Yousician is an exciting new way to learn how to play instruments online. Perfect for learning a new skill during lockdown or furthering your instrumental knowledge, now is a great time to get started. In this article, I will cover what Yousician is, pricing, how it works and more. So, let’s get started and delve into the fascinating world of Yousician!
Yousician is an app where you can learn, at your own pace, to sing or to play guitar, piano, ukulele or bass. The app is presented more like a video game than a traditional course. It is presented in such a way that hooks you in and keeps you motivated (or addicted!). Yousician works on your phone, tablet, laptop or computer without the need for any other equipment. It listens to what you are playing or singing, and gives you real-time feedback on how well you are doing.
The pricing structure is slightly confusing because it varies per account, per region, per device, and per subscription channel. I can say that if you are just learning a single instrument and are going for the “basic” membership, then Yousician costs about $10 per month. This gives you unlimited access to lessons on your chosen instrument, plus access to the Yousician original material and public domain songs. The basic membership also appears to give you a free lesson per day on the other instruments. I am currently getting one free ukulele lesson per day, which suits me down to the ground because I do want to learn the ukulele, but I don’t want it to get in the way of my piano learning. A maximum of ten minutes a day to slowly improve my ukulele playing is perfect.
With the basic subscription, you can play along to public domain songs and to Yousician’s own original songs. If you want access to their library of popular songs such as “Watch” by Billie Eilish or “Ophelia” by the Lumineers, you need to subscribe to the Premium + membership. Premium Yousician costs around $179.99 per annum (or $14.99 per month). With the premium plus membership, you will also be given unlimited access to all of the instruments.
You can also try Yousician free for 7 days when you sign up for their free trial. You will be given unlimited access to all the instruments during the free trial.
Currently, the instruments covered are piano, guitar, ukulele, bass and vocals.
The app works more like a video game than a stuffy old music education course. The most striking feature of Yousician is that it listens to what you are playing and immediately reports back. It is like having a music teacher with you, telling you what you are doing right and wrong.
If you are a complete beginner on your instrument, Yousician gets you playing your first song within a few minutes. Let’s say you are a beginner learning to play the piano. The app shows you a quick video on how the program works. It shows you where your right hand should be for the C position, and allows you to select the method of notation. Then, you are basically thrust into playing your first song. The app guides you along and plays some wonderful backing. It tells you whether you are playing the correct notes at the correct time, and can tell if you are early, late, or have perfect timing.
If you are struggling with a tune, you can swap over to practice mode. There, you can slow the tempo right down. A great feature of practice mode is that it can automatically increase the tempo as you get better at the song. I highly recommend letting the program automatically speed up (or even slow down) for you in practice mode. My best results have come when I practice at a slow tempo (50%) and then the app gradually increases to 105%. I then play the song through a couple of times at 105% before hitting the “perform” button.
When you can achieve at least two stars in all sections of the song in performance mode, Yousician moves onto the next step. When you have finished a module, you move up a level. Yousician then sends you a certificate that you can print out and hang on your wall!
Once you get past the initial introduction, the courses split into different paths. You are then encouraged to progress down each path simultaneously. For example, the piano course has three main paths: Classical, Knowledge and Pop. For guitar, the paths are Lead, Knowledge and Rhythm. Every time you start a guided lesson, you will be encouraged to practice the area that has been recently neglected. I imagine this inspires you to become a “well rounded musician”.
For piano, the choice of notation includes enhanced (a kind of piano tab), standard notation and coloured notation. Coloured notation is the standard notation that is colour coded to tell you which finger to use for which notes, for example with piano chords.
For stringed instruments, the choice of notation includes tablature, standard notation and fret diagrams. The singing module has its own unique notation method, and also includes the ability to transpose.
Yousician is designed to help players of any level. When you first start playing, Yousician quickly determines if the songs and exercises are too easy for you. It invites you to test your skills. Then, you can skip ahead to where Yousician thinks you fit in. If it mistakenly puts you further along than your skill set, you can go back to the earlier lessons.
Every time you log on, you will be given the choice of taking a guided lesson or picking up where you left off on a piece. I have found the guided lesson to be invaluable. You start off warming up with something relatively easy (usually something from a previous lesson that you have not yet perfected). Then, you move onto where you left off in one of the paths, and you are guided through a song until you achieve at least two stars in all sections, and the next lesson can be unlocked. You then finish off with easy stuff that you may have already mastered. This helps you end each session on a high instead of feeling frustrated, which was how I used to end my practices.
The guided lessons are extremely helpful because it prevents you from getting stuck on something and not being able to move forward until you have mastered it. With the guided lessons, you are constantly going forwards and backward so that you don’t forget what you learned before.
In short, yes! Yousician has a feature where you can see your Facebook friends that are also Yousician members. You can see what level they are at, how many minutes they have spent on the app and how many notes they have played on their instrument! Yousician also has weekly challenges to see how you are measuring up against other guitar players etc.
I think you can guess by now that I think that signing up for Yousician is totally worth it. Of course, it is only worth it if you are actually going to use it. I think too many of us sign up for monthly subscriptions that we never use! I must say though, it does do a good job of getting you addicted and keeping you motivated, and Yousician’s cost is very reasonable for what you get out of it!
If you are determined to learn an instrument, you can do it by practicing 10 minutes a day with Yousician. If you want to accelerate your learning, Yousician facilitates this by joining your journey at your pace. I am excited to learn the other instruments when I am finished with the piano. So, I would definitely say that it has staying power!
For further guides for beginners, check out our articles on music scales, key signatures, harmony, intervals, and chords progressions to help support your learning and make sure you are grounded in your music theory.
So, hopefully you will now be embarking on learning a new instruments, and can put these skills into play by writing your own songs! Allow us to help you amplify your music, collaborate with others, and even get your music in TV, film and more. Why not try Music Gateway for free?