9 Best Piano Books for Beginners (Kids & Adults)
Want to learn how to play the piano? With the right tools and a little focus, you may be surprised at how quickly you can become proficient in basic piano techniques.
In order to build a strong foundation however, you’ll need two things: first, a great piano teacher to help guide you along. Second, a set of quality piano lesson books for beginners. The following books are wonderful options for beginning piano players.
Alfred’s Basic Piano Course Lesson Series
The Alfred’s collection of piano books is incredibly popular with students of all ages. The Basic Piano Course lesson series progresses in small steps, so that the information is easy to replicate and remember. As the lessons progress, students will learn the names of the piano keys: first white, then black. As one of the most sought-after piano books for beginners on the market, this book is a sure step toward practical piano skills!
Alfred’s Basic Piano Course Theory Series
The Alfred’s Theory Series is designed as an accompaniment to the Basic Lesson Series, but the two do not necessarily have to go together. If you’re interested in learning more about musical theory and the intricate workings of your new instrument, this is the book for you. These theory books can be worked through on their own or together with the practical series for a more rounded education. Your piano teacher can help you decide which steps to focus on first.
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Alfred’s Basic Adult All-in-One Piano Course
The Alfred’s collection of piano books is one of the most popular among adult students because it’s easy to use. Each section covers a piano lesson, musical theory topic, and technical information about the elements of music and the piano itself. This is the most highly recommended adult piano book on the market right now!
Hal Leonard Student Piano Library Book 1
The Hal Leonard series of piano lesson books is a compelling one for students. The workbook is designed so that the greenest of beginners can create music right from the very start of their studies. Simple instructions and illustrations, as well as an accompanying CD, make the first step toward becoming a real piano player as easy as possible. This book makes at-home individual practice simple, while leaving room for a private piano teacher to fill in the blanks about music theory.
John Thompson’s Easiest Piano Course
Thompson’s Easiest Piano Course is not an overstatement: this series of piano lessons is perfect for beginners. Thompson introduces each note in his book one at a time and reinforces his lessons with colorful illustrations and characters. This lesson book, complete with writing and reading assignments, is a great supplemental resource when working with a professional teacher one-on-one.
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Ultimate Beginner Series
If you are a focused and dedicated, yet impatient student, some piano lesson books for beginners may frustrate you due to their slow pace. Not this one! The Ultimate Beginner Series uses text and a DVD accompaniment to jump right into the world of piano playing and teach you about chords, arpeggios, playing with both hands, and even playing music by ear. This is a workbook for an inspired virtuoso in waiting!
Faber Music Piano Adventures
The Piano Adventures book takes a different approach to teaching beginners to learn how to play the piano. Students using this guide are encouraged to experiment with the piano pedals in order to properly understand their function; they are also led through exercises that focus on constant awareness of “middle C.” Through skill exercises and instructional theory, you’ll learn to be more aware of the notes behind the keys.
Bastien Piano for Adults
The Bastien Piano for Adults lesson book was truly designed with adult learners in mind. Not only does the sample music include songs from all kinds of musical genres and eras — jazz, blues, folk, ragtime and classical — but the lessons are more progressive than children’s versions, at least in terms of musical theory. In addition to the text, the Bastien book includes a CD accompaniment to the lessons. The CD will help you gauge your understanding of tempo and timing.
Related: Can You Teach Yourself to Play Piano?
The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Musical Theory
Don’t be embarrassed by the title — The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Musical Theory will help complete your learning experience! A lot of adults worry that they have no musical affinity or natural talent. If you’d agree, then this book is most definitely for you. This guide is not specific to piano, but it will help you on your journey to understanding the theory behind all music, from the piano to vocals. Confusing theories are explained as simply as possible, which will help you on your way to being a virtuoso.
Whichever of these piano books for beginners work the best for you, always keep in mind that working with a private piano teacher will help you advance your skills more quickly. If you’re not ready for private lessons, sign up for a free 30-day trial of TakeLessons Live.