I took piano and guitar lessons for years, but as much as I love music (and making it on GarageBand) actually reading the stuff has never been my bag. I’m not alone — there’s a reason why the internet is chock full of guitar tablature for learning any song you could ever want to learn. Music theory, while rewarding, is kind of, sort of, hard.
This is 2023 though, and music tabs are tired. Two-dimensional screens? Mobile apps? Who’s got time for that? It’s time to bring tablature into the future — and by “the future” I mean mixed reality, of course.
Just like Apple used to say: there’s an app for that. And when it comes to next-gen piano instruction, that app is PianoVision.
Maybe you’ve already seen clips of this on X, but in case you need a refresher, here’s what it does:
There are plenty of apps for learning music, but what separates PianoVision is the fact that it’s now able to take advantage of the Quest 3’s new mixed reality capabilities. Anyone who has ever grown up playing Guitar Hero or Rocksmith will be immediately familiar with the idea here.
As the bars roll down over your piano keys you’re given a cue to press the keys and for how long. If you execute the commands on time, then you should be well on your way to playing “Ode to Joy,” or “House of the Rising Sun,” or whatever it is your heart desires. For the record, you can use PianoVision on a real piano or keyboard or a virtual one in the app.
On one hand, PianoVision is familiar, but on the other, it’s pretty novel. Mixed reality experiences aren’t exactly commonplace, so naturally, seeing how a headset like the Quest 3 can actually augment our world and recreation (in a practical way even!) has people rapt.
There are threads and reviews on Reddit already and lots of chatter on X. Some of it is just fascination and observation, but there’s also some discourse. Is PianoVision really teaching you the piano? I guess not if you think the only way to be a musician is actually being able to read sheet music...
If you want to throw yourself into the learning discourse, follow the embed below!
I would never coronate myself as the king authority on what is and isn’t musicianship, but I’m going to venture to say that PianoVision is teaching you something. Does it really matter if you’re plucking out “Blackbird” by The Beatles off sheet music or from memory? If you’re playing, you’re playing.
And definitions aside, I think we all can revel in the fact that the Quest 3’s mixed reality capabilities are doing something both fun and informative. Being able to superimpose information on the world around you is great for making tabletop games more immersive, of course, but making things easier and educational adds a whole new layer.
For anyone with a Quest 3 that’s ready to get pluckin’ away on some songs using PianoVision, the app is on the Meta Store for $9.99. I haven’t had a chance to use PianoVision myself, but I plan to. The real question is: will I still be able to play the songs without a headset strapped to my face?