Learning to play piano by yourself is fun, but learning to play with someone else can be twice as enjoyable! Here, music teacher Julie P. shares her picks for the best easy piano duets and books to check out…
One of the best parts of being a piano player is that you get to play music with other people. And I don’t just mean when you’re playing in a rock band or accompanying a soloist. You can play duets with your fellow pianists!
There is a wide range of repertoire available, from easy piano duets for beginners to advanced duets requiring serious study from both players. Duets can be in any genre, from classical to jazz, and are sometimes orchestrated for special holidays or occasions. No matter what your skill level or interests, there’s a duet for you.
Plus, playing duets are more than just fun, they’re great for improving your ability to play with a steady beat. They also challenge your ears to listen to both your part and your partner’s. You may find it difficult to play with another pianist at first, but the more duets you play, the easier it will become to synchronize the two parts.
Below are five fun and exciting songs and books to get you started in your duet endeavors!
Jazz Prelude, by William Gillock (Intermediate)
This syncopated duet is exciting for both players and sounds very impressive when put together. Players and listeners of all ages will love the snappy rhythms and bluesy harmonies. If you want to liven up a recital or talent show, this is the piece to play.
Carol of the Bells Fantasy, by Robert Vandall (Intermediate)
“Carol of the Bells” is a favorite among many pianists for its repetitive melody and minor tonality. This duet version expands on those appealing aspects to create an intense rendition of the song. It’s a great duet for a Christmas recital or even during a church service.
Easy Classical Piano Duets For Teacher and Student (Elementary)
For younger pianists, this book is a great opportunity to play duets with their teacher or perhaps an older sibling. All of the 17 classical pieces in this book would work great for a recital or in a church service. Watch two young children do a great job with “Waltz”, by Ernesto Becucci, in the video above.
Bouncin’ Boogie, by Martha Mier (Early Intermediate)
Get ready to boogie down with this fun duet. Bouncin’ Boogie is one song from a great book called “Jazz, Rags & Blues” by Martha Mier. The six songs in this book are fun for students and are great for learning and practicing swing rhythms.
Chinese Dragons, by Nancy Faber (Advanced)
This three-movement work is impressive, exciting, and full of sounds you don’t hear all the time in traditional classical music. It requires excellent rhythmic feel from both players and communication for changes in tempo and dynamics.
If one of these duets has sparked your interest, grab a friend, sibling, parent, or teacher and play some piano duets! There are many more easy piano duets out there than just these, so have fun exploring the wealth of options available.
Photo by christopher.durant