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  • Testimonials

    "Simon has an outstanding ability to relate to students of all ages, backgrounds, skill levels and musical interests; quickly understanding where they are and devising appropriate ways of taking them where they want to go."

    Neil Parkinson, Richmond, Surrey


    "Simon coached me for 2 years to help me get a grip on jazz theory and guitar application. I found him thorough, patient and very inspiring. He also has pretty good technique and tone! Great guy, sorry to see him leave the UK"

    Tarek Mahmoud, London, England


    "Simon has helped me to develop strong technical and improvisational skills across a range of rock, blues and jazz repertoire. He has always maintained a great balance between the necessary appropriate technical exercises, scales, arpeggios and music theory, and the need to maintain enthusiasm in a young student. His eclectic musical knowledge and enthusiasms, from folk to flamenco have helped to cultivate real musical passion."

    Anders Walin, Norrkoping, Sweden


    "I am a self-taught guitar player and had been playing guitar for around fifteen years when my girlfriend bought me a course of Skype lessons with Simon for Christmas. I was fairly sceptical initially and to be honest did not know what benefits structured lessons would bring. I cannot stress how much my guitar skills have improved in the two years since my weekly lessons started. We have covered Jazz, Folk, Country, Rock and Blues and Simon has introduced me to different genres that I would not necessarily have played before. We have explored music theory and the knowledge that he has given me backed up by exercises relevant to the repertoire (arpeggios, scales etc.) has improved my sight reading, rhythm and harmony. What I have particularly enjoyed is playing together and being able to improvise and perform a solo with his support."

    John Hickling, Oldham, England


    "Simon has a unique skills set, having excellent technical proficiency combined with a natural aptitude for teaching. He is enthusiatic, talented and ensures that he finds the right approach to maximise learning. He is patient and positive and made my lessons both rewarding and fun. Whether you want to proceed through the grades or learn to love music then Simon is the perfect choice."

    Lucy Childs, Richmond, Surrey


    "Over than last couple of years, Simon has coached my band, which includes a singer/drummer and keyboard player. We have developed a repertoire of rock standards, learning the principles of improvisation and the importance of listening to each-other and fitting in to an ensemble. Simon has a sound theory knowledge, ability on all band instruments and his practical band experience has been invaluable in making this happen."

    Patrick Worledge, Camden, London


    "Simon has been teaching finger-style and we have worked on simple repertoire in the folk and blues idiom. He has developed great exercises to increase my dexterity and control: several of the tunes and exercises on his website were developed for and tested on me and, I am sure, his other students. Satisfyingly, I have recently learned to play simple blues and bossa nova rhythm lines over which my son can improvise."

    Karim Souki, Beirut, Lebanon


    "I had the pleasure of being taught guitar by Simon James for approximately 18 months. Having reached what I thought was the limit of my ability after being entirely self-taught for 30 years, Simon was able to teach me proper technique which has revived my enthusiasm for playing and expanded my repertoire. Simon is a talented musician and a fantastic teacher. He is able to adjust his standard to suit the abilities and aspirations of the student, covering a vast range of styles, balancing playing with the right level of background theory. We covered Jazz, Blues, Rock, and Folk styles; strumming, picking and improvisation. With each new style or technique, Simon included appropriate theory and underlying scales & arpeggios. Simon is a great communicator and motivator; key skills for any teacher!"

    Gareth Williams, Devon, England


    "I have had the great luck of fulfilling one of my all time dreams, which is learning how to play the electrical guitar. Doing this at my age and without any previous experience seemed impossible but thanks to Simon it has become a reality. His wide knowledge of many modern musical styles and a less academic approach to our lessons has been very important for me. Learning to play specific songs, instead of sticking to the classical way of teaching the theory of the musical language has been vital in keeping my interest alive lesson after lesson. It has been quite useful to find the right pace, playing the right kind of song and style at each specific stage of the learning process, absorbing new concepts with each step."

    Ignacio Nieto, Madrid, Spain


    "Simon has a deep knowledge of different types of music which is vital in order to adapt to each persons tastes, as we had had the chance of playing all sorts of melodic structures from blues to rock, or from bossa nova to flamenco. I will never be thankful enough to him for his patience, going through every repetition with me without giving up, and managing my progress smoothly, making me able to play a tune in a few weeks. "

    Estaban Chacha, Buenos Aires, Argentina


    "Simon is an excellent teacher, he taught me from complete beginner level, with endless patience, enthusiasm and as a really personable and relaxed guy, always made me feel completely at ease. I also found his website and youtube channel an excellent complement to his classes, both definitely helped me progress faster than I otherwise would have. Would not hesitate to recommend him to my friends."

    Adam Kelly, London, England


    "Simon and I worked alongside each other in one of London's most demanding inner city schools. We were teaching contemporary music to an extreme spectrum of abilities and skill levels. This environment really separated out those who were intuitive capable teachers and hose who were simply relying on training. Simon was fantastic and the students got a wealth of knowledge and inspiration from him. He was honing the Guitar4free website whilst we were working and I think it shows the influence of this environment. He understands music as a player and a teacher and finds ways to impart vitally useful information without getting unnecessarily technical. Theory and technique should unlock creativity, not replace it! Simon always understood this. I would always recommend him highly as a teacher. He's also a great songwriter and performer... which always helps back up a teaching practice. Not just a "do what I say", but a "try this out, I use this a lot in my own work and find it really effective", kind of guy. No one should ever get 10/10 so I'll give him a 9.9/10."

    Barney Crockford, Colleague at Camden Music Service, London, England

  • Contact

    Contact me at to arrange a lesson

  • Sample Lessons

    Beginners Guitar Lessons

    Guitar Chords and Scales

    Finger Picking Folk/Blues

    Playing in the Style of Your Favourite Guitarist

    Major, Minor Blues and Blues Improvisation

    Jazz Chords Progressions, Scales and Improvisation

    Rockschool Grades Syllabus

    Latin Guitar Rhythms

    Flamenco Guitar Compas and Falsetas

    Songwriting and Recording Tips

    Performance and Band Workshops

  • Private Video Lesson Pricelist

    30 Minute Individual Lesson $30

    60 Minute Individual Lesson $40

    30 Minute Group Lesson $20 per person

    60 Minute Group Lesson $30 per person