How to Learn Piano Using a Computer Keyboard
By Tara Hornor
Updated September 22, 2017
Items you will need
Believe it or not, you do not have to purchase a piano or digital piano to learn how to play -- just use your current computer keyboard. With a free software download and a few minutes of setup, you can be on your way to learning the instrument.
Download Free Software
An industry standard that has current updates is a free software download from Soundplant.org. Go to the website and read up on the software as much as you want. Soundplant is software that allows you to program your computer's keyboard to act like a piano.
Once downloaded, install Soundplant and follow the on-screen instructions. Don't forget that you can get a PC or Mac version.
Now you need to download piano sound files from http://www.pianosounds.com/freesoundfont.htm. The above Soundplant software does not come with any sounds built in. You have to tell it which keys on your keyboard should play what sounds. Technically, you can assign any sound file to any key, including full songs.
Setting Up the Software
Unzip both software packages into a folder where you will remember their location. Neither software requires an installation, so you will need to be able to find the files later.
Open up Soundplant and the folder where you placed the Pianofont files.
Drag the sound files to the appropriate key on your keyboard. For example, drag "A 440" to the letter "A" on your keyboard. Drag the Bb/A# to the letter "W" on your keyboard, and so on.
Once you have set up the Soundplant "keymap," make sure to save the layout by clicking on the "Save" button at the top.
Both software packages have online documentation and support if you get stuck, so be sure to check online if you have any questions.
Tara Hornor has a B.S.E. in secondary English with an emphasis in composition. After college, she taught in a private school but found her passion as a homeschool teacher. Two years ago, she decided to make writing her career and be a stay-at-home mom.