22nd February, 2018

How To Learn To Play Piano: The Ultimate List For Beginners

By Rachael S

If you've ever watched La La Land, or heard any incredible pianist improvise, we're sure you'll need these top learning apps, websites, books just as much as we do! So whether it's Mozart, Elton John, or even Bradlemy Cooper who has inspired your penchant for the piano, we've found everything you need to learn like a pro. 

Learning the piano is no easy feat, and everyone picks up musical instruments in different ways, at different times, even if they go for expert piano lessons. This is why we've found many different resources that will match your learning method and style.  Take a look at our top recommended, tried and tested piano apps, websites, Youtube videos, blogs, books, eBooks and more!

Know what you're looking for already? Check out our handy quick links...

Best Piano Youtube Videos

Best Piano Apps

Best Piano Websites

Best Piano Blogs

Best Piano Books and eBooks

We also spoke to experts in the music industry for their top tips to stay motivated whilst learning the piano. Check out what the piano experts had to say...

Best Piano Youtube Videos

Amosdoll Music


Why we love Amsdoll Music:

Amosdoll's goal is to create step by step piano tutorials for popular songs (there are over 1000+ tutorials on YouTube currently). 

By breaking up the song into sections, further down into parts, and even further down to their individual notes of melody and chords, means that everyone, even without any music experience, can learn how to play their favourite songs on the piano.

PGN Piano

Why we love PGN Piano:

We're certain Mark's Youtube channel was amongst the top recommended because he learned to play the piano via YouTube himself, and adapted his teaching method to  fit every need of people learning to play piano online. His amazing videos have helped him rake in a whopping 200.000 + subscribers on YouTube. 

Piano Lessons With Robert Estrin

Why we love Robert Estrin's Piano Lessons:

Living Pianos provides answers to thousands of questions about pianos and piano playing in an informal, entertaining way. Concert pianist, Robert Estrin, breaks down subjects into videos and articles you can cover quickly. 

You can search using keywords to find exactly what you're looking for! Once you start watching and reading, you will be hooked on Robert's educational and entertaining style.

Jazz Piano School 

Why we love Jazz Piano School:

Jazz Piano School is dedicated to being the worlds’ leading resource for jazz piano education. On a mission to provide the most up to date, cutting edge information, interviews, lessons, transcriptions, you name it, all on jazz piano. 

There are free lessons, licks, and live performances on this youtube channel for everyone to watch and enjoy! Want to receive tips and instruction directly to your email? Sign up the JPS newsletter and start improving today!

Piano Marvel

Why we love Piano Marvel:

Piano Marvel offers an incredible educational program for learning piano. Recently, they even launched beginning programs for guitar, bass, and drums. The program is accessed through an Internet download and integration with computer and digital instruments. Now all primary small band instruments can be learned from the same program!

Best Piano Apps

Real Piano

Why we love Real Piano:

This intuitive app allows you to take your grand piano with you anywhere (without needing to fork out on an actual grand. Glide across all 88 keys. 

Customise your key labels. Tune and transpose your piano with ease. Record and share music with friends. View real-time score notations and control various settings with Real Piano Remote, a separate app that can be downloaded for free.

Piano App 

Why we love Egert App's Real Piano:

It's free, fun and simple. The visual learning style is suitable for all ages and skill levels, no prior musical or sheet music knowledge required.

Playground Sessions App 

Why we love Playground Sessions app:

Playground Sessions was co-created by music legend Quincy Jones. It combines advanced technology, popular songs and elements of gaming, so you learn fast and have fun. The iTunes-like store is where you pick your favourite songs that you know and love to play. 

There are curriculums for rookie, intermediate and advanced players. The app features video tutorials with YouTube star, David Sides, and interactive sheet music lessons where you get instant feedback, scores and easy-to-read progress charts.

Check it out

Simply Piano 

Why we love Simply Piano by JoyTunes:

Many of us try to learn a musical instrument but give up because it can be difficult and not very fun. Simply Piano is making it possible for millions worldwide to pursue their dream of playing. 

With no musical experience needed, you can learn step-by-step from reading sheet music, learning chords and playing with both hands to more advanced material in a fast and fun way. Created by music educators, the app is structured into 24 tailor-made courses, tutorials and exercises. The app listens to your piano or keyboard, giving you instant feedback on your playing.

