When you are looking to learn how to play the piano you may be struck by how many options there are. You can go for video lessons, in-person lessons or something a bit more interactive. Flowkey falls into the interactive category. It teaches people how to play the piano with a variety of lessons that you can undertake on your device.
In this Flowkey review, we’re looking at some of the very top features of the platform and whether it might be the right option for you as an aspiring musician. Is this the easiest way to learn piano, or are you setting yourself up for a fall?
A lot of people who are looking to learn more about Flowkey are searching for information because they are buying a new keyboard or digital piano and access to Flowkey is actually included for free, or a three-month trial might come as part of the package. Is it worth activating your trial and getting started? What sort of things can you learn from these lessons?
Table of Contents
Getting Started With Flowkey
So, how simple is it to get started on the Flowkey platform? Luckily, it is extremely easy to link to your piano and start to play some music. Flowkey is multi-platform so you can download the app on whatever device you plan to use. This can be a laptop, but a lot of people choose a tablet as it is a more convenient size.
Flowkey is interactive, meaning that it can detect what you are playing. This can work in multiple ways. If you have a digital model with MIDI compatibility you can connect your device using USB-MIDI connection. The software is relatively easy to use and set up with MIDI, and it will recognize the notes you are playing. If you aren’t able to do this then Flowkey, like some of the other models on the list, can be used with your device’s microphone and detect the notes you are playing.
The app will ask you some questions about your existing knowledge of music and piano, and from here it can help to work out which step you are at, and which of the included lessons will make the best starting point for you.
A lot of people who are looking to get started with Flowkey are activating their free trial, or want to try the free version before committing to buying the software.
What Does Flowkey Include?
There are a lot of apps promising to help you to play piano, but not all of them have the same features and functions. For example, some provide a lot more video content while others try and turn learning into a game and have purely interactive lessons and activities. Yousician is an example of this “gamifying” of music.
Flowkey combines a few different aspects. There are video lessons that can help you to learn some of the basics of piano. There are also some play-along videos, showing you what is happening in the sheet music, and with a pianist’s fingers, and encouraging you to play along with the same songs. There are also some further activities in there and lots of sheet music for pop hits and classical music alike.
Flowkey also has a whole area of the app devoted to learning music theory, something a lot of the competing apps don’t do. This means that those who are keen to learn some of the inner workings of piano and complex styles of music might find Flowkey to be more effective than some of the apps that just teach you which keys you need to play to replicate songs, but don’t delve into reading sheet music and other aspects of learning piano.
Free Version vs Paid Version
Almost all of the apps to help people learn to play the piano have some sort of free version. This can help them to promote their app and give people the chance to make the decision on whether they want to purchase and whether they enjoy the platform enough to pay a monthly subscription for the piano lessons.
There is a free version of Flowkey, and it is pretty good for those just getting started learning piano, playing a few of the basics and trying to get to grips with how the keyboard works. From here, it then starts to restrict some of the features and functions. This is really no surprise as most of the piano apps do it. So, what do you get on the free version?
The free Flowkey app includes:
- A few of the beginner lessons including “introduction to the piano” and “playing with both hands” to get you started.
- 8 free songs to get started learning to play along with.
- Access to the brand’s support staff.
The fully paid version of the app includes:
- All of the lessons and multiple piano courses including learning how to read sheet music and a bit about music theory.
- Access to all of the interactive Flowkey songs. There are over 1000 songs and new ones are being added all the time.
As you can see, the app is a pretty standard “freemium” product in terms of the course, but the main value for money comes from that incredible amount of songs that you can start to learn piano playing. You might assume that there are just a few genres or that they are all pop songs, but actually there is an incredible mix of songs and you can choose which you want to learn based on both difficulty and your own personal preference. You can even choose the songs based on their mood, and whether you plan to learn happy or sad pieces of music.
Some of the categories of music include Jazz, classical, pop, game music, film & TV favorites, rock, and even seasonal songs when it gets to Christmas time. There really are plenty of songs to get to grips with, and this is arguably the main thing people pay their subscription for.
How Much Flowkey Costs
Flowkey is one of the more expensive options if you want to pay monthly and not be tied into a long-term deal.
The app costs $19.99 a month. This may seem like a lot, especially when you are comparing it to some free apps or video lessons you might find online. However, for the huge music library, it could well be worth it. Plus, if you consider this in comparison to the cost of having lessons in person, Flowkey might start to look like great value.
There are other options for the payment, too. You can get much better value if you are happy to sign up for the longer term. If you pay for a whole year, it works out at less than $10 a month. If you sign up for lifetime then it is $329.99.
If you know you are going to stick to learning piano, play loads of the songs in the repertoire and still be using the app in a year’s time then it could be worth going with a longer-term investment to save some money.
This does work out more expensive than some of the competing piano and music apps, but Flowkey is still an incredibly popular option.
Flowkey vs Simply Piano
Another justification for spending a little bit more on Flowkey is the fact that it has a lot more information on reading music and music theory than some of the other options. There are plenty of apps that might teach you the basics of piano and some songs, but if you want to start out reading sheet music with the goal of eventually becoming a professional or high-end musician then it could be worth investing more for an app that has a focus on this.
Compare Flowkey to a product like Simply Piano and you will see the difference. While Simply Piano does have some great video lessons, it doesn’t have this same focus on sheet music. Those who really want to learn music in the “old-fashioned” way and be able to sight read or just play music from sheets rather than having to watch a tutorial can learn how to play on Flowkey and ensure they get the proper musical grounding.
Flowkey Playing Modes
One of the key tasks, when you are learning how to play the piano through a piano app like this, is to keep up with the song as it ticks along. This can be incredibly hard for beginners who are not sure what they are doing and just want to slow down to focus on the next note!
Flowkey’s answer to this is to include a number of different playing modes which are very good for beginners and can be used with all of their lessons and songs. These modes allow for much more of a slow-paced experience which talks you through the steps and doesn’t leave you feeling too confused as you go through the songs.
- Wait Mode -This is a way to play songs with interactive feedback. The app can tell you where you have gone wrong and allow you to address this the next time you play the songs.
- Loop Mode – This allows you to loop a certain section. For example if you are struggling to get to grips with one of the pop hits on their songs list then you can use loop mode to get through the areas you are struggling with and ensure you have fully understood.
- Slow Motion Mode – This allows you to set the speed, playing nice and slowly until you have totally got to grips with how to play a song.
All of these modes are simple to implement and you might find that one is way more useful than the others for your own specific style or the things you are struggling with. Every learner is different and without a piano teacher there with you in person, you might find that these different playing modes help a lot.
Pros and Cons of Yousician – Review What Works for You!
Our review wouldn’t be complete without a simple overview of the pros and cons of the software. What are the strengths and what are the weaknesses? There is a lot to like about this app, and it certainly does a good job of teaching you to play the piano, but it does have a few downsides.
Flowkey Summary – The Best App for Theory?
If you are wondering how to learn piano and looking for the perfect app, you should know that there is no such thing! For people who want to learn how to read music and who are keen to ensure their music knowledge comes with a classical grounding then this could be the best app. There are a huge amount of songs to learn, with more being added by the Flowkey team, too.
If you don’t mind paying a bit more for the membership than some of the other options then Flowkey is a good option, plus, you might have some free time to use with a trial included from the company that manufactured your piano or keyboard.