Omar Waqar
North Hollywood, CA
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Omar Waqar

Omar W.

North Hollywood, CA
Profile-background-check Background Check
This teacher successfully passed a thorough criminal background check with SterlingBackcheck. This badge verifies trusted teacher status.
Teaching Locations:
Profile-location-online Online
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio
Teaching Locations:
Profile-location-online Online
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio
Levels taught:
Beginner, Intermediate
Ever wanted to learn about the Sitar? I can show the foundation of Hindustani Classical music along with techniques on how to play the sitar. I have studied sitar myself for about 8 years, and travels to India to have my sitar hand made for me.

About Omar W.

My passion is sharing music with people.

I love to answer questions and learn things I don't know, I know a good amount about guitar repair, improvised instrument building, how to buy a good instrument and not spend to much, and I have a vast knowledge of obscure instruments, and audio production as well. Feel free to ask me questions, and expect informative non-judgmental answers.

I have spent a lot of time developing as a vocalist, songwriter, composer and producer, which helps me in all aspects of my music and teaching, I'm always looking to learn more. I have played in heavy metal bands, but have also done solo acoustic singer/songwriting stuff, I have produced raw hip-hop but also love old soul and ska tunes. Being well rounded musically and drawing from lots of influences is what makes me a good teacher and shapes me as a musician.

As an artist I have been featured on MTV, Rollingstone, BBC, NBC, VOA, ARY, Alt Press, LA times, documentaries and more. I have been playing guitar and recording music since childhood and am a classically trained sitar player and Indian classical vocalist.

I am a great teacher for someone who wants to write songs, or is into Indie, rock, pop, reggae, metal, hip-hop, and electronica.

*** Lesson Details/ What to Expect ***

You can expect a custom, fun and attentive one on one lesson. I am thorough and patient. I expect you to love music and put forth effort. I'm laid back, I will work as fast or as slow as you need. I prefer a total immersion technique and get my students playing right away. This boosts confidence and fosters interest because once a student enjoys playing you don't have to convince them to practice.

By the first lesson you will be familiar with the instrument and it's parts, and playing your first chord.

In 3-6 months you will be playing guitar with a greater knowledge of chords, basic harmony and be able to play scales and songs.

Once you have a foundation of chords we can explore more specific music subjects and lessons will become more personalized: songwriting, guitar tones, musicology, making a DIY record, shredding like a metalhead, I can guide you to help you achieve your goals.

I receive a very large number of student requests everyday, So to keep things organized please keep the following in mind:

Takelessons is a wonderful service that I use to handle all my payments and scheduling. I want to focus on the teaching, so they help with the rest.

I have a 24 hour cancelation policy, please give me at least 24 hour advanced notice, or you will forfeit your lesson credit.

All scheduling changes or time off can be requested right from the website for your connivence. it's super easy!

Use an email that you will actually check to sign up for notifications, it's not spam, it's to help us all stay organized.

Remember to please reserve your spot by paying in advance. (I have a waiting list of people asking me for those super convenient days, and times)

Online students please make sure you have the highest connection speed available to you. This will ensure you get the most out of the lessons.

*** Equipment ***

Please make sure you have your own instrument, and a note book or device to take notes with.

Reviews

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4.9
56 Reviews
5
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Grant
Profile-location-online Online

Omar is an amazing teacher! He has taught me a lot about the the history and how to properly play the sitar. Highly recommend learning from him if you are interested in the sitar : )

Posted May 22, 2020
David Hines
Profile-location-online Online

Omar is very knowledgeable and able to convey that knowledge in an effective and efficient way.

Posted Dec 9, 2019
Poonam S.
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

Omar is great! Super knowledgeable and informed, and friendly! would definitely recommend!

Posted Nov 23, 2019
Joseph
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

I loved my lessons with Omar! He's very knowledgable, and not just about the instrument but music in general. He worked with me for about 7 months to help achieve my goal of learning to improvise on the bass guitar. Omar is very easy to talk to and very funny. He knew how to take complicated music theory and really break it down so that I could understand it better. I left each lesson with an assignment, a technique or a song to practice what we learned in that week's lesson.

