A piano bar is a place to go after a long day of work to relax, have a drink, and listen to some great music.
Most piano bar musicians have their own repertoire of songs to play but in many cases, you can also request songs.
But what are some of the best songs to play or request?
Well, in this post I’ll go over exactly that. Here is my collection of the best 35 piano bar songs ever created.
What Are The Best Piano Bar Songs?
1. “Piano Man” By Billy Joel
It’s probably no surprise that Billy Joel’s “Piano Man” is at the top of this list.
With over 150 million records sold, Mr. Joel has inspired multiple generations to start learning the piano. He is often referred to as one of the greatest singer-songwriters of all time.
“Piano Man” is quite deserving of being on this list of best piano bar songs as the song itself tells a story of folks who frequent a bar in which a pianist plays nightly.
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2. “Bennie And The Jets” By Elton John
This funky, piano-powered tune will have an audience feeling like they’re at a glitzy, glamorous concert.
It was written by Elton John and Bernie Taupin in the 70s and became one of John’s biggest hits, reaching the top 10 in multiple countries.
It’s the ultimate sing along song for a piano bar. Everyone knows the lyrics of the chorus, it’s fun, it’s groovy, what’s not to love?!
3. “Hey Jude” By The Beatles
“Hey Jude” is a timeless classic that’s been around since the dawn of time (or at least it feels like it).
The video for this song has been viewed a whopping 345 million times! That’s a lot of listens. So you can be sure this one will resonate with your audience.
Written by Paul McCartney and John Lennon, the song’s combination of emotional lyrics and beautiful arrangement has earned it a lasting place in the hearts of many.
It’s a long one clocking in at just over 7 minutes so if you’re looking to play it at your next piano bar gig then it may take a considerable amount of practice. That being said, it’s perfect for having audiences hum or sing along to (especially after they’ve had a couple of drinks).
4. “Love Song” By Sara Bareilles
Sara Bareilles’s “Love song” is an upbeat piano-based song with contrasting lyrics.
It tells the story of a woman who is trying to break away from a relationship that is no longer working or beneficial to her. She needs a better reason to write her significant other a love song because she’s not sure love is still in the picture.
If you just read the lyrics it would probably make you feel all the feels. But combined with the music it’s actually pretty energizing. Whether you’re requesting or playing this one at the bar, it will certainly get the audience’s feet tapping.
5. “Haven’t Met You Yet” By Michael Bublé
If you just listened to the song above and then moved on to this one you’re probably scratching your head thinking. Hmm, the piano sections to those songs sound awfully similar. Yes… I would agree.
Yet, they are indeed two different songs.
“Haven’t Met You Yet” is a lively and upbeat piano-driven pop song released in 2009.
Bublé’s smooth vocals and the song’s piano-based instrumentation make it a perfect addition to any piano bar playlist.
6. “Great Balls of Fire” By Jerry Lee Lewis
“Great Balls of Fire” by Jerry Lee Lewis is a classic rock and roll song that’s guaranteed to get you up on your feet, and maybe even ignite the piano. The song was released in 1957 and quickly became a hit, reaching number two on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. Its upbeat and energetic nature make it a perfect choice for piano bars and sing-alongs, especially if you’re looking for a song that’s guaranteed to get the party started.
7. “Roses” By Outkast
You probably weren’t expecting any songs from Outkast on this list of best piano bar songs.
BUT if you’re feeling silly (and the bar owner allows it), this could be a great one to get an audience laughing and engaged.
Outkast, is a hip-hop duo from Atlanta who are known for their unique blend of funk, soul, and Southern rap.
The intro section features a tasteful piano link and the rest of the song only uses a few simple chord changes.
8. “Walking in Memphis” By Marc Cohn
“Walking in Memphis” by Marc Cohn is a soulful, bluesy ballad that tells the story of Marc’s journey in the city of Memphis, Tennessee. When combined with its catchy piano riff and Cohn’s powerful vocals, it makes the song a perfect fit for a piano bar setting.
Fun fact: The song is actually inspired by a real-life trip that Marc Cohn took to Memphis, where he visited the city’s famous Graceland, the home of Elvis Presley.
9. “If I Ain’t Got You” By Alicia Keys
This song is a great restatement to the talent and vocal range that Alicia Keys possesses.
It’s a reflection on the importance of love and the things that truly matter in life. Its catchy piano riff and soulful vocal delivery make it a perfect fit for a piano bar setting.
This tune was actually inspired by the loss of Aaliyah, a fellow musician. It’s considered a dedication to her and many other loved ones who are no longer with us.
So if you want to play or request a heartful tune with tons of emotion, this one is a great choice.
10. “Drops of Jupiter (Tell Me)” By Train
This fun-to-play piano song is sure to get the crowd singing along. It was released in 2001 and when 3x platinum in the US alone. Pat Monahan’s powerful vocals combined with the piano accompaniment make it a perfect choice for any piano bar performance.
The song was written soon after Pat Monahan’s mother passed away. He went to sleep, woke up, and minutes later had all the lyrics and melody figured out for the song.
Train certainly has a rich history of creating catchy and memorable songs and “Drops of Jupiter (Tell Me)” is no exception.
11. “Chariot” By Gavin DeGraw
Funny enough, the music video for this song seems to take place in a small piano bar where Gavin is playing before he gets scooped up by a female audience member.
Gavin DeGraw himself is a singer-songwriter and musician from South Fallsburg, New York. He first rose to fame with the release of his debut album “Chariot” in 2003.
This tune is a great addition to any piano bar song list, as it showcases impressive piano skills and emotive vocal delivery.
12. “Vienna” By Billy Joel
When you close your eyes and listen to Vienna you can’t help but picture yourself in a piano bar.
If you’re looking to play this song at your next gig you’ll need to come prepared with some warmed up vocals. Joel is a strong singer and the pace of the vocals in this tune moves particularly fast.
If you want to add a professional touch to your performance, focus on the vibrato and make sure you are singing with emotion. You may also want to practice the song with a metronome so you can keep the rhythm on point.
This tune will have your audience swaying back and forth with the melodies.
13. “Don’t Stop Believin'” By Journey
“Don’t Stop Believin'” is a classic rock anthem that’s guaranteed to get everyone singing along. The song’s iconic piano introduction sets the stage for a powerful and uplifting journey about the message of believing in yourself.
Everyone who has ever listened to the radio or watched even just a bit of TV will recognize this tune. It’s one of those songs that can turn any frown upside down.
Even if you’re younger, you’d probably recognize this song from the hit show Glee.
So, if you want the piano bar crowd to put their hands together and sing along, you’d better “Don’t stop believin’…hold on to that feeling!”
14. “Don’t Stop Me Now” By Queen
Freddie Mercury was one of the greatest frontmen of all time. Having the skill to play piano with proficiency, sing with incredible range and energy, and write timeless songs that people still listen to today, he was a true musical genius.
“Don’t Stop Me Now” is an upbeat, and energetic hit that is sure to get people on their feet and dancing.
If you have the stage presence and pure musical ability to pull this one off then go for it! Your audience certainly won’t be disappointed.
15. “All of Me” By John Legend
“All of Me” is an emotional ballad that showcases Legend’s powerful vocals and the stunning piano playing he’s known for.
The song is a love letter to his wife, Chrissy Teigen, and the lyrics express his love and commitment to her while the piano serves as the backbone of the song.
If the crowd is all amped up from a few upbeat, energetic tunes and it’s time to reel in the energy a bit then this song is a good one to do just that.
So, if you ever find yourself at a piano bar, be sure to request “All of Me” and let John Legend’s lyrics and piano-based instrumentation take you on an emotional journey of love and devotion.
16. “Fly Me To The Moon (In Other Words)” By Frank Sinatra
If you envision a piano bar being a place with slow jazz tunes playing in the background, cigars being smoked, and whiskey on the rocks being served, then pretty much any song by Frank Sinatra would be a good fit.
“Fly Me To The Moon (In Other Words)” is a jazzy number that is perfect for crooning at a piano bar. The piano portion of the song is a lively accompaniment and gives the tune a playful, sophisticated feel.
Fun fact: This song was originally written as “In Other Words” with different lyrics by Bart Howard in 1954. Sinatra later changed the title to “Fly Me To The Moon” and added his own iconic touch to the lyrics.
So, if you’re ever in a piano bar and you hear “Fly Me To The Moon” start playing, grab a seat and a drink, and let Frank Sinatra take you on a journey to the moon and back with this stellar piece. It’s a classic that never gets old.
17. “Your Song” By Elton John
If you’ve ever been to a piano bar and something by Elton John wasn’t played, then did you really go to a piano bar?
“Your Song” is one that will undoubtedly tug at your heartstrings. If you’re going to a piano bar on a date then consider requesting this one and dedicating it to the one you’re with. Immediate brownie points will be earned.
