View Full Version : Online Mandolin Lesson

Jan-28-2004, 5:30pm
I teach Mandolin, Guitar and Banjo in my studio in the north San Fernando Valley as well as on the internet via web videoconferencing. Learn Bluegrass, Folk, Old-Time and Blues.
To simplify the videoconference experience I am now offering a total Introductory Webconference Package which includes color usb webcam, headset, microphone, webconference software, custom written installation instructions, webconference operating guide and TWO 30 MINUTE LESSONS....for only $99 USD. Everything you need to get started in one box.
See my website for more details http://musiclessonsource.com.

Feb-16-2004, 3:06pm
Please have a look at my revised web site.

Feb-17-2004, 9:16pm
Does anyone else feel hat this posting might have ben placed elsewhere or is it just me? http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/rock.gif

Christopher Howard-Williams
Feb-18-2004, 3:12am
No, not just you.
Having read the thread following Scott's guidelines, I was kind of surprised to see a blatant commercial ad in the discussion area... Even it is a "special introductory offer" not trying to hide behind anything else.

Feb-20-2004, 8:44pm
Thanks for your concern but I checked with Scott before placing the message. I am sincerely trying to get more folks playing by making instruction available to those who can't reach an instructor. It has been my experience over thirty years of teaching that the vast majority of people are unable to teach themselves from books, cd's or videos without some interactive help.

Feb-20-2004, 9:47pm
Hey, I think it's kinda cool & a very viable option for folks....

Feb-21-2004, 5:11pm
It probably is Dale, and at only $99.00 per hour he wont need too many students before he retires. I still believe hat this would have been beter placed in the classified section, not on this board.

Feb-21-2004, 6:09pm
Just an FYI-- his site says it's $25 per half hour-- the $99 includes software, webcam, and two half hour lessons.

The only local instructor that I know of is a guitar guy who tries to teach mando, and he charges $35 per half hour.

Jack Roberts
Feb-22-2004, 9:41pm
Randolin gives excellent lessons, and is a cool-cat guy, too.

Disclaimer: #I have no financial interest in his classes, and I am not a current student, although I have taken lessons from him in the past, and I know, like, and admire the man greatly. #I am still a beginner (after two years) but I have the confidence to play monthly gigs and weekly jam sessions thanks to him. #


Scott Tichenor
Feb-22-2004, 10:01pm
Don't be too hard on him. He emailed me asking about this. The post is a bit like an ad but I don't expect he'll be out here posting this often.

I think this is an area where you'll see some movement on the web in the future. There are a lot of people in remote areas where there are few mandolin teachers. There are folks with good teaching skills located in areas where there are few students. Some personal instructional services like are a pretty decent potential market. Unfortunatley the technology is still a bit difficult for the masses probably but it'll get better. Dan Beimborn has talked about doing this.

Think there are mandolin instructors everywhere? For instance. I live in Lawrence, KS and including myself there are probably a half dozen quality mandolin instructors in a town of 100,000. Drive 35 miles east to Kansas City where there are two million people in the metropolitan area and there are... drumroll... to my knowledge and everyone I know, not one single mandolin teacher. Nada. Zip. Zero. Two million people. Not one instructor. Never has been since I moved from there about 20 years ago. Where do they go for a lesson? They drive over here.

So, no need to beef about this cat. He's OK. Just wished this had turned into a discussion on the technical requirements, limitatations, etc. of distance lessons.

Feb-22-2004, 10:08pm
O.K., consier me chastised and repentant. I can see that there would be a need for "distant learning" and that this guy has the "stamp of approval". I'll get of of his back.

Feb-24-2004, 6:00pm
Thanks Scott, I was hoping that this would provide me with some feedback on how to improve the experience for folks. There does seem to be some fear that the technology is too difficult and I am trying to simplify it. I know this method of teaching works. I have several students that started out taking vidconference lessons and I have room for more.

Feb-24-2004, 6:41pm
I live in Kansas City and I will agree that mandolin instructors are pretty slim pickins here. (pun intended, insert chuckle here) But I did inquire at The Mountain Music Shoppe and they said they offer mandolin lessons there. (probably from an instructor who drives from Lawrence) I might also add that they have the greatest instructional material section I've seen in the area, on a wide variety of instruments. Still, I am just the kind of person who would take a crack at online lessons and I appreciate knowing it's out there.

I have no affiliation with The Mountain Music Shoppe. I just wanted to spread the word for those who hadn't checked it out before. It's a neat place run by some very nice folks.

