Jim Wood

Multi-Instrument Instructor
Brief info

Jim Wood cut his teeth on the old-time music of his hometown of Fairview, Tennessee where his father, championship guitarist Jimmy Wood, was heavily involved in the local grassroots musical scene. He holds fifteen state championship titles on fiddle and mandolin (including five times the Tennessee State Fiddle Champion) and the Berry C. Williams Memorial Award, and he was presented the Outstanding Achievement Award by governor Ned McWherter for his work in preserving the traditions of Tennessee. He was the founder of the Tennessee Fiddle Orchestra and has taught private students since 1980 (thirty-eight of his students have won national and/or state championships). He spent decades in the Nashville studio and live scene working with celebrities too numerous to mention and opened his own professional studio in 1993 where he produces projects for indy artists. He has published nine instructional videos with Homespun Tapes (Hal Leonard) and the Murphy Method (Mel Bay) and writes a regular column for Fiddler Magazine.

Schedule a Lesson

Due to the scheduling demands of creating video and audio content for the Academy, Jim’s schedule is limited in the students he can accommodate for private instruction. Based on the technical demands of properly teaching levels five and six, we have reserved Jim’s schedule for these students. Jim’s hourly rate for instruction is $ 70.00. We do have a highly qualified full staff on instructors teaching levels one through four. Your understanding of the time constraints in creating our content is appreciated.

Our discounted lessons are available to schedule for our paid subscribers.

Brief autobiography

I was born in Nashville, Tennessee on August 28, 1964 and lived outside Fairview, a little country town about twenty-five miles southwest of Nashville, until 1999 when my wife, Inge, and I moved to Flat Creek, just south of Shelbyville, Tennessee. I started fiddling at age ten and was fortunate to have some really strong music around me ever since I can remember. The local grassroots scene where I grew up was incredible, and some of the best professionals in Nashville lived in my neighborhood. Buddy Spicher and Hoot Hester were only a short piece away, and through them I not only met about every fiddle legend from the 1940s forward you can mention, but I also learned what kind of musical standards the word “professional” implies.

My dad, Jimmy, also played a huge role in my musical life. He was an excellent rhythm guitarist (as well as a state finger-style guitar champion), and we went to literally hundreds of fiddle contests together over the years. These competitions were enormously important to my development. I got to hang out with some of the best older players like J.T. Perkins, Benny Thomasson, Texas Shorty, Dick Barrett, and Frazier Moss, and I competed against and became good friends with the best fiddlers of my generation.

I had years of formal training and went to Berklee College of Music to study jazz theory, but I am really just an old-time fiddler at heart. The standard old tunes give me a feeling that few things can touch, and I want to give something back by sharing it with others. Toward this end, I have always devoted a part of my schedule to teaching private students since 1980, and I have had the honor to help out many talented young players (thirty-eight of my students have won national and/or state championships).

Inge is my musical partner now in many of my endeavors, and my life of music has been an incredible blessing.

About Jim:

Jim writes for Fiddler Magazine (for which he is regular columnist), Strings, Acoustic Guitar, and the Devil’s Box on a variety of topics related to fiddle and guitar and is featured in four Acoustic Guitar’s Private Lessons book/cd packages and the Strings Letter Press book Fiddle Traditions . He has three instructional fiddle videos with Homespun Tapes and five fiddle and one guitar instructional videos available from the Murphy Method/ Mel Bay Publishing, and he is a recording artist on his own Whippoorwill Records as well as Maple Street Music, Sugo, and Pinewood Music. He owns and operates Tennessee Studios, a professional recording and video studio that focuses on acoustic and roots music projects. He was presented the Outstanding Achievement Award by governor Ned Ray McWherter for his work in preserving the traditions of Tennessee, and he was chosen to be a master folk artist in the mentor program established by the Tennessee Arts Commission. He founded the Tennessee Fiddle Orchestra, an amateur community group, in 2007. Jim is also a composer who has received commissions from various regional and collegiate orchestras, and his Trinity Mass, a full liturgical mass was commissioned by the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America.


Jim garnered over 160 first prizes in folk music competitions in his contest years from the late 1970s until 2000 — some of the highlights include:


Tennessee State Fiddle Championship (5 times)

Alabama State Fiddle Championship (2 times)

Alabama State Mandolin Championship (2 times)

Alabama State String Band Championship

Alabama State Accompanist Champion

Kentucky State String Band Championship (4 times)

Berry C. Williams Trophy (2 times)


In the course of his career, Jim has worked with a wide array of folk, country, Celtic, rock, bluegrass, pop, classical, swing, western swing, and ethnic settings.

