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Jim Cruz

McDonough, GA 30253 (map)

Lessons Offered


Where are Lessons Offered

In Teacher Studio

About Me

I have over 35 years experience as a professional guitar instructor and professional musician, teaching in Henry County, GA. Over the years I've had the pleasure of teaching hundreds of students at every skill level (beginner to pro-level students). Music has always been a passion of mine since I was a young child and passing that love for the art on has been pure joy.

I have one basic philosophy in my approach to teaching: get the student to fall in love with the guitar so it becomes a life-long passion. As an instructor, I endeavor to make guitar lessons fun, practical and productive!!! Whether you're a beginner, intermediate, advanced or even at the professional level, I can help you advance your playing skills.

My Musical Education Background

I have had much formal training with many private instructors since I was 10 years old. In addition I've always been a self-disciplined student reading and learning from a number of university-level text books used in music schools whcih gave me a strong music theory foundation early on. This has propelled my learning with the private teachers that I studied under:

Beginning - Advanced Guitar

Sep 1970 - May 1975 Guitar Lessons with Jimmy Nelis (Lindenhurst, NY)

Beginning guitar, reading music, chord knowledge, blues/rock guitar, advanced guitar technique development.

Classical Guitar

Jun 1975 - Apr 1976 Classical Guitar Lessons with Robert Bates (Lindenhurst, NY)
Studied classical guitar in NY with Robert Bates, a Julliard School of Music graduate who majored in Cello and minored in Classical Guitar.

Jazz Guitar, Music Theory

May 1976 - Aug 1978 Private Guitar Lessons with Charlie LaVerne (Islip, NY)
Charlie was one of my favorite teachers and an amazing jazz guitar player. He was also an arranger and leader of a big jazz band. His style was very similar to the legendary guitarist, Django Reinhardt. This where I really grew in my jazz playing, primarily jazz standards and Bebop.

Jazz Guitar

Sep 1978 - Jan 1980 Private Lessons with Jazz Guitarist/performer Tony Campo (Copaigue, NY)
Studied Jazz Guitar with Tony for a year focusing on the chord melody approach to playing jazz standards.

Western Swing & Country Guitar

Mar 1980 - Jul 1980 Guitar Lessons with Dan Hutchings (Ventura, CA)
I studied with Dan for a short time to learn the Western Swing style of playing (which was a new style to me). Also learned to play in Country guitar stylings as well.

Advanced Jazz Guitar Stylings

Apr 1985 - Sep 1985 Lessons with Eric Domas (College Park, GA)

Studied using advanced concepts of "chord stacking" (polytonal) and intervallic playing in Jazz Improvisation.

Jazz Guitar / Jazz Standards

Oct 1991 - Sep 1992 Private Lessons with Bob Shaw (Atlanta, GA)
Bob Shaw was a seasoned Jazz guitar player and teacher in the Atlanta area. Even though I had been playing Jazz for a number of years already, being exposed to a different stylist and approach helps me to expand my skills as a player.

Genres and Subjects Taught

I teach several styles of playing: Rock, Jazz, Blues, Country, Funk, Contemporary Christian styles, and more.

I teach different guitar techniques such as Rhythm & Lead guitar (improvisation) playing, Classical guitar and Fingerstyle playing, dexterity building, hybrid picking, reading music as well as tablature (tab). .

I teach on both electric & acoustic guitar and all students are required to own their own instrument in order to study with me.

Lesson Rates

Lessons are a weekly 30-minute session at the same time slot each week and are taken at my McDonough home studio. Lessons are paid by the first lesson of the month for that entire month.  The lesson tuition is typically $80 per month for 4 weeks/4 lessons or $100 when there’s 5 weeks/5 lessons, based on $20 each weekly 1/2 hr. session.

Ages / Skill Levels Taught

I teach every skill level (beginner to pro-level students) from age 11 to adults. My current students are everything in between.

My Musical Influences

In my early years of learning as a child, I was influenced by blues, R&B and rock from the late 60's and 70's and progressive rock. Then I learned to love jazz including everything from Big Band Swing, Bebop, Modern, Fusion, and Smooth Jazz styles. I also have a love of Classical music and had also studied classical guitar in my youth.

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