One of the best tools for learning to play music on keyboards or pianos is called Synthesia. In this article I am going to talk a little bit about this PC program and how you can use it to learn to play any unknown music.
Synthesia Piano is a program / game developed in 2006 that allows you to connect a MIDI keyboard or your computer keyboard to play a kind of piano game in order to teach people to play the piano.
Some can learn to play music using sheet music or cipher, the Synthesia uses a more friendly approach, showing a music track being played directly on a piano, with the option to activate musical scores and notes.
It works the same way as Guitar Hero, so much so that initially it would be called Piano Hero, but it seems that the Guitar Hero company didn't like it and sent a threat, they had to change the name to Synthesia. It may seem like a simple game, but this is one of the most popular programs among pianists and keyboardists on earth.
Why is Synthesia so popular?
The biggest advantage is that it allows you to import MIDI files from anywhere and see all of your tracks and how they are played on the keyboard. This opens the window to play an infinite variety of music from movies, series, games, anime and anything the person is looking for. Just find the MIDI file of the song on the internet.
Its features make it a super rich program with infinite content. With it you can use your keyboard or computer to create MIDI files with many different tracks and instruments and play them in the application.
As the name suggests, this program is a synthesizer that allows the accompaniment of drums and thousands of instruments, each instrument can be configured and determined by a color. You can disable the instrument or track in the program and learn one at a time.
This music software is available for Windows, macOS, Android and IOS. There are alternatives to Linux called Linthesia.
Unfortunately to add your own songs and listen to them completely you need to buy and unlock the program. Its iOS version costs only 29 reais. As I only use macOS, I was unable to know how it works on Windows.
The mafia of keyboard and piano videos on youtube
Thousands of youtube channels they record videos of the synthesia by executing some MIDI and put it on youtube to generate views and teach people to play the keyboard or piano.
If you do not want to download the program or search for MIDI files, just search for the name of the song followed by synthesis on youtube and you will find a video. The only disadvantages of using videos instead of the actual program is that you cannot easily rewind, pause and change speed.
Some youtubers try to innovate by placing the synthesis track embedded in a real keyboard being played with a human hand. Others show the video of the synthesia along with a background representing the song in question, such as the anime or album of the song. Others simply use the sound of a real piano over the video.
See as an example the video below that already has more than 500,000 views. People use Synthesia even for make money on the internet. You can find any song using this program. Maybe you even saw a video and didn't notice the name.
LEARN TO PLAY THE KEYBOARD OR PIANO WITH SYNTHESIA
With synthesia you can use any music or soundtrack you like to learn to play the way you like it. It displays all notes being played on the screen, allowing you to pause, slow down and play / play.
If you have a MIDI keyboard, just connect it to the computer and the synthesia will automatically recognize it. So you can dedicate all your time to learning and have fun with the music of your taste.
For learn to read sheet music on synthesia you need to activate them. While the song is playing, just click on the musical note icon next to the metronome. If the icon does not appear, you need to assign a hand to at least one track of the song.
The program also has exercises to develop your learning, it teaches scales, rhythms, special techniques and many other things. The program also shows the number of the finger you need to use on each key.
Before starting each song you can edit the instruments of each part of the song, the colors of the keys, the hand of each of the keys, and even exclude parts of the song from its performance. So you can learn to play one part at a time.
It also allows you to split your hand into MIDI files with just one track (color). Just access the music settings and click hands, colors and instruments, click on the bottom and select the option custom. Dividing the keyboard in the middle, you have two tracks, one for each hand.
HOW TO ADD MUSIC TO SYNTHESIA
To find MIDI files and play them in the program just search on google, the files are small and easy to download, do not weigh more than 50kb. There are thousands of websites and MIDI databases for just about any song. Some youtubers offer to download the MIDI file in their videos.
I downloaded the MIDI file, now what? In the program settings you choose the folder where the program finds all MIDI files. Or you can simply open the MIDI file directly in the program by right-clicking.
Some use Metadata Editor to create MIDI files, if you have any skills and patience you can try it out. Remembering that there are different versions of MIDI files of the same song. Some may be practically impossible to play due to the huge number of tracks.
Below I will leave another video of one of the songs that I really like:
THE BIG PROBLEM OF USING SYNTHESIA
Whether using the program or watching videos on youtube, there is a great danger when learning to play the piano with this program. You are very accommodated watching the falling keys that you forget to learn music. You end up learning to play the piano the wrong way.
If you don't have discipline you will want to use only synthesia to learn while ignoring any note, clef or score. It may even be faster to learn using the program, but it makes you very dependent, without training, over time you end up forgetting to play some songs. While those who read the score, just look at the paper.
On the other hand it trains your memory a lot, because you need to learn to play music by ear, recording everything in your head without relying on reading music. I spent my childhood using this program, it made it difficult for me to learn sheet music, but I am very grateful because I was able to learn many songs that no other place teaches.
Still, you need not be afraid to use it, use it a lot and feel free… I hope you enjoyed this short article, if you liked it, share it and leave your comments.