Last Updated: July 2019
FTC Disclosure: Deviant Noise Inc. receives compensation (at no extra cost to you) if you choose to purchase some of the guitar lessons below through our links.
When you look online for piano lessons, there are a lot of options to choose from.
It’s tough to choose the right one.
Learning how to play piano takes time. And with the amount of chords and patterns you can create makes it an instrument you’ll practice forever.
A GOOD piano training program is an important part of that. Especially when you’re a beginner.
When deciding on our top picks, we paid special attention to the method of training each program focused on.
So in this piano tutorial buyer’s guide we’ll go over why each pick made the list, our overall recommendation and some additional information about learning the keyboard.
HearAndPlay Piano Bundle
Learn Piano in 30 Days
|Price||$65 USD||$39.95 USD||$19.95 USD / Month||$27 USD / Month|
|Biggest Advantage||BEST Teaching Method Around||Best Pricing||BEST Way to Practice Piano||BEST Set of SONG Lessons (modern/popular)|
|Biggest Disadvantage||Not a traditional teaching approach||Traditional method of teaching||Requires computer + MIDI piano/keyboard||Monthly subscription|
|Try it Today!||Try it Today!||Try it Today!||Try it Today!|
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. 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:
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.
Check Out Our Full Rocket Piano Review
The Rocket Piano course has been available for about 5 years, and it remains a popular online piano lesson (over 90,000 students).
Compared to HearAndPlay’s piano tutorial, however, it falls a little short for us. This course does teach you a bit about playing by ear, but we feel it likely leans more towards a traditional (i.e. boring) approach to learning piano.
I am not saying it is not effective. In fact, this course is very effective, for both beginner and experienced pianists.
But we just prefer HearAndPlay’s option over this one.
With Rocket Piano, you will learn how to sight-read music and other basic traditional music theory. 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…)
All in all, the training style and our complete satisfaction with HearAndPlay makes RocketPiano our runner-up (i.e. second choice). 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.
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 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)
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).
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.
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.
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. 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.
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.
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!