Piano Companion

Why we love Songtive's Piano Companion:

Piano Companion is a flexible piano chords and scales dictionary with user libraries. Millions of users around the globe use it frequently to find chords or experiment with chord progressions. 

If you can’t remember the name of a chord or scale, this app helps you to find it by keys or using your external MIDI keyboard. For example, just press C, G and you will get C Major as the first chord in the search result. If you don’t see a chord or a specific scale, you can create a custom chord or scale and use it for chord charts or your user library.

Download now: Apple, Android 


Why we love Synthesia:

Synthesia eliminates that first hurdle faced by beginners picking up the piano for the first time: learning to read the language of traditional musical notation before they're allowed to begin. By starting with the intuitive falling-note notation, a new player is already having fun in seconds instead of hours or days. That instant accessibility can make the difference between giving up during the steepest part of the learning curve or pushing through.

Synthesia lets new players choose when they're ready to incorporate sheet music into their education, rather than forcing it up front.

Kids Piano Melodies

Why we love Edujoy's Kids Piano Melodies:

Kids Piano Melodies encourages children to explore music in a new and creative way by helping a band of friendly monsters to prepare their concert.

Edujoy apps complement what children are learning in school and kindergarten and enhance their learning ability. Parents can rest easy, knowing their children are learning and enjoying themselves in a safe way.

Piano Melody Free 

Why we love Piano Melody from Learn to Master:

Learn your favourite melodies on the piano. This piano app plays a new notes, then you try to copy it. And then a few more notes, and soon you will be playing the entire melody.

There are nearly a 1000 songs to choose from. The best pop, rock, dance, TV and film themes and classical songs are all there. Each song individually modified to bring out the simple melody to aid learning and playing by ear.

Download now: Apple, Android

Tin Pan Rhythm

Why we love Tin Pan Rhythm: 

Tin Pan Rhythm lets anyone create music and absorb musical concepts along the way. A playful, fluid interface lets you experiment with chords and arrangement choices without ever breaking the beat. You can use your creations as practice loops for real-life instruments or even as inspiration for songwriting.

PianoApps - Piano By Number 

Why we love Piano By Number:

We like to think of Piano By Number as a missing step in kid's piano lessons. So many kids start piano only to find, after a while, that it is no fun. The reason? Conventional piano lessons restrict kids to reading music, and the element of fun, so important to kids, is lost. Reading music, no matter how gently presented, is a very demanding activity for young brains with hemispheres only starting to work independently.

Parents love Piano By Number as starting platform, because they can see their child enter into the world of music without stress and failure.

Download now

Better Ears 

Why we love Better Ears:

Better Ears is an app that teaches you music theory while enhancing your hearing through training exercises. With 13 different exercise modes, Better Ears will train you to hear, play and read music in a simple and intuitive way. Better Ears bundles theory and application into one easy-to-use package. There are no rules as to how you practice, you just go for it.

Download now: Apple, Android

Complete EarTrainer

Why we love Complete EarTrainer:

Complete Ear Trainer is the ultimate ear training app for musicians that will help develop your relative pitch to the full by improving your aural skills and your music theory knowledge, bettering many aspects of your life as a musician (be it regarding improvisation, composition, arrangement, interpretation, singing, or playing in a band). 

The app is designed like a video game and with strong pedagogical concepts in mind. Add to this the beautiful user interface and you'll have the more complete, the more effective and the nicest way to train your ear while feeling like you're playing a video game.

My Piano 

Why we love My Piano from Travkovski Labs:

MyPiano is so easy to use, in fact you'll be able to actually start playing Piano immediately after your first go with the app. No logins, no entering personal information or any configuration. 

The app only displays the key features on the screen: big keyboard, a volume control and instrument change options with no complicated setups. Another user favourite is the app's versatility. There are many advanced features, including recording voice and performance, saving, loading, changing other options like adding effects and changing instruments.

Piano Kids - Music and Songs 

Why we love Piano Kids - Music & Songs by Orange Studios:

Piano Kids – Music & Songs is an app created especially for kids and parents to learn to play musical instruments, wonderful songs, exploring different sounds and develop musical skills. The app helps to develop memory, concentration, imagination and creativity as well as motor skills, intellect, sensory and speech. The whole family can develop their musical talent and composing songs together!

Virtual musical instruments have been popular from the moment touchscreen phones were invented. Piano musical keyboard is without doubt the most popular one. What this virtual piano app has to offer is a musical keyboard with simple design and easy to use interface.

