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Customer Review

97 of 111 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Has Its Pros and Cons, December 23, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Piano Master Christmas Special (App)
This is one of the better piano apps I've seen, and it's fun, but it does have a few drawbacks. To explain, I've listed 10 pros and ten cons.

Pros:

1. There are a lot of songs to choose from.
2. It's a good device to encourage interest in studying music.
3. The songs can be listened to prior to playing.
4. There are different skill levels (easy, normal and hard).
5. The piano keeps track of the grades you earn on each song, at each level (beginner, apprentice and expert).
6. The different levels keep the app from getting boring.
7. The piano uses chords, so it's more realistic than most piano applications that allow only one note to be pressed at a time.
8. Although the product description indicates you should play this on a device that is at least 4 inches, it worked fine on the Kindle Fire.
9. If you finish, the audience gives you a very nice round of applause. If you get an "A" they clap with more enthusiasm! :)
10. The background picture on the menu is very beautiful.

Cons:

1. If you make a mistake, the song will not advance until you hit the right key. That's good for learning the right key, but it's terrible for helping you to learn how to keep time. If you're playing a song, and you make a mistake, you're supposed to keep playing to maintain the integrity of the song.
2. Actual note symbols and rests are not used, so you can't learn those.
3. The duration of each song is posted. However, if you make mistakes, it can take much longer to finish the song.
4. Once you select a song, you're stuck in it until you finish it. There is no escape key! If the song you picked is too hard for your skill level it's frustrating.
5. If you play one note of a chord correctly but another note incorrectly, the piano gives you credit for playing one note correctly, and makes you play the other note separately. Since chords require the notes be played simultaneously, this isn't a good way to learn how to play chords.
6. Since I'm on the subject of chords, playing three notes at one time is very challenging. Getting the timing right when striking keys at the same time is not this difficult on an actual piano.
7. As you press the "keys" you get comments such as "perfect," "good," "too late!" etc. floating up from the keyboard in vibrant colors, and with stars. If you play the correct "key(s)", a star floats up the screen, and if you play an incorrect key, a big red "X" floats up. These graphics are a bit distracting. (You can, however, turn these off in the options.)
8. The note names (A, B, C, B flat, etc.) are on the piano "keys," but the blocks that drop down from the top do not have the note names printed on them. The game would be better if the app had the note names printed on the blocks, too. At times, it is hard to tell where the note is headed, and having the note name on the block would help to teach the musical concepts.
9. There is a narrow band, right above the "keys," where the "note" must be positioned to have the computer acknowledge that you've played the note. If you press a key too soon, the computer doesn't register the note. You've gone on to play the next note, but the computer expects you to play the note again. I guess two wrongs do make a right (ha, ha).
10. The game doesn't have an option for more than one player, so if more than one player plays, the progress features become meaningless.
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