Want to really improve your piano skills? Making the most of your practice time is key! Learn how to use piano apps as you practice in this guest post by Aravind Abraham from OnlinePianist…
Piano students, you probably know by now that regular practice is essential to your progress and overall success. And luckily, practicing doesn’t have to be boring! Music apps provide a fun way to spice up your practice routine, and are a great way to supplement your piano lessons.
Let’s take a look at seven ways you can use piano apps to improve your skills, sharpen your technique, and make the most of your time in between lessons.
- Use Apps to Practice Scales
Scales are fundamental to every pianist regardless of level. From beginner to virtuoso, pianists need to constantly tickle the ivories to stay sharp. A great app to use for this is Musiclock. If you’re interested in making scale practice fun, try this one. It has the grooviest set of backing tracks that you can use for scales and general improvising.
- Use Apps to Practice Reading Sheet Music
Reading sheet music is an important part of being a good pianist. The age-old language has been passed from generation to generation and withstood the test of time. While not specifically an app, the best new software for sight reading has to be Sight Reading Academy, a website that you can access from any device. You’ll get daily sight reading exercises and training to help you improve your skills.
MTA SightReadPlus is another good option — this piano app shows you a note to play on the staff and then listens as you play it on your piano. It can be tuned to your instrument, so it works even if your piano is older and down-tuned.
- Use Apps to Master Chords and Notes
The ability to quickly recognize chords and notes is an important skill for any musician, but especially pianists. Piano Notes Pro is an awesome app to master this skill. You can choose the clef, range, accidentals, number of notes to quiz, etc. and then you play the notes on the piano on the screen. It’s extremely customizable and easy to use. It can also be used with MIDI input so that you can play the notes that come up on the screen.
- Use Apps for Aural Training On-The-Go
How often do you work on ear training? Tenuto is a good aural training app for recognizing chords, intervals, and so on. It also shows you how everything looks on the keyboard.
Another good option for ear training practice is Right Note, a great app to learn about intervals, pitch, and melody.
- Use Apps to Practice Performing
Ready for your debut on stage? You can practice playing concertos with Play Mozart, which features high-quality orchestral recordings with an on-screen score. You set the tempo and the music (and orchestra) scrolls and plays. It’s a great option if you want to get a feel for working with a real orchestra, and the sound quality is excellent.
Also in this category is Home Concert Xtreme, which lets you load in any MIDI score.
- Use Apps to Review Musical Notation
- Use Apps to Play Your Favorite Songs
If you want to practice playing songs with a piano app, try OnlinePianist. This online piano app contains an interactive library of songs, chords, and animated notes. It has over a dozen features, including a metronome, tempo adjustment, a sustain indicator, and built-in lessons.
Outside of the recommendations above, there are plenty of other helpful apps for musicians. Ultimately, the goal is the same whether you use one app or another — to maximize your piano potential. Have fun exploring, practicing, and playing!
Aravind Abraham lives in Tel Aviv, Israel and has been involved with the piano since he was a kid. Having first taken piano lessons in school, he then spent a few years performing as a keyboardist for bands in Auckland, New Zealand. He now manages OnlinePianist’s marketing, emphasizing their vision of helping today’s technologically savvy society learn the piano online.