Scales & Exercise books recommended for your lesson
Scales and learning exercises are crucial for your development as a pianist and keyboard player. They teach you how to apply and play the correct technique and will get you into good habits by learning to use correct fingering when playing.
There are many different exercises to learn, each have their own unique style and pattern so there is something to suit everyone’s tastes!
The ABRSM scale books are the most popular for beginners, and focus on learning Ascending Major and Minor Scales, Chromatic Scales, Arpeggios and Broken Chords.
Grades one to four are ideal for beginners. A good purchase is grade two book as it has very similar scales to grade one but has extra scales and extensions of the scales from grade one. See below: –
Hanon exercises are great for improving your technique and to strengthen up your lazy fingers! The aim is to play simple exercises that ascend and descend up the piano or keyboard using every finger. By doing this you will strengthen up your natural weaker fingers such as your little finger and it will enable you to play more advanced pieces easier if you have this training behind you. They train your fingers to have independence and create perfect evenness in the fingers, as well as suppleness of the wrist.
The Virtuoso Pianist (Hanon), Book 1 is a great base for beginners to explore but you also have the option of buying all sixty exercises in one book, both links are below for these: –
As a performing musician myself I know the importance of being able to improvise on the spot. Having the knowledge and understanding of playing the blues will give you the skill to be able to do this if you decide to perform later on in your studies. They also sound great and are a fun way of moving around the piano, build finger dexterity, improve your improvisational skills, and will give you a better understanding of harmonic structure.
I also have worksheets devised myself for learning these exercises which you will have the opportunity to learn and play once you begin your lessons with me.
A favourite book my pupils suggest is – Blues Licks for Piano:
Popular Books and Pieces perfect for beginners
As a beginner it is important to research and find songs suited to your personality and songs that you will enjoy playing.
Throughout your musical journey finding songs you are happy with is crucial for development and will shape you as a performer. If you are given a piece of music that you are not enjoying then it will reduce your enthusiasm and stop you from progressing as quickly as you would if you were playing songs you love to listen too. As a teacher an important factor is discussing song choices together and working out the best arrangement suited to your ability.
A popular collection of books with a wide range of song choices are the Really Easy Piano selection. They provide both modern and classical arrangements for beginners and intermediate players and have the versatility to adapt and add more into the songs once you become confident of the arrangement. They have something for everyone and don’t cost a huge amount.
Some popular examples from the collection are showstoppers, Abba, 50 Fabulous Songs, Christmas, Classical, Disney and Film Songs.
Details and links to the selection of books available are below: –
Really Easy Piano
Another popular range of books for beginners are the Kenneth Baker collection. They have a huge selection and something to suit everyone’s tastes. A favourite of mine is the complete piano player collection. This takes absolute beginners through a gradual journey up until a moderate level and has all the classic songs from the fifties until present day with over 100 popular favourite melodies.
Details and links below are