Can online piano lessons meet a broad spectrum of learning objectives? Flowkey is one of the most popular piano-learning apps. In this Flowkey review, we’ll take a closer look at it.
After several months of using the Flowkey program, we believe it is a great option for beginners who want to learn how to play the piano, and we will explain why in this Flowkey review.
For intermediate or advanced piano players, we also have good news. You not only can pick lessons that meet your skill level but also have access to an extensive song library. You will find your favorite song, from classical to jazz and pop music, to learn and play.
Table of Contents
- 1 Teaching Basics
- 2 User Interface
- 3 Lesson Structure
- 4 Song Library
- 5 What Can Flowkey Do Better?
- 6 Flowkey Pricing
- 7 Pros and Cons
- 8 Flowkey Review Summary
Flowkey does an impressive job of introducing the basics of piano to you. It starts with how you sit in front of a piano and your hand position. Even though you think you are just a casual player, learning the correct body position and hand movement is still very important. The right position and good habits will make it easier to play more complex pieces down the road and avoid injuries.
The program offers a combination of instructional videos, play-along lessons, and song examples that are easy to follow.
Flowkey more or less goes along with the traditional piano teaching method, learning the keys and reading sheet music at the get-go. Additionally, it also provides alternate learning from chords, which is more suitable for modern music such as rock, pop, or country music.
Flowkey has a clean and intuitive user interface that is easy to navigate. The program offers a variety of options for beginners, intermediate, and advanced players, including lessons, sheet music, and video tutorials.
The user interface is easy to use and offers a great visual experience, making it suitable for desktop, laptop, and mobile devices.
One of the most impressive features of Flowkey is its interactive features. The program uses a unique technology that listens to your playing and provides real-time feedback.
In terms of listening to your play, there are two methods you can use.
- The connection-free method: All you need to do is turn on the microphone on your device, either your computer or mobile device. No cables are needed. The program will listen to what you play and offer feedback. This is especially useful if you are learning piano with an acoustic piano.
- USB MIDI connection: If you are learning piano using a digital piano or a MIDI keyboard, you can use either the connection-free method or USD MIDI connection. It is a true plug-and-play. The Flowkey program detects the connection automatically once it is connected. It works even when you wear your earphones while your digital piano does not make a sound through speakers.
The real-time feedback feature is helpful for beginners, allowing them to learn at their own pace and practice playing the right notes. Additionally, the program allows users to slow down or speed up the tempo of a song, making it easy to practice difficult sections.
Song Learning Interface
Flowkey’s song-learning interface comes with some fantastic tools to help you.
- Select a specific section to practice easily
- Using Wait Mode that allows you to play the correct keys at your own pace
- Practice right hand and left hand separately
- Play at 50% or 75% of the normal tempo of the song
Another outstanding feature is the overhead view of the hands that shows you proper hand position and fingering. This helps you to learn how to navigate your hands up and down the keyboard properly.
The program includes three categories with a total of eight courses. Each course consists of six to 12 lessons, which is a total of 64 lessons. Within each lesson, it is broken down into small teaching units and exercises. Flowkey’s course structure makes it easier to learn and not overwhelming.
The courses in the Beginner category come with introductions to the piano, including postures and hand position.
If you start from the first lesson, the program assumes you know nothing about the piano. Hence, it is perfect for beginners. Then, the lessons progress to identifying the notes and using both hands to play. Intermediate Piano Playing teaches the basics of music notations.
Every lesson and exercise teaches you to practice effectively with a few steps:
You can leverage these same steps in learning almost any piano song, from easy to complex pieces.
We also really like the fact that beginner lessons include some popular songs. It makes learning more interesting and encouraging because you can play songs only a few lessons into the program and impress your friends in no time.
Exercises and Scales
The Music Reading Training and Scales are very well explained. You will learn more basic music theory. Again, each lesson has several small teaching units, making learning and repeating painless.
The two scale courses cover all the major and minor scales in the following scales chart.
The scales chart shows the cycle of keys and the relationship between all the major and minor scales. To read the chart, starting from C at the top, moving to the right gives you the keys containing sharps, and moving to the left gives you the keys containing flats.
The chart also shows some enharmonic tones.
Do not worry if you do not understand the scales here. Flowkey courses teach you all about them, including sharps and flats.
Lessons of Chords
The two chord courses (12 lessons) are really good for you to go through, especially for those interested in playing modern music with chord charts.
This course introduces simple basic chords and four common chords in pop music. The course explains the triads, how to build major and minor chords, chord progressions, and chord inversions.
Improvising with Chords
Improvising with Chords shares some accompaniment patterns that will really entertain your playing. It enables you to play along with chord charts and compose accompaniment for songs on your own. The lessons teach you different rhythmic patterns, which will spruce up your piano playing.
This course also introduces you to more complex chords like sixth and added-9 chords.
