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Guitar Learning through Skype

Updated on July 26, 2016

Skype Guitar Lessons the Pros and Cons

Learn to play the guitar through Skype

With the growth of the social media through sites like Facebook, Google+, Instagram & Snapchat, the whole world is now tied into the internet in one way or another. People are finding it easier to communicate online rather than actually talking via a normal phone line. We even find it easier by shop online rather than having to drive into the city, struggle to find a parking space then queue up in the store. Companies are finding new and interesting ways of reaching out to people through the internet so it wasn’t hard to see that eventually education and learning would be available via the internet.

Skype isn’t a new program; it’s been around for a number of years now but it really wasn’t until hi speed broadband became readily available that it became a medium for reliable video and audio streaming.

Now we can replace the classroom with a monitor and the catchment area for students has become worldwide.

However, we must still remember that the same rules apply when selecting a teacher if we want to learn to play the guitar.

Education

Opinions differ over whether a guitarist needs to have studied their instrument formally. Your teacher may have gone to school, but also may have studied one-on-one with dozens of professional players.

If you’re considering a teacher without a college background, look for a list of references and review what they teach. Besides showing you technique, you’ll want a teacher who will explain music theory to give you a deeper understanding of what you’re playing.

Experience teaching

Many great guitarists can teach, but they may not be experienced teachers. Conveying information is its own art form, and everyone learns differently. A good education alone won’t do the trick – choose a guitarist who has at least a few years of teaching behind them. If they’re new to teaching and you’re OK with that, make sure they give you a rate competitive with other teachers.

Teaching style

Casual or rigorous? Loaded with theory, or focused on a single technique or song? There are as many different ways to take a guitar lesson as there are teachers and students. Ask yourself what you want to get out of your experience. If you’re just doing this for fun, you may want a more laid-back teacher. If you’d like to learn as much as possible, find someone who will keep you on your toes.

Of course there are pro’s and cons for selecting to learn online lets have a look at these in some detail.

Pro’s

Because you are no longer confined to region locations you can select a teacher from any location in the world.

No more lost travelling to your lesson, I always contact my students 10 mins before a lesson just as a courtesy to ensure they didn’t forget.

Student can practice right up to the point of their lesson to ensure they are warmed up and ready for the lesson.

According to a study in 2010, off-task behaviors took up 36% more time in face-to-face lessons than in distance lessons. I suspect part of this might be due to an awkwardness factor that I think we all feel when talking through a webcam. It’s harder to feel and act as we normally would in front of a webcam than it is when face-to-face. The study also finds that eye contact during distance lessons is more frequent, and this is probably for the same reason.

The same study indicates that students spend 22% more time performing during distance lessons than in face-to-face lessons.

If you’re a busy parent and trying to find time to attend classes and also look after another sibling then is problem goes away, the student can take their lesson why you have time to do other things.

Con’s

Teacher isn’t in the same room as the student so he is unable to manipulate their wrists, fingers, elbows, etc.

Teacher and student are unable to play together due to a lagging webcam (and all webcam sessions experience lag).

Need Internet connection.

Student’s may find themselves distracted by outside sources, siblings, animals, neighbors, etc. however please note this can also occur in a lesson if a student is being taught at home.

Equipment Required

Here’s the minimum setup you’ll need:

High-speed internet connection

Computer, with enough processing power to send and receive streaming video and audio (anything on today’s market can handle it)

Webcam, either built-in on a laptop or bought separately

Microphone, again either built-in or separate, over time you may want to upgrade to a higher quality mic.

I would also recommend a good set of headphones just in case you start to feel distracted or the internet quality starts to weaken during a lesson.

This is the minimum you will require to participate in a online lesson. You’ll need to install the Skype software on that computer. Go to Skype.com and they’ll walk you through it. Choose a username appropriate for your business, usually your business name itself, if it’s available.

Payments

Payment for online lessons are normally made through PayPal, speak with your teacher and he will normally advise you how he wishes to be paid. Some teachers offer packages of lessons that can save you money over a period of time.

About the author

Geoff Sinker is a Professional Guitar teacher currently based in Dubai. He has been teaching for over 30 years. He hold's a Licentiate Teaching Degree from Trinity College London, and Guitar grade 8. A specialist in Rock, Blues, Jazz and Fusion. He currently teaches both one on one and also through Skype. I have performed in bands in various countries including the UK, USA, Panama, and Dubai. Currently he is working on a number of ebooks looking at all aspects of guitar playing. Some of his lessons have been featured on Ultimate Guitar. Some articles he has written have also been printed in various magazines. You can find out more by visiting the Skype Guitar Lessons Online Website

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