Woodrow the Old Piano – How to Play Woodrow (Basic Guide)

Learn how to play Woodrow using PC keyboard, MIDI, and MIDI files.

Guide to Basics


Woodrow the Old Piano can be played in three ways: PC keyboard, MIDI device, or MIDI file.

How you choose to play Woodrow is up to you, but there are some differences between functionality depending on what you decide.

Playing Woodrow the Old Piano is as easy as launching the program and tapping on keys. This guide goes into extra detail if you want to know more about how it works.

PC Keyboard

Woodrow the Old Piano can be played using the following keys:

  • 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 q w e r t y u i o p a s d f g h j k l z x c v b n m
  • ! @ $ % ^ * ( Q W E T Y I O P S D G H J L Z C V B M

Pressing the shift key will play the black key above it. You can play simplified songs by memorizing letter sequences. “Sheet music” for pianos in games like Garry’s Mod and Tower Unite typically work for Woodrow the Old Piano, too.

Some keyboards have a hardware limitation of how many keys can be pressed at once (typically between 3 and 6 keys simultaneously). You can still play complex chords by staggering how you press keys, rather than pressing them all at once.

You can disable the PC keys from playing the piano, should you need to. In the top menu, select ‘Enable PC Keys’ so that the button is switched to the left (off). It is on by default.

MIDI Input

Using a MIDI input device is the most expressive way to play Woodrow the Old Piano.

This MIDI input function is designed for MIDI keyboard controllers, including digital pianos, keyboards, and keytars which support MIDI. Woodrow the Old Piano can receive messages but does not send them.

Woodrow the Old Piano can detect key press velocity if your device supports touch sensitivity, creating a more expressive sound. The program can also detect when a sustain pedal is pressed and released.

To use your MIDI device, simply do the following:

  • Connect your MIDI device to your PC using a USB cable.
  • Turn your MIDI device on.
  • Launch Woodrow the Old Piano.


If your MIDI device isn’t working, check the following:

  • Check that your MIDI device is using channel 0. By default, this is what Woodrow the Old Piano listens to.
  • Check that your device appears in the top menu under ‘Device.’ If not, press the > arrow next to it and make sure the correct input device appears.
  • Make sure your MIDI device supports MIDI output to PC. Some MIDI keyboards have a setting to enable MIDI output, while others require drivers. Consult the manual for your device for more.
  • Relaunch the program. Woodrow the Old Piano may not detect your device if you launch it before the device is connected and turned on.

MIDI File Playback

You can load a MIDI file for Woodrow the Old Piano to automatically play. This functionality is somewhat experimental during Early Access.

Using the top menu, simply select the three dots (…) button on the right and select a MIDI file. It will take a moment to load, then it will automatically play.

Below this option is the ‘Pianola Speed’ slider. Dragging the slider will change the playback speed.

At the bottom are three buttons. The red stop button pauses the song. The green play button resumes it. The orange arrow restarts the song.

Notes on MIDI Files

It is best to use standard MIDI files written for piano. Using MIDI files with multiple tracks and instruments may produce unusual results.

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