The Best Online Piano Lessons in 2020
Find out which training program will help you learn to play fastest
Last Updated: June 2020
FTC Disclosure: Deviant Noise Inc. receives compensation (at no extra cost to you) if you choose to purchase some of the piano lessons below through our links.
Want to play piano like a pro?
In this full buyer’s guide we break down the best online piano lessons available today and help you choose the right one for you.
Here are our picks:
The Top Piano Tutorials Online
Learning how to play piano takes time.
But online piano lessons are probably the best way to minimize the time you need to become a good musician.
With the amount of basic piano chords and patterns you can create, if you don’t have a game plan you’ll practice forever.
Especially when you’re a beginner.
So, save yourself some time and choose the piano program best suited to your end goal and current situation.
When deciding on our top picks, we paid special attention to the method of training each program focused on.
We’ll go over why each pick made the list, our overall recommendation and some additional information about learning the keyboard.
Quick Piano Tutorial Comparison Chart
A bird’s eye look at our top piano program picks.
HearAndPlay Piano Bundle
Learn Piano in 30 Days
|Price||$65 USD||$39 USD||$39.95 USD||$15.99 USD / Month||$19.95 USD / Month||$27 USD / Month|
|Biggest Advantage||BEST Teaching Method Around||Focus on Playing Popular Styles RIGHT AWAY||Best Pricing||Real Time Feedback on Your Technique||BEST Way to Practice Piano||BEST Set of SONG Lessons (modern/popular)|
|Biggest Disadvantage||Not a traditional teaching approach||Not a lot of material on sight reading or classical music||Traditional method of teaching||Highly “classical music” focused and monthly subscription||Requires computer + MIDI piano/keyboard||Monthly subscription|
|Try it Today!||Try it Today!||Try it Out Free!||Try it Today!||Try it Today!|
Our #1 Piano Course Recommendation
A more in-depth look at why we chose our top piano training pick
HearAndPlay “Piano By Ear”
- Digital Download Version – $65 USD
- Physical – $77 USD
- The best training method for playing piano quickly (play by ear)
- Skips the baby steps of music theory (start playing songs within 17 minutes!)
- Shows you how to play piano without having to read notes/sheet music.
- Takes guess work out of playing different chords or learning new songs
- Learn how to find key of any song, quickly.
- Best money back guarantee (365 days + $100 coupon for other courses)
- Not a traditional method of piano teaching
- based on “playing by ear” not reading sheet music notes
- Lots of material, including a written workbook (watching/listening is always easier than reading)
- Takes a LOT of practice to memorize various scales/chords
More Info About HearAndPlay’s Piano Course
We love all of their courses The man behind it all, Jermaine Griggs, is a genius in his method of teaching piano.
HearAndPlay’s original 300 page “Piano By Ear” book was the first piano course I ever bought and enjoyed.
This new collection is an updated version of their flagship piano training program. Since first going through the original course, I have been a huge fan of everything they do.
The conciseness, quality, and the great outcomes of their instruction programs make them the best in their field.
This program delves into all the details you need to know without the boring, unnecessary stuff – you’ll start playing literally within 17 minutes of the first course in the pack.
Here’s what’s included:
- “Piano By Ear For Starters” Audio Program
- “Finding The Key Of Any Song” Audio Program
- Hear & Play Chords 101 & 102
- 4 Steps To Next Level Playing Audio Course & Workbook
HearAndPlay, the company, is very much focused on Gospel and Jazz music, but don’t let that throw you off.
Their main piano training program is still the BEST way to learn piano regardless of what style/genre of music you intend to play.
Seriously – this course is the best. It’s so much better than the traditional style of learning piano in my opinion.
The Runner Up Piano Training Online
A closer look at our second place pick for best piano training.
Piano For All
- Online Version (Instant Download) – $39
- Online + Physical Product (Shipped to You) – $49
- Cheaper than other options available
- Similar teaching style to HearAndPlay –
- Not just a set of eBooks – hundreds of video/audio embedded
- Best option for those looking to start playing piano RIGHTA WAY
- Focus on popular music styles and getting right to playing.
