Hi Stoogie, This sounds li


Hi Stoogie,

This sounds like an interesting project. I am assuming by “tuition” you mean instructional videos that are intended to teach the view how to play something on the guitar.

First, plan out your video. Write down, story board fashion is best, exactly what each scene is to look like as far as camera angles, sound, background etc are concerned. Keep these very simple as flashy video effects usually distract the viewer who is trying to learn what you are teaching.

After you have exactly outlined your video, make a list of the minimum equipment necessary to execute it. Since you are in the sound business, you will know what mics to use. I would recommend that you record each mic on a separate camera audio channel (cameras have 2 separate audio channels sometimes labeled left and right stereo) and mix them later.

Besides two cameras, you will need tripods for the cameras and as many as three lights, main, fill and background. Lighting will be the most difficult part (after sound, but you are already good at that) as it is critical to getting a very clear picture. Most web video sucks because of poor lighting and jerky camera motion. That’s why you need a good tripod under each camera, especially the one focused on the fingerboard.

Lighting is not real complicated, but there is more to it than I can describe here, but this magazine does publish very informative articles that are easy to follow.

Since you are on a limited budget, I suggest you try to borrow as much equipment as possible. Remember, beggers can’t be choosers, so be flexible. A good way is to enlist the owner of the equipment in the project. That way you not only get the use of the equipment, but you get an operator, too. Your next best bet is to rent equipment.

When renting video equipment, read the agreement very closely and don’t assume you know what the terms mean. Weekend rentals are sometimes cheaper than business day rentals, but be sure you know what the rental company means by a weekend. Also, be sure you get everything you need. For example, a light needs a light stand, tripods need a pan head, cameras need extra batteries as well as cables for connecting the camera to your PC so you can capture the footage to your hard drive. My point is be sure you know exactly what you are getting and don’t rent more than you need.

Finally, if all else fails, buy equipment. To save money, I have found that construction lights from Lowe’s or Home Depot make darn good video lights and are a lot cheaper. On the other hand, the cheap, flimsy tripods sold in department stores for under $100 will disappoint. They vibrate and their plastic heads don’t pan smoothly. However, the best ones might be suitable if you just let them stand and don’t try to pan. You can find some good tripod/pan head tripod combos at BH for a few hundred dollars, but that may be out of your budget.

The cameras are important, but fairly easy to find. You probably have friends with suitable cameras. Just be sure they are current design (avoid all VHS, Hi8, D8 and other obsolete formats) and have connectors for external microphones.

Finally, the editing software. is where pic in pic, cuts, fades, transitions, titling, sound mixing is done. I have seen some low cost PC programs advertised, but I have no experience with them. Personally, I use the Adobe Production Suite which is not low cost. A lot of people have PCs with some sort of video editing software so you may be able to find someone who can edit your video for you. If not, some other bloggers here may have some suggestions.

Good luck,


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