To make things easier for players just starting out at the piano, we’ve picked 10 piano pieces that we think are just right for beginners. They have enough complexity to sound impressive and keep you motivated, but they’re also easy enough that they won’t take forever to learn. Read on to discover our best piano songs for beginners.
Moonlight Sonata, Ludwig van Beethoven
We had to start this list with a classic. Beethoven’s “Moonlight Sonata” is not only one of the composer’s best-known pieces, its famous first movement is also accessible for beginners. It’s intended to be played with a slow and steady beat (“adagio sostenuto” in music speak). The melody follows a gentle, repetitive pattern and there are just a few sharps that you need to keep an eye on. All in all, it’s one of the best classical piano songs for beginners to have in their repertoire.
Hallelujah, Leonard Cohen
Originally released in 1984, Leonard Cohen’s cult classic has been covered by countless artists, including legends like Bob Dylan and Jeff Buckley – and you can easily learn it too! We’ve arranged our version for beginner players in C major, which means there are no sharps or flats to worry about. You follow the familiar melody in the right hand, with some simple chords in the left. After a little bit of practice, you’ll be ready for a praise-worthy performance.
Gymnopedie No. 1, Erik Satie
This piece’s name is probably the most difficult thing about it! Satie’s “Gymnopedies” are among some of the best piano songs for beginners to learn because they’re slow and simple. There’s also great emotional depth to the music, which makes it incredibly rewarding to learn, and memorable to play.
Ain’t No Sunshine, Bill Withers
It’s one of the simplest, but most moving ballads of all time – and that makes “Ain’t No Sunshine” one of the best piano songs for beginners to pick up. The bluesy melody is short and sweet, and – aside from a few small sections – you play it with just one hand at a time. It’s easy to learn, fun to play, and great for sing-alongs (if they’re your thing!)
Morning Mood, Edvard Grieg
Grieg wrote this piece to depict the rising sun, and it perfectly captures the beauty and wonder of a new dawn. You’ve probably heard it played on flute and oboe before. Our easy arrangement for piano requires you to move your hands around a little, but has you maintain a simple, steady melody that we think most beginners will be able to pick up in no time.
Game of Thrones Theme
Did you know that the soundtracks to the first five seasons of Game of Thrones feature no piano music? Apparently, the show’s creators believed that the instrument was too delicate for the brutal world of Westeros. But while piano music might be missing from the show itself, this special arrangement allows you to bring its memorable main theme to life on the ivories. The slow melody makes for easy playing, as does the fact that you only need to play with both hands in a few places.
River Flows in You, Yiruma
Simply beautiful. That’s probably the best way to describe this song by the South Korean-British composer Yiruma. If you’re a fan of sparkly vampires, you might recognize the tune from the Twilight soundtrack (although it never actually made it into the movie.)
“River Flows in You” features a delicate melody in the right hand and a four chord ostinato progression in the left hand (An ostinato is a short pattern of notes that repeats throughout a composition). To tackle this piece, start by practicing the left hand chords on their own, then work on the right hand melody. When you feel confident playing each hand separately, it’s time to bring both hands together. Go as slowly as you need to and bring things up to speed as you get more comfortable.
Clair de Lune, Claude Debussy
One of Debussy’s most famous works, “Clair de Lune” captures the peaceful feeling of simply staring up at the moon at night. The introduction of this piece is probably the part that most people know best – and it’s also the easiest to learn. You play a slow, gentle melody in the right hand and some simple broken chords in the left. There are only a few moments where both hands are working at the same time, leaving you free to focus on the notes and beautiful rhythm.
All of Me, John Legend
John Legend wrote this contemporary classic for his then-fiancée, now wife, Chrissy Teigen. It’s about loving someone for all they are – the good parts and the less-than-perfect ones too. That makes us feel warm and fuzzy inside, and we think you’ll feel the same way when you learn to play this beautiful ballad. With its steady beat, repetition of melody, and small range of hand movement, it won’t take long for this piece to start rolling off your fingers.
Una Mattina, Ludovico Einaudi
Ludovico Einaudi is famous for his beautifully minimalist sound, which also makes his piano songs some of the best for beginners to learn. “Una Mattina” is one of the standout songs from the soundtrack of the French film “Les Intouchables” (if you haven’t already seen it, we definitely recommend adding it to your Netflix list!)
Your hands stay anchored around middle C, so there’s no jumping around to worry about. This piece opens and closes with a gorgeous melody that’s also nice and easy. The pace picks up in the middle section, so you might need to take some time to perfect the pattern, but once you’ve got it, it all comes together to make for one achingly beautiful piece.
Learn piano with flowkey
Feeling ready to hit the keys? Head to the flowkey app, where you can find all of the piano songs above, and plenty of others that are best for beginners. Just set the song filter to “Beginner” and away you go!
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