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App for learning how to play that works with a downtuned piano? (Read 356 times)

Offline the hun

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Hello everyone, I'm new in the forum  ;D

I took some piano lessons as a child but I didn't show too much enthusiasm at the time and many years later my daughter showed some interest, so I paid for a piano tuner to bring back to life our 150 year old Boisselot-Bernareggi piano that was little more than a pretty ornament for decades.

She is also taking private piano lessons and seems to enjoy it so I decided I would also retake it where I left it in my (little) free time. I tried a piano app called Simply Piano that works well with my bother's digital piano but unfortunately I can't use it with ours because the tuner had to downtune it half a note (so the software doesn't recognize the notes properly). I have also looked through all the settings and read through the Joytunes website but I can't find any option to adapt the app to a not pitch-perfect piano.

So my question is: are there any other apps out there that I can use to teach myself a bit with my old museum piece?

Cheers

Offline j_tour

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Re: App for learning how to play that works with a downtuned piano?
«Reply #1 on: July 17, 2021, 03:52:24 PM »
Maybe.  I don't know exactly what your app does, but I'm very surprised to hear that it cannot adjust for pitch, in terms of cents, or even a semitone.

I think you'll probably find some suggestions, but what exactly are you using the app for?  It's obviously picking up sound and presumably giving you some feedback. 

Like what, if you play a middle C, it says "Congratulations!"?

If you say what you need the app for, there's almost surely something that can work better for you.

And, don't worry, within ten minutes, every spammer in the known universe is going to glom onto this thread bleating about such-and-such app or tutorial.  So, fair warning, be a bit discriminate!

On the bright side, even if another app isn't as good as your current one, you'll be one heck of a sight-transposer! 
My name is Nellie, and I take pride in helping protect the children of my community through active leadership roles in my local church and in the Boy Scouts of America.  Bad word make me sad.

Offline the hun

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Re: App for learning how to play that works with a downtuned piano?
«Reply #2 on: July 18, 2021, 10:35:56 AM »
Maybe.  I don't know exactly what your app does, but I'm very surprised to hear that it cannot adjust for pitch, in terms of cents, or even a semitone.

I think you'll probably find some suggestions, but what exactly are you using the app for?  It's obviously picking up sound and presumably giving you some feedback. 

Like what, if you play a middle C, it says "Congratulations!"?

If you say what you need the app for, there's almost surely something that can work better for you.

And, don't worry, within ten minutes, every spammer in the known universe is going to glom onto this thread bleating about such-and-such app or tutorial.  So, fair warning, be a bit discriminate!

On the bright side, even if another app isn't as good as your current one, you'll be one heck of a sight-transposer!

Thanks for the reply!

The app basically displays a song with its moving stave and records the notes that you play, telling you when you did it right or made a mistake. At the end of the song you get some feedback about your performance and if you make too many mistakes it stops and you get another go. Here is an example:



The issue is that in my case all the notes are recognized incorrectly and I cant' go any further. Maybe it is possible to adjust this (I agree it should be possible and I would definitely include this feature if I was the developer) and I'm just too dumb to find how but it's a real pity in any case.


Offline lettersquash

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Re: App for learning how to play that works with a downtuned piano?
«Reply #3 on: July 18, 2021, 11:11:16 PM »
Hi the hun and welcome to the forum!

I watch the thread with interest, but I suspect you may be disappointed with the current state of the software out there, and I wonder whether this kind of app is advisable as a way to improve your piano playing.

On the technical issues, even for a piano that is in tune, apps like this often don't work too well with acoustic instruments (although you might be lucky), because it takes them a while to analyse the incoming frequencies, even with a single melody. Playing chords, as in the example, I imagine it would struggle. Although the app might react after a while "listening" to the incoming frequencies, this delay might cause a problem keeping time (or acknowledging your correct playing).

But I might be behind the curve already, it's just what I've picked up from comments and a little experience of using tuning apps, which also take a while to react and "decide" what note you're playing.

I wonder if there are better resources for students. If you find music approximately appropriate to your level, but that you know, or that has an accompanying recording, it should be possible (and a better exercise) to do for yourself what the computer is doing. Checking by ear if what you're playing sounds right is all part of learning the instrument.

A comment I noticed on the Simply Piano app listing said that you can't slow it down, which is another thing that's important in learning - playing very very slowly as you work out the notes, only picking up the tempo gradually as you become more familiar with a piece. And another comment - common on this kind of app - complained that there wasn't much to play before having to buy the premium version, and I suspect that may soon run out of anywhere to go too.

This advice might not suit you, of course, and each to their own. Others here are much more experienced in different methods of learning (or re-starting), and maybe some will advise the use of an app.
Cheers,
~ lettersquash
Schwencke dumped in the middle of Bach's Prelude, and Gounod tried to polish it.

Offline the hun

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Re: App for learning how to play that works with a downtuned piano?
«Reply #4 on: July 20, 2021, 03:24:47 PM »
Hi the hun and welcome to the forum!

I watch the thread with interest, but I suspect you may be disappointed with the current state of the software out there, and I wonder whether this kind of app is advisable as a way to improve your piano playing.

On the technical issues, even for a piano that is in tune, apps like this often don't work too well with acoustic instruments (although you might be lucky), because it takes them a while to analyse the incoming frequencies, even with a single melody. Playing chords, as in the example, I imagine it would struggle. Although the app might react after a while "listening" to the incoming frequencies, this delay might cause a problem keeping time (or acknowledging your correct playing).

But I might be behind the curve already, it's just what I've picked up from comments and a little experience of using tuning apps, which also take a while to react and "decide" what note you're playing.

I wonder if there are better resources for students. If you find music approximately appropriate to your level, but that you know, or that has an accompanying recording, it should be possible (and a better exercise) to do for yourself what the computer is doing. Checking by ear if what you're playing sounds right is all part of learning the instrument.

A comment I noticed on the Simply Piano app listing said that you can't slow it down, which is another thing that's important in learning - playing very very slowly as you work out the notes, only picking up the tempo gradually as you become more familiar with a piece. And another comment - common on this kind of app - complained that there wasn't much to play before having to buy the premium version, and I suspect that may soon run out of anywhere to go too.

This advice might not suit you, of course, and each to their own. Others here are much more experienced in different methods of learning (or re-starting), and maybe some will advise the use of an app.
Cheers,
~ lettersquash

Thank you lettersquash!

I get what you say and I see the issues with delay. I didn't notice this until now but of course I have been playing only slow tunes for now as my level is not very advanced.

I contacted the support team and they confirmed that it's not possible to tune the pitch and as you said it also doesn't allow slowing down the tempo. So I guess this is the best I can have until I find an alternative. I do occasionally play directly from some old books with staves that I have but for many of them I just don't have the level yet, I will try to check if I can download something easier.

Cheers

Offline timothy42b

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Re: App for learning how to play that works with a downtuned piano?
«Reply #5 on: July 20, 2021, 06:22:50 PM »
I know you like your acoustic but is it possible you could play on a digital for a while?

MIDI out from the digital takes all the tuning issues away. 
Tim