One of the best ways to improve as a flutist is to learn songs. Songs tend to be a lot more fun to play than exercises, so they increase motivation to practice more.
The only problem is that it can be hard to know where to begin. You may have the desire to go and learn your favorite song now, but there is the possibility that it’s a little too difficult for you as a beginner, and you don’t have the technique necessary to be able to play it just yet.
Not to worry, because in this guide, we’ve collected plenty of easy flute songs for a beginner to tackle in a variety of styles and genres – rock, ballads, classical, pop, jazz, reggae, funk, theme songs, and more.
“We Will Rock You” by Queen
Primarily a percussion-oriented clap-along, Queen’s “We Will Rock You” nevertheless features the melodic vocal work of the illustrious Freddie Mercury.
The above video doesn’t focus so much on the entire performance, mind you, and instead shows you the four notes required to play the chorus. This should be nice and easy for newbies of all types and is the perfect jumping off point for most.
“Can’t Help Falling In Love” by Elvis Presley
Everyone needs to learn a little Elvis. Otherwise, can you really say you know any rock and roll (after all, Elvis was considered the King of rock and roll)?
“Can’t Help Falling In Love,” though, is a gentle ballad with a simple, slow melody. So, even as a beginner, this one shouldn’t make you sweat too much!
“My Heart Will Go On” by Celine Dion
Celine Dion’s “My Heart Will On” is near legendary (if not legendary) for appearing in the 1997 romance / drama, Titanic, starring Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio.
Best of all, this song makes prevalent use of the flute as a lead instrument, which should give you something to aspire to.
Beginners should strive to find an easy version to play, but that is the great thing about music – there are almost always easy versions to songs that weren’t originally easy.
Thanks to the melody of “My Heart Will Go On” primarily being comprised of Bb, A, C, D, and F, you should hopefully have an easy time with large chunks of this song.
“Pachelbel’s Canon” by Johann Pachelbel
According to some comedians, Johann Pachelbel is singlehandedly responsible for creating the very foundation of modern-day pop music chord progressions.
And there might be some credence to this notion because it is astounding how many songs either borrow directly from “Pachelbel’s Canon,” or quote segments of it.
Depending on what section of the song you’re focused on, “Pachelbel’s Canon” can be a bit of a slog. There’s quite a bit to learn! But the tutorial above only focuses on the opening melody, which is very digestible, even for a beginner.
“Over The Rainbow” by Judy Garland
Its haunting beauty notwithstanding, “Over the Rainbow” was written as a ballad for a little girl, and as such, it’s not too hard to learn. Even the bridge section was originally written as if it were a child’s piano exercise.
The song’s association with the 1939 musical fantasy film The Wizard of Oz is effectively permanent, but of course many have been captivated by Hawaiian legend Israel Kamakawiwo’ole’s island-oriented version as well.
This is a great song to learn when you’re looking to practice the upper register of your instrument.
“Seven Nation Army” by The White Stripes
It’s one thing to learn children’s songs, classical compositions, or Christmas tunes. Many of them are beginner friendly. But what about learning your favorite rock song? Isn’t that a more exciting possibility?
I don’t know about anyone else, but the thing that made the biggest difference for me in music lessons was learning my favorite songs. I found it very motivating.
Either way, though, “Seven Nation Army” has become a modern alt-rock classic of sorts, with its repetitive minor key riff.
This song should not prove too difficult to learn, especially since the video tutorial is very thorough.
“Ode to Joy” by Ludwig van Beethoven
What’s easy for one instrument is often easy for another, and it just so happens that Ludwig van Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy” often ends up being one of the first songs people learn on the piano or guitar as well. It’s not too bad on the flute, either.
Practicing the melodic sequence featured in “Ode to Joy,” though, is excellent practice for every flutist. The trick is to not get bored with the song and keep practicing until it sounds perfect to your ears.
“Stay With Me” by Sam Smith
The fact that Sam Smith’s “Stay With Me” sounds eerily like Tom Petty’s “I Won’t Back Down” is mostly a foregone conclusion now.
Its melody, though, sounds beautiful played on the flute. The tutorial video seen above is especially great because it really slows things down for those who aren’t confident in their playing just yet. When it comes to practice, slow and steady is the way to go!
“Firework” by Katy Perry
Katy Perry’s inspirational “Firework” has captured the heart of many. She even performed it at the 2015 Super Bowl halftime show.
The song features a relatively repetitive melody, as you would expect from a pop song. There are basically three key sections – verse, chorus, and bridge.
It is a relatively easy song for the flute, but you’ll probably want to take it slow at first. The chorus will use the upper register of your instrument, so if you’re not comfortable playing higher notes yet, you might want to leave this one for later.
“Hallelujah” by Leonard Cohen
Canadian singer-songwriter Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” ended up being one of his parting gifts to the world. Not to say he was a one-hit wonder – far from it. But this song stands out as being one of his most memorable and recognizable.
