In this Flowkey review we give you the pros and cons of one of the web’s most-popular “learn piano online” apps, to help you make an informed decision on whether this piano learning app is this right one for you.
Table of Contents
- What Is FlowKey?
- How Does It Work?
- How Quickly Can I Learn to Play the Piano with FlowKey?
- What Equipment Do I Need?
- What’s Included With FlowKey?
- What Is the FlowKey Curriculum?
- For Beginners
- Lessons About Piano Chords
- Pros and Cons
- Is It Worth It?
Let’s get right into it!
What Is FlowKey?
FlowKey is a popular piano app that teaches you to play all kinds of songs on the piano. The teaching app comes with an array of online courses and private lessons that are great for learners at different learning stages.
FlowKey features cross-platform software, which means that the app is compatible with more than one type of operating system. You can download it to your PC, phone (Android or iPhone), tablet, laptop, or iPad.
How Does It Work?
The first step you need to partake in to use FlowKey is to download the app on your digital device. Once installed, you will have to create an account. You can also sign up with your Google or Facebook account. After you’re signed in, you can get started with eight free songs.
The system will ask you “have you played piano before?” You’ll have to choose from the options “Nope, not yet” or “Yes, I have.” Choosing one will enable the app to recommend suitable songs according to your competence level. As you play a song, the app provides you with immediate feedback. FlowKey uses your device’s microphone to hear you play and give its two cents.
To play your first song, you need to load a tutorial video and play along with it. You can see hand positioning on the top of the screen and the music sheet below. The keys are highlighted as the song progresses. After you’ve finished playing the song, you are taken to the main dashboard, which consists of four sections – browse, search, my songs, and courses.
How Quickly Can I Learn to Play the Piano with FlowKey?
Whether you’re relearning the basics or working to take your playing to the next level, flowkey has lessons that will get you started and keep you pushing the whole way through. The way that flowkey’s tutorials walk you through every step is something that beginner or relearning musicians find extremely helpful.Relearning an instrument can sometimes be just as hard as learning for the first time. Although it’s common for muscle memory kick in when someone who hasn’t played in years sits down at a piano and lets their fingers naturally find the right keys, but this might take some plunking around a few bad notes first. The magic of muscle memory doesn’t necessarily kick in right away – if at all. The app asks right away how long you’ve been playing to gain an idea of the lesson plan will be best for you. This app also asks which type of instrument you own or are most familiar with: either an acoustic piano such as an upright or a grand, or an electric piano like a keyboard or synthesizer. This generates a sense of which techniques and music theory concepts the user is probably most familiar with, and which ones are likely going to require some extra attention. You can also select the Continue Without an Instrument option to make all of your lessons conducted entirely on the app itself with no external instrument required.Depending on what level you’re at, you might start out learning songs or playing through the basics. No matter what stage of musical development you’re at, flowkey’s design makes it intuitive and entertaining.
FlowKey offers one of the easiest ways to play the piano. It has thousands of songs that you can learn to play using a wait mode, slow mode, or a fast mode. As you play a song, you receive instant feedback, which allows you to practice more and improve your piano playing skills. The FlowKey tutorials are super basic and straightforward – ideal for beginners.
What Equipment Do I Need?
To use FlowKey, you need a digital device such as your smartphone (android or iPhone), PC, tablet, iPad, or laptop and a digital or acoustic piano.
Even though you can use any high-quality keyboard, it’s best to opt for a Yamaha instrument.
Why do we recommend a Yamaha digital piano?
Because if you purchase a Yamaha keyboard (during the promotional period), you get to access FlowKey Premium for three months without any charge at all!
To get this offer, all you need to do is register your Yamaha instrument on the Yamaha Music Member Europe (YMME) portal. You will then receive an activation code by email from Yamaha. Follow the link to the FlowKey homepage (given in the email), enter the code, and enjoy free piano lessons!
What’s Included With FlowKey?
The digital app heavily focuses on learning a variety of songs; so you will see a great many song categories as follows:
Films & TV
You also get to choose songs to play from these variant categories. Each song icon features a color mark on its upper left corner. These colors represent four FlowKey levels:
- Green for beginners
- Orange for intermediate players
- Red for advanced players
- Purple for Professional players
Each song comes with a preview that helps beginners to understand how a song should be played. If you like the previewed song, you can play it then and there by clicking on “Learn this song.” You can also save it for later by clicking the icon over the song’s thumbnail.
When clicked on a song, the video loads in a split-screen mode with the pianist performing on the top and the sheet music at the bottom. There is also a bird’s eye view on top that allows you to see the notes and fingers being used on the piano.
Pianists also get to choose the practice mode to learn to play the piano more effectively. They have three options:
- Wait Mode – allows you to play a song at your own pace
- Slow Mode – slows the speed of a song by 50% – 75%
- Fast Mode – plays a song at its original tempo
While playing a song, you continuously receive auditory feedback. In case you are struggling with a specific part of the song, you can “loop a small section,” which allows you to practice a phrase by repetition.