The pinnacle of this course is at the end when you get to practicing improvisation. The program provides you with full backing tracks in different pop styles that allow you to practice different rhythm patterns and play along.
For this Flowkey review, I would share another useful feature the program offers.
Although the Flowkey program is designed with true beginners in mind, it actually pretty easy to select different lessons that fit your needs. You do not have to finish the current lesson to advance to the next. Within the 64 lessons, you can jump into anyone you like.
Of course, I am not recommending jumping around for any true beginners. However, if you already have piano experience or know how to play other instruments, Flowkey offers an option to pick the lessons or exercises you want to work on.
Even for beginners, if you want to go back to review or repeat some lessons, it is very easy.
Flowkey has a massive library of songs, over 1500, that includes classics, popular songs, and even video game themes. The program offers a variety of songs to choose from, making it easy to find something suitable for your skill level and musical preferences.
The songs come with sheet music and video tutorials. Best yet, each song offers different skill levels, from beginner to advanced and pro levels, that make the program a suitable platform for both beginners and advanced players.
The song library is organized into categories by genre. Chances are you probably have a song that you want to play; hence, Flowkey lets you search by song title or artist name.
What Can Flowkey Do Better?
There are probably no perfect piano-learning apps existing. During our Flowkey review in the last few months, we found a few things that may further enhance the learning experience.
Leading Beat Count
When you are learning a song or practicing an exercise, after you hit the PLAY button, the demo will start. Sometimes, I struggle with the tempo until a couple of bars into the song. It will be nice to have a bar of beat count prior to the actual playing. This will help the player prepare for the desired tempo to match the demo hands.
I do not believe there is a way to turn on or off a metronome or beat click for songs or exercises. Some exercise comes with drum backing, almost like the beat click. It will be beneficial to have the beat click option for all exercises and songs for beginners to learn the consistency of the tempo.
For some popular songs, adding lyrics will make singing along much easier and, ultimately, more fun to learn piano. While it is very easy to find the lyrics online, it would be much more convenient to have the lyrics along with the melody. Many people love to sing along.
In the Flowkey review, we covered program structure and functions. What is the Flowkey pricing structure? At the time of this article, Flowkey offers both free and paid subscriptions.
Once you create a Flowkey account online, you automatically have free basic account access to the app.
The free version allows you to access eight songs with only one skill level for each and five entry-level lessons out of 64 total lessons.
To be honest, you will not learn much from the free version. However, it will be a great tool to see how the platform works for you and an excellent opportunity to check out the extensive list of songs in the library. You can see the songs in the library but cannot access the sheet music and video tutorials.
With a paid subscription, you can access all of the content on the platform. In order to provide some flexibility, Flowkey offers three levels of commitment for the subscription to premium access:
- Monthly Subscription
- Six-month Subscription
- Annual Subscription
Note: Based on the information on the Flowkey website, the Lifetime Subscription is no longer available.
This offers the most flexibility. You can subscribe any month. It presents an opportunity for you to try the program out and see if you like it. It is a perfect way to have a test drive.
On the other hand, the monthly subscription is also the most expensive one. If you truly like the program, it might be a good idea to go with a longer subscription period, which is cheaper.
This is a good option for seasonal players. Depending on your schedule, you may only have 6 months to learn and play, and then this subscription saves dollars for you.
This is the most popular one due to its affordable price. It is half of the monthly price. With the annual subscription, it comes with a 7-day Free Trial. Cancel anytime during the first 7 days, then pay a fixed annual fee.
This is a terrific option to try out the Flowkey Premium version and then pay a budget-friendly annual subscription if you wish to continue.
How to Subscribe?
Once you sign up to access the free version, you will encounter locked songs or levels; just click the Unlock button to proceed to the subscription plans. The default one is the Annual plan.
Pros and Cons
- Presents an easy learning platform
- Teaches solid basics
- Offers Interactive Lessons
- Interacts with an acoustic piano or a digital piano
- Provides multiple skill levels for each song
- Includes an extensive song library
- Not an app for learning piano by ear
- No Lifetime subscription option
Flowkey Review Summary
We would definitely recommend Flowkey. It is a good way to get started on learning the piano. From hand position, playing posture, note reading training, and chord mastering, the program has a strong stance.
On the other hand, if you truly want a tailored approach to your piano learning journey, the best way is probably still the traditional way to find a good private teacher. On this note, you want to find someone open to teaching various styles of music and genres. More importantly, find a teacher who works for you and understands your goals.
There are a few minor things that can be improved to enhance the learning experience, such as adding a bar of the leading beat count, the ability to turn on or off a metronome, and having lyrics along with melodies. However, we do not think these are deal-breakers.
Overall, Flowkey is an excellent and effective program for beginners. Its user-friendly interface, interactive technology, and wide range of songs and exercises make it a great choice for anyone who wants to learn how to play the piano quickly and easily. Additionally, the extensive song library also makes it attractive to intermediate and advanced players.
Happy Learning and Playing!