FAQs

Click on a question or click on a section header like "Getting Started" to reveal more questions. If you find we missed something you can submit your question below and we'll do our best to answer. Thankyou!

Sample Lesson!

Getting Started

How can I try IROCKU?
Anyone can sample an irocku Lesson. Simply go to the home page and click sample lesson.
How do I get started with a lesson?
Check out the sample lesson and determine if you are a Beginner (levels 1,2,3), Intermediate (levels 3,4,5), or Advanced (levels 5,6,7) player. Purchase an individual lesson or an annual membership that matches your level. Each lesson will provide lesson videos, and the printed sheet music for download. If you want you can download the videos to an ipod, ipad, or smartphone.
How can I begin if I don’t know how to read music?
Go to our Getting Started - Beginner Piano page. This will teach you the keys on the piano and how to read music.
What level should I select?
Check out the sample lesson and determine if you are a Beginner (levels 1,2,3), Intermediate (levels 3,4,5), or Advanced (levels 5,6,7) player. If the level is too easy go up one level higher, if it’s too difficult try one level lower.

If you’ve never played an instrument before, go to our Tools and Resources and select the ‘Note Learner’ for your instrument.

General

What is included in a membership?
An annual membership includes 26 lessons for the instrument you select. Each membership provides you with access to three levels of lessons so you will not need to purchase a new membership each time you advance, only when you advance from Beginner to Intermediate and from Intermediate to Advanced.

A ‘Beginner’ membership provides access to 26 Level 1 through Level 3 lessons.

An ‘Intermediate’ membership provides access to 26 Level 3 through Level 5 lessons.

An ‘Advanced’ membership provides access to 26 Level 5 through level 7 lessons.
Does IROCKU only have piano lessons?
IROCKU currently has keyboard lessons and we hope to add guitar, bass, drums, and sax. If you would like to be notified when we add another instrument please send us a message at contact us.
How much does IROCKU cost?
An annual membership is $99.95 ($79.95 for a limited time) for 52 weeks of piano lessons (26 songs). Individual piano lessons can be purchased for $4.99.
What songs are included in the membership?
The IROCKU membership includes classic rock songs from artists such as the Allman Brothers, The Rolling Stones, The Doors, Ben Folds, The Black Crowes and many others. Go to the lessons page to see the complete list of songs.
I would like to give this to someone as a gift. If we don't know their level and pick one that's too easy, can they switch?
Sure just send us an email ( support@irocku.com) explaining the situation and we will make the change to their account.
If I become a member is it 26 songs that are pre-selected? Or can i pick 26 songs from a list?
Currently our Annual Membership includes the 26 songs on the Lessons Page.
Can I download only the songs I want to learn?
Yes, go to the lessons page and select the individual piano lesson you would like to purchase.
How long will I be able to access the lessons I purchased?
Web access to memberships and individual song purchases ends after a year. During that period you are free to download the lessons onto your computer for permanent access.
Will IROCKU be adding more songs?
Yes, we will add new songs as they become available from the publishers. If you would like to request a song please send us a message at contact us.
How often will new songs be added?
We are constantly working with the music publishers to add new songs. We add songs whenever we receive licensing approval from the publishers. If you would like to request a song please send us a message at contact us.

Piano Lessons

What is included in each lesson?
Every lesson includes a classic rock song, a groove chart that teaches how to play the song in a rock band, a rock theory or dexterity exercise related to the song, and an improvisation exercise. All lessons include an instructional video as well as the sheet music.
How long does a lesson last?
With an annual membership you will have unlimited access to all 26 lessons. You can download, print, or view any lesson, anytime. irocku posts a different lesson every other week but you can choose to work on any lesson, anytime and at whatever pace you desire. Within each lesson you will learn the song, some cool rock techniques, and you will learn how to improvise.
Will I receive a score or transcription with the purchased lessons?
Yes, all lessons include both an instructional video as well as the transcriptions. Every lesson has four elements; a classic rock song, a groove chart that teaches how to play the song in a rock band, a rock theory or dexterity exercise related to the song, and an improvisation exercise.
Does the sheet music for the lesson also include the chords?
Yes, all of our lessons include the sheet music along with the chords. First, as part of the 'Groove Chart' which includes the chord changes and the rhythm of the song. This is used if you want to accompany a band and to get the basic pulse of the song. Second, the chords are indicated on the lesson sheet music which is the irocku keyboard arrangement for the song. We don't include the chords on the levels 1-3 since beginning students are still learning the chords at this stage.
Where do I find the musical notation for the songs?
From any lesson page, scroll down below the video and you will find 'Videos and Sheet Music'. Select the piano sheet that you are interested in; Groove Chart, Piano Lesson, Piano Exercise, or Piano Improvisation. Left click to open the notation in a browser, right click to download it.
Why are there scales and exercises, isn’t this a rock ‘n roll site?
The exercises teach you the riffs and runs to improvise and jam on your own. All the great rockers are also great musicians. They all know this stuff, they just practice so much that it looks easy.
I could not find the gospel rock lesson?
You will find all of our groove charts under the Tools and Resouces link on the top of the website. Select 'IROCKU Groove Charts' and you will find the list of irocku groove charts.

