Virtual Piano Apps
Over the past few years, many apps for phones and tablets alike have appeared on the market claiming to teach you how to how to play the piano. Some are free, and others charge you, but which ever app you choose, they are all cheaper than buying a real piano. Thousands of people all over the world are investing their time (and sometimes money) into these apps with the hopes of being a piano virtuoso after a few weeks, but is it really possible?
The short answer is no. None of our piano superstars today started their musical journey on a virtual piano. The likes of Daniel Barenboim, Yuja Wang, and even Elton John would probably shudder at the idea of replacing an accoustic or digital piano with a virtual piano. In addition to disregarding the actual instrument itself, there is no teacher on any of the virtual piano apps available. You must simply read the messages displayed on the screen and copy a series of movements – almost a poor man’s version of the Suzuki method… What’s more, if your app-learned skills are ever then transferred to a real instrument, the chances are that even if you can bash out a tune, your technique will be diabolical.
Why Do So Many People Download the Virtual Piano Apps?
If the virtual piano apps are such a bad idea, then why do so many people all over the world get sucked in by them? The answer is all down to money. Many people who want to start learning the piano assume that the whole process will be far too expensive for them to afford. When jumping to this conclusion, obviously a virtual piano app is going to be a far more appealing prospect.
In reality, learning the piano rarely breaks the bank and many people don’t realise that a digital piano or keyboard is a perfectly reasonable instrument for a beginner to learn the piano on. A digital keyboard can be priced as low £139 and an 88 note digital piano which comes with a brilliant beginners guide can cost as little as £279.99. While a beginner’s guide is still no match for a real life teacher, it will teach you more of the basics about technique and general information about a piano, than a virtual piano app ever will!
Which Instrument Do I Choose?
Once you have decided to ditch the virtual piano app and sort yourself out with a physical instrument, your biggest problem is working out what to get. Your decision is going to be determined largely by two things: your price range and your commitment to learning the piano. If you are wanting to keep things as low budget as possible and aren’t sure if piano playing is something that’s for you or not, then go for a keyboard. A keyboard is an excellent instrument to get the hang of the basics on and get a feel for what is to come. It’s certainly worth pointing out at this point that a keyboard is not the same thing as a digital piano. While there are many similarities to look at, the main difference is that a digital piano has weighted keys and a keyboard does not. Weighted keys are what makes a digital piano feel like an acoustic instrument – they mean that if you press lightly the note will sound quietly… and if you press down hard on the key then the sound will come out loud. The logistics and placement of the keys are the same, so if you’re learning to read music while you play a keyboard will definitely be a great starting point. If you then decide that playing the piano is for you then you can upgrade to a digital piano – there are many digital pianos in the Chase range that suit the needs of both beginners and accomplished pianists alike.
If you are prepared to spend a little more money and are committed to the idea of learning how to play the piano then there is a wide range of instruments to choose from. The best value for money digital pianos are from Chase with models such as the CDP-345 which is available in a variety of colours, or the Chase P-47. The best sound quality and the most authentic piano experience tend to come from Kawai digital pianos – Kawai have just released a brand new model (the KDP-110) for under £1000 which feels just like a top end grand piano.