Simply Piano, created by JoyTunes, is a piano-learning app (of apps Piano Dust Buster and Piano Maestro). It has received several accolades, including recognition as Apple’s Editor’s Choice App, Parents’ Choice App, and Google Play’s Best App. According to JoyTunes, their piano applications are utilized by tens of thousands of piano teachers across the world every week, and they teach millions of songs.
In developing Simply Piano, they set out to make a useful and entertaining tool for picking up the piano in a short amount of time.
You should start by getting the Simply Piano app on your mobile device. Simply Piano is a mobile and tablet-only piano education, unlike the majority of its competitors.
A tablet is ideal since the larger screen is less taxing on the eyes when you’re studying.
It probably doesn’t need to be said, but you’ll also want a piano. Simply Piano uses your device’s microphone to identify the notes being played, so you can use it with either a digital piano, acoustic piano, or a keyboard—though a piano with 88 weighted keys will provide the most realistic and effective learning environment.
If you’re using a keyboard, the Simply Piano allows you to connect via USB MIDI, which is what I’d prefer, since it’s much more reliable when it comes to note recognition.
The app does also offer the option of using an on-screen keyboard. However, it also mentions that this feature should be used only to check out the app and not as a permanent solution to not having a piano.
When setting up your account, the app will ask you to select your level of experience and choose between goals like “I want to learn piano as a new hobby” and “Learn the basics of the piano”.
Creating a profile that includes your name and age is also required. It will also prompt you to create up to five more profiles for use with your account, which you may do now or at a later time.
To help you decide if Simply Piano is right for you, we provide a free 7-day trial. After that, you may choose to subscribe for a yearly fee of $149.99, six months at $89.99, or three months at $59.99.
At the moment, Simply Piano offers 27 unique programs in two distinct categories: Soloist and Chords.
You can perform both at once, one after the other, or concentrate on just one if you choose. However, I advise taking both the Chords and Soloist paths because there is material taught in each that can be applied to any path.
There is a video introduction that lays out the course’s objectives and methodology, and then there are films that really show you how to apply what you’ve learned.
The video lessons are followed by a learning dashboard. In the upper half of the screen, you can see the musical staff, and in the lower part, you can see a keyboard. As you learn new notes, they will be highlighted on the piano. The software helps you learn music by letting you listen to short segments and then reading the notes on the staff. You’ll start by learning a few individual measures, and then string them together while the music scrolls across the screen.
A note becomes blue if you play it correctly and red if you make a mistake. When you take too long to press a note, a clue appears to show you where it is on the keyboard, and the note becomes yellow to indicate its location.
To avoid having to play the same few bars over and over again, try to limit your use of yellow notes.
When more than two red notes are played in a row, the player is forced into practice mode, where the tempo is slowed down significantly and a metronome is used.
There are hundreds of songs to pick from in the game’s music collection, and a substantial number of them are assigned to each difficulty level. The appropriate section may be located by scrolling across the top, but no genre filters are available. Nonetheless, this is not a major problem because the vast majority of the tracks are considered to be pop.
Various parts of each song, such as an “intro” and a “chorus,” are broken up into smaller chunks to make memorizing them easier. Similar to the classes, you learn the song a few bars at a time by listening, sight reading, and then playing greater portions with the accompaniment tape.
Simply Piano provides feedback on your note accuracy, rhythmic accuracy, and tempo accuracy after you play through an entire song. It also provides a rating out of three stars.
Unique to this collection is the inclusion of a backing track for every song, including the classical compositions. Since the majority of the songs feature vocals in the original versions, a vocalist is frequently present as well.
This is excellent training for accompanying a band or singer, but less so for playing piano solo. The standard arrangement of “Für Elise” does not include drums.
These quick drills can help you maintain your proficiency even when you don’t have time for a full class. In place of a standard menu, you will be assigned a routine specifically designed for your skill level.
Even though they don’t provide any new information, these exercises are a great way to brush up on the material covered in class. The first few, for instance, have students sight-read material covered in introductory lessons.
Simply Piano gives you access to printable sheet music so that you don’t have to rely solely on the app’s scrolling music when practicing. Reading practice is possible with these works without the use of scrolling lines, rapid feedback, and accompanying music.
There are two courses designed to provide students, regardless of their ultimate piano ambitions, a solid grounding in the fundamentals of playing the piano before the curriculum branches out into the Soloist and Chords tracks.
