There are many new piano learning applications today. Flowkey is one such app, and it’s gaining a lot of attention, which is why we’ve decided to do an in-depth review of it.
In this review, we’ll discuss the various features of Flowkey, its pros and cons, the learning processes, and the curriculum. We’ll also assess whether or not the app is your investment. So, let’s get started.
Flowkey Review: At a Glance
Flowkey’s focus is to teach you how to play songs, even if you’re an absolute beginner. However, it’s also helpful for players looking to refresh their skills or acquire new ones.
It gives you access to video tutorials in a split-screen mode with the sheet music at the bottom and a pianist performing at the top. Flowkey works by highlighting the keys as the person plays them in the video so you can follow suit. The app comes with many customization options enabling you to filter these videos as you see fit.
Flowkey also provides these videos in levels. This way, you don’t get frustrated when the lessons get difficult.
Plus, Flowkey doesn’t have game-like features like most piano teaching apps. However, it provides straightforward lessons that you can learn from without needless interruptions; you’ll know where to go and how to progress. The focus here is to learn songs on the piano just like a piano teacher would show you.
Moreover, Flowkey doesn’t dwell on the basics of playing the piano. You won’t become a master by using the app. Yet, you can add more skills to your repertoire and learn lots of pop hits.
To get started with Flowkey, you’ll need a digital device and a digital or acoustic piano.
And now, let’s see the pros and cons of Flowkey.
Flowkey has great advantages that can help you change your playing skills drastically. So, let’s have a look at some of them:
Flowkey uses a simplistic design for its user interface. It allows you to navigate the platform easily and locate what you need to learn how to play.
It’s easy to get frustrated when you can’t access the right music you want. But Flowkey’s interface design eliminates that worry.
With the huge array of videos and lessons available on the Flowkey platform, it’s only reasonable that you should be able to filter out the data you want. Flowkey gives you this freedom through its customizable features.
You can customize your lessons to suit your needs. For example, if you want to take it nice and slow, you can regulate the lesson speed. If you need more listening, you can loop a song to play over and over so you can perfect your skill in it.
You can even choose if you want to play with both hands or separate; it’s all up to you.
Create Your Own Path
Flowkey allows you to carve your journey as you see fit. There’s no cut-out curriculum to follow. Instead, you can choose the lessons you want, and in the order you want them.
Now that we’ve discussed the advantages, let’s see where Flowkey has some shortcomings.
Lack of Technique
Flowkey’s piano lessons only teach you the basics. You’ll watch videos and read sheet music, but you may not get valuable tips that can improve your skill.
Even if you’re only looking to learn some basics in playing the piano or reading music, these tips are important to you. They allow you to amp up your repertoire and enhance your playing skills. The technique is essential in playing the piano.
Lack of Music Theory
You’ll find piano courses on Flowkey, true. But you’ll hardly find actual music theory lessons there.
Sadly, even the ones you’ll find won’t give you in-depth knowledge to learn piano playing. If anything, you’ll only be scratching the surface of basic music theory lessons. This might not be in your best interest if you’re looking to play professionally.
Once you’re using an app, there’s a high possibility of technical problems. For example, you can easily get distracted if a microphone stops working or your inputs are faulty. It becomes worse when you don’t get a fix quickly as well.
However, if you need help, you can contact the Flowkey Help Centre.
Flowkey has no straightforward curriculum. However, it provides lots of different courses that are designed to create a progression in your lessons.
The modules in this course include:
- Introduction to piano
- Playing with both hands
- Playing scales
- Playing scales II
- Mastering Chords
- Improvising with chords
- Music reading training
- Intermediate piano playing
Let’s take a look at what these modules entail.
Introduction to Piano
As the name suggests, this course introduces you to the basics of playing the piano as though you had a piano teacher by your side. You can expect lessons on proper playing techniques, reading sheet music, and playing with both your hands.
The great thing about this lesson is that there are no pre-requisite skills. You’ll learn all you need from here. It also acts as a good recap course for those who already know how to play the piano.
Playing With Both Hands
This is where you get conversant with playing both hands. The Introduction to Piano course will teach you to play with your left and then your right.
Here, you’ll take exercises that train you to use both hands. These exercises are simple and build your confidence till you can play your favorite songs with two hands.
This module also introduces you to specific notes and symbols that you can incorporate into your music reading repertoire.
Every good piano player knows the importance of scales. They’re integral components of the piano. If you can master them, you’ll heighten your playing technique.
The playing scales module teaches 10 major and minor scales you can use everywhere in the piano world. What’s more? You’ll learn to play them using both hands.
Playing Scales II
This module is a build-up on Playing Scales, as you’d guess. It increases the difficulty level by introducing 12 new scales with more sharps and flats.
Learning the two scales module is a great way to increase your knowledge and skill on the piano.
Chords are simple, yes, but they define the concord of a song. To use chords, you’ll have to play more than one note simultaneously.
You’ll find chords in the majority of pop hits and your favorite songs. And this module helps you learn how to play chords with ease.
Here, you’ll learn the construction of major chords and practice playing them yourself. The module also covers arpeggios, chord inversions, and chord structure.
Improvising With Chords
This is where the real deal begins. By this time, you’ve mastered chord theory and have practiced it enough.
The next step is to harness that skill into your play. So, instead of using plain sheet music, you can improvise the way you like.
This module teaches chord accompaniment techniques that help you create and play songs and rhythms. This skill isn’t limited to any music genre; you can use it in Jazz, Blues, Sonata, and more.
