The piano is a very popular instrument to learn and its versatility allows for a range of music to be played. From classical to rock, for beginners and professionals alike, there is nothing like sitting down at a beautiful piano or keyboard and belting out a recognizable tune that has everyone humming or singing along.
To inspire you for some of your next tunes to learn, we’ve put together a list of the best easy pop songs to learn on piano from across the decades that are easy to master. Let’s get started.
1. Yesterday – The Beatles
One of the most iconic songs of all time, Paul McCartney claims that the melody for ‘Yesterday‘came to him in a dream and he played it to many people before he believed that it was indeed original and not a buried memory.
He created placeholder lyrics to set to the tune until the actual lyrics were penned. Those lyrics were ‘Scrambled eggs. Oh, my baby how I love your legs. Not as much as I love scrambled eggs.’
A simple tune, beginning in G, moving to F sharp minor seventh, then B to E minor, and finally back to G. The tune is an Arpeggio pattern, meaning each chord is played one note at a time.
2. Can’t Help Falling in Love – Elvis Presley
Elvis’s most famous love song, ‘Can’t Help Falling in Love‘ is featured in the 1961 movie Blue Hawaii, starring Elvis himself.
Written by George Weiss, it is based on the song, ‘Plaisir D’Amour,’ written in 1784 by Jean-Paul Egide-Martini.
The left-hand chords complement the right-hand melody using inversions. For more information on chord inversions on the piano check out our article here.
The rhythmic left hand is embellished with the right-hand melody and the Arpeggios are in groups of six notes.
3. Don’t Stop Me Now – Queen
Recorded in 1979, Queen’s famous song ‘Don’t Stop Me Now‘ has gained iconic status and has been used in numerous TV adverts and shows.
You need quick fingers for this one. If you are not yet comfortable with the keys, use stickers to help you.
You can slow it down until you are more at ease, because, although it is an easy key, it has many chords.
Begin with all the chords in root position before moving on to the inversions, building in the nuances and energy as you become more comfortable.
4. A Thousand Miles – Vanessa Carlton
This magnificent piano earworm title ‘A Thousand Miles‘ is a staple for enthusiasts who enjoy piano pop.
Originally titled ‘Interlude‘, Vanessa Carlton’s debut was released in 2002. It is a simple melody, written in the key of B, but the speed can intimidate beginners.
Remember to start slowly until you master it. The left hand repeats the same three notes throughout (E, F#, and D#).
And the right-hand intro is a simple riff going back and forth between the B and the B octave, with a few notes based on the B major scale.
5. All of Me – John Legend
Next up, we have one of the most beautiful love songs of the 21st Century, John Legend dedicated his song ‘All of Me‘ to his then-fiancé (now wife), Chrissy Teigen in 2013.
Great for beginners, the first part needs only the right hand – the left hand only featuring slightly at the end.
Written in the key of A flat with an Allegro moderato tempo, there are lots of simple arrangements that you can learn no matter what your ability.
If you memorize this, you are well on your way. This song is a great introduction to jazz harmony and is the perfect melody to use to practice playing stride.
6. Perfect – Ed Sheeran
Another modern classic, Ed Shereen’s love song ‘Perfect‘ is one of the most requested first dance songs at weddings and oozes romance.
A simple song, written in G Major, that he wrote it for his future wife, Cherry Seaborn, has only four chords, although the order changes throughout the song.
The most challenging part is the left-hand pattern, using an arpeggio of all the left-hand chords. This will take practice when both hands are played together.
The right and left hands often share the same space, which might feel awkward, but it is a great skill to practice.
7. Piano Man – Billy Joel
In 1972, Billy Joel was a piano lounge singer and wrote ‘Piano Man‘ as a semi-autobiographical account of his experience.
But, back then, he played under a pseudonym, Bill Martin, due to issues with his record company.
Written in C Major, the piano solo is the star of the show in this iconic classic, and the right-hand carries the melody.
Starting with a descending diatonic bass that leads to an Arpeggiated piano melody. The left-hand takes on the accompaniment later.
To gain confidence, learn the right notes first before you attempt the left.
8. Imagine – John Lennon
The beautiful ballad ‘Imagine‘ confirmed John Lennon’s genius as a solo songwriter following the Beatles’ breakup one year before.
Inspired by poems that he wrote for Yoko Ono, he was later admitted that she had a hand in penning the lyrics.
It is one of the simplest pop songs to master, with the anchor notes played with the left hand on C and F two octaves below middle C.
The right-hand plays one below middle C. The slash chords and inversions will expand skills and the left hands descending scale can be isolated and practiced slowly.
The chord changes are quite quick, so they will need practice too.
9. Your Song – Elton John
Elton John wrote the melody of ‘Your Song‘ to the lyrics penned by Bernie Taupin, who was just 17 at the time. It was one of the first collaborations of this now-famous duo.
The key of Eb made ‘Your Song‘ stand out at the time. It is a comfortable key because two or three black keys accommodate the human hand well, allowing the thumb and 5th finger to work the white keys.
The chord inversion places the 5th finger or thumb on a white key. This acts as an anchor and the hand arpeggiates notes from the chord.
Be careful not to strike the black too early as all notes must sound at the same time.
10. Hallelujah – Leonard Cohen
‘Hallelujah‘ is one of the most covered songs in history and is often mistaken for a religious song. In fact, the biblical references in Cohen’s song lead are about his secularism.
A sad tale of love and loss, Cohen wrote the song as counsel to the broken-hearted.
The 12/8 time signature is a common gospel staple, which adds to the religious feel.
The arpeggiation creates a gentle rocking effect but surprises listeners with an unpredictable switch from major to minor and back again.
Played in C Major, separating the melody with one hand while playing the chords in the other is a great addition to your learning process.
11. Dancing Queen – ABBA
‘Dancing Queen‘ was co-written by Bjorn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson and was released in 1976. But, it was written the year before and was originally called ‘Boogaloo‘.
With this classic, you’ll learn to roll your hands from the high notes to the low.
The original key is A Major, but G Major is easier and the three main chords are built off the 1st, 4th, and 5th scale degrees.
The leading bass notes are all easy chords to play and the Andante moderato tempo is a manageable speed for beginners.
12. Titanium – David Guetta feat. Si
Although David Guetta gets top billing on this one, the phenomenal Australian songbird, Sia, steals the show.
‘Titanium‘, is an anthem peppered with production effects that keep it compelling and moving along.
Both hands work throughout, but the left-hand position stays the same for the verse, only moving during the chorus. The sustain pedal can be depressed at the beginning.
As you become more comfortable, you can release and depress the pedal just before a new series of notes.
The song is written in C minor and the quick Allegro tempo carries throughout.
13. Hello – Adele
Adele released ‘Hello‘ in 2015 and it is a beautiful piano ballad about regret and nostalgia.
This classic ode to someone has some nice harmonic motion worked in.
The intro states the chord structure that is heard through most of the song until you get to the chorus – two symmetric 8-bar sections.
The song is written in F minor and has a slow, rhythmic, Andantino tempo. The song is quite long, with many chord changes, but it is mostly the same four chords.
Summing Up Our List Of Easy Pop Piano Pieces
Pianists in pop can easily be overlooked because their instruments don’t always allow for stage theatrics.
This is a great way to highlight how the piano features in the pop world.
Although the songs vary in complexity, most of these songs have chords that can be committed to memory, and with practice, you will most definitely hold the floor when it comes to entertaining.