Jerry Sims is originally from Greenwood, South Carolina, where he began playing and performing with neighborhood bands at an early age. After graduating from high school in 1972 and touring with the Swingin' Medallions, a nationally recognized band of the late '60s and early '70s, Sims' dedication to the guitar led him to pursue a musical education at the Berklee College of Music. Upon graduation from Berklee in 1979, he returned to South Carolina and opened Sims Music Inc., now a leading music retail and education center in the state.
Over the years, Sims has taught many students who have gone on to become successful musicians in the industry, including Mark Bryan of Hootie and the Blowfish. In 1982 after several years of studying, teaching, and performing on the six-string guitar, Sims heard jazz guitarist Bucky Pizzarelli play a seven-string guitar at the Spoleto Jazz Festival. The encounter inspired him to travel to New York to consult directly with the acknowledged seven-string master. Sims strengthened his command of the new instrument by transcribing many of the recorded solos by Pizzarelli and pioneering seven-string jazz guitarist George Van Eps.
His reputation grew to the point where in 1997; he was selected by the Ibanez Guitar Company to represent their new AF207 archtop seven-string jazz guitar. Sims was also a featured artist on Ibanez' promotional video Seventh Heaven, which included Steve Vai and John Petrucci. Ibanez also chose Sims to represent the company at the winter 1998 National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) convention in Los Angeles, California.
The First Chord Book for Seven String Guitar written by Sims has been published by Mel Bay Publications. Additionally, he has co-written arrangements for a joint project between Mel Bay and Warner Bros., entitled Fingerstyle Jazz, as well as a contributor to the Master Anthology of Jazz Guitar Solos Volume One. He also writes a regular column for Just Jazz Guitar Magazine and performs regularly with accomplished seven-string players, Howard Paul and Richard Maxwell. Sims primarily performs with a custom made Comins 7th Avenue seven-string guitar.
Jerry Sims can be reached via email at Sevenstrg1@aol.com or by phone at Sims Music: (803) 772-1185 www.simsmusic.com www.sevenstringjazz.com