Top 5 Piano Books for Adult Beginners

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Here are my reviews and recommendations of piano books for adult beginners, tried and tested. I am focusing on some of the best piano music books for adults that I know work well and use myself in my studio.

the best piano books for adult beginners

The best piano book for returning adults

If you are returning to the piano after years of not playing (which is more common than you might think), here is another and a newer gem of a book: Returning to the Piano: A Refresher Book for Adults

It contains lovely arrangements of great pieces and is great to use to "smooth" your way into playing the piano again.

Top 5 of the best piano lesson books for beginners

Whether you're teaching yourself to play piano or working with a piano teacher, the first choice of piano books for adult beginners should be your piano method book.

The best adult piano books for beginners teach you the fundamentals of piano technique, note reading, music theory and contain gradually advancing piano pieces to practice on.

The pieces can be great or not, but the purpose of a method is to teach you the skills you need, organized step by step. This means you should follow the book page by page and not skip ahead too often to make sure you don't miss important details.

Here is a selection of adult piano books I find very successful with my older beginner piano students.

Piano Books for Adult Beginners

1. Alfred's Adult All-In-One Course

Alfred's All-In-One course for adult beginners has become one of the most popular piano books for adult beginners. And It's easy to understand why; it contains well-known and beautiful pieces in lovely arrangements, delivers in-depth explanations about piano theory, technique, and the piano pieces learned.

This is a book for adult beginners meant to be used together with a teacher, and that would be my recommendation as well. But it's so well written that some adult students actually work on their own with it.

2. Alfred's Self-Teaching Adult Piano Course

Alfred's Self-Teaching Adult Piano Course: The new, easy and fun way to teach yourself to play, Book & CD. Compared to the method above, this is a book for adults meant for teaching yourself piano.

However, even with the best teach yourself piano books for adults, I still recommend you take at least a few lessons with a qualified piano teacher. Also, every once in a while, it's important to check in with your teacher to avoid learning (especially technique) the wrong way.

But, with this popular method, you can actually start learning the piano and how to read piano music by yourself!

If you're an adult beginner learning how to play piano on your own, you might want to check out Piano For All. It's a resource that offers self-paced lessons so you can learn piano on your own schedule.

With its user-friendly approach, the resource provides a fun and engaging way to learn the basics of piano, such as reading sheet music, playing chords, and understanding rhythm.

So, if you're looking for a flexible and comprehensive way to learn how to play piano, Piano For All might be worth checking out!

3. Hal Leonard: Adult Piano Lessons

Hal Leonard Student Piano Library Adult Piano Method has clear, simple instructions with included accompaniments available online for streaming or downloading.

It's a piano method meant to use with the guidance of a piano teacher but also easy enough to work with on your own. It covers the material in a logical progression. You will learn to read music quite easily and fast.

The music works for teenagers as well, since it's not childish. The downloadable music has, as all Hal Leonard Piano books for adult beginners, great-sounding accompaniment music. Like a real orchestra- to play along with.

Make sure to use the accompaniment music a lot when practicing. It gives you a real "feel good" way of learning (and is more fun than a metronome to learn to keep the beat)!

4. Nancy and Randall Faber: Adult Piano Adventures

Adult Piano Adventures All-in-One Lesson. This method, probably the most popular, is best to use with the guidance of a teacher but has clear and simple instructions also useful for self-study.

You will start by learning to read finger numbers and identifying note patterns. My edition doesn’t have a CD, but it is available as well. (I don’t know how the quality is.)

Update 2018: It now comes with online support of instructional videos and audio accompaniment tracks!

I find some of the pieces a bit too childish, but other than that, you get to play a lot of different musical styles. Book 2, however, contains a lot of great “adult” pieces that you can keep in your repertoire.

After completing book 1 from either of these piano books for adult beginners, you can continue with the second method book or switch to:

5. Alfred’s: I Used to Play the Piano

I Used to Play Piano (Book & CD). Apart from being an excellent method if (as the name implies), you used to play the piano and now want to start again. Without starting from scratch, this book is also perfect to continue with after learning to read notes in one of the above-mentioned adult piano methods.

Why switch?

It is up to you, but the pieces in Alfred’s are so much fun to play! This well-made piano course quickly teaches you a great variety of repertoire, pedaling techniques, how to play chords, finger exercises, and more. 

But basically, we like it for the well-arranged pieces. It simply sounds very good! The CD with orchestral accompaniments is also great to play along with, as well as to keep you inspired!

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