As with any new system, it may take you a few minutes to get used to the structure of the PianoWithWillie site. I've created this guide to help you get started quickly.
Choosing a Course / Category
With so many courses and lessons available (over 500) I have broken the courses into Course Categories. These are listed in the menu under the 'Courses' link.
Choosing a Course
After choosing the course category, simply click on any course name to view the lessons for that course.
Choosing a Lesson
Within the course you'll see each of the lessons listed. Click any lesson title to see the lesson. Notice in the brown bar it now says "Lessons."
Playing a Lesson, Download Sheet Music
Once in the lesson, click play to begin the lesson or click on the Resources tab to download the sheet music and other files...if available. Not all lessons have other files available.
Using the Lesson Player
The lesson video player lets you control the video in many ways. Some functions of the player may not work on phones or tablets. This is not a limitation of the player, but rather a limitation of what can be accomplished on a phone/tablet.
Backing tracks, MIDI files & Drum beats
Many lessons have jam / backing tracks that can be used to augment your learning. The backing track usually has bass and drum accompaniment. These are typically .mp3 files and would be played using an audio player like Quicktime or my favorite, VLC. With VLC, you can control the speed of the playback of the audio file. VLC can also open many other types of files like MIDI files.
Backing tracks (if available for the lesson) can be found on the 'Resources' section of each lesson and may be part of the .zip file.
To play the MIDI files, you can open them using Garageband on a Mac (and I think on an iPad as well) or using VanBasco Karaoke Player.
Please note...we can not give you any help on how to use the software listed in this section. We did not create this software, nor do we operate support for it. This software may change or be removed at any time. This is where doing a Google search for "Free Midi Player" would be your best bet.
As of this writing, all of this software is still available.
Also, we DO NOT and WILL NOT be adding any more new MIDI files. And, the MIDI files that we have often have large gaps in them because this is where the talking is happening.
Even so, they are a great resource to help you learn, but they have a bit of a learning curve so please be patient!
We also have drum beats available for download. These are just generic drum beats that you can use for your practice. It's a bit more fun than a metronome.
Searching and Finding Lessons
At the top of each page, there is a search bar. When searching, it is recommended that you use only one word or a part of the title. For example, if you searched for the words "Summer Time" the lesson Summertime will not come up because of the space between words. However, if you search just for the word "Summer" then the songs Summertime and Summer Samba will both come up.