Both “Piano Basics” and “Essentials I” will teach you the fundamentals of playing the piano, including finger numbers, rhythm, a few simple chords, and a few notes for each hand.
Six songs, including “Perfect” by Ed Sheeran and “Jingle Bells,” will be played in a streamlined form.
Since chords and melody both contribute, there are a few more lessons taught later on reading lead sheets that apply to both tracks.
If you want to learn how to play piano tunes with only the melody and no accompaniment, the soloist track is for you. This is accomplished by a focus on learning to read music and playing scales.
All of the lessons are presented inside the framework of a song, making you feel like you’re working towards the end goal of really playing something you like.
The one-octave C major scale is taught in Essentials III, along with C and F places, accidentals, and playing the entire scale in a song.
The following course, Classical I, is designated as an elective. Simplified versions of compositions from the Classical and Romantic eras follow a brief introduction to music history and the genres of each era.
Many prospective pianists will want to learn Beethoven’s “Für Elise,” which is covered in a second Classical course that follows Intermediate III.
The syncopation and ties introduced in Intermediates I, II, III, and IV increase the tempo and rhythmic interest of the pieces. They build on the foundation laid in the Essentials courses by covering topics such as moving postures and playing higher notes, as well as teaching the D and G major scales.
The two Taste of Bach classes exposes students to the Baroque period, Bach, and the fundamentals of playing a few popular minuets and airs by Bach. These are designated as electives in the same vein as Classical studies.
Pre-Advanced Students in the I, or penultimate, course study things like key signatures and 16th notes. You learn about key signatures in theory, but you only use them for D major and F major.
Instruction is also provided on how to play popular songs like “Bohemian Rhapsody” by Queen and “The Entertainer” by Scott Joplin.
Similar to how the songs in the song library are taught, these are also taught with the use of films that provide an introduction to the songs and some background information.
Learn to play chords to any song you choose using the information presented in this track. In these classes, students learn how to play the chords of popular jazz, rock, and pop tunes.
Chord progressions from popular music In the framework of songs by bands like Guns N’ Roses, I teach chords in C major, D major, G major, and E minor. A bassline is also explained for the first time.
F major, D minor, E major, A major, and B minor are all covered in Pop Chords II and III. The process includes being introduced to the chord, given some time to rehearse and then asked to perform a little musical excerpt that makes use of the new chord.
Playing the same chords in different genres, including soft rock, ballad, and classic rock is the focus of all three volumes of Chord Styling. They inspire you to experiment with different chord progressions and playing styles while covering popular tunes.
Chords in the Key of Blues It teaches you to play the C7, G7, and D7 chords in exciting new genres, such as swing and rock ‘n’ roll. The 12-bar blues is another genre covered in this book.
Jazz Chords, Volumes I and II, teaches not only jazz rhythms but also delves further into the philosophy behind them. You’ll get an education in chord progressions like the 2-5-1 turnaround progression and the major and minor 2-5-1 progressions. We also go over minor seventh chords and reduced chords.
At last, the Slash Chords course introduces slash chords and covers pedal bass, shifting bass, and chord inversions. You’ll get to perform songs like Lionel Richie’s “Hello” in this class.
WHO IS SIMPLY PIANO BEST FOR?
Both children and adults will enjoy using Simply Piano. Users of all ages will appreciate the format’s user-friendliness and aesthetic appeal; young users, in particular, will like the format’s bright visuals and engaging content.
In addition, the courses and music library are designed to appeal to students of varying ages.
Earlier I indicated that the program’s gradual progression is suitable for students of all ages, including the youngest. Adults looking to go through the material more quickly should look elsewhere since the structure makes it impossible to skim through and ensure that you’re not missing anything you might need a refresher on.
For people who are interested in learning to play the piano but don’t know where to begin, Simply Piano is a helpful software.
The software tells you what to practice, makes you play it slowly if you need to, and won’t allow you to advance until you do it properly, so your practice is carefully directed.
Those who desire to study independently but struggle to maintain their own discipline or who lack the background knowledge to make effective use of the more flexible features would benefit from this level of guidance.
Students will leave Simply Piano with a solid foundation in music fundamentals, including the ability to read music, play chords, and provide accompaniment for vocalists and other musicians.
As so, it provides a firm grounding for further advanced piano studies or independent study of chord accompaniment.