Have you ever had the burning desire to learn how to play the piano but you did not know where to start or which piece to begin with?
Choosing what pieces to learn can be daunting. There are so many beautiful pieces that it is difficult to make a selection.
As a beginner, you may want to start with relatively easy and enjoyable pieces to play. When making your choice, it is important to select a piece that is fun but that is also going to help you improve your piano playing.
Here are five pieces, in no particular order, that you can study and enjoy learning as a beginner looking to learn the piano.
Ode to Joy (9th symphony) – Beethoven
That’s right, one of Beethoven’s famous symphonies can be played on the piano! The piano arrangement for beginners is a very good piece to learn during your first lessons.
It is very easy as it is only played within the 5-finger scale (C-G) on the keyboard for each hand. Aside from it being a good piece for starters to familiarise themselves with the keyboard, it is also very easy to memorise.
Once you master this piece, you can start bragging to your friends that you are now able to play a piece that is originally a symphony! But don’t forget to hide your musical score from them!
Minuet in G – Bach
A minuet is a musical form that was used to accompany a dance in the 17th century. It has a quick and lively character and it is usually written in binary form. It means that it has two sections.
It is relatively easy for beginners to learn and memorise, as each section only has 16 bars.
Many piano teachers select this number as it is really easy to teach to beginner piano students. This particular piece introduces many aspects of piano playing such as articulation and phrasing. For example, you will learn how to play Staccato (detached notes), Legato (connected notes), etc.
The Minuet in G is also a good piece to learn if you want to familiarise yourself with the Key of G major.
Prelude no. 1 in C major – Bach
Another piece by Bach that you may want to learn as a piano beginner is the Prelude no.1 in C major. It is the first prelude among the 24 preludes and fugues from Bach’s “Well-Tempered Clavier” collection.
The piece may look complex but the passages are written thoroughly in a repeated pattern. The pattern repeats every two beats – the left hand plays 2 notes and the right hand plays 6 notes as broken chords. It is extremely beneficial as you will get used to playing broken chords. It is also a good piece to help you learn arpeggios with a relaxed arm.
Even if it is written in semi-quavers, the slow speed and repeated pattern make it easy for beginners to learn.
This prelude is one of the first pieces that many beginners consider learning as it is written in C major – i.e. all the white notes! Even if it has some accidentals, it is not overwhelming.
Trivia: You might easily recognise this piece as it became famous when Charles Gounod superimposed the Latin prayer Ave Maria on this prelude.
Canon in D – Pachelbel
Do you feel like playing at your best friend’s wedding? You actually can after learning this piece!
Canon in D was originally composed for 3 violins and a basso continuo (continuous bass).
It is well-known as it is commonly played at wedding ceremonies. It is chosen for its simplicity and elegance.
Aside from being very popular, memorising this piece will not be a problem for many beginners because it has an easy tune and memorable harmonies.
Being a famous piece, the Canon in D had plenty of arrangements. Some simple piano versions are relatively easy. They have a simple bass line that repeats the entire time. It allows you to pay more attention to playing the melody on your right hand.
The rhythm of the piece is also straightforward as there is not that much complexity. Nothing to worry about!
Gymnopedie no. 1 – Satie
You might know this piece as it was one of the ringtones of the Nokia phones in the early 2000s.
This peaceful and relaxing piece is played with a slow tempo, “lent et douloureux”, meaning “slow and painful”. A tempo that is comfortable for a beginner piano student to play at.
The notes used in this piece are in crotchets, minims and dotted minims which are not very complicated for beginners to read and not too demanding for hand coordination when playing with both hands.
On the left hand, alternating between very low notes and chords played in the middle of the keyboard can help you familiarise yourself with the distance of the piano keys
Listening to this piece can make you picture yourself being seated at your living room window on a cold rainy Sunday morning with a cup of coffee in your hand.
Bonus: Practical Method for Beginners, Op. 599 – Czerny
This book by Czerny contains 100 short pieces that are essential for piano learners.
Originally, Czerny composed these pieces as exercises, but he composed these with harmonic progressions in such a way that it can also be performed. It introduces several exercises that can help you improve two useful skills that are finger dexterity and independence.
There is an unlimited amount of pieces that you can learn to play on the piano. There are so many pieces to choose from, even if you are an absolute beginner. Of course, keep in mind that it is highly recommended to consult your piano teacher regarding the pieces that are most suitable for you to study. Remember that no matter what piece you study, there is always something fun and new to learn.
Should be located in the United Arab Emirates and looking for a top-notch piano school that will really take care of your development then S & C Music Center is the place for you.
Find out more about our piano courses for beginners.