Having performed this weekend at Germany's sold-out Bang Your Head festival alongside metal legends DIO, TWISTED SISTER, MOTÖRHEAD, CANDLEMASS and more, JAG PANZER guitarist Chris Broderick reported on the festival, the amazing crowd response, and answered a few questions on his current guitar activities: "Sold out!!! Over 20,000 people; it was insane! The first thing I saw rolling into Balingen, Germany was a sea of camping tents and everyone hanging out partying until the festival began. When we hit the stage at 2:00 PM, it was incredible. The amphitheater was already packed with fans, and the response was unbelievable! With their fists in the air, singing along with every song, the fans made playing the festival a 1000 times more enjoyable.' For pictures of the event and the bands performance click here.
Additionally, for those interested in taking guitar lessons from one of metal's best, from virtually anywhere in the world, Broderick is giving guitar lessons over the Internet. He spent some time answering questions about how he does this and what it takes to start taking these lessons.
Question: What inspired you to start giving Internet lessons?
Chris Broderick: "Well, I was starting to get a lot of emails from people wishing they could take lessons [from me] but they lived in other states, making it too far for them. I also liked the idea of being able to still give lessons while touring. You could give them from local hotspots like Internet cafes and also from venues that the band is playing, I think it would be unique to get instruction from someone on the road and see what touring life is really like. I had seen online instruction before, but never in real time like personal lessons run, so as far as I know, I am the first to do this, and it was my idea. The funny thing is that when I initially ran this by some of my students who know a lot about computers, they said it wouldn't work, so I canned the idea for a while."
Q: What equipment would someone need to have to participate in a lesson this way?
CB: "Very little actually: a computer with DSL or cable Internet connection, which a lot of people have, and you also need a web cam, which costs about $20. All of the software my students and I use is free and works very well. Currently my favorite instant messenger is MSN, because you can make the image of the other person full screen, and it has good audio and minimal latency. For sending and receiving tabs and standard music notation, I use Powertab 1.7, which supports 7-string guitars.
Q: How many students do you give lessons to this way, and how is it working?
CB: "Well, I would like my students to respond to that, so you can head to my website and click on the lessons page and then student testimonials, or click on this link to read what they think. Currently, I have 11 students over the Internet, and it is working really well. Every once in a while the audio might drop out for a second, but it's very minimal and has the same feel of in-person lessons. One cool thing is you can record your lesson for future reference, and with Powertab you can listen to the assignments I give on your computer at any tempo. PT can also transpose into new keys and shift fingerings for you at the click of a button."
Q: How did your students find out about your Internet lessons?
CB: "Through a few sources, my web site and forum, my posts on the JAG PANZER website and forum, and also www.Blabbermouth.net who also ran the story for me."
Q: Are your students fans of the band, or did they find out about your lessons because of your technical prowess?
CB: "Some of both, I think. If you know about my playing, you know about JAG PANZER. A few people know about me through other guitar sites that host lead clips, but I would say 90% are fans of JAG PANZER."
Q: How would someone wanting to signup for lessons get in touch with you?
CB: "First, I recommend going to the lessons page on my web site, www.chrisbroderick.com, check it out, and then they can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org."
Chris Broderick has a degree in classical guitar music performance from Denver University. Please contact him directly about his revolutionary lesson methodology.