The ONE Smart Piano

Why we love Smart Piano:

This app is incredibly fun and easy and you can begin playing your first piano piece in minutes! Thousands of free sheet music, top quality video lessons or even piano games, just play at your own pace in your preferred way, whenever and wherever you want!

Pianist HD : Piano +

Why we love Piano + by Pianist HD:

Piano + is expertly developed to allow you to play in any speed, effortlessly. With 50 million downloads on Google Play, this app is one of the most efficient instrument apps and games for your phone! There are over 128 musical MIDI instruments and over 12 studio-quality, sampled voices on Piano +.

Virtual Piano 

Why we love Virtual Piano by Peaksel:

Virtual musical instruments have been popular from the moment touchscreen phones were invented. Piano musical keyboard is without doubt the most popular one. What this virtual piano app has to offer is a musical keyboard with simple design and easy to use interface.

Yokee Piano 

Why we love Yokee's Piano app:

Yokee’s Piano app is super intuitive, even for the complete beginner.In fact, you’ll be playing like a pro within a matter of days! Revel in the rich songbook across a wide variety of genres from classical to popular hits, traditional and kids’ songs. 

With new free songs added every day, you can learn new tunes, perfect your favourites, share them with the world and even challenge your friends to see who is the better pianist.

The Chord Wheel

Why we love The Chord Wheel: 

The Chord Wheel brings the practical knowledge of chord theory to your fingertips. Almost all popular music has at its foundation a chord progression and understanding what chords are being leveraged is essential to understanding a given composition or composer. Are all the chords in a given key? Does the key change? How do I transpose this profession to a key that’s better suited for my voice or instrument? How do I write songs that convey this type of feel?

If you want to understand how progressions work, get yourself a Chord Wheel. The perennial best-seller for over 15 years.

Perfect Piano 

Why we love Rovontulet's Perfect Piano:

Perfect Piano is an intelligent piano simulator design for phones and tablets. With in-built genuine piano timbre, this app can teach you how to play piano and give you endless entertainment when you need it most!

My Piano Phone 

Why we love My Piano Phone by Sonlam:

My Piano Phone is a music app designed for phone and tablet. The app allows you to play Piano, Guitar, Trumpet, Violin and Drum with amazing lifelike and realistic sound quality. Let’s get musical!

Piano Dance Beat

Why we love Piano Dance Beat:

Start your own band, get the best guitars and pianos, and dance to win millions of fans! Take the stage now and play your way to victory in Piano Dance Beat! This game is all about the dream of becoming a real music hero. Enjoy an excellent rhythm based game and escape the stress of the day in Piano Dance Beat!

Best Piano Websites


Why we love Flowkey:

Flowkey teaches you to play great songs without having to practice reading sheet music for years. The app shows you exactly how to play each note and checks if you play along correctly. You can also learn all the piano basics by completing interactive courses that track your progress.

Flowkey’s song library contains over 1,000 songs and pieces from different genres, ranging from beginner to pro level, so there’s something new to learn for everyone.


Why we love Pianu:

Pianu is a fully interactive music-learning website, bringing piano lessons into the 21st century. The ultimate goal is to combine the fun of Guitar Hero with a real musical instrument, and create piano lessons that feel like a game. 

The best way to learn an instrument is though songs you already know and love, so each lesson on Pianu is supplemented with a library of 400+ familiar songs. Pianu continues to add new popular hits, classical favourites, movie and video game themes, and song requests from our members.

Help Musicians UK

Why we love Help Musicians: 

Help Musicians UK is the leading UK charity for professional musicians of all genres, from starting out through to retirement.

The team supports musicians at times of crisis, and indeed at times of opportunity. They are worth keeping an eye out for if you’re planning on taking your piano career further.

Visit the website


Why we love Pianoscales:

The website presents information about piano scales in a clear way, with an emphasis of the most important aspects of learning. The site is perfect for beginners who are not fully familiar with the concept of piano scales and those who have played for a while and are searching for lesser known scales.

Visit the website


Why we love Dodeka:

If you also feel that learning to play the piano is difficult, time-consuming and unexciting, we are pretty sure that you’ll like Dodeka. Why? Because Dodeka is the complete opposite! With its simple music notation and its innovative keyboard - an insane linear layout with no more black keys, Dodeka helps you play the piano and your first songs in minutes.

