- Teaches students:
- Ages 5+
- Teaching since:
- May 1999
Jim S. is an Atlanta native and gained a love for music early in life by touring with The Atlanta Boy Choir in Europe and Alaska in 1987 and 1988. After a few years of playing drums and teaching himself guitar, Jim started his academic studies in guitar performance at Atlanta Institute of Music, where he studied with notable guitarists Steve Cunningham and Nite Driscoll. Jim has also studied with Dan Baraszu, the guitarist of Atlanta’s Fabulous Fox Theatre, and was a participant of the master classes of Corey Christiansen and Jimmy Herring of Widespread Panic. Jim graduated from A.I.M. in 1999. He then moved to Athens, GA to increase his musical experience by playing in various local bands and performing in virtually every venue that Athens had to offer, including the Georgia Theatre. Jim has played with many rock bands including Three Too Many, Teeter Driskle, Red House, Bella CoOla, The Seeds of Harmony All-Star Band, Gooey, The Ferguson Outfit, Bellian Marshall and The Audio Bandits, Second Glance, and the Kennesaw Rain Project.
Upon moving back to Atlanta, Jim accepted a teaching position at St. Martin’s Episcopal School where he teaches guitar lessons in the after-school program. He also has many private students, and currently teaches at Key Music Center, where he is the director and arranger of the Guitar Ensemble, head coach of the rock band classes and camps, and the school’s guitar repair technician. In 2003, after apprenticing with Ken Bennett of Warrior Guitars and Number 9 Guitars, Jim assisted in the building of three custom solid body electric guitars, including the R.I.P. guitar that he currently plays. Currently, Jim is assisting Guitars by KB with their first carved archtop guitar model, ” The Bennetti ”.
He then continued his academic studies at Georgia Perimeter College where he studied classical guitar performance. Jim S. recently graduated from Kennesaw State University with a Bachelor’s of Music Degree in Jazz Guitar Performance where he studied guitar with Trey Wright and played in several ensembles including Kennesaw State Jazz Ensemble directed by Sam Skelton and Wes Funderburk, and the Kennesaw State Jazz Guitar Ensemble, directed by Trey Wright.
Jim has recently co-founded a Jazz Duo with his twin brother, Scott. The brothers play as a cohesive unit and frequently finish each others sentences musically. Jim and Scott find it stimulating to interpret popular songs into jazz. Through improvisation, converse using musical devises that range from quoting each other’s lines, trading phrases, and melodic embellishment. Jim is also currently leader of the jazz combo, Snaz, The band has been playing jazz standards and originals throughout the metro Atlanta area since 2005. Snaz plays a wide variety of jazz in styles including straight ahead swing, rock fusion, bossa nova, calypso and funk. In addition to playing music in venues and restaurants, they have played a wide variety private parties including, wedding receptions, anniversaries, and corporate events, as well as benefit concerts. Jim is also working on a solo album that will consist of solo jazz arrangements of standard and not so standard jazz tunes.
*** Lesson Details ***
I am a laid back teacher but I also expect a lot. Depending on where you already are in your musical development, lessons with me will prove to be immediately beneficial. I am sure that I can help find and fill the holes in your knowledge, navigation, phrasing, and technique.
*** Studio Equipment ***
recording set up, two guitars, amp, cables, acoustic guitars basement location seating for parents
*** Travel Equipment ***
The student should provide guitar, book, notebook, picks, strap, ect...
*** Specialties ***
I specialize in jazz. Specifically, I focus on improvisation through scales, arpeggios, and lines transcribed from solos in every key. I also focus on chord vocabulary through all keys and all three string sets. I also have experience in arranging solo guitar pieces, and ensemble pieces.
I am a picker who has owned a guitar for many years and I had a basic understanding of the major chords, but had never taken a lesson, Jim was a breath of fresh air.
His patience with my stumbling attempts at scales, who knew that my fingers could learn how to master that, was great.
When I decided that the lessons were not going exactly in the direction that I wanted Jim was quick to adjust and help me along a path more suited to my goals.
Jim provided me with many tools that include but are not limited to, strumming techniques, an understanding of scales and the fretboard, as well as a beginners guide to music therory, all of which I will continue to use in my exploraton of the guitar.
Thanks Jim for such a plesant experence in pursuing my goal of advancing my skills on the guitar.