A Surprising Use of an iPhone…in Guitar Class

This morning, some of my guitar students took their most recent playing test. One of the students was strumming to “Surfin’ U.S.A,” and she was stopping her hand every time she skipped a strum to create a syncopated rhythm. One of the basic premises of early guitar strumming is that the hand continues up and down motion when you skip a strum.

The student and I talked about this, I demonstrated, and she tried again. She continued to “freeze” on the skipped strum and didn’t understand what I was seeing.

I use my iPhone all the time with Guitar Toolkit for quick tuning situations in the guitar class, and thought, “She needs to SEE what she’s doing, because she cannot see it from her own viewpoint. So with her permission, I video recorded her strumming pattern, focusing just on her right hand. Then I immediately showed her the recording and she “got it.” I then deleted the video, as I promised I would.

It was an unexpected, highly valuable use of the iPhone camera in my teaching…something that could be easily replicated with a new iPod Touch (with video capability) or even the iPad 2 next week. I have a feeling that I am going to recreate this experience on a regular basis when working with my guitar students.

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