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If you’re searching for online piano lessons, you’ve probably heard of Flowkey.
It’s an online learning app that will help you to gain piano skills by yourself. According to Flowkey, it will do so by teaching you the songs you love.
But is it really the best new way to learn piano?
As with any online piano course, it’s important that the app is the best one for you. Everyone has their own best way of learning, and online apps have their own specific way of delivering content.
Although there’s a great advantage of listening to a piano instructor, piano apps also have their unique benefits, including Flowkey.
Freedom to make your own practice schedule is just one of them. You’ll also be able to adjust lessons to your needs and abilities.
Moreover, you’ll have plenty of songs to choose from, and which one to start with depends completely on you.
In this Flowkey review article, we will show you Flowkey’s features and content, to help you make your own conclusion.
Table of Contents
Flowkey is a music learning app that teaches how to play the piano in an easy and effective way.
It doesn’t have many game-like features like some other piano apps, but it offers simple, concrete lessons without any unnecessary distractions.
In fact, Flowkey mostly focuses on showing you how to play songs on the piano, and whether that’s good or bad depends on your goals.
There are some music theory lessons as well, but we will get back to that later.
The most important thing is that Flowkey is a well-structured, neat piano app that provides useful features for quicker learning.
It also listens to you play, so you’ll know if you’re playing correct notes.
With Flowkey, you can learn a variety of songs on the piano, regardless of your level of experience.
How Does Flowkey Work?
Flowkey delivers its content through video lessons that focus mostly on learning songs. There are many customization options, so you can adjust the video to suit your abilities and needs.
Of course, videos are created for various levels of experience. You can search songs and lessons by level of difficulty. That will help you not to get ahead of yourself, as the app doesn’t offer a linear curriculum.
Although you won’t find step-by-step lessons, it’s easy to get around Flowkey. It has a very simple and logical interface.
To get Flowkey, you’ll need to download it on your device – it can be any device including Mac, Windows, Android, and Apple.
The app works with both acoustic and digital pianos. When you connect it with a MIDI/USB cable, you’re ready to go.
How to Sign Up With Flowkey
You can try Flowkey for free, you just need to create an account on their website.
With a free app version, you’ll have access to eight songs and the first exercises of the courses. All the app functions will also be available.
So, it’s clear that this is great but not even close to what you’ll receive with a paid subscription. This free version might be a good trial run though.
With a Flowkey membership, you’ll have access to more than 1000 songs in the library and all the lessons.
You can choose between a monthly plan (19.99 USD/EUR per month) and an annual plan (119.88 USD/EUR).
There’s also an option of a lifetime membership for 329.99 USD/EUR. It’s not available on mobile phones yet. But on the mobile app stores, you can purchase a 7-day premium trial.
Let’s find out about Flowkey’s unique features and how it actually works.
Before starting the learning process, you’ll be asked several questions to determine your goals and previous experience with the piano.
After that, you can browse through the song library or type a particular song’s name in the search bar. We’ll show you the wonders of the Flowkey song library in a minute.
After you pick a song, you’ll see a split-screen video that will show you both a bird’s eye view of the player’s hands and sheet music.
The video will also highlight the keys you need to play. It’s an easy way of learning which notes to play, but if you’re not familiar with sheet music it will take you a while to get a grasp of it only by watching.
That’s why Flowkey offers music theory lessons as well.
As we’ve mentioned before, when you start the app, you’ll be asked a few questions. One of them is whether you want to learn how to play songs or delve into some music theory.
If you’re an absolute beginner, we encourage you to start with theory lessons. They will introduce you to notation, rhythm, chords, and scales.
This is not a must if you just want to learn how to play songs on the piano for fun. But if you want to gain core piano skills, learning music theory basics is inevitable.
Even if you don’t find learning notes exciting at the moment, that knowledge will undeniably be useful for you in the future. You’ll be able to learn any song you want and even the ones in the video lessons will seem much easier to handle.
However, Flowkey theory courses are indeed basic. They will not be very beneficial for advanced players.
So, if you want to keep improving your piano skills and developing your overall musicality, you should find additional learning sources offering a more in-depth theoretical part of piano learning.
While practicing, you can use different methods: Wait Mode and Slow Mode.
In the Wait Mode, Flowkey will listen to you play via the microphone of your device. If you play an incorrect note, the app will wait until you press the correct one before moving on.
That’s a great way of learning notes, and you’ll also be sure to master all parts of the song.
If you switch to the Slow Mode, you can choose between a 50% speed and a 75% speed. That’s also something that a real teacher in a piano school would suggest.
When you feel comfortable enough, you can continue with the original tempo of the song.
Flowkey doesn’t have a built-in metronome so you’ll have to be ready to follow the cursor. That’s why it’s a good idea to learn about rhythm in theory lessons.
Nevertheless, the fact that the app is customizable is a great benefit.
On top of that, you can choose to play with separate hands. You can use the reduced speed option for only one hand too.
Playing each hand at a time first is also a common practice in piano schools, and there’s a good reason for it. If you’re a beginner, we definitely urge you to do it. You’ll feel more confident and you’ll coordinate your hands better in the end.
Another useful feature is the possibility to loop parts of the song. You can simply mark the section you want to work on, and it will play over and over until you’re ready to go forward.