Levels

What level should I select?
Check out the sample lesson and determine if you are a Beginner (levels 1,2,3), Intermediate (levels 3,4,5), or Advanced (levels 5,6,7) player. If the level is too easy go up one level higher, if it’s too difficult try one level lower.

When do I change levels?
When the new lessons are no longer challenging move up to the next level. You should expect to move through the beginning levels in less than a year each. The intermediate levels a year or two each and the advanced levels are lifetime achievements. Of course, this will vary depending on how much you practice.
Is it important to study each piece in order? Or can we skip around?
It is not necessary to learn the lessons in any particular order. We post a different lesson every other week but you can choose to work on any song, in any order. Each level builds upon the previous level so it is important to be comfortable with the theory and techniques presented at the level you are working on before advancing to the next level. Many students like to pick one particular song and master it by moving up through the levels, while other students prefer to master all the songs at one level before moving to the next level. Do whatever works best for you.
Can you change levels at any time without a change in cost?
When you purchase a Beginner Level Lesson, or Membership, you have unlimited access to levels 1,2 and 3. So you can learn level 1, then advance to levels 2 and 3. When you purchase an Intermediate Level Lesson or Membership you have unlimited access to levels 3,4, and 5. When you purchase an Advanced Level Lesson or Membership you have unlimited access to levels 5,6, and 7.
What if I want to learn all the levels for a particular song?
To learn all levels of a particular song you would have to buy the Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced Lessons for that song. If you can go from a Level 1 to a Level 7 in less than a year, please let us know. That would be very impressive!!!!
I took classical piano lessons when I was a kid. Where should I begin?
Rock piano is a lot of fun but in many aspects just as challenging as classical. The rhythms and fingerings can be real tongue-twisters. Most classically trained musicians have been starting on level 4 or above. They tend to get stuck early-on with some of the funky rock syncopations but once they break through they advance quickly. Spend a lot of time on the improvisation exercises.

Lesson Videos

How can I slow the videos down so I can follow the piano instructor?
The best way to slow the videos down is to download them onto your computer and to play them with either Windows Media Player or Apple Quicktime 7.

First you'll need to download the video onto your computer. Each internet browser has its own way to download linked files. For most default setups you would right click on the link and then select ' Download linked file as...'. In Firefox you might need to left click instead of right clicking.

Next, go to where you downloaded the file on your computer and right click the file to select "open with" and choose either Windows Media Player or Apple Quicktime 7.

To change the speed in Windows Media Player, open the player then right click and select ‘Enhancements’ and then select ‘Play Speed Settings’.

For Macs, you'll need to install QuickTime Player 7 to view the A/V Controls window. QuickTime Player 7 installs in the Utilities folder. To change the speed in Apple Quicktime 7, open the player then select ‘Window’ from the top menu bar and select ‘Show A/V Controls. You can change the playback speed by using the 'Playback Speed' slider in the lower right hand corner of the A/V Control.
What is the best way to view the video lessons?
The IROCKU videos can be viewed directly on the IROCKU website. You can also download them onto your computer, ipad, itouch, or phone and view them using any of the following players:

