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James Reily

Guitar, Bass, Harmonica, Ukulele

James Reily has been teaching guitar in the South Bay for over 25 years. James teaches all levels from beginning to advanced/professional, covering many styles with emphasis on rock, jazz, and blues.  He has taught at many music stores and schools including Stevens Music, Union Grove, Gelb, South Bay School of Music Arts, and Showcase Music Institute.

James is known for his highly effective teaching style which accommodates each student uniquely rather than forcing a standardized method.

James will teach what you want to learn, as well as what you need to learn to become a well-rounded musician and excellent player, or to just have fun if that’s your preference.

James’ expertise includes theory of improvisation, modern approaches, advanced chord voicing and chord substitutions, composition and arranging, harmony, rhythms, sight-reading, transcribing, finger picking, slide guitar, tapping, sweeping, use of harmonics and more. Some students want to learn it all, and others prefer to focus on their areas of interest.


James uses tablature, grid, and traditional notation, again depending on the student’s preference.


“I’ve encountered many types of learners over the years, and I am confident that my approach will help you progress and break through any musical roadblocks you encounter along the way. Many of my students who came to me as beginners have developed into high level professional players.” — James Reily


Click below for samples of James playing in various styles:

“Classical Gas”
“Tell Mama” solo
“Jazz/Calypso “solo

"On the Sunny Side of the Street" 

"Baby Blue"

"I've Just Seen a Face"


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