Jimmy Owen

Diploma Songwriting Course Leader

Jimmy is a proud endorsee of PRS Guitars, Victory Amps, Flattley Pedals, Kool Amplification, and Audient as the face of their new Sono interface.

​While Jimmy is perhaps best known as a classic rock guitarist, the range of his influences helps explain the variety in his own songwriting: from Johnson and Hendrix to Pat Metheny, Alan Holdsworth and David Gilmour, and beyond guitar, from John Coltrane to Chet Atkins and from Rachmaninov to Bach.

Jimmy’s musical journey began young. Aged 5, he would sit down at his parents’ piano and pick out Bach or Chopin by ear, but he showed little interest in reading from the page. A series of teachers struggled to impose much order on the way Jimmy learned, but eventually he landed in the music room of someone who understood how he was ascertaining what he heard, through synaesthesia – a rare condition which connects different pitches to specific colours, enhancing his sensitivity to harmonies and how they are expressed. Jimmy first picked up a guitar aged 16 and felt an instant affinity to the instrument – in his words, he “couldn’t sleep because it was time away from playing”. A few months later Jimmy was honoured to be invited to David Gilmour’s house and given the run of his instruments, including his famous Fender Strat, from which point his future career was fixed in his mind.

At 18 Jimmy was given an unconditional offer to study at the British Institute of Modern Music where he was taught by and subsequently performed with world-renowned guitarist Guthrie Govan (Hans Zimmer).

​While Jimmy is perhaps best known as a classic rock guitarist, the range of his influences helps explain the variety in his own songwriting: from Johnson and Hendrix to Pat Metheny, Alan Holdsworth and David Gilmour, and beyond guitar, from John Coltrane to Chet Atkins and from Rachmaninov to Bach.

Jimmy has become a (perhaps reluctant) hero of old-school gear-heads and lovers of classic tone, grabbing the attention of tone connoisseur James Santiago of Voodoo lab/Guitar Hero: “great sound, killer tone!”

© 2020 BIMM Institute
British and Irish Modern Music Institute