Music Reading Training
The music reading training module is a compilation of eight piano lessons and music sheets. These lessons are designed to enhance your note-reading techniques.
You’ll practice with interactive exercises that test your reading technique and show you where you can improve. In addition, it’s a great confidence boost since music reading is an integral tool for any musician.
Intermediate Piano Playing
This module covers more technical plays like finger crossovers and key jumps. These plays sharpen your skills and enhance your fluidity. It also teaches more time signatures and musical symbols that will boost your flair.
Now that we’ve discussed the various modules Flowkey offers, let’s look at its best features.
Flowkey Best Features
Flowkey offers certain features that allow users to learn piano skills effectively and efficiently. We’ll discuss some of these features and what they have to offer you.
Flowkey has a huge library that allows you to learn songs—1500 in all. These songs are grouped into levels and genres so you can challenge yourself.
There are four levels you can choose from. They’re as follows:
The levels ensure you pick the right challenges for yourself. They also limit the risk of frustration as you focus on learning songs you can play instead of difficult ones.
Interestingly, each song includes a preview that will assist you in performing the tune. If you like the music in the preview, you may learn it right away by choosing “Learn this song.” You can also save it for later by hovering your mouse on the thumbnail of the song.
Even the professional tunes come with sheet music and informational videos to help you learn how to play. If the song you wish to play is above your skill level, don’t get disheartened. Flowkey helps with that.
Normally, the cost of sheet music may add up quickly. But it’s worthwhile to have full access to music from one platform. Plus, the addition of the instructions adds to the overall worth of the product.
Flowkey has a feature that allows the app to listen to you play.
Here, you play along to a tune from the app. When you play the correct notes, you’ll automatically progress to the next level. This feature helps you stay on track as the song doesn’t get ahead of you.
Once you connect your phone to a microphone or a MIDI cable, you can record all you want. The cable connections are typically better. So if you’re looking to improve your experience, you can add it up.
The split-screen is another great feature of Flowkey. It allows you to study your plays from sheet music and a player at the same time.
This feature also gives you an overall view of how someone plays the piano. Meaning even if you can’t read music now, all you have to do is watch a video and play along.
Also, this feature helps with your transitions and hand positionings as you can see how the person in the tutorial plays and follows suit. It also highlights the keys as they’re played.
You can take command of your entire piano experience when you combine split-screening with Flowkey’s speed control tools. You can see each note at the speed at which you can play it.
If something isn’t working, it’s easy to see what needs to be done. Also, it aids in learning any song, even if you don’t know all of the fundamentals. Pretty great, right?
The app includes lessons that allow you to focus on the fundamentals of piano, such as reading music. You’ll most likely learn some music reading if you combine it with the split-screen instruction.
The split-screen always shows you the sheet music while you play. Plus, you can increase the difficulty of your songs as you gain confidence in reading music.
These lessons are necessary if you want to learn how to play the piano properly. Learning to read music is similar to learning a new language. Once you’ve mastered the skill, you can use it to play any piece of piano music.
Also, learning to read music provides you with a lot more versatility when playing the piano. You might start integrating reading music to your piano playing to help you become a better player, even a singer.
Flowkey provides two versions: the free version and the premium version. Let’s see what the versions entail and how they differ from each other.
The free version is a sort of trial run. You can use it until you decide to subscribe and have more access to the Flowkey app. This is because the free trial only allows you to play a few songs and lessons.
Here, you receive:
- Limited access to courses
- Access to support
- Eight free songs
Even though the free membership version is limited, you can still learn the basics and enjoy yourself while you’re at it.
This is the paid version of the Flowkey app. With the lifetime, annual, or monthly plan, you get access to all Flowkey music lessons, including:
- Complete access to lessons and full courses
- Access to over 1000 songs in many different categories
- 24/7 support from Flowkey’s support center
If you want the full deal, the premium plan is the way to go. However, you can use the free version for a while to assess the platform by yourself.
Flowkey Playing Modes
Flowkey offers different modes that allow you to learn and practice lessons efficiently:
- Wait mode
- Slow mode
- Fast mode
In the wait mode, the app will pick up the notes you play via your microphone and wait for you to play the right note. When you hit the wrong one, it’ll wait till you get the right note before continuing. Ultimately, the wait mode helps with learning piano at your own pace.
With the slow mode, you’re allowed to slow down the tempo of the song you’re playing. This will enable you to practice till you’re conversant with the real tempo of the song. The slow mode is something that piano or keyboard instructors often use to train beginners.
The fast mode simply reverts the changes you made to its original scheme. For instance, when you change the mode to slow, the fast mode brings it back to normal, not hyperspeed.
Who Should Sign Up for Flowkey?
From beginners to experts and even those who have no prior knowledge of piano, anyone can join Flowkey. The only criteria required is to be interested. Once you want to learn, you can join the family.
If you’re still not convinced whether to give Flowkey a try or not, you can consider other alternatives that offer online piano lessons as well. Here’s a list of the most common ones:
- Piano Marvel
- Piano in 21 Days
- Playground Sessions
We’ve seen from this Flowkey review that it’s a worthwhile investment to undertake.
It allows you to learn the piano on your own with easy-to-follow videos you can look to. Flowkey also offers a great introduction to beginners, and it’s an easy app to learn from. Plus, the team is currently working on new courses on classical, pop, and game music.
So, all in all, Flowkey is worth its cost.
Read more: the best online piano lessons for kids.