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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 wh
o 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.

*** 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. 

*** Specialties I Teach ***

On Guitar: Blues, Indie, Rock, Pop, Punk, Funk Reggae, Ska , Heavy Metal

Sitar
Classical Indian Music
Classical Indian Vocals
Songwriting
Music Software
Electronica
DIY audio production
...

Reviews

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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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D'andre H. December 21, 2014
Acoustic Guitar · In 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!
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Omar W.

Omar W.

Washington, DC 20017
(7)
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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Ori June 30, 2015
Acoustic Guitar · In studio
Jon's great!
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Athena J. December 29, 2014
Acoustic Guitar · In home
Verified Student
Jon is fantastic. He has been incredibly patient with me - both as a brand new player and as a busy working mom who sometimes needs to shuffle things around or doesn't always have as much practice time as I'd like. He teaches comprehensively - from reading music to understanding every aspect of my guitar to learning how to play. He's laid back but takes his teaching seriously, and is generally just a joy to learn from. I would recommend him to anyone - beginner on up, and at any age. I can imagine him being great with kids. He has seemingly endless patience!
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James G. November 26, 2014
Acoustic Guitar · In studio
Verified Student
Jon is a really talented and passionate teacher that I'd highly recommend. He makes the lessons fun, will tailor every one completely around your interests, and is very attentive and patient. Also, he's just a super nice guy that you'll enjoy being around. Very humble, and seems to genuinely enjoy helping people develop.
As for logistics, Jon works with my schedule and is great about communicating. I enjoy learning at his house and he even lends me a guitar so I don’t have to bring mine across the city. So I'd encourage anyone interested in guitar to seek him out... he makes it easy, really encourages you, and is the kind of teacher who will keep you moving forward.
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Jon W.

Jon W.

Washington, DC 20037
(4)
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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Brandon G. June 10, 2015
Guitar · In home
Verified Student
John is a fantastic teacher. After my first lesson I am confident he was the right choice. He made the lesson very fun and enjoyable and we even had a short jam session which was a ton of fun. I would highly recommend him and his teaching style. Looking forward to continuing lesson.
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Nicole D. May 15, 2015
Mandolin · In studio
Verified Student
Very productive! Happy with the experience and looking forward to upcoming lessons
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Melvin C. February 18, 2015
Bass Guitar · In studio
Verified Student
If there was anyway to give John 6 stars I would! John is the best teacher and also a really great guy all around. John is very knowledgeable and I learned a lot from my lessons with him. John is a very patient instructor which helped make the lessons better. I would be remiss not to mention his cool cat Mr. Buttons who would often come down just to listen in on our lessons and even the occasional jam session we would have afterwards. Thank you for all that you do John!
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John B.

John B.

Arlington, VA 22202
(25)
starting at
$35 / 30-min
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Joe B.

Washington, DC

The Essentials:

Tuning
Changing strings
Strapping up
How to hold a pick
Plucking strings
Accents
Chords
Power chords
Double stops
Barre chords
Arpeggios

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

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.

Mastering an instrument is never going to be easy, but I will be there to make sure the whole process is approachable and fun for young kids while still providing experienced guitarists plenty of tools to experiment with.
I'm your RockMaster.RockSmith 2014 is the main road of your journey. You choose your path (Lead/Rhythm/Bass Guitar).

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
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
(1)
starting at
$20 / 30-min
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Michael K.

Arlington, VA

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/meth
ods 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
Guitar/Bass Amplifier
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
Cin C. February 2, 2015
Guitar · In studio
My 9 year old daughter has been taking weekly lessons with Michael for about 6 months. In that time, her guitar skills have really progressed. Michael is a very patient instructor who strives to make each lesson an enjoyable learning experience. My daughter is inspired to practice, and she looks forward to her lesson each week.
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Lori B. September 29, 2014
Guitar · In studio
Verified Student
I've just started lessons with Michael. He has been very aware of my goals and learning style and has adjusted his approach to suit me. I've been very pleased.
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John B. January 18, 2014
Guitar
Excellent Musician and Teacher

Michael is the ultimate professional musician and guitarist. He's very well versed in many styles of music, including Classical, Jazz, Country, Blues and Rock. He's very responsible. easy going and takes care to assure that his student's get the best in quality guitar instruction. I highly recommend Michael for all of your guitar instructional needs. You will be very pleased with the outcome!
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Michael K.

Michael K.

Arlington, VA 22207
(3)
starting at
$35 / 30-min

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