James is 2nd Guitar Player for Maroon 5. James Valentine knows guitars! I love this guy's grasp of the six string guitar. If you listen to his work on the "Songs About Jane" album you will develop a true appreciation of his total range of control over his instrument.
Throughout the album he is constantly using the guitar to fill in beautifully behind the vocals. Yet he can rip right out front with some real "get in your face" hard rock lead guitar like in "Shiver" (at the 1:55 mark) or in "Harder to Breathe" (starting at the 1:50 mark).
For a more laid back guitar strum, go check out the opening guitar part in "Secret" which shows his talent as a smooth blues guitarist. And don't forget to check out the subtle but very supporting jazz guitar throughout the background in "Sunday Morning" - its barely there but it still impacts the song.
Any good guitarist has to fully understand and know how to use guitar settings and effects to fit into a modern, multiband like Maroon 5. James sure does. Just listen to his multiple guitar sounds throughout the various songs on the "Songs About Jane" album, but especially in "The Sun".
James Valentine contributes well to the overall sound of Maroon 5, blending in to the overall sound throughout the songs, yet jumping to the forefront to bang out an essential part when required. I think he really complements the other musicians in the band.