Hi there! This is my review of the Piano Man Approach online piano course by Steve Lungrin. I completed the main course in mid 2020, and have been working through the “Deep Dive” which is a massive collection of extra video lessons that are also available. I’ve completed a lot of the material in the Deep Dive, but it is large enough to keep me busy learning for a long time yet. Given that I’ve completed the main course and have a good sense of what the “Deep Dive” has to offer, I thought it was time to give the Piano Man Approach a full review.
Who Is This Course For?
This course is for people who want to learn how to play modern music on the piano, with a very strong focus on performance – making a song sound as full as possible. This is done by using the left hand to maintain a consistent rhythm and feel throughout the song (much like drums and bass form the “backbone” of a band). This course does not use sheet music, and has no requirement for sight reading ability – you are taught to play by using chords, and you are taught how to improvise over those chords with various patterns, while maintaining a consistent feel with the left.
Who Is This Course NOT For?
If your goal is to learn how to sight read sheet music, and (or) play traditional classical music, then this course is not for you.
Piano Man Approach – How I Got Started
I first encountered Steve Lungrin in the Piano in 21 Days Course, which is what got me started playing piano. That course (if you choose the “ultimate package”) has other courses included to supplement the main course. One of those courses is taught by Steve Lungrin; it focuses on playing the melody with your right hand and maintaining a consistent, steady “feel” with your left hand. While playing the melody in the right hand isn’t something I tend to do, I was intrigued by Steve’s emphasis on maintaining a consistent feel in the left hand throughout songs.
This really hit home when I started learning a song (Empty Garden by Elton John), and I was playing all the right chords, and it sounded OK, but something just wasn’t right. Then by total coincidence, I came across a version of that song on YouTube by Steve Lungrin that was fantastic! And that’s when it hit me – CONSISTENT LEFT HAND RHYTHM! So I started looking into Steve Lungrin’s course “The Piano Man Approach” and immediately signed up. After completing the main 28 day “Crash Course”, my playing improved significantly. Since then I have been working through the “Deep Dive” which is a massive collection of super useful additional lessons; and it never ceases to surprise how I pick up something in almost every one of those extra lessons that ends up working its way into my playing, improving it noticeably.
What Does This Course Teach You
The first week of the 28 day “Crash Course” teaches you the basics (the keys on the piano, intervals, basic scales and chords). Then, the course progresses into teaching you your first basic rhythm pattern (the rhythm patterns are the left hand techniques that mimic the drums & bass – the “feel” of the song), and starts adding in lessons on improvisation, additional chords, inversions etc. Then the course continues as you learn the other basic rhythm patterns, more improvisation techniques etc.
How Does This Course Teach You
The main course is a set of 28 video lessons that make up his “Crash Course”. For each lesson, Steve goes over what the lesson is about with an intro video and then an overhead video where he demonstrates the exercises / techniques.
After the well narrated overhead video concludes, the lesson continues with a narrated song example on YouTube that reinforces the topics and techniques discussed in the lesson. Steve has a knack for choosing the perfect song example to practice each technique, and also manages to do so with songs from a huge range of genres; it really exemplifies how his approach works equally well with rock, pop, country and with songs from the 50’s all the way to modern day.
Piano Man Approach – Package Options
When I joined the Piano Man Approach, I chose the “Deep Dive” collection because it includes the main 4 week course, as well as a huge number of additional training videos Steve has accumulated over the years.
4 Week “Crash Course”
The basic package available is the 4 week “Crash Course”; this is a step by step 28 lesson course that takes you from a beginner level to being able to play credible accompaniment versions of your favorite modern songs, using the Piano Man Approach; incorporating “true to the song” rhythms in your left hand, with many right hand improv techniques to spice up your play.
The “Deep Dive” Collection
The full package available is the “Deep Dive” collection. This includes the 4 week crash course, but adds a huge number of additional resources and training videos that are organized by topic (advanced chords, improvisation, “licks & fills”, advanced rhythm patterns, etc) so you can easily focus on areas in which you want to improve. I have been working through advanced rhythm patterns & “licks and fills” and I am continuing to learn SO much from this course; and there are enough lessons in this collection to keep me busy for a LONG time.
Other Features And Bonuses
- Facebook Group with weekly live Q&A sessions
- The Facebook group is an awesome vehicle for students to share their progress, ask questions of Steve (and other students to get their perspectives)
- Steve does a live Q&A session once a week that is a great way to get additional feedback and answers to any questions you may have; these are very well attended, and are a really good resource to get your questions answered, or just to watch and learn from other people’s questions
- Live Concerts
- Steve streams live performances regularly, and will even try to take requests. He is a fantastic performer, and while it is awesome to tune in to enjoy the show, you can also learn things as well
- Song Tutorials
- Steve has an archive of song tutorials for popular songs by Elton John, Billy Joel and others that is categorized and made available
The Added Value That Pushes This Course Over The Top = Steve Lungrin
Steve Lungrin is a very talented pianist who has earned his living playing piano for most of his adult life, both from performing live and from training others. But the real added value Steve provides is that he is super approachable, friendly, encouraging and is a very talented instructor – he has a knack for explaining things in a way that is very easy for a beginning pianist like me to digest.
The Verdict – The Piano Man Approach
My piano playing started to improve significantly even while I was still working on the Crash Course, as I started to incorporate good rhythm into my play. After finishing the Crash Course, I must say that my overall playing was night and day better than before I started the Piano Man Approach; songs that I could play before the course that sounded “OK” all sounded way better, and way more like the song itself. The focus on maintaining a consistent rhythm in the left hand that functions as the “backbone” of a song similar to drums and bass in a band really does makes a massive difference. And as I continue to practice and work through the extra content in the Deep Dive, I get more and more comfortable with the left and right hand coordination that you need to play some of these rhythms, so my playing continues to get better. And this builds on itself, allowing me to play more advanced rhythm patterns & walking bass lines in my left hand, and improve my right hand playing with more advanced improvisation techniques and even solos and fills!
So my opinion on this course is a very heartfelt and enthusiastic “this course is absolutely fantastic!“. The main course content is well presented, well taught and easy to follow; Steve Lungrin is a super talented, approachable, enthusiastic and encouraging instructor, the online community and the Q&A sessions are awesome resources, and the amount of extra content in the Deep Dive is huge. If you want to learn how to play credible & realistic modern songs on the piano from a great teacher, I HIGHLY recommend signing up for the Piano Man Approach. And while the crash course IS an awesome way to get started, I would highly recommend opting for the Deep Dive; it’s huge value for the money.
I’ve included my affiliate link below for the Piano Man Approach, so if you want to check out the course further I would really appreciate it if you used that link to get started. The link takes you to a free webinar where Steve introduces himself and explains his teaching approach and courses in more detail, so you really should check out the webinar.
I hope to see you soon in the Facebook group!