To study the piano, you need to be available to learning different genres of piano music.

This is part of the process that will take you from a beginner to an intermediate player and eventually an advanced player who is able to play piano songs that are in your favourite style.

But as the saying goes you will need to crawl before you can run, this means that even if you only want to play modern piano songs, your learning foundations might require a stint in classical music training!

Having said this, keep your eye on your ultimate goal by making sure that you do play piano songs that you love and perhaps even choose a private piano tutor who shares the same piano music styles that you do!

Regardless of what your heart desires to play on a piano, the ingredients to success are really all the same: practice, patience, perseverance, and dedication.

Remember that it can take years to reach your goal and will include important exercises to play piano notes and chords, memorise key signatures, read clefs on sheet music, and much more. Eventually, as you play piano songs you will automatically know how to create the right rhythm with the right black keys.

Sounds like an audacious goal, doesn’t it?

The trick is to take it step by step and remember that you need the foundations before you can have the house! Keeping this in mind will help you to not get bored with theory and sheet reading lessons, but once you learn the piano basics, an entire new world will open up to you.

As already mentioned, in doing all this, it doesn’t mean that you have to give up your passion to play piano songs that you love. Not at all, when learning how to play the piano, it is important to try many different genres of piano music. You might think that you want to only play modern piano songs, but until you have tried lots of different piano music styles, you will not fully know!

If you feel like you will never move beyond playing a Chopsticks duet with your tutor, do not fear, once you have your foundations in place, not only will you play on a piano with confidence, but you can try piano music styles that are right up your alley.

And once you have tasted all the different genres of piano music, not only will it help you to compose songs in piano music styles of your own, but you will know without a doubt in which direction to take your music.

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Reasons to Play Piano Songs that Interest You

Even before you take beginner piano lessons, it is likely that you will have piano music styles that you enjoy more than others. While learning classical music will improve your technique, you can also request that your tutor include piano music styles that you enjoy too.

Piano lessons for beginners which include music theory needn’t be boring either!

A lot of this can depend on the teaching style and piano method that your tutor uses. Before committing to any school, tutor, or even self-teaching methods, remember that there are many different curriculums, online tutorials, and private tutors out there. One advantage to using a Superprof tutor is that in many instances you could get your first lesson for free. This is a real bonus as it provides you with an inside look into what your lessons will look like before you actually commit to them.

Good advice is always to look for recommendations and compare rates. Again, this is where tutoring sites such as Superprof are helpful because not only are the credentials of tutors verified, but you could find reviews on their profile pages too.

dream of mastering challenging pieces of music.
Many piano beginners can lose interest quickly. Photo Source: Unsplash

What About Unconventional Piano Styles?   

You may be surprised to learn that there are virtually no piano music styles that are off-limits.

While playing electronic or reggae on a grand piano may seem odd, they can indeed sound wonderful when performed by a master pianist.

Let’s take a look at some of the more unconventional, different genres of piano music.

R & B

R&B, which stands for Rhythm and Blues is a style that fuses funk, rock, hip hop, pop, blues, and classical. In fact, it includes a few more different genres of piano music like soul, funk, classical, electronic and international music! Its ability to give you access to so many music styles is what makes it popular.

Inspired and developed from both gospel and blues music, R&B has been evolving since the 1950s and is now an established musical style.

Some local R&B artists worth listening to include Shekhinah, Ayanda Jiya, and Ami Faku. Famous international R&B artists include Mariah Carey, Chaka Khan, Whitney Houston, and Boys II Men, Adele, Sade, and Rhiana.

Rap and Hip-Hop  

Rap is a style of music in which rhythmic speech is chanted to a musical backing. Rap was developed in the USA and is a sub-genre of hip-hop culture.

Although people often interchange the terms rap and hip-hop, hip-hop is, in fact, a broad cultural movement which includes rap, break dancing, graffiti, and deejaying.

A few famous rap artist names worth looking up include 50 Cent, JayZ, Eminem, and Snoop Dog. If you’re looking for rap to play on a piano try Eminem’s Lose Yourself or In Da Club by 50 Cent.

Electronic Style

Although electronic music seems to be the new kid on the block, its history actually dates right back to the ’30s. Criticised as just noise for many years, it only grew in popularity in the ’60s when instruments like the electric guitar and keyboards were added to contemporary compositions.  As musicians began manipulating the music further with amplifiers, even vocalists could warp their sound.

Famous DJs like David Guetta and Avicci are among this genre of music which includes sounds from hip hop, funk, R&B, rock, and pop. The reputation of electronic music continues to grow with new improvements being made to the sound all the time.

If you like electro, try and play piano songs like Bangarang by Skrillex, Levels by Avicii, or Drive by Black Coffee and David Guetta.

just play and enjoy your practice
The piano is mainly learnt by learning music theory. Photo Source: Unsplash

Reggae Music

Reggae originated in Jamaica during the 1960s after it developed from a style called Ska. Reggae has a distinctive beat and vocal sound, while lyrics often include profound opinions towards the economic, political, and social landscapes of the day. In its purest form, Reggae comprises a medley of instruments such as the electric guitar and drums, bass, and keyboard.

The electric keyboard when played by reggae artists can sound like the piano, horn, strings, and guitar. The electric keyboard is a very popular instrument, especially the Yamaha and Korg models which have synthesisers to mimic just about any sound.

With a heavy bass sound and lyrics that are raw, reggae is a style that is loved all over the world. And with so many instruments to make up the sound it is a style you can play on a piano. Try watching some of the reggae greats like Bob Marley, Peter Tosh, and Jimmy Cliff on YouTube.

capability to hear the musical notes
Exploring different styles at the start of your musical journey is exciting. Photo Source: Unsplash

If you’re looking to play piano songs in reggae you could try One Love and Is This Love, both by Bob Marley.

If you are at the beginning of your musical journey, it can be difficult to think of the piano as an instrument that is able to deliver modern piano songs. It may even seem outlandish that different piano styles could even include Rap, Pop, and R&B. However, if you are able to hear musical notes, you can learn those modern piano songs by ear or even try and download the sheet music which is often free, from the internet. Why not give it a try and test both your skills and instrument?

There are so many piano music styles, in fact, there is very little that you couldn’t turn into a song to play on a piano. Using easy, but favourite modern piano songs can really help you to progress in a way that keeps your piano education fun and interesting at the same time.

Finally, remember that there is much more to learning the piano than simply adapting your favourite song to play on a piano, there is music theory, chord progression, technique, posture, and much more to master too. There’s also finger dexterity, playing using both hands, and knowing how to use the pedal. All of this can be quite stressful without the expert guidance of a piano teacher who can help you to get started and grow your ability and confidence.

It won’t be long before you have your classical music foundations buttoned-down and are then able to explore the different genres of piano music to find one that suits you best. As you can tell, when it comes to variety and versatility, you have chosen an instrument that will never bore you or your friends.

The key is to practise as much as you can so that your audience wants to actually listen to you!

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Niki

Niki is a content writer from Cape Town, South Africa, who is passionate about words, strategic communication and using words to help create and maintain brand personas. Niki has a PR and marketing background, but her happiest place is when she is bringing a story to life on a page.