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Piano by Gismart app review: A realistic way to learn and play the piano

Reviews

Introduction

As someone who’s more comfortable with a guitar in my hand than fumbling around the piano keyboard I’ve always been a little leery of the hundreds of piano keyboard apps out there. Some of them can actually be quite good and they do re-create the sound of the piano fairly convincingly, but as someone that only knows a couple of chords on the piano they don’t really offer a lot for the newbie. If you’re like me, what you need is an app that can create a great piano sound while also providing you with the tools you need to learn and grow as a piano player. The prospects of finding an app like this aren’t completely bleak though as there are some options that are designed with this in mind.

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One app in particular that bills itself as a great way to play the piano as well as learn how to play the piano is an app called Piano by Gismart. This app purports to do it all: let you play the piano, let you learn chords, let you learn whole songs, and lets you understand sheet music. If all of this is true it’s one of the most comprehensive free apps available in the App Store and a real tool for the budding pianist. Best of all this app is compatible with all of your iOS devices including the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.

Piano - Free App to Learn & Play Piano Keyboard

Free

A Full Keyboard

If there’s one thing that’s a little frustrating on any piano keyboard re-creation for an iOS device is the fact that it only offers a partial keyboard. Even if you’re using an iPad, it’s still much shorter than a real piano and can only display part of the keyboard. This particular app is no different, but it does make it easy to access all 88 keys on your virtual piano. The main piano keys you use take up most of the screen and they are just a snapshot of the keyboard, but above this snapshot is a full keyboard and if you want to scroll to another section of your piano you can simply slide along this representation. The scrolling process is very smooth and seamless. Although it might take a little while to get used to this scrolling, once you do figure it out, you will really be able to unleash your inner pianist.

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Choose Your Instrument

To make things a little more interesting you actually have a choice of instruments that you can use. There’s a grand piano, a vintage piano, a pizzicato, a full strings section, an accordion, a harp, an organ, an electric guitar, and a harpsichord. I think this is a great addition to this app especially for the children in the home. With this addition, they not only have a fun way to learn how to play on a keyboard, but they can also learn the difference in sound between various instruments.

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Piano - Free App to Learn & Play Piano Keyboard

Free

All the Chords You’ll Ever Need

The foundation of any song is its chords and until you learn them on any instrument you’re going to continue to fumble around a little lost at sea. This app includes a list of every single major, minor, #, sus4, 7th chord, and a whole lot more. Best of all by tapping on any chord in the list you can hear it played for you and the keys on the keyboard are highlighted so that you can attempt to mimic the sound. It’s a great learning tool that really helps to separate this particular keyboard app from its competitors.

Learn from the Classics and More

It’s not only chords that the developers of this app offer as a learning tool. They also provide full songs including classics and popular modern tunes as well. It works much the same way as the chords do – the app plays the song for you but highlights the keys that you should be hitting if you want to play the song yourself. One criticism I have of this app is that they play the songs at full speed and, if you’re just learning how to play the piano, trying to keep up will definitely seem a little overwhelming. 

Also, I would have liked to have seen a more thorough set of instructions. As a beginner, learning how to best use the app would go a long way in helping me learn how to play the piano.

Fun Mode is Definitely Fun!

While it may seem like a bit of a throw in, I actually really liked the fun mode feature built into this app. If you’re playing piano in this mode you can select a song from the list and no matter which keys you hit that song will play as you go. It’s not really teaching you anything, but it is a great way to have fun and it may help to really strike interest with the younger generation as it might just give them the spark of interest that they need to become the next big pianist.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • A full 88 key keyboard
  • Eight different instruments to choose from
  • Realistic sound reproduction
  • Easy keyboard scrolling
  • A comprehensive chord list
  • Learn full songs
  • Great fun mode

Cons

  • No clear instructions
  • Free version includes ads
  • Not sure how it really helps you learn sheet music

A Fun Way to Learn Piano

If you’ve always wanted to learn how to play the piano, but couldn’t really afford one this app is a great alternative. It lets you choose from various different keyboard based instruments and it provides you with a full list of chords and songs to learn from. They could do a little better job of helping you to learn sheet music and some clear instructions would be nice, but overall this is an excellent app.

Piano - Free App to Learn & Play Piano Keyboard

Free
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Allan Calder

Allan is a freelance writer who loves scouring the App Store for exciting, intriguing and unique apps.