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OnlinePianist.com helps you to learn to play your favorite piano songs. It has an easy-read interface which shows you when to play a note, and for how long. You can also change speeds, key, isolate portions of music and more.
Finding a song is easy; you can either perform a basic search or browse categories. These categories include pop, rock, classic, jazz, blues, new age, film, traditional, games, kids, R&B and more. There are some really unique songs on here, making it a fun site to explore.
Basic membership is free, and you can use a limited number of tools. However, free members are able to view tutorials so they can play along at home. This could be pretty handy if you’re already quite competent with the piano, as you can simply listen to songs and watch the instructions, playing along at your leisure. If, however, you are a beginner or intermediate player, you may wish to upgrade to a premium account.
Premium membership allows you unlimited access to the site’s features and tutorials from a range of devices. An app is available for iPhones, plus you can try it on an iPad. This is useful if you wish to recall lessons when you’re not at the keyboard or piano, or if you just want to listen to the piano music to remind yourself of its sound.
Other features are available to premium members, including more visual tools for practicing. For example, you can see where your hands should be positioned, as well as the notes on keys. If you’re stuck on a particular portion of a song, you can isolate that section and have it repeat over and over again, so you can practice difficult segments without interruption.
OnlinePianist also allows premium members to alter the key of a tune, use an online metronome and view running letter notes. This makes song playing feel a little bit like an online game, where the note and duration of playing are displayed with an image of a keyboard underneath. The system seems simple, but has enough intricacies for most beginners to enjoy.
Online Pianist has room for improvement. It cannot detect your errors, since you do not hook up a keyboard or microphone. There’s also not much of an online community, although you can request new songs on their Facebook page. That's also a space to find out about the latest updates and to view lessons without having to log in.
At $2.49 per month (on a one year contract), and free online tools for basic members, Online Pianist is very affordable. We feel it will be of use to beginners and intermediate players, as it provides a good range of songs, with enough tools to make sure you can move at your own pace. Whilst the lessons are void of human help or explanations, if you have the drive to simply sit down and practice songs, we think you can gain a lot from this system. Although a lack of error detection tools could be a drawback, if you’ve a decent ear for your own playing then this shouldn’t be a major issue.
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