If you are in the market for an online piano lesson, you have probably know about Pianoforall.
With more than 250k students, Pianoforall is a well-known online piano course that uses a chord-based, “play first, ask questions later” method that will get you sounding like a professional immediately.
Creator, Robin Hall mentions that his e-book course will train you to “play piano by ear, improvise, create compositions, after which eventually learn piano sheet music,” with every “bite-sized” lesson planned to move you from one skill to the next in a short period of time in a logical approach.
“Based on testimonials, 20-30 minutes of each day practice will be all it takes to begin sounding good within a number of days.”
So, how does Pianoforall work? Will it reside as much as its claims? Continue reading – I will share you all the things you should know in this reviews to determine whether if Pianoforall is the right course for you.
What you’ll need for this course
“Piano for all” is quite flexible when it comes to what you will require to use the course, however a piano or keyboard is of course non-negotiable.
It would be great if you can at least get a 61-key keyboard and begin practicing rather than without a keyboard.
Nevertheless, I would still suggest upgrading to an 88-key digital piano with fully weighted keys as soon as possible in the event you are really serious about learning the piano.
Usually 61-key keyboards are unweighted or semi-weighted, which means they will feel much more lighter and totally different from an acoustic piano keyboard.
“Digital pianos, alternatively, normally have 88 hammer action keys that try to replicate the feeling of an acoustic piano as closely as possible, which helps develop proper finger energy and method.”
When it comes to tech, you have the choice of downloading the e-books onto your Mac, iPhone, PC, iPad, or Android device.
For an iPhone or iPad, you will require the Readdle Documents app.
An Android device requires the EZPDF Reader Lite app, which costs USD 1.
The Pianoforall site has detailed information and all links for the downloads, in addition to a compressive troubleshooting guides for you when the set-up isn’t going well.
Together with your one-time purchase of the course, you will get:
- 9 e-books + 1 bonus e-book – These complete e-books take you thru numerous styles of piano music with chords, tunes, and exercises, guiding you just sufficient theory for every lesson. I will go into more detail on every book below.
- 200 video lessons – Provided in the e-book itself, these videos reinforce skills with explained keyboard plays by Robin Hall. He demonstrates on a lower keyboard whereas an animated keyboard above guide you which notes he’s playing, showing it clear which notes you should play, what your hands should play like, and the way it should sound.
- 500 audio tunes and exercises – These are beside every exercise to guide you rapidly what it should sound like. Auditory learners particularly will benefit from listening to every exercise before trying to play it.
Every e-book covers a unique aspect of piano playing and builds on each other so that you are putting the skills you have learned into practice.
Aside from Books Nine, which can be used at any time, it’s best to read the books in order.
Book One: Party Time – Rhythm Style Piano
The first book is an introduction to the course and the keyboard.
It starts by stating the primary concept of Pianoforall – that it’s important to lay the foundation of chords and rhythms before learning melody composition, improv, and sight-reading skills beyond that.
It shows you to the notes on the keyboard and then moves immediately into playing some fundamental three-note chords, reminded you that like learning guitar, it’s more important to play than to worry about the concept at this early stage.
Book One also guides musical notation, including rests and fundamental rhythm.
While most traditional curriculum spend some time on note-naming and rhythm exercises, this section moves faster. You will probably have to keep revisiting it to make sense of later exercises.
The rest of the book progresses by guiding you a family of chords and introducing a rhythm associated with fashionable music, which you can use with the chords to play a music.
All in all, you’ll study ten rhythms and eleven fundamental chords in Book One.
The chords are guided with the assumption that you’ll be learning chord symbols in songbooks, like guitar players do. Thus, it guide you what to play whenever you encounter seventh chord or slash chord symbols.
By the end of the book, you must be able to play the chords and rhythms of a number of popular songs when you and/or a buddy sing the melody.
You should also be able to play the simple and lovely “Amazing Broken Chord Ballad.”
Book Two: Blues & Rock n Roll
Book Two builds on your knowledge by guiding you blues rhythms to use with the chords you already learn.
The first concept that it focus is that you need to practice left hand rhythms rather more than the right hand, till you are able to play them in your sleep.
This book is brief compared to the Book One, however it still guides 5 blues rhythms and the right way to play a twelve-bar blues in any key.
