What's you take on Skype lessons?


Senior Member
What's your take on Skype lessons?

I haven't had lessons in a long time. I really want to get an expert eye on my technique and also to develop some more intricate concepts of playing.

A lot of answers to questions on this forum relating to technique etc are to get some good lessons. I don't know any really experienced teachers in my area so have been looking at various lessons over Skype. I think at least I would have to upgrade my internet connection, which I'm planning on doing soon anyway.

I want to hear from anyone who either gives or receives lessons over Skype. There are obviously some limitations in comparison to live lessons. Neither the teacher or the student have as good a view or perception of movement. Is this overly limiting? I find it hard to sometimes make out what a drummer is doing on a you tube video for example. Is this different on Skype do to being able to communicate and clarifiy these points?

Perhaps I should try for myself and find out, but I would like to hear thoughts from experience in any case. Thanks!
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Drummerworld Pro Drummer - Administrator
Staff member
Haven't done it myself, but your apprehensions regarding limitations would be correct. Because of both the typical delay in Skype, and variations in sound quality based on user equipment, important aspects of live interaction are hindered or completely removed.

Suppose you're doing a closed roll, does the instructor know if you've actually nailed it, or is he fooled by the audio compression and possible noisy audio quality? Can he count/clap and have you play along in sync? Can you both play a figure and have that in sync? Can he move your hand or fingers into necessary positions as needed? Are both environments distraction-free and suitable for playing drums?

Perhaps these things apply more to a beginning student than intermediate or advanced, but the limitations are there. There are obviously some advantages to lessons online and in some cases on-demand, but the more 'hands-on' instruction has to take place in person.



Senior Member
You should look around a bit more before you try any long distance lessons.You may be surprised just how many musicians are around,even in remote areas.If you know any guitarists,bassists,piano players,Horn players etc etc,then they will each know a hand full of drummers at least.Ask for some phone numbers and odds are theres someone close by who would more than fit the bill.

As for skype?I can appreciate people taking their time to share their knowledge,I just cant see paying for someone to do it over web cam as opposed to in person.If I was going to skip the person to person interaction,then I would simply use the internet for its millions of teaching resources.If im gonna open the wallet,I would expect more personal attention.

The problem is,you have to weed out the actual teachers from those just trying to make a quick buck.That applies to anything,but things like skype being used to teach,,,well its almost like calling someone and telling them how to make lasagna,and then saying "that will be 60 bucks please."To me that just doesnt add up.Give your money to the teacher who can make your gigs to see you in action.


Pioneer Member
I literally just hung up from my skype lesson! I'm taking balafon lessons from a Guinean dude who lives in Albuquerque. The technology is solid. I record our lessons with a separate program and can go back over the stuff that I couldn't nail during the hour.

The drawback is that I can't play along with him while he's giving me the parts. But other than that, I think it's great. I think it would be just as easy to do something with kit or percussion (I've done a couple skype lessons for tabla as well). For all the drawbacks of lag etc... it really is great to get some material in a live situation over long distances.

This is my teacher...



Senior Member
Thanks for the input. I think I might try and search a little harder for a teacher in my area before trying skype lessons. I did try one lesson and it was ok but the teacher was a pretty similar skill level to me and younger, I'm 28. I really want to find someone who has been there and done that to draw from all their experience.