Piano/Keyboard Software for learning. Suggestions?

Discussion in 'Technique and Posture' started by DigiDave, Oct 23, 2016.

  1. DigiDave

    DigiDave

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    Would love to hear thoughts on the use of PC Teaching Programs for Keyboard.

    I can understand teachers feeling threatened by software, therefore am wary of claims against the use of such technology. I would love to hear unbiased opinions from people who do not make a living from teaching keyboard.

    Is the following more of a gimmick like many are saying?
    https://pianomarvel.com/

    I had many hours of fun with tab edit - Pros & Cons aside.

    I'd love to try some piano/keyboard software, but have no idea where to start. What are some of the more genuine ones out there?
     
    DigiDave, Oct 23, 2016
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  2. DigiDave

    CowboyNQ

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    Dave,

    The following is my view only, so take it with the appropriate grain of salt. And I definitely don't make a living from teaching piano/keyboard.

    I think having a (good) human teacher to encourage, challenge, answer questions and provide instant feedback cannot be replaced by any software, no matter how good it might be.

    Regular lessons with a teacher create accountability and encourage you to practice in the interim.

    30 min to 1 hour practice a day is far better than 5 hours' practice once or twice a week.

    That's not to suggest that it's impossible to learn from software/YouTube/Google/books/ear because of course that's an option too. But it wouldn't be my preferred method if I were asked.

    On the subject of the particular software you've mentioned, it looks legit, and I'm sure it would work for the right person.

    Good luck!
     
    CowboyNQ, Oct 23, 2016
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  3. DigiDave

    happyrat1 Destroyer of Eardrums!!!

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    Two simple softwares freely available are Pianobooster and Synthesia, both listed on the Tutorial Links thread.

    And make extensive use of the youtube tutorials you might stumble across. Search on "Piano Tutorial" and some of the world's best teachers are available at your fingertips.

    I highly recommend Brendan Kavanaugh's channel for one.

    Gary ;)
     
    happyrat1, Oct 23, 2016
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  4. DigiDave

    DigiDave

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    Taken with a grain of salt. A personal in house/one to one Teacher is not an option for me. Thx for sharing though.

    Having said that - I will seek to connect with teachers online in order to iron out what books & software are unable to do. I agree with your points.

    Speaking of which - SOFTWARE - Is there any kind of GAME that can be played on PC using the keyboard like a touch typing tutorial in order to learn where the notes are between the sheet music and keys? Yes I am sure learning songs can do that ... BUT ... I would also like the option to learn other ways; just as I learned to touch type. Not having to follow a beat at first would be one less complication and still rather FUN! I loved those kiddie touch typing games.
     
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2016
    DigiDave, Oct 24, 2016
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  5. DigiDave

    DigiDave

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    PS - when you say FREE software ... are they just trial versions? I'd rather know straight away before installing only to find out that I need to pay more. (scratch that - synthesia is not free in my book - not from what I am reading - not my interpretation of free - seems to have restrictions) I find software like that rather spammy. Seems to be a lot of guides on HOW TO INSTALL FULL VERSION FOR FREE ... which kind of made me roll my eyes already. I don't mind if I have to pay ... I'd rather know straight up and once again, avoid software that pulls you in ... where you later find out you are restricted until you register with bank details. If like that ... No Thanks.

    I'd rather pay a hundred bucks to a company that's straight up with no surprises or ongoing costs. OR - go Fully Open Source ... which defines the essence of the word - FREE. I guess I am an odd duck when it comes to things like that. Always boycotting and whatnot. :) Olympus Customer service sucks so I sold everything in my house with the name Olympus on it ... which I used some of the money to buy the Casio Keyboard with. I do so hope their customer service is not so bad ... otherwise, I guess I'll have to sell the new keyboard and all related Casio Accessories as well.. lmao.hehehehehehe.