I feel very comfortable with being able to be at a jam session and play along with the rest of the group. He taught me how to come up with licks using factorials, how to create a solo using modes and adding some flavor to the solos with techniques such as pop and slap or changing the tempo.

Thank you, Omar, for being such a great teacher! I feel much more confident in myself as a bass player because of the time you spent with me and all of the knowledge you departed onto me. I am very appreciative of you for that - thanks again!

Posted Aug 25, 2019
JT
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

Omar is just the best. Even when I've not practiced as much as I should between lessons I always make sure to go, because he always has so much to teach and I always leave feeling uplifted and excited about music. Omar never makes you feel stupid for asking "stupid" questions, and incorporates a range of methods to make the lessons meaningful. I never thought I'd be able to improvise a blues riff after just a few lessons with him playing backup drums! Omar thinks outside the box and is so adaptable to your needs. He showed me a "bass" he made out of a cast-off guitar with weed-whacker filament as strings for a client with very limited hand motion. Book a lesson with Omar; you won't regret it!

Posted Aug 16, 2019
Daryl
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

Great instructor. Attentive to your skills and needs/desires as a guitarist. Will teach you both how to play any song you would want to learn, fundamentals, and also will push you while still being positive and encouraging.

Added bonus he has a cute puppy!!!

Posted Aug 5, 2019
Sharon H.
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

I had my first lesson with Omar and he was great! It's my first time to play any string instrument, but since I do have some experience with music, he tailored the lesson time to me. He was also enthusiastic about the music/songs I wanted to learn and I left my first lesson feeling excited to continue practicing.

Posted Feb 6, 2019
Nicole
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

I'm having such a great time with my lessons with Omar!!!! I feel like I am really learning the fundamentals to take my playing to the next level and he is so encouraging!!! I am already playing songs that I love and am having the best time!

Posted Sep 17, 2018
Christie
Profile-location-home Student's Home

I am trained in piano, but never had any guitar or ukulele experience prior to meeting Omar. Omar figured out my aspirations and skill level in no time and got me strumming songs in less than 4 weeks. Now I lull my kids to sleep with my ukulele and they sing along.

Posted Sep 14, 2018
Chris
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

Omar is a great ukulele instructor, who customizes lesson plans for your level and aspirations.

Posted Aug 13, 2018
Glen D. B.
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

Omar? What can I say? He's a top-notch teacher. The way he teaches is very engaging and insightful. His explanations while in teaching is of patience and knowledge. He answers all questions I have, giving me much clarity. He absolutely knows his stuff. I would recommend him to anyone willing to learn a musical skill or advancement in theirs. I have learned so much from him! He's very talented and gifted. Highly recommended.

Posted Jan 31, 2017
Natalie
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

Omar is a one in 100 billion guy with amazing teaching skills and patience and kindness that speaks volume to his character! I was able to learn exactly what I wanted to learn with him and unlike other teachers that try to get you to slow down, Omar was always pushing me to get to the next level, building my confidence and encouraging me. If you work with Omar you will not be disappointed!

Posted Jan 24, 2017
Linda H.
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

I had one lesson with Omar before he got a big break in his career and had to move to LA. He was patient and extremely knowledgeable and he expanded my knowledge of fundamentals of the guitar neck as well as posture for my fret hand. He even spent an extra 25 minutes with me! Great news for him that he had to leave, but bad news for me.

Posted Jan 23, 2017
Alyssa
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

Omar is the man. I drive 30-60 minutes to get to lessons (depending on traffic) and he is 100% worth it. It's apparent that Omar is educated on, passionate about and thrives through music. He is attentive to my goals and goes above and beyond to help support my learning. He's an excellent instructor and inspiring, charismatic human being. I achieved a great deal learning ukulele from Omar and I'll be returning to him this year to be instructed on bass guitar.

Posted Jan 2, 2017
Laura
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

Omar and I hit it off. He's very friendly, easy going and professional. I look forward to working with him and becoming a better guitar player.

