As the 90s children’s horror novel title had it, piano lessons can be murder. How arduous the process seems. What child (or adult for that matter) wants to get holed up in some (possibly murderous) grandmother’s dusty living room slaving away at Greensleeves for two hours a week? No one in their right mind. Well, prepare to banish such collective childhood stereotypes from your consciousness. Revontulet Studios, the folks behind the fantastic and much applauded Walk Band app, have a far more palatable approach to learning piano. It’s called Perfect Piano, it’s big, it’s free and it’s out now for Android.
Coming to us with an astounding 15,000,000 downloads to date, it’s clear that Perfect Piano is doing something right. The basis for this app can be found in the aforementioned Walk Band; this piano however is more attuned to making you a better player (ah thank you). But, coming from Walk Band, the first thing that strikes you is how realistic the sounds are. And you might well think, oh yeah, realistic for a mobile app. Nope. These are genuine sounding piano notes. Plug in some headphones and you’ll appreciate the full glorious effect. Merely tapping away at these bad boys is a lot of fun in and of itself, before you get started with any sort of learning.
Producing these realistic sounds are six variants of piano. You’ve got your choice of Grand, Bright, Music Box, Organ, Rhodes or Synth. The spectrum of sound on offer here is remarkable, especially when you factor in the touch pressure detector feature. You can record your output, share it with whoever you like; you can even do a ‘two player’ piano mode and jam along with a friend. If your fingers are wider or thinner than usual you’ve got the aid of a key width adjustment to suit your needs. Perfect Piano really thinks of everything in order to give you the best playing experience possible.
On the learning side, there’s several different styles of playing along with the seventy odd preloaded sample songs. The one I found most intuitive was the Drop Rectangle mode, but for those who can (or want to learn to) read music, there’s also the Music Sheet mode, which has you playing along as the score progresses above you. If you fancy practising with a real keyboard, Perfect Piano lets you plug one in via USB; you’ll lose the mobile device benefit of having the notes marked on the keys however. If you’ve been harbouring a secret desire to learn piano, or if you’re a seasoned veteran that could do with a little practise on the go, Perfect Piano is well worth checking out. I’ve just remembered the villain of the book mentioned at the front of this review was actually a robot; so no promises after all about this thing not murdering you. I’m sure it’s grand.
Tickle the keys at the Android Store and become a maestro for free with Perfect Piano!