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.

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.

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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!
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: Piano Notes, Techniques, & Other Piano Basics
If you’re looking for an intro to the piano for beginners then this is the perfect class for you. You’ll learn how to locate piano notes, how the finger number system works, and how to improve your dexterity. All of these piano basics will be applied as you play a few simple songs with the help of an expert instructor. Aspiring pianists will love this group piano class!
Piano for Beginners: How to Read a Lead Sheet of Music
Learning how to read a lead sheet is essential for beginning pianists. This form of written music leaves more of the performance decisions up to the musician, allowing you to add your own unique artistry. In this online piano class, playing through three songs using lead sheets will give you the opportunity to practice your skills! You’ll also become more comfortable playing with your left hand.
Piano for Beginners: Rhythm Exercises & Understanding Time Signatures
Reading and counting rhythms can be challenging for beginners, but this group piano class will make them a breeze! An expert instructor will lead you through rhythm exercises so you’re able to apply a knowledge of music theory to your playing. A discussion of time signatures will also help improve your technique. Soon these skills will become second nature!
Expert Tips for Combining Melodies and Chords
Now that you’ve got melodies down, learn how to combine them with multiple different chords to create even more beautiful music! You’ll receive expert tips on how to do just that in this fun piano class. Your instructor will teach you how to read chord charts and lead sheets as you start with simple melodies and chords. You’ll also cover improvisation!
Piano for Beginners: An Intro to Reading Music & Finger Exercises
Finger numbers are one of the building blocks of piano for beginners. This online piano class will dive into why and how to use them. You’ll discuss reading music and learn a few finger exercises to help you begin playing songs. We’ll also get to apply all you’ve learned by playing the classic song “Stand by me” in three different ways!
Piano for Beginners: How to Read Music Notes & More
In this group piano class, you’ll learn the basics of written music and how it applies to piano for beginners. Your instructor will discuss how to read music notes before you begin playing and will go through one song before the end of the class. Learning to read music is a skill that requires nearly as much practice as playing the piano itself, so you’ll greatly benefit from attending this informative class!