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#2302456 - 07/15/14 03:22 AM Fun pieces for beginners?
BayesianPianist Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 07/14/14
Posts: 3
Hello, does anyone know any classical pieces for beginners that are not too challenging, yet fun to play? I've been wanting to learn for around 2 years, but between college and laziness, I have around 3-4 months of practice, spread out over the 2 years. I finally want to get serious, though, so I've been practicing (perhaps obsessively, haha) for the past 2 weeks.

Anyway, to get an idea of my level, these are some of the pieces I've been practicing:
-Clementi's Sonatina Op. 36, 1st mov.
-Bach's Prelude in C (I'm 100% sure I'm playing it horribly, and I should probably stop, though)
-Mozart's Sonata in C major, the first 28 measures, but I'm having trouble with dynamics
-Intro of Alla Turca, got stuck at the second part, my left hand sounds terrible. I got the right hand, though.

...I should probably not have attempted the Mozart and Bach pieces, but I like challenges. I don't think it'll improve my skills to play pieces so far above my level, though, which is why I'm looking for different ones. Probably something around the level of the Clementi Sonatina would be good.

Thanks for your help!

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#2302463 - 07/15/14 04:19 AM Re: Fun pieces for beginners? [Re: BayesianPianist]
noobpianist90 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/23/13
Posts: 501
Loc: India
Fun for you might be different from fun for me. So, here is what I'm learning/have learned.

Edward MacDowell - To a wild rose
Scarlatti - Sonata K32
Petzold - Minuet in G Major
Petzold - Minuet in G Minor
Schumann - Op. 68 no. 10 - The Happy farmer
Schumann - Op. 68 no. 16 - First Loss
Haydn - XVI/8, 3rd mov (Ornaments are optional)

As for the Mozart sonata (I'm assuming its K.545), I would say put aside the 1st movement, and go for the 2nd movement. In my opinion, its a lot nicer and more easily accessible.

Edited by noobpianist90 (07/15/14 04:20 AM)
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#2302473 - 07/15/14 04:58 AM Re: Fun pieces for beginners? [Re: BayesianPianist]
JazzyMac Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/09/13
Posts: 242
Loc: World Traveler
I'm using "Fundamental Keys" by Rachel Jimenez. It's a very fun book and even my piano teacher likes it.

#2302521 - 07/15/14 09:51 AM Re: Fun pieces for beginners? [Re: BayesianPianist]
Alex MacPhee Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/13/14
Posts: 201
Loc: United Kingdom
Another vote for the Petzold minuets, which also work well together as a pair.
Scarlatti - Sonata Kp95
Scarlatti - Sonata Kp34
Schumann - Op68 No. 1, Melody
Schumann - Op68 No. 4, Choral
Schumann - Op15 No. 1, Foreign Lands

'Foreign Lands' is a real earworm for me : once I've played it, I can't get it out of my head for the rest of the day.

The Burgmuller Op100 pieces are also nice to dip into.

#2302524 - 07/15/14 10:08 AM Re: Fun pieces for beginners? [Re: BayesianPianist]
neuralfirings Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/29/13
Posts: 223
What about this posthumous waltz by Chopin? It's really pretty, the left hand jumps might be a bit challenging but it's a fairly simple piece with a beautiful melody.

Working on Beethoven's Appassionata Sonata, Mvt 3.

#2302537 - 07/15/14 10:58 AM Re: Fun pieces for beginners? [Re: BayesianPianist]
Plowboy Offline

2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/26/08
Posts: 2823
Loc: SoCal
With 3 months of practice in, you should check out Dennis Agay's Joy of First Classics. The Keith Snell series of repertoire books are also very good. Lots of nice pieces that can be learned and polished fairly quickly.

Then you can tackle the Prelude in C Major and really get it right.
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#2302542 - 07/15/14 11:12 AM Re: Fun pieces for beginners? [Re: BayesianPianist]
David Farley Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/27/13
Posts: 1268
Loc: Chicago, Illinois
Alfred's "Essential Keyboard Repertoire" series is good, too.

