James Sawyer is an accomplished guitar player and guitar teacher based out of Toronto. He studied Classical Guitar at the Eli Kassner Guitar Academy. His teacher Eli was a pivotal figure in establishing classical guitar in Toronto, founding the Guitar Society of Toronto in 1956. Eli also was responsible for creating the guitar program at the University of Toronto and The Royal Conservatory of Music in 1959 and started the University of Toronto Guitar Ensemble in 1978. His teacher Eli also studied under the great virtuoso classical guitarist, Andrés Segovia. James also took lessons from electric guitarist Glen Drover, a lead guitarist that played for the major metal band Megadeth.
James has been in many bands over the years, playing such styles as Rock and Metal, Jazz Fusion and Neoclassical Fusion. He has taught guitar now both privately and in music stores and music schools since 1989, teaching beginner to advanced guitar. James brings more than 30 years of teaching experience with energy and fun to every class he instructs. He has helped thousands of students from children to adults play the guitar more effectively. Through the years he has developed ways to help students make improvements in their playing ability while at the same time expanding their knowledge and understanding of music theory, making it fun and easy for them to learn.
James has continued to work with people of all ages and experience levels and has also made life-long friendships with his students. He now mainly teaches rock and popular guitar encompassing all the different genres and types such as the ’60s, ’70s, ’80s, ’90s to present day, specializing in Rock & Metal, and all facets of Lead Guitar playing techniques. James also plays Drums and Bass Guitar and has been doing setups and repairs for guitars and basses for over 30 years. The Toronto Guitar School is pleased to now offer James’s skills in setups and repairs to our students and clients. James also works part-time at Remenyi House of Music as a Guitar Sales Person, so is a great resource for anyone needs advice or has any questions about guitars.