Discussion in 'Double Bass Pedagogy [DB]' started by Ike Harris, Mar 21, 2011.

  1. Ike Harris

    Ike Harris

    May 16, 2001
    Nashville TN
    I was talking to a fellow bassist the other day about this and it sounds intriguing. Has anyone here used this to teach or know of anyone who does? How about the results? Do you use paypal or something to get paid?

    Thanks, Ike
  2. David Morris

    David Morris Supporting Member

    May 22, 2002
    Lincoln, Nebraska
  3. Marc Piane

    Marc Piane

    Jun 14, 2004
    I have and use paypal for payment. Works pretty well. iChat for Mac works better if they are using a Mac too as the video feed seems smoother but Skype works too.
  4. Dan Pliskow in Detroit agreed to teach me by Skype, but I just couldn't get a good enough connection where I live. We both anticipated that it would work out fine. This was a last-resort idea, though. I live in rural mountains.
  5. Baswithone"s"


    Apr 10, 2008
    I'm anti-skype lessons. I know that there are people stuck out in the boondocks, and I'll make a small concession in that case. But still, even private lessons with a music major (even a cello) in whatever college is closest to you is better than a video feed. Plus, it helps foster a sense of a local musical community and helps ou the local economy.

    I'm all about making a teachers buck, but being realistic, having thousands of teachers competing globally won't be as financially rewarding as a few teachers competing locally.

    And I'm pretty sure this is fast becoming an archaic attitude.
  6. I've been taking skype lessons for about a year now. Living in northwestern Wyoming makes finding a decent teacher nearly impossible. Skype allows me to learn from somebody who is actually qualified to be teaching me. Other than that its a hassle and and a half. In addition to the occasional connection problem all the communication in between lessons is slow and difficult. Trying to get the material needed for the actual lesson back in forth is proving to be more difficult than I ever would have assumed. Also not seeing your teacher in person has provided me (and maybe my teacher) the ability to blame my shortcomings on technology rather than my own laziness.

    Realistically skype is only advantageous to players living in communities too small to support a good teacher. That being for anyone living in a population area big enough to have a quality teacher should seek out lessons from that teacher, not the internet.
  7. Hey guys,
    What sort of equipment do you use to make this work? I tried this with my teacher at home in NY (I am in Chicago) and the audio kept on dying. I think maybe it was because I was standing too close to the microphone when playing? Any feedback would be appreciated, as we might try this again next year when I'm in Cambridge, UK for school all next year...
  8. Eric Hochberg

    Eric Hochberg

    Jul 7, 2004
    Might have better reception quality with gmail video or iChat. I often do.
  9. Yeah, I'll see about trying that. Thanks!
  10. basspowell


    Feb 1, 2011
    Double Bass Professor, Frost School of Music, University of Miami
    I teach bass at the Frost School of Music, University of Miami- and skype has been very useful to me. We have bassists from all over the country who look at our school as a possible place to go for undergrad/grad, and because traveling with a bass is becoming increasingly more difficult, skype allows me to have a chance to work with them so that they have a better idea about how I teach, what my school is like, etc. It gives them more information to work with before they make their decision and it gives us greater access to quality students who would otherwise not have had much opportunity to seriously look at us. As far as the lesson experience, the sound and visual quality is ok and seems to be improving. It obviously isn't as good as working them in the studio, but I am able to effectively communicate performance concepts and interact with them.
  11. jaff


    Jun 7, 2006
    I have been taking Skype lessons for a year from my teacher who is doing some postgraduate work in another state. Skype is good although not a true substitute for the physical presence of the teacher.
    Certainly, not a bad technology considering it's free.
  12. Estherfan


    Feb 1, 2008
    How much would someone charge for a Skype lesson? For example, if someone charges $40/hr for in-person lessons, how much could they charge for Skype lessons?
  13. Marc Piane

    Marc Piane

    Jun 14, 2004
    I charge the same as I charge the students that come to my house.
  14. John Chambliss