Elton John’s ability to convey emotions through his music is just one of the reasons why he’s such a beloved artist. He creates songs that people love to sing along to and can relate to the message of.
“Your Song” certainly fits the bill in that regard.
18. “I’d Do Anything For Love” By Meatloaf
The piano in this song’s intro sets the stage for the entire tune.
It starts out with a flurry of notes to eventually wind down to a melancholic outcry of “I would do anything for love”.
It’s a classic power ballad that tells the story of a man’s all-consuming love for a woman.
Released in 1993, this mega-hit reached #1 in a ton of weekly charts around the world including the US Billboard Hot 100.
Meatloaf, born Marvin Lee Aday, was a larger-than-life character known for his powerful voice and theatrical stage presence. So if you’re looking for a song that will get everyone’s attention at a piano bar, it’s definitely this one.
19. “Someone Like You” By Adele
Adele never seems to disappoint when it comes to her sad and emotional power ballads.
Everything from her piano instrumentation to her poignant lyrics, and emotionally charged vocal performance just seem to evoke a deep sense of emotion and connection with her fans.
As for why it makes for a good piano bar song, the song’s impassioned lyrics and the piano’s melody make a perfect match for a cozy and intimate setting like a piano bar.
This song was based on a broken relationship of Adele so there’s real meaning behind it. This might be exactly what someone at a piano bar needs to hear when they’re going through a heartbreak.
20. “Always On My Mind” By Willie Nelson
I don’t think Willie Nelson is what comes to mind for most people when they’re thinking of a piano song to play or request at a piano bar.
But wait! You may have never heard his song “Always On My Mind”.
This tune is mostly piano-based, played by the talented Bobby Emmons, and is an essential part of the track.
Willie Nelson’s instantly recognizable vocals and immaculate songwriting skills were hard at work when he covered this song (originally recorded by Brenda Lee).
So, if you want your piano bar patrons to have a good time, put on “Always On My Mind” by Willie Nelson and watch them sing along, sway, and enjoy the moment.
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21. “Total Eclipse of the Heart” By Bonnie Tyler
Let’s say you’re playing at a piano bar and you want to play a song that gets the crowd involved. This can be a great way to build rapport with the audience and get them excited to see you play again and again.
Well, “Total Eclipse of the Heart” is a great song for doing just that!
Explain to the crowd that you need their help to sing the “Turn around” section of the song. It repeats quite frequently and is an essential call-and-response portion of the track.
It’s the perfect choice for a piano bar thanks to it’s piano-heavy melody, crowd engaging potential, and of course, its timeless classic status.
22. “How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You)” By James Taylor
Although James Taylor is typically known for his great fingerpicking-based songs, this tune is more piano-heavy.
The upbeat and vibrant rhythm of the piano instrumentation serves as a fantastic accompaniment to Taylor’s soulful vocals.
In terms of popularity, the song reached #5 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and #1 on the Adult Contemporary chart in the United States. It’s one that most people have heard of before and is sure to put a smile on their faces.
23. “Doctor My Eyes” By Jackson Browne
Jackson Browne is a true icon of the music industry.
His soulful voice, feel-good tunes, and passionate lyrics have earned him a wide and devoted fan base.
“Doctor My Eyes” is yet another classic hit that’s perfect for any piano bar. If there have been a few slower-tempo songs played in succession, this is the perfect one to break up the pace.
24. “Don’t Stop” By Fleetwood Mac
Tapping your foot along to the beat of “Don’t Stop” is basically impossible to resist. The song has a catchy rhythm and a great beat that will get you and the bar crowd in the mood to dance.
What’s more, is that it’s also a pretty easy piano song. It doesn’t have too many chords, and the rhythm and melody are easy to follow. So if you aren’t the most experienced pianist at the piano bar, this is a great one to get under your belt.
Whether the bar crowd is full of die-hard Fleetwood Mac fans or some have never even heard the song before, they’ll all be enjoying it.
25. “Build Me Up Buttercup” By The Foundations
This classic pop hit from the late 1960s is still a crowd-pleaser today. The song’s upbeat tempo, catchy chorus, and uplifting lyrics make it the perfect song for any occasion really. That includes piano bars!
“Build Me Up Buttercup” was one of The Foundations’ biggest hits, reaching the top of the charts in several countries and becoming a timeless classic.
Get the bar crowd involved by having them clap and sing along to the beat of this timeless tune.
