Singer, guitarist, teacher and blogger. Lover of Baltimore sports. Bourbon and gin fanatic. Fantasy sports addict.
I've been playing music professionally for 30 years and in amateur settings for 10 years prior to that. I currently perform with Remains of Radio and Gordon Michaels Band, as well as in acoustic solo/duo/trio formats. You can also occasionally find me in the pit band for community and college theater productions.
I have 40 years of practical experience to pair with a Bachelor’s degree in Music Education from Towson University. I've taught hundreds of students of all ages in private lessons, classroom settings, camps and seminars.
I offer a limited number of private guitar lessons at my studio in Bel Air, MD. I also coach students via Skype and video submission. CONTACT me below for availability and to schedule a lesson.
With Remains of Radio
Filling in on 2nd guitar with Code Red
With Remains of Radio
SOLO with special guests - DEBUT show!
With Gordon Michaels Band
With Remains of Radio
I've been playing music professionally in a variety of settings for 30 years. Currently you can find me as follows:
Remains of Radio is my pop/dance/party band. We play tunes ranging from Jane's Addiction to Justin Timberlake, Luke Bryan to Led Zep. You can find the Remains of Radio schedule on the band website.
Gordon Michaels Band is my "sophisticated #dadrock" band, featuring music by artists like Stevie Wonder, Steely Dan, Wings, Little Feat, Dire Straits, Chicago and much more. You can find information on Gordon Michaels Band on the group's Facebook page.
I also play in solo/duo/trio formats as an acoustic guitarist/vocalist. Artists that I cover include acts like Barenaked Ladies, John Mayer, The Killers, Goo Goo Dolls, David Bowie, Dave Matthews Band and much more. My solo/duo/trio schedule can be found on the CALENDAR.
Finally, I'm also available to play guitar in pit bands for community theater productions. Some of my musical credits include Rent, Assassins, High School Musical, Grease, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Godspell and more.
CONTACT me below for bookings.
Private coaching is the most efficient way to raise your guitar game for one simple reason: Feedback.
YouTube videos may teach you some things, but they cannot possibly give you this. The feedback that you get from a qualified teacher with experience and an understanding of the learning process is critical to your success.
I offer coaching on a limited basis and will be happy to give you that feedback. Honestly, I think it’s one of the best investments you can make as a guitar student, especially for someone in the first couple years of playing. Make sure to check out the STUDENT SUCCESS testimonials below so you can see what private coaching can really do to help you raise your guitar game!
For traditional private lessons you must be local to Maryland. Feel free to give me as much information on the student as you like, but please indicate at minimum:
From there, we can get a dialogue going. CONTACT me below.
The next best thing to traditional private lessons are distance lessons via either Skype or FaceTime (Apple). Please indicate in the comments box below:
I accept payment via PayPal. Details for scheduling your distance lesson will be emailed to you after payment is processed.
If you can make a video of yourself playing, send it to me for a critique. If there is something specific that you’d like me to address, please indicate that as well. I’ll respond with a short video of my own demonstrating some suggested improvements and answering any questions you may have.
Turnaround time is approximately one week. Videos should be no more than 5 minutes in length.
I accept payment via PayPal. Details for submission will be emailed to you after payment is processed.
CONTACT me below for all distance lesson and video submission inquiries.
"Jim is a real music teacher who understands how to relate to all ages and abilities, which is important to me as an older adult student. Every lesson builds upon the next and, as a result, my guitar playing is light years ahead of where I was 2 years ago. He ROCKS and I am lucky to have him as my teacher.” – Karen P.
“Jim Bowley is an awesome teacher! He has been my musical mentor since 2007 and has helped me acquire skills that I never thought I would be able to reach. Beyond technique and theory, we also explore strategies to take songs to a more professional level, which is important to me as a performer.” – Piper Bateman, singer-songwriter
"I started taking lessons from Jim after seeing incredible progress in my daughter’s guitar playing after studying under him. He has worked with me over these 3+ years to surpass my expectations and conquer the hurdles of my bad habits. Jim’s approach isn’t 'one size fits all'. He understands each individual has unique challenges to overcome. To sum it up, Jim Bowley is the BEST!” – John K.
“I have come in contact with many inspiring individuals throughout my musical journey, but none even come close to matching the pure awesome that is my friend, Jim Bowley! Somehow he has helped me stretch my musical abilities far beyond what I ever thought possible. He has not only been my most inspiring mentor in music, he has also inspired me to be a better person and teacher.” – Savannah M.
“Jim Bowley is a great teacher. When I approached him for ukulele lessons I wasn’t sure if he’d be willing to take me as a student since he is primarily a guitar teacher. Not only did he take me on as a student, he turned out to be the best choice for a ukulele teacher. His style is very intuitive and he is amazing at adapting his teaching to specifically fit the student’s wants and needs.” – Mike Rose, “The Magic Kinda Guy”
“Jim offered the best learning experience I’ve ever received from anyone on any subject. If you really want to play guitar and put in the work it takes, he will give you all the tools you need and help you build your confidence as a player. He helped me get into Berklee and put me on the path to doing what I love. Great player, great teacher, and a better person. I highly recommend!” – Jeff G.
My most popular video, with over 2,000,000 views. Here I show beginner lead players how to turn the elements of a basic pentatonic scale into short "moves" or phrases that can then be strung together into a solo.
In this lesson, I'll show you how to use a movement you already know well - flicking water from your hands - to create a smooth, fluid strum.
In this video, I'll show you how to visualize your pentatonic lines along two "pathways". Being able to do this effectively will enhance your vision of the fretboard as well as your phrasing.
New products are coming soon!
For Harford Magazine article (photo credit Matt Button)