James Walsh

James W.

Hendersonville, TN

About James W.

Background check: Last verified 07/12/2016
James passed a background check on 07/12/2016 that included the following:
  • National Criminal Record Check
  • County/State Criminal Record Check
  • Sex Offender Registry Search
  • SSN Trace & Verification
For more information, please click here.
James teaches: Ages 5 and up
Teaching since: August 2002
Last sign in: Yesterday


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.

Student Comments:
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."

Keri W.

*** 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.

Photos and Videos

I have joined the Education Collective @ D'Addario Company. Beta Testing Products


Regional Rep

May 2016 - Present
Landmark Events Canada

Regional Rep for Landmark Events Canada in Nashville and Western States for Landmark Showcase Festivals. Helping bands and Artists further their careers. Bands compete in Industry Showcase Festivals for grants and interconnect with Industry Professionals to further their careers in Music and Showbiz.

Recording Artist

May 2012 - Present
Bristol Kids Band

Recording Artist in Bristol Kids Band. Released first album on iTunes and CD Baby in 2012. Currently signed to Old Dog's Records in Nashville, TN ~ ODR is affiliated with Sun Records Distribution Arm Select O Hits. Working on new album.

Producer Consulting

Jan 2012 - Present
The Creative Studio

Technical Consulting in Studio Setup and practical use for recording to get the best results.


Sep 1993 - Present

If you are in Show Business you are an Entertainer and an Entrepreneur both.

Work Experience
•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


Jun 1990 - Dec 1993
Stuart Box Guitars

Worked directly with CEO in Marketing and Logistics. Investor Relations (USA) and Advisor.


Several Schools

Sep 1993 - Jun 2006


Sep 1990 - Jun 1992
Musicians Institute


Sep 1987 - Feb 1988
Family Light Music School, Sausalito, California

Languages Spoken

British English, American English, Australian English, Canadian French

Professional Proficiency

French - Canadian (Quebec) French

Professional Proficiency


Character Model Design - Disney Style

Sep 1997
American Animation Institute

2 Years of Illustration and Design at A.A.I. in North Hollywood and 1 Year at Associates in Art.
Trained at the American Animation Institute in Storyboards, Mechanics of Animation, and Storytelling and Design. Also trained in Character Model Design under Disney Products Artist and Design Expert Jim Franzen. Level of Design Experience: Professional.

Additional: 4 Years Of Commercial Art in High School at Danforth Art School.


Jun 1994
Musicians Institute

Studied at Guitar Institute for one year.


Silver and Bronze Song Award

Jul 2013

Songwriting Award

Aug 2012
Beat100.com in the UK


American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers

Apr 2005

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.

Actors Studio

Sep 1995

The Actors Studio was formed in 1947 in New York City to provide a place where professional actors could work together between jobs, or during long runs to continue to develop their craft and to experiment with new forms in creative theatre work. In 1967 the Actors Studio opened its only branch in West Hollywood, California. Membership provides a place for theatre artists to advance their craft and talents. For more than sixty years The Actors Studio has lived a very rich artistic existence and will endure as long as talent needs a home.

Write a Review

47 Reviews on James W.

Paula D. Dec 5, 2016
Singing · Online
Verified Student
James helps me discover and develop talents and gifts that I honestly did not know that I had! He also helps me with study and practice skills for my music.
Jay Dec 1, 2016
Singing · Online
Verified Student
James is a fabulous instructor with a perfect demeanor for teaching; he is very positive and always looks for opportunities to improve the performance of his student. My daughter has significantly improved and gained confidence. She is looking forward to continued instruction in the New Year. Overall outstanding experience!
Jay Rieger Dec 1, 2016
Singing · Online
James is a fabulous instructor with a perfect demeanor for teaching; he is very positive and always looks for opportunities to improve the performance of his student. My daughter has significantly improved and gained confidence. She is looking forward to continued instruction in the New Year. Overall outstanding experience!
Jay Dec 1, 2016
Singing · Online
Verified Student
James is a fabulous instructor with a perfect demeanor for teaching; he is very positive and always looks for opportunities to improve the performance of his student. My daughter has significantly improved and gained confidence. She is looking forward to continued instruction in the New Year. Overall outstanding experience!
Georgia A. Nov 28, 2016
Singing · Online
Verified Student
James is an awesome teacher! He has helped me work with my voice and not against it. Lots of helpful advice on not just singing but songwriting, script writing, Comedy prep. & the Harmonica. He is kind and impactful. I recommend James to anyone ready to move forward in their career. Cheers!
Georgia A. Nov 28, 2016
Acoustic Guitar · Online
Verified Student
Why would anyone defame such a wonderful teacher? He is so dedicated and follows through with his lessons by consistently sending links all through the week that helps with understanding all you need to know about musical sounds. Its been an intriguing experience for me. Pay no attention to anonymous critics; they choose to remain anonymous not to help you, but to help themselves. I would recommend James to anyone seriously interested in honing their skills in the acoustic guitar. Cheers!
Keri Nov 27, 2016
Acoustic Guitar · Online
Anyone with half a brain knows that if a student is unhappy they can change teachers easily. Only a coward writes anonymous reviews out of jealousy. Since Take Lessons guarantees all lessons a person with integrity would simply work things out over the phone instead of hitting "below the belt". Some teachers have learned from the best at M.I. in Hollywood so that is telling it like it is. This is not "Name Dropping." I have known James for 15 years and have found him to be the best teacher ever, period.
Don't believe anything you read in "anonymous" reviews.
Anonymous Nov 27, 2016
Acoustic Guitar · Online
He likes to name drop celebrities he has worked with more than teaching. He provides some value. He is knowledgeable, but I would not recommend. He has strong held personal views and acts conceited.
Darcy Nov 10, 2016
Audition Prep · In studio
James is an amazing teacher! We went through the material I had to prepare many times honing every details, and he was absolutely inspiring! He also gave me great advice on other topics like career choices, screenwriting, and pitching a piece to producers. Some of my audition material needed to be taped and he help me on that as well! Highly recommended as a teacher and a professional in the field!
Paula D. Oct 28, 2016
Singing · Online
Verified Student
James, besides the lessons, gives me helpful information on improving my singing, and also information on my other interests including guitar, harmonica, songwriting and comedy. As an added bonus, he gives me useful information on nutrition, writing, and other topics of information. Also many ideas on how to practice and words of encouragement. A great teacher. Definitely several points above average.
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