Opinionised Bracket

3 Best Apps to Learn Piano

Best apps to learn piano

In this article, I will list my best apps to learn piano that I personally found on my way to learn the piano. It does not really matter what age you decided to play. Whether you are an adult or someone more experienced that want to build up their piano songs repertoire, this article will help you decide to make the right decision. 

The listed apps are my personal choice and as everyone is different you may like different apps, packages or setups. I personally used Playground Sessions and flowkey to learn piano playing and I think I have succeeded. 

Now, I am an active piano player (I still would not call myself a pianist) that play and practice almost every day.  So, let’s do it!

Everyone is different

It is very difficult to decide what are the best apps to learn piano. Everyone is different and we have our own, personal vision of how we want to learn and play. 

Some people will not even consider using an online app, tool or interactive worksheet and the only preferred way they choose would be always a human teacher. On the other hand, other people will first look into some physical materials like piano books or printed scores. 

Conversely, different people will not look for a proper teacher and look first if they can learn piano at home, at least in the beginning. I think I address this article to everybody who wants to start playing immediately with the luxury of staying home. 

This is how I started, only after six months, I decided to hire a teacher and have some private lessons to improve my technique.

Flowkey is a multi-platform app to help you learn piano as a beginner alongside the popular songs you love and is definitely one of the best apps to learn piano. 

It works with multiple devices including PC, laptops, iPad or any android device. Starting with flowkey is super easy as you only have to create an account and log in to the online app. You can immediately start playing as by default flowkey is free to start. 

It has limited courses and songs in a free version but it is enough to start. Once you feel comfortable with the app you can upgrade to premium. In the premium version, the app offers more than 60 courses and also a huge library of songs, in fact, it is more than 1500 songs to play.

flowkey - learn piano with the songs you love

Learning with flowkey

There are a number of ways you can practice with flowkey. I recommend the first thing you do is to connect your device with a MIDI cable. This way there will not be any interference with tracking your progress.

Next step, you should visit the courses section. When you start as a complete beginner it is recommended to complete at least a few beginner courses before you try playing a piece or a song. After completing beginner courses, you can try to start playing very simple songs like Happy Birthday. In-play mode you can choose different options:

  • Slow Mode – select between 50% and 75% of the original speed when you start learning a song
  • Fast Mode – this is an original speed, and enable it only when you have learned the song or part of the song you are comfortable to play
  • Wait Mode – this is definitely the best option for a beginner as the app will wait for you to press the right key
  • Loop Mode – will help you to play a part of a piece repetitively
  • Hand Selection – you can press left or right hand to learn it first, before enabling both hands
flowkey - learn piano with the songs you love
flowkey play mode

Pros

  • Well designed interface
  • Easy for a  beginner
  • Progress tracking
  • More than 60 courses
  • More than 1500 songs
  • Variety of playing modes: Slow, Fast, Loop

In general, flowkey has a very good feeling when you log in and start playing. It is definitely a good option for a beginner.

I personally enjoyed the smooth interface the app offers. When you are in play mode, you have a feeling like you are playing with the person on the screen. In my opinion, flowkey is one of the best apps to learn piano.

Recommendation

Best piano app if you prefer to learn at your own pace.

I could not miss Playground Sessions amongst the best apps to learn piano. This is the app that I personally used when started learning the piano and I really like it. Playground Sessions is an app that you install on your PC, laptop, iPad or Android device. The app itself is very comprehensive with a lot of options to explore. The main app features are Boot Camp course, songs library, additional courses for scales and chords and a tracking dashboard. Click here to try Playground Sessions.

Playground Sessions Rookie Tour - How to learn piano songs easy
Playground Sessions Rookie Tour

Learning with Playground Sessions

In my opinion, the best feature of the app is its Boot Camp course divided into three sections: Rookie, Intermediate and Advanced. 

If you are a beginner, you definitely should go lesson by lesson in a rookie section and while your fingers get more familiar with the keyboard you can try playing some of the easiest songs e.g. Lean of Me. 

Songs are divided into these three arrangements too, so beginners can start from rookie arrangements and move into intermediate or advanced later on. 

Playground Sessions put a lot of effort into composing these arrangements for each song. This is simply amazing! The songs library is huge and also divided into different genres for a better-searching experience.

Also, the app has a section for courses. These courses can help you alongside your boot camp course to practice scales or chords. Below is a screenshot from a song learning lesson for All of Me by John Legend. 

This is the first big song that I learned in the intermediate version. You can notice two main things from this picture. While you are playing, every note you played is marked with green if you hit the right key and every note you missed is marked with orange or red (depends on how close you hit the key). 

Once you finish playing you will get an immediate popup with the accuracy measures. This instant feedback helps me a lot while learning the piano with different songs.

Playground Sessions Play Mode

Pros

  • step by step learning
  • instant feedback after playing
  • free songs included every month
  • boot camp course
  • video lessons
  • course library for scales and chords
  • build in metronome

In Summary, Playground Session is a very good piano app. Obviously, it cannot replace a real teacher that will first focus on your posture, fingers and technique. The best way is to use the app and take piano lessons alongside to correct your technique.

Recommendation

Best piano app if you prefer to learn step by step guided by boot camp course lessons and videos.

In this list, I also decided to include PianoforAll developed by Robin Hall. It is not an app in a sense of having a tool or application that you log in and play along with. PianoforAll is a set of interactive books with embedded video tutorials and audio files that you download from the internet and follow instructions. 

