The Best Beginner Piano Books to Start Out In

Published by 
Singers Corner Team
Last updated: 
February 4, 2024

Learning how to play the piano is a rewarding experience. Watching yourself make progress with any instrument is incredible, including one as elegant as the piano. But, just sitting down in front of a keyboard and hoping for the best will probably get you nowhere. To avoid that frustration, it helps to pick up a piano book for beginners. The best beginner piano books will help you learn the basics, giving you the tools you need to move on to more advanced lessons.

Product FAQ


1. What Is a Beginner Piano Book?

Beginner piano books, or method books, teach you the fundamentals of playing the piano. You learn the basics such as reading notes, how to place your hands properly while playing, understanding chord structures, and more. If you have a piano instructor, they can help you work through the lessons in a guided environment. Whether you're by yourself or with a piano teacher, a beginner piano book is essential for grasping the core concepts of musicianship.

2. How Helpful is a Beginner Piano Book?

Piano books for beginners provide essential lessons for becoming a great piano player. These books give the best guidelines for music theory, proper playing techniques, and tips on improving your skills. If you're diligent with your lessons, you can make a lot of progress with these books. As long as you're consistent with staying on top of your lessons, you will notice improvements. Practicing for an hour or two each day with the aid of a piano book can get you far.

3. How Long Will It Take Me to Progress with a Beginner Piano Book?

The short answer is that it depends. If you have experience playing other instruments, and you have a good grasp of music theory, then it will take you less time to learn the basics of piano playing. Complete beginners aren't necessarily at a disadvantage, though. Depending on how much time you have to dedicate to your lessons each day, you can make swift progress.

4. Can't I Just Teach Myself?

You can, but you might not know where to start, which can leave you feeling overwhelmed and discouraged. The best beginner piano books provide you with structure and guidance. It's invaluable to learn the best practices as early as possible. Piano books for beginners help you avoid bad habits while playing. The farther along you progress with the piano, the harder it will be to unlearn those bad habits. Studying with a piano book for beginners is ideal for avoiding that nightmare scenario. Plus, watching yourself make progress through a book can leave you feeling accomplished, encouraging you to stick with your lessons.

5. How Do I Pick the Best Beginner Piano Books?

Look at what the book goes over and how it presents the information. The best beginner piano books for kids and adults will sometimes differ. Also, depending on which genre of music you'd like to learn, some books are better than others. Players who would like to focus on technique more than music theory, or vice versa, will want to look for piano books that line up with their interests.

Overall, choosing the best piano books for your age, interests, and learning style is the way to go. We've got the rest covered for you below!

Girl at Piano

How We Reviewed

We reviewed each piano book based on how accessible they are for beginners. We took care to note which of the following piano books are best suited for kids, for adults, or for learners of all ages. We took into account the range of lessons and lesson styles each book offers. We also pointed out which books focus on which types of lessons, such as those that focus more on technique, performing, or music theory.

What We Reviewed

  • Faber Piano Adventures Level 1 Learning Library
  • Adult All-In-One Course: Lesson-Theory-Technic: Level 1
  • Lang Lang Piano Academy — The Lang Lang Piano Method: Level 1
  • John Thompson's Easiest Piano Course Part 1
  • The Music Tree Student's Book: Time to Begin — A Plan
  • KP1B — Bastien Piano for Adults
  • Book 1: Hal Leonard Student Piano Library
  • Hanon: The Virtuoso Pianist in Sixty Exercises, Book 1
  • A Dozen a Day Book 1
  • Ultimate Beginner Keyboard Basics: Steps One & Two


Faber Piano Adventures Level 1 Learning Library

Level 1 Learning Library set is suited for children that enjoy fun illustrations, but adults can use it just as well. These books teach music theory, performance skills, playing techniques, and sight-reading. Out of all the foundations, the Faber Adventures set is great for sight-reading and play techniques. You will get the most focused lessons on how to recognize intervals and using them to switch your fingers quickly. This keeps you from having to look down at the keyboard too much, as you will eventually learn the physical “feel” of each chord by heart.


Adult All-In-One Course: Lesson-Theory-Technic: Level 1

This is one of the best  for those looking to learn alongside an instructor. The text focuses on hand exercises, music theory, and piano playing best practices. This is a more comprehensive book that covers more content than other books, meaning you will learn more varied lessons than other texts. By the end of level one, you will be able to play some well-known songs, like “Ode to Joy” and “The Entertainer”. This is great for adults or more advanced music students who want to take things at a quicker pace.


