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In order to get the most out of your on-line learning experience, you will need to have the right equipment. Below I have listed some essential pieces of gear that will greatly enhance your mandolin practice time.

(1) Mandolin

This goes without saying but someone will ask if I don't include this.

(2) Electronic tuner

Even if you can tune your mandolin to itself by ear, you will need a tuner to make sure you are in tune with the play-along tracks. I suggest one of the many clip-on type of electronic tuners.

(3) High Speed internet or cellular network

The lessons included on include videos and audio tracks as a primary element. You don't need the fastest internet connection in the world but if you are on dial up or a 3g phone network you may experience trouble with slow or choppy playback. In general, if you can watch youtube videos without having to wait for them to load you should be OK. If you choose a premium membership that includes Skype sessions, you may need a bit more bandwidth as Skype needs a fairly fast connection to function. If you can Skype the grandkids you can Skype a mandolin lesson. 

(4) Media Speakers

A big part of this study program is playing along with videos and tracks. These tracks are full band tracks and feature bass, percussion, keyboard, and a variety of instruments. If your speaker will not reproduce a full spectrum of sound, you will not hear the rhythm section well enough to keep in time with it. Most media speakers are good enough to handle this but your laptop speakers will not.

(5) IrealPro

IrealPro is an app that allows you to quickly and easily create play-along tracks in a variety of styles. Many of the tracks on this site are created with IrealPro. 

(6) Metronome

Get one that has a volume control and is LOUD when turned up. You will need to hear it while you are playing. Don't worry about different time signatures or accents, just a plain old click is the best. Not a beep but a click. Should sound like striking a piece of hardwood.