James Riley

James R.

Seattle, WA

About James R.

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
Write a Review

11 Reviews on James R.

Alton Aug 11, 2016
Vocal Training · In home
Verified Student
James was a delight, and our son was pleased with his first lesson.

Sincerely anticipating more!
Tim/Teresa G. Jun 27, 2016
Guitar · In home
Verified Student
Engaging, patient and very talented. Wonderful with our teenage son.
Carl Mar 14, 2016
Guitar · In home
Verified Student
Patient and encouraging instructor for a beginning student.
Jagger Jan 20, 2016
Guitar · In home
Verified Student
So patient with my 5 year old! He really was great at making it easy for him to understand and follow along! Can't wait until the next lesson!
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Nick L. Jan 7, 2016
Guitar · In home
Verified Student
James is very nice and patient. He taught me a lot of fundamental skills and knowledge, which helps me really understand how guitar works. I look forward to making more progress with James in the future sessions
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!
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