So, yesterday, during dinner, I watched some bass videos on YouTube while the baby figured out more of Let It Go and Twinkle Twinkle Little Star on piano. After taking the summer off, her lessons are due to resume next month. I think the only time slot available is 9 AM on Saturday. We’ll essentially wake up an hour later than on regular school days (we get her up around 6:30). No rest for the wicked.
Anyway, YouTube suggested a video called Time and Feel Exercise for Bass Guitar, by Yonit Spiegelman. Apparently, she’s part of a group of instructors from Brooklyn who created or work with an instructional website called Lessonface. It looks interesting. It mainly offers real-time music lessons over the internet.
I haven’t tried their services out, but they run on a platform called Fuze that allows them to stream live videos from both the student and instructor, and they offer instructional materials – such as PDF files. I noticed an option in a screenshot which served group chats.
Jenny Bristol, an editor at GeekDad, wrote a review of the service in 2015, which includes screenshots and an overview of her experience with her first lesson – which was for ukulele. It looked promising. She also spoke about their vetting requirements a little:
Teachers cover about 85 instruments and voice, across many genres, and all meet the site’s requirements for experience level–at least two years of music teaching experience, or five years as a professional musician. About half the teachers on Lessonface have a degree in music, and there are multiple Grammy winners and renowned recording artists who accept students through the platform. Teachers who are listed as teaching children have additionally passed criminal background checks.
When I skimmed through the bass instructors last night, I noticed two things. The first is that the majority of instructors who teach bass also teach other instruments. Most of them are guitarists who also double on bass. The other is that there is a range of prices, based on the instructor. Most lessons are 30 mins long and range from $10-45. There were some 15-minute lessons as well, for $10-20. A few outliers include one instructor who offers 1-hour lessons for $65 and another for $72. Also – I noticed “metal guitar” listed in a few skill sets. That’s interesting to me, because I’m used to seeing people advertise jazz, acoustic and “rock” more often.
I like the idea of remote lessons that can be scheduled regularly and don’t break the bank. The schedule selection on the website includes checkboxes for every day of the week and for time slots. Two of those time slots – 4-8 AM and 9 PM – 4 AM were especially interesting to me, because I don’t sleep very well, and those are hours when everyone else in the house is asleep, so I could potentially find another night-owl who has 15-30 mins to spare to prod me in a good direction.
Here are some links for more information. The last link includes a video which shows some of the technological capabilities of the system, via Fuze. They can handle bass, you can simultaneously use up to 4 streams – which means that you can have your computer and phone connected at the same time, to offer multiple angles/perspectives during lessons, and you can share screens. Basically, their tech partner pairs nicely with their lesson offerings to augment the session experience.
- Lessonface on YouTube
- Lessonface on Facebook
- Videos on Guitar World
- LessonFace Aggregates Massive Range Of Niches For Online Music Lessons