About the Founder


From the age of 14, the guitar beckoned me, yet self-doubt and the fear of failure held me back. Without music-oriented peers to guide me, the daunting task of mastering the guitar loomed large. Instead, I found solace in live music, mesmerized by the deft fingers of guitar virtuosos as they danced along the fretboards.

With time, my musical preferences matured, gravitating towards the soul-stirring depths of blues. Legends like BB King, Buddy Guy, Stevie Ray Vaughan, and Robert Cray became my muses. A live performance by Buddy Guy in particular was nothing short of spiritual, leaving me in awe. Over the years, I became a familiar face at his shows, attending nearly fifty performances.

The pinnacle of my life’s symphony was marrying Kate, my rock and greatest cheerleader. She knew of my unfulfilled musical itch and, in a heartwarming act of faith, presented me with a Fender Stratocaster—a black and white polka dot masterpiece signed by Buddy Guy himself.

Kate’s faith in me was a catalyst; there was no turning back. Her gift wasn’t just an instrument—it was a symbol of her belief in my potential. With newfound confidence, I began my musical quest like most beginners and experiencing the same frequent disappointments. Despite investing in lessons and time, progress was painstakingly slow, and the temptation to give up whispered in my ear.

A pilgrimage to Macon, Ga., Kate’s birthplace, led me to the Allman Brothers’ legacy and Duane Allman’s resting place. Captivated, I immersed myself in “Skydog,” a biography that chronicled Duane’s self-taught journey, learning by ear from the greats like Elmore James by slowing records with his foot, all while his hands remained on the guitar.

My pursuit of guitar mastery continued, this time through the digital realm of YouTube. The platform offered a plethora of tutorials, licks, and songs to practice. Yet, even with these resources at my fingertips, frustration lingered, threatening to silence my dream. The process was marred by constant interruptions—pausing, playing, and rewinding videos became a cumbersome dance, disrupting the flow of my practice.

In a moment of clarity, I wondered how I could adapt Duane Allman’s innovative learning method to the modern age. The tactile nature of vinyl and the foot’s subtle control were out of reach, but the essence of his technique—keeping hands on the instrument to solidify muscle memory—was a principle I wanted to maintain. It was then that inspiration struck, giving rise to the concept of the Elmore Pedal—a device designed to bridge the gap between traditional ear training and the digital world’s resources.

With the Pedal, one can seamlessly pause, play, and rewind videos, ensuring an uninterrupted learning experience. It is a harmonious blend of past wisdom and present technology, a testament to the timeless journey of musical discovery…

-James Levin, Founder of Elmore Pedal Company