Hello! Here's a guide for how my online lessons work, what you need, what I can offer, and how to sign up.
I am available to teach guitar, bass guitar, 5-string banjo, soprano ukulele, baritone ukulele, mandolin, and renaissance lute. I also teach songwriting, composition, and arranging. My newest lessons are software-based. I'm offering one-on-one courses on GarageBand and Logic Pro X (Mac, iOS only), GuitarPro 7.5 (earlier versions as well), and MuseScore. For modular sound design lessons, I teach with VCV Rack, a free program for PC & Mac. If your particular digital audio workstation or notation software isn't listed here, let's still talk about how I can help you learn recording, arranging, and engraving techniques. My rates are still the same: $30/half hour or $45/hour. I accept Paypal, Venmo, or Zelle. You can get in touch with my via the contact page on my website. I'm looking forward to hearing from you!
Here is a list of essential equipment you might need.
Large tablets can sometime work. It needs to be big enough so you can see anything I'm showing you on a large scale. Phone screens are too small in my opinion but some of my students have been able to make that work successfully. I'm more than happy to help guide you towards the right computer/device for your needs and budget.
Slower connections will cause a significant amount of glitches during the session. To check your speed, visit www.speedtest.net. If your download or upload speeds are below 2-3 Mbps, we might have problems. I always encourage everyone to do a test session with me at no charge. (I have just over 200Mbps down and just over 11Mbps up, in case you're curious).
I prefer gmail for all of my emailing needs. It's a very easy-to-use platform for email and web conferences. Chances are if you have a Google account of any type, you already have one. Head over to gmail.com and see what happens when you login. If you can't login, simply press "Create an account" and follow the prompts from there. If you get stuck along the way, please contact me through my website and I'll do my best to help you through it. Once you are logged in, send me a test email!
I've been using Zoom for lessons. If you are unfamiliar with using Zoom, we can do a test session before you commit to any lessons.
This isn't a requirement, but it is extremely helpful for me. If the microphone on your device isn't adequate, I might not to be able to hear you clearly so we can have an effective learning experience. I personally use the Blue Snowball USB Mic. For the audio quality it gives at about $50, it's unbeatable. I've recorded several videos with it over the years and have conducted every online lesson with it. We can definitely test your microphone before we set up any lessons to see whether or not you need to upgrade.
I've also had my eye on the Blue Yeti for a while. I like that it has a volume adjustment on it.
A lot of computers come with built-in webcams and they are usually quite sufficient. But if you are interested in upgrading, I've used the Logitech HD Pro Webcam C920 quite a bit in the past and I highly recommend it. And yes, it does have a built-in microphone but it's terrible.
MIDI to USB cable
This is generally only useful for students learning notation or recording software. Most modern MIDI keyboards come with USB. For older MIDI keyboards, you will need a converter cable like this. It's compatible with both Apple and Windows.
If you want a fun mini MIDI keyboard, I really get a kick out of my AKAI Professional LPK25. It easily fits in my laptop bag and even works with my iPhone.
This is another optional item. Occasionally I'll be able to hear an echo of my own voice through my speakers. That means that your microphone is picking up the sound that's playing out of your speakers. The Blue Snowball mic usually solves that problem, but some of my students do need to wear headphones during the lesson. Any headphones or earbuds should suffice, as long as they sound good to you and you can easily control the volume for yourself. If you want a recommendation for the best set of headphones you can get for the money, I've used these Sony Headphones for over 20 years. Literally the same exact pair for that long. They're very comfortable, give crystal clear sound, and can be worn for longer periods of time than other headphones.
Click here to download a PDF of my full studio policies.
I hope to hear from you soon!