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The Founding Father of the Guitar Scene in Washington, DC

By Bob W. - DC Guitar Teacher

Most guitar aficionados know of Andres Segovia's role in bringing the classical guitar to world prominence. However, I think fewer know about Segovia’s friend, Sophocles Papas, who also had a huge influence on guitar culture originating in the Washington, DC area.

Papas was born in 1893 in Sopiki, Greece. In his early teens, he began studying guitar and other instruments. He moved to Washington, DC in the early 1920’s to begin his career as a music teacher and performer. At that time, the guitar was not considered a serious solo concert instrument.

In 1928, Papas attended Segovia’s American debut, and saw the full potential of the classical guitar. Papas began to write about Segovia and his classical technique in a publication called Crescendo and began teaching it to his students, who in turn started a renaissance that began with their guitar lessons in Washington, DC and ultimately spread worldwide.

Some of these students include world-famous classical and jazz guitar player Charlie Byrd and John Marlow, who was commemorated by the International Conservatory of Music through its John E. Marlow Guitar Series. Another famous student, Aaron Shearer, worked with Papas to create the first known guitar degree program at major universities, including American University in Washington, DC, and the Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore, MD.

Today, thousands of students take guitar lessons in Washington, DC and follow in the footsteps these famous musicians. Given the important history of guitar in the Washington DC area, I’m honored to represent TakeLessons in this great city and to have the opportunity to teach guitar lessons in Washington, DC.

About John B.

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Arlington, VA

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Learn how to play many styles of guitar, including Rock, Blues, Jazz, Country and Suzuki guitar. Through one on one instruction, students will learn scales, improvisation and solo phrasing, note reading, theory, chords and chord progressions. In addition, students will also learn how to play their favorite song/s, whether it be Led Zeppelin, Greenday, Wes Montgomery, Miles Davis or Stevie Ray Vaughn. Through the useful tools on line and the many great music software programs that are now available, students will find learning a song to be very easy and enjoyable.!

About John
I have been playing for about 35 years and teaching music and guitar for 25 years. I have a Bachelor of Music in Jazz and Classical guitar. I've taught at the University level and currently maintain a professional studio in Arlington, Virginia. I am very well versed in many different styles of music including, Rock, Blues, Jazz, Classical and Suzuki guitar. Students who decide to sign up with me, will have a lesson plan, a strategy for meeting their musical goals and will enjoy themselves in the process.

*** Lesson Details ***
Lessons are custom designed to meet the needs of every student,
whether it is someone just starting out with the basics or for that seasoned player that wants to hone their professional skills. As a teacher, I consider myself easy going and laid back, with an emphasis on encouraging each student to do their very best.

*** Studio Equipment ***
Guitar, instruments, keyboards recording equipment, waiting room, seating for parents

*** Travel Equipment ***
Music stand, foot stool, cables.- Teacher
Own instrument, amplifier if needed, notebook.-Student

*** Specialties ***
I have been teaching for about 25 years and am well versed in Jazz, Classical, Rock, Blues and Country genres. I focus on anything from note reading, theory, improvisation and composing.
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Reviews
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Binh April 30, 2017
· Guitar · In studio
John is a seasoned teacher and player. He is soft-spoken and patient; my two girls (13 and 16) don't feel intimidated or fearful and really enjoy their lessons. He challenges them and provides just enough push for proper progression. John is very effective and I highly recommend him.
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Sophia January 23, 2017
· Ukulele · In studio
Great instruction that is understandable and positive. As a beginner I want to learn and have fun-- John does exactly that.
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Kamel Z. December 20, 2016
· Guitar · In home
I like John. Higly recommend him to any guitar lover!
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John B.

John B.

Arlington, VA 22202
(54)
starting at
$35 / 30-min

About Miles H.

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Falls Church, VA

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I not only focus on reading, technique and theory but how these subjects relate to the music you listen to.

I believe music is a language and is understood best in context of of what music you enjoy on a daily basis, that way you can play along.

I like to structure my lessons around the student, focusing on their goals and aspirations.

About Miles
Miles was born in Bogota, Colombia, but raised in Annapolis, MD. Early in life, he began to take classical piano lessons, but after 9 years, guitar became his instrument of choice (though he still has a fond appreciation for the piano).

He then went on to graduate from Berklee College of Music with a Bachelor's Degree in Professional Music. His time at Berklee has enabled Miles to play in venues all around the Boston/Cambridge area. He has been teaching around NOVA/DC for 3 years.

Miles does his best to make lessons incorporate the music you enjoy listening to in conjunction with the nec
essary theory and technique to do so.

Fun Fact: Two of his guitars are custom built by himself. He often provides students assistance in maintenance of their instrument.