Dodeka gives learners exactly what they need, that is to say, the right tools to quickly play music and enjoy themselves without having to spend months on theory.

Visit the website

Key Notes 

Why we love Key Notes:

Key-notes is ideal for adult piano learners and offers courses tailored to the needs of adult students. The courses make music theory come to life so you’re able to really understand the pieces. 

Students receive a strong foundation in the language of music, how to communicate it via an expressive technique, and effective practice methodology. This helps musicians learn faster and more thoroughly and most importantly adds to the joy of playing piano.


Why we love Scoove:

Skoove is the fastest and most extensive platform to learn the art of playing piano. Have fun with interactive lessons and become the pianist you’ve always dreamed of!

Piano in 21 Days 

 Why we love Piano in 21 Days:

“I'm all about helping my piano students achieve quick and enjoyable results. When was the last time you heard "quick" and "enjoyable" in connection with piano? Probably never. That's why I created Piano in 21 Days.”

Within 21 step-by-step lessons, students learn this chord-based approach allows students to play popular songs, rather than the classical music typically associated with piano lessons.

HD Piano

Why we love HD Piano:

HDpiano is the "Netflix of piano song tutorials," or as we like to say, the "Home of the Hybrid Piano Lesson." People are watching the videos at a rate of more than once every second, and it's not hard to see why.

HD Piano offers 600+ song lessons spanning 3000+ videos; currently uploading one new lesson each day. Each lesson is guided by outstanding pianists that know exactly how to distill a piano part into something digestible for every learner. 

Musical U 

Why we love Musical U:

What inspires people to take up piano? It's that exciting dream of being able to sit down at the keyboard and just play. To play by ear, improvise, arrange on the fly, or simply play learned repertoire with a level of expression that moves the listener.

Musical U specialises in making it fun and easy to quickly train your brain and ear for the skills which empower you as a musician: to play freely and with confidence all the music you hear, remember or imagine. It doesn't take "talent" or a gift to become an incredible pianist - but you do need musicality training and that's what the expert team at Musical U are proud and delighted to provide.

Check it out

Susan Paradis Piano Teaching Resources 

The perfect website for piano teachers and tutors - your new go-to resource site!

“I have been posting free piano teaching resources for over 10 years, and while I am in the US, I make a point to create material using UK music vocabulary, such as "crotchet" and "semibreve!" - Susan Paradis

Online Pianist 

Why we love Online Pianist:

OnlinePianist is incredibly popular as it teaches users songs as opposed to theory. Using a unique piano animation, students immediately start playing piano without needing to know how to read sheet music. We know you'll love the easy-to-use nature of the animated player where they personalise their learning based on their progress and skill level. 

With one of the largest frequently updated song databases, users also enjoy fresh material covering every musical taste. As a piano resource, you can benefit from playing their virtual piano using their computer’s keyboard, sheet music section, piano chord finder, and informative blog.


Why we love SproutBeat:

SproutBeat is more than a collection of worksheets – it’s a digital workbook with unlimited pages. It puts 1200+ resources at your fingertips. It makes the task of tediously searching for supplemental material a thing of the past.

SproutBeat is the perfect companion for every piano teacher! What could be better than 400 music worksheets available whenever and wherever, printed or digital!

Learn Piano Live

Why we love Learn Piano Live:

A super intuitive website, a learning platform with a twist. Simply Subscribe to the kids' or adults' program, click "Live Lesson" when the countdown hits 0 Participate in the live lesson or watch it later in the archives.

Virtual Piano

Why we love Virtual Piano:

Established in 2006, Virtual Piano is now played by more than 19 million people a year. This free to use platform enables you to play the piano through your computer keyboard, without the need to download or install an app.

The best part is that you don’t need prior knowledge of the music notation. The Virtual Piano music sheets use plain English alphabet and simple semantics, so you can enjoy the experience of playing the piano instantly.

Since its inception, Virtual Piano has been used as a learning tool in the world’s most prestigious schools – it has helped young children to get a feel for music – it has been the stepping stone for some of the world’s greatest artists.

Best Piano Blogs

The Classical Piano and Music Education Blog

Why we love Melaine's blog:

This wonderful blog provides regular and intuitive tips about how to play the piano. Melanie has found that many people are looking for top tips and advice, and she aims to offer a few ideas on a variety of technique related topics. 

