What should I learn how to play?
May 6, 2011 2:50 PM   Subscribe

In my dreams I am an incredible musician who can shred on any instrument. Then I wake up, and I am still a beginner. But, you gotta start somewhere, right? Please help me expand my keyboard repertoire.

I'm no talented musician, but I sure enjoy pretending to be one. After spending a few years on guitar and ukulele, I recently decided to expand my horizons a bit. I bought a badass Casio keyboard from the 90's from some dude off Craigslist a few weeks ago, and have been happily practicing away on this POS.

Problem is, I'm having a bit of trouble thinking of more songs to learn! What are your favorite piano/keyboard songs that wouldn't be too difficult for a bit of a beginner to pick up?

I can read music, but I have also been using youtube tutorials to help me with tricky parts. My taste is eclectic and I've been working on songs from classical to pop to indie and everything in-between. To give you a better idea of my skill level, here are a few of the songs i've learned so far:

-Fur Elise
-Minuet in G (Bach)
-Let it Be
-Hallelujah (Rufus Wainwright arrangement)
-Mad World (Gary Jules)
-The Cave (Mumford and Sons)
-The way we get by (Spoon) This song is awesomely badass and probably my favorite thing to play. Recommendations for more fun songs like this would kick ass.

So friends, what next?
posted by Idafolk to Media & Arts (7 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
Lady Gaga's Telephone is fun on the piano, if you like that sort of thing. Here's an example of a pretty simple arrangement for piano only: http://www.tradebit.com/filedetail.php/116319386-telephone-lady-gaga-beyonce- , though it's not free.
posted by SomeTrickPony at 3:19 PM on May 6, 2011

I'm in a similar place with my piano skills (longtime guitarist here) and though I haven't kept up on it recently I was playing a ton of piano last year around this time.

I didn't get into too many pieces as my music reading abilities are the hunt 'n' peck type. I had a book of simple tunes by Chopin that served me really well, I did love playing his Op. 69 No. 1, most of the Gnossienes and Gymnopedies of Satie and also a couple tunes by Scott Joplin like the Maple Leaf Rag which is a blast.

Banging out John Lennon's Mother is also pretty fun if you're into screaming like a lunatic, most of his piano songs are dead simple and fun. The piano tunes from Queen's A Night at the Opera are great as well if you're into that kind of music.
posted by knilstad at 3:22 PM on May 6, 2011

I'd suggest you join a band or find some friends to jam with. The things you learn by collaborating with other musicians simply cannot be duplicated by solitary practice. Plus, you will get that dreamy rock-star buzz when you find yourself locked into a groove with other musicians.
posted by gnutron at 3:48 PM on May 6, 2011

On the classical end, I can recommend the compilation series Applause, which focuses on pieces that are relatively simple to play, but impressive-sounding. It has the added benefit of including selections from a nice wide spectrum of periods, so it's a good initial way to find genres or composers that particularly appeal to you.
posted by Bardolph at 3:55 PM on May 6, 2011

I've been working on Prelude No 1 in C Major from Bach's Well Tempered Klavier.
posted by GeneticFreek at 10:04 PM on May 6, 2011

I'd say to get a Fake Book. There are lots of them out there, all different styles of music, and many labeled "Easy". Since you can already read music you should be up and running pretty fast.

You might also want to think about getting a book about how to play from a fake book.
If your just playing the melody line in the right hand and a chord in the left it can sound kind of plain vanilla. You want to play octaves, fifths, inversions, arpeggiate chords with the left hand to make it sound cool.

Something like ">this

You've got lots of fun ahead.
posted by PaulBGoode at 11:08 AM on May 7, 2011

posted by PaulBGoode at 11:12 AM on May 7, 2011

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