    Truly - Software Companies lead so many of us around the bush - around and around we go. I guess we just keep lapping it up, which kind of just creates the problem.

    Forgive the rant ..I guess I will work it out soon enough. My preference with be for a company that sells the least BS with the least ongoing costs. I hate it when they use the word free, and then you find out bla bla bla. ;)

    EDIT - Cool .. Piano Booster reads as Open Source. I will invest my time reading up on it.

    I'm still open to spending money ... but not interested in Trial Versions.
    _______________________________________________________________

    COOL again .... This place looks interesting. http://virtualpiano.net/
     
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2016
    DigiDave, Oct 24, 2016
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  6. DigiDave

    DigiDave

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    Hey, I don't even have my keyboard yet and I am having fun with Piano Booster - following the PC as it plays the midi files; with many songs that seems easy enough to find.

    I was wondering ... does anyone know of an open source program that allows one to write their own midi files?

    I just tried Anvil Studio, however Piano Booster was unable to open my saved midi. Possibly something I did wrong, but don't think so. I'm sure that trail version program probably opens it ... but only after you open the restrictions. lol .. just kidding. I might have to bite the bullet and give Synthesia a go despite my pet hate with "free"trial versions. I'm sure I'll crack that program somehow. Pun intended.
     
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2016
    DigiDave, Oct 24, 2016
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  7. DigiDave

    CowboyNQ

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    Oh, I never said anything about them being "in house".

    There are a bazillion "learn to read music" type games out there for PC's, Macs, iPhones, etc. Just use your search engine and start exploring. These sort of games are primarily aimed at children - if you can live with that you'll find plenty of options.

    I'm going to leave you to it now - my last thought is try and take a methodical approach to your learning, build up one step at a time and you'll eventually get where you want to go. A little bit of tenacity and patience will definitely be rewarded.

    Good luck - have fun on your musical journey.
     
    CowboyNQ, Oct 24, 2016
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  8. DigiDave

    DigiDave

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    I never implied you said it. But quote and correct as you will.

    If I can live with that? Oh Dear Me ... I don't think we are on the same page at all. So much discouragement out there when it comes to having fun.

    I know I will learn it, because when I put my mind to something I want to learn, I learn it regardless if it is right or wrong; regardless if it is "child's play." I've been reading a LOT of that kind of talk withing these music forums ... and don't mind saying it's rather discouraging.

    Please take care now ... good luck on your own musical journey.

    THREAD SOLVED - TY all.

    I'll stick with the kiddies. Seeing as I can live with that and all.

    Unsubscribed!
     
    DigiDave, Oct 24, 2016
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  9. DigiDave

    CowboyNQ

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    Dave,

    My apologies if I've offended or discouraged. Certainly was not my intention. Simply meant to warn you that a lot of these style of programs are aimed at the younger set. "If you can live with that" was not a veiled insult. It meant what it meant. If you can live with that, you'll find plenty of stuff out there you can use. Some can't and I don't know you well enough to presume either way.

    My offer of good luck was genuine too. Best to you.
     
    CowboyNQ, Oct 24, 2016
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  10. DigiDave

    Fred Coulter Collector of ancient keyboards

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    I think what he means by "if you can live with that" is the software may have cute talking bears, and talk to you like a five year old. Why? Because that's their major market.

    If you can deal with software with cute talking bears and short sentences, than go for it. But if ten minutes of that will drive you crazy, make you kill your wife and children, and then drive down the street taking out pedestrians, perhaps you should use different software.

    Personally, I probably would be in the latter category, which is why I don't use that software. I'm not taking it as an insult that I probably couldn't live with that. (I saw way too much of Barnie the Purple Dinosaur while my kids were growing up, so my reaction might be a bit stronger than yours.)
     
