I worked for Eddie Van Halen for five years in the 1990's in the Beverly Hills area of Los Angeles and was instrumental in providing help with development of the Peavey Wolfgang and Wolfgang Special Guitar by providing feedback on the prototypes Eddie was designing at the time. I learned a lot from Eddie and his brother Alex about music and the music industry. (All you have to do is pay attention! ) I have played in bands from Hollywood to Toronto and back both as a singer songwriter and guitarist. I bring the Musicians Institute way to the table and get things up and running quickly. I help students get it under their fingers fast and get it right the first time.
I believe in sharing the happiness of making music with anyone who loves music and the guitar in particular. I do my very best to get you playing the songs you love in Pop, Rock, Jazz and Folk Music of your choice. Today's modern new guitars are easy to play and you will enjoy learning Guitar right away. That is how it should be.
When you study there is a basic understanding of Guitar to be learned that allows an ease of use for anyone for years to come. This will help you reach your goal and improve each week. My students learn to practice in a way that feels comfortable and makes sense. This takes all the stress out of learning and gives everyone something to smile about and look forward to each week.
The good feeling of playing along with friends and taking a solo is within every students grasp. I will show you the way there. And with a solid and straightforward approach to the theory as it applies directly to the guitar you will feel confident and unafraid of any music endeavor. We'll cover harmony and fingerboard theory and give you a road map of the guitar neck that makes it a pleasure to play. You learn the basics and much more than you thought possible retaining 90 percent of what you learn!
Having been a student myself I was deeply involved in music since age 12 and played in bands and duos for over 15 years . I can help you to be a well rounded player and performer with a smile, a laugh and a joy for music whether your in a band or a budding solo artist.
*** Lesson Details ***
Most students want to play the Guitar to play their favorite songs and I'm the same way. Music is something we carry with us in our hearts and minds. Students will learn what they wish to learn and work at a pace that is comfortable to them. Whether you are a student, “weekend warrior” or a parent whose child has expressed an interest in Guitar anyone can learn all there is to know about Harmony and Theory for the Guitar and how to play their favorite songs.
We cover theory in an easy and straightforward no nonsense way in the first half of each lesson and then apply it to the song you wish to learn. This creates an atmosphere where you understand and feel at home with the Guitar. You get an understanding right away and because it is immediately fun it allows you to feel comfortable at any level. Music is fun, and songs are the creative expression of what we feel. Combining theory and the freedom to play and sing songs allows us to express ourselves through music.
After 6 months students will have a solid foundation in theory, and a road map of the guitar fretboard enabling them to advance to an intermediate level if they are ready to do so. Students will know enough that music as it relates to the Guitar, which is the world’s most popular instrument in contemporary music, is not a mystery but is a welcome friend. And they will be able to play songs by popular artists and advance at a pace that is satisfying and enjoyable.
What Students Are Saying About ~ James Teaching Style
“James’ patience, knowledge and under-standing made learning guitar fun. I like the lessons. He cares.”
--Rebecca L., guitar
student, Venice Beach, CA 2003
“James taught me to
play pop and rock, and
introduced me to
fingerstyle guitar. I love it!”
--Joseph E., guitar student, Vancouver, BC 2006
“I studied guitar privately with James in 2010. His style of teaching helped me to get
past my blocks. He opened new doors for me. Thanks!”
--Daniel S., guitar
student, Los Angeles, CA 2010
What James spouse says about working on songwriting with him:
"James is my husband for over 10 years now. Over the years, I have seen James give guidance and counsel to many hopeful musicians of all ages, and inspire others about how music influences and benefits our lives. I would highly recommend James to anyone who wants to learn guitar, voice, music theory, and acting. James is a great talent, and study with him would benefit anyone with the sincere desire to grow as an artist. When we married, I had fallen in love with James’ conversational style, and his vast knowledge of music. When I heard him play guitar, I knew that I wanted to write songs with him, and we released our first album, in 2012 on iTunes."
*** Studio Equipment ***
Ovation Glen Campbell Artist Acoustic Electric Guitar, Ovation Pacemaker 12 string Guitar, Ibanez PF 5 Acoustic Electric Guitar, Fender Telecaster 6 string Electric Guitar. Korg Mini Pandora III Amplifier/Studio EFX, Toshiba Laptop Satelite Pro with PreSonus Studio One Artist Software, PreSonusUSB Audiobox, HD7 Studio Monitor Headphones, M7 Condenser Mic, PreSonus Studio Producer software with SoundCloud integration, iBook G4 with Garageband 3 and iLife Studio. Godin Summit CT Electric Guitar is the guitar I now endorse exclusively !
*** Travel Equipment ***
Lesson Plans, Godin Summit CT Guitar, Fender and Ovation Guitars, Tuner, Android Smartphone and apps, iPads, Korg Mini Pandora Amp, Toshiba Satelite Pro Laptop. Android LG Smartphone with Tuners, Voice Recorder, and Metronome and Chord Reference Guide, and Guitar Tuner, iPod Touch Pro Studio.
*** Specialties ***
Songs in the following styles: Pop, Rock and Modern Country Music. Also Composition Analysis while learning the song.
If you are in Show Business you are an Entertainer and an Entrepreneur both.
•Played in bands in North America, from Toronto to Hollywood
•Guitar Teacher in LA and Toronto and Victoria and Gainesville
•Singer-Songwriter Guitarist in Bristol Kids
•Pop and Rock and Country Music Hollywood CA
•Group Choir & Band -Guitar- L.A. Community Church
•Venture & Administration with Stuart Box Guitar Co.Melbourne AU
Studied at Guitar Institute for one year.
The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) is a membership association of more than 480,000 US composers, songwriters, lyricists and music publishers. The ASCAP is committed to nurturing music makers throughout their careers.