Windows Media Player

Adobe Flash Player

Apple Quicktime Player
When I download the video to my computer, how can I play it with Windows Media Player?
In most cases, windows has no problem playing the .mp4s directly. To play the videos with Windows Media Player, right click the MP4 file and go to "Open With" and then the "Choose Program" option. From the list, select Windows Media Player. If this doesn’t work you might need to install a ‘Codec’(used to encode and decode the audio and video files). Please try the following:
  1. Go to http://www.cnet.com
  2. In the search box enter “K-Lite Codec Pack”
  3. Click the "Download Now” to the right of the “K-Lite Codec Pack Full."
  4. If the security browser warning shows on your browser, select to allow the download.
  5. Select ‘Run’ when the download box appears.
  6. When the install box opens, select ‘Simple Install’
  7. Select ‘enable internal decoder for H.264 video’
  8. For File Associations select ‘ windows media player’
  9. For File Associations for Windows Media Player select ‘ All Video’ and ‘ All Audio’
  10. For Thumbnails ‘Select All’
  11. For Speaker Selection select ‘2.0 Stereo’ or select the choice that matches your speaker configuration.
  12. Select ‘Install’
  13. Select ‘ Finish’
Please let us know if this worked for you.
When I try to download a piano lesson, the file is nowhere to be found. How can I save the video to my computer?
Each internet browser has its own way to download linked files. Depending on how you have your browser configured the steps might differ, but for most default setups you would right click on the link and then select either ' Download linked file as...' or 'save link as..'. In Firefox you might need to left click instead of right clicking.
Only the 'lesson' video downloaded to my computer, not the 'exercise' video or the others. Is this correct or should I be able to download all videos to my computer?
All the videos are available for downloading. To download them to your computer right click on the links and then select 'save as'. If you are on a wireless network, the network might be slow and the connection could be timing out. Please try accessing the site again.
While watching the video lessons, the video stops and then starts again. How can I fix this?
Since the videos on the website are streamed, they need to fully load before playing or they will pause. You can check the status of the video loading by viewing the horizontal progress bar on the bottom of the video player. The load time depends on the speed of your internet connection.

As an alternative, you can select the 'Download video' link and the video will be loaded onto your computer permanently. Then you can play it any time with Windows Media Player, Quicktime, or Flash.

Music Teachers

Can I really learn to play without a piano teacher?
Yes, you can absolutely learn to play without a piano teacher. Some of the greatest musicians in rock history are self-taught. If you would like to get feedback on your playing, you can upload a video of yourself playing the lesson and our musicians will help you out.
Can IROCKU help me find a music teacher?
If you would like to find a teacher near you, go to our teachers page. All teachers listed are approved and certified by IROCKU. If you can’t find a music teacher in your area, please send us a message at contact us and we will help out.
I am a music teacher and I have piano students who want to sign up for irocku piano instruction. How do I sign them up?
Each student should register on the site themselves. You would then fill out the form once three of your students have registered and we will apply a free annual membership to your account. We'll apply any additional students to next year's membership.
As a music teacher listed on the site, what are my responsibilities?
There aren't any responsibilities. This is a service we provide to our members who teach. We simply list your name, instruments, city, state, email and a brief bio for music students looking for teachers. We are selective on the teachers we list- they must be serious rockers!

