How To Get the Most Out of Webcam Guitar Lessons.
There are many great benefits to taking your guitar lessons through webcam.
Learn more about the benefits of webcam lessons here: Webcam Guitar Lessons.
One of those cool benefits, is that you get more out of your day if you study guitar from the comfort of your home.
After all: you don’t have to deal with traffic anymore.
This is only one of the many advantages, online/webcam study offers.
However: many webcam students neglect to fully take advantage of those benefits.
Here’s a helpful list of things you can do to get the most out of your webcam guitar lessons.
- Have your guitar tuned up, connected, and ready to go before the lesson.
That is another benefit to webcam lessons: you can tune up and get ready before the lesson.
You don’t get that advantage in in-studio lessons, where you need use the first couple of lesson minutes to tune your guitar again and to get prepared to start the lesson.
Make sure you are sitting up straight in front of your computer, with hands and fret board visible to the teacher.
- Have good lighting set up.
Make sure that the teacher can clearly see what you are doing.
It happens quite often that I need to point out to the student that it looks like they are sitting in a totally dark room. The time it then takes them to put a light on, or to reposition their computer so they don’t have glaring sunlight hitting the camera, all takes away from lesson time.
- Have a music player ready to go before the lesson.
Already have all your necessary software (MS Word, PDF viewer, iTunes, slowdowner software if you have that, …) set up and ready for the lesson.
You don’t want to spend a minute of lesson time, for MS Word to open up when you click on a lesson file.
- Be organized! Know where to find your lesson materials.
It helps to print them and keep them organized by topic in a binder you keep specifically for your guitar lessons only.
Keep a playlist in your iTunes with all your songs you are learning or have learned in your lessons.
The more organized you are, the more productive your lessons are going to be, the more you get out of your tuition paid.
- Have a printer available during your lesson.
It needs to be connected and in working order.
Your teacher will email you lesson materials, which you need to be able to print.
- Print out your lesson materials.
This is important: use paper! Don’t try to read your course material from your computer screen while playing!”
Some students tend to waste a lot of lesson time, trying to read a chord chart from their computer screen while playing a song.
It’s faster to quickly turn a page, than to try to scroll down to the right location in a text file.
- Ideally: try to sit on a chair, at a table, with a music stand.
Hanging out in your coach, is not really as conducive to great performance results.
- Maximize your monitor real estate.
Organize the windows on your computer screen so you see the chat window with your teacher clearly, while also having quick access to your music player and other needed programs. (In an ideal world: you would have a big computer monitor or 2 monitors)
- If at all possible, don’t do wifi.
If you can: go wired. Take the ethernet cable directly from your modem or from your router straight into your computer.
This will give you the fast, most reliable internet connection.
- Don’t have your computer right next to a really noisy AC or heating system!
I once had this student in NY, taking webcam lessons with me.
We had so unbelievably much noise in our sessions, that she spent most of the time saying she couldn’t hear/understand me, while I spent most of the lesson time trying to figure out where this problem came from or how to solve the problem.
It took 3 friggin lessons before it occurred to her that maybe, she shouldn’t be sitting right next to her ridiculously loud heating system. (Yes, winters are tough in NY).
- Have your lesson in a room where you can actually learn.
Don’t have your lesson in the living room where family members or roommates are running around making tons of noise.
You need to have the lesson in a room where there will be no distractions or interruptions.
- If your teacher tells you…
to add him/her on Skype, or iChat, or whatever platform you’re using, days BEFORE the lesson, you probably don’t want to wait till the first minute of your lesson time to make it all work!!!
It always blows my mind when someone does that, assuming that everything is just going to work.
- DON’T RUN THE LESSON FROM YOUR IPAD OR PHONE!!!!
You actually need hands to play guitar.
You’re probably smiling now reading this, yet, this is much more common than you might think.
The main problem is not that it ties up your hands. You can always position the device in front of you on a table.
The huge issue with phones and tablets, is that these devices and their wifi connections, are simply still not as reliable or as smooth as a computer. They just aren’t (yet).
The result is that you end up wasting a lot of lesson time on dropped connections, poor quality video transfer, and other issues.
With all the tips in the above list taken care off, your webcam lesson will be of equal quality and equally productive as in-studio lessons.
Keep me informed on your progress. You can hit me up in the comments section below.
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I believe everything can always be improved. I’d gladly implement your suggestions and ideas in this blog or the next.
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