Playing the piano is undoubtedly one of the most fulfilling activities ever. It’s such a thrill to hold an entire room in awe when you’re seated at the table. Indeed, there are lots of variations to be explored, as each person has a distinct style of play. However, to progress smoothly on the road to piano mastery, fundamental skills need to be developed.
Life is in stages, and so is playing the piano. One needs to understand the basics first, before moving on to try out complex pieces. As a beginner, you can get easily frustrated if you start your piano journey by playing songs loaded with too many musical technicalities. Start small. Here at piano bloomers, we’re invested in building the best piano players ever with the right piano lessons.
Are you a beginner, intermediate, or advanced-level pianist? Take a look at some of the best piano songs to play for your skill level.
Piano Songs Beginners Can Practice
As a beginner, your focus should be on basic notes of the piano. Rhythm is important in any musical piece, so it is important to practice songs that don’t require moving your fingers too fast. We recommend settling for songs that have simple, repetitive notes. Here are a few examples to consider:
1. Twinkle Twinkle:
Twinkle Twinkle is the beginner’s first step to playing the piano. This tune is the same as the alphabet song, but with a few more notes. It ranks as the easiest song to play on piano and is recommended by all piano teachers.
2. Happy Birthday:
Practicing ‘Happy Birthday’ on piano is another way for a beginner to build piano skills. There is a slight jump into the next octave from the middle ‘C,’ but you won’t have a problem as long as you get your fingering right.
3. Jingle Bells:
Although Jingle Bells was originally a winter song rather than a Christmas song, it is played every Yuletide. Several piano teachers encourage beginners to play this tune. The tune is already known, and it settles into a nice, repetitive rhythm that’s great for building consistency.
Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” is another famous piano piece that beginners can practice with. The song offers a beginner insight into the piano chords after mastering the use of the right hand to play simple tunes. Piano chords for Hallelujah are based on major chords; the C, G, and F major, with the occasional D minor, so you won’t find it too difficult with the right guidance.
5. Fur Elise:
Fur Elise is undoubtedly one of Beethoven’s masterpieces. It is also called the Bagatelle in A Minor and is one of the popular classic sheets ever. The first stanza is all the beginner needs to practice – it helps stretch your dexterity on the keys, and you also get to impress your friends and family with this piece.
Piano Songs for Intermediate-Level Players
Intermediate-level pianists have advanced from playing simple songs with just one hand and have mastered playing major chords. Take a look at some of the best songs for intermediate piano players.
1. Johann Sebastian Bach’s Prelude in C Major:
This piece should not be confused with the first prelude in the WTC II. This is one of Bach’s best pieces, and it maintains the same rhythm throughout. Several notes and chords make up this beautiful piece, and only a few notes change on the right hand. For Bach’s Prelude in C Major, the emphasis lies on the piano chords. Master your chords well, and you’ll be able to play in any inversion along the line.
2. Yiruma’s River Flows in You:
This piece is a unique blend of melody and chords. River Flows in You is a popular song for early intermediate level pianists. The song is quite easy to play – there are repetitive chords for the left hand and just two melodies to play on the right. Practice each hand distinctly and bring them together when you’ve mastered the tune. Voila!
3. Frederic Chopin’s Tristesse:
Chopin wrote the Étude Op. 10, No. 3 shortly after he moved from Poland to Paris. Many say the song is used to display his affinity towards his home country, hence the name Tristesse, which means sadness in French. Like the Fur Elise, you don’t need to play the whole song to impress, since most people are only familiar with the first stanza. Y0u can play this piece with block chords of arpeggio from the left hand while playing beautiful melodies with the right. As an intermediate player, don’t forget the time signature needed for this song.
4. Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach’s Solfeggieto:
The Solfeggieto (also called Solfeggio) might look complicated at first, but that’s not true. For talented individuals like yourself, you can get it right from the first try. Once you have not forgotten your fundamentals, you’re good to go. By the time you master this song, you’ll have been able to convince listeners that semiquavers played with both hands are, in fact, played with just one.
5. Yann Tiersen’s Comptine D’un Autre Ete:
This piece is featured in the French movie Amelie. It is played on E minor and has four arpeggios ostinatos on the left alongside a beautiful melody on the right. As always, fundamental knowledge in time signature and rhythm is important.
Piano Songs to Practice for Advanced-Level Pianists:
An advanced-level pianist has already mastered the basics, but there’s always the need to improve. Some of the best songs to further hone your skills are:
1. Fantasie – Impromptu Op. 66:
Although this piece wasn’t published until Chopin’s death, it remains relevant in the world of music to this day. A maximum amount of dexterity and control is needed for this piece and just the right amount of confidence too. You can spend months to master this piece, so there’s no need to rush through the process. Be calm, don’t forget your fundamentals, and you’ll shine at it in no time.
2. Requiem in D Minor, K 626:
The Requiem in D minor was Mozart’s last piece before his death. Although incomplete, it remains one of the most technical songs to play on the piano. Before you can try this out, your sight-reading skills need to be fully honed. This piece can be intimidating, but remember that a human being wrote this, so you can do it too with the right piano tutoring
3. Beethoven’s Hammerklavier:
The Hammerklavier ranks among the greatest piano sonatas of all time. The entire piece contains four technical movements – the Allegro, Scherzo: Assai vivace, Adagio sostenuto, and Introduzione, as is consistent with Beethoven’s style. This solo classical piece is swift and needs a great deal of accuracy and dexterity to play it well. The Hammerklavier is one of Beethoven’s most complex pieces, and only the true masters can have a go at it successfully.
4. Maurice Ravel’s Bolero:
The Bolero is one thrilling and beautiful piece you will love. This piece has been played in Olympics, World Cups, Operas and several other big events. Although it runs for just 15 minutes, it requires familiarity with time signatures and swfit movements on the keys to play it well. You might need to practice this song for weeks before mastering it. But, the process is definitely worth it.
5. David Bowie’s Life on Mars:
Bowie’s greatest achievement in music was hinged on Life on Mars. Although it is made up of simple melodies, it is pretty complex. First thing to know is; this song is intensity sensitive. You’ll need to calm down, play the notes while being super sensitive to the beat and terminal crescendo.
Learning piano can be a fun and challenging experience. The true test of piano mastery is skill, consistency, and discipline. The basics of learning piano should not be ignored, as you’ll need them over and over again in your journey. Listen to your piano teachers, don’t forget your basics, and be consistent. You’ll become a true master in no time.