Book Three: Chord Magic
Book Three is a bit heavy. It teaches you the chords of each single key, including their inversions.
Thanks to Pianoforall , it also offers you with an “all chords memory trick” that makes the information dump simpler to handle, along with many practice progressions to learn how to play of the new material.
You will also face the “cycle of fifths” (generally known as “circle of fifths”), a concept meant to encourage you to practice all the keys, guide you the relationship between them, and allow you to understand the overall structure of music.
Book Four: Advanced Chords Made Easy
This book continues to guide you the right way to play chords from chord symbols found in songbooks, beginning with a “magic formula” for bluffing a couple more advanced chords.
A Barry Manilow-inspired piece known as “Manilow Mood” will have you studying new musical devices before you try to write a Manilow-style composition by yourself.
Cluster chords and Diminished chords come next, with plenty of practice progressions.
The book ends strong with a lesson on Beatles styling and a whole list of Beatles songs, which you’ll be able to play with the rhythms and chords you already know.
Book Five: Ballad Style
Book Five approaches ballad-style playing by introducing a step-by-step method for creating your personal ballad-style songs.
The method encourages experimentation with left-hand chord patterns and the forgiving pentatonic scale.
This book is all about learning the right way to improvise, giving concepts for the melody, left-hand pattern, and chord progressions.
You will then discover ways to apply the ballad process to songs you know by building “Auld Lang Syne” from the bottom up.
Included in this guide is the sheet music for quite a number of lovely ballads, which you will probably enjoy playing.
Since that is the first book to show you about melody in depth, these are the first full-length pieces in the course that will really stand on their very own as solo piano pieces.
The melody lines for many well-known Christmas carols are also available, however you’ll need to practice your skills by including the left hand yourself.
Book Six: All That Jazz & Blues
This part of the course is content-heavy, however you’ll come out with an amazing jazz and blues foundation.
It begins by instructing you the right way to get a “bluesy” sound using the blues scale, blues chords, and other tips, before proceed to jazz.
Instead of learning to read advanced jazz rhythms, you’re advised to learn the rhythms by listening to and copying the audio clips.
Book Six walks you thru jazz in 4 distinct keys, offers you a number of suggestions and tips for jazz improvisation, and serves up many cool practice progressions.
You will study all about quartal harmony before finishing up with a complete lesson in seventh chords.
Book Seven: Advanced Blues & Fake Stride
Book Seven builds on Book Two by including your advanced chord knowledge and enjoyable new right-hand chord riffs to the blues rhythms that you just learned.
You’ll also study blues devices, such as tremolo, slides, and turnarounds.
The second a part of this book guides you about stride piano—both real and fake, the difference being the length of the “stride” your hand is taking.
You will apply your knowledge with “the music you’ve been ready for” – “The Entertainer” ending the section on a high note!
Book Eight: Taming the Classics
Since this part largely depends on sheet music, starting with a recap of musical notation and a fast lesson on key signatures, new symbols, and musical language. It also offers you a useful list of practice ideas.
Hall guides you to sight read music “the Pianoforall way,” which implies watching out for familiar chords and motifs, and that the notes which are sharp or flat due to the key signature are given in red for better spotting.
You will then get into taking part in classical piano pieces, including popular names like Beethoven, Bach, and Chopin.
In case you have an objective of playing more pieces from sheet music after the Pianoforall course, I suggest spending more time on this part, improving your skills in reading music, tone, and pedaling.
Book Nine: Speed Learning
Hall was intelligent with the name of this book, which is all about triads, scales, and arpeggios, aka the “vegetables” of learning the piano.
If my piano instructor had referred to this area as “speed learning”, I believe would have been more keen to sit down and do it.
Nevertheless, as the book mentions (and as I can attest to), incorporating these components into your regular practice is an important method to enhance your playing.
Whereas that is the ninth book within the course, it combines practice “workout” routines and memory tricks that needs to be used from the start.
This section of the course will help you further understand the triads, key signatures, seventh chords, and melodic patterns, that are all very helpful for the learning in the other books.
Bonus Book: The Practice of Mindfulness
This brief e-book isn’t directly related to piano, however it contains recommendations on creativity, focus, and incorporating mindfulness into your each day routine, all practices that are useful for learning an instrument.
