View Full Version : Video Game Piano Music for Beginners

02-05-2011, 08:47 AM
Hey, I'm trying to learn how to play the piano a bit (just as a hobby) and I was wondering if anyone had any suggestions as to music to use as practice. I'm not very good (I've almost learned Brahms's Lullaby, to give you an idea of where I'm at), but I figured I would learn better if it was recognizable music.

Any suggestions Talking Time?

- Eddie

02-05-2011, 09:01 AM
Hmmmmm. Piano video game music is one of my areas of interest, but seeing as I started learning piano like... 28 years ago (oh god), I'm not sure how helpful I can be. Honestly, I'd recommend just picking up a couple general beginner piano instruction books before delving into game music, since I don't know where you'd find any targeted at complete beginners. Once you've got the basics under your belt, you can start trying to sound stuff out by ear (some people have more success with that than others) or looking for fan transcriptions that are on the easy side.

I actually have a sort-of-easy official sheet music for Super Mario Bros around my house somewhere, but even that's not quite beginner level. It just leaves out the syncopation (which makes it all wrong, but you can add it back in once you get the hang of it). A lot of the Mario stuff is really kind of jazzy, though, which can make it a little tricky for starting out.

Of course, you can always use the FF Prelude to practice arpeggios...

02-05-2011, 09:47 AM
The DoReMi Final Fantasy books are generally easy. I'd start with those, which you can find easily enough on the internet for free. There are a lot of fan-arrangements of popular game music that are on the easier side to, at Ichigo's Sheet Music.

02-05-2011, 10:17 AM
Hire a teacher. For <$30 bucks a week you'll get actual instruction on proper playing technique, basic music theory, and the like. You'll have to learn some scut pieces, but those are always nice to have on-hand as well, and will pay off in the long run.

And more important than playing "recognisable" music is playing music you want to play, especially if this is a hobby. Seconding the DoReMi books if what you want is Square stuff, but there's lots of sheet music out there for vidya games.

02-05-2011, 10:29 AM
When video games rekindled my interest in piano, I spent a lot of time at http://nobuouematsu.com/sheet.html

when learning a new piece, I usually find it easier just to learn the right hand/melody line first, and then work on piecing in the left.

02-05-2011, 04:23 PM
This might not be what you're looking for, but I learned Imagine from Rock Band 3 and I'm working on Bohemian Rhapsody. Learning can be fun!

It probably helps to get a little experience before taking that on, though. It helps to know chord shapes so you can figure them out more quickly as they come hurtling down the screen at you.

02-06-2011, 08:40 AM
How is RB3 keyboard, anyway? For someone who already knows piano stuff, is it pretty much the real thing? I haven't tried it out due to the initial cost. (I don't suppose you can hook it up to any old MIDI keyboard...?)

02-07-2011, 07:50 AM
How is RB3 keyboard, anyway? For someone who already knows piano stuff, is it pretty much the real thing? I haven't tried it out due to the initial cost. (I don't suppose you can hook it up to any old MIDI keyboard...?)

1. The RB3 keyboard is a fairly-well-constructed 2-octave keyboard, very similar to the M-Audio Oxygen that I use for MIDI stuff in terms of its action. Nothing revolutionary, but it's nice that they didn't skimp on the quality for the game controller. The parts that you play in the game are true to the music, at least within the confines of 2 octaves, but you only ever play the right hand. Still quite challenging when it comes to stuff like Roundabout or Bohemian Rhapsody, but a real piano player might find the lack of left hand to be a bit disappointing. Personally, having dropped the piano some 15 years ago (oh god so old), I've really been enjoying playing it in RB3. I've almost exclusively played keys since I got the game, and I've managed to fight my way up to Hard on the tougher songs, which has been really satisfying.

2. You absolutely can use your nice MIDI keyboard with Rock Band 3, but you need to buy the special MIDI adapter in order to use it. This costs about $40 or so, but it's cheaper than buying the $80 keyboard for the game and you'll probably have a better time using your fancy keyboard. However, I have never tried this myself, so I don't know any of the details. One thing that I've been wondering about it whether you could use a "real" keyboard to hear the notes you're playing even when you make mistakes. Sadly, RB3 doesn't play your wrong notes, it just makes mistake noises until you find the right note. That's probably better for the people trying to play with you, but it makes it harder to actually learn the song, since you're missing the feedback of hearing the wrong notes when you play them. Presumably, using a keyboard with a built-in speaker, you could hear the notes while sending the MIDI data out to the game. That's certainly what I would like to try doing with the Squier Stratocaster guitar, though I don't expect to ever own one.

3. The Rock Band 3 keyboard does have a MIDI-out port, if that's something that might be useful for you. It doesn't have a ton of expression wheels or knobs, though, just a single touch strip that is used during gameplay to get extra overdrive and annoy your friends. It does have the hilarious benefit of messing up the acoustic piano tracks by running them through a wah-wah style mid-sweep, which is fun if you hate Elton John.

02-07-2011, 11:42 AM
Intriguing. I may have to try the MIDI adapter route someday (I have a nice full size electronic keyboard at home), though it's not like the RB3 disc is going to go up in price so I'm not in a big rush...

02-07-2011, 12:07 PM
I had found some one-handed sheet music for Final Fantasy 1 a couple years ago and those were pretty easy to learn. My wife had to interpret it and give me a general idea of where to play but I was familiar enough with the music itself to know when a note didn't sound right or something.

02-07-2011, 01:08 PM
I found trying to learn songs through RB3's pro keys mode more frustrating than sitting down with the sheet music and actually playing it. The lack of a left hand part is very frustrating to me.

I'd like to point out that fan arrangements of music very often have bad fingering or no fingering at all. This can make learning a piece somewhat more difficult, especially if you don't already know the general rules of fingering. It can lead to some pretty bad habits. Start learning your scales alongside any music you want to play and you'll be able to avoid most of the basic mistakes.

02-08-2011, 09:59 AM
Oh, yeah, practicing your scales and arpeggios (And later chords and maybe chord progressions depending on what styles you're aiming for) is good no matter what. Pretty much any beginning piano teaching book should have all you need for that, though, or there's probably something available online.

02-21-2011, 11:33 PM
Here's a fairly simple version of Korobeiniki, AKA the Type A music from GB Tetris:


I apologise for illegibility, I haven't written out sheet music in a while. It's written across two pages of a tiny sheet music notebook I have, and each line goes across both pages, hence the arrows. Also, when I play it I actually play a lot of the bassline an octave below what I've written there. I wanted to avoid too many ledger lines. From the second bar until the end of the second line, the bass should be played an octave below what's written. Though I think it'll work ok either way.

I figured this version out by watching a video on youtube that I can't find anymore (I think it was a featured video or whatever the first time I went to the site a few years back). So credit to whoever that was, I guess.

I may have made mistakes, so if it sounds bad just try to figure out what'll sound good instead. There's lots of room for little variations.