I’ve been taking lessons since late October, 2014, and started as a beginner. Jimmy started our lessons by teaching some of the common chords and helped me stay engaged by practicing these chords with songs that I enjoyed.  We’ve continued to build upon that with more chords, strumming patterns, rhythm, etc.  It’s been tons of fun for me!
In short, I highly recommend him.

– Janet

I’ve had four lessons with Jimmy so far and I can already do stuff on the guitar I thought I would never be able to do! Jimmy is the real deal and an absolute natural when it comes to teaching – I love his laid-back yet focused approach to learning and teaching, and I feel like every minute of my hour lesson is used effectively and thoroughly and is way fun. Jimmy makes learning (and practicing) guitar fun and rewarding and I can’t believe how much I’ve learned and actually applied in just four lessons!

– Jennifer

I’ve played guitar for 17 years and was introduced to James after a long period of stagnation on the instrument. I had established a firm identity as a player after a period of recording instrumental rock records and performing in front of diverse audiences. After reaching a fairly high level of technical proficiency at an early age, I found it difficult to find teachers and mentors that were able to challenge me to play better and smarter. After just a few lessons, James defied my expectations on both fronts. James is deeply interested in helping me achieve my own objectives on the instrument while also encouraging me to expand beyond that by introducing me to new concepts and techniques. He was able to identify weaknesses in my playing and gaps in my knowledge within minutes of talking to me and hearing me play. He is particularly adept at assessing his students’ limitations in the context of their own personal aspirations as players. He maintains an adaptable approach and is able to tailor his instruction to each student’s needs while maintaining a rigorous teaching method. Just a few weeks after beginning lessons, I was playing and thinking way outside of my comfort zone.

– Evan

I had played guitar for 5 years but was hitting a wall with progress. I couldn’t play some of my favorite songs that had complex chords or required advanced soloing techniques. James’ knowledge of many styles of music and his ability to teach was a tremendous help to me. He customized my lessons to my goals and packed in many great tips. He showed me dimensions to guitar I didn’t know were there. I was totally satisfied with my lessons and fully recommend James for guitarists at any experience level.


James is an outstanding, exciting instructor that encourages and inspires someone wanting to learn to play the guitar. I found the lessons to be much tailored to my needs and desires, but more importantly, I found him to be a patient instructor. I highly recommend James without a doubt.

– Randy

James is an excellent teacher; he has shown great patience with my progression as a student while also encouraging me to challenge myself to be a better musician. Within my year long time as a student with James I have learned how to both play a variety of chords and to recognize tempo, pitch and tune. I highly recommend James as a teacher and am incredibly grateful for all that I have learned as his student.

-Heather Jo

I’ve taken lessons with James for about 8 months and have definitely experienced a marked improvement in my playing. He’s a very conscientious instructor; he develops lessons according to my interests and provides challenging material, which keeps me engaged as well as motivated to continue learning. He’s also helped me work on my ear for recognizing chord structure and tonal changes, which has affected the way I listen to and think about music. Plus, the lessons are very affordable and he is super understanding about my crazy graduate student schedule. This is definitely the best guitar tutelage you’re going to find in the Research Triangle.

– Marielle

I highly recommend Jimmy Gilmore – he is a excellent teacher and player.  He has the ability to pin point areas that need work, and then help you focus on those areas.  I look forward to my lessons and can honestly say I learn something every time.  I’m a better player now…Jimmy has helped me a lot.

– Mark Allman, Double Shot Classic Rock Band

I have been the lead guitarist in several regularly gigging bands over the years. Being self-taught I came across some roadblocks to progress in my playing. I felt like I was always playing the same thing, especially in my soloing. After 5 lessons with James I have much more confidence in my playing. James has helped me tap into other creative lead styles and scales that I’ve been able to put to work for me immediately – my bandmates are already noticing the difference. Thanks James.

– Darren

I have been playing guitar for twenty-seven years and never really given much thought to taking lessons since my last one, approximately twenty-five years ago. The internet was my source of guitar knowledge – it’s free and anything else appeared to be a waste of money. However, out of curiosity I scheduled a session with James just to confirm that such a tutorial would be a waste of time and money. My judgement could not have been more erroneous. James has provided a certain comprehension that I could never have found on the internet or in any book. My technique has improved, my ear is keener, and the level of my guitar skill holistically has improved. Family and friends have noticed my remarkable progress. I have been taking lessons with James for over two years and I do not plan to stop anytime soon. I highly recommend his services for any guitarist, regardless of experience or skill level.


James is a fantastic guitar instructor who brings a high level of skill, passion and professionalism to his craft.  James has the ability to mold, shape, fine-tune and develop guitarists at all skill levels – from young beginners just learning how to hold a guitar to advanced students looking to take their studies to a new level. James has truly worked wonders with all of the guitar students at our music school.

– Scott Bradford, Owner Let There Be Rock School – Durham

I highly, highly recommend James as a guitar teacher, regardless of your age and background. He’s extremely well educated in music theory, his lessons are fun, and he genuinely likes to see his students improve. I’m a 31-year-old working the typical 8-5 grind in the Durham area who picked up guitar this year in search of a new hobby. James has adapted my lessons and practice according to what I’m looking for (being able to play the type of music that I enjoy listening to) and manages to blend music theory with actual music. I’ve found my improvement curve to be exactly what I was hoping for. I’ve seen myself progress each week. He strikes the perfect balance of challenging you to better yourself and helping you find joy in playing guitar. I couldn’t be happier!

– Matt

I highly recommend giving James a shot if you’re looking to pick up the guitar, or have a bit of experience and have plateaued, like I had. I’ve been seeing James weekly for the past year and have experienced large gains in my technical ability, as well as my overall knowledge of the fretboard and music theory. James has a vast and diverse skill set on which to draw from and can get you started in pretty much any direction you want to go, whether you aspire to be a jazz virtuoso or an 80s-style stadium rocker, or pretty much anything in between. He truly cares about his students and their development and just does a great job overall.

– Josh

Jimmy has been an excellent teacher for the past year+. I was completely new to guitar (at age 32) when I started and continue to see gains every week when I see him. He is able to adapt to your specific style of learning and tailor his lessons to what you want to learn while continually pushing good fundamentals. I highly recommend him!

– Geoff

James Gilmore is simply a most talented and thoughtful instructor if there was one. He arranges his teaching approach around the student to bring out their best with thoughtfulness and compassion. Definitely worth looking up.

– Ivan

James has helped me learn guitar for the last 2 years, he has had to learn patience with this 60 plus enthusiast. He and I settled into an 60 minute practice session for me each week as I was having trouble devoting time to practice. I am on golf sabbatical right now hoping to get back asap.he is caring, passionate, competent and fun!

– Kevin

My experience thus far with James has been beyond excellent. He is knowledgable, accessible, patient, and thoughtful in his approaches to teaching and demonstrating music. Since beginning jazz guitar lessons with James, I am listening to and practicing music differently, and I feel increasingly motivated and eager to take on new musical challenges. Highly recommended!

– Joseph Silvers, The Hot Club of Raleigh