Mike Buesseler
Feb-28-2004, 2:03pm
Seems like Randy got a rather cool response to his first #post here. #Not typical of the Cafe...

It seems to me like a pretty good deal. #$99 gets you the camera and software, plus $50 worth of lessons. #How can you beat that?

I certainly don't want to take anything away from Randy (as I am about to commence my lessons with him) but, there is an opportunity here for other instructors considering online teaching, as well. #Once some of us have our equipment up and running, all they need to do is buy one themselves and offer lessons. #(Dan B., Pete Martin, are you listening? #And Niles H. would probably take this thing to another planet!)

Speaking for those of us outside the mainstream of culture (believe me, Great Falls, MT is WELL outside), this could be the Holy Grail of getting lessons from the best out there.

I will be sure to give my impressions as my lessons with Randy progress. #Listening to a couple of samples from his website sealed the deal for me. #A nifty little bluegrassy piece and pretty cool reggae number to follow. # There is a lot of fertile ground between those two genres.

Feb-29-2004, 8:01pm
Thanks Mike.... it's exactly for people like you that I started this service. There are lots of folks that want to learn this instrument that can't get to an instructor.

Mar-19-2004, 9:28pm
For those that enquired, this system will NOT work on Macs.

Billy Mack
Mar-20-2004, 3:36am
I think that any method, including online instruction, that can help someone become a better mandolin player is great. However, I am curious how effective some aspects of teaching can be at such a remote distance. Two items that were greatly improved in my recent personal instruction were: Sound and Speed. My teacher showed me that I was not getting good tone due to my right hand pick inflection (I had a 'hopping motion'). He also improved my left hand technique that was corrected with a slight adjustment in position on the neck.

Does the webcam teaching allow adequate ability to address the more physical aspects of playing?

Mar-20-2004, 6:13pm
I spend a lot of time in lessons dealing with the physical aspects of playing and how to acquire effective technique. I have not encountered any problems in spotting or correcting faulty technique. As you have seen, a tiny alteration in your hand position can yield huge results. All the books and videos in the world would not have helped correct that without interactive instruction.

Mar-22-2004, 11:45pm
Hey Randy. This sounds cool. You said your package isn't compatable with Macs. However, would a Mac with an isight and video conferencing software like ichat be compatable with your long distance method? Or would it only work PC to PC?

Mar-23-2004, 11:57am
So far I have not found a program that allows MAC and PC to talk to each other. Sending video is easy but Audio seems to be big problem. If any MAC addicts out there know of an audio chat program common to MAC and PC I would love to hear about it.

Mar-23-2004, 3:23pm
I'm gonna have to chime in here and agree on how crazy it is trying to find a mandolin teacher. Take it from me, the crazy girl who drives for an hour and twenty minutes up and two hours back (traffic - eeek) every Thursday to get her mandolin lessons. Heh. http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/mandosmiley.gif

Mar-23-2004, 3:25pm
Can you record the lessons for playback later?

Mar-23-2004, 3:40pm
Yes I could record the lessons, but there are already hundreds of lessons out there on video or CD. My belief is that MOST people are incapable of teaching themselves to play without INTERACTIVE instruction. In my opinion books, videos, cd's and TABS are all great for increasing your repertoire but only AFTER you have learned the physical techniques of playing the instrument.

Mar-23-2004, 4:16pm
No, thats not what I meant. Can one of your students record their own interactive lesson so that they can replay it later down the line while practicing the material they worked on in the lesson?

Mar-23-2004, 4:44pm
Yes they can. They need to get a 2 way splitter from Radio Shack so the audio out of the computer can be fed into headphones as well as whatever recording device they use. If their computer has the capability (as does my laptop) to output composite or S-VHS video, it can be fed into a VCR and the audio could be fed into it as well. All of my lessons incidentally are accompanied by tabs or exercises etc. which I email to the student prior to the lesson, or MP3s of the tune being studied or a guitar track to practice the tune to which I record and send. It's a whole package.

Apr-26-2004, 7:39pm
I've had a number of on line lessons with Randy since his earlier posts appeared in this thread. IMO, this is definitely a viable option for anyone without a very convenient and well qualified instructor.

He's really got a great approach and is certainly deserving of the reputation as a great guy! Let's face it-- as my instructor, he must have the patience of Job!

May-18-2004, 5:18pm
Lessons now available on APPLE too.
Thanks to one of my students I have discovered fabulous new software that will allow lessons for those on MACs as well as PC's with quality close to that of TV and with NO CHARGE to my students.