Skype Guitar Lessons – What’s The Difference?

Skype guitar lessons are getting more popular each day, especially with the events of 2020’s Coronavirus. But many parents are still questioning whether they’re effective or not. Personally, I’ve found them to be remarkably similar to in-person lessons, so let’s look at what is actually different about them.

Feature Available In Skype? Available In Studio?
Can the teacher and student see each other?
Yes
Yes
Can the teacher and student hear each other?
Yes
Yes
Can everyone see the same lesson material?
Yes
Yes
Can you play guitar at the same time?
Sort of - explained below
Yes
Is it suitable for complete beginners?
Yes
Yes
Can play with recordings like songs and backing tracks?
Yes
Yes

So What's Actually Different?

  • The slight time lag of the video feed, as well as not physically being there in person, which is more important for the really young students because they feed so much off the energy of their teacher.
  • Some students need a tutor to show them where to place their fingers by getting right up close and literally touching the student’s guitar. That can’t be done via Skype.
  • Some students have a poor attention span. And there’s nothing wrong with that, but it may mean that you’re better off learning in person. Although some students find Skype to be more engaging.
  • Can’t really learn in a class. Sure, you can have a video call with multiple people at once, but that’s not quite the same interaction as being in a group of other students in person.
  • The time lag makes it harder to play at the same time, but we’ve worked out ways around this. If the tutor starts playing, the student can still play along and stay in time with them. It only means it will be out of time on the tutor’s feed. But that’s cool, we can usually tell if the student goes out of time or makes a mistake.

Interesting fact

During the Sydney COVID-19 lockdowns in 2020 and 2021, we can all of our guitar lessons on Skype/Zoom etc. The vast majority of students performed far better learning online than their previous in-person lessons. My estimation is at least 90% were better off on Skype/Zoom. Many of these were young beginners ages 5-10 with less than 6 months playing experience.

The Verdict

Skype lessons are obviously convenient because you can learn from just about anywhere in the world. I once had a student who would have his Skype lesson from the passenger seat of his car. Another lives about 200 meters from our studio. Though students with special needs might really need to see a tutor in person, Skype lessons work wonders for the vast majority of students. After all, if video lessons can teach someone guitar, then surely a real live guitar tutor, who can observe your playing and answer any questions, will be much more helpful.

Related Articles

Responses

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *