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 can quickly 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 books for beginners.  The following books are wonderful options for beginning piano players.

Best Piano Books for Beginners

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, 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 want to learn more about musical theory and the intricate workings of your new instrument, this is the book for you.

You can work through these books on their own or together with the practical series for a more rounded education. Your piano teacher can also help you decide which steps to focus on first.

 Alfred’s Basic Adult All-in-One Piano Course

The Alfred’s collection of beginner 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 fun!

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 beginner piano books 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.

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 becoming a virtuoso.

No matter which of these piano books for beginners that you choose, always keep in mind that working with a teacher will help you advance your skills more quickly. If you’re not ready for private lessons, sign up for our free online classes today!

Comments

Sharla

March 20, 2015 at 3:16pm

It's overwhelming to choose from the different books. I think I have chosen to go with the Faber books, but then they offer so many within one level. Any recommendations on that? Do we need the lesson, theory, performance and technique book?

Suzy S.

March 24, 2015 at 8:05am

Hi Sharla, I'd recommend checking with your piano teacher on that! He/she can tell you what you'll need for your lessons.

K.F.

May 24, 2017 at 12:52pm

HI, Sharla! I would definitely recommend using the Faber series. I used them myself, and they were wonderful. If you are serious about learning piano, you should probably get all the books: lesson, theory, performance, and technique, because they build off of each other to help you progress faster.

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In this class, we will discuss how to listen and play the piano notes and major, and different intervals. This is not a learning piano class. You will also learn basic songs and intervals in the key of C, (e.g. Twinkle Little Star, Joy to the World, etc) and sing notes and intervals to match the pitch with DO, RE, MI, FA, SOL, LA, TI, DO phrases. Stephen will also play intervals, rhythms and notes with his camera closed and students will practice distinguishing whether it is high or low, if it is in 4ths, 5ths, 3rds, 2nd notes, a chord, etc. (If you register and decided not to show please cancel your registration as soon as you can so I can know ahead of time how many people will attend)
How to Compose Music on the Piano and Staff Paper
This is not a piano class to learn piano. In this class we will use piano staff paper to compose instrumental music on your piano. It is a Beginning to Intermediate course. Piano staff paper can be found on the internet by searching google (piano staff paper or free piano staff paper) There are a few sites where you can find it. You can then print it out. We will learn how to write the treble, bass clef, time signatures, dynamic markings, musical terms, note intervals and rhythms, etc. to make your song come to life with your piano. Requirements is that you know the notes on the treble and bass clef, knowledge of some musical terms.
Rhythm Exercises and Understanding Time Signatures
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This class is meant for people who have some basic knowledge in piano. You will learn and practice the layout of the piano, Songs, posture, note length, beats, fingerings with instructor Stephen B. We will work together as a group or the individual needs of the student. We will also work on recurring issues if an individual student or the group needs time to discuss it. Requirements are a 88/76/61 key keyboard or piano, listening, being patient, practicing, short assignments, and asking questions. (If you register and decided not to show please cancel your registration as soon as you can so I can know ahead of time how many people will attend)
Easy Peasy Piano and Songs for Kids and Adults
This class is meant for people who have some basic knowledge in piano. You will learn and practice the layout of the piano, Songs, posture, note length, beats, fingerings with instructor Stephen B. We will work together as a group or the individual needs of the student. We will also work on recurring issues if an individual student or the group needs time to discuss it. Requirements are a 88/76/61 key keyboard or piano, listening, being patient, practicing, short assignments, and asking questions. (If you register and decided not to show please cancel your registration as soon as you can so I can know ahead of time how many people will attend)
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Now that you know and understand basic Note Values and Time Signatures, let's learn some more complex ones. In this class, you'll learn some more note values in 4/4, and we will explore the 6/8 Time Sign and how the rhythm and notes sound in it. Come and learn some new Time Signatures and Note Values and take your rhythms up a notch!