In this article, I’m exploring the different ways in which ChatGPT can help piano players by giving you examples of questions you could ask and the answers I got.
Have you heard of ChatGPT, OpenAI’s new chat bot? I tried it and here’s how it can help you as a piano player.
N.B. I am not sponsoring ChatGPT in any way. I simply followed my curiosity and this is where it led me… I hope it helps!
What is ChatGPT?
ChatGPT is an artificial intelligence chatbot developed by OpenAI. It was launched back in November last year in 2022. It’s free to use by the general public.
An even more powerful version of ChatGPT, known as ChatGPT-4 is now available on ChatGPT Plus for a monthly subscription (US$20/month). It can give faster responses and it can even process images and answer questions about the images! (Maybe it can even read music?)
ChatGPT can help you with just about any facts you can think of. Just formulate your question and you’ll get an answer.
As a piano player (or other musician), you could ask questions on music theory. For example, I asked “Can you explain time signatures?” to which I got this response:
You could ask for the meaning of a particular musical terms – yes, even if it’s in Italian!
You could ask facts about composers such the number of piano works.
For instance, “how many piano works did Chopin write?”:
You could even find more piano music by giving it a prompt like this: “Name composers that write music for piano in a jazzy style.”:
Or like this:
ChatGPT can give you book recommendations. I asked it what books it recommends for sight-reading and this is the answer I got:
I’m not sure I would include the first book on the list (I’ve read parts of it and it’s much more on piano practice than sight-reading) but the other books on the list are good choices.
Yes, ChatGPT can even give you advice. Sometimes, the advice might be a bit generic but you’ll still get some useful tips. You could ask ChatGPT for advice on piano practice or even sight-reading.
For example, I asked “how can someone sight-read two lines of music simultaneously?” and this is the answer I got:
Not too bad, right? I’m not sure I agree with the last two points but I do agree with the rest.
The advantages of using ChatGPT
Why use ChatGPT over a search engine like Google? There are several reasons I can think of.
You can get an answer to your question immediately. ChatGPT starts generating its response as soon as you’ve typed your question. You no longer have to read through hundreds of articles on the Internet or watch countless videos on YouTube to find your answer. You can get straight to your answer without having to waste any time on facts that aren’t relevant to you.
You can ask follow-up questions. If there’s something you don’t quite understand in the response from ChatGPT, just ask another question.
ChatGPT can even regenerate responses. If you’d like to get a different answer or different examples, you can. Simply click on the “Regenerate response” button at the bottom of the screen and it will give you a different answer. What’s more is that it won’t erase the previous answers. Instead, it will create a new tab underneath your question with the new response and you’ll be able to navigate between all responses (see the red circle in the image below).
I did this when I asked ChatGPT to give me names of composers that write music for piano in a jazzy style. This is the first response I got:
And this is the second response with some overlap:
ChatGPT (the “basic” version) is free to use. All you need to do is go to https://chat.openai.com and create a free account.
All past conversations ChatGPT are recorded on the platform and stays available to you anytime you log back in. That means you can always refer back to previous responses.
ChatGPT speaks over 40 languages including English, French, Spanish, Japanese, Chinese, Italian, German, and Russian! This is great not only if you’re learning a foreign language but also if English is not your mother tongue. And for us musicians, ChatGPT can help us with musical terms in Italian.
The disadvantages of using ChatGPT
Something to keep in mind is that ChatGPT is not always accurate. It will occasionally give facts or advice that are not 100% right. However, the technology will continue to improve over time.
ChatGPT is not a human therefore the responses it gives are not based on experience but on data that humans have fed it. It won’t replace piano teachers who have years of experience.
I think ChatGPT can be great in providing quick answers to questions related to music theory, composers, piano pieces, musical terms, etc. It can also be used to discover new composers and/or pieces whether in a particularly style or from a certain period.
However, I would still encourage you to continue your piano lessons with a human being (if you have a teacher) and seek advice from humans like myself!
After reading this article, are YOU going to try ChatGPT? Are you for or against this type of technology? Let us know in the comments!