Hi there! This is my review on the Piano In 21 Days online piano course. I completed the main course in the fall of 2019 and it got me playing modern songs in less than a month – worth every penny!
And some exciting news: a new version of the course (6.0) has now been released. I’ve had a chance to go through the new version in depth, and as good as the prior version was – version 6.0 is WAY better!
How Can You “Learn Piano” In Only 21 Days????
This is usually the first thing that comes to mind when you see the name of this course (I thought the same thing when I first saw it; people take lessons for YEARS to learn how to play the piano). The answer to that depends on how you define “I can play the piano” – this can mean VASTLY different things to different people, depending on their individual goals; and the best suited training method for YOU depends on what those goals are!
Your Goal: Traditional classical piano pieces
If your goal is to play traditional classical piano pieces, you really should learn how to sight read sheet music (which is extremely challenging and time consuming). To learn to play classical music, you need a training method that is more traditional in nature, so in that case Piano In 21 Days is not the right course for you. OR IS IT??? A new add-on course has been added to Piano In 21 Days – “Classical And Sheet Music In 21 Days” – so now you can get started playing quickly and learn basic music theory with a chord based approach and THEN try to tackle classical and sheet music . . .
Your Goal: Play modern music (rock, pop, country, blues)
If your goal is to play modern music (just for fun with family and friends, or even if you want to work towards playing in a band or performing), then Piano In 21 Days is ABSOLUTELY the best (and fastest) way to be able to do that quickly.
How Can You Learn Modern Music So Quickly?
One of the biggest reasons you can learn how to play modern music so quickly is that to play modern music you DO NOT need to learn how to sight read sheet music. Learning to sight read is basically like learning a new language – it is extremely challenging and time consuming. To play modern music, you only need to learn how to use chords charts (and a chord is simply multiple notes played at once). So what’s the difference?
Sheet music will tell you exactly what notes to play and when (so you are basically “regurgitating” an exact copy of a song the way it happened to be written down).
Chord charts give you a very simple guide or road map of how to play a song; you simply follow along playing the correct chords and you’re playing the song!
And as you learn to play chords in different ways and with different rhythms and how to add in some “on-the-fly” improvisation techniques to “spice up” your playing, you can play a song a little bit differently every time without worrying about having to duplicate what is written on a piece of sheet music!
Have you ever seen a guitarist pick up a guitar and start easily strumming away to song after song while people sing along? That guitarist is strumming chords learned from chord charts and that is EXACTLY how Piano In 21 Days teaches you to play the piano.
How Does Piano In 21 Days Work?
21 Video Lessons
The main course in Piano In 21 Days consists of 21 really well done individual video lessons with easy to follow overhead views:
And there are exercises, assignments and tasks to complete before moving on to the next lesson. You can complete the course in 21 days, or if you like you can take 6 months – you can comfortably move along at your own pace (once you purchase the course, you have it forever, there is no time limit or “subscription fee” or anything).
Piano In 21 Days starts off by teaching you the notes on the piano, then moves on to how chords are constructed – this is really important. Instead of just showing you a “C Major” chord and saying “memorize this”, the course teaches you HOW ANY major chord is “built” – this allows you to figure out ANY major chord by yourself! (Kind of like “teaching you to fish” instead of just giving you a fish). Then the course moves on to add in the left hand, and lessons on hand coordination, use of the sustain pedal, and then introduces you to some simple “improv” techniques. These allow you easily to make your playing more interesting sounding than just playing basic chords all the time.
Then the course moves on to more advanced topics like key signatures & scales (although you’re not sight reading scales – you learn HOW scales are built just like you did with chords – so you can figure out other scales on your own as well!). Then it moves on to show you common chord progressions (sequences of chords) you will see in many modern songs, and then has some excellent lessons on more advanced topics like chord inversions, chord charts, transposing, and more advanced chord construction and more advanced improvisation techniques. And then you are shown a step by step song learning process that you will continue to use to learn new songs quickly and efficiently (I still use it today).
Once You’re Done – What Have You Learned?
Once you have completed the main course in Piano In 21 Days, you have learned how to:
- Look up chords online for a song you want to learn how to play
- Be able to QUICKLY start playing a basic version of the song
- Gradually enhance your version of the song using the techniques learned in the course (different versions of chords, inversions, rhythm variations, and “on-the-fly” improvisation techniques – make the song sound better all the time, and make it “your own” (instead of regurgitating sheet music and always playing it the same)
It still catches me off guard sometimes how quickly I am able to learn a new song.
Why Not Just Learn Songs From YouTube Tutorials?
While you can learn what notes to play from a YouTube tutorial, this is really just memorization (similar to using sheet music) – you memorize how to play that particular song, but then with the next song you want to learn, you are starting from scratch and trying to memorize THAT song. Learning songs with a chord based approach using the tools you get from Piano In 21 Days is a skill that is transferable from one song to the next, and you get better and better at it with time – you will be able to learn new songs WAY faster using this approach, and you are learning valuable music theory along the way.
