flowkey is a software platform for learning piano. It is available as an app for iOS and Android devices and a browser-based app for desktop computers.
If you’re a music producer with next to zero knowledge of playing a keyboard, learning the piano is essential.
Learning basic piano skills will help you understand how music works.
You will understand notes, chords, and scales, making it easier to write melodies and harmonies using your digital audio workstation’s piano roll. It will also allow you to improvise and compose music more intuitively with your MIDI keyboard.
There are tons of piano tutorials out there, but flowkey makes the learning experience interactive and convenient.
flowkey comes with over 1,500 song tutorials and a collection of piano courses that will teach you the proper playing technique.
Most people like to skip the theory altogether and move straight to learning songs, so it’s handy that flowkey offers up to four different arrangements for each song. Each arrangement is suitable for a different skill level, so there are options for everyone, from absolute beginners to intermediate and skilled piano players.
Of course, if you’re new to playing piano, you should start with the Beginner song arrangements and gradually move on to the higher skill levels.
However, it’s important to note that flowkey provides a useful combination of hands-on song tutorials and skill training. You can learn new songs while developing and perfecting your piano playing skills with the provided piano courses.
The piano lessons available in flowkey are a great place to develop your music theory knowledge if you’re an absolute beginner. You will learn the notes and chords, their position on the keyboard, the correct posture when playing the piano, and more.
The piano courses are split into bite-sized video tutorials and interactive skill training lessons. They’re well-written and easy to follow. When starting a course, you’ll get an introductory lesson and then quickly move on to the skills training that will help you understand the theory behind it.
When I was a kid, I only had three piano lessons (I was too lazy to keep learning), but these three hour-long sessions with my piano teacher were enough to understand how music works. Thanks to this very basic knowledge, it was so much easier for me to understand synthesizers, DAWs, and sequencer piano rolls when I got into music production as a teenager.
This is exactly the type of knowledge you will get with the first few piano lessons in flowkey. And if you’re more persistent than me, you will learn much more.
You can use flowkey as an iOS/Android app or a browser-based app (preferably Chrome due to better MIDI support). In either case, the software is compatible with any piano or MIDI keyboard.
Before you are able to get the most out of the interactive lessons, flowkey will ask you to set up a microphone or connect your MIDI keyboard via cable or a Bluetooth connection. The microphone lets the app “hear” and analyze your piano performance, so your iPad’s built-in microphone will work just fine.
If you don’t have a piano or a MIDI keyboard at hand, you can still watch the tutorials but, it goes without saying, you won’t be able to access the interactive lessons.
After selecting a song and the desired skill level, you can watch a professional pianist perform the sheet music shown in the lower half of the screen.
Once you’re ready to perform, the software will analyze your playing and wait for you to hit the correct notes. If you’re having trouble with a particular section of the song, you can loop it until you get it right and even slow down the tutorial so that it is easier to follow.
flowkey also lets you select the left or right hand only so that you can practice each hand separately.
flowkey offers a basic free version with eight songs and the first exercise for most of the courses. The free version doesn’t expire. It’s good enough to get you started and evaluate the app, but you’ll definitely need to upgrade if you want to get the full experience.
For the browser app, there are three subscription plans: the monthly plan (19.99 USD/EUR per month), the annual plan (119.88 USD/EUR per year), and the lifetime membership (a one-time cost of 329.99 USD/EUR). It’s worth pointing out that the lifetime membership covers all future updates (such as new songs, new courses, etc.) without any additional costs.
On iOS and Android, the available subscription plans are somewhat different: monthly plan (19.99 USD/EUR), six-monthly plan (83.99 USD/EUR), and yearly plan (119.99 USD/EUR). The yearly plan comes with a 7-day free trial that you can cancel at least 24 hours before it ends.
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