The internet makes teaching yourself to play an instrument a lot easier. You can stay in the comfort of your own home and access lessons taught by experienced instructors. And now with mobile technology proliferating, it gets even more convenient. You can take your lessons with you wherever you go.
For students of piano, a wi-fi connected mobile device can be the ultimate learning companion. You can prop the device on your music stand, fire up your lessons and get to learning. In addition, you have a range of apps and online tools that you can access to make the experience fun and easy. If you are ready to launch in to the curriculum, try an online course that covers all of the basics of piano.
As you get going, you might be interested in some additional ways your mobile device can enhance your experience, help you learn and grow, or just make things a little easier. You will likely find the device to be an indispensable tool.
You can easily use your device for recording and playback, which is something you will definitely want to do as you are learning your way around the piano. Often, you will find striking differences between how you thought you sounded and how you do sound. And when you listen objectively, you can pinpoint areas for improvement.
Your device likely has a sound recorder already installed, which should be good enough for your purposes here. But if you want to open up some additional possibilities you might also give Soundcloud a spin. Designed as a social network for music sharing, a music discovery site, and a recording tool all in one, Soundcloud can be a lot of fun. You can use it to collect your recordings privately. And if you have one you really like, you can share it with the community. Not only is this a fun way to boast, it provides you with a way to meet other musicians and ask for feedback
Stay in time
The big analog metronome you set on the piano stand might be nostalgic, but you can be more efficient by allowing your mobile device to do the job of keeping time. It is just as important as ever to use a metronome to make sure you are keeping with the pace and rhythm of the piece you are learning. And you can find plenty of great options to do that for you either on the web or in the app store for your device.
Play on the go
Want to fit in a little practice time on-the-go? Sure a touch screen is less than ideal if you’re working on your technique, but there may be some basic study or exercises that you can do with a good virtual piano app. At the least, you can use it to noodle around and improvise a little bit.
Look for one with good ratings and reviews. You might also consider whether it comes bundled with additional tools for music learning and creation. Many times, they do.
If you’d like guided instruction on how to make use of a tool like this, there is a course that will take you through an online virtual piano and explain how you can use it in your piano education.
Play with others
With video-conferencing apps like Skype or Google Hangouts, you can communicate with other musicians and music educators in real time. You may find this a less than ideal solution for jamming (you might need your PC for that) but if you want to trade licks or even work with a tutor, this could be a fun option you can try at home. If you feel less than comfortable with video-conferencing and would like to get acquainted before you go connecting with people, you can take a course that will show you everything you need to know about Microsoft’s Lync tool. If you end up wanting to use a different app, like Skype, the skills should be generally transferable.
Back yourself up
Are you a budding improvisational pianist? If you are hoping to use the piano as a medium for self-expression, you probably want to hear what you sound like with other players. No doubt, you will want to set up opportunities for playing in groups. But that can be difficult to arrange very often.
Another option you can take on is creating your own accompaniment using apps for basic loop production. Most of these apps will be fairly easy to learn, and the best of them create professional quality audio. Caustic 2 for Android is a great option. If you are using the iPad, you can build your loops in GarageBand.
Depending on how comfortable you are with creating basic melodies, harmonies and rhythms, you may want to boost your skills in basic music concepts with a music theory course. You can also work on your improvisational skills in a course that can get you started on piano improv starting on day one.
Write your own songs
If you find that you really enjoy composing music, you can also download apps that will help with that as well. There are ones that will allow you to write out musical notation and others that will help you develop chord progressions. These are user-friendly and approachable apps that will easily become a staple in the collection of any aspiring songwriter.
Advancements in technology have introduced an entirely new way of approaching the piano that lets you learn everything you need to know right from your own piano bench. And beyond this capability, mobile devices offer a range of apps and tools that will make your experience, fun engaging, and convenient.