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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.

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Omar W.

Washington, DC

*** Lesson Details ***
When taking a lesson from me you can expect a 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, to get my students playing right away. I Feel this boosts their confidence and help foster interest. In my experience 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. With a little work and some practice in 3-6 months you will be playing guitar have a greater knowledge of chords, basic harmony know a few scales and be able to play some awesome songs. Once you have a foundation of chords we can explore the more specific things you want to learn musically. I will get you through the basics and then the lesson will become more personalized. If you want to learn about ...

About Omar

My passion is sharing music with people.

I am musician and a visual artist who earned a Masters certification in Songwriting and Guitar from Berklee College of Music.
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 sing and play guitar in the Mystical Dance punk band Sarmust, and I also produce electronic music under the name Evilartform.

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

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.

Learn more about me: https://about.me/omarpitraswaqar

*** 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 metal head, I can guide you to help you achieve your goals.

*** Studio Equipment ***

Studying guitar in my live/studio space located in Artist Lofts near Brookland metro in NE DC. It has a high ceilings and full stage back line including keyboards, drum set, live sound system multiple guitar amps and more. There is seating for parents and recording capabilities.

*** Travel Equipment ***

They must have their own equipment, bring a composition notebook for notes.
...

Reviews

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brenda W. July 13, 2015
Guitar · Online
Verified Student
My son enjoyed his first class and can't wait for the next one!
Thank you Omar
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Ilana A. December 31, 2014
Sitar · In 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~!
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Aman A. December 22, 2014
Guitar · In 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.
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Omar W.

Omar W.

Washington, DC 20017
(8)
starting at
$15 / 30-min
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Jon W.

Washington, DC

Can teach everything from different styles to technical aspects to help you hone in on your own individual sound. I can also teach pedal/FX knowledge, pickup selection, and amp designs!

About Jon

I have been playing guitar for 10 years and have been writing for about 6. I have taken lessons from various teachers for multiple years including notably the University of Maryland jazz professor Gerry Kunkel.
I can teach songwriting and performance as well as many different forms of music, with a specialty in modern rock and indie rock. I write for a DC indie rock band that has sold out the 9:30 Club & Black Cat and has played other iconic DC venues such as The Howard Theatre.
I have been teaching friends in their 20's and children for 3 years now and love working with all ages. I have a t
rue passion for teaching and music and I look forward to getting to know my students and to help mentor them to be the best musician and songwriter they can be.
I believe I can offer an unmatchable dedication to helping my students succeed and become passionate about music. In my life, my teachers became not only great friends but mentors and role models as well, and I plan on doing nothing less.
...

Reviews

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Anthony August 24, 2015
Acoustic Guitar · In home
Verified Student
Excellent guitar instruction. Jon is very patient with beginning students like myself.
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Ori July 13, 2015
Acoustic Guitar · In studio
Jon is an awesome instructor! I'm a total beginner, and not only has he progressed me through the beginner stages, he's also got me fired up about learning more and continuing to improve. He's been a great instructor and I highly recommend him to anyone interested in learning how to play, or improving their skills.
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Ori July 13, 2015
Acoustic Guitar · In studio
Jon is an awesome instructor! I'm a total beginner, and not only has he progressed me through the beginner stages, he's also got me fired up about learning more and continuing to improve. He's been a great instructor and I highly recommend him to anyone interested in learning how to play, or improving their skills.
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Jon W.

Jon W.

Washington, DC 20037
(7)
starting at
$30 / 30-min
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John B.

Arlington, VA

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.
...

Reviews

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Jason S. August 26, 2015
Guitar · In studio
Verified Student
John's very relaxed and patient, and did a great job listening to my objectives and matching exercises to my skill level. I'm looking forward to continuing to work with him.
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Gabrielle L. August 12, 2015
Guitar · In studio
Verified Student
Just had one class with John and I learned a lot. Very passionate about music and patient with my elementary skills!
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Don B. August 11, 2015
Guitar · In studio
Verified Student
John has been great! He is very patient and always constructive. I leave every lesson with renewed enthusiasm.
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John B.

John B.

Arlington, VA 22202
(29)
starting at
$35 / 30-min
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Dennis B.

Bethesda, MD

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.
...

Reviews

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Thomas P. July 2, 2015
Guitar · In studio
Verified Student
Dennis is a great teacher, he is effective, patient, passionate, I could not be happier, he has an excellent teaching style made me improve a lot. Highly recommended
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Ana C. May 28, 2015
Guitar · In studio
Verified Student
I found his teaching style very clear and rewarding; his approach seems to be especially effective for adults. He has sustained my attention for a long time, and has been very responsive to my learning needs (including special projects and questions) while keeping a very clear roadmap for learning music and the instrument.
He obviously has great musical talent, and his explanations and demonstrations are very clear. He has been super flexible and adaptable schedule-wise.
Overall, a pleasant, enriching and rewarding experience. Highly recommended!
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Edward M. April 24, 2015
Guitar · In studio
Verified Student
Dennis is a real musician and a great teacher.
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Dennis B.

Dennis B.

Bethesda, MD 20816
(5)
starting at
$40 / 30-min
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Joe B.

