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  1. #1

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    So after a long lag I'm finally trying to set up skype so I can give some remote lessons. I bought the necessary stuff a couple of years ago after three students said they wanted lessons. But for various reasons it didn't happen. Now it's a perfect situation for me if I can set it up the way I want. I'm stymied in the sense that I've never done it on either end. I suppose it'd make sense for me to sign up for a lesson with Adam Rogers or somebody just to see how it works.

    I did a test with my wife and they said I had to buy Skype credit to make the call which I did but confused me. I thought Skype was free if both people were Skype clients. Then she tried to call me and they say she had to buy Skype credit to call me. WTF?

    I want to have two cameras set up. I have two (three actually) but haven't figured out yet. I'm using ManyCam to set them up. I don't know that need to. But only one is working at a time even though the basic program says I get two webcams.

    I have a fairly elaborate sound system, two room mics and the guitar is plugged into my Axe Fx direct stereo. It seems to be working properly. The student will also have access to the henryguitar website and have their own page where they can access the lessons and PDFs. I'm pretty excited about it. Tomorrow I have my first beginning guinea pig student.

    What I need help with:

    I need to know why I'm being asked to buy credit. Is this normal or did Skype not have us in their system?

    How I can have a two webcam view- one in my hands and the other smaller picture of my face. That's because I'm so incredibly handsome. A selling point. Lol.

    How much to charge. Lol. I need to research the going rates. There are beginners, intermediate, styles, reading programs (I'm sure to not have any of those!), and jazz improv lessons. I don't figure they'll all be the same rates. Beginning 30 minutes is $25 for example. I've been charging $50 half hour and $75 an hour for advanced for local students coming for their lessons, but I think I'm going to have to adjust those rates.

    Ideas and suggestions and general help is welcome!

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  3. #2

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    You don't need to by credit for skype calls. Add the person you want to skype with to your contacts list, that's it.
    "Ahhh - those Jazz guys are just makin' that stuff up!" - Homer Simpson

    "Anyone who understands Jazz knows that you can't understand it. It's too complicated. That's what's so simple about it." - Yogi Berra

  4. #3

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    Hm. Then something is fishy. She's on my contact list. Video is the same as calls?


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  5. #4

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    I was told I could NOT place the call unless I paid $10 minimum for credit.


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  6. #5

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    Not true!! Skype is free!!

    I have used skype to talk/video with my son who is in the military. He has skyped me from Afghanistan and now Germany.

    Buying credits allows you talk using the phone only. It's basically using their rate for calling. But you do not need to buy credits is you are only using skype to talk/video call a person.
    Last edited by edh; 02-05-2017 at 10:54 PM.
    "Ahhh - those Jazz guys are just makin' that stuff up!" - Homer Simpson

    "Anyone who understands Jazz knows that you can't understand it. It's too complicated. That's what's so simple about it." - Yogi Berra

  7. #6

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    That's what I thought. Then WTF??


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  8. #7

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    Just to clarify I had my wife in my Skype contact list. I pressed the button to place the call in Skype. A dialogue comes up telling me I cannot place that call without buying Skype credit.


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  9. #8

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    1. does she show up on your contact list?

    2. Highlight her name if she is on the contact list

    3. Go up to the top of the window with all the options listed.

    4. choose the call button. A menu will appear.

    5. Choose the first option(Call).

    6. you will get another menu with "Skype Call". Choose that one.

    7. Your skype call will be placed.
    "Ahhh - those Jazz guys are just makin' that stuff up!" - Homer Simpson

    "Anyone who understands Jazz knows that you can't understand it. It's too complicated. That's what's so simple about it." - Yogi Berra

  10. #9

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    Hm. As I said, I think, all apply. As I said she's on my contact list. I'll check again. I highlighted her name. I hit the call button. I don't think I went to the top with all the options. I'm not in dying of the computer now. Thanks.

    Keep in mind, I PLACED the call. But I had to buy credit to do it.

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  11. #10

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    A user, not an expert.