Artists with whom Jim has performed either on stage or in the recording studio include:
Country Artists Jazz Artists Mandolinists
Vince Gill Doug Jernigan Tiny Moore
Ray Price Bobby Garrett Ronnie McCoury
Hank Thompson Bob Hoban Matt Fleener
Gary Morris Sam Levine Casy Campbell
Emmylou Harris Jeff Kirk Sierra Hull
Porter Wagoner Paul Zonn Roland White
Roy Acuff The Time Jumpers Boyd Deering
Jim Ed Brown Don Aliquo Mike Compton
Billy Grammer Mike Dowling Carl Tipton
Jeanne Pruett Jamey Simmons David McLaughlin
Jeannie C. Riley Tom Reynolds Butch Baldassari
Jean Shepard Barry Mitterhoff
Little Jimmy Dickens Classical Artists Brent Truitt
Brenda Lee Ron Huff Carl Jones
Angela Caset Charlene Harb
Eddie Reasoner David Davidson Fiddlers
The Kinleys Wilma Jenson Jay Unger
Dave Olney Shelly Kurland Strings Buddy Spicher
Mandy Barnett Four Nations Ensemble Fletcher Bright
Bernadette Tinney Tennessee Repertory Theater Matt Glaser
Walt Aldridge Nashville Mandolin Ensemble Paul Peabody
Gregg Brown Murfreesboro Symphony Orchestra Mark O’Connor
Tommy Allsup University of Tennessee at Chattanooga Festival Orchestra J.T. Perkins
Richard Bennett Berry College Orchestra Frazier Moss
Michael Rhodes Daniel Carwile
Craig Nelson Celtic Artists Mark Ralph
Pig Robbins Seamus Egan Randy Howard
Kenny Buttrey Mick Moloney Randy Pollard
Charlie McCoy Brendan O’Regan Luke & Jenny Ann Bulla
Terry McMillan James Keane Hoot Hester
Annie Selleck John Williams Charlie Acuff
Kathy Mattea Willie Kelly Craig Duncan
Dave Pomeroy Glenn Duncan
Hammered Dulcimer Stuart Duncan
Bluegrass Artists Walt Michael Aubrey Haynie
Wilma Lee Cooper Alissa Jones Jimmy Mattingly
Rarely Herd Scott Miller Sam Zygmuntowicz
Hiawasee Ridge Andrea Zonn
John Cowan Banjoists Mark Feldman
Claire Lynch John Hartford Justin Branum
Kathy Chiavola Mike Snider Matt Combs
Wayne Lewis John McEuen John Boulware
Chris Jones Carl Jackson Deanie Richardson
Jake Landers Allison Brown Andy Leftwich
Jerry Douglas Larry McNeely Dan Kelly
Ed Dye Pete Wernick Brian Wickland
Johnny Bellar Butch Robbins Brian Christianson
The New Tradition Alan O’Bryant Fred Carpenter
Special Consensus Vic Jordan April Verch
Roy Huskey Tony Furtado Erynn Marshall
Keith Little Gary Davis Kenny Jackson
The Nashville Jug Band Leroy Troy Jim Buchanan
Billy & Terry Smith James McKinney
Byron House Pat Cloud Guitarists
Buddy Wachter Steve Kaufman
Gospel Artists Smokey Montgomery Russ Barenburg
Amy Grant Mark Schatz David Grier
Connie Smith Marty Lanham Robert Bowlin
Phil Keaggy Lynn Morris Jack Jezzro
Gary Chapman Murphy Henry Red Volkaert
Joe Bias John Hedgecoth Paul Yandell
Dino Charlie Cushman Roy Curry
Scott Brown Mark Barnett Mel Deal
Brice Henderson Tom Saffell Fareed Haque
Stasis Ronnie Stewart Bill Mize
Tom Howard John Balch Pepino D’Agostino
Brown Bannister Dave Macon III Pete Huttlinger
Jim Holland John Pell
Pop Artists Steve Baughman Mark Howard
The Wineskins Tracy Latham Mike Henderson
Keith Moore Ryan Kavanaugh Jeff White
Garth Whitcombe Hubert Davis Bob Saxton
Mike Duncan Earl Sneed Charlie Collins
Michael Omartian Kenny Frazier
Steve Cropper Folk Artists Shane Adkins
Tom Roady Jim Connor Mike Whitehead
Dan Huff Riders in the Sky Cody Kilby
The Indigo Girls Bill and Laurie Sky Jim Hurst
Ricky Taylor and the Live Roots Ensemble Andy Hatfield
Jody Kruskal
Jim’s television, radio, and film experience include:

Grand Ole Opry (WSM)

The Wild West (HBO)

Sue Mundy: Confederate She-Devil (The Documentary Channel)

Country Music Trails (webisodes)

Fly Fishing America Theme (ESPN)

Adam 12 (TNN)

The Discovery Channel

Riders Radio Theatre (NPR)

Tennessee Crossroads (PBS)

The Bob Braun Show (syndicated)

The Carl Tipton Show (Nashville)

Talk of the Town (Nashville)

Dugger Mountain Music Hall (PBS and the Heartland Network)

Let Your Feet Do the Talkin’ (The Documentary Channel)

Numerous jingles, including his themes for the Huntsville Women’s Hospital

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