ColorPiano for Chrome will help you learn to play the piano – for free!

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Ever wished you could learn to play the piano but don’t have the time or patience or money to go out and get lessons (not to mention the fact that even a baby piano can take up a lot of room)? ColorPiano may be able to come to your rescue, at least in part.

It will help you learn to play the piano, with very little in the way of previous experience, and won’t cost you an arm and a leg. It will also act as a great MIDI player for any of those great MIDI files you have laying around.

Most of us have thought, at one point or another, about learning to play a musical instrument, but it turns into a pipe dream when it becomes clear how much time, energy and money it can cost to get those lessons.

An alternative in the age of cyber-works we now live in is to try and learn on your own, and if you have the drive and/or talent you can do so with the right tools. ColorPiano is a great tool for just that purpose, and it installs as a Chrome extension so you will have it handy anytime you open a browser window.

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ColorPiano has two major functions. The first is that it emulates a piano. Simple, right? Well it’s a bit more complicated than just an emulation program, it simulates the usage of two hands by allowing you to set up auto chords, different signature keys and other step functions of music and piano pieces in specific. For example, clicking on a key on the piano will play that key, but if you hold SHIFT and press that same key you will get a chord played, based on the chord settings you’ve chosen in the configuration menu. It’s a neat concept and helps to get the ideas of how piano is played into your head without having an actual piano or even a physical MIDI device in front of you. Essentially, it will help you learn the theory behind playing piano, even if it doesn’t give you the practice of actually having a piano under your hands. Bear in mind that if you do own a MIDI piano, ColorPiano will let you use it.

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In addition to being a piano simulator, it is also a MIDI player of great performance. You can search through the fairly robust database of MIDI songs in classical genre that they have (everything from Handel to Mozart to nearly any other composer you might think of) on file or you can drag and drop a MIDI file from your computer into the screen and it will load that song instantly. You can also control the speed at which the song is playing, so if you’re learning it for the first time you can slow it down to get it right as many times as you need to. The thing that really struck me as cool about ColorPiano (and the reason for its name) is that each note played will be represented by a color bar of various length and intensity, based on the key provided at the top. This helps you to learn piano music visually as well as with your hands and ears, which is a great way of adding the third dimension to the education process. The only downside I found was that for some of the more complex and modern sound MIDI files (like Mariah Carey songs, for instance) it tends to get kind of loud and dischordant, since it doesn’t differentiate between different volumes for different key presses. That being said, I still found it to be a great educational tool and a lot of fun as well so give it a try and see what you can make of it. Until next time, my friends.

  • Get Color Piano here.