Nottingham Guitar Lessons Online

Learn with an experienced, professional teacher, at your own pace and from the comfort of your own home.

About Online Lessons with Derek Crehan at Nottingham Guitar Lessons

Learning guitar or bass online is simple, rewarding and fun!

Learning to play by having online guitar lessons is still quite a new idea for many parents and students. If you have not previously tried online music lessons then it can feel like there is a lot that is new and different. Almost all of my students have found that learning to play the guitar online or taking online bass lessons is just as much fun and equally rewarding as taking music lessons in person.

Online guitar lessons are a very modern and convenient way to learn to play the guitar or bass. To give my students a truly twenty-first century learning experience in each and every lesson I always try to get the most from everything that this technology has to offer. This includes using multiple camera angles so you can always see both my hands and overall playing posture and using digital lessons notes that we can view, share and explore together in the lesson.

If you’re thinking about taking online guitar lessons but wondering how online learning works then, whichever kind of guitar you love, be it classical, acoustic, electric guitar or bass, here’s some of my top tips and advice to help you along on your musical journey.

Things you will need to learn the guitar online

What kind of Internet access is best for online guitar lessons?

If you’re reading this online then you probably already have Internet access, but for learning to play with online (using video calling apps such as Skype and Zoom) the speed and reliability of your Internet connection is important. If your Internet service is too slow, or your connection is not solid then the video quality of our call might not be so clear - this can interrupt your lesson and disturb your learning.

For clear online video calls Skype themselves recommend 2Mbps (downlink speed )/ 512kbps (uplink speed) - If you already have a fixed line broadband service then this will probably be perfect for online lessons. There is no need to worry though, because during our free introductory lesson you’ll get a chance to see and hear how your Internet connection performs and be certain that it is right for taking music lessons online and learning the guitar online.

What kind of equipment is right for learning to play the guitar with online?

For your online guitar lessons you’ll need a suitable device such as a computer, tablet, iPad or mobile phone. Depending on what equipment you have available to you, you may also require a microphone, webcam and speaker, however those built in to most modern devices are perfectly usable for video calling and can also work well for online music lessons.

Some students just use their mobile phone for their online guitar lessons and although this does work, it is not ideal. The smallish screen size means that you may not always have the clearest view of what I am showing you - particularly when we come to look at sheet music, chord charts and other digital/print materials, so something a little larger is preferable, but not essential.

To get the most from your lesson we both want to have the best views we possibly can; this means that the larger the screen you can use the better. Most students find that a tablet, iPad or laptop offers a great balance between screen size (being able to see me clearly) and portability/placement (positioning your camera so that I can see you clearly).

If you have the room for a PC or Mac with a full sized monitor, external webcam and separate microphone/speakers this will always give the best results because your screen, microphone, camera and speakers can all be positioned independently. Then you can position your screen in the best place so that you can clearly see me, whilst your camera, speakers and microphone can be placed so that I also get great picture/sound quality from you.

Sometimes we will use backing tracks in the lesson; for these to work well it is important that you can play the backing track at your end during our video call. Although some devices will happily let you playback a track during a video call, sometimes this does not work so well. For this reason I suggest that students have a separate speaker (e.g. bluetooth) available so that when we play backing tracks in the lesson it does not interfere with our video call.

How do I get Skype for guitar lessons online?

Skype is freely available for PC/Mac/Android and iOS devices and can be downloaded from

If you do not already have one then you will need a Skype account - these are also free to sign up for. When you create your Skype account make a note of your Skype name and account details since we will need these when we first connect via Skype.

If you cannot use Skype, or prefer some other video calling app such as Zoom then I am also happy to try that, but most of my students prefer Skype because of its simplicity.

How do I get Zoom for guitar lessons online?

Zoom is also freely available for most common devices and can be downloaded from

If you do not already have one then you will need a Zoom account - these are also free to sign up for.

Zoom is a great alternative if you are not able to or do not want to use Skype.

What kind of guitar/bass will I need?

If you want to learn and make progress then you really need to have your own instrument on which to learn. If you don’t have one then in your free introductory lesson we can discuss options and I’m happy to point you in the right direction by suggesting what and where to look.

If you’re playing an electric instrument like the electric guitar or bass then you will also need an amplifier so that you can hear yourself when you practise and I can hear you in our lesson. The amp does not need to be massive or very loud, and I’m always happy to offer advice and recommendations for kit suitable to your budget/level.

What is the best room in my house for taking online guitar lessons and practising the guitar?

One of the joys of learning to play the guitar or bass online is that you get to learn without ever needing to leave the comfort of your own home. So, it’s great to think about where in your home is the best place for you to learn. Ideally your lesson space should be somewhere with space to organise the things you’ll need and where you can be focussed on learning and playing

A space that is quiet is a great place to start, so look for somewhere that is free of noise and distractions like the radio, T.V. or family talking in the background. Part of making music is making noise ourselves, so try to find a room where your lesson will not disturb others too.

A well lit environment is essential for all kinds of learning - but is especially important for online music lessons. You’ll need enough light to clearly see your music/notes but also your webcam needs enough to provide me with a clear picture of how you are playing. The position of your light source(s) relative to your camera is important too. I have found that cameras work best if the light source (bulbs, window etc.) are in front of you (or behind the camera).

Being comfortable while you are learning is essential, so make sure that your lesson space has a really good chair - I recommend a chair that does not have arms since they tend to get in the way of the guitar’s neck. The right chair will also allow you to place both feet on the floor whilst maintaining a comfortable playing position. Depending on your style you may also like to use a footrest/stool or a strap.

Although we use digital sheet music (PDFs) in our online guitar lessons it can be tricky to view these on your device whilst we are in the middle of a video call. So, it's still a good idea to have your music available in hardcopy - if you have access to a printer then that is fantastic! You’ll need to place your music/charts somewhere you can easily see them - the best place is on a music stand, but if you do not have one of these then a table can also work just fine.

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