How to get the most out of your online guitar lessons
These days online education has become the norm. However, the prospect of learning online can sometimes feel a little daunting. If you’re unsure whether you have the best equipment or understanding for online guitar instruction look no further, here is a list to check off to ensure seamless lessons from your instructor.
1. Internet connection.
Make sure you have a great internet connection. I’d always recommend fibre up to 100 mbps but you should get by just fine with LTE or ADSL anywhere between a download speed of 4 and 10 mbps per second.
2. Video chat apps.
There are many recommended video chats. Certain teachers prefer certain ones. I would recommend Zoom as not only can you send o
r receive files on the go but it’s really easy to use. If your teacher prefers another app please go with it, as this may be because they have a way of making it work best for them and this will benefit you. Make sure you log in and test the app with someone on another internet connection before doing online lessons.
3. Always better on the big screen.
Get the biggest screen possible when you’re taking online guitar lessons. This is because you will see it more clearly and it will make understanding the instruction from your teacher a lot easier for you. For example, it will help to see more detail when they are demonstrating where to put your fingers on the fretboard. A smart phone generally doesn’t do justice but I’d recommend anything from a tablet to laptop. If possible, connect to an even larger screen via HDMI or Airplay.
4. Be punctual.
Just like in real life, it’s important you are always on time. This will help you get the most time and value out of your slot as possible. Remember that most teachers are doing a long list of students and can’t continue your full slot if you’re late as t
hey need to get to their next client. Try to log in 10 minutes early to make sure everything works i.e. webcam is showing your face and audio is picking up before your instructor joins or calls you.
5. Tune before your lesson.
Once again tuning before your lesson will save precious time for asking questions and receiving valuable tips from your instructor.
6. Don’t stress too much if your instructor is a little late.
If your instructor is 5 minutes late, wait a bit before calling them. In some cases they are stuck in another lesson or their technology needs to be restarted and then they will call or join you. They will most probably apologise and make the time up if they are a good teacher.
7. Aim your camera in the proper direction.
Make sure your webcam picks up your fingers, fretboard and face. This will help your teacher to pick up exactly what you are playing and correct you if necessary, or even give you a virtual high-five. ;)
8. Keep external noises to a minimum.
If possible and you're serious about online lessons, try and invest in a small external USB microphone and use headphones. This should ensure loud sounds from outside are eliminated. If you can’t get access to a microphone try to sit in a quiet place for the duration of your lesson. Failing that, ask the people around you to keep it down.
9. Light’s, camera, action!
Make sure the lighting in the room is good but not too bright. I wouldn’t suggest sitting with a window behind you and the blaring sun coming in. This can make it hard for your instructor to see you or your fret-board properly.
10. Your teacher isn’t a babysitter.
If you’re a parent and your child is under the age of 10, please ensure you are with them for the beginning and end of lessons. Set up the devices and positioning of your child before the lesson. Perhaps ask the teacher whether they can hear everything clearly.
11. Damage control.
Communicate as soon as possible if there are power or wifi issues that won’t let you access your lesson. Most of the time your teacher will be able to make a plan of scheduling another day or accessing you via another medium.
I hope this helps you be more confident about how to get the most out of your online lessons. Please have a look at my lesson rates if you’re interested.
Until next time,