Friday, February 08, 2013

Learning to Play the Piano v2.0 #2

In July 2010, I was probably hearing the word "app" for the first time.  Things have moved on now, and there's an iPad in the house.  I got started yesterday with Synthesia, on dear old Au Clair de la Lune: only three notes, with only the right hand.

But here's the thing: back in 2010 I was just concentrating on getting some kind of mental link between the notes on the page and the ones my fingers were hitting on the keyboard.  Which I kind of did, but with no regard for tempo and rhythm, so it must have sounded like...  just a series of notes.

This Synthesia shows you the musical notation, but is not dependent on it. The notes fall down as in Tetris, and you have to hit the right keys.  You learn the melody first, quite easy, but then you have to do it rhythmically, at the right time, and paying attention to both the length of the note and the velocity.  It feels much more realistic.

It's also difficult, in the way a computer game is difficult, even with something as baby as Au Clair de la Lune, becoming almost perceptibly easier each go-round. Also like a computer game, it's addictive.  So why spend time racing around the desert scraping zombies off the side of the car when you can be learning something which might just earn you free beer to accompany the free bus pass, one day, (if you're spared)?

Speaking of which, here's some Irish midi, again.