A Great Time to Learn a Musical Instrument

An Overview of Some of the Great Online and App-Based Lesson Materials Available Today

Published March 20, 2020 by Patrick H.

These days, everyone and everything are more connected than ever, and that includes musical instruments and musicians. Many of today's digital pianos, keyboards, and electronic drum sets include some form of USB, Bluetooth, or Wi-Fi connection that enables connection to computers, tablets, and mobile phones. Some instruments even include the songs and exercises for popular lesson books built in. And even if your instrument doesn't offer one of these options, it's easier than ever to access downloadable and streaming lessons and tutorials. Here are just a handful of the great online and app-based lesson materials that are now available to help you learn music in the comfort of your own home, or wherever and whenever else it's convenient to take a moment and learn something new.

Alesis is currently offering a promo code good for 40 free bonus lessons from Melodics, "the world's best music tutor for contemporary musicians," when you register your Alesis drum kit (most current Alesis kits are eligible as of this writing). Melodics is an app that helps you improve your timing, expand your drums vocabulary, and make practice with your Alesis drums fun and effective. Browse our selection of Alesis electronic drum sets to see more details.

Casio Chordana Play for Piano is a free app for iOS and Android that allows you to connect your smartphone or tablet to a compatible Casio digital piano to control various settings. It also includes a PDF score viewer that can display the sheet music of 60 songs in the Music Library. In addition, the app's MIDI player lets you visually check the next key or keys to be played and displays them in the piano roll window while you play at your own pace using the tempo adjustment and AB repeat features. Keep track of your improving skills and make practicing more fun with the built-in scoring system. Casio pianos compatible with Casio Chordana Play for Piano include the AP-470, AP-270, PX-870, PX-770, PX-S1000, and PX-S3000.


Fender Play offers new and returning guitar players an intimate, easy-to-use online platform to learn the skills necessary to really play guitar, bass, or ukulele. Lessons are song and riff-based using popular and instantly recognizable songs, and the ever-expanding song library spans a variety of genres with more being added all the time. With Fender Play, you can learn at your own pace, track your progress, and engage with an exclusive online community. While Fender Play is a subscription service, Fender offers a free trial period, and right now they're offering three months free to new subscribers (for a limited time) so you can try it out with your new Fender acoustic guitar, electric guitar, bass, or ukulele.


Kawai CA and CN series digital pianos feature the first year's lesson songs from Alfred Publishing's Basic Piano Course 1, Premier Course 1, and Adult Course 1 built in. Students can listen to the built-in lesson song being played and follow along with the lesson book (sold separately) to learn how the piece is supposed to sound. All songs and exercises can be set at slower tempos which can be increased gradually as skill improves, while right and left-hand parts can be muted independently to allow the parts to be practiced separately. Students can also record their performances and compare them to the built-in performances.

The Korg B2 digital piano includes a 3-month premium plan trial for "Skoove" online piano lessons, one of the fastest and most broad-based platforms for learning piano performance. Through the three steps "hear, learn, perform," you'll acquire performance skills and musical ear training. Skoove provides lessons that are appropriate for the needs and skill levels of those who are just starting piano as well as those who can already play.

Roland's Piano Partner 2 app for iOS and Android mobile devices provides a friendly, interactive way to help you learn and enjoy music with your Roland digital piano. Songs and DigiScore Lite show the piano's internal music collection on your device's display, while Rhythm and Flash Card modes allow you to build skills with intelligent accompaniment and engaging music exercises. Piano Partner 2 also enables your mobile device to work as a remote controller for your Roland piano, offering an intuitive graphic interface for even easier operation.

Roland has also partnered with Skoove to offer three months of piano lessons for free (as of March 2020). If you own a Roland piano, you can get unlimited access to hundreds of songs and interactive courses—available anytime on your computer, smartphone, or tablet. And if you're a piano teacher, Skoove is a great way to work with your students online, keep in contact, and see how they're progressing.


Yamaha currently offers a number of connected learning options, including a 3-month subscription to Flowkey Premium with the purchase of an eligible Yamaha keyboard or piano, giving you access to the entire Flowkey library of 1,000+ songs as well as piano theory courses to improve your playing technique. The Flowkey app makes it easy to learn your favorite songs, whether your level is that of a beginner, intermediate, advanced or pro piano player. Eligible models include P series, DGX-660, Arius YDP series, and Clavinova CLP, CSP, and CVP series digital pianos, and PSR-E, PSR-EW, and Piaggero portable keyboards.

The Yamaha Smart Pianist app allows you to control the many functions included in your Yamaha digital piano with your smart device. Smart Pianist's Chord Tracker function helps you practice and perform your music by analyzing the songs in your music library on your iPhone or iPad and then displaying the chord symbols so you can play along. Clavinova CSP models can access an exclusive "Audio To Score" function within the app that automatically creates a piano accompaniment score from songs on your smart device (Smart Pianist is also compatible with Android devices when used with Clavinova CSPs).


Yamaha's DTX402 Touch is a dedicated iOS/Android app for Yamaha DTX402 series electronic drums. The DTX402 Touch app has 10 Training Modes designed to make you a better player, faster! Customize any of the 10 built-in kits and pad surfaces, and enjoy playing along to 10 diverse built-in songs. The new challenges make practicing fun and help you quickly develop drumming skills with various genres of music.

DIY Keyboard and DIY Guitar books are staples of many Kraft Music digital piano & keyboard bundles and guitar bundles. These books feature simple-to-follow lessons with corresponding video lessons and audio accompaniments. The included media is available to stream or download to give you the ability to watch video lessons, hear examples, and play along anywhere you have a computer or mobile device and your instrument.

So there you have a look at some of the variety of digital educational options available for your new instrument, whether they're free apps, online subscription services, streaming content, or built-in lesson materials. Please reach out to a Kraft Music Sales Advisor if you have any questions about eligibility, compatibility, or additional details. In the meantime, enjoy learning your new instrument!

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