- 60 Day Money Back Guarantee
- Not a lot of emphasis on sight reading sheet music
- Only brief lessons on “classical” music
- Shorter money-back guarantee (60 days) than HearAndPlay
Check Out Our Full Piano For All Review
More Info About Piano For All
This is another really great course we highly recommend. PianoForAll is a popular piano course created by Robin Hall.
We love this course, because it’s a similar learning style to HearAndPlay.
It might become our #1 choice soon, since it’s got a focus on Jazz, Blues and Rock, instead of just Gospel/Jazz.
The course does teach you a bit about sight reading and traditional classical music, but that’s not the main focus of this particular piano lesson.
With PianoForAll, it’s all about getting you up to speed and playing actual music FAST. You don’t get bogged down by theory or anything boring.
And since it’s a set of audio/video that’s embedded in workbooks, it makes a great format for learning how to play.
Rocket Piano / Piano Marvel
- Rocket Piano Online – $39.95 (One Time)
- Piano Marvel Software – $15.99 / Month (or $110/year)
Rocket Piano Advantages:
- Cheaper than most options
- Bonuses included such as learning games and audio exercises
- Includes variety of media to aid learning – sound files, pictures/diagrams, videos, etc.
- Best option for those looking for a more “traditional” approach to learning piano
- Learn to play songs you want to play
Piano Marvel Advantages:
- Interactive piano learning + practice software
- Gives you real time feedback on your technique/playing
- Includes variety of media to aid learning – sheet music, video lessons, printable workbooks, etc
- Best option for those that value feedback but still want to learn “traditional” piano and classical music
- Try it out with a FREE account
Disadvantages of Both Programs:
- More traditional approach to playing piano (sight reading, etc)
- Primarily book-based (reading) learning technique for Rocket Piano
- Songs you learn are dated (i.e. classics) and originals only
- Mostly focused on classical styles of music
More Info About Rocket Piano and Piano Marvel
Piano Marvel and Rocket Piano tie at position #3 for us, making them the runner ups.
The Rocket Piano course has been available for about 5 years, and it remains a popular online piano lesson (over 90,000 students).
Piano Marvel is a fantastic piece of software because it has assessments and gives feedback on technique (if you have a MIDI piano).
These courses do teach you comprehensively, but we feel it likely leans more towards a traditional (i.e. boring) approach to learning piano.
I personally preferred to learn how to play piano by ear so I could improvise and produce music.
I am not saying these other options are not effective. In fact, the courses are very effective, for both beginner and experienced pianists.
But we just prefer HearAndPlay or PianoForAll.
With Rocket Piano, you will learn how to sight-read music and other basic traditional music theory. Same goes for Piano Marvel. So if you prefer to learn the old-fashioned way, this course will likely be the right choice for you.
One of the benefits of the program is that it also comes with a bunch of bonuses like backing tracks, quizzes and training games. (It also comes with a metronome, but… you have a smartphone, so…)
And of course, Piano Marvel offers the awesome extras of assessments and feedback. You do need a MIDI compatible keyboard to connect to your computer, but it’s the missing link with a lot of online music training – you don’t get feedback on your technique. Piano Marvel solves that (along with Melodics).
All in all, the training style and our complete satisfaction with HearAndPlay and Piano For All makes RocketPiano and Piano Marvel our runner-ups (i.e. tied second choices). It’s still a great option and definitely works so don’t be afraid to try it out if it interests you. There’s a 60-day money back guarantee with the course.
