Finding the right piano sheet music is never easy. And for beginners it is even harder. There is so much wonderful piano music out there, but which music will be the right one for you? You might have specific musical preferences and prefer certain styles. Which sheet music will have the right difficulty? Are you looking to become better or do you just want to practice the skill you already have? In this article we will help you to find the right beginner piano sheet music for you. Music that fits your specific requirements and is fun to play.
Finding the right difficulty for your sheet music
The piano as an extremely versatile instrument. It can take many years to master and among piano music you will find very challenging sheet music for real virtuosos. At the same time, piano is a great instrument for beginners, because it is relatively easy to start, and you will be able to play fun and well sounding songs in relatively short time. You will also so find that some genres are easier to play for piano beginners than others.
Piano difficulty in different genres
Let’s look at the Blues together: Traditional Blues will follow standard patterns and harmonics, such as the blues shuffle or boogie for rhythm patters or the standard blues progression in harmonics. It is easy to play alone or accompany other musicians on the piano.
In comparison to Blues, Jazz can be more demanding and is sometimes not as easy to play for piano beginners. Harmonic concepts tend to be more elaborated, Jazz typically features more complex rhythms and musicians need a well trained ear to hear the subtleties in the music.
If you are a big fan of Jazz, you will still find excellent beginner sheet music for that genre. Check out our recommendations at the end of this article.
Since the piano has been around now for centuries, you will also find wonderful beginner sheet music in different classical music genres. The instrument dates to the early 18th century, you will find musical pieces written specifically for that instrument going back to the Baroque aera.
Very famous piano sheet music from this era is the world-famous „Notebook for Anna Magdalena Bach“, written by Johann Sebastian Bach. It features mostly easy beginner piano music that has been played by pianists over centuries by now.
The classical era brought forward composers like Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Franz Schubert or Ludwig van Beethoven and some of the music those composers have written for the piano is being widely played by pianists worldwide. Very popular classical piano sheet music for beginners are piano arrangements for Mozart’s „A Little Night Music“, Schubert’s „Ave Maria“ or piano music originally written for the instrument, like Beethoven’s „Für Elise“.
The romantic era brought us even more wonderful piano music and some of the most played piano pieces by composers like Frederic Chopin or Franz Liszt. Even though those composers are known for their virtuosity in their music, you will still find music that is easy to play for piano beginners among their work catalogues.
Until today the piano is one of the most played instruments world wide and music keeps getting composed for this wonderful instrument.
Recommended beginner piano sheet music
Since we know how hard it is to find the literature for pianists, we have compiled for you a selection of our favorite piano sheet music for beginners, categorized by genres. Almost every genre holds some true gems for the piano that can be played even by beginners of the instrument and that will sound great, even if played alone.
25 leichte Etüden
This collection of 25 easy and slightly intermediate pieces has been specifically written for beginners of the piano. The author Frederic Burgmüller has even written the music for musicians with small hands, so if you have not practised extended fingerings yet, this collection might be the right one for you. This edition also includes the fingerings in the sheet music, which is ideal for beginners. The featured music is varied, covering different times like 4/4, 2/4, ¾ and 6/8, different tempos and keys.
Sonatinas are literally small sonatas, so they follow the sonata form, but are shorter and typically also playable by piano beginners. This collection features easy to play sonatinas by composers like Ludwig van Beethoven, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, T. Haslinger, J. B. Wanhal and Carl Czerny. The collection includes in total 15 Sonatinas and the fingering has been added to the sheet music to help beginners to find the right playing style. The difficulty of the sonatinas will start from fairly easy to slight intermediate difficulty, so this piano book might be the right choice for you if you want to improve your playing skills by going through the book.
Classics of the 20th and 21st century
Modern classical music holds some real treasures for aspiring pianists! We understand that it is not always easy to have an overview about the genre, especially since you will find a very wide range of styles, from atonal music and complicated rhythms to avantgarde music that can be challenging for beginners. However you will also find works that are both enchantingly beautiful and at the same time, very easy to play on the piano. Below you will find a hand-picked selection for you to make your first steps that will both by fun to play and will astonish your audiences.
Arvo Pärt – Für Anna Maria
Arvo Pärt is one of the most influential, if not the most influential, contemporary composers of classical music. His compositional style is often characterized by a slow and meditative tempo and a minimalist approach to notation and performance. The resulting musical pieces are of outstanding beauty and fit to be played by beginners of the piano.
This collection of contemporary piano music is especially made for young players. It has been edited by Monika Hildebrand and features cute illustrations that will appeal to younger audiences (and to the young at heart). The bi-lingual edition features 22 pieces ranging from light-hearted to the dreamy, from the fanciful to the exotic, each of them written by composers of our time and all of them easy for beginners of the piano.
Mike Cornick’s Style Collection – Waltz Time
This collection features 13 of the most well-known waltzes from different time periods and genres. Some of the pieces included might be more targeted at intermediate players but the edition also includes fairly easy pieces such as the popular “Waltz No. 2” by Dmitry Shostakovich.
Although this is surely targeted at intermediate players, we still wanted to mention it in our list, simply because it has been such popular piano sheet music since the edition was released in the year 2005.
Rock and Pop: Easy piano sheet music
Easy Bar Piano: Rock & Pop
We all admire those piano players that have a great repertoire of pop and rock songs that they manage to pull out of their sleeves and makes the audience play along. The great thing about rock and pop music is that very often they follow easy chord progressions and relatively simple melodies that make them suitable even for piano beginners. This tri-lingual collection edited by Sven Birch features 11 popular songs that have been arranged for easy piano. It includes songs everybody knows such as “All you need is love” (made famous by The Beatles) and “The House of the Rising Sun” (made famous by The Animals).
World Music encompasses many different styles of music from around the world, including many forms ethnic music and music with more than one cultural tradition, such as music where Western popular music and non-Western music mix. Popular forms of world music include non-European classical music (Japanese, Chinese or Indian music), Eastern European folk music, Nordic folk music, music from the Middle East, Africa, Asia and Central and South America, and from the Caribbean.
Mike Cornick’s Style Collection Afro-Caribbean
This collection contains musical pieces with an Afro-Caribbean touch to it. It features some of the most beloved and well-known songs from the Caribbean, such as “Jamaica Farewell” (which has become very popular in the version of Harry Belafonte) or “Brown girl in the ring”, which became a No. 1 chart hit in the late 70ies, performance by Boney M. The edition also includes a CD with examples of the songs and holds in total 13 songs that will bring joy to the piano player and sun into your heart.
Oldies and Evergreens comprise music from the mid-1950s to the 1980s. Songs from that genre are typically well know by a wider audience, are fun to play and with the right arrangement will also be suitable for piano beginners.
Mike Cornick’s Style Collection – Evergreens
This collection of 13 songs feature a wide variety of different styles that will appeal to piano players and audiences alike. The edition features play-along tracks with introductory bars and is suited for intermediary players.
Undoubtedly the Jazz genre features challenging piano music since it introduces complex rhythms, extended harmonies and special playing styles that can become a challenge for piano beginners. At the same time, the Jazz genre has brought us many songs that are widely known and enjoyed by listeners as well as musicians all over the world, being covered and re-arranged many times. If you look closely, you might find piano sheet music that will also be suitable for beginners.
Easy Jazzy Piano
This edition is targeted at players of moderate abilities. It features a range of different metrics and rhythms that are popular in Jazz music (such as syncopation, swing styles and bossa nova). The edition includes 6 songs in total.