We are currently holding all our online guitar lessons via the video conferencing app Zoom.
In order to ensure your teacher can see and hear you properly, we recommend you become familiar with Zoom and make some changes to its default settings. The following post guides you through how to do this so that we can focus on helping you play guitar as quickly as possible…
(Please note the advice below is primarily for computer/laptop users, although we have provided advice for those using a tablet or phone where appropriate).
1. download zoom – it’s free!
Go to https://zoom.us/ and download the app. You should do this whether you are using a computer, tablet or mobile phone.
2. adjust your video settings
On your computer or laptop, open the app and go into your settings by clicking the cog highlighted below.
Go to the Video tab on the left-hand side and tick the “Enable HD” option highlighted below. This probably won’t be available if you don’t have an HD camera. But if you do, you’ll send us a better quality picture!
Not every computer has a built-in web camera, although every modern laptop and many all-in-one PCs do and they will automatically be synced with Zoom.
You can also use an external camera by first plugging it into your computer and then changing the default camera in the Camera dropdown shown above in Zoom’s Settings/Video tab.
If you do not have a computer with a web camera or an external camera, we suggest you use a tablet or smartphone for your lessons.
3. adjust your audio settings
Zoom’s default audio settings are designed to minimise background noise, which is great for business conference calls but not so good for music lessons! Your guitar will be treated like background noise, so if you don’t adjust your audio settings, we will find it hard to hear what you are playing.
Thankfully, there are a few things you can do on your end to fix this.
In Settings, go to the Audio tab on the left-hand side and click the Advanced button in the bottom right-hand corner.
Under the heading “Audio Processing” disable the following:
a) Suppress Persistent Background Noise
b) Suppress Intermittent Background Noise
If you are using a Windows computer, check out the following video by one of our sister schools on how to adjust your settings for even better sound!
If you are using a phone or tablet, go into Settings -> Meetings and enable “Use Original Sound”
4. tips for a great zoom lesson
Now that you have your settings ready to go, follow these tips to ensure you make the most out of your lessons.
a) Try to find a quiet area to focus on your lesson – preferably one with no loud, persistent noises or intermittent loud noises.
b) Never have a window behind you (unless it’s dark outside). You’ll be backlit and we won’t be able to see you or your guitar properly. You’ll get the best light if you place your phone or laptop between yourself and a window, so the light from the window is on your face.
c) Be prepared and ready at least 5 minutes BEFORE your lesson is scheduled to begin. Have your instrument tuned, your lesson materials to hand, a pen or pencil and computer/phone set at a good angle.
d) We mostly need to be able to see your hands and your guitar. A camera angle from the front will work well.
e) Wear headphones if you have them as they will GREATLY improve the sound quality and help to prevent echo and feedback.
f) To join your lesson, click on the link we send you or enter the Meeting ID & password. If you already have the Zoom app downloaded, it will open automatically.
g) Enable your video by clicking on the video icon at the bottom of your screen (so that we can see you)
h) Enable your audio – Zoom will ask you to “Join with computer Audio” or if you are on a phone or tablet “Call using Internet Audio” (so that we can hear you)
i) Don’t get TOO close to your device as it will distort the audio quality. We’ll test and adjust once we get started.
Please follow the above steps carefully. It will take some time but you will only need to adjust the settings once and it will ensure you will get the best quality online lesson possible.
As always, if need any further assistance, please don’t hesitate to get in touch 🙂