The First Classical Pieces You Should Learn on Piano

Today’s lesson is all about the first classical pieces you should learn on piano. Classical piano pieces are a large leap forward in terms of complexity, so I will show you which ones to start with as a beginner.

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In this lesson, I will give you a list of classical piano pieces that are perfect to start with. I should mention that by classical music, I mean the broader sense so it includes Bach as well as Beethoven.
First we are going to talk about some things you want to look for in a good first classical piano piece. These include rhythm complexity, hand positions, technical challenges, and length. In terms of rhythmic complexity, you obviously want to choose a piece with rhythms that aren’t hard to play. Quarter, half, dotted half, whole and eighth notes are preferable. Dotted quarters are also ok so long as you know how to play them. Avoid pieces with fast 16th/32nd note runs and mixed rhythms. Hand positions is another thing to consider. Avoid pieces with overly difficult hand position changes.
1. Prelude in C Major Bach. – A great first choice since this one isn’t overly technically difficult. Very little hand position changes and the rhythm is very repetitive making it easy to master. The challenge of this one is adding in the dynamics to get it to sound well…. dynamic.

2. Minuet in G – This is a classic well known piece that is fortunately fairly each to play. It has a lot of scalar passages and doesn’t involve many hand position changes. It has some dynamic contrast, but not so much where it is overwhelming. This piece is great for developing dexterity and hand coordination.

3. First part to Fur Elise by Beethoven. – This is a true classic that is constantly requested by my students. While this piece takes a little bit more skill to play, the first part is a good choice as one of your first classical piano pieces to learn. To be fair, I recommend that you learn one other classical piece before this one. This has many more hand position changes than others on this list.

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