Other Notable Piano Tutorials and Training Programs
More great options to help you learn how to play piano better
- $19.95 monthly subscription OR
- $134.99 yearly
- Best method of structured practice on piano/keyboard (game based)
- Free account available with 60 lessons
- Completely visual and interactive
- Addictive, so you keep coming back to “practice” more
- Fun “lessons” based on modern popular music
- Monthly/yearly subscription only
- Requires laptop/computer to access (downloadable software)
- Requires a MIDI-enabled piano/keyboard to use
- Not a traditional “piano lesson” course, more designed for practicing + getting better
More Information About Melodics:
I’ll be honest – I absolute love Melodics. It’s an amazing software program that helps you learn how to play better piano, drums and drum-pads. I have the yearly plan and I use it in my daily piano practice routine and I’ve noticed a serious improvement in my ability to “play.”
But Melodics isn’t an average piano tutorial or course.
It’s not like the two picks mentioned above in that their sole purpose is to give you the information you need to become a seasoned pianist. They are actual piano lessons. Instead, Melodics is intended to help you get better at playing whatever your chosen instrument is. And the only way to do that is consistent practice.
And that’s where the software shines. Although it’s a pricey option at $20/month, the way they’ve turned piano practice into a video game is awesome. It’s addictive and makes you want to keep coming back to level-up and “beat the game.” This software was originally intended for music producers to increase their “finger drumming” chops on drum pads. Soon they moved into the piano/keyboard space and it was a great step forward.
Melodics is truly a well-structured approach to piano practice and it will help you play better chords and melodies in no time. The best part of it all is the “lessons” are all based on modern popular music. You get to play along with music using an intuitive visual guide on the screen. The only draw back is the pricing and the fact it’s only available as a software download on a laptop/computer.
But in our opinion, it’s totally worth it. And since there’s a free account with 60 lessons included, you can try it out before you decide to subscribe. We recommend getting a legit piano training program (like HearAndPlay or RocketPiano) and also using Melodics along with it. You’ll be a piano pro in no time.
(Note: You will need a piano that is MIDI compatible and a MIDI-to-USB adapter/cable to connect it to your computer)
Or Read Our Playground Sessions review for an alternative!
Learn Piano in 30 Days
- $27 USD per month
- $1 trial for 14 days (2 weeks)
- 60 Day Money Back Guarantee
- 30 day “beginners” course gets you up and playing quickly
- Popular songs lessons are the best part of the program
- Includes bonuses: music sheets, audio files, community forum, training software
- Monthly subscription, instead of one-time fee
- Not REALLY 30 days – that’s just the beginning. Then you take “intermediate” and “advanced” lessons
- “30 days” means 30 video lessons. Practicing and implementing lesson material will take you longer (unless all you do is practice all day)
More Info About Learn Piano in 30 Days:
This piano tutorial is a really solid looking program – especially for beginners. However, the title of the course is a little misleading. Sure, if you are REALLY diligent with daily practice for hours, you can probably get through the material in 30 days. But if you live anything like a “real life” then you know stuff happens.
And that means it’s going to take you longer than what they’re claiming. There are 30 video lessons in the “beginners” program (one per day) and then you have to go through the “intermediate” and “advanced” programs. So don’t think you’ll be playing like Chopin or Alicia Keys in 30 days flat.
That’s just not the case. But the program IS STILL really good. It’s covers everything you need to know. And although it is more of a traditional learning/teaching style (like RocketPiano), it does include software to help you learn how to play piano by ear.
However, that’s not why we recommend it. We recommend it because of their “song” lessons. This is the only program we’ve come across that teaches you how to play POPULAR music that you’ve probably heard of (and love to listen to).
- Empire State of Mind by Alicia Keys
- Someone Like You by Adele
- Just the Way You Are by Bruno Mars
- One Dance by Drake
- Panda by Desiigner
- Much more
And that is the main reason we happily recommend this program. Too often with piano lessons you’re forced to play tired, boring, old music that you have no interest in. That’s not the case with this course.
And of course, if you’re not sure, there’s a $1 trial available for 14 days (not as good as a FREE trial, bu hey… it’s better than nothing. On top of that, there’s a 60 day money back guarantee if you’re not satisfied with the material.
So why not try it for the 30 days they claim you need to become a piano player? You’ve got nothing to lose.
Our Overall Recommendation
What’s the very best course for aspiring piano players, in our opinion?
