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It’s a sad fact of musicians’ lives that pianos are huge. And I’m not just talking about the grand variation. Even if you want to lug a keyboard around with you, it’s still a Herculean task to take it anywhere further than half a mile. Plus, you need a stand, ‘cos you can’t play the thing on the ground. Guitars, no hassle, throw ‘em over your back. Saxophone, no problem, don’t even bother with a case, you’ll look cooler without it. Kazoo, perfectly fine. But a piano poses a problem. Or rather, used to. For those wanting to learn and practise piano on the go, the clever lot at Revontulet Studios have brought us Perfect Piano, out now for Android. Revontulet have already made a huge impact on the music app scene with the phenomenally successful Walk Band; for PP, they’ve taken the piano mode from the former and adapted it for learning and movable practise.
It’s a simple looking app that masks a lot of depth. This thing will take you through the basics, all the way to extremely complicated pieces that demand lightning-fast finger work and cat-like reflexes. There’s three practise modes to choose from; a Falling Ball mode where the colour-coded notes fall in line with your keys, a Drop Rectangle Mode, where the length of the notes is indicated by the size of the rectangle, and a crazy lookin’ Music Sheet mode, which is most definitely for more advanced players. As a complete beginner the one that suited me best was the Falling Balls; but I tried a couple on the Rectangles and the progression seemed natural. The app comes preinstalled with seventy sample songs that you can learn from. Everything from classical to pop is included, so no matter what your preferred genre, you’ll find something to like. Once you’ve mastered those, you can chose more from the downloadable song library, which is updated every week, the end result being you can play until the End of Days and not get bored.
In terms of sounds, it’s the same excellent quality that Revontulet displayed with their amazing Walk Band app. You get to chose from six variants of piano (the organ being a particular favourite of mine, sinister and cool simultaneously) and an impressive touch pressure detector ensures you can hit just the right amount of note. Not that that was much use to a novice like me, but it’s nice to know it’s there for future reference. All in good time.
If you’re a frustrated piano player who just can’t find the time to play, bring the mountain to Mohammed and download this little gem to get your fingers working on the move. Alternatively, if you’ve never known the touch of ebony and ivory, this app will guide you all the way from square one to Carnegie Hall. And how do you get there? Practise.
Tickle the keys at the Android Store and become a maestro for free with Perfect Piano!