Easy life for piano beginners in 20th century
Nowadays we leave in a world of technology where there are digital products available to help us with different things. In the past we did not have that luxury; everything had to be done manually or with help of other people.
This also applies very much to the piano learning process. Before technology came, the only way to learn piano was to hire a teacher. Teacher tutor was a job itself, earning good money. Also, piano learning was mostly for children or young people.
In the 20th century, after the digital apps boom, anyone can learn piano, adults, too. In this article, I will introduce you to flowkey – a really nice, smooth, graphical piano app that you can use to learn piano as a beginner.
Also, if you are a more experienced piano player you will find a huge library of songs to practice with flowkey. I hope this flowkey review will help you to understand how flowkey app works and your decision will be easier to make.
What is flowkey
Creating a flowkey review is not an easy task as we are humans and we all have different expectations. In this flowkey review, I will try to give you a first-hand manual to make the right decision. I will try to list all pros and cons of using a piano app to learn the piano.
Also, I will try to answer questions like: How long does it take to learn piano? Is it too late to learn piano?, Learn to improvise piano? What is the best way to learn piano without a teacher? and many more.
Flowkey is a multi-platform app to help you learn piano as a beginner alongside the songs you love. It works with multiple devices including PC, laptops, IPad or any android device.
When you use a PC or laptop you simply log in to flowkey, connect your midi cable and off you go – you started learning already. On the other hand, when you use an iPad or any portable device you have to download the flowkey app to proceed. You simply go to Google Play Store, download and log in with your credentials.
Inside the app, you will find step by step song tutorials as well as videos, blog posts and courses. You will learn some basic music theory that will help you understand scales, chords, time signature, dynamics, piano notation etc.
Best piano and device setup for flowkey
Flowkey is an intelligent app and it will track your progress with two different options:
- by MIDI cable connected to your device USB port (PC or laptop) – only digital piano
- by microphone ( iPad, android devices, mobile phones) – digital and acoustic piano
Mobile Phone Setup – in my opinion, due to mobile screen size, this setup might be a little bit less convenient, but if you have good eyes that is not a problem. The advantage here is there is no MIDI connected so you can start or finish your playing quickly by grabbing your device.
iPad or Android pad – many people say this is an option is their preferred way to learn. It is due to the screen size is big enough to see clearly and the device is not connected by MIDI so, you can grab your device quickly when you finish.
My flowkey review recommended way, especially for adults is to use a laptop and connect it by MIDI cable. Laptops, in general, have a good screen size so you do not have to lean down to see notes properly.
Also if your piano is set in a busy environment (e.g. a living room with kids around) connecting MIDI cable assures you that the tracking will be done accurately. If you use a microphone only and you have kids around or your room is next to a busy road, the microphone may pick up additional sounds that may interfere with your tracking progress.
Also, I strongly recommend wearing good headphones, especially when you learn a new song and try to focus. This helped me a lot when I learned to play. Below is an image of my Kawai KDP 110 piano setup with flowkey (laptop version).
flowkey review - Songs Categories
- Pop Hits
- Classical Music
- Film & TV
- Game Music
- Asian Pop
flowkey Review - Playing modes
Slow Mode – it is perfect when you learn a song from scratch. I always use this mode when I start learning a piece. It is especially helpful when your sight-reading is not good yet. However, I would still recommend analysing the whole peace before playing (what scale it is and what chords) and then start playing in slow mode. When you are more experience in reading sheet music than you can use the Fast Mode from the begining.
Fast Mode – it is played with the original speed, so you can use it only when you are comfortable with your piece.
Loop Mode – especially important when you struggle with a part of the music. It lets you play repetitively the same part.
Hand Selection – typically, when you are a beginner, you want to learn a piece hand by hand and in flowkey, you can do it. The hand selection icons are there to help you play first with a preferred hand. Once you are comfortable with playing hands separately you can play both hands.
Wait Mode – this mode will help you to make sure you pressed the right key and it waits for you if you did not. This way you will be forced to make good habits as you play. It happens very often, and it happened to me when beginners learn piano from a music score.
Sometimes you think you have read the right note and you started playing it. Only after a few weeks or even months, you realized that one of the keys you are pressing was completely wrong. In flowkey, it is simply disallowed. You have to press the right key to continue.
Learning process with flowkey
Learning any instrument involves a bit of sacrifice and time. You can only see results when you stay passionate and practice every day. When I started learning at the age of 45, I was spending at least one hour per day, sometimes even between two to four hours, if time permitted.
As a result, I could see good progress and after few months I was able to play a few pieces like Prelude in C by Bach or Prelude in E minor by Chopin. I play these pieces almost every day now as a warm-up.