"Musical training is a more potent instrument than any other, because rhythm and harmony find their way into the inner places of the soul." - Plato
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Reviews
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Zoe February 17, 2017
· Guitar · In home
Patient and well tempered with kids!
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Alan T. April 15, 2016
· Piano · In home
Our regular piano teacher was on maternity leave. Miles has covered as a substituted teacher for over 3 months. He was very nice, calm and knowledgeable. We do recommend him. He is a great teacher!
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Andrea Z. March 8, 2016
· Guitar · In home
Miles was an amazing teacher for me and my son. We both took Piano and Guitar lessons with Miles for close to 2 years and enjoyed every lesson. He is very knowledgeable when it comes to music, can help you focus on the music you want to play and he is just as good with adults as he is with kids! I would highly recommend taking lessons with him and I think he is an amazing teacher
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Miles H.

Miles H.

Falls Church, VA 22042
(7)
starting at
$40 / 30-min

About Byron T.

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Arlington, VA

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I can teach essentially any style and open up the world of guitar to them by introducing various techniques, theory and any new song that they wish to learn.

About Byron
Music and music teaching is my first love and passion in life. (Feel free to check out my video and music!) To be able to study and play the guitar for the last 11 years has been an immense blessing! I am a guitar teacher with a degree in music from Biola University, La Mirada. I have been teaching lessons privately almost 9 years now. I am trained in various styles of guitar music including classical, jazz, pop, rock, blues, and finger-style on both acoustic and electric guitars. My musical journey began in the 6th grade when my parents purchased a nylon string classical guitar for me. Throug
hout my high school and college years I participated in contemporary rock ensembles for corporate worship at my church and other churches. This included leading and singing as well. While enrolled at the Biola Conservatory of Music I played in the classical guitar ensemble for 5 semesters. My experience includes playing in jazz ensembles, doing solo guitar music at weddings and art galleries, playing in classical guitar quartets, and active composition and recording of my original work on the guitar. You can expect all of this experience and knowledge to come together in a musically fascinating and motivating way that will fill your life with the joys of being able to express yourself musically if you are willing to give the time and effort to do so. Also...Check out my video and music!

*** Lesson Details ***
My number one goal is to cultivate your desire and passion for musical expression by providing a friendly and inspiring environment in which to experience the joy and beauty of music! You can learn the songs you have always wanted to play and even learn to write your own music! My overall teaching philosophy includes three basic areas of knowledge which work together to form a well educated guitarist. The first area is technical knowledge. The student will be taught to physically utilize the instrument in an efficient and effective way in order to maximize learning progress and musical potential. The second area is in theoretical knowledge which includes reading both music notation and tablature (tablature is an alternative form of written guitar music that is very easy to read). This also includes understanding music theory as it applies to the guitar, and full knowledge of the musical possibilities on the guitar. The third area, my favorite area, is Practical knowledge which includes learning songs by other artists to expand the student'€™s understanding of how other musicians use the instrument (the students choose these songs based on what they like). You will also expand your practical knowledge by directly applying the theoretical knowledge that you have learned. This is done by composing your own music in a creative and original way. I am also a vocalist and am able to coach my students the basics of the voice and how to use the voice and guitar at the same time. As a teacher I strive for excellence in my students by teaching them all that they need to be a well educated guitarist. I will actively and joyfully peruse your interests by tailoring the curriculum to focus on the music that the you love and have a passion for.

I provide my own music curriculum that has been honed over time through my experience as a private teacher. The books that I use will generally differ according to your desires and interests but there are two books that I use for beginners:

1. Mel Bay Modern Guitar Method Grade 1 (this is for beginners in music reading).
2. Solo Guitar Playing Volume 1 (this is for beginners in music reading who are interested in classical training).

After 3 to 6 months of study with me, you will have been taught to read musical notation, have a basic knowledge of chords, and have most of the 5 major scale shapes memorized. You will have learned to pick and strum confidently. Most importantly, you will have learned 3 or 4 songs of your choosing so that you can see the fruit of your musical work and experience the joy of musical expression. (for these results students must be willing to practice for the necessary amount of time: 20-30 minutes a day)

*** Studio Equipment ***
Comfortable quiet room. Recording equipment. Internet musical resources. Guitars, Guitar effects, amps, and hardware. I provide my personally developed teaching material to you. I expect you, as a student, to bring a guitar, picks and a tuner.

*** Travel Equipment ***
I provide my personally developed teaching material to you. I bring cables and equipment to adapt my guitar to an amp you may have. I also bring maintenance equipment in case I need to work on my guitar or yours. I expect you, as a student, to have a guitar, picks and a tuner. If you are taking electric guitar it is ideal that you have an amp. I also expect you to buy the necessary books. I bring my computer in order to have an internet source and an audio source. I have provided guitars and strings (if one broke during the lesson) in the past to students who are lacking them.

*** Specialties ***
Various Electric Guitar Styles such as Rock, Blues and Jazz harmony; I teach Classical and Acoustic Guitar, Music Theory, Improvisation, Music composition and Finger style.
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Reviews
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Abigal A. May 26, 2017
· Ukulele · In home
Wonderful with kids, made an immediate bond with my daughter. Does a great job of teaching.
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Laila P. May 25, 2017
· Acoustic Guitar · In home
Amazing instructor!
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Joseph May 6, 2017
· Ukulele · In home
Great first lesson. My son really connected with Byron.
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Byron T.