Lang Lang Piano Academy — The Lang Lang Piano Method: Level 1

This is  with colorful illustrations that's amazing for kids. The main cartoon character of the book, Lang Lang, is a superhero pianist. Each of the lessons have you playing through his adventures beating the bad guys. Everything is easy to read with a clean format, keeping your kids engaged as they learn. This book stresses the fundamentals of hand positioning and playing properly, helping children to learn the best habits quickly and early on

John Thompson's Easiest Piano Course Part 1

John Thompson's Easiest Part 1 is another book for children learners. The bright, colorful illustrations are a joy for kids to look at while they learn. But adults who are absolute beginners will also find plenty to work with here. The book focuses on the Classical style, with sight reading drills, writing assignments to help with memorizing notes, and accompaniments for parents or instructors to play alongside the learner.

The Music Tree Student's Book: Time to Begin — A Plan

has many tools to help piano instructors with younger students. The cute animal characters and unique, creative lessons are the book's standouts. Note reading and intervals are key to the lessons here. The lessons also instill a musician's ear in the student, with tips on how to recognize rhythm and time in any song. For instructors, the book contains essays with information on how students can learn better, helping you create your own lesson plans alongside the text.


KP1B - Bastien Piano for Adults

is one of the best beginner piano books for learning music theory and techniques. For example, you will find many lessons on positioning your hands correctly while sight reading. The balanced pace of the book doesn't go too fast or too slowly. This is one of the best beginner piano books for adults who don't want to take things too quickly, but who also don't want a book that will bore them with a slower pace.

Book 1: Hal Leonard Student Piano Library

Another amazing book for kids, the  is perfect for introducing children to their own creativity. The My Own Song portions give kids a chance to improvise and come up with their own songs. They learn the tools to make new music throughout the book, such as learning the differences between keys and fitting their hand correctly on the keyboard. This is one of the best beginner piano books for learning concepts gradually, one at a time.

Hanon: The Virtuoso Pianist in Sixty Exercises, Book 1

With the latest, revised edition, is geared more toward players at the intermediate level. The text and lessons reinforce fundamental techniques with finger placement and exercises. This is a classic, straightforward format that's simple to follow and digest. This is also excellent for the independent learner who prefers going at their own pace. Absolute beginners will be lost starting off here, as the revised edition has a harder difficulty level than the older editions. While shopping around for The Virtuoso Pianist, be sure to check which edition you're looking at.


A Dozen a Day Book 1

The first book of is primarily for warm-up techniques. Here you will learn the best exercises to perform before your lessons. It's great for conditioning yourself and your hands before you dive into your more formal lessons. Since you won't find the more structured theories and lessons here, this is not an end-all-be-all book. Pair this up with a more in-depth piano book that focuses more on music theory and composition.

Ultimate Beginner Keyboard Basics: Steps One & Two

This is one of the best with a variety of lessons and topics to learn. Solid music theory lessons cover everything from major and minor scales, to genre playing, chord progression, learning songs by ear, and more. The accompanying CD gives you the chance to listen along as you learn. Specialized software for the CD allows you to change how fast or how slowly a song plays, as well as the key it's played in. This is a solid all-around package for adults who want to learn some of everything in the beginning.


The Verdict


Here's our verdict on the best beginner piano books.

Beginner piano books are imperative for teaching the fundamentals. The best beginner piano books are the ones that give players a firm grasp of the basics, while also giving plenty of room for them to grow as artists. The Faber Piano Adventures is among the best beginner piano books for learners of all ages. Adults can buy this for their children, or they can use the book for their own learning.

This book lays out many of the piano's core concepts, such as sight reading, chord playing, and musicianship. You can't go wrong with the breadth of techniques here, each of which are easy to understand and learn. Once you master the basics, the additional Faber Piano Adventures beyond level one are available and can move you up to the intermediate and expert playing levels

Once you've mastered the beginner techniques in the Faber Piano Adventures, consider gifting the book to a child, a friend, or an older family member who wants to learn how to play. The wide range of accessible lessons makes this book perfect for anyone who's willing to put in the effort to learn.

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