Once players pick a song, they choose an instrument, like bass, guitar or clarinet, with each listed alongside a difficulty level. The higher the difficulty level, the more challenge obviously presented to players. Users can also choose from a secondary difficulty setting: Normal or Expert. When playing as an Expert, users are asked to ignore notes in a red section on the screen.
During each song, notes containing letters fall from the top of the screen, and users are asked to press (or press and hold) the matching key(s) as these notes hit a green line at the bottom of the screen. Songs may utilize special keyboard characters, as well as standard letters. In addition, when an arrow is present next to a note, users must press the letter or character key along with one of the two shift keys (using the left or right shift key is determined by the arrow’s up or down orientation).At the end of each song, players can compare their high score with the game’s community on leaderboards, and can view stats for their note streaks, amount of “perfect” key presses and more. Users also receive KnowGold, which is used to purchase virtual instruments for decorating once’s personal “garage.” While users can play songs as a guest, they’ll need to create an account to actually unlock these instruments, along with additional functionality.
An extra feature for members includes the ability to post shout-outs to other users’ profiles. Finally, a studio feature allows users to create their own musical compositions, using the same computer keyboard-based note format.
“Music lessons can be tedious, and musical instruments and instructions cost a lot of money,” said Jason Cook, president of KnowNote, in a release. “But now, if you can type, you can play music. As you play, your brain actually learns which notes are higher and lower without ever studying sheet music.”
KnowNote is available to play for free in browsers.