All these features will help you progress faster, but also learn the songs in a way that a piano teacher would show you.
So, don’t rush with your piano learning, but rather divide songs into sections, one hand at a time, at a slower tempo. That is, in fact, a faster way of mastering the song.
The Song Library
With a collection of over 1500 songs to learn, Flowkey has one of the most extensive song libraries among online piano apps.
You can choose between 20 genre-based categories. Some of them are Classical, Rock, Jazz, Pop Hits, and Christmas music.
Some of the artists that are included in the Flowkey song collection are Rihanna, Phil Collins, Maroon 5, The Doors, and Yann Tiersen.
There is also a portion of specific niche music like video game songs, TV music (like Game of Thrones), etc. You’ll be sure to find something that you’ve always wanted to play on the piano.
You can also search songs by the level of difficulty, so you can see what’s in the section suitable for your skills. There’s an Easy, Intermediate, Hard, and Expert category.
However, even if you choose a song that is perhaps too challenging for you, the app offers several arrangements for the same song. That way, you can choose the simpler version and move to the advanced one when you’re ready.
When you pick a song, you’ll get a video featuring both a pianist’s hands and sheet music. The keys will light up so you’ll know what and when to play something.
Flowkey song tutorials are created to teach you how to play popular songs on the piano in an effective way. They might not offer a lot of insight into music theory, but they will deliver what the platform promises: you’ll learn piano with the songs you love.
Pros and Cons
It’s sometimes hard to come up with pros and cons for a piano app since the program’s effectiveness depends on individual goals and preferences.
However, there are some elements where Flowkey stands out from its competitors, as well as several drawbacks that are, on the other hand, common among similar piano apps.
Nevertheless, we hope it will help you get a better idea if Flowkey is the online piano course for you.
- Well-designed display – Flowkey’s interface has a simple, clear design that’s not too childish nor too bland.
Also, you can navigate through the app’s lessons very easily.
- Huge song library – A large selection of songs to learn is definitely Flowkey’s big advantage.
From various genres to different song arrangements, everyone can find something for their own taste and abilities.
After all, teaching how to play songs on the piano is Flowkey’s specialty.
- Customizable features – Flowkey allows you to customize your piano lessons so you can learn at your own pace.
The possibility to play with separate hands and loop particular chunks of the song enables you to learn songs in a proper way.
- Choose your own adventure – This app doesn’t have a strict curriculum so you can choose any song or theory lessons you want.
Although it’s great to have the freedom to choose, this might also be a disadvantage for people (especially beginners) who need clearer guidance and structure in learning.
- Lack of music theory – Although Flowkey provides theory courses, they are quite scarce in comparison to song tutorials.
Also, even if you go through all of them, you still won’t have an in-depth knowledge of basic musical concepts.
- Not enough technique – Video lessons don’t focus much on the piano technique either.
You’ll learn the basics, but you’ll not be getting valuable tips and tricks on how to improve your piano skills.
This knowledge is important even if you just want to learn how to play a few songs and you’re not interested in the theoretical part.
- Potential technical problems – The problem with piano apps that give you instant feedback is that sometimes the microphone input can be faulty.
When that happens, it’s easy to get distracted or even discouraged.
However, if you need technical assistance or have any questions, you can easily contact Flowkey support and get a response.
Who is Flowkey For?
Flowkey offers song tutorials and lessons aimed at different levels of experience, so it can be a good learning tool for both beginners and skilled players.
The app is probably the best for learning how to play songs though, so the previous statement applies to people who have a similar goal in mind.
If you aspire to have a well-rounded musical knowledge, you should consider additional learning resources.
Although Flowkey is suitable for beginners, if you’ve never played piano before, it might be a bit challenging to follow the split-screen that is showing you both the piano player’s hands and sheet music. This is why we keep encouraging you to take Flowkey theory courses first.
However, if you’re a beginner who simply wants to learn songs quickly and easily, you should give Flowkey a try.
Flowkey is also great for intermediate players who want to broaden their song repertoire.
There are a few quality piano apps that you should check out if you like Flowkey.
Piano in 21 Days promises to teach you how to play the piano well in less than a month. Video lessons are created and taught by the piano coach Jacques Hopkins.
Unlike Flowkey, Piano in 21 Days will completely ignore reading sheet music, so it’s great for beginners who want to learn how to play the piano for fun.
Read our full Piano in 21 Days Review here.
It’s a piano learning app that has more game-like features than Flowkey and covers useful parts of music theory.
Check out our Playground Sessions Review here.
However, Flowkey certainly has a more extensive song library than Piano in 21 Days and
Flowkey Review – Final Thoughts
All things considered, Flowkey is a truly effective app that will teach you how to play the piano through its comprehensible, well-designed videos.
It has a huge song library which is surely beneficial for anyone who wants to add new songs to their repertoire.
Lessons are divided into categories based on difficulty, so you’ll find something for yourself regardless of your level of experience.
Moreover, Flowkey has many customizable features like Slow and Wait Mode, as well as playing with an only right or left hand, which is a great (and perhaps only) way to perfect a song.
Flowkey might not give you an in-depth knowledge of music theory or teach you rather advanced techniques, but it will help you to gain basic piano skills.
It will also teach you how to play your favorite songs so you can enjoy playing them anytime.