A lot of people these days can’t make it to what I call a ‘physical banjo lesson’ in a banjo teacher’s studio. To be honest, there aren’t many banjo teacher around in the UK. Whether there are no teachers in commuting distance, you don’t have the time to travel or are unable to leave your home for any reason, Skype banjo lessons could be the answer.
Here are a few common questions I get asked about Skype banjo lessons. If you want to know more please contact me.
- Why Skype banjo lessons?
- What are Skype banjo lessons like?
- What do you teach in Skype banjo Lessons?
- What do I need for Skype banjo lessons?
- How do I pay for Skype banjo lessons?
Why Skype banjo lessons?
Many people learn to play banjo by watching YouTube lessons. I have a YouTube channel where I post performances and offer up tips when I have time. Many of these YouTube videos are great and you can learn a lot from them but are you really learning in the right way? Have you picked up any bad habits that can hinder your playing? How would you know? You have no one to tell you. The banjo tends to be played very fast, and if you don’t use the right techniques you can hinder your chances of getting up to speed! This is where Skype banjo lessons come in.
Via Skype banjo lessons I can watch you play as I teach you techniques and songs. I can show you where you need to tweak your technique, and even better, I can teach you in the right way from the start so there is nothing to hinder your development as a player while you learn! Back to list
What are Skype banjo lessons like?
Skype banjo lessons are like any other lesson. I can demonstrate techniques, give you tips on your playing and answer any questions in real time just like a ‘physical banjo lesson’. I provide lesson materials in the form of pdfs for chord charts, TABs and techniques and mp3s for backing tracks and audio examples. These can be sent during the lesson using Skype. Any pre-prepared content is sent via email before the lesson and any material I need to prepare for you to use during the week to practice I create and email it to you the next day. You also get access to the student area where all your banjo lesson files are accessible along with notes from your banjo lessons and plans for your practice. It’s also a great place to get in contact with me between banjo lessons if you are having any problems or just to let me know how much fun you’re having!
Skype banjo lessons are usually 30 minutes long. You can have longer lessons (say an hour) but I can give you plenty of work in 30 minutes to keep you going for a week! We do a short warm up to get those fingers moving and then review what we did last week. This is your chance to let me know of any problems and I can help you get it right. Then it’s time to play… something new… a new technique, a new tune… you can suggest anything you like, or I can suggest something for you. Then we recap the lesson, quickly whizz through your practice routine and I upload any files you need to your section of the student area on the website. Back to list
What do you teach in Skype banjo lessons?
I teach 5 string banjo in a number of styles:
- bluegrass (3 finger Scruggs style)
- old-time (clawhammer style)
My favourite styles are bluegrass and old-time but I’ll pretty much have a go at anything! I have a great banjo TAB for Somebody I Used to Know by Gotye. I also have a cool version of Stairway to Heaven by Led Zeppelin. Both in the Scruggs style!
What do I need for Skype banjo lessons?
First things first, you need the Skype program on your computer. It’s free and you can download it from www.skype.com. Just install it and set up an account if you aren’t already a user.
The next thing you need is a webcam and microphone. Most laptops these days have them built in. If your computer doesn’t have them you can get a webcam with a microphone fairly cheaply online or in your local computer shop. I can also provide advice if you need it.
A printer can come in handy but is not essential.
All setup? It’s time to book an appointment! I will book you in for a quick free setup test to make sure you have the webcam and microphone positioned correctly. This is so I can check that there is enough light, see you play and hear you clearly. It also gives us a chance to have a quick chat before booking your first Skype banjo lesson so we can discuss your needs and I can plan accordingly. Back to list
How do I pay for Skype banjo lessons?
Payment for Skype banjo lessons is via PayPal or credit/debit. If you want to use PayPal and haven’t already got an account you can create one at www.paypal.co.uk. It’s safe and secure. Once I have booked you in for your first lesson I will send you an email to confirm the date and time and provide you with an email address to send payment for your first lesson. Payment must be made before each lesson takes place.
If you want to use your credit or debit card I can email you an invoice with a safe and secure link to pay before your lesson.