Xeno’s Best Free Tools for Musicians
Post your favorite free on line tools in a comment.
Zebra Keys: Everything You Need on One Site
Zebra Keys is probably one of the best sites for piano lessons. Each of the lessons are professionally written and cleanly laid out so that they’re very easy to follow. Best of all, an interactive piano
keyboard is built right into the lesson articles.
PianoNanny: Better Than the Real Thing
One of the best sites for learning piano online is PianoNanny. This is one of those rare sites that offers the most detailed, expert piano lessons for absolutely free. Just reading through the lessons, you get the sense that you’re sitting beside an actual piano teacher who really knows their stuff. Each session includes text, keyboard images to help you visualize what the teacher is talking about, and even mini-apps like a “student note pad” to take notes.
Featuring 13 starter, 11 intermediate and 10 advanced lessons, PianoNanny is the most thorough of all the piano lesson websites listed in this article. …
Plern Online Piano Teacher and Composer
The Plern Piano is easily one of the most addictive and, believe it or not, fun online tools that you can use to learn how to play piano. The Plern Piano tool has dual uses; music composers can create a song from scratch, or piano students can import music from a MIDI file to learn how to play a song. Plern Piano plays through the song and as it scrolls across the music sheet, it provides you with a graphical representation of which key you need to press as well as the duration of the note. Think Tetris in musical form.
BerkleeShares – Free Piano Lessons From the Berklee College of Music
Starting in 2003, the Berklee College of Music started offering free music lessons online. The lessons include guitar, brass, bass and even DJ & turntable training. When you click on the “keyboards” section, you’ll find a list of 12 lessons in either YouTube video format or as a PDF document. The videos are about one to two minutes, and the PDF documents are an average of about 2 pages with embedded music clips.
Ricci Adams’ MusicTheory Teaches You… Music Theory
MusicTheory is another very useful (and free) website that can teach you to play the piano. This website has 37 lessons, 10 “trainer” applications and 3 music utilities. The trainer applications on this website are exactly identical to those available at the Zebra Keys website but there are many more of them offered here. Best of all, the lessons are very thorough and offer a small keyboard app so that you can test some of the techniques you learn in each lesson.
The lessons are reminiscent of a Powerpoint presentation and you step through them in much the same way – by clicking an arrow on the screen. The lessons are clearly written by an expert and after going through these 37 piano lessons you’re sure to advance in your piano playing with a very thorough awareness of music theory. – makeuseof
- http://www.trainear.com/ Nice interval trainer that quizzes you as to which song starts with the first two notes you hear. Here are the songs they use for the upward intervals:
- m2 = I’m dre-ming of a White Christmas
- M2 = Si–ah-lent Night
- m3 = A–las my love you do me wrong (Greensleeves)
- M3 = Oh when the … Saints Go Marching In
- p4 = Here comes the Bride
- Tri = Ma–ria, I just met a girl named …(West Side Story)
- p5 = da da da daaah daaah. (Star Wars)
- m6 = Where do I begin (Love Story)
- M6 = It came upon a Midnight Clear
- m7 = Maman les petits bateaux (Don’t know it, prefer Some-where O-ver the Rainbow
- Oct = da da da da da, (Superman Theme) I prefer Some-where Over the Rainbow
Learning the interval song may help
By memorizing intervals using different songs, I can now tell you any note within ___ seconds if you give me a “C” as a reference tone. In other words, I have good relative pitch. But I do not yet have perfect (absolute) pitch. I’d like to obtain absolute pitch so I can sing any note out of the blue and also identify any note I hear. In the same way I can instantly tell red apart from green, I’d like to be able to tell a B from a C.
There are really only 12 notes to learn:
(A), (A#/Bb), (B), (C), (C#/Db), (D), (D#/Eb), (E), (F), (F#/Gb), (G), (G#/Ab).
They are all around us and they are always the same. If I play a middle C on the piano, I can remember it for ___ minutes. But if I listen to a song in another key, the C memory is quickly lost.
Here are some resources for acquiring absolute pitch. None has nailed this down for me yet, but they are each interesting in some way: