The 3 Easiest Chopin Waltzes (piano)

Introduction

Although Chopin is known to have written a total of about 20 waltzes, most of them require a pre-advanced to advanced mastery of the piano to be able to perform comfortably. Luckily, there are 3 that are easier than the others in difficulty level, and should be very manageable for intermediate and high-intermediate level students (think at least 3 years of consistent piano playing). They are: “Waltz in A Minor, op. posth., B 150”, “Waltz in B minor, op. 69, no. 2”, and “Waltz in A flat Major, op. 69, no. 1 (‘L’adieu’)”. Although less technically-demanding than his other waltzes, they are just as beautiful!

Let’s look at each of these pieces in turn and get inspired to learn them!

#1. Waltz in A Minor, op. posth., B 150

QUICK FACTS
  • Composed: betw. 1843-1848 (betw. ages 33-38), posth.
  • Pages: 2
  • Key: A Minor
  • Tempo: Allegretto (fairly fast)
  • Ability Level: RCM Level 6 – lower intermediate
  • My personal rating: 5/5 (love it!)


CLICK HERE TO GET SHEET MUSIC FOR “Waltz in A Minor” (PDF).

(PDF includes helpful fingerings and markings you won’t find in most other editions!)

WHAT’S EASY ABOUT IT:

  • It’s in A Minor. That means you will mostly be using white keys, though there are a few accidentals (especially in second half).
  • It’s short. There is really only about one page of material to learn. The rest is repetition.

WHAT YOU MIGHT FIND DIFFICULT ABOUT IT:

  • Ornaments. There are quite a few grace notes and several mordents in this waltz. Make sure to play them quickly and lightly, while maintaining the main beat.
  • E Major arpeggio run. In one section of the piece, there is an E Major arpeggio that needs to be played quite fast (a triplet followed by a quintuplet). This might need a bit of practice.
  • LH (left hand) jumps. As is the case with a lot of Chopin’s compositions, the left hand tends to jump quite a bit between a single note and a chord. Tip: practice the LH separately to get really comfortable with it before doing it HT (hands together).

#2. Waltz in B minor, op. 69, no. 2 ("Deux Valses")

QUICK FACTS
  • Composed: 1829 (at 19), posth.
  • Pages: 4 (just over)
  • Key: B Minor (with one part in B Major)
  • Tempo: Moderato
  • Ability Level: RCM Level 8 – upper intermediate
  • My personal rating: 5/5 (love it!)
Click here to purchase sheet music for this piece (PDF).


CLICK HERE TO GET SHEET MUSIC FOR “Waltz in B Minor” (PDF).

(PDF includes helpful fingerings and markings you won’t find in most other editions!)

WHAT’S EASY ABOUT IT:

  • The key. The majority of the waltz is in B Minor, which is not too difficult with only two sharps. Be warned, however, that it does change to B Major (5 sharps) briefly in the middle, before reverting back to B Minor again.

WHAT YOU MIGHT FIND DIFFICULT ABOUT IT:

  • Double Notes. The second section of the waltz (the one in B Major) uses quite a few double notes, which might take some practice to get good at – particularly the legato double thirds. (For tips on how to practice double notes – see this article).
  • The B Major Section. As mentioned earlier, this section of the waltz uses five sharps, which is bit of a change from just two. Luckily, the section doesn’t last long.
  • LH (left hand) jumps. As is the case with a lot of Chopin’s compositions, the left hand tends to jump quite a bit between a single note and a chord. Tip: practice the LH separately to get really comfortable with it before doing it HT (hands together).

#3. Waltz in A flat Major, op. 69, no. 1 (“L’adieu”)

QUICK FACTS
  • Composed: 1835 (at 25)
  • Pages: 4
  • Key: A flat Major
  • Tempo: Tempo di Valse
  • Ability Level: RCM Level 8 – upper intermediate
  • My personal rating: 3.5/5 (it’s nice)
Click here to purchase sheet music for this piece (PDF).

WHAT’S EASY ABOUT IT:

  • The Tempo. At “Tempo di Valse”, this piece is the slowest out of the three. Tempo di Valse is usually played somewhere between 90-120 bpm.

WHAT YOU MIGHT FIND DIFFICULT ABOUT IT:

  • The Key. With its four flats, A flat Major is by no means the hardest key to play in, but not the easiest either. So be prepared for four flats.
  • The “tuplets”. The piece contains several instances of quintuplets, sextuplets, and septuplets (groups of 5, 6 and 7 sixteenth notes played in time of one beat). This will require dexterity and finger agility.
  • LH (left hand) jumps. As is the case with a lot of Chopin’s compositions, the left hand tends to jump quite a bit between a single note and a chord. Tip: practice the LH separately to get really comfortable with it before doing it HT (hands together).

* Want to get the most out of your practicing? Take a look at our “5 Best Practice Tips for Music Students”

* Wondering if your child is gifted in music? Take a look at: “6 Signs Your Child Is Musically Gifted”

* Learn everything you need to know about RCM exams with our  “RCM Exams: Your Complete Guide”

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