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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

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.

------------------------

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.

sarmust.com

evilartform.com

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 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 amps and more. There is seating for parents and recording capabilities.
...

Reviews

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Lauren Kaplin February 9, 2016
Guitar · In studio
Verified Student
Omar is knowledgeable and really patient. We've really enjoyed taking lessons with him!
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Kala S. January 31, 2016
Guitar · In studio
Verified Student
Omar was great! He has a great knowledge of the guitar. Super accomodating
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Rachel January 14, 2016
Guitar · 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!!
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Omar W.

Omar W.

Washington, DC 20017
(19)
starting at
$15 / 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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Jaclyn L. January 14, 2016
Ukulele · In studio
Verified Student
Brand new to music and John was very patient and encouraging with me.
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Andy Symonds January 8, 2016
Guitar · In studio
Verified Student
John is a great teacher. Patient and knowledgable, he'll get you playing tunes in no time.
Silhouette-80
Andy Symonds January 7, 2016
Guitar · In studio
Verified Student
John is a great teacher. Patient and knowledgable, he'll get you playing tunes in no time.
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John B.

John B.

Arlington, VA 22202
(34)
starting at
$35 / 30-min
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Miles H.

Falls Church, VA

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
...

Reviews

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Marty F. February 2, 2015
Guitar · In home
Verified Student
I'm a beginning guitar student and have just started taking guitar lessons from Miles. He's very knowledgable, patient, and kind. I haven't quite made "friends" with those strings yet, but with Miles' help, I know I will.
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Carolee A. June 22, 2014
Guitar · In home
Verified Student
I've been taking guitar lessons from Miles for almost two years. He is very patient, flexible, and supportive and really knows his stuff. :) I highly recommend him.
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Amber H. February 12, 2014
Piano
Verified Student
Miles is fantastic!

Miles is great at working with my 11 year old on both what she wants to learn and what she needs to learn; he ensures the right balance of theory and contemporary music to keep her interested. We move a lot and have had other piano teachers over the last several years, but Miles is top notch. His calm demeanor and endless patience is much appreciated in this house! Hope he continues to teach my daughter for years to come.
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Miles H.

Miles H.

Falls Church, VA 22042
(4)
starting at
$40 / 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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Clay Jones December 3, 2015
Guitar · In home
Verified Student
After the first lesson I can tell this is going to go great! Dennis is very personable and easy to talk to, and communicate with. It is immediately apparent that he has a wealth of knowledge not just about guitar, but about music theory in general and I am so excited for what I will learn!

Also, he has a lovely home and his wife is so nice :) I felt right at home.

I definitely recommend Dennis to anyone who is considering lessons.
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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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Dennis B.

Dennis B.

Bethesda, MD 20816
(6)
starting at
$40 / 30-min
Profile_395286_Michael%202013%20photo

Michael K.

Arlington, VA

Guitar

About Michael

- I teach beginners, intermediate and advanced students.
- My students' ages range from 6 years to older adults.
- Styles taught: Folk, Folk Rock, Classical, Jazz, Blues & Country.
- I have taught guitar for more than 10 years.
- I have performed professionally for over 25 years.
- I have released five audio recordings.

*** Lesson Details ***
My students' musical interests, goals and abilities dictate the direction that we select for their lesson plans. By recognizing and understanding each students learning style, I use techniques/m
ethods that are suited to that particular student. This improves the speed and the quality of learning.
I am flexible and easy going but focused - and I encourage my students to do the same. I want my students to succeed and be able to play the music that they enjoy - and my years of experience as a student, teacher, performer and recording artist gives me the knowledge to teach effectively.

*** Studio Equipment ***
Numerous electric, acoustic steel string and classical guitars.
Electric Bass
IMac Computer
IPad
Sound System with microphone

*** Specialties ***
I also teach beginner electric bass guitar, music transcription and fundamentals of the music business. For my guitar students, I use various techniques,methods and combinations ranging from Hal Leonard, Mel Bay, Berklee Music, Suzuki, YouTube videos and video to record particular lesson segments (which I then email to students to view as an aid during their home practice sessions).
...

Reviews

Silhouette-80
Theodor (. November 25, 2015
Guitar · In home
Verified Student
Great start!
Silhouette-80
Mohammed Al Dhaheri November 17, 2015
Guitar · In studio
Verified Student
I just started to learn how to play guitar. It is hard to learn , but Micheal makes it easier to learn.
Silhouette-80
Justin Lawrence November 10, 2015
Guitar · In studio
Verified Student
I just had my first lesson with Michael. He was a friendly guy and a solid guitarist. We started to hone in on my goals and put together a plan; off to a good start.
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Michael K.

Michael K.

Arlington, VA 22207
(6)
starting at
$40 / 30-min

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