Posted Nov 28, 2016
Carrie
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

Omar is super patient, extremely knowledgeable, and a pleasure to work with :)

Posted Nov 22, 2016
Whitney
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

First lesson was great! Omar spent some time at the beginning giving some needed TLC to my very neglected guitar (teaching all the while) then we went over some basic chords and got straight to playing. Omar is super chill and personable and puts you right at ease. I'm looking forward to more lessons!

Posted Sep 27, 2016
Rahsaan
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

Great Instructor! I have really gained a lot from the sessions.

Posted Sep 4, 2016
Sarang
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

Omar is an amazing guitar teacher!

We have been working through a challenging topic- learning Indian classical Raga's for the guitar. I feel that with every lesson i've been more inspired and walked away with new ideas (both technical and...philosophical). This is a type of music that I never thought was accessible to me but based on his talent as both a sitar player and guitar player i'm happy with the curriculum that he is providing me with. Thanks Omar!

Posted Aug 10, 2016
Ilana
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

There's not enough stars for Omar. Omar taught me Sitar, Guitar, Ukulele, Vocals and Indian Classical music. He is super patient, supportive, professional and tailors lessons to your goals. Plus he makes his own videos to support his students! I have never met a more passionate music teacher and his knowledge of music comes from all over the world.
I know someone who started taking lessons from Omar who couldn't afford more then the broken guitar he had. Omar traded him a guitar he BUILT for the broken guitar [and later on fixed it up].
If that's not enough because of Omar I've been on tour. No one else has been able to help me in understanding and appreciating music as much as Omar has.

Posted Jul 18, 2016
Ellen B.
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

This is my first experience with music lessons. Omar is very patient and supportive and knowledgeable. Very happy with him.

Posted Jun 15, 2016
TJ
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

Three lessons in and couldn't be happier with how things are going. Omar put together a lesson plan for me but is also very willing to answer any random questions I have. Can't for my next session.

Posted May 24, 2016
Dion
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

Great teacher, very patient considering my condition which he understand and go all the way explaining me and hoping to continue to do my best to be successful.

Posted May 17, 2016
Alison
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

Omar is encouraging and patient! He is very knowledgeable about music but can also break down musical techniques and theory in a way that makes sense. He is very good at tailoring your lessons to your own goals. He is great person.

Posted May 16, 2016
elan
Profile-location-home Student's Home

Eccentric, organized, and full of heart. Great instructor!

Posted May 1, 2016
Drenan D.
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

Omar's energy and patience will have you playing chords during the first lesson. He is also great at explaining how things work. I learned a ton in the first lesson and can't wait for more progress.

Posted Apr 26, 2016
Drenan D.
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

Omar's energy and patience will have you playing chords during the first lesson. He is also great at explaining how things work. I learned a ton in the first lesson and can't wait for more progress.

Posted Apr 26, 2016
Molly
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

Omar is patient and easygoing which puts you at ease. He's open to working with students on their interests.

Posted Apr 19, 2016
Keegan Hudson
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

Really good lessons. Omar Is very knowledgable and is very patient. Highly recommend.

Posted Apr 18, 2016
Ian
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

Omar is an awesome teacher. He breaks things down into small, manageable chunks so its easy to learn. He even sends cool youtube videos that he makes to teach the musical scale. I took guitar lessons before and had no success, but in just 4 lessons with Omar I'm playing way better than I did after months of other lessons.

Posted Apr 18, 2016
Joseph
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

Omar is a fantastic teacher. He seamlessly figures out where your instruction should begin, and then creates a tailored lesson plan. He is very enthusiastic, encouraging, and knowledgable. I had a great time during my lessons, and I highly recommend Omar to any new Ukulele players.

Posted Apr 6, 2016
Owen Miller
Profile-location-home Student's Home

Over the course of several months, Omar guided me to a comfort level with guitar I never knew could come so quickly. Omar is engaging and knowledgable, combining practical guitar knowledge with bits of theory when I was interested in learning what's behind the nuts and bolts. He's flexible and open with his approach, tailoring it to my interests in music and also answering questions I had when buying my first guitar. And, he's a great guy! I would highly recommend Omar to other prospective students of any instrument.

