Roland’s new keyboard means Alexa could replace your piano tutor

It may feel like voice assistants are being built in to everything these days, but so far musical instruments have been largely overlooked by companies seeking to make traditional ‘dumb’ devices smart. 

It looks like that's about to change though, as keyboard manufacturer Roland has announced at CES 2019 in Las Vegas that its new GO:PIANO will have Amazon Alexa built in. 

The inclusion of the smart voice assistant means you'll be able to change the keyboard’s sound and settings without ever taking your hands off the keys, via a new Roland Alexa skill. 

As well as offering hands-free adjustment, the new Alexa skill will also provide access to libraries of ‘play along tunes’, plus the ability to share recorded clips of your playing to friends and family. 

Duets with Alexa

Alexa can also become your piano tutor, with one feature of the skills allowing it to play along with you as you learn; when learning a new song, Alexa can take one half of the keys while you take the other, as well as allowing you to view your progress all the time. 

Roland says it will also be adding new features to the Alexa skill over time, and will be looking to make it compatible with other instruments. 

While there's no official information on price and availability, the company says the new GO:PIANO with Alexa built in will be launched in late 2019. 

Whether Alexa could feasibly replace traditional teaching methods is uncertain; after all, a huge part of learning an instrument comes down to a successful and nurturing student-teacher relationship. 

Still, as voice assistants become more and more advanced, your next music teacher being a bodiless, cloud-based virtual assistant is not outside the realms of possibility. 

  • Check out all of TechRadar's CES 2019 coverage. We're live in Las Vegas to bring you all the breaking tech news and launches, plus hands-on reviews of everything from 8K TVs and foldable displays to new phones, laptops and smart home gadgets.

Via Engadget

Olivia Tambini

Olivia was previously TechRadar's Senior Editor - Home Entertainment, covering everything from headphones to TVs. Based in London, she's a popular music graduate who worked in the music industry before finding her calling in journalism. She's previously been interviewed on BBC Radio 5 Live on the subject of multi-room audio, chaired panel discussions on diversity in music festival lineups, and her bylines include T3, Stereoboard, What to Watch, Top Ten Reviews, Creative Bloq, and Croco Magazine. Olivia now has a career in PR.