How to Teach Guitar Online with Skype


Does anyone remember writing or getting letters?
From grandma, from overseas or from that best friend at school? I sure don’t. Or vaguely. It seems like a lifetime ago that I wrote my last letter.

Enter the computer age, email, texting and social networking.
The world all of a sudden becomes closer and closer and we wind up spending countless hours online. Communicating with our friends and family… and thousands of anonymous virtual friends. I must admit that I love it. Instant Communication Gratification. On all fronts. Having been a fan of Skype for quite some time, I use it to talk to my friends and family outside of L.A. including Europa. Free, fairly stable and fun. I mean, what’s there not to like. Free phone calls with instant video of the other party. Can’t beat that.

So why not use Skype to teach guitar lessons?

I got the idea to teach guitar on-line once I received more and more inquiries from people who wanted to know if indeed I was set up for online lessons. They had heard about me and my teaching styles and were interested in taking guitar lessons. The only problem was.. they lived outside of Los Angeles.

Enter Skype and VOILA …. I can accommodate!
And so, Shredmistress Fans worldwide, we can now connect, teach, learn and experience the wonders of guitar playing no matter were you are located. Here are some tips to make this process go smoothly.

Equipment Checklist
A high-speed Internet connection, as high as you can afford. Don’t use Dial-up in case you still use that antiquated way to connect to the world. It is not enough for video calls.

Speakers and a microphone.
These are built into most computers. Use headphones or a headset where you can hear and talk to the other person clearly.

The Webcam:
Most laptops and newer computers have a built-in webcam. You can buy one online if your computer does not have one or you want a better quality. The built-in cams work and can be used. You should be the judge of the quality with your built-in webcam. It really IS better though to get a standalone camera. I favor Logitech Webcams. They come with more features, higher resolutions, can be moved around, have zoom options and much more. All under $100 for the most part.

I have written a small overview of a few Logitech Webcams. There are so many on the market but these will work well. Check it out here: Logitech Webcam Overview and Review

Downloading and Installing:
Skype is free software and is downloaded from their site. It is easy to set up. First, you have to create an account on the Skype site. After that, download and install it.

Wireless, as well as an internet cable connection will work.
But if you have the ability to plug in a cable instead and connect directly into a modem or router, that would be preferable. It is usually much faster and more reliable than a wireless connection.

Most browsers work well with Skype. I use Firefox. Keep in mind, that these procedures change all the time and browsers get updated frequently. Safari works very well if you’re on a Mac.

Set up Skype properly on your computer.
Make sure your webcam is connected and configured. Including the built-in microphone or an external mike, if that’s what you are using. Use the Test functions in Skype to make sure you hear sound and can see yourself.

Be seated comfortably with your guitar
so I can see you well, especially your hands. Find out if your webcam/program has a zoom function. That way you can zoom in or out, depending on what I need to see from you. If not, just make sure you are close enough to the camera.

Before you call in for a lesson,
make sure you are connected, guitar is plugged in, sound is working and everything seems good to go. You know, there are quite a few variables that make one setup different from another. However, I do my best to accommodate all of my online students. Walking them through the progress, helping them set up their computer and equipment and trouble shoot with them until we get it right. Once we work through the initial setup and get into a routine, it is fantastic and a great way to learn or teach guitar.

Stay tuned for more tutorials and tips on how to learn guitar online with Skype.

All Skype Online Guitar Lessons

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