HomeEducationGreat Music at Your Fingertips: The First 50 Series

Great Music at Your Fingertips: The First 50 Series

Hal Leonard’s First 50 Series

There are few things more fulfilling than being able to sit down and play that song you’ve always loved. But at the start of a musical journey, this can feel a long way off. With so many fundamentals to learn and time at a premium, it can be easy to lose sight of why you started in the first place. Whether you’re fortunate enough to enjoy lessons with a professional musician, teaching yourself for the first time, or returning to your instrument after a period away, being able to play your favourite music is one of the fundamentals for guaranteeing motivation and improvement. After all, the more we enjoy what we do the more we want to do it, right?

Hal Leonard’s First 50 series provides you with great music, expertly curated and arranged to get you playing what you love, fast. It remains one of the world’s most popular resources for teachers and students, providing a motivational shot in the arm to thousands every year. Covering a diverse range of instruments, from guitar and piano to harp and tuba, and bursting with the world’s greatest music, First 50 is unrivalled in its scope. And it just welcomed a new member to the family.

First 50 Chords You Should Play on Piano

First 50 Chords You Should Play On Piano
First 50 Chords You Should Play On Piano

First 50 Chords You Should Play on Piano is specifically designed to motivate beginner pianists by getting them to play great music faster than ever before. Drawing on the expert musicianship of author Alistair Watson, it combines a carefully considered pedagogy with ingenious arrangements to teach the most important and often-used piano chords through popular hits from pop, rock, R&B, jazz, hip-hop, and folk. By the end you’ll not only have enjoyed playing great music, you’ll also boast a host of fundamental piano chords that will open up a new world of piano playing.

With easy-to-read notation, keyboard diagrams, and tips for piano-chord playing, First 50 Chords You Should Play on Piano will help you make the most of the time you have, learning the essential elements of playing through music you’re sure to love. From the moment you’ve learnt your first chord you’ll be playing your first song, with every individual chord accompanied by an excerpt of popular music. You’ll love being able to apply what you’ve learnt straight away. And with all the songs in the keys of their most famous recordings, you’ll be able to play along in no time!

Motivate Yourself, Motivate Your Students

There are more than just 50 chords to learn on the piano, of course. But First 50 Chords You Should Play on Piano is the perfect place to start. From the most basic major and minor triads right up to diminished sevenths, by the time you’ve finished, you’ll have a repertoire of chords that will enable you to get your fingers around most of the great hits.

First 50 Chords You Should Play on Piano is ideal for pianists teaching themselves or returning to the piano, but also for those learning through formal lessons. As teachers, we are all aware that motivation is the key to continuity. This latest edition provides an opportunity for your students to explore music away from the method and repertoire that is imperative for their development, providing quick mastery of chords that can prove a catalyst for improvisation, composition, and just messing around at the keyboard. Such “play” is a fundamental part of learning and can prove an invaluable tool for ensuring students remain keen to explore, practise, and stretch themselves.

Notation: No Problem!

Can’t read musical notation? No problem! First 50 Chords You Should Play on Piano includes a quick-fire guide to the basics of reading piano chords that will get you up to speed in no time. And not only that, every chord is presented using easy-to-read notation, chord symbols, and keyboard diagrams, making playing chords more accessible than ever. With this latest edition, you’ll soon be playing the following chord types and the great songs that use them:

  • Major Triads
  • Minor Triads
  • Suspended Fourths
  • Dominant Sevenths
  • Diminished Sevenths
  • Major Sevenths
  • Minor Sevenths

Quality, Official Arrangements

Every book in the First 50 series boasts official arrangements by the world’s finest musicians, ensuring that the music you play is faithful to the original, as well as accessible and fun. With First 50 Chords You Should Play on Piano, you’ll be encountering a diverse range of great music right from the outset, systematically curated with each song applying the chord you have just learnt to those previously mastered. Here’s just a sample of the music you’ll be learning:

  • “Blue Suede Shoes” – Elvis Presley
  • “Californication” – Red Hot Chili Peppers
  • “Count on Me” – Bruno Mars
  • “Crazy Little Thing Called Love” – Queen
  • “Eleanor Rigby” – The Beatles
  • “(Everything I Do) I Do It for You – Bryan Adams
  • “Free Fallin’” – Tom Petty
  • “Gangsta’s Paradise” – Coolio
  • “Hello” – Adele
  • “Life in Technicolor II” – Coldplay
  • “Like a Rolling Stone” – Bob Dylan
  • “Poker Face” – Lady Gaga
  • “See You Again” – Wiz Khalifa ft Charlie Puth
  • “Space Oddity” – David Bowie
  • “This Love” – Maroon 5
  • “Umbrella” – Rihanna
  • “We Don’t Talk About Bruno” – from Encanto
  • “With or Without You” – U2

And many more!

A Gateway to More Great Music

Complimenting your general piano learning, First 50 Chords You Should Play on Piano can give you the confidence that comes from understanding how piano chords work and being able to apply what you’ve learnt straight away. This can open up an exciting world of music-making, giving you the tools to develop your playing further and acting as a gateway to these fun, easy-to-access folios in the First 50 piano series:

Playing with First 50: Fun and Accessible

We all have different reasons for beginning a journey on the piano. But playing the music we know and love is one passion that unites every musician. So go on, love playing by playing the music you love with the First 50 series.

Be sure to check out our recent blog covering Karen Marshall’s top Music Room picks here!

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