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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.