One of the great things about the piano is it’s an extremely versatile instrument. It not only has the ability to play very complicated music (queue basically anything from Rachmaninoff), but it can also play very simple music that sounds incredibly beautiful!
And for those who are just learning how to play the piano, its ability to produce simple, yet satisfying music is crucial. Playing simple songs is what keeps budding pianists excited about learning and it keeps them moving forward on their piano journey – getting a taste of the beauty that the instrument has to offer without first needing to clock hours and hours of practice before being able to play anything musical.
The key to learning how to play piano for beginners is to play easy songs early in the piano-learning experience. This allows players to not only get introduced to the piano as a tool, but also as a gateway to the feeling of joy that comes with playing songs.
What Makes a Song “Easy” to Play on Piano?
In the world of the piano, “easy” songs tend to have some common traits: a slow tempo, they’re arranged in an easy key (like C Major), they don’t have too many rhythmic changes, and they don’t require your hands to move across the keyboard much. With those qualities in mind, here are 10 easy songs to play on the piano that you’re sure to enjoy.
10 Best Easy Piano Songs
1. “Lean On Me” By Bill Withers
First on our list is a heart-warming classic from Bill Withers that has become a staple for piano players of all skill levels, “Lean On Me”. This song’s popularity among pianists is in part because it’s very simple to play! Written in the key of C, most of the song’s melody is played in a simple 5-finger position with the right hand, which allows your hand to generally stay in one place on the keyboard while playing a significant portion of the song. Whether accompanied by chords in the left hand, or a single-note bassline – this song is sure to sound great and is easy to play.
2. “In the End” By Linkin Park
You probably wouldn’t expect a rock band like Linkin Park to have a song featured on an “Easy Songs To Play On Piano” list, but “In The End” is actually a perfect example of how a simple piano melody has the power to drive a song. While guitars, drums, and bass are still very present in this song, the piano has a smaller role while being the most impactful, playing literally just 4 notes that are looped through different parts of the song, but boy do those 4 notes give a life to the song in a way that only the piano can.
3. “Time (Inception)” By Hans Zimmer
Films are notorious for featuring beautiful melodies played on the piano (“The Feather Theme” from Forrest Gump, “Mia & Sebastian’s Theme” from La La Land, etc.), and there’s one film score that perhaps epitomizes “easy piano”, and that’s Han Zimmer’s “Time”, from the Inception Motion Picture Soundtrack. The foundation of this song is essentially a slow, simple piano melody that loops through the entire piece of music while the supporting instruments build below it, creating a dramatic and seemingly new version of the loop with every repeated phrase – it’s a simple thing of beauty!
4. “I Won’t Give Up” By Jason Mraz
Jason Mraz is known for delivering fun and upbeat songs, but there’s one song of his in particular that veers from his normal jovial style and instead carries a slow and serious (yet positive – I mean, it’s still Jazon Mraz after all) tone – and that’s “I Won’t Give Up”. And it’s thanks, in part, to the serious nature of the song that it’s a perfectly easy song to play on piano. The song is in a key one wouldn’t expect to qualify as “easy” (E Major) but the melody lives primarily in a 4-note hand position, making it super easy to play, and the supporting harmonies repeat throughout the song, adding to the simplicity of it.
5. “Can’t Help Falling In Love” By Elvis
Arguably the official muse of countless rom-coms, Elvis’ love ballad, “Can’t Help Falling In Love”, is not only a song that’s easy on the ears, but it’s also easy on the keys. Performed in the key of D Major, this song’s slow melody and repetitive structure make it a simple song to play on the piano.
6. “Ode to Joy” By Beethoven
One of the most recognizable classical pieces of all time, Beethoven’s “Ode To Joy” is also easy to play on the piano. It features a straightforward and predictable melody that not only fits in your hand nicely, but it’s also a lot of fun to play.
7. “Say Something” By A Great Big World
“Say Something” by A Great Big World is a great example of the how a song doesn’t need much activity from the piano to create something that sounds amazing. Through almost the entirety of the song, the piano plays steady block chords on each beat, all while a longing melody floats above it, creating a beautiful sonic relationship that treads between melancholy and hope. Whether opting to play the chords with your left hand and melody with your right, or the chords with both hands while singing the melody, this song is a great big easy song.
8. “Chariots of Fire” By Vangelis
“Chariots of Fire” by Vangelis is a timeless song, driven by a simple and energetic piano melody. It’s yet another great example of how the piano can play something simple yet beautiful. A bonus of playing this song is instantly obtaining a deep feeling of inspiration – perhaps enough to run a marathon after practicing.
9. “Hero” By Enrique Iglesias
Enrique Iglesias’ smash hit, “Hero”, dominated the radio airways when it was released in 2001. As is often found in pop songs, a “less is more”, and “simplicity wins” approach is present. Those are two characteristics that make this song a great candidate for any looking to play something easy on the piano. Written in the key of G Major means that this song only has 1 black key, and its slow ballad-like style make it a lot of fun to play. Enrique’s simple melodic line is the key to making this song easy as it allows for players to easily focus on the content of each hand.
10. “My Way” By Frank Sinatra
Last but certainly not least, we round out this list of simple piano songs with a classic from none other than Mr. Frank Sinatra, “My Way”. One of Sinatra’s career-defining songs, “My Way” embodies many of the characteristics seen in other easy piano songs; it features a slow tempo, it’s in a simple key (D Major), and its melody is one that allows for it to be played in a relaxed manner. This is a great “easy piano” option!
Going Beyond Easy Songs
The piano is an instrument unlike any other. Aside from its ability to easily inject various dynamics into songs, the linear layout of its keys allows for players to easily transcribe music to the instrument – producing a full and satisfying musical experience. It’s no wonder why so many people gravitate to the piano, and that’s why having simple songs, readily available for new pianists, is valuable.
This is a list of 10 easy songs, but there are many more songs out there that you’ll encounter – songs with simple melodies, written in easy keys like C Major or G Major, with simple rhythmic patterns, and that don’t require much movement across the keyboard to capture the essence of the music.
These easy songs, along with many others, are perfect for new pianists, and they’re all featured in Playground Sessions, which was rated the best piano lessons online by MusicianTuts.