What Is the FlowKey Curriculum?
FlowKey offers a variety of courses known as the “theory lessons.” These are the courses that you can take at any time in no specific order. Each lesson comes in the form of a short video with instructions to play the song.
There are eight courses in FlowKey. Most of the courses in the app are aimed at beginners and intermediate players. These theory courses are:
- Introduction to the Piano
- Playing with Both Hands
- Intermediate Piano Playing
- Mastering Chords
- Improvising Chords
- Music Reading Training
- Playing Scales
- Playing Scales II
FlowKey offers two of its courses for free online. Let’s look at their free lesson content in detail:
- First steps: In the first piano lesson, beginners learn to familiarize themselves with the keyboard and learn to play the easy version of Beethoven’s classic “Ode to Joy” in C position.
- Easy songs for the right hand: beginners master the C position from their right hand and learn to play classics such as “Jingle Bells” and “When the Saints Go Marching In.”
- Playing with the left hand: beginners learn to play simple melodies from their left hand using the C position. They learn to master Elvis Presley’s hit song “Love Me Tender.”
- Intro to Reading Sheet Music: Learn to read sheet music by understanding different keys, their names, and musical notations.
- Playing with Both Hands: Has step-by-step tutorials to practice playing the piano using the left and right hand.
- The C Major Chord: learn to play the C major chord and songs based on the C major
- Three Popular Chords: learn to play the A minor chord, F major chord, and G major chord
- Intro to Chord Accompaniment: understand the chord accompaniment by playing the popular “let it be” by The Beatles.
- Playing Melodies of Popular Songs: Learn essential techniques to play popular songs
- Special Training: Learn how to play the piano faster
Lessons About Piano Chords
- Getting Started with Four Basic Chords: Introduction to four basic chords
- Playing Songs with Four Piano Chords: learn to play famous songs with four piano chords
- Major Chords: Develop an understanding of the major chords and practice them
- Minor Chords: Develop an understanding of the minor chords and practice them
- Basic Chord Accompaniment Patterns: Learn to play different rhythmic patterns
- Four-note Chords: Learn advanced chords such as sixth and seventh chords
- Case Study: Repeat everything you have learned so far
- Advanced Chord Accompaniment Patterns: Teach how to improve accompaniment patterns
- Improvising in Various Pop Styles: Build and practice your own styles of music
Pros and Cons
With a paid subscription plan, you get access to all +1000 song lessons, including popular songs such as “A thousand years,” “He’s a pirate,” “Can you feel the love tonight,” etc.
You can also access to all the premium courses that we have mentioned in the section: What Is the FlowKey Curriculum?
- Access to a massive library of songs
- Cool and modern user interface
- Practice songs in small chunks
- Play songs in different modes – wait, slow, or fast
- Each lesson plan consist of video tutorial and music sheet
- Affordable than a piano teacher
- Lack of informational videos
- Lack of complex piano skills and techniques
- No built-in metronome in the app
Is It Worth It?
FlowKey is fun and easy to set up. It features thousands of song lessons along with video tutorials and music sheets. Regardless of the proficiency level, FlowKey has something for everyone. You can learn to play as many songs as you want.
To get a feel of the app, we recommend you use its free account first. It might be as well worth it to use the app’s 3-month subscription plan and save your money at the same time.
FlowKey VS Yousician
FlowKey features a simple yet modern user interface while Yousician has a more fun and game-type layout. Unlike Yousician, FlowKey offers a bunch of free courses and songs that are easy and quick to master. You can also access to FlowKey courses in any order you like. However, Yousician is like a video game with different levels. You need to pass each level to unlock the next stage.
FlowKey VS Simply Piano
FlowKey offers a fast learning pace than Simply Piano. Because of this major difference, FlowKey is more fun and exciting to use than Simply Piano. You will also learn to play the piano quicker with FlowKey than Simply Piano. FlowKey also has a vast, updated music library that allows you to play a variety of songs and develop a better understanding of notes, chords, scales, etc.
FlowKey VS Playground Sessions
Playground Sessions is a lot detailed than FlowKey. It offers a wide range of lessons, covering from the basics like hand coordination to notations to playing by ear to advanced music theories and lots more. While FlowKey lets you have lifetime access to its free content, Playground Sessions has only a 30-day free trial. The latter is also quite a serious platform with useful and comprehensive guides, lessons, tutorials, etc.
Even though FlowKey is relatively new on the block, it has seamlessly made its way into the best piano teaching apps. All sorts of pianists – beginners, intermediate, and advanced players – can find immense value in the app’s ever-so expanding music library. The app keeps track of your progress and lets you learn the instrument at your own pace. All in all, FlowKey is worth your time and investment!