Posted Apr 6, 2016
Lindsay
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

Omar knows his stuff and creates a fun and relaxing environment for learning!

Posted Apr 5, 2016
Felicia T.
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

Shows great patience with a novice and extremely knowledgeable about music theory.

Posted Apr 3, 2016
Laurice
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

Omar is very thorough and knowledgeable. You can tell he has a real passion for music and is very good at transferring that passion to the student. He's very patient and supportive, while also challenging you to learn and stretch.

Posted Mar 24, 2016
Jim T.
Profile-location-home Student's Home

Was very helpfull and considerate before and during lesson. Knowledgeable about topic and wiill adapt to your preference or style.

Posted Mar 15, 2016
Anna Reeves
Profile-location-online Online

Taking lessons with Omar was a great experience for me: he was very patient, friendly, and responsive to my specific needs. He is also a very fine, competent teacher. I highly recommend Omar to anyone! Thank you, Omar!

Posted Mar 1, 2016
Lauren K.
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

Omar is knowledgeable and really patient. We've really enjoyed taking lessons with him!

Posted Feb 9, 2016
Kala S.
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

Omar was great! He has a great knowledge of the guitar. Super accomodating

Posted Jan 31, 2016
Rachel
Profile-location-online Online

Omar has been a great teacher so far; he is knowledgeable without question and can teach from both Western and Eastern traditions / perspectives. In fact, that's something I've enjoyed so much from Omar; this ability of his imparts the feeling of always having a very well-rounded music lesson, and the confidence to really experiment and grow on whatever instrument you are learning. In summary, I would highly recommend taking lessons from Omar. Try him out!!

Posted Jan 14, 2016
Ashley
Profile-location-online Online

Omar is amazing! He really makes the lesson engaging and fun, just as if you were in his studio! Omar is also very knowledgeable about the history of music, instruments and a variety of genres, which I really appreciate. He personalizes each lesson and moves along at my pace. I look forward to my lesson every week!

Posted Jan 12, 2016
Anna Reeves
Profile-location-online Online

My first lesson was a little nerve-wrecking, but Omar has done his best to put me at ease. He is a great mentor and a teacher, and I am looking forward to our next lesson! Thank you, Omar!

Posted Jan 12, 2016
Sreeja
Profile-location-online Online

My son has been learning guitar from Omar for past few months. He is been an excellent instructor and my son really enjoys the class.

Posted Jan 5, 2016
Lorraine T.
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

Omar is the best! He is easy to understand and gears lessons to your likes and needs. He will have anyone playing songs in no time! Also his availability is extremely convenient.

Posted Jan 5, 2016
Cayden B.
Profile-location-online Online

Omar is a great teacher. My son didn't want guitar lessons originally but after his first class with Omar he was so excited for more. I'm very impressed. Great job Omar

Posted Jan 3, 2016
Cayden B.
Profile-location-online Online

Omar is a great teacher. My son didn't want guitar lessons originally but after his first class with Omar he was so excited for more. I'm very impressed. Great job Omar

Posted Jan 3, 2016
Jourdan D.
Profile-location-home Student's Home

Patient, inspiring and talented.

Posted Dec 23, 2015
Matt P.
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

Omar has infectious enthusiasm combined with an ability to explain technique to even the newest student to guitar.

Posted Oct 21, 2015
brenda W.
Profile-location-online Online

My son enjoyed his first class and can't wait for the next one!
Thank you Omar

Posted Jul 13, 2015
Ilana A.
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

Omar taught me Guitar and Sitar and it was a blast! He is an amazing teacher and took the time out to make lessons that were custom for my needs. Thank you~!

Posted Dec 31, 2014
Aman A.
Profile-location-home Student's Home

I was Omar's first student, and even when he did not have teaching experience, he was excellent. From the first day of lessons, I learned the basics of the electric guitar and never stopped. Even during busy touring schedules, he made time to come to lessons and always kept me interested and involved. I learned under Omar for 7 years, during this time, he not only taught me how to play guitar, but how to understand music as a whole much better.