Byron T.

Arlington, VA 22201
(32)
starting at
$37.99 / 30-min

About Dennis B.

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Bethesda, MD

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I teach all levels of guitar in the areas of rock, blues and jazz, but I really focus more on the musical skills need to play guitar in any style. These include a thorough chord vocabulary, experience playing rhythm guitar, and a complete progressive study of scales and their use in improvisation (lead guitar) starting with pentatonic scales and progressing to major scales, different forms of minor scales and modes. All scales are learned in multiple positions and the student learns to perform with them in any key. In every lesson the student and I play exercises and study materials together to make actual music from the materials being studied.

About Dennis
I have been teaching guitar for 25 years in the Washington DC metro area. I work with students 12 years of age and up, but I am especially experienced at teaching adult students regardless of whether they are beginners or have previous guitar experience. I have performed in acoustic Celtic, new age, funk, progressive rock, fusion and contemporary jazz groups and am currently performing regularly as a solo acoustic guitarist. I have composed over 40 works for solo guitar as well as numerous pieces for small jazz bands. I have played on numerous CDs including my most recent solo CD 'DARK MATTER'
.

*** Lesson Details ***
I tailor the lesson materials to suit the interest of the student but I am dedicated to teaching students at any level to learn to better understand the fundamentals of the language of music. My teaching focuses on critical fundamentals of guitar technique including chords, scales and rhythm guitar playing as well as the art of improvisation. A significant amount of time in the lessons is spent actually playing with the students so that the technical concepts are put to use in real music situations. To further the student's understanding of music I frequently teach elements of music theory to those who are interested.

*** Studio Equipment ***
I have guitars and amps available for student use although I prefer that the student bring their own instrument. I also have all the needed accessories, cables, stands etc.

*** Specialties ***
Adult students (and older teenagers ) whether beginners or experienced are a particular specialty of mine. Adult learners want to be treated as adults and often times benefit greatly from a more mentor oriented approach to teaching. I like to describe myself as both a teacher and a coach so as to emphasize that the student and I are on the same team sharing the goal of improving their guitar playing and musicianship. We are both on the same path of musical discovery. I am probably just farther along on that path with insights and knowledge that will hopefully help them along their way.
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Reviews
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Michael Brannan April 15, 2017
· Guitar · In studio
Lessons have really helped my playing, Dennis is a good guy.
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Alexander Miller March 8, 2017
· Guitar · In studio
I'm 66 years old and I believe that Dennis is one of the most effective teachers in any field that I have experienced. I'm sure he is equally effective with any age level, but I know he is superb at teaching adult students. His approach to teaching makes it clear that he has a " roadmap" to learning the guitar that is much more effective and rewarding than just learning random chords. He is engaging, personable, supportive and very patient. I look forward to every lesson and I always leave energized and eager to work on the "next milestone" of the journey. I honestly cannot recommend him highly enough.
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Linda H. February 2, 2017
· Guitar · In studio
I am a former singer and keyboard player who is trying to learn a new instrument, the guitar, and I just had my first lesson with Dennis last night. He is extremely knowledgeable and personable, and he made many great suggestions to counteract problems I was having. I love the exercises he gave me, which were designed to build on my own musicality (but which could build on anyone's innate and acquired knowledge of music), and am very much looking forward to the next lesson.
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Dennis B.

Dennis B.

Bethesda, MD 20816
(11)
starting at
$40 / 30-min

About Dom P.

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Washington, DC
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Whether you're just starting out or are trying to get your chops to a professional level, I have a comprehensive guitar method that is customized to the goals, needs, desires and musical tastes of every individual. My approach is centered on the idea that there is more than 1 right way to learn and that it should be fun. After 14 years of teaching, I believe most in finding the musical elements inspire and motivate my students, and building from there. You WILL learn to play the way YOU want!

About Dom
Hello! My name is Dom P. and I am a professional guitarist currently living in Washington DC. I am a graduate of Berklee College of Music where I majored in professional music with concentration in guitar performance. For the past 10 years, I have made a living as a performing guitarist, music director, arranger and music educator. My career has brought me to over 60 countries worldwide where I have performed with acts such as The Temptations, The Platters, The Drifters and many more. I have extensive performing and teaching experience in jazz, rock, blues, funk, and heavy metal. In addition
to guitar, I also offer lessons in music theory, arranging, and ear training.

Thanks, and I look forward to teaching your next lesson!
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Reviews
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Jacob March 31, 2017
· Guitar · In home
Dom is a fantastic guitar coach! He takes the time to know what your interests and goals are, then tailors the lesson to accomplish that goal in the most efficient and effective manner. If you're in a rut playing the same riffs over and over again, or just want to take your playing to the next level, I'd highly recommend taking lessons with Dom!
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Dom P.

Dom P.

Washington, DC 20009
(1)
starting at
$30 / 30-min

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