When you’re first learning how to play the piano you might feel frustrated that you can’t yet play any serious pieces. Practicing scales and movements is fine, but after a little while, you start longing for a bigger challenge.
Nowadays you can just head over to YouTube and search for a tutorial on almost any song you can think of. The problem then is another one, what kind of song can you actually play as a beginner? While there’s no universal answer, there are several pieces that are known to be easily understandable for beginners:
Ave Maria – Franz Schubert
This is a go-to piece for any beginner’s class. Not only is it a beautiful composition, it’s also a piece almost everyone has listened to at one point in their life, so you’re already familiar with the melody.
Can-Can – Jacques Offenbach
This just a delightful high energy song that will make you feel pumped while you’re learning. It’s also known by two other names: Orpheus in the Underworld, and Infernal Galop of Offenbach’s Operetta. If it doesn’t ring a bell, go listen to it right now, you’ve definitely heard it.
Clair de Lune – Claude Debussy
As with the previous two, this one’s definitely popular. The beginning has been featured in hundreds of commercials and movies. It’s a peaceful piece that will allow you to practice your pace as a performer. It will be challenging but it’s such a beautiful piece that you’ll definitely feel proud of yourself once you master it.
Fur Elise – Beethoven
Every beginner musician learns this piece, regardless of instruments. But, specifically for piano players, it has a really memorable sound and another plus? It’s pretty easy to learn while practicing one hand at a time.
Ode to Joy – Beethoven
If your instructor hasn’t taught you this one, just wait a few weeks because it will surely come up. This is a staple in every beginner’s piano class thanks to its simple rhythm, and easy to remember finger placement.
Prelude in E Minor, Op. 28, No. 4 – Frédéric Chopin
This piece has a wonderful yet simple melody for the right hand, while the left hand is tasked with basic chords. This makes it slightly challenging for beginners but easy enough that you won’t feel discouraged if you don’t get it right away.
Minuet in G – Johann Sebastian Bach
This one might seem really hard at first. It’s not exactly easy to understand and it does require a certain level of dexterity. But the reason it makes the list is that you can easily master it with one simple trick, slowing the tempo. Once you slow it down it will be easier to keep track of all the finger movements, and when you have it you can increase the tempo slowly until you can play it at the right speed.
Moonlight Sonata – Beethoven
With its breathtaking melody, this is the perfect piece for any beginner to practice voicing. As with the other compositions by Beethoven, this one has been really popular among beginners for years and it can be great for practicing with each hand independently and bringing it all together once you have it down.