Are you shopping for the best app to learn piano? This in-depth review of Simply Piano covers everything you need to know about the software.
Learning to play a new instrument is exciting. But that learning curve…
It can maim and injure your confidence and motivation.
Piano apps make learning more accessible and engaging, making the earlier–awkward–phases more enjoyable.
But how does Simply Piano do this? And is it the right app for you?
This article looks closely at the piano teaching tool, going over everything from the lesson plan to the platform’s pros and cons.
There’s a lot to cover. Let’s get to it!
Getting started with Simply Piano.
Once you download the app, the onboarding process helps inform and set you up.
Simply Piano asks how many people intend to use the app, whether you have piano experience, what kind of piano player you want to be, and what your goals are.
You can set alerts for when and how often you wish to take lessons.
Once your profile and settings are in place, you can get to it!
What’s nice about Simply Piano is that it lets you try a lesson for free.
The ‘Basics’ section goes over some introductory notes like Middle C, D, E, F, and G, explains finger numbers, and runs you through some exercises.
This gives you a feel for the platform before you commit.
You can also enjoy free access for seven days when you sign up for a plan–you just have to remember to cancel your subscription if you decide it’s not for you.
Layout and design
If you’re going to devote time and energy to learning anything, it’s essential that the tools you use help–rather than hinder–the process.
For phone apps, that means being able to open, understand and use them without any struggle.
The interface design puts the simpl in Simply Piano. The app’s game-like design is aesthetically pleasing, straightforward, and easy to use.
The app allows you to connect your piano to your phone or tablet or listen to you play via the microphone.
If you can, it’s better to connect your piano to your device.
Whether it’s from the hardware or background noise, the app can sometimes miss the notes you’re playing and mess with your practice.
Otherwise, Simply Piano works seamlessly.
The content library is cleanly divided. Once you pass the introductory phase, you’re left with three options.
- Settings–enables you to edit and add a profile, do a 5-min workout, and access sheet music.
- Courses–leads you to the theory and exercise section of the app, from ‘Basics’ to ‘Pre-Advanced II.’
- Songs–You can access the vast musical library when you select ‘Songs’.
The interface works from left to right, giving you different options as you toggle through. For instance, selecting ‘Courses’ brings you to a new set of pathways, ‘Soloist’ and ‘Chords’–more on that soon.
Overall, navigating the app is intuitive, making it ideal for people of all ages.
Learning on Simply Piano.
There is a strong focus on getting beginners off the ground quickly.
Simply Piano works like an interactive piece of sheet music that you access via a phone or tablet.
Whether you’re learning chords, notes, or playing songs, before you lies a staff with the notes for you to play.
The app is perfect for a wide range of people, from beginners to intermediate.
If you want to learn songs right away, prefer to focus on the fundamentals and theory of piano, or both, you get what you need.
Simply Piano teaches you how to read sheet music, play the corresponding notes and keep rhythm, and immerses you immediately.
Within the first few lessons, it has you playing on the treble and bass clefs, working on note recognition, and pressing on the right keys at the right time.
While you dive in right away, the lessons are simple enough to handle and move at a pace that works for even the slowest learners.
The app smoothly walks you through each course, making you play an increasingly complex pattern of notes.
Whenever you play the right note at the right time, the note on the screen flashes blue, and when you’re off, it flashes red.
If you’re struggling (missing notes consecutively), it resets the exercise, slows down the pace, and uses a metronome to help you get it right.
At the end of each lesson, you receive a grade, and before each new section, the app makes you review the content.
Simply Piano: Courses
Overall, the curriculum is well structured. It gives you access to 27 mini-courses. After you complete the ‘Basics’ and ‘Essentials’ sections, the lesson plan has two pathways, ‘Soloist’ and ‘Chords.’
- The Soloist pathway focuses on teaching you sheet music and sight reading and works on your coordination and technique. It has you playing melodies, expands your note range, and introduces sharps and flats–lining you up to play Classic style music.
- The Chords section sets you up for accompanying songs in various genres. It teaches you the fundamentals of chord building and different accompanying styles.
You can follow a single path or split the lessons as you see fit. Focusing on a single style is fine. However, to be a complete pianist, we recommend that you play both.
Simply Piano: Songs
Some people are all about playing songs.
This is perfect because Simply Piano’s song library is stacked.
However, because the app focuses on teaching you sheet music, it feeds you songs as you progress through the lessons.
You can only access the library upon completion of the Basics course.
After unlocking it, while you can choose to play all of the songs by bypassing the message, the app will recommend that you complete the corresponding lessons before playing the song.
The songs include background music while you play. This is nice, as it gives you the feeling of playing with others.
While the background music can help you with your timing, you can switch it off, which can be a bummer if you want to play alone.
You can always slow it down if you have trouble playing a particular song.
However, while it’s nice to have this feature, there are only three settings, 60, 80, and 100%.
Additionally, the app doesn’t detect how hard or soft you hit the keys and doesn’t offer a controllable metronome.
Another thing to consider when shopping for anything is how much it costs. With a premium membership, you can enjoy full access to the app’s content and create multiple profiles, making it ideal for families.
Here are your options:
- The 12-month subscription costs $189.99 annually and includes a 7-day free trial.
- The 6-month plan is $124.99
- The 3-month plan is $95.99
Pros and cons.
The app is beneficial for people of various ages and skill levels. While it does a lot of things well, some areas could use some improvements.
Here’s a list of our pros and cons.
- Works with any keyboard and piano–you can plug your instrument into your phone or tablet or use your device’s microphone.
- The app is well-structured and guides you through lessons smoothly.
- Teaches you how to read sheet music right away. Reading notes is an essential part of playing piano, and the app gets you working on the most crucial aspects of piano right away.
- Multiple profiles per account. This feature allows you to use the app on several devices and enables each member to learn at their own pace.
- Not compatible with a computer or laptop. While you can use the app with a phone or tablet, it doesn’t work with computers or Macs.
- There is limited ability to manipulate songs. Practicing a song may require focusing on a particular section. Overall, your ability to practice is quite standard–you have to play the song from start to finish to get your reps in.
- Limited tempo manipulation. You can slow down and speed up the rhythm of a song. You only have three speeds, 60%, 80%, and 100%.
Simply Piano: Verdict.
Simply Piano is a fantastic tool for beginner and intermediate pianists–even advanced players can enjoy it. With a sleek and easy-to-use interface, it’s also accessible for young children.
The app plunges you into the world of pianos, teaching you all its fundamental and essential aspects. It offers users a fun and engaging platform that helps them build the right habits to learn new skills.