May 1st, 2015 | by VoiceCouncil
Just open the app and start playing. When you shift the keyboard up or down, it can be disorienting for a moment.
You can choose which octaves and how many notes are visible on the screen. Simple and effective.
This app doesn’t need a lot of extras. You can select several different instrument sounds, set sustain level, key labels and number of keys visible. The keys are actually velocity sensitive to a certain extent.
Some say adamantly that version 3 is better than the more recent version 4.
When I discovered the “broken pub piano” setting in this app, I had to laugh. It is always nice when app developers have a sense of humor. Furthermore, the app developers must know I have a pet peeve for perma-sustain. Thank god, I can control the sustain in this app. I find it a little disorienting when I jump up or down the keyboard on this app. For a split second, I’m always looking at the notes going, “where the heck am I?” On the other hand I like that I can instantly move the keyboard to whatever octave(s) I want. I can jump by one pitch at a time, use the slider, or jump by octave. I love having the key labels on (even though I know the notes perfectly well) because it reminds me which octave I’m in, if I have been jumping around. I don’t really see why they made the keys velocity sensitive (i.e. if you hit it harder, the sound is brighter and louder) since no one would actually use this app as a performance instrument, but hey, it is kind of neat, I guess.
To me this app is mostly a pitch reference. If I don’t have a pitched instrument nearby, I can play pitches or chords with this app. The app will let you play four or more notes at once. As a singer, I can’t just push a button on my voice and know for sure what note I am singing. That is why singers find it so handy to have a way of referencing pitch at all times.
When I am not near a piano or if I need a silent way to practice (just plug in the earphones), this app allows me to get a lot of musical tasks done. I can figure out a harmony, memorize chord progressions, compose melodies or chord progression and even practice my ear training and music theory. Of course, a real piano would be much better, but I can’t use that when I’m on a train or in a hotel room. I have even used this app to help my guitar player tune his guitar (don’t ask me why he didn’t have his tuner or his phone with him – I can’t remember).
I once saw someone using an app like this thinking that she could actually learn how to play piano. Let me clear something up: you can do a ton of useful things with this app, but learning to play piano is not really one of them. Sure, you can learn note names, a little music theory, and gain an understanding of how a piano is organized, but this app is not a performance tool and does not allow you to develop the necessary skills to play a real piano. So if you have a dream of becoming a pianist, please switch to a real keyboard as soon as possible!