All of the courses we’ve reviewed on this page are GREAT options to go with when you’re trying to learn how to play piano.
My top pick is HearAndPlay's Piano By Ear Bundle, but that’s mostly because I’ve had a great experience with the company’s lessons – both vocal and piano (and I plan on taking the drum lessons too).
The company’s method of teaching cuts through the BS and gets straight to the stuff you need to know in order to play like a pro. It does require lots of practice, but so does learning any instrument. So if you’re looking for the best method of teaching – go with HearAndPlay.
On the other hand, if you’re looking for something that’s a more traditional approach to music lessons (like something you’d get in school or from a private teacher, then go with RocketPiano. It’s grounded in a more “classic” style of teaching and doesn’t focus mostly on playing by ear, like HearAndPlay does.
As for the other notable picks we mentioned above, I would recommend EVERYONE at least try out Melodics, along with the main piano course you choose to take. It’s a great way to structure your practice sessions and keeps you motivated to keep on practicing.
It’s super useful in that regard. And if you’re only interested in learning some popular songs quickly (and maybe eventually learn in a traditional way) you can try out Learn Piano in 30 Days.
But rest assured, whichever method/style you prefer to learn with, the above mentioned online piano lessons will all get you where you want to be.
Why Learn Piano Through Online Courses
Is taking online piano lessons actually worth it?
A question we often get is “why do you recommend online piano training instead of private piano teachers?”
And the truth is, a private piano tutor can be great – for some people.
Some people just work better when they have someone specific they’re accountable to. It forces them to put in the work. And that’s fine.
However, it’s not the BEST way to learn in my opinion.
First off, private lessons are PRICEY. Over time they can add up to a lot of money spent. Online lessons are much more affordable.
Beyond that you’re able to learn at your own pace – if you want to go faster, go faster. If there’s too much on your plate right now, you can put in the work when you have the time. The flexibility of online training is just so enticing it’s hard to pass up.
But the biggest benefit to choosing one of the courses we recommend above, is that you are more likely to learn exactly what YOU want to learn.
You’re not forced to drone on with boring theory or scales forever. (Of course, you should always learn your piano intervals, scales and modes!)You’re also not forced to learn old songs that have no relevance to you.
You get to learn the music you want to learn. You get to learn the songs you want to learn. And you get to learn the WAY you want to learn.
With a private teacher, you’re forced to go by their schedule, their methodology and their song choices. Most of the time (in my personal experience) it’s never anything you actually WANT to do or get excited about. It’s different with the online training programs above.
And that’s why we will always recommend self-training with the aid of a high-end tutorial over private piano lessons every single day.
My Personal Experience With Piano Lessons
I hired a private piano teacher once. I also had a private guitar teacher.
I hated both experiences.
It was not inspiring at all. It was all basic theory with no clear roadmap of where I was going.
I couldn’t see the end-goal of playing r&b, funk and soul music (which is what I wanted to do). All I could see was a boring major scale and some dusty old song I had NO interest in learning.
Needless to say each of those private tutors only lasted for about a month before I quit.
Eventually I stumbled upon HearAndPlay’s original 300 page piano course and I decided to order it for myself.
I LOVED it from the start.
It gave me a real sense of what I’d be able to do once I got the basics down. I could see myself just being able to sit down at a random piano whenever I wanted and play a song that sounded GREAT.
I didn’t get that at all with the private tutors.
Beyond that, I loved the method of teaching. With my private piano teacher, it was all very rooted in classical music theory. With my online lesson, it was all about getting me to actual PLAYING (by ear, without reading sheet music) as soon as possible.
That made it all worth it and kept me motivated and inspired to keep going.
And that’s why I’ll always highly recommend online training over private tutors any day.
That’s All Folks
A few final thoughts
So now that we’ve given you our take on the best online piano lessons available in the market today, it’s your turn.
If you have experience with any of these programs, leave your thoughts in the comments below.
And if you found this buyers guide helpful, please share it with your friends on social media!