Everyday, we listen to new songs and watch music videos, and wonder how the musicians playing the instruments become so good. To get good at anything, you need to do a lot of practice. In the same way, learning to play a musical instrument also requires you to put a lot of hours into practice. It is a difficult task and may take quite a significant chunk of your time, but hey, that’s the price you pay for something you want this bad. Some years ago, to learn music, you had to join a music school, hire a personal teacher, or get some other help material in order to know the basics. These days, there are hundreds of websites available, and you can watch tutorial videos on YouTube that provide free courses, starting from beginner to any subsequent level. There are also software available that let you practice different musical instruments. Some days ago, I covered Guitar and Bass, an application for Windows that lets you learn how to play fret-based instruments. Today, we have another program that also helps you in learning music; only this time, instead of guitar, it’s for honing your piano skills. Synthesia is a software that lets you learn to play the piano in a fun way. You can use the keyboard or connect a real piano to your computer in order to practice playing different songs.
When you launch the application, it runs in full screen mode only. The main interface has Play, Keyboard Setup, and Game Options buttons in the center. When you practice, the program keeps a score of how you are doing. Click the No Profile Selected button to create a new profile in order to save your progress and all the scores.
Click Play to reveal the list of available songs to choose from. All the available songs are listed according to their difficulty level, including Easy, Medium Hard and Harder. Other than the songs, you can also practice by playing the Arpeggios and Scales available in the list.
When you select a track from the list, you are given options to Practice the Melody, Practice the Rhythm and Song Recital. Other options allow you to practice just the left hand, the right hand, or both hands. Keep in mind that some of these modes are only available in paid version of the program. However, the free version has enough to keep you busy.
The Options menu (accessible from the start screen) allow you to configure the Gameplay Options, Graphics Options, Internet Options and Advanced Options. Moreover, you can change the Key Bindings for Menu Navigation, Song Navigation and Play Controls.
Synthesia works on both 32-bit and 64-bit versions of Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7 and Windows 8.