The red Focusrite audio interface brings my guitar and voice into the computer using high-quality pre-amps and analog-to-digital converters. The MIDI interface allows me to use my guitar to play an endless variety of instruments, including violin, cello, saxophone, vocals, etc... I can also use it to create tablature and sheet music on my computer just by playing my guitar.

Intermediate and advanced students use backing tracks such as this one I created for the jazz standard "Autumn Leaves."

Backing tracks in different styles help students practice rhythm and improvisation.

The Stream Deck hardware allows quick and seamless transitions between cameras and onscreen music tabs, video sources, and graphics.

My online studio area was formerly used as the in-person lesson studio for many years, and will be back to in-person again soon (we hope!)

The lesson room walls are covered with lots of rock and roll memorabilia!

The Zoom lessons studio

My online lessons studio is powered by this extremely powerful state-of-the-art computer which was custom built for me recently by my student Jake Williams.


I use a multi-media teaching approach for your 'one-on-one' live lessons.

It includes multiple cameras and song chart displays that are shared full-screen with the student.


I have several cameras in operation during lessons, including:

1. a document camera for sharing tabs and other lesson material on paper

2.  a dedicated close-up camera to demonstrate finger placement and technique (shown below)

3. a close-up camera showing the picking hand position to demonstrate proper strumming and picking techniques. 

4. main camera view of the instructor 

A closer look at the  online lessons live studio

Smoky Hill Music

Guitar, Bass, Banjo, Ukulele Lessons Aurora CO

Fretboard camera close-up 

You can view multiple cameras simultaneously, even while the music is shown on the screen.

I also use YouTube and Apple Music so the student can hear songs and examples of certain musical styles, bands, etc.

My guitar sound during lessons is processed by the Line6 Helix pedalboard.

It models the signature sound qualities of hundreds of classic amps, speakers, and effects. I love it! The Helix App gives me total control over all aspects of the tone, right on my computer.

I can share song charts and tablature full-screen to your zoom device, and make notes and highlight certain parts.

Online Lessons at Smoky Hill Music are just as effective as in-person lessons.

All lessons are taught One-to-One, meaning there isn't an online class full of other students, just you and the instructor. 

A studio-quality Audio-Technica condenser microphone picks up my voice during lessons. 

Zoom lessons at Smoky Hill Music include a variety of technologies and methods to make your One-on-One live music lessons more fun, effective, and engaging. 


I have invested thousands of dollars and countless hours of effort into perfecting the online lessons set-up, and It has proven to be very effective.


I'm always looking at new ways to use the Zoom platform to improve and enhance the learning experience.

ONLINE LESSON GUIDELINES - MUST READ


PLEASE take a moment to the read the instructions at the link below. Parents, discuss these set-up instructions with your child.

Also- If you are using a phone for your lessons, please switch to a computer or tablet. A phone screen is too small.


Pay particular attention to camera angle, lighting, and audio instructions.

CLICK HERE for Online set-up instructions 


There is also another update available now for Zoom. There are some changes to the audio settings layout, as well as some new control settings. Also, If you update your operating system you will also need to update your Zoom software. Failure to do so may keep you from connecting to Zoom.