Flowkey Review 2021 (A Complete Look)
How does Flowkey stack up against all the other online piano learning tools out there?
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Last Updated: October 2021
Overall Rating and Recommendation
Flowkey is an online piano training aide that on first glance seems similar to other options in the market.
So is it a better/worse option than the others?
In this review we’ll go over the cost, the included material and the overall experience to help you decide if it’s the right choice for you.
In short, YES we do recommend subscribing to Flowkey if you’re interested in learning how to play the piano as a beginner or even intermediate student.
It’s not our #1 choice overall (see out best online piano lesson recommendations here) but it’s a solid runner up.
If you’re looking for something that will help you learn the basics of piano playing and a plethora of popular songs, it’s a fantastic choice. Flowkey has one of our favorite song selections for an online piano lessons program. And it’s interactive playing features are a great way to learn. It’s similar to a program like Playground Lessons, but we would pick Flowkey as a head-to-head winner because of their song selection.
Here’s how we think they rank:
4.5/5 Stars (Overall Rating)Based on cost, learning style/system, song selection
The only reason it’s not our #1 pick, is because it’s a more traditional way of learning how to play piano – you learn the basics and then dive into songs. There are modules on improvising and playing “by-ear” so to speak, but it’s not the main focus of the courses or app.
Our #1 piano tutorial (Hear And Play) has a strong focus on playing by ear. And as a music artist, producer or songwriter that’s an important part of education. You have to understand the fundamentals of composing/writing great sounding music, not just being able to play music that’s already written.
But that doesn’t mean it’s not worth getting Flowkey to learn with as well. Learning songs is an absolutely great way to understand the building blocks of some of the most popular and loved music in the world. It’s an essential part of the education process as well.
That’s why we absolutely recommend students try out Flowkey as part of their education too.
Quick Review of Flowkey
Flowkey is a great company with a pretty great product.
Users can sign up completely free and access most of the beginner piano training material along with a handful of songs. If you want to take your education further you can sign up for “Premium” access which unlocks these additional features.
The best part about the Flowkey experience is how you learn. Rather than just reading a book or watching a video and going about your merry way, with Flowkey’s app you can learn interactively. You hook up a piano/keyboard to your computer and play along with the software while getting real-time feedback on your playing.
Here’s some quick info on the membership:
- Free (limited access)
- $19.99 (billed monthly)
- $119.88 (billed yearly)
- $329 Lifetime Access
The yearly plan is a bargain and probably the best option for most. You also get a 7 day free trial of premium and if you like it you’ll want a longer time-commitment because you’ll find it hard to really learn piano in just a month or two (unless you commit to a rigorous practice routine).
Flowkey Product Overview
- Online video lessons from complete beginner to advanced
- Song lessons featuring many popular/classic options
- Interactive learning experience (via web browser or downloadable app)
- Several different modes of learning/practicing
- Free to join + a 7 day free trial of premium membership (on annual plan)
- The best implementation of interactive piano learning software we’ve seen
- Doesn’t require MIDI keyboard only – use computer/tablet microphone with an acoustic/electric piano
- Massive selection of songs to play from (over 1500 at last count)
- Songs are popular and classic choices – something for everyone
- Affordable yearly option
- Gets beginners up to speed with quick video instructions and interactive practice lesson
- Advanced controls make navigating/practicing/learning lessons easier and more intuitive/natural
- High monthly cost with no free trial option
- Main focus on sight reading, only a small focus on playing by ear or improvising/composing music
- Very traditional structure of piano teaching/learning
Subscribe to FlowKey if…
- You’re a complete beginner looking to get up to speed fast
- You’re an intermediate or advanced player who wants to master their instrument
- You learn better with video rather than reading
- You’re interested in learning how to play popular/classic music that people love
- You’re looking for a traditional methodology of piano instruction (based on sight reading)
Why is FlowKey Our Runner Up and Not #1 Pick?
In all honesty, there is only one reason we can’t call FlowKey our #1 pick and that’s because there’s no major focus on playing piano by ear or improvising/composing songs and music.
That’s a huge deal to us as music creators, but other than that it is literally the best option for anyone (beginner or seasoned player) to level up their piano technique.
I’ve reviewed other piano learning software like Melodics and Playground Sessions on this site, but so far FlowKey is my favorite implementation of interactive piano learning.
The interface of the site is really nice. The song selection is fantastic with some really beautiful (popular) piano songs. It’s totally interactive as well. Meaning you actually play along with the lesson while you’re learning. And practice is easy too (more on this in a second).
The Best Part About FlowKey
I’m not gonna lie – on first look it just looked like any other piano software. But when I dug into it deeper I realized it was anything but. It was by far the best implementation of the interactive learning model I’d seen.
The best part about FlowKey’s setup, though, is the fact you DON’T NEED a MIDI keyboard to take advantage of the interactive learning features. The other interactive lessons I’ve reviewed both require one.
But with FlowKey, you can use your computer/tablet/phone’s microphone and the software will listen for the pitch of notes and progress the lesson as you play.
Practice Made Easy
The user interface is clean and intuitive, making it easy to work with.
And the lessons come with advanced controls which help make practicing songs easier. You can easily loop a section of a song to keep trying to master it over and over. And you can easily do a “first run-through” of a song using WAIT MODE – the software just waits for you to hit the next note in the piece before advancing. That way you can slowly learn the notes and chords without worrying about tempo/time/scrolling.
It really seems the company has thought this through, and as a continual student of piano it’s very much appreciated.
What’s Included In FlowKey Free and FlowKey Premium?
With a FREE account, you’re given limited access to the platform.
This includes a free complete beginner’s guide, and a small selection of beginner video/interactive lessons. You can also learn 8 different songs with your free account.
- Amazing Grace
- Brahms’ Lullaby
- Bella Ciao
- Ode to Joy
- Swan Lake Theme
- Happy Birthday To You
- Clair de Lune
- Bach’s Prelude No. 1 in C
When you unlock Premium (try it free for 7 days) you get access to everything the site has to offer.
This includes all course lessons:
- Introduction (basics and fundamentals)
- Playing With Both Hands
- Intermediate Piano Playing
- Music Reading Training
- Playing Scales
- Mastering Chords
- Improvising With Chords
And of course you get full access to the over 1500 song library to learn whatever you like.
Here are some of my personal favorites:
- Hallelujah – Leonard Cohen
- Imagine – John Lennon
- Moonlight Sonata – Beethoven
- Bohemian Rhapsody – Queen
- My Immortal – Evanescence
- Game of Throne Theme – Ramin Djawadi
- Shallow – Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper
- Canon in D – Johann Pachelbel
- Godfather Theme – Nino Rota
- A Thousand Miles – Vanessa Carlton
- Ain’t No Sunshine – Bill Withers
I could go on.
And most song’s have different versions – from “Beginner” to “Pro.” If you need a simplified version of a song, you’ve got it. And as you get better and better, the songs you learn will sound better and better too.
So – should you take a chance on it?
Based on this Flowkey review you can probably guess my answer is absolutely YES.
Even if you’re like me, and learning to play by ear is the priority to you, it’s still well worth the cost of membership to join FlowKey as well as learn with something like Hear And Play’s course. You’ll truly get the best of both worlds that way – traditional training with a library of beautiful songs to play AND the ability to play by ear, improvise and compose music.
What more could a music lover want?
So whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned player, if you’re looking for an interactive, online piano lesson software Flowkey is likely your best bet. I’d recommend it over the other options out there for sure.
Hope this review was helpful! Thanks for reading.