Playing the piano is always more for when it’s done with a partner. Piano duets are some of the most intriguing pieces of music to play. Choosing a piano duet depends on the difficulty of the music, and the skill of each player.
To help you pick the right piano music, I’ve put together a helpful list of 13 easy piano duets. These piano duets are perfect for beginners and advanced pianists. There’s a great variety on this list. It ranges from piano pop music to classical piano favorites. I’ll start off the list with the most popular piano duet ever, Chopsticks!
if you’ve ever seen the Tom Hanks movie “Big”, then you’ve seen the awesome piano duet in the toy store. That piece is called Chopsticks, and it’s one of the simplest piano duets you can play.
It’s a fun tune that can be done with a partner and only requires one finger from each of your hands to play. In this case, use the pointer fingers (often referred to as finger number 2).
To play Chopsticks, its good to have an idea of how intervals work on the piano. It starts off with two white notes right next to each other on the piano. In this case, F and G. This forms an interval of a second.
After playing those notes together for six beats, you stretch out to make an interval of a third with notes G and E. Play another six beats and then stretch out to make a sixth playing D and B.
Finally, we have an octave where both C’s are played. From here the hands work there way back inwards in contrary motion. This means you’ll play an octave, then a 6th, then a 5th, and then repeat.
Below is a video of how the whole piano duet works!
2. Mozart – The Magic Flute
For more advanced pianists, Mozart’s Magic Flute Duet is a real test of partnership. This piece is known for its strong overture movement. The piece starts with big chords played by both pianists in E flat.
After a few chords the mood changes to more of a melodic sequence supported by chords. After about a minute and a half, the familiar sixteenth note passages with the repeated E flats and short turns occur. While that’s going on the other pianist is supporting with a countermelody. This is the main melody and will continue returning throughout the piece.
Like most piano duo works, the melody will sometimes swap between the pianists. Overall the character of this duet is what you would expect from Mozart. There’s a lot of focus on the harmonic outline of the E flat major scale, and the form follows closely to that of Sonata form.
My favorite arrangement of this is the Busoni version. It works best on two pianos, but adjustments can be made to play it on just one piano. It’s also been arranged for orchestra and organ.
3. Heart And Soul Piano Duet
Also featured in the hit movie “Big” is the piano duet Heart and Soul. This is something I recommend playing once you’ve gotten past Chopsticks. The pianist handling the bottom part will continue to play the same chord pattern throughout the song.
The song is in C major so it will follow this: C, A, F, G. While the left-hand play those single notes, the right hand will play intervals of a third above it. So in this case, the right-hand plays CE, AC, FA, GB. Take a look at the video below to see how that works.
The pianist handling the top notes will play the familiar melody based on the C major scale. It starts with C C C CBABCD, E E E EDCDEF, G C AGFED, CBAGFEDG. Using your ear is important to get the timing right. The rhythm is jazzy and has a swing to it. I like this duet because it’s easy to learn by ear, and an easy piano duet because it only uses the white keys.
4. A Forest Duet
I came across this piano duet in search of some fun music. A Forest Duet is written in G minor, and focus on repetitive patterns and sequences. This piano duet works so well because it gradually expands in small layers.
The pianist int he high register plays a simple broken G minor chord two and a half times before following with a broken F major chord two and a half times. The pattern then repeats itself again for another round.
The second pianist will join in playing the same exact notes and patterns, but down an octave. This doubling of the melody gives a nice strong sound to the duet.
The next layer is added in by the first pianist. The new countermelody is D C D A, and it’s played over and over again along with the broken G minor and F major triads. After this, the second pianist adds in a true bass line for the first time in the piece.
The bass line is played as D C D A as well. That’s significant because it’s the same notes as the new countermelody the top pianist plays. It moves at the speed of a whole note each though instead of quarter notes, which allows it to work in context. Overall this is a quick piece to learn visually and should take you maybe five minutes to master.
5. Mozart – Turkish March
The Turkish March by Mozart is one of the most popular pieces in all of Classical music. Due to how the piece is structured both harmonically and through spacing, it’s easy to play this as a duet.
There is no editing required, and it simply requires one pianist to play the left-hand parts, and one to play the right-hand parts. For the pianist playing the left-hand part, they can actually use two hands. One hand can form the chords while the other takes care of the bass notes.
Certainly, as the piece progresses, the right hand has to take on more technical scale passages. All that takes is a bit of practice and effort. Most of those passages are quite repetitive, so once you master the first few instances of them, you’ll be prepared to play them every other time they appear in the piece.
Below is a video of a nice duet arrangement. Watch it to get an idea of how the pianist adjusts their fingering and hand positions to fit the Turkish March!
6. Canon In D
Pachabels Canon In D is one of the easiest Classical piano songs you can play. It’s even more fun to play when joined in with a partner.