The verse and chorus sections are mostly made up of four notes, though the verse does occasionally take you in other directions. If you start slowly and simply you should be able to make quick work of this number.
“Bad Guy” by Billie Eilish
With just six notes, Billie Eilish’s “Bad Guy” should not prove an insurmountable feat on the flute. The verse is very monotone, though the notes are kind of staccato so that might be one thing to look out for.
“Don’t Stop Believin’” by Journey
People have yet to stop believing in arena rock band Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin’,” one of classic rock’s most triumphant moments.
Who would have thought Steve Perry’s vocal melody would translate so well over to the flute? I didn’t, but as you’ll hear in the video above, it’s quite nice!
Best of all, Flutorials keeps the pace nice and slow for you so you can practice without trying to keep up with the original’s moderate rock tempo.
“What A Wonderful World” by Louis Armstrong
Louis Armstrong’s “What A Wonderful World” is a gentle song about appreciating life. Some have pointed out its similarities to “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star,” but the comparison may not have any historical basis.
Yet jazz players are known to quote segments of different songs in their solos, so you just never know.
There is quite a bit to this song, so beginners should focus on the verse melody and not worry about trying to master the whole thing in one go. Also note that you’ll need to feel comfortable with higher notes to be able to play this one.
“Should I Stay or Should I Go” by The Clash
Punk rock is generally based around simple ideas, and The Clash’s “Should I Stay or Should I Go” is no exception.
The verse melody only uses a few notes, so if you take it slow, you should be able to master it in relatively short order.
The tutorial video shows you how to play all major parts of the song, though, so if it feels overwhelming, break it down into smaller sections and work on one piece at a time.
“Stand By Me” by Ben E. King
Something about Ben E. King’s “Stand By Me” still resonates to this day. The song has been recorded over 400 times by the likes of Otis Redding, John Lennon, Tracy Chapman, and many others.
As per usual, you’ve got to love Flutorial (see above video) for slowing things way down as you’re learning the song. That and the fact that the verse is primarily made up of four to five notes makes this a great selection for beginners.
“Don’t Worry Be Happy” by Bobby McFerrin
Things don’t always go as planned in life. Bobby McFerrin’s reggae tinged “Don’t Worry Be Happy,” though, reminds us to do just that – to stop worrying and enjoy life, no matter what may be happening.
While this song may not be the best place to start for beginner flutists, it’s well worth trying once you’re starting to feel comfortable with a few others.
“Never Gonna Give You Up” by Rick Astley
Rick Astley’s “Never Gonna Give You Up” may not be the easiest song to play up to speed, but at slower speeds it’s not too bad (especially the verse)! If you get stuck, focus on playing one note at a time, because everything can be learned one note at a time.
If you’ve ever dreamed of Rickrolling your friends on the flute, guess what? Here’s your opportunity!
“Take On Me” by A-ha
When you slow it down, you’ll find the melody to A-ha’s “Take On Me” very manageable! Of course, there are some higher notes in the chorus, so you might want to watch out for those.
The tutorial above doesn’t cover the intro riff until the end, and although it might sound crazy up to speed, it’s not too bad slowed down.
For a bit of 80s nostalgia, this song should prove a ton of fun!
“Imagine” by John Lennon
John Lennon’s “Imagine” has become one of his most remembered tunes. It paints a picture of a utopian society where there’s no war and only peace. Although the bits about there being no countries, no religion, no possessions, and so on, is a little “out there.”
Anyway, if you take it at a slower pace, you’ll find the melody to “Imagine” repetitive and easy to play. Working it up to full speed may take a little more work, though.
“Perfect” by Ed Sheeran
The sappy and sentimental “Perfect” is a relatively straightforward ballad with a modest melody.
The only thing to look out for is the fact that it’s in 12/8 time. Some beginners don’t have much trouble with it (besides 4/4 and 3/4, 12/8 is a very common time signature), though others do.
Listen carefully, and if you can, try clapping or tapping your foot along to the rhythm until you get a good feel for it.
“Moon River” by Audrey Hepburn
If you’re a little older, or if you’re a movie buff, you might remember Audrey Hepburn’s performance of this song in the 1961 romantic comedy Breakfast at Tiffany’s.
With a gentle, captivating melody, it should be well within reach for most beginners.
Just note that the video tutorial above either has the backing track or the melody in the wrong key…
“Uptown Funk” by Mark Ronson ft. Bruno Mars
With “Uptown Funk,” Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars brought the funk genre back to mainstream consciousness in a big way. Thanks to its catchy bass riff and infectious beat, it quickly went onto become a big hit, band before you knew it, everyone in lesson studios was learning it.
The video tutorial above offers a comprehensive look at the riffs and melodies in this song. Yes, putting it all together could take some time, but most phrases in insolation are very easy to play. This should prove an excellent project for you to work on!