    John Chambliss Supporting Member

    Nov 11, 2005
    Memphis, TN
    I've been taking a few lessons with Marc (aka fingers) via iChat on my Mac. Works well. We both get to stay at home!!!
  15. eerbrev


    Dec 6, 2009
    Ottawa, ON, CAN
    When I did my year at memorial university, they had just lost their full time bass prof (he went to cambridge to do his doctorate in musicology on short notice), so I studied with the Cellist for the most of the year. This ended up working in my favor for two reasons: one was that I learned a lot musically from studying with a cellist, and the other was that a few times a semester the other bass majors and I were treated to Skype lessons with the principal bass of the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, Merideth Johnson, whose teachers read a bit like a who's who of bass playing in the states. Edgar Meyer, Ed Barker and Hal Robinson. I really learned a lot from the experience, even though the skype lessons were occasioanally frustrating because of the lack of tactile involvement.

    There is definitely something to be said for being in the same room with your teacher, but Skype can really be a boon to your learning if you've got the right person on the other end of the line. As a side note, I know that Joel Quarrington will often do skype lessons, as he lives in Ottawa and has students there, but also in Montreal at McGill University. So sometimes his McGill students get skype lessons, sometimes the Ottawa students do, and sometimes they both do when he's in London, UK playing with the LSO.

    man that guy lives a crazy life.

  16. John Goldsby

    John Goldsby Supporting Member

    Mar 4, 2003
    Bassist @ WDR Big Band Cologne, Discover Double Bass, Conservatorium Maastricht, NL
    I don't usually use Skype because there is a lag time. I have a fast internet connection, but the technology is just not quite good enough for me yet.

    Instead, I do email lessons. A student sends an mp3 or video file with some questions. I answer with a short video or mp3, plus written answers or comments on their questions. I upload the video to a server where they can download their lesson.

    There are some advantages for the teacher and student over a Skype lesson: We don't have to "meet" on Skype at a certain time. The student can carefully prepare exact questions and a sound/video file. I receive the file and within (usually) a week I find an hour to prepare the response, video some examples, and upload the lesson. The student can look at the lesson over and over in decent sound and video quality. Then I offer a follow-up email exchange to clear up any further questions about the lesson. So far, everyone seems pretty satisfied.

    By the way, this is not an ad :rollno: . . . I'm just telling you my experience with Skype and why I do it differently.
  17. Hey guys, Update: My teacher and I got Skype to work well for a lesson a few weeks ago. Just had to be sure to stand sufficiently far from my computer and hooked up my external mic. Worked well for about 40 minutes and then we had to restart the connection and we were good again for the rest of the lesson time.
  18. Dr_Bassius

    Dr_Bassius Supporting Member

    Nov 6, 2001
    Endorsing Artist: Aguilar amps Endorsing Artist: Fodera Guitars
    i teach via skype, in fact some of my students i have i found through TB and other bass forums. it works great.

    i take pay pal and everything is smooth

    I also took lessons from Gary Willis in Spain via skype. it worked fantastically
  19. Contranash

    Contranash Supporting Member

    Jun 28, 2011
    Kansas City
    I feel as if, since the overall experience of the lesson has gone down, and the need of a suitable, geographically desirable location in which to have the lesson has dissolved, the price of the lesson should go down....

    Now, that being's still a lesson, it's still the teacher's time, and s/he has gotta get paid.

    Any thoughts?
  20. LM Bass

    LM Bass

    Jul 19, 2002
    Vancouver, BC
    On-line lessons can only be a supplement for the real one-on-one thing, but if it's a specific topic, or a specific teacher you're working with they can be great.

    I've taken a bunch of lessons on 6-string electric bass with Todd Johnson. I've really enjoyed them, as he is friendly and well-organized. As a teacher myself (Ensemble, Improv and bass lessons at the local community colleges), I would rather teach a student in person, but as a student it worked out really well for me with Todd.