Although the piece is originally written in D major, it’s very common to find arrangements of this in C major and other keys. C major works well because it allows the pianists to only focus on having to play the white keys only.
Because of how the music is composed, it’s going to follow a repetitive chord structure for the entire arrangement. D A B F-sharp G D G A is the chord pattern that will stay for the entire piece. This is a piece that is normally embellished quite a bit, however, you can play much of it blocked depending on your skill level.
There’s a couple of versions out there, some shorter and some more elaborate than others. This overhead video below is an easy piano duet you could learn in just a few tries. The notes are illuminated so you can see which notes each pianist is responsible for.
7. Bohemian Rhapsody
A fun and energetic rock tune is Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen. The one point of difficulty is going to be with timing and coordination of both players. This song has a lot of starts and stops motion, so listening is key to pulling it off.
With two very contrasting sections, it’s something unique on this list of easy piano duets. If you’re up for a challenge, this might be the perfect piece for you. Have a listen to a cool arrangement of it below.
8. Twinkle Twinkle Little Star
This lullaby is even more perfect when played as a group. Twinkle Twinkle Little Star is an old favorite and ones that two pianists can easily play. Ideally, the pianist playing the bass notes should form simple chords to harmonize the song.
The original by Mozart actually has a complete set of variations to go with it. If you want a challenge, I recommend checking that out to get an idea of the different things you can do with this song.
Because the melody line spans an interval of a sixth, my suggestion would be to split it into two hands.
For example, if you were to play this duet in C major, the left hand could have fingers 1, 2, and 3 on CD and E. The right hand would split the rest of the notes F, G and A on fingers 1, 2, and 3. Using the same finger numbers for each hand helps simplify things when playing.
Leonard Cohens Hallelujah is one of the most covered songs of all time. There are arrangements for orchestra, winds, guitar, and of course piano. If you’re looking for a good arrangement then I highly suggest using the sheet music for this one. This way you can be sure all of the unique chords are voiced correctly and accurate.
The version I recommend using is this arrangement of Hallelujah. It’s arranged for piano, voice, and guitar, so you can sing with it or join other musicians.
The piano part can be played by one pianist while the other pianist can play the vocal part up an octave. This allows for a simple duet without any need to cross hands or split parts up.
Of course, if you just want a quick visual that you can learn quickly with a partner, then the video below will definitely be useful.
10. Carol Of The Bells
One of the best times to have a piano duet ready to play is during the holiday season. A Christmas favorite of mine is Carol Of The Bells. Because it’s a staple of Christmas repertoire, there are many arrangements available.
A simple way to play this song is to dictate the left-hand notes for one pianist and the right-hand notes for another. You could also pick up a pre-written piano duet arrangement.
My favorite arrangement book is this one by Robert Vandall. It’s a complete four-hand arrangement book that contains Carol Of The Bells as well as other popular Christmas fantasies. They are showy arrangements, meaning they sound exciting although technically they are not too challenging.
11. Let It Go
Frozen was one of the biggest Disney movies in the last decade. While the film is amazing, the biggest reception was to the film’s music. The biggest tune from the movie was Let It Go sung by Indina Menzel. This is a primarily piano, so it’s easy to find good editions of this online.
While the piano part is good on its own, it may be a bit difficult for a beginner pianist. There are some modulations that take place later in the song too which might make the learning curve a little steep. Editions by Hal Leonard have made slight adjustments to the key of the tune and rhythm to help make it easier to play.
As far as turning this into a piano duet there are a few options. One pianist can read the sheet music while the other pianist plays the vocal line. The other option is to use two pianos and split the parts.
I compared several YouTube videos to see which piano duet would work best for a beginner for Let It Go. Below is a good video. For the most part, the pianist on the bottom plays simple bass chords. This means the stronger of the pianists should play the top part as that’s where most of the rhythmic syncopation happens.
12. Maple Leaf Rag
Ragtime music is some of the most fun anyone can have at the piano. This book of Scott Joplin piano duets makes it easy to enjoy all of his favorites. It includes The Entertainer, Easy Winners, and of course Maple Leaf Rag!
As with any ragtime tune, the rhythms can be a bit tricky. I would rank this music somewhere between easy to intermediate. Below is a video of what a ragtime duet like Maple Leaf Rag can sound like!
In that particular arrangement, it’s clear to see that there are a few tricky runs to think about. Overall though, it’s a simple bass note followed by a chord for the bottom pianist. The top pianist doubles their melody line for the most part in octaves.
13. Beethoven Symphony For Four Hands
For more experienced pianists, I recommend checking out the Beethoven Symphony For Four Hands book. It’s an excellent piano reduction of some of the late composers best works. From the popular 5th and 9th symphonies, the arrangements are expertly written.
The book is printed in landscape format which allows for easy turning of the pages and reading. As with any orchestral work, it’s important both pianists count at a steady beat, especially in tutti sections and at areas of silence.