In flowkey, similarly to other apps, the focus is on playing music from the beginning. You start from really easy songs, trying to improve and make quick progress. In flowkey, you are also supported by a “Piano Blog” where you can find guides, information and tips about how to learn to play the piano.
Also, they provide “The Beginner’s Guide to learn the piano” where you can get everything you need to know to get you going.
I am doing this flowkey review to show the whole learning process as I was doing it the same way. I was trying to challenge myself with harder playing songs to make sure I can make better progress.
Sometimes I had to abandon a song because it was too difficult but at least I learned a small part of it.
Please note that flowkey offers an easy way to help you learn playing songs and will teach you some music theory but cannot teach you perfect technique. Flowkey is an ideal co-trainer – a learning system that keeps you stay motivated and gives you the time to teach music essentials.
Also, let’s not forget about the courses they offer. There is a long list, and I will not be naming them here. However, they are organised by categories so it is easy to navigate. Obviously, you start from the first category called “Introduction to the piano” which has 8 courses and then once you complete them you take the next category and so on.
It is recommended, you try to play beginner songs alongside your course learning so your knowledge goes more complete. In other words, it is learning a good technique, fingering and applying that knowledge in practice. You can choose between more than 1500 songs to play.
Learning with flowkey vs. youtube
In this flowkey review, I want to also mention learning piano with the help of youtube as it is a great platform for free content.
I remember when I decided to learn piano, first, I went to youtube to get some free lessons or tutorials. While some channels had a really good video library I could not find one that accommodated my beginner needs. Also, the variety of different videos I was getting in my research got me to a choice paralysis where I really could not decide what video to use.
As a result, I was jumping from video to video to find and learn something on the go. In flowkey though, you will find a nice, organised way to learn piano and this is what beginners want. Simply stick to the plan, stay focused and make good progress.
flowkey Review - Feature List
- An interactive learning method that promotes the self-motivated practice
- Large selection of easy songs, ranging from classical to pop
- Learning by ear and by notes
- Suitable for kids, teens and adults
- Tested by more than one million pianists from all around the world
- Very easy learning as a beginner
- Excellent designed interface
- Easy way of tracking your progress
- Huge library of songs to play that is regularly updated
- Variety of playing modes
- More affordable than a piano teacher
- Lifetime subscription – Good value!
- Basic songs available
- Basic courses available
- More than 1500 songs
- All 63 courses available
- Intermediate/Advanced technique courses
Flowkey is a system that uses advanced technology to help any beginner to learn the piano. It provides learning by ear and by notes which can help you make really good progress. It has a really nice, smooth graphical interface that is easy to use.
The app is designed to help beginners and intermediate students to play music in a funny way and learn new songs. However, it cannot replace a real piano teacher that will really focus on your posture and technique. It is not recommended to only use the app as the only piano learning source.
The best results can be achieved by combining flowkey and occasional (at least one lesson fortnightly) piano lessons.
This is what I did when learning piano using the app and I was making good progress. Is flowkey the best piano app for PC – you have to decide for yourself!
I hope this flowkey review will help you make the right decision.
Below I placed common FAQ questions that people usually ask.
FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)
How long does it take to learn 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.
Is it possible to learn to play piano in six weeks or less?
This is very difficult to answer as it all depends on what level of play you want to achieve. Yes, It is possible to learn and play a few simple songs. However, when you think of playing something more difficult it has to be much longer.
Is it hard to learn piano?
It is not that hard as you think. It is all about your dedication and time spend at the piano. If you stay consistent and practise every day you are on the way to success. In my case, I never thought I could learn piano, but I did.
Is it too late to learn piano? Am I too old to learn piano?
It is never too late to learn anything, especially piano. In the flowkey community, there are people that are after 40, but 50, 60 and event 70. The piano is an instrument that gives you a lot of pleasure when you finally learn a piece or a song.
You can see easily in this flowkey review that doing courses and lessons while playing simple songs is the best way to learn piano.
Will I learn to improvise piano?
In flowkey, there a course category called “Improvising with Chords” that will help with some basic improvisation.
What is the best age to learn piano?
Obviously, the answer is: when you are a child. However, people learn piano at any age and they succeed. It is only your determination that will get you where you want!
Will I learn classical piano songs with flowkey?
Yes, there is a huge classical category in the songs library.
Is flowkey the best way to learn piano without teacher?
Flowkey is one of the best apps on the market and can give a really good start. It is advisable to have a teacher alongside you while you are using the app. However, you can hire a teacher after you achieve some level of play.
Will I learn how to play piano by ear with flowkey?
Yes, flow teaches you to play by ear or by notes.