“Smoke on the Water” by Deep Purple
“Smoke on the Water” is quite possibly one of the most imitated guitar songs of all time. But there is a good reason for that. It isn’t just a cool riff – it’s a very easy one to pull off too!
As you’ll see in the video above, you’ll only need to be able to play four notes to jam along with this classic rock epic.
“I Want to Break Free” by Queen
The early- to mid-80s “I Want to Break Free” resonated with audiences everywhere (except for North America), and it even became an anthem for the oppressed.
It appears it would have been fitting for singer Freddie Mercury himself to have penned the lyrics to this song, but it was in fact Queen bassist John Deacon who wrote this simple but memorable pop rock tune.
The melody is relatively repetitive, and at slower speeds is not too hard to play.
“California Dreamin’” by The Mamas & The Papas
“California Dreamin’” may have been written by members of The Mamas & The Papas, but the first recorded version was by Barry McGuire. Still, the most remembered version is certainly that of The Mamas & The Papas.
There are few if any major intervallic jumps in the melody, which makes it relatively easy to play on the flute. You may require a little more patience with this one, though, as there are many parts to learn.
“The Addams Family” by Andrew Gold
Here’s a fun one for kids of all ages. Andrew Gold’s “The Addams Family” is the eponymous theme song for the frightening and bizarre postwar middle-class American family.
The song features some chromatics to reflect the quirky nature of the show. There is also quite a bit more to learn here than you might expect. But at lower tempos, beginners should be able to process it.
“Thriller” by Michael Jackson
Michael Jackson’s explosive 1982 hit “Thriller” demonstrates some musical sophistication. That shouldn’t come as much of a surprise, because Jackson’s goal was to create an album where every song was a hit – a feat he made good on thanks in part to producer Quincy Jones.
If you aren’t much of a fan of the song, you may want to skip it for now. There is a lot of movement in the melody, and there are many parts to the song. But if you’re looking for a good multi-week (or multi-month) project to work on, “Thriller” is well worth picking up.
“Top Gun Anthem” by Harold Faltermeyer
While it’s not exactly unusual to have a movie theme that uses electric guitar as its primary instrument, it’s not exactly commonplace either.
“Top Gun Anthem” struck that balance between impactful and inspirational and continues to live on as an epic movie theme.
For the most part, the melody sits tightly together in terms of intervals. But it is necessary to play some higher notes in the second part, so user beware.
“You’ve Got a Friend in Me” by Randy Newman
Randy Newman has got that “quirky but brilliant” thing down to a tee, and this is on full display in his 1995 Toy Story classic, “You’ve Got a Friend in Me.”
So, while the melody isn’t necessarily hard to play, you do need to anticipate the changes, because there are plenty of them! The melody is almost like a call and response, which is one of the things that makes it brilliant.
“Stairway to Heaven” by Led Zeppelin
Debatably one of the best songs of all time, Led Zeppelin’s “Stairway to Heaven” is a song of epic proportions. It even breaks some of the so-called “rules” of music (did you know that the song’s tempo keeps increasing as it reaches its climax?).
The melody doesn’t get many breaks, which might be one of the toughest parts of playing this song. The notes themselves shouldn’t prove too much trouble, though.
“The James Bond Theme” by John Barry
“The James Bond Theme” is one of the all-time classics in the spy music genre. While it depends what part of the song you’re tackling, it’s simple enough to pick up on most instruments, including of course, the flute.
The great thing about the arrangement featured in the video is that it doesn’t just show you simple accompaniment, but also shows you how to play the infamous guitar riff and the melody that occurs later in the song.
“YMCA” by Village People
The Village People’s “YMCA” may well be the novelty song to surpass all novelty songs, as it lives on in infamy across the world. Find yourself in a foreign country and can’t speak another language? No problem because there’s a good chance they know how “YMCA” goes.
Facetiousness aside, this is a good song for beginners to attempt, not necessarily because of how easy it is (though it’s not the hardest song out there), but more so because of all the movement in the melody. There are, after all, many songs with lots of movement in the melody, and it’s good to get in the practice.
“About Damn Time” by Lizzo
If you’d like to take a stab at something a little more modern (but very funky), you might be interested in trying Lizzo’s “About Damn Time.”
While the tutorial only gives you about 20 bars of music to learn, you’re probably better off starting this one at a much slower tempo and gradually work your way up to speed.
Easy Flute Songs For Beginners, Final Thoughts
The material featured here should last you a good long while. We recommend starting with the easiest songs and gradually building your way up to the harder ones, as you’ll gain a lot of confidence and experience along the way.
If at any point you find yourself confronted by a seemingly insurmountable challenge, stop. Remember that you can learn anything one note at a time. So, if a song is giving you trouble, don’t try to memorize or play entire phrases. Instead, put one note in front of the other.
Here’s wishing you all the best on your flutist journey!