I’m Jim Bowley and I’m happy to be your guitar teacher!
Whether you’re a beginner strumming her first guitar chords, an intermediate student aiming to take his guitar technique to the next level, or a 20-year veteran looking for new musical inspiration, you’ve come to the right place.
Whatever your goals are, I’m confident I can help you reach them. And when you learn to play guitar with me, you’ll not only reach your goals, but you’ll have fun in the process!
- Guitar Lessons gives details on my teaching approach, pricing and scheduling.
- This page features a variety of free lessons and tips, student success stories and fun articles.
- Read my musical bio in About Jim and some student and parent testimonials in Students Speak.
- My favorite books and gear are featured in Highly Recommended.
- Guitar Talk is for the gear heads and guitar junkies among you!
If you’re local to Harford County, Maryland, contact me for guitar lessons at my studio in Bel Air. In addition to private guitar instruction, I also offer ukulele and bass lessons, as well as small group beginner guitar classes when scheduling allows.
If guitar lessons are not an option right now, join the mailing list – it’s quick and easy and you’ll get all the latest articles and free lessons straight to your inbox!
Whichever road you choose, I look forward to helping you along your musical journey!
Welcome to the latest installment of Songs From the Guitar Studio!
It’s been a while since I’ve written one of these bad boys, but they’re always fun and they always seem to get a good response!
As you might remember from earlier volumes, this series is dedicated to songs my students have played in guitar lessons. Sometimes we’ll pick a technique or concept and find a song to match it; at other times, we’ll pick a song first and see what we can learn from it.
Listed below are just a few of the songs we’ve jammed to over the last few weeks and months. I’ve tried to make the list diverse, featuring various concepts and techniques. As always, I’ve outlined a few of the main elements and takeaway points from each song. Hopefully you’ll see something here to inspire you! Continue reading “Songs From the Guitar Studio, Vol. 7” »
As a kid and a huge sports fan, one of my favorite shows was “Wide World of Sports”. The tagline, spoken by the late Jim McKay, has become iconic:
“The thrill of victory. The agony of defeat.”
The modern equivalent of “the agony of defeat” is the struggle face.
If you want to see a musical struggle face – complete with grimaces, grunts, groans, and tortured expressions – just watch someone wrestle with a problem guitar chord.
Of course, all guitarists have problems playing certain chords. For some folks, the biggest problem is reaching the ring finger for the C chord. For a lot of guys, it’s trying not to get jammed up on an A chord. For me, it was always accuracy on a B7.
But a univeral issue for almost every guitarist is how to make the F chord sound…well, not completely terrible. (Cue struggle face.) Continue reading “The Definitive Lesson: How to Play the Dreaded F Chord, Part 1” »
What’s up, rock and rollers!
It’s been a number of months since I’ve done a Free For All Friday article, which, you may remember, featured some of my fave links to some of my fave stuff.
Well…I couldn’t wait until Friday to share my new fave stuff, so instead we’ll launch our first ever Musical Miscellaneous Monday! (In case you can’t tell, I’m quite the fan of alliteration. Please help me stop.)
1 – The Sound City documentary.
2 – Making your practice stick with The Bulletproof Musician.
3 – The first music video by my former student, Piper Bateman (recorded and produced by yours truly).
Let’s get this party started! Continue reading “Miscellaneous Musical Monday: October 14, 2013” »
If you’ve been alive and breathing this past summer, you’ve likely heard the guitar work of our newest Unsung Guitar Hero. Indeed, the funky Stratocaster chops on Daft Punk’s hit single, “Get Lucky”, belong to none other than the great Nile Rodgers.
The success of “Get Lucky” has created a bit of a “revival of Nile”, especially among guitar players. I’m happy to say that Mr. Rodgers’ influence has been with me from the beginning (my formative years in music just happened to coincide with his initial success in the iconic 70′s disco band, Chic), but for many guitarists, Daft Punk is their introduction to his special brand of awesome. Continue reading “Unsung Guitar Hero: Nile Rodgers” »
Hard to believe that this month – May 2013 – marks my two-year anniversary of writing guitar lessons and articles for my little corner of the Web.
It has been a blast and I’ve learned a lot, but more importantly, I hope I’ve done what I originally set out to do: spread the gospel of great guitar music.
Hopefully you’ve learned a few new things about the art and practice of guitar and enjoyed the way I’ve presented the material.
In honor of hitting this personal milestone, I’ve decided to make my 100th post a “Best Of”-kinda deal. Let’s rock! Continue reading “100th Post: The Best of JB!” »
Beginner guitarists have a major hurdle facing them where it concerns changing chords smoothly and comfortable.
To that end, I’ve developed a few helpful “common” strategies that are outlined in this epic lesson. The first two strategies – common finger and common string – are often easiest to apply. The third strategy, however, usually presents a few coordination issues.
But learning to use the common shape strategy will make life much easier for your average guitar rookie. In a nutshell, we want to recognize the fingers that are configured – or “shaped” – the same way between two chords and maintain that shape as we switch.
[Note: Although I’m presenting this as a beginner lesson, it’s actually a foundation concept that is practiced across all skill levels. Continue reading ““Hop and Drop” Using Common Shapes” »