    Fred Coulter, Oct 24, 2016
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  11. DigiDave

    itsallright

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    Piano Marvel has 18 levels and the material in it goes beyond what most piano teachers can even play. In fact the SASR sight reading test they created has never been beat. I saw a professional accompanist try and she could not beat it. She got like a 1750 sight reading score! If you try the sight reading test in Piano Marvel you will understand how difficult that is. I have to say the more I use Piano Marvel the more the other systems out there look like a joke. I started using Piano Marvel at my college and plan to use it with my students. Just keep in mind that it's not an attempt to replace everything that a piano teacher will teach you. It does however make your practice sessions really effective if you use it right.
     
    itsallright, Oct 28, 2016
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  12. DigiDave

    DigiDave

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    Narrr ... is all good cowboy. Entirely my issue. My Bad. I am a prickly fellow at the best of times. :)

    I hear what you and the others are saying. Thx Fred. Still taking it all in. All the advice and offers I have received in this forum has been extremely helpful to me.

    I got Syth to work and not the over the moon with it as this stage: Perhaps later when I know what I am actually doing.

    I reply in full (as brief as I can) when I have more time.
     
    DigiDave, Oct 29, 2016
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  13. DigiDave

    Alchemy

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    That's funny. Maybe there does need to be more "manly" learning software available like with beautiful women saying how well you did or something. :cool:
     
    Alchemy, Oct 31, 2016
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    Fred Coulter likes this.
  14. DigiDave

    Fred Coulter Collector of ancient keyboards

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    When I went to the Piano Marvel site, it seemed to be oriented towards working as an adjunct to an existing teacher. I didn't get the impression that it was designed for self learning.
     
    Fred Coulter, Nov 3, 2016
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  15. DigiDave

    itsallright

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    I agree Fred, I got that impression as well. I will say however after using the software a bit I see how it can be used in a variety of situations. I also called and spoke with Joel at Piano Marvel and he gave me some really great insight on how it can be used. The guys at Piano Marvel have really created something ingenious, they just don't know how to present it on their website very well. Looks like they haven't updated it in a while. https://pianomarvel.com/new-features
     
    itsallright, Mar 14, 2017
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  16. DigiDave

    Alchemy

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    wonder what happened to digidave anyway.
     
    Alchemy, Mar 15, 2017
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  17. DigiDave

    Herman Kappen

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    Hi Dave,

    If you can find and afford a flesh and blood piano/keyboard teacher, that would of course be the best option.

    I have used (and am still using) an app called Flowkey (.com) that offers lessons from absolute beginners to more advanced players.

    What's so nice about their learning system is that if you have a keyboard with midi funnctionality, you can just connect it with your computer or tablet and then the app "listens" to what you are playing, giving you immediate feedback. If you don't have midi capability, the app can use your computer's/tablet's microphone to listen, but obviously that will be far less accurate.

    The app is continuously updated with new songs to learn from beginner to a really advanced level (the team even takes requests for new arrangements). There is a whole library of songs to chooose from at various levels and from various music styles, from classical to pop/rock to gospel and jazz. The app also offers courses in things like improvisation.

    There is a free version to try it out. I'm sure there are many more similar apps out there. This just happens one I downloaded and liked immediately. Good luck!
     
    Herman Kappen, Jun 10, 2017
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  18. DigiDave

    Scatabrain

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    I like Simply Piano. My vision isn't great but on my ipad I can see the notation very well. It's geared to beginners to reading. It's not expensive and I am enjoying and learning. It is not a replacement for a real teacher in some regards. But super fun.
     
    Scatabrain, Jun 10, 2017
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  19. DigiDave

    Scatabrain

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    Old question thread but others may read it that have the same question.
     
    Scatabrain, Jun 10, 2017
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  20. DigiDave

    RalphL

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    I'be been using gigajam online school to learn keyboard for 8 months. It's being used by many british schools. Gigajam also works with London College of Music to issue official keyboard grades if you pass their exercises and online exam pieces. Also very affordable.
    http://gigajamonline.com/home/
     
    RalphL, Jul 6, 2017
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