months learning how to play drums and slap bass and learning how to sing, Austin began recording his first original "Between Two Minds" and finished building his home studio. Austin continued recording basement tracks and posting them on Myspace until he reached college.
Austin starting attending West Virginia Wesleyan College on a vocal scholarship in 2006 where met Mike Murphy while pledging for Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, a national music fraternity. Austin and Mike started Austin's current band Paradigm, where Austin takes on the responsibilities of rhythm guitar and lead vocals. During his freshman year at Wesleyan, Austin also filled in on bass guitar for the Fairmont based band Fifth Column and took on an interest in constructing the instrument he loves. He completed
building his first guitar fall of 2007 and uses it as one of his primary recording and stage instruments.
Currently, Austin is still upholding duties as Paradigm's front man. He also plays bass and sings backup for the Fairmont based band "Last Call." He also still partakes in the building and reconstruction of guitars and still records and practices out of his home studio in Fairmont.
Travis lives in Anacortes, Washington (near Seattle) in the United States of America. He is a professional wrestler by trade and was brought into the Free and Easy Guitar Family by Aaron and Jim in January of 2009 because of his active role in graphic design for the site. Travis's first guitar was a Yamaha F325 starter set that was given to him by his wife. Upon his return from a brief stint in Japan, Travis picked up an E-Learning set from a music store. He found the DVD which was insanely boring and almost gave up until he searched YouTube to play "Hurt" by Johnny Cash". He soon found Aaron's tutorial and has been hooked ever since.
Travis enjoys Free and Easy Guitar the most because he now has a healthy and productive hobby that has allowed him to learn dozens of songs and counting, while being able to help new guitarists develop their interest. Travis wishes everyone the best of luck and hopes that the guitar can bring you the peace and happiness that it has brought him. You can find Travis in the Free and Easy Guitar Forum watching over your posts.
Jason was born and raised in the mountains of Southwest Virginia and attended college in the heart of the Virginia New River Valley at Radford University. Upon completion of graduate school, Jason settled in a small lake town near the Tennessee border where he now works for the government. Jason joined the Free and Easy Family in early January of 2009 after being approached by Aaron and Jim. As you can tell from Jason's picture, Jason enjoys spending time on the lakes and rivers, fishing and canoeing, and he also enjoys lifting weights and playing pick-up basketball.
Jason picked up the guitar in 2008 after he got tired of watching his friend play and decided he was going to learn himself. Jason went to a local guitar store and bought a brand new acoustic guitar and DVD. The DVD got old fast and Jason soon turned to the internet. Late one night while searching for instruction, Jason stumbled upon Aaron's lesson on Nutshell by Alice in Chains and has been hooked since. Jason can now jam out to some hard rock like Shinedown or enjoy the classics by the late, great Johnny Cash. One of Jason's favorite things about Free and Easy Guitar is the opportunity to meet so many new guitarists such as himself. He wishes everyone the best of luck and also invites you to drop him a line in the forum (UNCTarheelfan78) with any questions or comments that you have about the site.
Joe is 24 years old and lives in Northern California where he works in the admissions department for the University of Berkeley. Joe enjoys lifting weights and playing his guitar. Joe began playing guitar on October 22, 2008 and tributes a lot of his musical inspiration to Aaron Lewis, The Red Hot Chili Peppers, Eric Clapton and John Mayer. Joe had always had an interest in learning how to play the guitar and after a month of learning on his own he was about to give up. . .then he found Aaron's lessons. Guitar soon took the place that had previously been occupied by partying and other bad habits.
Meet The SiTe NeRd...
Now his life is about expression, the guitar community, and simply being himself. One thing that Joe loves about this place is knowing that he is one of the thousands of people who have arrived here through Aaron's lessons who at one point also had no idea what they were doing on the guitar. Joe says "It just goes to show you how connected many of us are. Different backgrounds, different languages, and all parts of the world, we all come together on this site because of our mutual love for the guitar. Keep jamming and play til 'your fingers bleed."
The in-house theory abuser and official SiTe NeRd comes from the East Coast of Canada and currently resides in Toronto, Ontario (what he refers to as the Center of the Known Universe). Jim is a 20 year member of the Toronto Police Service and currently serves as an Operations Supervisor and Computer "Go To" guy in their Communications Centre.
Jim didn't pick up a guitar until he was 41 years old. Actually, bought his first electric for his 41st birthday present to himself. Until now he's been learning as much as he can with the theory and techniques of playing. Now he is focussing more on putting that knowledge to creative use in his quest to learn as much as he can about playing Blues.
Everything about this site is "Aaron" Jim says. "Thats how it should be. Aaron has created something wonderful here and I just want to be part of it.". You will find our SiTe NeRd trolling the forums, writing a computer program of picking away with this guitar at any given time. If only he didn't have to go to work every day...