How Is Piano In 21 Days 6.0 Improved ?
I mentioned that the new version of Piano In 21 Days is a significant improvement over the prior version (which was already a fantastic course). Here are some of the main improvements to the course:
1) WAY More Content
The lessons in version 6.0 are far more in depth and go into far more detail than their counterparts in the prior version of the course. Most of the lessons are 2 or even 3 times as long in the new version.
2) New Content
There has been some very useful brand new content added to the new version of Piano In 21 Days:
- More lessons on left-right hand coordination
- More advanced improvisation techniques (including more left hand improv techniques)
- More advanced chords are taught
3) New Practice Tools
The new version of Piano In 21 Days makes heavy use of simple backing tracks, relevant to each lesson – these are instrumental recordings that you play along with as chords scroll by, that help you practice. They are super easy to access and use (they are just embedded into each actual lesson’s webpage). The addition of these tracks is a huge improvement in this course – they really help you practice, and they make practicing much more engaging and fun (and when it’s more fun . . . you do it more!). In the prior version of the course, I actually made my own backing tracks to practice along with – so these would have been super helpful to me!
New Integrated Community Platform
The prior version of the course made heavy use of a private Facebook group where students could post questions, videos of themselves playing, get help & encouragement from other students as well as from Jacques & his team. It was and still is a great community with tons of participation and really does add to the value of the course.
In the new version of the course, this community (including Jacques’ regular live Q&A sessions that he currently hosts on Facebook) is being moved into the Piano In 21 Days online platform. You can still do all the same things (post questions, videos, get help and encouragement etc) but there is a bunch of new very helpful functionality in here like tracking your practice vs. goals, news feeds, event calendars, topically sorted forums, messenging etc. But one of the big features in my opinion is there is a message board on each individual lesson. This allows you, while you are in the middle of a lesson and struggling with something to post your question RIGHT THERE, which allows others to zoom in on and provide assistance much more efficiently – or you may skip from posting your question because you scrolled through the messages already there and have found an answer already (because someone else posted your question before).
Which “Package” Should You Choose
There are different packages you can choose from when signing up for Piano In 21 Days – when I signed up, I chose the “Ultimate Package” and I am very happy with that decision and would highly recommend it, because it includes some extremely helpful extra material – when I took the course (Version 5.0) it included two additional video courses. With the version 6.0 Ultimate Package you now get access to four additional video courses!
Also, I think it’s very cool that Jacques Hopkins sought out specialists in these areas to help with the extra content; that provides the best value for students like us.
Included In The Ultimate Package:
Hand Coordination Course
This is a 6 lesson video course taught by Josef Sykora of Creative Piano Academy. This course helps in getting your left and right hands to work together – this course was VERY helpful to me, this was something I struggled with for a while.
Melody & Ear Training In 21 Days Course
This is another 21 day video course taught by pro pianist Steve Lungrin. This course teaches you two things: how to add a consistent rhythm and “feel” to a song with your left hand (similar to what the bass and drums do in a band) while adding the melody of the song into the chords you are playing with the right hand. I personally prefer to (try to) sing so I rarely play the melody in my right hand, but adding consistent rhythm patterns to my left hand playing has dramatically improved my piano playing.
Two MORE New Courses Added To Version 6.0
In version 6.0, the Hand Coordination and Melody & Ear Training courses are still included in the Ultimate Package, but there are now two MORE 21 day courses that have been added to Piano In 21 Days. These 2 courses are taught by award winning jazz pianist Noah Kellman. One is on playing jazz, blues and cocktail piano, and the other is on playing classical music (so you can expect some sightreading in that one). At the time of writing this review, I am about half way through the jazz course and it is fantastic! Noah has a great way of describing jazz and blues topics like open chords, chord voicings, 12 bar blues, and the approach he uses to teach improv and soloing is excellent and has improved my play considerably. Once I complete that course I will try to post a review on just it. I’m not sure if I will ever try the classical and sheet music course (not really MY thing) but the fact that it is there opens up Piano In 21 Days to a whole new group of potential students. Getting the foundations under your belt first by learning with a chord based approach will definitely make the challenge of learning to sight read much easier than trying to tackle that from scratch which can be super frustrating for beginning piano students.
Piano in 21 Days Review (6.0) – Verdict
So if you are looking for a fun, engaging & fast way to get started playing modern songs on the piano, Piano In 21 Days really is the perfect choice. It got me up and running playing modern songs within a month, and the additional courses in the Ultimate Package were fantastic, and really improved my playing considerably. And with all the upgrades in version 6.0 – more content, new content, backing tracks for practicing, improved online community features, and the option of FOUR new courses to continue developing your skills in your area of interest make Piano In 21 Days better than ever.
I’ve included my affiliate link below for Piano in 21 Days, so if you want to check out the course further I would really appreciate it if you used that link to check out the trial (you can try out the first 5 days for free!) and get started on the course.