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.

Sign up for a free 30-day trial of TakeLessons Live for access to unlimited piano classes every week.

 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.

Related: 15 Piano Songs That Sound Complicated, But Are Easy To Learn

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.

Need help learning Piano?

Try one of our most popular online Piano classes for free

Learn How to Play Piano with Both Hands
Are you ready to start playing the piano like a pro? These online piano classes will help you practice with both hands to take your skills to the next level. You’ll also learn various chords and rhythms that you can easily play using both hands.
Simple Techniques to Start Playing Piano
Finally learn the basic skills you need to be able to sit down at the piano and start playing. In this class for beginners, your expert instructor will teach you simple techniques and exercises to start getting more comfortable playing piano right away. Learn alongside other beginner-level piano students and get live, instant feedback from a professional piano instructor in this fun, interactive group class!
Piano for Beginners: How to Play Piano Chords
Are you ready to take your music theory and piano playing skills to the next level? This online piano class will dive deeper into the various types of chords. You’ll discuss popular strategies to identify and play these chord types, as well as how to play chord progressions. Finally, you’ll learn some new techniques that will add liveliness to your playing!
Basic Piano Melodies for Beginners
Playing piano melodies might seem hard at first, but this class will make them a breeze! Your expert instructor will start at the basics of reading music and melodies. You will then cover more challenging areas such as playing with two hands and changing positions. Not to worry, though - these concepts will be broken down and made easy to understand so you can master them in no time!
Piano for Beginners: Intro to Piano Chords & Music Intervals
Are you ready to start learning chords on the piano? This group piano class will explore playing more than one note at a time and forming note patterns. You’ll learn about the various types of intervals and how to apply them your playing. Music theory is an essential part of piano for beginners, and this class will help it become second nature!
Must Know Piano Chords and How To Play Them
These interactive piano classes will teach you the fundamentals of piano chords so you can start expanding your playing skills. You’ll begin with learning the major and minor chords, and then move on to playing major and minor chord inversions. An experienced instructor will explain what each of these are, and make them easy to understand! Finally, you’ll put it all together by learning how to play a song with major and minor chord inversions.
Piano for Beginners: Key Signatures & Playing in Different Keys
This online piano class for beginners will take your music theory knowledge a step further by introducing key signatures. You’ll discuss sharps and flats and the relationships they have to scales and keys. The Circle of Fifths will also be covered to make memorizing all 12 major keys and scales easier. Playing a song together at the end of class will help you apply all you’ve learned!
How to Practice Piano: Essential Piano Exercises for Beginners
In this live piano class for beginners, learn how to improve your piano playing skills through mastering effective practice techniques. Taught by an expert piano instructor, you will have the chance to ask questions, get direct feedback, and have fun with other students in class. From deconstructing complicated passages to working on memorization techniques, you will continually improve your piano playing skills with this class.