Amateur pianists: what do you enjoy playing?

I recently bought myself a digital piano after a few years not having a piano at all.

I played for about 30 years, mostly classical pieces: Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Clementi, etc. Plus some ragtime and some standards, which I’m completely out of practice with.

What do you play? It can be genres, pieces, styles, whatever.

I don’t play piano; I play guitar. But if I started piano - and I contemplate it from time to time - I would want to play boogie-woogie like Meade Lux Lewis(youtube link)…

I’m a shitty pianist. I never took lessons outside of an Intro to Piano class in college (that I dropped mid-way through). My technique is solidly sloppy with my left hand pretty much limited to playing root-bass-notes.

I am also a relatively mediocre guitar player who plays in a band that plays all original music. My piano playing time is dedicated to trying to figure out how to play on the piano what I already know how to play on guitar.

It’s work … but it’s fun.

I did two degrees in musicology, but my playing level really puts me more in the amateur/dilettante category. My favorite “just for fun” pieces are from the Bach sinfonia and inventions, and a few harpsichord pieces by Rameau and Couperin.

Also, I could play the few Macdowell woodland sketches in my comfort level all day long…<3

I have “To a Wild Rose.” Such a pretty piece. I’ve never heard the others, as far as I know.

Whenever I sit at the piano, I tend to end up playing something blues-countryish. That’s the style I’m most comfortably with, for whatever reason. I grew up playing classical music (Chopin and Bach are my favorites), and I have knowledge of jazz and took lessons in that direction, too, but my voice is distinctly blues-country. Chuck Leavell or Ian Stewart (Rolling Stones) is probably the most similar to my style, although I had not really listened to them until many years later. And I’m so out of practice these days, it would take me a good bit of woodshedding to really get my chops back down. (I do still play from time to time, and lay down tracks for friends, but I generally cheat a bit and record parts at 80% of tempo, as, while I can hear the [improvised] parts in my head, my fingers can sometimes trip a bit over themselves, and my rhythm has gotten a bit shaky.)

I’ve been learning for the better part of this year. So far mostly classical pieces, but I’ve been working on “Mad World” for a bit now. I also quite want to do some video game music–Kid Icarus, Legend of Zelda. :slight_smile:

That’s the easiest one of the bunch, and quite pretty. Thanks to this thread, I’m digging out my collection. I also play “a deserted farm” (which I had to orchestrate in my undergrad), and “to a water lily.” Such fun on a lazy day!

I’m a *very *amateur pianist–I have trouble live-reading both hands at the same time, and I get frustrated fairly easily unless I really like the song I’m learning. But I’ve found it fun to learn several pieces of Final Fantasy piano sheet music (by Nobuo Uematsu). “To Zanarkand” is a particularly beautiful piece… it’s not really technically complex, but it’s very emotional/open to interpretation in terms of tempo/glissandos etc. An incredibly rewarding piece to tackle.

Bach, Brahms, Schubert, Chopin, Debussy - I love it all.

One of the things I love about the Canadian institution, the Royal Conservatory of Music - there are anthologies available for every grade level, as well as further recommendations in the Syllabus for each instrument. It means that once you figure out you are playing at a Grade 8 level (as in my case, for example), it has suggestions for pieces of an equivalent difficulty throughout the various periods of music.

Nice. I find it hard sometimes to figure out what new music to tackle exactly because I don’t really know what level I am.

Here’s a link for the piano syllabus and the popular selection list. The Celebration Series direct link is being a pain in the butt right now, but you can click to it from here.

It’s well worth having a look in your local library to see if they have any of these. Then, as I say, find what grade is more or less your level and you’ve got enough repertoire for a few years of fun…

I took ten years of lessons as a child. Beethoven was by far my favorite. I had some simplified arrangements of Scott Joplin songs that were a lot of fun, too… but with Beethoven I was playing the “real” thing.

edit: Pathetique sonata was my very very favorite

They aren’t in the library, but I found an overview that showed pieces from every level. I wonder if this is just a feature of being self-taught, but I regularly play pieces up to Level 10 but find pieces down to level 3 or 4 as being too hard.

This is what I was looking at. (It’s a .pdf.)

I know there are things that other people consider easy that I think are quite hard which is no doubt partially a feature of being self-taught.

The one song I have memorized and can usually play pretty well even when rusty is “Linus and Lucy,” the Charlie Brown theme song by Vince Guaraldi.

I find the rcm grading system quite misleading, if truth be told. I find the baroque pieces in grade 8, for example, to be a lot easier than the Oscar Peterson pieces, or romantic repertoire generally.

I shouldn’t be an amateur–I should be working on the stuff of the masters–but college has made it a tad difficult to finish the lessons I took for ten years. Still have the books, but…yeah, on hold 'til I have the money and the stable living locale for a gorgeous digital piano of my own.

To answer the question in the OP: Most of what I play now is pop-oriented stuff. This time of year, I’m very partial to the Carpenter’s “Merry Christmas Darling,” sheet music I have. During the year, you’re likely to find me playing Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Phantom of the Opera material. I also love fooling around with arrangements of 60’s and 50’s music. I still appreciate some more traditional stuff, like Mozart though. He’s such a fun composer :slight_smile:

Good gravy, you are MY EXACT DOUBLE!

I don’t play the piano, but I remember once going to Theatre rehearsal and heard one of the younger actresses play this, flawlessly, learned by ear, only weeks after the movie had come out. I was way impressed.

I love Mendelssohn’s Songs Without Words and Mozart Sonatas.

Non-classically, I find Yiruma’s pieces very pleasant to play - I’m currently learningRiver Flows In You.

And when I just want to tinker away at something easy, I like a lot of Howard Shore’s stuff, like Lord of the Rings.