When you hear a song for the first time, it can be magical. You start asking yourself questions like, “How did they do that?” and “What are those chords?”
Songs can often sound more complicated than they are.
When I began learning how to play pop piano (and especially guitar) I was astonished to find out that once you mastered a few basics, most songs came easily.
If you can master six chords in every key, you can play almost any pop song. It sounds crazy, but it’s true.
Of course, playing a song and mastering the song are two different things.
A professionally trained pianist will sound better than a beginner, even if they are playing the same, easy song.
This is a matter of training, practice and experience.
The only way for you to reach that level is to start playing!
I’ve compiled a list of 21 easy songs to play on the piano – including a few standards that everyone should know, and a few songs that are a bit out of left-field.
“Drops Of Jupiter” – Train
This is a great song to learn, because the more you play it, the closer you’ll get to sounding just like the recording.
The thing about this song (like many songs) is that it sounds harder than it is, because of the rhythmic patterns. This takes time and practice. The chords themselves are not hard to learn.
The general idea of the song can be captured in just four chords. The beginning is just:
C, G, F
And the chorus has a Dm.
The thing that makes the song sounds poppy and cool, is that instead of a standard F, you’re supposed to play a Fsus2 chord.
It might sound complicated but it’s not. An F chord is made up of three notes: F, A and C. The same goes for the Fsus2 chord, which is F, G and C.
It makes the chord sound “crunchy” and “poppy”.
For a slow, easy tutorial, check out the video posted above.
“Elastic Heart” – Sia
This song by Sia is a banger. It’s also the same four chords throughout.
The original key is A Major. And, the chords in this song are: D, A, E, F#m.
For an easy breakdown of how to play the chords along with the melody of the song, check out the video I’ve posted above.
Try experimenting with different inversions of the chords – both for effect and to make the song easier to play.
If you struggle with playing the black notes, you can change the key to C.
If the song were in C, the chords would be F, C, G and Am. Simple!
“Imagine” – John Lennon
“Imagine” is a classic beginner piano song – it’s John Lennon’s most enduring hit from his solo years, and people love to learn it because it’s simple and impressive sounding.
The video breakdown gives you a simplified version of the song – which is great to begin with.
You get the general feel of all the chords, as well as some of the essential licks that make the song so recognizable.
It also teaches you the melody, which is very satisfying, because it’s such a popular melody.
The verse is just C and F with a little passing note to G in there – the chorus gets a little more complicated, but the video does a good job of simplifying it.
Most people are so familiar with this one that it practically plays itself!
“The Scientist” – Coldplay
Coldplay is another great source of easy piano songs that are recognizable and sound impressive.
This song is very popular with beginner piano students for its easy melody and beautiful chord progression.
The general chord progression in this song is: Dm, Bb, F, Fsus2.
Again, the sus2 chord just means you take the third of the chord and lower it to the next scale degree.
So, on the F chord, it goes from F, A, C to F, G, C. Again, this creates a bit of tension, a bit of crunch, that sounds poppy and pleasing to the ears.
Try playing along with the recorded version of this one! It’s a slow song as it is, so it’s not hard to get your fingers around.
“Yellow” – Coldplay
Here’s another really simple Coldplay song that everyone knows.
This song is in B, which can be a challenging key for some new students, because of all the black keys. But there are only two parts to the song, and they only use three chords each.
The verses are simply: B, F#, E.
The choruses are: E, G#m, F#.
The parts in between the verse and chorus just go back to the verse chords, and add a pulsing right hand feel.
“Can’t Stop the Feeling” – Justin Timberlake
Oh dang, I love this song. I used to play it with a wedding band, and it was always fun.
While the verses and chorus are exceptionally easy, the pre-chorus is funky.
The chorus and verses are just: C, Am, F, Am.
Over and over again.
The video shows you this, but doesn’t show you the fun bass rhythm you could be doing with your left hand. Listen to the recording, and try to imitate what the bass does!
The pre-chorus does some weird chord movement, which looks strange, but is a fairly common move in R&B based pop music. It goes like this:
Bb, C, Bb, C, Eb, Bb, Eb.
It kind of takes it out of the key of C briefly. Cool!
“Stand By Me” – Ben E. King
“Stand by Me” is another classic beginner song. A simple, repetitive bass line, and a super recognizable melody – doesn’t get any better than that!
The main chords in this tune are always:
C, Am, F, G.
Over and over again.
What makes the song so recognizable is the bass line. Check out the video – it’ll show you how to play the bass line and the melody together. Feel free to add in chords as you get better!
“Stay With Me” – Sam Smith
The best part about learning “Stay with Me” is that you’ll also learn “I Won’t Back Down” by Tom Petty at the same time… I kid. But the songs are remarkably similar!
The chords to the verse are: Amin, F, C.
The chords in the chorus are the same, but you can add a G on top of the Amin chord to create an Am7 chord. Just a little color!
There’s also what’s called a passing chord. There’s a quick little E major chord that pushes you into the last part of the chorus.