Practice Tips

Do I need to practice everyday?
Even the wildest rockers, practice. They ALL practice. ALL the time. Practice enough so you can master the song, the groove chart, the exercise, and the improvisation in a two week period. If it takes longer than that you can always select a level lower than your current level. The advanced levels can be tricky so they might take longer than two weeks to master.
How do I play the Groove Charts?
The groove chart is the fastest way to learn the essence of the song without getting bogged down reading notes. The groove charts are also great for comping with a band. Approach learning the groove charts by first learning all of the chords. It’s best to learn to play all the inversions of the chords with each hand. Once you’ve mastered the chords, begin playing the left hand rhythm. Start with the root note of the chord, then octaves, then the root-fifth( ie for C chord play C and G), and then add more notes as you like. Once you are comfortable with the left hand, play the chords in the right hand using the rhythm as written. You can play the chord in any inversion or just one note of the chord and add the melody of the song if you like. (Note: If the chord is written C/E you would play the C chord with the right hand over an E in the left hand).
What is the best way to break a tune into a groove chart, bass line and melody?
This is such a popular question that we added it to our forums: http://www.irocku.com/community/topic/groove-charts-and-comping/ There is no right or wrong way of creating the rhythms in the groove charts. The true test is if it sounds good when you play along with the song. But there are techniques that will help you develop the groove. Listen to the original recording and for the left hand rhythm try to tap on your knees what the kick drum or the bass guitar is playing. If it is a song with a strong piano groove( i.e. Tipitina, What’d I Say, Hey Now) then try tapping that out. One of these should help give you the left hand rhythm. For the right hand, try to tap out either what the rhythm guitar is playing or the right hand of the keyboard is playing. These should be your starting points. If you are creating a groove chart to play along with a band then simplify the rhythm as much as possible without losing the feel of the song. When playing with a band you don’t want your groove to be too complicated or it might interfere with the bass and rhythm section. If you are creating a groove chart to accompany a singer then you might want to use a more rhythmic pattern. At irocku, we try to give our students a variety of different rhythm/comping styles through the groove charts. A good thing to do might be to try some of those rhythms under different songs and see what works. The more you try and explore, the better idea you’ll have on what to do. You’ll begin to develop an “intuition”. Take it section by section. Most common tunes have at least some 8th note subdivisions, and some have 16th note subdivisions. Using IROCKU from Level 4-7 gradually schools you on how to play 8th, and then gradually 16th note subdivisions in any combination. So, tap or foot-tap the “beat” of the song. For example the “beat” of the intro for Stairway To Heaven 4/4. Every chord gets two “stomps”. Every chord is also plucked in 8th notes, which is “one-and-two-and”, each syllable landing on one guitar pluck. If you can stomp 1-2-3-4 and count 8th notes as described above, you’re well on your way. Try it and let us know how it goes!
I have a bad habit of using too much pedal and would appreciate knowing where it's appropriate?
Never use pedal while learning a piece, even if it is indicated in the score. Avoiding the use of the pedal can help a player develop precision and clarity in playing, whereas excessive use often causes muddiness and the development of bad technique. Once you are able to play a piece well without pedal, go ahead and try adding it sparingly. The pedal not only creates a longer sustain, but a fuller resonance in the piano, which may not always be appropriate for a tune. So, it is really a matter of taste! Our advice: don't start using the pedal until you sound good without it. When there is no pedal notation, observe when the chord changes. Clear the pedal for each chord change. Always keep the pedal off for sections where there there are major, minor or chromatic scales used. (scale passages using major or minor 2nds) In some cases, pedal can work during pentatonic or whole-tone scale passages. Use your ears!

Troubleshooting

I get an error message when I try to download the sheet music?
If you are having problems downloading the sheet music, you might need to download the most current version of Adobe reader. Here is the link Adobe Reader.
I'm having problems downloading the PDF sheet music for a piano lesson, it is only partially completing the download.
If you are on a wireless network the connection might be timing out. Please try accessing the site again. If you continue to have troubles, contact us and we will send you the PDFs via email.
When I try to download a piano lesson, the file is nowhere to be found. How can I save the video to my computer?
Each internet browser has its own way to download linked files. Depending on how you have your browser configured the steps might differ, but for most default setups you would right click on the link and then select either ' Download linked file as...' or 'save link as..'. In Firefox you might need to left click instead of right clicking.
While watching the video lessons, the video stops and then starts again. How can I fix this?
Since the videos on the website are streamed, they need to fully load before playing or they will pause. You can check the status of the video loading by viewing the horizontal progress bar on the bottom of the video player. The load time depends on the speed of your internet connection.

I keep getting access denied when trying to download the lesson videos.
If you are getting access denied when trying to download the lesson please try refreshing your browser. The connection to our server might have timed out.

Purchasing Questions

Yesterday I placed an order. When do I receive it?
If your order is processed successfully, you will receive a Purchase Receipt from IROCKU via email. To access your lessons, please go to http://irocku.com/lessons and select 'Begin Lesson' for the song(s) you purchased.
I ordered a lesson but can't access it?
We apologize for the problems you are having. Most likely your order made it through our system but was rejected by Paypal. If your account shows 'Order Received' but not 'Accepted Payment' then the order was rejected by Paypal. The typical causes for the Paypal rejections are expired cards or the billing address used on the order doesn’t match the billing address of the Paypal or credit card account. You might want to try re-entering the order with a different card or the correct address.

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