This is my review on a FANTASTIC new online piano & keyboard course I recently signed up for, Online Rock Lessons.com. If you want to learn how to play keyboard in a rock or blues band, or you just want to learn how to play your favorite rock & blues songs at home for fun? You need to check this course out, because it’s probably perfect for you. If you want to skip this review and check it out now, CLICK HERE and make sure to use discount code PIANOTONE at checkout (for the yearly subscription) to let them know I referred you, and Marine (the course creator) will give you a free 20 minute orientation call to help you get started!
About Online Rock Lessons & Marine Lacoste
Online Rock Lessons.com is a relatively new online course; it was created by SUPER talented pro keyboard, piano & Hammond organ player Marine Lacoste. I actually kind of found this course by accident; I recently joined a blues and rock band (with some . . . other old guys), and they have a lot of songs that they’d like Hammond organ in. So I went onto YouTube looking for some tips on playing Hammond organ, and I found some of Marine’s videos, then I found her course from there, and after looking into it in more detail? I signed up for a yearly subscription on the spot; it’s exactly what I’m after at the moment. I’ve been a member since spring of 2023, and at the time of making this video, I’ve only scratched the surface of the content myself, and it’s already improved my play and helped me play better in my new band.
And Marine is NOT just another piano instructor with an online piano course; she has been in show business for over 20 years. She plays keyboards live for numerous acts including Corey Hart & Uncle Kracker, and has also been on stage with Kid Rock, Sugar Ray, Smash Mouth, Big Wreck and many others.
Marine also has her own hard rock band called Highway Hunters, which is a trio including a drummer and a bass player; but instead of the typical guitar you’d expect in a hard rock band, it’s Marine on HAMMOND organ and lead vocals (they have some super cool stuff). She’s not only a great pianist, but she is an AMAZING Hammond organ player. She also played in a unique trio called the Smokin B3’s which consisted of Marine, another Hammond organ player and a drummer.
And all of this is what really sets her course apart from a lot of the other online courses; Marine is not just bringing her earlier, more traditional piano training into the course but is also incorporating her years of experience actually recording, performing and playing in rock, blues and country bands and this adds a ton, because she can teach you (and me) all of the things she had to learn on her own about playing rock music and playing in a band, that her traditional piano lessons didn’t teach her. Ok so let’s take a look at what this course has to offer.
Let’s Look At The Course
Right off the bat I have to say the website interface is really well done; it’s nicely organized & easy to navigate; there are shortcuts to pick up where you left off in various courses or exercises, and you can flag things as favorites etc; or you can just navigate manually through the menu on the left, so the interface is super easy to use.
Chord Based Or Sheet Music/Sightreading?
Before I dive into the various courses and tons of material that’s available here, I just want to kind of summarize how this course goes about teaching piano. Now most courses that I’ve taken in the past are PURELY chord based courses with ZERO sheet music or sightreading, and it’s true that you don’t NEED to be able to read sheet music to play the piano. With OnlineRockLessons.com, I wouldn’t describe this course as a PURELY chord based course, but . . . as a chord based course that includes the VERY BASICS of sightreading, and always has sheet music available for any lesson or song example (if you want to use it – but you don’t have to)
The initial beginner lessons will go over the basics of how to read sheet music, so you will be introduced to the staff, note values, time signatures, and key signatures, but there really isn’t any expectation or requirement that you learn how to sight read.
And what Marine says on this topic (and she IS 100% right) is that while you don’t need to be able to read sheet music to learn to play the piano (or to take her course); if you have even a BASIC understanding of what music notation means; it makes you a better musician. What she means is that if you can look at a piece of sheet music like this: and recognize that it’s in the key of C, and even just look at the timing of the notes for the right and left hand (without necessarily even being able to read what notes they ARE) that it goes a long way to helping you understand how to play this song. AND, since this is a course for rock music, your sheet music will pretty much always have chord symbols indicated at the top, which is what people like me are used to seeing on lead sheets or chord sheets for quickly learning a song; so – the sheet music is there if you want to use it, or you can totally just ignore it if you want to.
Main Course – “The Method”
So the first thing that really caught my eye about Marine’s program is the MASSIVE amount of content she has. Her MAIN course on learning piano is called “The Method”; this course contains SIXTY lessons, and is broken down into 3 levels, beginner (which will take you right from never having touched a keyboard before), an intermediate level and then the advanced level.
I’ve been playing piano a little over 3 years now, and I’ve taken more than a few online courses; as far as what level I would say I’M at? To be honest there are some things in each level I’m totally comfortable with, there are some things in each level I should DEFINITELY be brushing up on, and there are other topics and exercises in each level that I will find challenging, so I’m going through the entire course.
Each of these levels includes 20 video based lessons that you view right on the site, with the usual front view and an overhead view of the keyboard. Almost every lesson has a downloadable PDF workbook, and where applicable will also include professionally made backing tracks for you to practice along with. This is awesome, because right from the beginner level, instead of trying to play “Mary had a little lamb” or “happy birthday” to a metronome; you get to play a rock song along with a backing band – and this is FAR more fun and engaging, and because it’s more fun and engaging what happens? You enjoy practicing, and you practice more, and you get better faster!
