Here is a detailed review of Rocket Piano by Ruth Searle which is now one of the most purchased piano and keyboards home study course available on the Internet.
Reviewer: Andy Penbram
Website Reviewed: Rocket Piano
The Rocket Piano package can be bought in a digital format which can be downloaded immediately to your computer or it can be purchased as a physical product which is shipped to your home.
What’s in the box?
The physical package consists of consists of seven books, a DVD and audio and software CDs. The digital pack has the 7 books in printable pdf format and over 60 high quality video lessons.
How the course works
To start the course you use book 1 the beginners book. This will teach you how to sit at the keyboards, how to hold your hands correctly, and general posture. It will show you where to find all the notes on the keyboard, and how to recognize those notes in written music. you will learn to play some simple melodies played with each hand and then some simple pieces with both hands. You will also learn some basic chords.
The books are nicely laid out and easy to follow. At certain points within the books, there are audio examples of how you should play that particular exercise and at other times there are video examples where Ruth explains a little more in depth and shows you exactly what she is talking about by means of example.
The main drawback with this package is that the audio and video files are not clickable within the books. This means that when you are studying and you get to an audio or video example then you have to stop and take note of the example number, then you need to search on your computer manually for that file. Until you have worked out your own system this can be a bit of a hassle but after a while you get the hang of it.
A very good feature of the books is the inclusion of jam tracks. These are in effect a type of music minus one. You get a written piece to play and a choice of two audio files. The first audio file contains the piano playing the piece in question with an accompaniment of guitar, bass and drums. This shows you how the piece should be played with a band. The second audio file is exactly the same as the first except that there is no piano included. This enables you to effectively play along with the band. This is a great way to practice as playing with other musicians forces you to play in time.
More about what you get
There are three main books, the beginners, intermediate and advanced. Once you gone through these then you can proceed onto the introduction to Jazz piano, or the introduction to Gospel piano. Both these are excellent books in their own right. There is also fingering technique and exercise book which can be used at any time and an interesting little bonus book called Advanced learning techniques for piano. This is a combination of techniques and psychology designed to help you get the most out of your learning experience. For more information see the Learn Piano page.
In the sales letter there is a lot of attention paid to the software that is included with this product.
This is pretty basic but still can be useful. I myself wasn’t too impressed in general with the software but there are those who have found it to be fantastic.
There is Jayda Musica which is a little musical recognition game. You get notes flying across the screen and have to identify them. At first its easy but in later levels it speeds up and becomes really difficult. If you aren’t too comfortable with reading music the this game can really help you to familiarize yourself with reading.
Perfect your Pitch is an interval recognition game/ exercise. the computer plays a note and then you have to say which note it was. It then plays another and again you have to say which it was. This is excellent ear training material and in my opinion is the best piece of software in the whole package.
Chordinator shows you chords on the musical staff and gets you to identify them. Good training for those learning to read music.
Keycelerator is another note recognition game.
The Metronome very simple and straight forward but can be used whilst practicing the exercises. This is really important to do and so this piece of software is also a very important addition to the package.
Save one or two little niggles (like the fact that the audio files aren’t embedded into the pdf files) I give this product a 5 star rating. It is definitely one of the best products available at the moment and is a really complete package. They have a really helpful support section inside their members area and for piece of mind the product comes with a full 60 day money back guarantee.