Piano Music for Beginners?

I’ve been teaching myself piano for a few months now, and I’d like to start learning some new music. I’d like some advice for some good ‘beginner - intermediate’ music pieces, preferably with sheet music available on the net. That probably limits it to classical.

I can read music well enough (I played an Alto Sax for years), but I still have problems breaking my hands apart and playing independently. I can play a few siimple pop songs (“Desperado”, “Let it Be”), and a couple of classical pieces like the Fur Elise and the opening section of Bach’s Minuet in G.

So, any suggestions for some music that’s fun to play and will help me learn to play better?

To be honest, if you want to enjoy playing you should play stuff that you like. I taught myself to play starting with a copy of the sheet music to Phantom of the Opera that my dad had bought – not the “easy piano” version, but the real one. Started with picking out the melodies, added simple left hands, went from there. From what I’ve seen, a lot of people get turned off of whatever instrument they’re learning because what they’re playing doesn’t sound terribly much like real music. :slight_smile:

If you’re looking for free sheet music on the 'net, then yeah, it’s likely to be limited to classical due to copyright thingamajigs. Another possibility, though, is to get a program that can change MIDI files to sheet music. I use Noteworthy Composer, but that’s because it’s what I use to print all of my sheet music. I’m sure there’s programs out there that specialize in MIDI to sheet music conversion.

In terms of breaking your hands apart and such, all I can say is practice each of the hands’ parts separately a lot before putting them together. Memorizing helps. Also, try stuff with really simple left-hand parts, or simplify what’s there.

If you have the cash to buy a book, I recommend one called Easy Classics to Moderns or something like that. I think it’s relatively inexpensive, but then my copy’s about twice as old as I am, so I’m not sure what it’s going for these days. Also, find out if any libraries in your area have sheet music, and make some photocopies.

Good luck!

I second DragonBlink’s recommendation, about converting midis into sheet music. I’m actually going to teach myself piano too (as soon as my keyboard is delivered, hopefully tomorrow!) and I plan to do it this way. I play viola and even though I love classical stuff, popular music is always fun.

MidiNotate is an excellent program that specializes in converting midi files into sheet music. I like it because you can edit the files and do neat things like remove tracks (like the baseline or the melody) so that you can play along. The computer can be your band. You can have a jam session in the privacy of your home! Isn’t that cool?!

(Can you tell I’m excited for us?)

I’ve got Cakewalk, and it can take MIDI files and convert them to sheet music. Unfortunately, I’ve found that the sheet music that comes out is often a bit of a mess, with left hand parts low on the treble clef, etc.

However, that’s the way I learned to play both Desperado and Let it Be. The big advantage of the MIDI transcription is that you can listen to the MIDI track and practice until you get it exactly the same. And you can slow it down to pick out the intricacies, etc. Very handy.

I’m lucky in that I like pretty much all genres of music, so I don’t mind learning classical, rock, country, bluegrass, jass, blues, whatever. Good music is good music.

I’d reccommend Coldplay’s Clocks. Very easy…but hard to find.

I don’t believe you. Everyone knows that political conservatives can’t blow sax.

…Okay, to be serious, try The Definitive Jazz Collection, published by Hal Leonard. It’s listed as “easy piano,” and it’s a little too damn easy for me, but it DOES contain a nice large selection from “After You’ve Gone” and “Willow Weep for Me” up to “Bernie’s Tune” and “Girl From Ipanema.”

And you can always choose to wail on the chords rather than just read what’s on the page.