Review: Lumi teaches piano by turning it into a game

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Should you’ve ever wished to discover ways to play the piano however did not know the place to get began, Lumi often is the resolution you’ve got been in search of.

With the coronavirus preserving most of us at residence throughout our free time, now’s nearly as good a time as any to select up new hobbies. Studying play a musical instrument has a lot of advantages too, with it proven to assist decrease melancholy, nervousness, and stress, in addition to enhance cognition and motor abilities— to not point out it is a fairly good dialog starter as effectively.

Should you’ve ever wished to discover ways to play the piano, chances are you’ll wish to cease and check out the Lumi system. One half keyboard and one half app, Lumi goals to take the issue out of studying piano by turning it right into a recreation.

Lumi Keys

The Lumi Keys keyboard is fairly small, solely 24 keys vast, making it nice for storing in a desk drawer, shelf, or slipping right into a tech bag.

The keys are a 5.5 on the Donison-Steinbuhler scale, ranking a keyboard’s key measurement, which means the keys are roughly seven-eighths the scale of a typical piano key. Additionally they really feel fairly stable, although fully not like that of a standard piano.

Lumi Keys are seven eighths the size of a standard key

Should you’ve performed different digital keyboards or midi controllers earlier than, it’s best to be capable of simply transition to taking part in Lumi Keys with out a lot effort. Should you’re used to a piano, it might take a little bit of time to get used to the “softer” key motion.

Maybe some of the pleasant elements of the Lumi keyboard are the illuminated keys, from which Lumi takes its identify. The sunshine is the proper brightness for use in each shiny and darkish rooms, and the colours are beautiful, too.

Roli, the corporate that makes Lumi, has a novel trick up their sleeve concerning their line of merchandise — the DNA connectors. Small, magnetic connectors — just like the iPad’s Good Connector — will let you snap Roli merchandise collectively.

You possibly can join a number of Lumi Keys, too. The Lumi app helps two Lumis, whereas Roli Studio desktop software program can help as much as 4 Lumis directly.

Two Lumi Keys connected together via the DNA connector

It also needs to be famous that Lumi Keys works with most music creation packages on Home windows and Mac as effectively, so meaning you’ll be able to take your newly discovered abilities straight to GarageBand.

Lumi Keys fees by way of an included USB-C cable and will get about 4 hours of playtime per cost — greater than sufficient for a lesson.

The Lumi App

The Lumi app is the counterpart to Lumi Keys. Pair your Lumi Keys with the app by way of Bluetooth and it will assist educate you play the piano.

The Lumi Keys app is precisely what it purports to be — a device for educating you play the piano. It really works by pairing your cellphone, iPad, or Android gadget with Lumi Keys and providing you a plethora of classes protecting totally different abilities.

There are a ton of various classes, with many being interactive and taught by Lumi’s charismatic crew of piano taking part in professionals.

There’s undoubtedly one thing left to be desired for among the core ability classes, although — and that might be as a result of it is self-directed. Studying to play scales with out having suggestions from a instructor is not the simplest factor.

We discovered that it was typically irritating, realizing that there wasn’t an individual close by to inform us how we have been doing. In any case, you might simply hit the suitable keys, but it surely’s not precisely a correct lesson should you’re not studying the right finger placement.

However whereas Lumi appears to fall quick there, it makes up for it with the sheer quantity of Guitar Hero/Rockband-style classes you’ll be able to play in Lumi’s “play mode.” Whereas in play mode, every key on the Lumi keyboard lights up in response to the bars on the display screen, so you’ll be able to see what key you may must press and when.

The bar visualizer within the Lumi App

The bar visualizer throughout the Lumi App

Play mode is a good way so that you can put your abilities to the take a look at. The app makes use of a visualizer that pairs with the keyboard that gamifies the act of taking part in the keyboard.

The visualizer has a couple of totally different modes, together with Guitar Hero-style bar mode and a sheet music mode that may enable you study to learn traditionally-notated songs.

Lumi has a really spectacular quantity of songs accessible to play, too, together with childhood nursery songs, classical items, and pop hits from the final 5 many years or so. We might personally prefer to see Lumi department out into another genres of music, if attainable, like various, steel, and indie rock, if attainable.

Self-directed studying: the nice and the unhealthy

Whether or not or not Lumi will give you the results you want is extremely depending on whether or not or not you are good at self-directed studying. There are some severe benefits to the Lumi system over different self-directed strategies.

First, the visualizer isn’t one thing that you will simply get with different techniques — it is glorious for educating you memorize songs, in addition to learn music.

Second, the music library presents just a little one thing for everybody. Whereas our testers weren’t notably keen on the pop music picks, the number of classical piano items have been notably engaging.

Lastly, should you’ve by no means performed piano earlier than, it is one of many least intimidating methods to get into it. It actually does really feel like taking part in a recreation, as you are taking part in to beat earlier scores, you are doing it within the privateness of your individual residence together with your headphones on. It isn’t as nerve-wracking as making an attempt to show your self by way of movies, books, or by ear.

Lumi offers feedback in an easy to understand scoring system

Lumi presents suggestions in a simple to grasp scoring system

Nonetheless, you may solely get out what you set in. Should you’re simply distracted or a bit flakey on initiatives, you would possibly end up choosing extra tried-and-true methods to cross the time.

You will must maintain at it, and that features taking part in the not-fun elements, too— training your scales, watching movies that specify why issues are accomplished a sure means, training your scales, studying to play songs you do not notably take care of — and did we point out training your scales?

The Lumi system is a wonderful system for what it’s, and should you’re able to self-directed studying, it may be far cheaper than paying for piano classes. Moreover, it is a COVID-19 compliant approach to get into a brand new passion.

General

We have been actually impressed with the Lumi system — the Lumi Keys keyboard is gorgeous, moveable, and approachable, whereas the app seeks to take out a whole lot of the stress that may come together with self-learning. Whereas some individuals should still be served higher by conventional, instructor-taught classes, this may nonetheless be glorious for individuals who like self-directed actions.

If you would like to get your individual Lumi, you’ll be able to head over to Lumi’s web site, the place they retail for $300. Included within the buy are the Lumi Keys keyboard, a $50 voucher for the premium model of the Lumi app, a protecting Lumi Snapcase to maintain it protected in transport, and free delivery.

Ranking: 4 out of 5 stars

  • Moveable, play wherever
  • 4 hour battery life
  • Pair a number of Lumis collectively by way of DNA connectors
  • App is simple and intuitive to make use of
  • Restricted number of widespread music within the app could not match some peoples tastes
  • Keys really feel “delicate,” could also be tough for individuals who performed piano
  • Troublesome to nail down fundamental abilities, resembling finger placement, as a result of lack of suggestions
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