If you’re gaining a reputation as a piano player or student, any room with a keyboard will likely motivate people to start requesting you to play popular favorites.
Being able to knock out a memorable tune is excellent for your development and rewarding for your confidence.
Don’t fret that you have to impress a group with fancy fingerwork to show off your skills. Consider these easy piano songs that are surefire crowd-pleasers.
If there’s a piano around, someone will inevitably request this Billy Joel classic the moment you sit at the keys. You might as well come prepared to play it (no matter how cliche it might seem) because it’s still a fantastic song.
Despite its simplicity in melody and rhythm, the song helps you learn great lessons about pop music structure and theory. For one, it’s a waltz (3/4 time), which is a pleasing time signature but not nearly as common as 4/4 (which musicians call “common time”).
This hit song also helps you learn how slash chords can add color to common harmonic progressions. Instead of always playing the root as the bass note, “Piano Man” uses a very satisfying descending bass line to move the song forward sonically.
Don’t concern yourself too much with grasping Joel’s trademark runs. Learn how to play the harmonies and melody with feeling, and you’re sure to encourage a sing-along at any gathering.
‘Moonlight Sonata,’ the First Movement
Beethoven’s “Moonlight Sonata” remains one of the most instantly recognizable easy piano songs by the great master. This slow and passionate work perfectly sets a romantic mood.
You can refine your sense of the classical style with this selection. Many classical instrumental pieces that came after it follow the same structural pattern, so understanding this lovely score will help you get a sense of other compositions. Perfecting the “Moonlight Sonata” also helps you refine your arpeggios into a smooth and effortless legato without rushing.
When Leonard Cohen debuted “Hallelujah” on his “Various Positions” album, the song received little notice. The lyrical perfectionist may have lamented that lack of attention because he admittedly wrote over a hundred versions of the verse.
However, over time, his many admirers in the music world have recorded numerous versions, including Rufus Wainwright, Norah Jones, Willie Nelson, and perhaps most notably, Jeff Buckley. Though the song references “a secret chord” in its first verse, the harmonic structure is primarily a I-iv-IV-V progression that forms the backbone of many popular easy piano songs.
‘Clair de Lune’
Pianists and keyboardists adore Claude Debussy’s catalog for innovative compositions. While his name may not be well known among casual listeners of classical music, nearly everyone recognizes “Clair de Lune.”
The dreamlike quality of the work comes from Debussy’s use of the whole-tone scale. Practicing this song will enhance your appreciation for the scale and add a unique piece to your repertoire. Also, the tempo is perfect for beginner and intermediate players, and there are a number of simplified arrangements available.
Taylor Swift has a gift for creating catchy hooks and working across many genres. (It’s hard to believe she was once a teen country star that was just a girl and her guitar.)
“Anti-Hero” is her collaboration with Bleachers, which has a laidback synth-pop style. You’ll get a lot of surprised smiles and nodding heads when you play the melody on an electric or acoustic piano.
The delightful eclectic mixture of styles that Jvke brings to his hit “Golden Hour” took the world by storm on social media. The quick repetitive notes might frighten you on first hearing, but listen closely to realize that the tones are repetitive and follow a simple harmonic structure.
If the original key of A presents a struggle at this stage in your progress, you can find simple arrangements in the key of C on any sheet music site. Fortunately, many popular favorites on that site offer you the option to transpose easy piano songs to more comfortable keys.
Improve your sense of syncopation with Scott Joplin’s quintessential ragtime classic. You may feel intimidated by the blazing speeds with which some experts play the tune. However, Joplin himself created the form and stated that the music “should never be played fast.”
Most important is your sense of rhythm and ability to coordinate your left and right hands. You can fine-tune your technique by starting with an arrangement that simplifies the composition so that you don’t get overwhelmed by the left-hand leaps that occur in the original.
Easy Piano Songs for Everyone
Even longtime masters of the instrument know the value of easy piano songs for satisfying an audience. Pick up sheet music for easy piano songs to discover new and old tunes.