#2302548 - 07/15/14 11:24 AM Re: Fun pieces for beginners? [Re: BayesianPianist]
Ben Boule Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/20/14
Posts: 114
Loc: Massachusetts, USA
I will add another plug for the Keith Snell books.. my teacher introduced me to these a few weeks ago, I've been playing again 3-4 months this year with about a year of prior lessons > 10 years ago.

I was attempting to play some of the same stuff you mention like the Clementi Sonatina and the Bach Prelude before I started working with my teacher.. I am at a point I can struggle through those but it's definitely not smart for me after 3-4 months, I've backed off a bit with my teacher's guidance. I pretty much recognized the Clementi Sonatina had too much going on at the moment on my own but I was also working on the Bach/Petzold Minuet in G and even though I could play it I was not doing well due to bad technique and too much tension in my hands.

The stuff in the Snell books is very fun and it is well selected to add difficulty gradually without throwing too much at you.. it has been great for me as most of the pieces take me less than a week to learn all the notes and then maybe another week to polish stuff like dynamics, etc.. and work on good hand technique.

The ones I'm playing right now are these from the Snell Level 1 Classical/Romantic book.. "In Church" by Ludwig Schytte, "Folk Dance" by Bartok from "First Term at the Piano", etc.. have been a lot of fun.

It's not classical but at the moment I'm really enjoying some of the Blues stuff in my Bastien book too.. there seems like there is a lot of Blues that is somewhat accessible at this stage, and it teaches different things than Classical pieces do.

The problem for me with some of the stuff like Clementi and the Minuets by Petzold is they have some Octaves and other stretches.. at this stage I can play those but it is too tempting to stretch my hand/bend my wrist badly in order to play those notes fast enough.. I almost hurt my hand. My teacher was able to point out what I was doing wrong but I'm waiting till I commit some better habits around hand movement before I go back to them. Stuff like the blues that has large hand jumps that aren't very quick between chords I will naturally do the right thing, but the Minuets I tend to fall into bad habits easily.

Edited by Ben Boule (07/15/14 11:28 AM)

#2302556 - 07/15/14 11:40 AM Re: Fun pieces for beginners? [Re: BayesianPianist]
bennevis Online   content
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/14/10
Posts: 8753
The first volume I was given by my teacher after the introductory beginner stuff was Denes Agay's Easy Classics to Moderns (Music for Millions series), in which you get a large selection of tuneful pieces, all in their original form, by composers from Bach to Bartk, and Purcell to Kabalevsky.

There are several volumes in the series, and I can't recommend them highly enough, because you get to know the styles of several composers by playing the pieces in them. There's also the Classics to Moderns series in graded difficulty, if you prefer.

Or look at Tchaikovsky's Children's Album, Op.39, which contains lots of tuneful pieces suitable for your present level.
"I don't play accurately - anyone can play accurately - but I play with wonderful expression. As far as the piano is concerned, sentiment is my forte. I keep science for Life."

#2302605 - 07/15/14 02:34 PM Re: Fun pieces for beginners? [Re: BayesianPianist]
BayesianPianist Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 07/14/14
Posts: 3
Thanks for the suggestions everyone! laugh Chopin's Waltz in A minor truly is beautiful, I'll start it today! I was actually playing the Petzold minuets yesterday, I think I could get them with a few more hours of practice, but I'm now more excited about the other suggestions.

The Burgmuller Op 100 pieces look great for sight-reading, I didn't even know they existed! I didn't know about Scarlatti either, I'll definitely try his pieces too. As for the books, I can't get them at the moment because I'm in Mexico for the summer, but when college starts I'll be sure to get them.

Again, great suggestions everyone, thank you so much!

#2302705 - 07/15/14 05:50 PM Re: Fun pieces for beginners? [Re: BayesianPianist]
Alex MacPhee Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/13/14
Posts: 201
Loc: United Kingdom
This has also been useful for me too. I now have the Denes Agay Easy Classics to Moderns and the Tchaikovsky Album for the Young on order from Amazon.

So I am adding my thanks to those of BayesianPianist.


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