Start playing piano, reading music and learning tunes by ear in this 10-hour course

Noelle Ike, CNN Underscored
Updated Fri September 13, 2019

As part of an ongoing series, the CNN Underscored team showcases outstanding deals you can shop right now in the CNN Store. Each week, our staff features a product we think you'll love. This week, we're highlighting Pianoforall ($19.99, originally $29.99; store.cnn.com).

Like a lot of people, you may have taken piano lessons as a kid and then lost interest as a teenager -- and now you wish you hadn't stopped. Thankfully, we're living in a world where you don't necessarily have to invest in expensive lessons with private teachers in order to learn to play.

Pianoforall ($19.99, originally $29.99; store.cnn.com) is an intuitive, step-by-step online course that walks you through the basics of learning to play the piano. It's designed for true beginners, so you don't have to worry about remembering that year of lessons you had back in elementary school. A huge bonus is that you'll get lifetime access to all the material, so you can learn at your own pace and return to certain lessons if you want a quick refresher.

The course includes 204 lectures that amount to about 10 hours of content. You'll start off by learning rhythm-style piano, which translates to simple chords and simple rhythms. While it might sound boring, rhythm-style piano is featured prominently in a ton of popular music, including songs by Billy Joel and Norah Jones. The first couple of lessons also touch on instructions for playing ballads, jazz, blues and more.

While you'll start off playing by ear, which means listening to music and repeating it at the keyboard or piano, you'll gradually learn about the structure of chords and how to read music as well. Pretty soon, you'll be able to play popular jazz and blues songs and standard classical music repertoire. On top of all this, your purchase comes with nine e-books that include the music and chords you'll learn about throughout the course.

While you probably won't sound like Stevie Wonder at the end of this course, Pianoforall seems like an effective and inexpensive way to get comfortable at the piano. Especially if you're looking to play pop and jazz tunes or just want to learn the basics of chords and simple music theory, there's no beating the price of this step-by-step course. And considering that you have lifetime access to the instruction and e-books, we'd say Pianoforall is a pretty good place to start when it comes to piano basics.