Play Like a Pro: How to Build A Piano Repertoire

It’s a busy world, sure, and there’s hardly time to do the important things at the top of your to-do list. So how exactly are you supposed to build a piano repertoire of your own (for those really out of the loop, a standard piano repertoire list is just a bunch of songs that a pianist can play well without needing to practice first) into the zero free time you have in your hectic schedule?

While it might be challenging at first, once you have a set of songs you’re really good at, playing a song from your repertoire will become second nature. And just think how epic it’ll be when you can sit down at a piano and flawlessly belt out a few choice songs for everyone to enjoy! Here are some essential tips that should help you build your own essential piano repertoire.

Step One: Begin, Well, At the Beginning

Start your list by practicing some early intermediate piano pieces. These don’t have to be earth-shattering, just good numbers that you can play really well. When you have these down pat, you will have a solid beginning piano repertoire that you can whip out at any event or gathering.

Good options include Fur Elise, a Chopin Prelude, or other classics that you’ll find on the last few pages of those beginner books. The idea here is to get used to hearing the patterns, reading the notes, and playing the keys smoothly. So just choose some things that you enjoy hearing (because you’re going to be playing them a lot)!

Step Two: Get People Hooked

Now that you’ve warmed up your audience with a simple toe-tapper, it’s time to move onto something more engaging. Choose a song that’ll draw your audience in, something familiar and endearing on some level. This will depend on the crowd but Piano Man by Billy Joel is almost always a winner, as are other oldies but goodies.

Step Three: Wow Them

It’s time to pull out the big guns by kicking things up to a more advanced piano repertoire. Now that you’ve got everyone comfortable, you want to whip out a song that’s complex, both emotionally and musically, to really dazzle the audience. Rondo alla Turca is a beautiful and complicated piece that will leave your friends speechless. You can also try almost anything by Franz Liszt, the Piano Sonata in B minor in particular, or the dizzying and electrifying Chopin-Godowsky: Etude No.1 (Op.10 No.1). These will all amaze and enamor your friends and leave you looking like a boss!

Step Four: Hit the Web

Not interested in spending a lot of time constructing the essential piano repertoire? Well, one of the best things about the modern era is there’s always a cheat sheet if you know where to look.

Just go online to get a whole slew of repertoire piano music for the taking. The best part is that there will usually be the sheet music, tutorials, and other helpful tools right there with the delightful piano repertoire list of your choosing.

Many places will divide their piano repertoire by level. From there it’s easy to find what you’re looking for. If you are looking for a specific playing style or need a challenge, check out a piano repertoire list by technique and difficulty. In short, there’s something for everyone on the wonderful World Wide Web, so just do a little surfing, and you’ll find what you need easily.

Step Five: Choose a Style You Love

Of course, a genre will come into play while compiling your list. If you enjoy the classics like Beethoven and Bach, you’ll appreciate a classical piano repertoire. These are beautiful and can help you gain playing skills that you probably wouldn’t explore with the more modern pieces.

Most people will feel more comfortable with a contemporary piano repertoire, though. That’s because the songs are more familiar, you and your friends can sing along to them, and they’ll have a more modern and comfortable sound to them. Go with the music you love.

Step Six: Start Playing Your Own Piano Repertoire

Now that you’ve got your own repertoire, piano solos will be expected, so practice up and get ready to perform your famous piano repertoire for a crowd!

Editor-in-Chief @ JoyTunes

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