You’ll also find content about piano publications, regular competitions and highlight piano festivals, courses, concerts, master classes and all things piano!

Check it out


Why we love Artiden: 

Without a doubt, one of our favourite music blogs. Ever. 

Artiden provides real, non-conventional piano insight and is written in a unique way. The format is a blog (written over 7 years and counting) that follows stories and examples from personal  piano teaching, as well as life.

Best Piano Books and eBooks

Alfred Piano Adult All-In-One Course

Alfred's Basic Adult All-in-One Course is a comprehensive piano course combining lesson, theory, and recital material in an "all-in-one" format. Each concept is carefully introduced and reinforced through appropriate-level pieces, written assignments, and technical exercises. The pacing of the method progresses logically from concept to concept, with thorough explanations of chord theory and playing styles. 

Pieces vary in style and include folk, classical, and contemporary selections. After finishing this course, the student will have gained a well-rounded foundation for further piano study and life-long musical enjoyment.

Piano Star Five Finger Tunes by David Blackwell 

Why we love Piano Five-Finger Tunes:

Piano Star Five-Finger Tunes is an ideal repertoire for all young pianists who have completed their first tutor book. It works systematically through all the main five-finger hand positions after ‘middle C’ position, and so helps pupils gain confidence in note-reading.

Simple keyboard diagrams show young fingers the notes to play. There are words to a number of pieces, which help learning or are just pure fun: you can stomp with a rhino, watch Mozart on his go-kart or celebrate grandma being a pirate. With duets, trios and wonderful illustrations it’s for all who are young at heart!

Check it out

Dogs and Birds Piano Method

Why we love Dogs and Birds Piano Method:

A fun approach to learning piano for children from ages three upwards. There’s no need to know the alphabet since each note is given an animal name. The animals step into the imaginative lives of the children and lead them on an exciting musical adventure.

As well as providing a strong musical foundation, learning piano from an early age has a tremendously positive effect on a child’s development, in particular reading and maths. It also boosts memory and relaxation and teaches concentration, coordination, patience and perseverance. It is therefore an excellent preparation for schoolwork. Colourful, beautifully illustrated materials inspire children on their musical journey.

Practicing the Piano 

Why we love Practicing the Piano eBooks:

These eBooks are based on the incredible experiences of a long-time piano teacher - whose methods are tried and tested and proven to work. Graham Fitch was lucky enough to have studied with some of the best teachers in the world, and was able to refine the information that was passed down to him into a form designed to help many others who want to improve their piano playing​​.

Hook Theory

Why we love Hook Theory:

A music book like no other. Hooktheory is a smart, fun, skill-building journey that concretely teaches you how to craft melodies and chord progressions like professional musicians and gain a deeper understanding and intuition for how music works. 

Validated by 16,435 musicians like you, Hooktheory I is the best selling how-to music book for instrumentalists, songwriters, producers, and DJs around the world for a reason.

Daily Practice Guide

Why we love the Daily Practice Guide:

The Daily Practice Guide contains seven simple-to-understand steps that you can apply right away to get better results from your piano practicing each day.

Get the free guide

Can't keep up the piano practice? You need expert motivation advice! 

We spoke to experts in the music industry for their top tips to stay motivated whilst learning the piano. Check out what they had to say...

Learning an instrument is a looping process: Intentional, consistent practice promises progress and progress will motivate you to practice more!
Leila Viss - 88 Piano Keys
My top tip for staying motivated? Set yourself clear and achievable goals, whether that is practising your scales every week or learning a new song every month, a sense of accomplishment is hugely important it keeping yourself motivated. 
Tim Dickinson, The Blue Walrus 
 I think the key to ongoing learning and progress is to ask good questions. How can I play this differently? Why did the composer choose this dynamic level? What emotions would I like to capture in my playing and/or elicit from my listeners?
Natalie Weber, Music Matters Blog
It's always important to understand that learning anything new is a long process, and it's supposed to be challenging. A lot of people are too quick to quit things because they see the learning curve as being too great.

Instead, I think if a student can understand the long game--that success is incremental but no doubt achievable through hard work and repeated practice--then hopefully one can stay motivated. Make sure to always celebrate every small victory you have throughout the length of the learning process.

And don't see your mistakes as failures. Instead, see your mistakes as an integral part of the process for long-term success."

Michael, Digital Piano Review Guide 

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