Piano Solo Books: My Collection of Favourites

While sitting at my piano enjoying some relaxation time I realized that I have found some really great piano solo books over the years. I believe that all pianists, regardless of their skill level, should have access to music that they can play for pure enjoyment.

Today I would like to share my favourite piano solo books. For todays post I have chosen to only discuss books that I personally own. Thus you can be sure that I have had personal experience with all of the books I recommend here today.

My Piano Background

As a young child learning to play the piano I had many different teachers. I had to start over again several times and thus never really excelled the way I should. All of my teachers were fabulous but moving to new communities always forced my parents to search for a new instructor. Regardless of these obstacles I stuck with the piano, taking lessons until I graduated from high school. Upon completing piano lessons I would consider myself to have been an intermediate player.

Many folks who play the piano will agree that once you have completed piano lessons, it is hard to get motivated to practice. For many years I sat at the piano and tried to learn popular songs by ear but could never make them sound as pretty as the original. This led me to start looking for piano solo books that contained music that provided a challenge but was not too hard to learn without instruction. I also wanted to learn piano solos that everyone would recognize. I love playing classical piano music, but not everyone wants to hear classical piano. Sometimes hearing a good piano arrangement of a well known hit is music to ones ears.

In the 15 years since my last piano lesson I have continued to practice the piano playing both classical and popular music. During that time I also completed a bachelor of music and bachelor of music education with the trumpet as my main instrument. But many of you will know that solid piano skills are essential for all music educators, therefore continuing to build on my piano skills was an absolute must. At this time I would consider myself to be a late intermediate-early advanced piano player. However, I don’t allow my skill level to dictate the music I try to play in any way.

My Favourite Piano Solo Books

Before I introduce my favourite piano solo books I would like to emphasize that the music in these books are arrangements, not the originals. I realize that many folks do know the difference but I don’t want people to think that these are original compositions. Arrangements are a composers interpretation of a given piece of music. If you want the original you will need to look for sheet music and make sure the composer is the original composer. If there is an arranger specified then it is not the original music. However, I have discovered many arrangements that are even better then the original so it is important to keep an open mind when browsing.

Now, enough with the chatter. Below you will find my favourites with a brief description and where you can obtain a copy of your very own.

Dan Coates Complete Advanced Piano Solos: Music For All Occasions

Dan Coates: Music for All Occasions

When I first picked this book up and flipped through the pages I knew I was in for a challenge, but the familiar tunes and beautifully written arrangements swayed me to give it a try. Since purchasing it I have learned many of the songs and continue to practice new ones. I can guarantee that there are many hours of enjoyment packed into this book.

Dan Coates has created lovely arrangements of many popular tunes. My first observation was how thick the texture is for each piece. However, I have discovered that I can remove some of the notes if it is just too difficult for me to play. That is probably one of my favourite aspects of these arrangements. Even with removing some of the notes these arrangements are still stunning.

Overall I would definitely give this book 5 stars. The music found within the pages are not only beautifully written but can be played for a variety of occasions. If you are someone that likes to play in venues such as restaurants or weddings, these arrangements will most definitely impress your audience as they have many familiar songs from several decades.

Where can I find it?
  • Where: Amazon.com
  • Price: $16.66 USD
  • Rating: 4.5/5 stars based on 95 customer reviews
  • Click here to purchase or read more customer reviews!

Hal Leonard Best Piano Solos – Phillip Keveren Series – Special Anniversary Collection

Yet another amazing find! I stumbled across this book while searching for some new music to play. Whenever I find a music store I must browse the piano solo section. You just never know what gem you might find. And this was a definite gem.

It is often difficult to find good arrangements of popular songs that are not too easy nor too difficult. I found that the arrangements within this book are just right. Whether you are looking for some new sight reading material or simply a few new solos to add to your repertoire this book is a great addition to your collection. You will not be disappointed with what this book has to offer.

I definitely give Hal Leonard Best Piano Solos 5 stars. There are hours of playing enjoyment packed inside with plenty of performance potential regardless of the occasion or venue.

Where Can I Find It?
  • Where: Amazon.com
  • Price: $9.34 USD
  • Rating: 4.2/5 Stars based on 11 customer reviews!
  • Click here to purchase or read more.

Popular Songs for Piano Solo – 14 Stylish Arrangements: Intermediate to Advanced Level

My final selection for todays post is Popular Songs for Piano Solo. Although the customer ratings on amazon seems to shed a negative light on this collection, I am inclined to disagree. If you are looking for piano arrangements of  some of todays most popular pop tunes then it is definitely worth a look.

It must be realized that it will take time for great arrangements to developed as these tunes are new to most composers and arrangers. I encourage you to get a copy and try it out. I truly believe you will be pleasantly surprised with the beauty of these arrangements. A huge bonus for me was the ability to listen to the arrangements on the Hal Leonard website using a code provided for Audio Access.

Where Can I Find It?
  • Where: Amazon.com
  • Price: $16.90 USD
  • Rating: 2.7/5 stars based on 3 customer reviews! (Lots more reviews to come)
  • Click here to purchase or read more.

Great Piano Solo Books Revealed!

I truly hope you enjoyed reading about my favourite piano solo books! These are just a few of the books I have in my collection. It was a difficult decision as to which books I would share with you today, thus you can be sure I will be sharing more in the future!

Do you have a favourite piano solo book that you would like to share? Please leave a comment below with your favourites. I would also like to hear from others who have experience with the books mentioned above.

Happy Piano Playing!!


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