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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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Jacob D.

Silver Spring, MD

While I'm a brass specialist, I also play guitar and can help anyone starting out learn some basic technique, chords, and songs.

About Jacob

*** Travel Equipment ***
I expect the student to provide their own instrument. I will bring mine. I will suggest music to get in the student doesn't have their own.

*** Specialties ***
I teach all brass instruments (trumpet, horn, euphonium, baritone, trombone, and tuba), and trumpet is my specialty. I can also teach beginning to intermediate piano and guitar lessons. In addition, I have extensive experience teaching ear training, music theory, and composition. I am fluent in all styles--Classical, jazz, pop, funk, etc.
...

Reviews

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Dan G. October 5, 2015
Trumpet · In home
Verified Student
Jacob has been working well with my son. We had to change schedules to accommodate my daughters activities otherwise he was a superb teacher. Hope my son will remember all the tricks learned from Jacob.
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Haile D. September 3, 2015
Trumpet · In home
Verified Student
Excellent start. My son liked Jacob and his knowledge will definitely elevate him to the next level.
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Melissa C. August 24, 2015
French Horn · Online
Verified Student
Jacob was always accommodating with our ever-changing schedule and was so patient with teaching my 12 year old to play the double valved french horn, given the limitations of being many miles away and the difficulty of playing this instrument.
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Jacob D.

Jacob D.

Washington, DC 20064
(5)
starting at
$32 / 30-min
221857_399266_1336419006

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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Kamel Z. December 20, 2016
Guitar · In home
Verified Student
I like John. Higly recommend him to any guitar lover!
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Namon J. December 13, 2016
Guitar · In home
Verified Student
John, what does your schedule look like on Saturday. Would like to begin my winter schedule with the Best Teacher in Town.
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Tim October 16, 2016
Guitar · In studio
Verified Student
Just finished my third lesson and I am impressed. I am essentially a beginner, and John took me through basic chords and scales, challenging me accordingly, but at the same time making it fun. John is a great teacher - very capable, extremely patient. I feel fortunate to be learning from John!
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John B.

John B.

Arlington, VA 22202
(52)
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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Alan T. April 15, 2016
Piano · In home
Verified Student
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
Verified Student
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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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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Miles H.

Miles H.

Falls Church, VA 22042
(6)
starting at
$40 / 30-min
215874_259472_32242

Byron T.

Arlington, VA

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.
...

Reviews

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Kate January 11, 2017
Ukulele · In home
Verified Student
Listened to what I wants to accomplish and accommodated.
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Matthew November 5, 2016
Acoustic Guitar · In home
Verified Student
Started on time, techniques set, had students full attention and focus, very personable/ great with kid(s). Great start.
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Faith &. August 22, 2016
Classical Guitar · In home
Verified Student
We had the first lesson today and it was great! Looking forward to seeing all the kids learn.
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Byron T.

Byron T.

Arlington, VA 22201
(26)
starting at
$37.99 / 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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Sam September 20, 2016
Guitar · In home
Verified Student
Dennis is the fourth guitar teacher I have had over the past 8 or so years. As a casual guitar player signing up for Dennis' lessons, I simply wanted to enjoy playing the instrument while also improving my technique. Having taken lessons with him for about a year now, I can confidently say that both of these goals have been fulfilled. My technique has definitely improved with Dennis more so than it had with any of my past teachers. Not only is he a good teacher, but he is also just an all around chill, good guy. I always look forward to my weekly lesson.
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Andrew McGehee March 4, 2016
Guitar · In studio
Verified Student
Dennis is professional, knowledgeable, and easily constructs a lesson plan tailored to your needs. Would recommend!
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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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Dennis B.

Dennis B.

Bethesda, MD 20816
(8)
starting at
$40 / 30-min

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