Can Virtual Piano Help You Learn the Real One?

Discussion in 'Instruments' started by fridget11, Aug 25, 2018.

  1. fridget11

    fridget11 Newbie

    Feb 7, 2018
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    United States
    Hi guys,

    So for the past few months, I have gathered articles, blogs, and video tutorial on how a person can learn the keyboard on his/her own. But since we are living in a very modern word this catch my attention.

    Can this virtual piano and mobile apps really help you to learn the real one? Any thoughts from the members of this forum?
  3. studiodiciassette

    studiodiciassette Ultrasonic

    May 25, 2013
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    as a self-taught myself i can confirm that the virtual ones, if played via a real keyboard, can do the trick
  4. mono

    mono Audiosexual

    Jul 23, 2014
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    Floating Amongst the Stars
    Hi i use Synthesia and an m-audio 88 and yep they will help you learn
    better and faster than you ever would on your own, if you use a keyboard with weighted keys
    this also helps alot and when you get a chance to play a real piano you will be surprised.
    In the long run they say its better to learn to read music cause you don't have to remember every tune
    of by heart but you can still learn and remember 100 of tunes in you head.
    The great thing about Synthesia or any programs is that you can learn at your own pace and time
    and your friends and family will be amazed ,i can still remember my first round of applause
    for playing
    Beethoven - Moonlight Sonata lol

    Here are a few midi tunes to help get you started
    if you want to go down this road :wink:

  5. Ziko

    Ziko Guest

    You can use the sound of a virtual piano but you will still need a real digital piano with a good action to control it via usb/midi
  6. Polymetrix

    Polymetrix Platinum Record

    May 15, 2016
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    Closest thing you'll get is a 88-key-hammer-action masterkeyboard to control any given virtual one. Depending on the quality you get so close that you will notice the differences between real ones when you get to play them because the differences in terms of feeling can be quite extreme.

    If you can only use a say 49-plastic-thingy that costs 20 bucks you'll still be able to train your fingers way beyond what any touch-surfaces can do.

    Learning purely on a touchpad-type might give you the knowledge and very rudimentary ability to hit something at the right time but zero to extremely little feeling for dynamics and actual mechanics.
  7. Riot7

    Riot7 Producer

    Aug 29, 2015
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    Can a mobile app help? Yes.

    Really anything will kinda help you, especially with music theory, whether it's a touchscreen app or drawing piano keys on a blank of wood and 'playing' it while singing the notes from sheet music.

    But it's just really an extra waste of time since obviously you need an actual physical keyboard to learn to play an actual physical keyboard.

    I'm going to assume you don't have a keyboard and you're strapped for cash. You can find cheap second hand "home keyboards" for next to nothing. Probably even for free. Yamaha PSRs, Casios. You know, the ones that come with sounds and and built in speakers. People buy them for their kids and eventually they end up just lying unused in peoples closets, garages etc. just wasting space.

    Most of them are perfectly fine instruments. They sound and play fine. And what's really great about them, everything is included in one unit. You don't have to fuck around and get distracted with software or setting anything up. Get a cheap PSR from the late 90's -> and a compatible sustain pedal and you are good to go. Usually the PSR models even come with quite useful song learning modes, metronomes, backing tracks, sheet music displays etc. and have a MIDI output so you can also use it as a midi controller in the future.

    edit: one more thing.

    If/when you get a keyboard, the best way to start is to pick one single boring traditional learning course and stick with it. There are a lot of options out there, you can find some on the sister site and on torrent sites. The ones that start by telling you to sit with your back straight, how to hold your wrist etc. People have been teaching piano playing for centuries now. It's like science. Even that boring stuff you want to skip over is there for a reason. Pick one course first, stick with it, do all the practices, even the boring ones, and you absolutely WILL learn the basics and quite fast too.
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2018
  8. Aileron

    Aileron Rock Star

    Jan 5, 2017
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    Nice question, @fridget11. All you need to know is in the replies above, I'm just here to corroborate. When I was a kid (many years back, I'm one of the elderlings around here) we had a Steinway grand at our house which belonged to my mom. I wanted a guitar, never really learned to play piano at the time although I'd sit down at it and use it as tuning reference for my electric hollowbody Gibson. I would fiddle around on the keys though and did learn piano versions of guitar chords rather well. Now in the age of DAWs and virtual instruments, contemporary technology is giving me a chance to pick up where I left my self-tuition off and I can assure you that an old Roland HP (or similar type, with "real" keys), alone or on a good virtual piano, is functionally equal to the wooden thing, certainly for learning (formally, as well as improvising). To discern which is a "good" virtual instrument, well there are a bunch of 'em out there to compare and pick the one(s) from you find interesting for tone to and inspiring to fool around with.
    To answer your query: try it! Good luck.:guru:
  9. Midi Mouze

    Midi Mouze Member

    Jun 7, 2018
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    Berlin, Krautland
  10. orbitbooster

    orbitbooster Kapellmeister

    Jan 8, 2018
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    Well, yes, they do help. But of course it takes a lot of time, study and commitment to reach results, no miracles. Also, there are keyborads that light up keys. Unfortunately most apps do not provide fingering, that is essential.
    I also use Synthesia to wipe doubts slowing down on difficult passages (ex. Winter Wind - Chopin).