The 20 best piano books for beginners
Would you like to read piano books for beginners in order to learn faster? We understand you.
After a teacher’s lessons and piano apps (as La Touche Musicale), books are still the best way to learn the instrument.
But there are so many piano books out there that you don’t know which one to choose to start with. To help you make your choice, we’ve looked through many of them and have selected the 20 best piano books for beginners in this article. Let’s get started!
1 – The Ultimate Pianist’s Guide by La Touche Musicale (Free)
The Ultimate pianist’s Guide is the official and free ebook of the company and app La Touche Musicale (piano learning app), released in 2021.
The advantage of this ebook is that it covers everything from the beginning: how to choose your piano or keyboard, how to choose your learning method, piano basics such as chords, scales or notes, how to read a score, famous easy piano songs to play, how to use piano pedals, and much more.
The Piano Book is intended to be generalist in order to reach the maximum number of beginner pianists. It goes beyond the traditional framework of “theoretical” books to propose a learning path much closer to reality, by addressing topics such as the type of piano to buy or the choice of method.
The Ultimate Pianist’s Guide is therefore one of the most general and easily accessible piano books for beginners. Both in terms of price (because it is free) and in terms of teaching (you will be able to understand immediately even if you have never played piano), this book will allow you to acquire a solid musical foundation, both theoretical and practical.
2 – Alfred’s Basic Adult All-in-One Course ($16.99)
Written by Willard A. Palmer, Morton Manus and Amanda Vick Lethco, Alfred’s Basic Adult All-in-One Course is a very good book to start the piano.
Its advantage is that it is very complete. You will find piano lessons that focus on theory as well as technique. Each course is also associated with exercises to work on the coordination of your hands on the piano as well as the strengthening of your finger muscles.
The progression from lesson to lesson is quite fluid and you won’t feel blocked by lack of experience from one lesson to the next.
As you probably know, you can learn the piano at any age, and this book shows it!
Review of the piano book for beginners Alfred's Basic Adult All-in-One Course.
3 – John Thompson’s Easiest Piano Course Part 1 ($6.99)
This book, intended more for children, is very well designed and original since it depicts a family that is learning the piano and with which the learner can easily identify.
The first part is devoted to the reading of notes, which is quite effective while remaining relatively limited. Indeed, you will only be able to learn to play five notes up and five notes down from middle C.
The other parts are more interesting: writing exercises, review work, sightreading drills or technical studies.
John Thompson's Piano Books for beginners
4 – Ultimate Beginner Series: Keyboard Complete ($29.99)
The advantage of this piano book is that it makes you directly start with the most pleasant: playing rock or blues riffs, piano chords, … It therefore focuses mainly on the practice of the instrument.
With this book, you will also have at your disposal a DVD with 4 hours of instructions and lessons and 3 hours of audio tracks.
5 – Bastien Piano for Adults ($15.95)
Bastien’s book focuses on the piano basics, designed primarily for adult beginners.
With this book, you will be able to follow lessons mixing theory and technique. The learning process is therefore really complete.
The lessons are designed in a very progressive way and you will never feel lost as you read it. Each new course builds on the knowledge acquired in the previous courses.
In addition, you will find a great deal of piano songs for beginners in this book, specially selected for adults: classical, folk, blues, ragtime, jazz, boogie, … Whatever your taste in music, you will find songs that you love.
Bastien Piano for adults: book for beginners.
6 – Damon Ferrante Piano Book for Adult Beginners ($20.95)
This piano book for beginners and streaming video lessons is all you need to learn how to play the great piano classics.
The author of the book is piano teacher Damon Ferrante, who has a very specific and efficient pedagogy. He guides you step by step through the book, offering you more and more difficult lessons as you progress. In addition to the book, you also have 20 streaming video lessons.
Overall, the method proposed by Damon Ferrante is designed to be easy to understand, fun and interactive. With this piano book, you won’t be bored.
7 – How To Play Keyboard: A Complete Guide for Absolute Beginners ($9.95)
This book was written by the famous author Ben Parker and is a very good introduction to the electronic piano. Aimed at piano beginners, the book covers a variety of topics such as an introduction to reading music, exercises, theory and technique.
It is therefore a very complete book that will satisfy even the greatest piano beginners.
8 – John Thompson’s Easiest Piano Course: Pop Songs ($9.95)
John Thompson’s Easiest Piano Course is dedicated, as its name suggests, to the learning of well-known pop songs on piano.
The advantage of this book is the diversity of the subjects covered: basic piano techniques, musicality, understanding the notes that make up famous pop songs, … And all this, you learn it while having fun.
In this piano book for beginners, you will find a wide variety of pop songs such as Shake It Off by Taylor Swift, Hello by Adele or Stay With Me by Sam Smith.
If you’re a fan of pop music, go for it!
John Thompson's Pop Songs: piano books for beginners who start.
9 – Simple Songs: The Easiest Piano Songs by Hal Leonard Corp ($11.50)
This book will teach you 50 easy piano songs for beginners.
You will be able to learn them in a simple and effective way. The songs proposed by the Hal Leonard company in this book are quite varied: Happy Birthday, Beyond the Sea, Hey Jude, Let it Go, Ode to Joy, Over the Rainbow, Star Wars Main Theme, Yesterday, … In short, you will find many different musical styles, as on the La Touche Musicale app.
