I've noticed in music stores that there is always an easy piano music section. I was just wondering what grades/length of playing time this generally covers. At what point did you stop using this section and just buy original scores?
With classical music, I'd recommend that you don't use any simplified arrangements at all. Great composers from Bach to BartÃ³k have composed piano pieces suitable for near-beginners all the way to virtuoso stuff, and it's so much more satisfying to know that you're playing original
music as the composer wrote it.
In my student days, as a kid of ten, about three months into starting lessons, my teacher gave me Denes Agay's Easy Classics to Moderns
, and started me on a simple piano piece by Mozart - exactly as he wrote it over 200 years ago. I felt like I'd become a 'proper pianist' on that day, and told my teacher that from then on, I only wanted to play original music, not simplified arrangements of anything. I've stuck to that policy ever since, with all piano music. I only play 'simplified arrangements' (which I usually make up 'on the fly') when playing orchestral, or organ/vocal music on the piano, reading from the original full score.
With other genres of music of course, there's often no such thing as 'original', but you'd be far better off learning to play from fake books etc, rather than using someone's arrangement, as has already been said. Much more fun, and you can make it as simple or as flashy as you like