Pros and Cons
Now let’s review the number of pros and cons of “Piano for all” teaching course.
- Visual and auditory classes. Compare to classic ebooks and printed curricula, Pianoforall offers you with visual and auditory methods to study the content, which is very useful for newbies who aren’t yet ready reading music. Having the videos and audio clips embedded in the ebooks makes it very simple to access this content whenever you want it.
- Jumps right in to playing. You’ll really feel like you are making progress from the beginning session.
- Makes use of well-known songs. Not only does this make it simpler to play by ear, you’ll feel excited being able to play songs that you know.
- Promotes musicality. Playing by ear, improvising, and composing melodies are sometimes largely ignored in piano methods for newbies. Pianoforall teaches these comprehensive skills, providing you with a strong base of musicality and making sure that you will have something to play at all times.
- Makes you practice your left hand instead of traditional piano curriculum. As is the case for a lot of piano players who learn the traditional method, I was accustomed to specializing in the right hand. As my pieces bought more advanced, I had to dedicate plenty of time to practicing the left-hand parts alone. Since Pianoforall encourages you to learn playing more with the left hand than the right hand, students of this program will likely be less to have a “lazy” left hand.
- Info is laid out clearly and straightforward to understand. While a bit plain in comparison with printed curriculum like Faber’s Piano Adventures, these e-books are easy to understand and visually clean.
- Less focus on technique. Traditional piano instructors guide their students of their posture, hand position, and their finger, wrist, and physique movements. Whereas lack of this instructing is an obvious disadvantage of online piano classes generally, Pianoforall particularly doesn’t deal with it. I suggest supplementing the course with guidance (YouTube counts) that teach and show posture and different techniques.
- Avoids reading music. Although in the books that rely more on sheet music, the names of the notes are often provided. Typically you’re given the choice to improvise. Thus, although one of many objectives of the course is to show you the right way to read music. It will be simple to come out with a less-than-stellar grasp of this skill.
- Overlook many piano notation symbols and terms. The number of terms & symbols covers is satisfactory for many who wish to play by ear, improvise/play fundamental sheet music. Students eager to go beyond might find themselves confused by unknown markings. If you happen to be such student, Hall suggests supplementing his course. By using the materials that guides the symbols and terms of music notation.
Who is this course best for
Pianoforall is prepared for beginners. Nevertheless, its way of teaching is so completely different from most traditional piano classes. Even if you have some fundamental knowledge about classical piano might find it helpful. This is the best way to learn improvise and play by ear.
Given Pianoforall’s focuses on blues, jazz, rock n roll, and different styles of well-known music. It’s safe to tell that this course isn’t meant for those whose main objective is to play classical music as an alternative.
Book Eight does train students to sight read some brief classical pieces. However, this course will provide you with a foundation on which to extend your knowledge of playing classically. Rather than only guide you itself.
Although the content is different, Pianoforall’s head-first, dive-right-in method to play the piano. This is one that’s often found in courses for adult students, such as Faber’s Adult Piano Adventures series.
Adults are decided to learn, and they are usually not content to play easy children’s tunes for the first few months. Because of this, Pianoforall is great for adults and teenagers alike who wish to make actual music ASAP.
The songs chosen for this course are also focused at adult students.
If they’re good tunes familiar to many – and certainly better than “Fur Elise by Beethoven” – let us just say that older generations would possibly get extra excited in regards to the selection than younger ones.
Pianoforall makes huge promises, however for the motivated student, it just would possibly be able to deliver. As long as you understand and get what the course will and will not teach you, Pianoforall will help you achieve your piano goals.
This course doesn’t provide students for advanced classical music, however you’ll learn many skills which are helpful for taking requests, playing in bands, and sitting down at the piano and with the ability to just play.
Furthermore, your skills will provide you with a strong fundamental for exploring the types of music that you wish to play.
The value of understanding keys, progressions, chords, and the structure of music can’t be understated for any type of music.
Hall likens his course to studying the alphabet so that you are able to write any sentences you want. It’s an apt analogy.
Piano for all truly builds your skills from the bottom up, providing you the building blocks essential not solely to play other people’s music, but in addition to play your own.
It’s a unique method that always feels like putting the cart before the horse – but it definitely works.
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