James Riley

James R.

Seattle, WA

About James R.

Background check: Last verified 09/22/2015
James passed a background check on 09/22/2015 that included the following:
  • National Criminal Record Check
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  • Sex Offender Registry Search
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James teaches: Ages 5 and up
Special needs
Teaching since: March 2007
Last sign in: Yesterday


I've been exploring music since age 13 when I started on guitar and electric bass. I've gigged around the Puget Sound area for over a decade and am passionate about many styles of music. I've played in jazz and blues ensembles while studying music in Boston and Seattle. I currently play in a band called Wax Orchards in Seattle and perform on my own as well. I play acoustic and electric guitar, electric bass, and have taken up Ukulele in recent years.

*** Lesson Details ***
I provide my own student binder that is divided into two main sections: Songs and Fundamentals.

I will write up any song for you that you'd like to learn, assuming it's within your skill level. If you have no particular recommendations, I bring in songs regularly of my own choosing as well. Student notebooks come with at least five beginner songs. I am happy to go through songbooks students may have purchased.

In the fundamentals part of the student binder, scales, chords and theory are presented in an easily readable fashion. These parts of lessons become improvisation time, as the student learns how to apply these scales and chords.

I do a mixture traditional music notation and tabulator in my sessions. Accessories required are a tuner, three-ring binder with sheet protectors and music stand.

*** Travel Equipment ***
I bring one of my acoustics to my lessons.

*** Specialties ***
I play all kinds of music and can assist with anything from pop to jazz to metal to folk and acoustic playing. Some of my personal favorite artists are The Beatles, John Frusciante, Paul Simon, The Smashing Pumpkins and Bob Marley & The Wailers.

Photos and Videos


Private Instructor

Jan 2005 - Present

I've been teaching Guitar and Bass since high school and now also teach Ukulele and Songwriting lessons as well.


Area of Study: Songwriting

Oct 2009 - Apr 2010
Seattle Central Community College

Area of Study: Guitar Performance

Oct 2007 - Dec 2008
Berklee School of Music

Languages Spoken


Fluent / Native Proficiency


Fluent / Native Proficiency
Write a Review

6 Reviews on James R.

Stewart Oct 1, 2015
Guitar · In home
Verified Student
A good first lesson
Carissa Sep 30, 2015
Bass Guitar · In home
Verified Student
James is fantastic! Very kind and professional. He has been flexible with my schedule. Made me feel comfortable to work on my bass playing skills (which need a lot of work ;) ) and even my dog loved him! Very excited to continue to work with him and become a bass master!
Mark J. Jun 1, 2015
Guitar · In home
Verified Student
He is great, excellent! Doing a great job!
Gabrielle B. Sep 19, 2014
Guitar · In home
I had a wonderful experience learning from James! He was very attentive to my learning style and pace, and I felt supported and encouraged.
RachealA Oct 3, 2011
Mother of 12 Year Old Student

James is a fantastic teacher. He totally resonates with my 12 year old son. He's patient, kind and enthusiastic. Ricky and I both feel lucky to have him as his teacher. Thank you, James!
LeisaW Sep 2, 2011
Knowledgeable, Relevant, Friendly

James has expertise, talent and a genuine desire to see our son truly learn guitar. He meets our son at his level and makes learning enjoyable and effectual.