Now, I haven’t played the piano in a few years because I got obsessed with learning guitar, but I was given this app to review so I thought it might be time to find some batteries for my keyboard and refresh my skills. Skoove is a music learning app for people that want to learn piano, it also provides content on how to read notation and play chords.
This app is available on Android, iOS and Mac and Windows operating systems so there is no excuse not to try it. To use this app, all you have to do is hook up your keyboard, hopefully, you have one already, and start following the lessons. They come with notes on hand positions when playing the piano as well as sheet music for you to read along with.
Skoove states that their app ‘is the easiest way to learn piano.’ So, I guess we should find out how good this app is for learning and if it really is the easiest way to learn piano.
First thing is first, you have installed the app, it gives you three options, these options are to provide information on your experience with playing the piano so far;
I decided to try basic because it has been a while since I played and I don’t remember being that dedicated to it when I did play. You are then asked to sign up to the app using Facebook, Google account or email address. Once the sign up is finished, you are offered a free trial to use Skoove at the premium level, you can skip this offer with the ‘X’ in the top right-hand corner of the screen.
You are then taken straight into a video about what Skoove can do for you and your journey, it also gives an explanation of what a ‘Sharp’ note is. Once the video is over you are taken to a gallery type screen where there are several options for you to choose from.
I chose to continue with the next part, learning the notes of the James Bond theme tune. The videos are extremely short and they can be a little confusing at first about when you are supposed to be playing and when you are supposed to be watching. You watch the video and then interact by playing what you just learned, your device listens and tells you if you are doing it right.
If you make too many mistakes at the end of the video you will be restarted on that particular practice. The free content is extremely limited learning just the first part to two songs preselected for you like the intro to Skoove, but it gives you a good taste of what to expect whilst using this app.
Piano Beginner 1: This is the most basic level that Skoove offers, it looks at rhythm, correct playing posture and notation learning.
Piano Beginner 2: This is where you learn how to play using both hands.
Piano Beginner 3: This is where you will learn why we use two hands to play the piano and how it benefits you whilst playing.
Piano Songs Beginner: This area looks at learning songs such as My Heart Will Go On at the most basic level.
Beginner Theory: This area teaches notation as well as gives a better understanding of areas such as rhythm and notes. This is not something that you have to learn to play, but from experience, it is better to start learning it early on in your journey.
Piano Intermediate: Like the beginners’ course, this is made up of three levels. It looks at inversions and chord variants and gives a more comprehensive look at areas you should be familiar with.
Pros and Cons
Skoove is definitely made for beginners just starting to learn the piano, it has a really good collection of tutorials to learn the fundamentals of theory and practice. Skoove can also be used alongside a digital or acoustic piano depending on what you are using to learn whereas most apps require a digital keyboard to play along with. The lessons themselves, visually are great, sheet music runs along the top with a demonstration of what to play is underneath.
The thing I noticed straight about this app is that it seems to quite literally dive straight into teaching, I would normally say this is a good thing but in this instance it made the process feel rushed like it was just trying to get you through to free stuff to convince you to continue. It has a good collection of songs for you to learn from, although not the biggest from other apps I have seen.
One noticeable issue I saw with the Skoove app is that the sheet music is boiled down massively to align with the level of programme you are using. For example, this means if you learned something through the app, once you get to the advanced stage of the song, you will only know how to play that song the same way the course creators intended you to. Which may not sound like the original piece of music you are playing.
Also, Skoove crashed on me after the first couple of lessons, as you can see in the pictures above and below. I have no idea why this happened, it just wouldn’t load one of the videos. I rebooted the app three times and eventually, the video played. But this wouldn’t be a review if I wasn’t being honest.
Features of the app
Skoove has a whole variety of features that make up its curriculum and it lays it out simply:
Chords and Scales: To help you along in the journey, Skoove helps you to understand the importance of chords and scales in music theory as well as examining progressions.
Pop Piano: Here you learn everything you need to learn pop songs on the piano, it gives you chord progressions to work on as well as demonstrates how to improvise where needed.
Keyboard for producers: This is quite a unique feature of Skoove, it helps the user learn how to digitally produce music. It teaches you about aspects of producing such as modulation and the Mixolydian scale. This area is not geared towards beginners, so if you are new to playing the piano, don’t go onto this part for a while because it requires some experience.
What is Skoove premium?
Skoove premium is a paid subscription to access all of the content on the app, you get 400 lessons and 1 to 1 support from professional teachers as part of the subscription.
How much is Skoove premium?
1 month subscription: £17.99 per month
3 months: £10.99 per month.
12 months: £8.33 per month.
Can children use Skoove to learn?
Skoove recommends the app be used from ages 12 and up. But with extra guidance there is no reason why someone younger could use the apps, it just might take some extra explaining.
If I don’t have a keyboard can I use my computer to play?
Yes, there are a limited amount of lessons available to Skoove that allow you to play with your computer keyboard rather than your digital keyboard.
Learning something like an instrument is never going to be easy, but after going through the Skoove app, I have come to the conclusion that it probably is actually one of the easiest ways to learn the piano. It has a lot of great stuff for all levels with a particular leaning on the beginners’ area. The style of teaching that Skoove uses makes the process smooth and allows you to set the pace of your learning no matter how fast or slow you wish to take it.
Skoove is budget-friendly and with covid-19 offers even more free lessons to help you continue doing something you love. It has a large repertoire of lessons and support as well as gives a great overview of music theory to help you understand music better. It is definitely something I would recommend to people looking to play the piano, particularly if you are just starting out.