PianoforAll
PianoforAll

They claim to have 300000 students around the world and this is just amazing

This could be due to really good content for a very small price. Currently, the course costs only $39 (download version)It is, comparing to an online subscription you have to pay for other piano apps, simple a bargain. 

PianoforAll teaches you how to sound great from the word go. After you download the materials, you have everything in one package: ebooks, videos and audio. Click here to visit the PianoforAll.

Learning with PianoforAll​

The moment you purchase PianoforAll you will get access to members sections where you find download instructions.  In the package you get nine books:

  1. Party Time – Rhythm Style Piano – you learn 10 classic party rhythms, terrific piano chord ballad, tricks, bluffs, formulas and progressions in the style of classic songs
  2. Blues & Rock n Roll – you will get different rhythms for blues and rock n roll that you can use for many classic songs
  3. Chord Magic – you will be learning piano chords with amazing memory tricks. You get a special piano chord chart and speed learning exercises to master chords to the next level
  4. Advanced Chords Made Easy – in this book you learn to play advanced chords and play them along with 80 Beatles songs plus you get some great Beatles piano styling
  5. Ballad Style – once you have mastered the chords, you use them to create piano ballads in three easy steps and also learn to improvise and create your own melodies
  6. All That Jazz & Blues – you will play a cool jazz piano. They provide you with easy techniques that you can apply to any tune: Standards, Traditional Jazz, Modern Jazz improvisation, flashy “runs”, cool riffs, chords, etc.
  7. Advanced Blues – in this part you will expand your knowledge by some blues piano techniques and blues scales you learned earlier
  8. Taming the Classics – by using Sight Reading Aids and chord knowledge you will be able to play some classics like Chopin, Mozart, Bach, Beethoven and more
  9. Speed Learning – you will get numerous exercises and memory tricks that can help you at any stage of piano learning
PianoforAll Books

PianoforAll - video lessons​

Also, as part of the package, you will get 200 video lessons and 500 audio tunes exercises. These are embedded in the book so you simply follow the instructions as you go. Along the way, you also learn some music theory, that can help you understand the notation, chords, and scales.

The video tutorials are easy to follow and also with the help of audio you can make really good progress.

Pros

  • comprehensive curriculum
  • visual and auditory books
  • learning at your own pace
  • learning to play from start
  •  uses well-known songs
  • learn to improvise and compose which is normally omitted in beginner piano apps
  • focuses to use your left hand a lot, more than in a typical piano curriculum
  • very affordable

Recommendation

Best piano package to learn at your pace with a good curriculum and not be tied to a subscription

Best apps to learn piano - summary​

I think it is difficult to assess what are the best apps to learn piano. As I mentioned, everyone is different and everyone has a different musical background.  Many of us do not have any music background but still want to learn the piano. 

To decide what is the best learn to play piano app we have to download a piano app or package and give it a go. 

The piano is a beautiful instrument that can produce amazing sounds and it is only up to us what we improvise or compose. The piano world is awesome and the variety of different pieces or songs we may play is enormous. 

I was 45 when I started learning piano and I think I have succeeded. It has been two years since I started learning piano with Playground Sessions and it was an amazing journey. As of now, I can play pieces like Prelude in E minor by Frederic Chopin, Prelude In C by J.S. Bach, Spring Waltz (Mariage d’Amour) by Chopin, Nocturne Op.9 No 1 by Chopin and Comptine d’un autre été (Amélie) by Yann Tiersen. 

I am still adding new pieces to my classical repertoire which is my favourite. Definitely, Playground Sessions is one of the best apps to learn piano on the market and it worked for me. However, for anybody else, it could be a different choice and we have to respect that.

The most important thing, though, is to keep practising every day and stick to the plan. If you are passionate and stay focused you will be able to learn the piano whatever piano app you choose, but it has to be your personal preference.

Below are the links to the best apps to learn piano I described. Good Luck!

Opinionised Bracket

Best Apps to Learn Piano FAQ

(Frequently Asked Questions)

What is the best app to learn piano

This is a very subjective question. Some people choose flowkey, some Playground Sessions and some PianoforAll. It is really our personal choice how to learn piano and what technique we use. 

The best way is to sign up for a trial and try it for some time. If you are happy with the app or package just stick to it, but remember, you have to be consistent with your practice. In my piano experience, I use all of them and that’s why I listed these three apps among the best apps to learn piano.

How long does it take to learn the piano?

It all depends on many factors like age, your ability to learn, external factors and most importantly if you can get help from a good teacher. In my case, I learned to play pieces and songs after few months. 

Then it comes to the quality of your play. Do you make many mistakes or do you always play fluently? Definitely, it is worth to try and see how well you learn the piano over time.

How many hours per day should I practice to make progress?

I think you should practice for at least 1 hour per day. In my case, I practised at least 1 hour every day, seven days per week. In my first year of learning, I missed maybe 3 days when I did not practice the piano. 

If you are really busy try, at least, to sit and play for 10 or 20 minutes. This will help your brain remember things you learned the day before and you will not lose your progress.

Where can I learn piano chords?

All piano apps in this article have a special chords section. With flowkey and Playground Sessions you learn chords by going to courses. In PianoforAll you get the chords training in book three and book four.

Where can I get piano chords with letters?

In Playground Sessions, there is an option to enable notes notation or fingering with a press of a button. This way you can see every note with its notation on the screen while you are playing.

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Mariusz Pecak

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I am a software developer and blogger. Here you will find the best online tools and services to make your life easier.

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