The video does a good job of showing this.
“Somebody That I Used To Know” – Gotye
This song is a great beginner song – it’s almost childlike melody is easy to wrap your head around, and the chords just repeat over and over again.
The chords for almost the entire song are just Dm and C.
No kidding – it’s that easy.
The chorus alters that slightly, and goes: Dm, C, Bb, C, Dm.
This is a fun one to accompany a voice on, because you can play big octaves with your left hand, and simple chords with your right hand – making a very effective accompaniment.
“Pumped Up Kicks” – Foster the People
This is another one I used to play in a wedding band.
I think it’s great for beginners, because it gives your left hand a workout, but remains the same throughout. Never changing.
The video will show you how to play the bass line.
The chords for the whole song are just Dm, F, C and G.
The hard part is getting the left hand to do the bass line while your right hand plays the melody/chords.
Once you get it, it’s a blast!
“Seven Nation Army” – The White Stripes
As soon as I thought about “Pumped Up Kicks”, this song also came to mind.
“Seven Nation Army” is a fun song because it has a repeating bass line that thumps through the majority of the song, save for a few power chords that rock through the chorus.
The most fun way to learn this song would be to get the basics down by watching the video, and then playing along to The White Stripes recording.
The recording rocks, and it’s a lot more fun to play along to Jack White singing.
“Lean On Me” – Bill Withers
This guide would be incomplete if I didn’t tell you to learn “Lean On Me” by Bill Withers.
The easiest and best parts of the song are the verses.
This song is a common beginner piano song, because it literally has almost every chord from a major key in it, and they move in a “stepwise” fashion, making it easy to get your head around.
The bridge is a little funky, but funky is fun!
The video I’ve attached shows you how to play the exact piano parts that are on the original recording of the song.
If you want more of a piano version (with the melody in the right hand), check out this version:
Some combinations of both of these would make a great piano cover!
“Desperado” – Eagles
This was the first ever pop song I learned on piano.
It’s not as easy as some of the other songs on this list, but it’s beautiful. I watched this YouTuber’s full lesson, and he does a thorough job of explaining the song.
The chords aren’t that hard, but there are a lot of 7 chords in this song.
The video lesson has both a piano visualization as well as the sheet music above the piano.
The man explaining the song play it slowly and makes it sound lovely.
“Take Me To Church” – Hozier
This is a fun on one, because the recording is piano heavy – giant thumping pop piano throughout.
The chords aren’t hard, but the progression is kind of long.
The general idea is this:
Em, Am, Em, Am
There are few variations, going to G, and then to D and C.
The chorus is a whole other thing, with big crashing low notes.
Again, this one is fun to play along with, because the piano performance on the track is great.
“She Will Be Loved” – Maroon 5
Who remembers this classic? It’s a great pop song!
It’s also relatively easy to learn.
Most of the song revolves around Cm and Bb.
The chorus goes to:
Eb, Bb, Cm, Ab.
Pretty straightforward. The video just shows single notes in the left hand, but because there are so few chords, you should try adding in the chords.
“Just The Way You Are” – Bruno Mars
“I’m Yours” – Jason Mraz
This is an easy guitar song, but it’s equally uncomplicated on piano and it can sound great to boot.
This song can even be played on many smaller child friendly keyboards.
The above video has an alternating left hand feel in the chorus that sounds great.
The entire song is just:
B, F#, G#m, E.
Unfortunately, the song being in B makes the melody a little hard to play, because of how many sharps and flats there are in the key of B.
If you want to change the key to C, the chords become:
C, G, Am, F.
“Mamma Mia” – ABBA
This one is so fun to play. The melody is unusual and super catchy.
The song is centred around D, G and A.
Classic Swedish pop song – all about the melody, and keeping the chords simple.
The chorus has a walk down part that might throw you off, but once you get it, it’s a lot of fun!
“Beat It” – Michael Jackson
Everyone should know how to play the guitar line to “Beat It”. It should be a law. The melody is also super fun and catchy.
The tune is very E Minor pentatonic, making it a lot of fun to play along with the recording.
Maybe if you’re feeling adventurous you could try learning Eddie Van Halen’s guitar solo but that’s not for the faint of heart.
“Someone Like You” – Adele
Adele is another great source of piano songs, because so many of her songs are piano based.
This satisfying tune is in F# minor.
It has an arpeggiating bass line that can be a bit tricky to get your hand around, but if that’s something you’re wanting to work on anyways, then you should give it a try.
“Hey Jude” – The Beatles
This list would be remiss without some Beatles. They have some particularly legendary piano anthems.
This tutorial is half an hour long but will teach you how to play “Hey Jude” like the original recording.
The video creator is a great teacher and has a great way of explaining the song, so that even a total beginner can learn the authentic piano arrangement.
Easy Piano Songs Conclusion (& Where To Get Easy Guitar Songs)
I hope you find these songs useful and get up and running with playing them asap.
If you also fancy them, we’ve got some easy guitar songs here too.