Posted Dec 22, 2014
D'andre H.
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

Omar taught me how to play the guitar in 2007 when I was 15 years old. I didn't know ANYTHING about playing the guitar. I was so bad, I used to tune my strings down to the same note. Omar laid down the foundation that I needed to follow in order to play good music. The cool thing about him is that he dissects and breaks down every note in ways you can understand. He also has a good attitude and makes learning really fun. Now, 7 years later, I can be able to make my guitar sing! I also played in numerous bands since then. In the 4-5 months he taught me, he really set down the foundation of what I needed to do to pursue my playing. Schedule a lesson with him and you will see what I am talking about!

Posted Dec 21, 2014
Omar W.
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

Omar taught me Guitar and Sitar and it was a blast! He is an amazing teacher and took the time out to make lessons that were custom for my needs. Thanks!~

- Ilana A.

Posted Dec 21, 2014
Eric A.

Totally successful lessons

I've been playing bass for literally decades, and when I needed to get my guitar playing up a level, I took lessons with Omar. Very useful overall, Omar knows his stuff and is excellent at communicating it. We were able to talk about chords, modes, improvisation and songwriting, covering everything I needed. I would recommend Omar highly.

Posted Dec 10, 2013
Bair S.

Great Teacher

I've learned a lot about playing guitar, songwriting, recording, and singing from Omar and taking lessons with him definitely has helped me become a better musician. The lessons are interesting, fun, and really helpful. Great teacher.

Posted Aug 15, 2013
AngeloS

Operations Manager for the U.S. Government

Working with Omar is great. He is very knowledgeable about different styles of music and can teach songs or music theory very well. As a singer/preformer he can teach singing, songwriting, producing and performance. He is also very friendly and accommodating, all in all making him a well-rounded instructor I enjoy taking lessons from.

Posted Jul 12, 2012

Photos & Videos

21 Photos & Videos

Experience

Guest Lecturer and Instructor
Sep 2007 - Present

University of Virginia, University of Maryland and Fairfax County

Given lectures at University of Virginia, University of Maryland and Fairfax County on Hindustani Classical music, sufism, instrument building and early childhood education with music.

Sale Associate
Jan 2013 - Oct 2014

Guitar Center, INC

Guitar Center, INC.: Leading retailer of the musical instruments and audio accessories. Sale Associate Certified in all departments: Guitar, Pro Sound, Drums, DJ Equipment, Accessories, Keyboards

Regional Rep / Product Specialist
Oct 2012 - Sep 2013

Line 6, INC.

Line 6, INC.: Manufacturer of musical instruments and audio accessories— Calabassas, CA 2012 to 2013 Regional Rep / Product Specialist Extensive traveling on throughout the east coast to train salespeople and educate them about products  In charge of inventory management, writing weekly reports and writing recommendations of best practices 

Sales Associate
Aug 2007 - Sep 2009

House of Musical Traditions.

House of Musical Traditions.: Retailer of ethnic musical instruments -- Takoma Park, MD 2007 to 2009 Sales Associate Utilized my vast knowledge of obscure musical instruments.

Assistant manager
Sep 2001 - Jun 2004

Alexandria Music Co.

Alexandria Music Co.: Retailer of musical instruments, and accessories -- Alexandria, VA 2001 to 2004 Assistant manager

Education

Hindustani Classical Music
Jul 2006 - Aug 2014

The Academy of Indian Music and Fine Arts

Songwriting & Guitar
Jun 2007 - Aug 2009

Berklee College of Music

Languages

English

Fluent / Native Proficiency

Hindi

Fluent / Native Proficiency

Punjabi

Limited Proficiency

Spanish

Limited Proficiency

Urdu

Fluent / Native Proficiency

Certifications

Songwriting and Guitar
Sep 2009

Berklee College of Music

Awards

Excellence in Sitar
May 2011

The Academy of Indian Music and Fine Arts (AIMFA)

Affiliations

American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers
Nov 2007
The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) is a membership association of more than 480,000 US composers, songwriters, lyricists and music publishers. The ASCAP is committed to nurturing music makers throughout their careers.

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