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26. “Against All Odds” By Phil Collins
A song by the once drummer-turned-lead vocalist for a piano bar song? Yes.
“Against All Odds (Take a Look at Me Now)” by Phil Collins is the ultimate piano bar anthem. This classic power ballad, originally released in 1984, features Collins’ stunning vocals accompanied by a driving piano melody.
You can hear the pure passion in Phil’s voice when he sings this song so be ready to bring your A-game for this one.
As for the piano part, it was actually played by New York musician Rob Mounsey and it’s truly a work of art.
27. “My Way” By Frank Sinatra
Back again with yet another Frank Sinatra song. How can you not have at least a few Sinatra tunes in your repertoire if you’re going to be playing or requesting tunes at a piano bar?
With its smooth melody throughout the entire song, “My Way” is sure to please any audience.
Fun fact: Originally written in French by Claude Francois and Jacques Revaux, this song was later adapted into English by Paul Anka. It’s a testament to the universality of the song’s message that it can resonate in multiple languages.
28. “Lean On Me” By Bill Withers
“Lean On Me” is sure to get an audience swaying along or maybe even shedding a tear or two.
The song’s simple yet powerful message of support and friendship makes it incredibly relatable no matter what setting you’re in.
The piano part in the song is a steady and soulful accompaniment that sets the perfect foundation for Withers’ emotive vocals. The song is also a great choice for karaoke night!
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29. “All Shook Up” By Elvis Presley
Listening to this song will take you back to the early golden days of rock ‘n’ roll. It was released as a single in 1957 and quickly became a hit.
It follows a pretty simple chord progression so if you want to add some theatrics to your performance you could easily add in some Elton John-style moves or even some bluesy fills and licks.
30. “What A Wonderful World” By Louis Armstrong
Featured in countless movies and recognized worldwide, “What A Wonderful World” is a popular song written by Bob Thiele and George David Weiss. It was first recorded by Louis Armstrong and released in 1967 as a single.
If there was ever one particularly notable piano bar song to highlight, this is certainly a contender.
Known for its lyrical optimism and its upbeat, jazzy musical arrangement you can’t help but feel at ease or peaceful when you close your eyes and listen to it.
31. “Autumn Leaves” By Nat King Cole
If you aren’t well-versed in Jazz music then you probably only recognized the name Nat King Cole thanks to his classic Christmas song renditions.
That being said, his song “Autumn Leaves” is one of his most acclaimed songs and it is highly regarded as a classic in the genre.
Most of the instrumentation in the original song is orchestral although playing the basic melody on piano adds a layer of personality and elegance that your audience is sure to enjoy.
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32. “Bad, Bad Leroy Brown” By Jim Croce
Bad, bad Leroy Brown, did you know he was the baddest man in the whole damn town?
The lyrics in this one are a bit out of left field but hey, they’re memorable! Referencing things like King Kong, and junkyard dogs, Leroy Brown is definitely one of a kind.
Regardless, it’s a fun song to request especially if the crowd is a younger audience who has never heard the song before.
33. “Beyond the Sea” By Bobby Darin
The walking bass line is what makes this song such a classic and helps drive it forward.
But even if you don’t have a bassist to accompany you at your piano bar gig, “Beyond the Sea” By Bobby Darin will still get your crowd moving and shaking.
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34. “Don’t Know Why” By Norah Jones
Mix together jazz, blues, a hint of pop and you’ll have the high-level recipe for a great Norah Jones song.
This tune is slow, sultry, and has a melancholic feel to it. Jones’ voice is smooth yet her ability to sing lyrics with utmost pitch-precision and emotion is really what makes this song shine.
As for the instrumentation, it’s spare yet effective. Great for creating a feeling of intimacy with your piano bar audience.
35. “Hit the Road Jack” By Ray Charles
“Hit the Road Jack” became one of Ray Charles’ biggest and most signature songs. Hitting #1 in the US and winning a Grammy award for Best Rhythm and Blues Recording it’s safe to say this song was well received by listeners worldwide.
And even today it will be well received by almost any crowd at a piano bar.
So whether you’re planning on learning it for your next performance or requesting it to the next pianist you see, “Hit the Road Jack” is sure to please.
There you have it! 35 of the best piano bar songs that you can either play or request the next time you’re at a piano bar.
There’s quite a variety of genres in this list which makes it great for helping people from all walks of life to build their ultimate piano bar playlist.
Whether you’re into old jazz, classic rock, or newer pop tunes, this list should have something for everyone.