10 – The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Music Theory by Michael Miller ($43.34)
The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Music Theory breaks the preconceived notion that you have no rhythm and that you, as a beginner, consider yourself a loser.
Through clear, precise and concise language, this piano book takes everything from the basics to offer you a quality learning experience that is not boring.
If you have already learned piano but still have a bad experience, this book has been written for you. It will give you the motivation you need to start again.
11 – Piano Time by Pauline Hall ($13.59)
Piano Time Part I gets you started on the piano from the very beginning. You will learn extremely simple 5-finger melodies that you have to play with one hand, then the other and finally both at the same time.
Very gradually, the book gets more complex by adding more notes, technique and faster speed of the exercises.
The book has been edited by Oxford University Press and therefore guarantees quality teaching that will not disappoint you.
Piano Time by Pauline Hall: Piano book for beginners.
12 – Teaching Little Fingers to Play by John Thompson ($7.99)
This piano book was written for early beginners.
The melodies and songs in the book are carefully written so that beginners can play them quite easily, even young children.
If you want to give your child a first piano experience, this is the book for you!
Piano books for beginners : Teaching Little Fingers to Play.
13 – Piano and Keyboard, All In One for Dummies ($34.99)
Piano and Keyboard, All In One for Dummies is a good book to start piano. If you don’t know how to read music yet and want to be able to do so, this piano book explains everything you need to know about music theory and reading sheet music in a simple and user-friendly language.
But this book is not just for beginners. Indeed, if you’ve been playing piano for a few years now, you’ll find valuable tips to improve your playing and your technique.
Whether you are a piano beginner or an advanced player, this book will help you improve your technique.
14 – The Jazz Piano Book by Mark Levine ($36.45)
This piano book devoted to jazz gives a very good overview of harmonic, melodic and rhythmic concepts. In order to learn jazz properly and evolve in this musical genre, you will need to know these concepts.
Compared to the other piano books in this ranking, this one is less easy to understand. Indeed, if you are a beginner or if you have evolved in the world of classical piano, this book may be a little complicated to read since it deals with concepts that are quite far from what you can learn in a classical music school.
However, it’s a very good introduction to the world of jazz. If you want to start playing jazz on piano, we recommend you to read it.
15 – Music Theory Staff Paper by Malia Jade Roberson ($10.99)
This book is designed more as a practical tool than as a collection of piano lessons.
It was originally written especially for music students and composers.
Its primary originality is that it allows to merge classical music notation on staves with spaces dedicated to annotation. This is very practical when writing music.
It includes another more theoretical part with a study guide, graphs and scales.
Music Theory Staff Paper: a good piano book for all the beginners.
16 – Piano Technique by Walter Gieseking and Karl Leimer ($9.95)
This book is the creation of the very famous twentieth century pianist Walter Gieseking and his teacher Karl Leimer.
The book was considered a revolution from the moment of its release because it adopts a pedagogy and approach very different from other usual piano tutorials.
Through a simple and clear pedagogy, the book allows us to work on the fundamentals of the piano: memory, listening and the technical fluidity of our gestures.
Some students who have read this book tell us about a completely transformed vision of the piano.
The Piano Technique method for beginners made by Gieseking and Karl Leimer.
17 – The Perfect Wrong Note by William Westney ($18.78)
This book was written by the famous award-winning pianist William Westney.
The primary objective of this book is to guide the student to a new and transcendental piano experience.
Unlike the other books in this ranking, the idea is not to offer lessons but a personal path leading to creating one’s own conception of music.
It relies on the experience and psychology of its author to learn to have self-confidence in order to fully liberate one’s musicality.
18 – Hal Leonard: Adult Piano Method ($17.99)
This piano method takes a very comprehensive approach to learning music.
You will find a compilation of lessons, solos, techniques and theories.
The learning process in this book is designed for adults.
Beginning adult students will find in this piano book everything they need to learn the instrument.
Hal Leonard Adult piano method book for beginners.
19 – Lang Lang Piano Method Level 1 ($7.60)
The book by one of today’s best-known pianists, Lang Lang, was written to represent the way the Chinese pianist would like children to learn piano today.
Written for the very young (5 years old), this piano book presents to beginners different positions and postures of the hands and fingers, the movement on the piano keyboard but also more theoretical concepts such as reading notes.
The whole is finally punctuated with easy and fun melodies that will allow you to work on the technique and fingering of your hands (independently or together).
“I wrote The Lang Lang Piano Method to inspire today’s children with my passion for the piano,” says the author.
Lang Lang Piano Method: A good Book for beginners.
20 – Piano Scales, Chords Arpeggios Lessons by Damon Ferrante ($18.95)
Written by piano teacher Damon Ferrante, this book combines lessons on paper and streaming videos for a varied and complete learning experience.
In this piano book for beginners, the teacher guides you step by step through 140 paper lessons and 30 streaming video lessons.
The videos are particularly detailed and very easy to understand.
The combination of book and video produces a high quality learning experience, ideal for beginners as well as for more advanced players who wish to work on their technique.
Piano Scales Book for beginners.