Washington, DC

The Essentials:

RockSmith Sound Check
Tuning
Changing strings
Strapping up
How to hold a pick
Plucking strings
Accents
Chords
Power chords
Double stops
Barre chords
Arpeggios
Music Notation
RockSmith Major Scales (Rocksmith Strings)

Techniques:

Shifting
Fretting
Sustains
Palm mutes
Slides
Bends
Tremelos
Hammer-ons
Pull-offs
Natural harmonics
Strumming patterns
Unpitched slides
Fret hand mutes
Improvising and jamming
Vibrato
Scales and modes

About Joe

RockSmith Journey is a fun, energy-packed and safe environment where kids are encouraged to love God, music, their band members, and their electric guitar or bass. My desire is to partner with parents to teach kids (6 & Up) basic music skills using technology, Rock, Blues and Worship and this to serve as foundation for their musical growth and performances in their lives.

I truly believe in Victor's music philosophy that music is a language and Rocksmith is the perfect tool to make the whole process approachable and fun for young kids while still providing experienced guitarists plenty of
tools to experiment with. In the beginning, we embrace mistakes. instead of correcting them... LIKE A CHILD PLAYING AIR GUITAR, THERE ARE NO WRONG NOTES.

I encourage you to watch 3 youtube videos:

1. Victor Wooten Music as a Language

2. Benji plays electric guitar.

3. John and Thomas playing with Bill Withers. A'int no Sunshine.

I believe God is the source of all truth and musical abilities. Everyone can be Grounded in notes, scales and chords, learn to be Reliable with band members, very Entertaining when performing; Available when called upon and most importantly, Teachable.

Let's Play & Grow Together,
Joe B.

*** Lesson Details ***
Along the way you'll learn and experience:

The Essentials:

RockSmith Sound Check
Tuning
Changing strings
Strapping up
How to hold a pick
Plucking strings
Accents
Chords
Power chords
Double stops
Barre chords
Arpeggios
Music Notation
RockSmith Major Scales (Rocksmith Strings)

Techniques:

Shifting
Fretting
Sustains
Palm mutes
Slides
Bends
Tremelos
Hammer-ons
Pull-offs
Natural harmonics
Strumming patterns
Unpitched slides
Fret hand mutes
Improvising and jamming
Vibrato
Scales and modes

Additional Bass Techniques:

Fifths
Roots
Slapping
Popping

Advanced Players:

Double stop, Oblique, and Compound Bends
Two hand tapping
Articulation and phrasing
Pinch harmonics
Extended harmonies
Hybrid techniques
Advanced chords

*** Studio Equipment ***
32' LCD TV
Xbox 360
Rockmith PC Version
Rocksmith 2014 Xbox

PA system
GarageBand (Mac)
Ipad Apps

*** Travel Equipment ***
RockSmith PC Version
Small Amp
Ipad

*** Specialties ***
A Proven Method Countless people gave up on their dreams of playing guitar because their experience was too frustrating and too time consuming and mentioning costly.

Now with advances in technology, there is a better, faster way to learn. With the Rocksmith Journey method, all it takes is just an hour a week for 60 days. You will have enough riffs to start your own band.

Rocksmith 2014 teaches you fast and effectively by letting you plug any real guitar or bass* directly into your Xbox 360 games and entertainment system from Microsoft, PlayStation3 computer entertainment system, Windows PC or Mac.

Rocksmith 2014, if you missed the first one RS1, is basically more-than-education-software-less-than-a-game. This is a real tool to help anyone either learn or practice guitar, and practicing an instrument is hard work. To make it easier, Our Journey features Group Sessions, Live performances, games and over 55 genre-spanning songs, from Classic Rock to Pop.

I'm not just teaching you to play guitar, I am making you into a qualified musician! Member of a real band, performing for a real audience.

I'm your RockMaster. I will be there to keep you focus in your path from day one.

The fastest way to learn guitar meets the longest road to travel.

Let's Play & Grow Together
...

Reviews

Silhouette-80
sanjay P. July 24, 2015
Guitar · In home
Verified Student
my son had his first guitar session with Mr. Joe today and he was all excited and happy and was saying why did not we find him earlier, I liked the way he went about it and showed my son how to use Rocksmith on XBOX , my son already use and play games on XBox and using Rocksmith for learning guitar was a great idea, Mr Joe showed him how to use it and gave instructions to prepare his first lesson for next week. He also have a weekly get together for kids to play in public that will help kids to show off their skill to outside world. looking forward to more classes with him
Silhouette-80
Mike S. June 21, 2014
Rhythm Guitar · In studio
Verified Student
Joe's lessons have made a tremendous, positive impact on our seven-year-old son, Thomas. A year ago, Thomas expressed interest in learning guitar after seeing the musicians at church. We connected with Joe to arrange for some lessons. Following Joe's instruction, supplemented with practice at home, Thomas has become a devoted guitar player, learning chords and songs along the way. He now improvises a little on his own with chords and is even keeping a journal of different chords he has learned. We highly recommend Joe, and his method of using the RockSmith game on the XBox is uncanny - the game is sophisticated enough for an adult, yet very accessible for someone Thomas's age. We plan to keep up with Joe for the foreseeable future.
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Joe B.

Joe B.

Washington, DC 20015
(2)
starting at
$30 / 60-min

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