Now on that note; in all 3 levels of “the Method”, roughly the first 10 or so lessons are the actual lessons, and then there will be a practice section with about 10 or so additional lessons that are actually song workshops that reinforce what you learned in your lessons; these are AWESOME! Now each of these lessons will be based on a certain genre of rock or blues, with a super recognizable and very familiar type of a rhythm pattern and feel to it (they’ll likely sound very much like a song that you probably know). Marine will introduce you to the song, show you how she would approach playing it, teach it to you step by step, and then demo it to you. And just like with the lessons, these practice lessons will include downloadable PDF workbooks, and a couple different downloadable professional backing tracks for you to play along with (usually one with and without the piano). This is not only a super fun WAY to practice, but this really does give you some valuable experience in how to approach playing TONS of different types of rock & blues songs on the piano.
So the Method is an awesome main course, but there’s lots more content here. There’s an additional section containing some more specialized courses. At the time of making this video (which is spring of 2023); there are 6 additional courses with anywhere from 6 to 38 lessons in each, so there is a TON more content right here.
These courses include a beginner “deep dive” into playing in the key of C, a beginner basics course, a course on mastering scales, and then a more specific course on the pentatonic scale (which is common in rock music), a course on rock and blues piano, and a recently added Hammond organ course focusing on playing like Jon Lord from Deep Purple. And Marine is currently working on other new courses which will continue to be added in this section.
The “Rockstar Journey” is another BIG reason I subscribed to OnlineRockLessons.com. This is a very cool and rather unique course on how to play keyboard and piano in a rock band. It’s divided into 7 levels, with 26 lessons in each! Each of these levels are divided up into 5 or so song workshops; these are the same idea as the lessons in the practice section of the main course where Marine teaches you a song in a certain genre, except these go into much more depth with each song (there’s 4 or so lessons for each song), including a detailed overhead performance with scrolling chords and sheet music if you’re so inclined, as well as performance tips etc.
And once again, you’ve got downloadable PDF workbooks, and those awesome backing tracks to have fun playing along with. And the best part of how Marine has put all of this together is the wide range of genres she has examples for; there’s blues, hard rock, country rock and pop all included. Here’s a quick sample of some of the genres being taught from the beginner up to the advanced levels.
INSERT ROCKSTAR VIDEO
Short Courses / Blog
Ok so now on to the “Short Courses” and “Blog” sections; these are short single video lessons, tips & tricks and other miscellaneous videos. As far as I can tell, many of these are actually available publicly on the Online Rock Lessons youtube channel, so you can already check these out there if you like. Even though I’m subscribed to that channel, it’s actually nice to have ALL of them in these two spots on the course portal so they’re super easy to find & browse through.
There’s a couple more sections of SUPER useful content; the first is the Scales Toolkit section. In this section, you can select ANY key signature, and see an overhead demo of the major, minor or pentatonic scale, broken into left and right hands, you can see the proper fingering for one and two octaves, as well as arpeggios and chord inversions. This is a great tool to have.
Then the last section with content would be the Song Tutorials section. Similar to the lessons in the practice sections of the method, and the lessons in the Rockstar Journey, these tutorials will have multiple videos where Marine teaches you a song; some of these are accompaniment versions (like you would play in a band) and some of them are piano solo style, where you play the melody. Marine is always working on new tutorials to add here.
The Rest Of The Site
So that’s FINALLY it for sections with content; there’s also a forum within the portal where you can join conversations, post progress videos of your work etc, there’s a “Live Events” section where you can watch prior Q&A or other live sessions, there’s a “shop section” (that’s actually publicly available; you can purchase the course itself there, or you can also check out the 2 “Train Like A Rockstar” books that Marine had published). And outside of the portal, there is a private FaceBook group for students as well.
So the last area to talk about quickly is the “My Dashboard” area at the top; this is where you set up your personal profile, preferences and where you access your account info. You’ll see links to upcoming live events, and then below that is the “Pick Up Where You Left Off” section which has some helpful navigation shortcuts if you want to use them; you can easily cycle through any courses that you’re working on to jump straight to your current lesson. Then below that you’ll see the most recently added courses, song tutorials, short courses, and community activity.
Online Rock Lessons.com is a subscription based course, so you can sign up monthly or you can save some money and sign up for a year at a time; in the past, I haven’t taken any subscription based courses, I’ve always preferred to buy courses that have lifetime access for a single fee, but when I saw the massive amount of content within this site, that was pretty much EXACTLY the content I was looking for, it was a complete no brainer for me to sign up, and I’ve already gotten tons of value out of the course and there is enough content to keep me engaged and busy for a long time.
So as I mentioned, I joined Online Rock Lessons.com in spring of 2023, I’m currently working through the main course, the Method, and I’ve also started the Rock Star Journey lessons as well; I’m kind of bouncing back and forth between those two, and it’s been AWESOME so far. I’m really looking forward to finding enough time to also start working on some of the other courses, in particular the course on Rock & Blues, the deep dive into the pentatonic minor scale, and also that new course on playing Hammond organ like Jon Lord from Deep Purple.
So if your goals are to learn how to play rock or blues piano & keyboard, Online Rock Lessons.com really is a fantastic option, and I HIGHLY recommend it.
There is a ton of awesome content, and your instructor is someone who has a ton of experience actually playing in bands, so that’s a pretty cool combination. If you decide its time to learn some rock piano and you want to get started with a yearly subscription to OLR.com, make sure you use the coupon code PIANOTONE at checkout; this will let Marine know that I referred you, and she will include a free 20 minute orientation call to help you get started.
GET STARTED WITH ONLINE ROCK LESSONS NOW
So thanks a bunch for checking out this video, if you like the content please feel free to smash that like button and subscribe to my channel, that does really help me out. So happy keyboard & piano playing, happy piano course shopping and have an awesome day!