    For free calls, both parties need a Skype account and be in each others contact list.
    I believe the paid calls are for calling cell phone numbers and people not in each others contact list.

    It's possible that you and your wife are not in each others contact list correctly.
    Only thing I can think of.


  12. #11

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    I'm sure that was it. She was creating her account. Or recreating it or something. But by the time we did it we both had accounts. Maybe there needed to be some time for the accounts to settle in.


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  13. #12

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    click on the picture of a videocamera (video call) not the phone

  14. #13

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    Hmm. Oh.


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  15. #14
    joaopaz Guest
    Skype is free for video calls as everyone mentioned.

    As for the lesson rates, also think about having a discount for people who buy a certain number of lessons in advance.

  16. #15

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    Henry,
    I teach a lot via skype, ( 10 students/week) my advice is to keep your set up very simple, you dont want to spend the lesson time dealing with tech issues. I just use my mac with its built in camera and mic, and it works very well. there are limitations to band width etc, so a too complicated system can only bog things down, remember your student might just be on their Ipad or even their phone so I recommend that you keep your set up simple as well. a few small things that make a big diff is that the student use earbuds or head phones. this keeps echo down and makes the whole thing work much better. have lesson pages available and have a scanner so if you write anything up for the student you can send it right away. the student also might want to capture video of parts of the session. some video captures are better than others.
    good luck and please don't under charge : )

    all the best
    Tim

  17. #16

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    I am teaching fairly often via skype too and I would agree with Tim that it is practical to have a very simple setup. Students are quite often on an iPad.

    Skype is indeed free if you both have skype.

    Jens
    jenslarsen.nl --- My YouTube Channel with lessons and live videos--- YT Lesson Facebook page --- Træben album: Storm on itunes

    I endorse Ibanez guitars, John Daw Custom picks and QSC monitors

  18. #17

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    Cool. Thanks.


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  19. #18

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    I did my first lesson last night. It went great. And Tim you were right. I kept it simple. One camera. For some reason before the lesson my computer started being sluggish but it still worked. The student said I was pixelated sometimes but overall was good. Thanks all!


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  20. #19

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    Thats great Henry,
    I will often call someone back if the connection isnt good. sometimes its not great and sometimes its perfect, wifi slows things down so I'll often ask my student if they can get a direct connection rather than use wifi. I also use the "leave a video message " function to re cap the lesson especially if the connection wasnt great.
    good luck with your venture.
    all the best
    Tim

  21. #20

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    Yeah, basically what everyone else said. Keep it simple. I got worried when I first started teaching on Skype that I needed to invest in mics and interfaces and all sorts of expensive equipment to make everything perfect. But at the end of the day, I've found the built in mic and cam from my laptop to be the best way to go.

    Also, as per the confusion with buying credits etc...

    If I'm understanding correctly, and if nobody else has pointed this out, it sounds like maybe you're just trying to go through their website? That was a mistake I made at the beginning that took me some serious time to figure out. I eventually figured out that I needed to download their software and use the application. Not sure if you've downloaded it yet or not. But if you're trying to do this stuff through their website instead of their downloaded application... you might want to try downloading it and seeing if that helps. It's all free. The application, the video calls... all of it. I talk to people in Europe, the middle east, Australia, America... not had to pay a penny for any of it. It's kind of an absurdly amazing service. I still don't get how they make enough money to provide us with what they do.

  22. #21

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    No, no. I'm not trying to go through their website. I put private lessons on my own site for them. But no. This wasn't through anything but skype. No dueling websites.

  23. #22

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    Many of your students might be international. Accepting cash ( they will have to know your mailing address) should bring more students. I know that if I want to take skype lessons, I'd have to send cash, whether it be USD or Yen. Also, many here will say, "don't under charge". Not sure what means because you might find that some international paying students are retired and on fixed incomes. I know its tough because time is money, but might be better to keep busy at first with students that can pay what they can and see who stays after some time and then offer more in time-wise and maybe at that time increase the fee.
    30 minute guitar skype lessons go extremely fast for the student.