When people first learn how to play the piano, they’re typically prepared to play songs like “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” or “Jingle Bells.” But just because you’re a piano newbie doesn’t mean you only have to play slower paced children’s songs! In fact, there are a ton of popular songs out there that can be easily played on the piano if you’re looking to switch it up from the usual. And maybe one of your favourite songs will even be listed!
“Don’t Stop Me Now” by Queen
If you put on a song by Queen, chances are most people will recognize at least a few of their 53 top 40 singles. And while many of their songs wouldn’t have been hits without Freddie Mercury’s iconic voice or Brian May’s guitar riffs, so many of Queen’s songs are built around the piano. In fact, when Freddie got behind the piano during a Queen concert, you knew that you were about to hear one of their iconic tunes–one of which being “Don’t Stop Me Now.”
“Don’t Stop Me Now” was featured on their 1978 album Jazz but was released as a single in 1979. At the time of its release, the song didn’t chart as expected however, throughout time “Don’t Stop Me Now” has risen to iconic status and is a universally known song across the globe. At the start of the song, you hear Freddie’s vocals layered over a slow-paced piano tune that increasingly picks as the song goes on. The song is played in F major and is a great piece to play if you’re looking to span different octaves. While this is a relatively easy song to play, it is quick so it’s great practice for speeding up those fingers!
“Piano Man” by Billy Joel
We couldn’t have a piano song list without “Piano Man” by Billy Joel! The song was released in 1973 and recounts Billy’s experiences as a piano player at a bar in Los Angeles during the early 70’s. The song is 5x platinum in the US and is known by many people as one of the greatest songs ever made. But how hard is it to play “Piano Man” on the actual piano?
Well, it’s much easier than you may realize! The very beginning of the song starts with a fast and wicked riff so when you’re first learning to play the piano, it may be best to skip this. But as the song progresses, it becomes much easier to play. “Piano Man” is written in C Major and once you’ve gotten the first few lines down, you’ve pretty much got the whole song! Just remember to take things slow and work in small sections–Billy Joel is noted as one of the best piano players of all-time after all!
“Dancing Queen” by ABBA
Once you learn how to play “Dancing Queen”, your friends and family will never want to hear anything else! This song is one of the most popular and easily recognizable songs to come out of the mid-70’s and it’s easy to understand why! “Dancing Queen” was released in 1975 by Swedish group ABBA who is known for their catchy, upbeat tunes. While the song was popular upon its release, it got a resurgence in 2008 with the release of the movie Mamma Mia! Today, it’s wildly popular among all age groups alike, particularly because of its use on social media apps like TikTok.
“Dancing Queen” is simple to play. It does use the higher range of the piano and while this can be tricky to grasp at first, it’ll help you learn how to transition your hands from high to low notes with ease. The song is written in A Major but can also be played in G to make it easier.
“Billie Jean” by Michael Jackson
Speaking of pop music, did you know that some of the King of Pop’s songs are quite simple to play on the piano?! And “Billie Jean” is one of those songs! “Billie Jean” was released in 1983 as part of Michael Jackson’s sixth album Thriller. What’s interesting about the song is that it seamlessly blends multiple genres (funk, dance-pop, and post-disco) into one hit song. “Billie Jean” has sold over 10 million copies worldwide and is certified 6x platinum. But its popularity isn’t the only reason it made it to this list, it’s actually quite easy to play.
The reason “Billie Jean” is simple to play is because it only requires a few chords. If you know E Major, A Major, C, and Dm you’ve got this song down! This tune does require some dexterity in the left hand but with a little practice, you’ll have it perfected in no time.
“Marry Me” by Bruno Mars
Bruno Mars is regarded as one of the best musicians of the 21st century and is even one of the top selling artists of all time with over 130 millions records sold worldwide! While you may connect Bruno to some of his dance-friendly hits like “Uptown Funk or “24K Magic”, one of his earlier tunes “Marry You” is the simplest to play on the piano. “Marry You” was released in 2010 just as Bruno was rising to fame following his collaboration with rapper, B.o.B. Many people look at “Marry You” as a 2010 version of a 60’s love song and we can understand why!
“Marry You” only consists of three chords (F, G Major, and B flat) and the song is played in the key of F Major. The song starts off pretty slow and then picks up as it reaches the chorus but is still overall a great pace for beginner piano players.
Piano Lessons in Toronto
Looking to learn your favourite song on the piano? We’d love to teach you here at Greater Toronto Music School! All of our lessons are customizable to your needs and schedule as we offer both virtual and in-person private lessons. Our instructors are some of the best in the business and would love to help you learn how to play some of your favourite tunes on the piano. Give us a call today to get started with piano lessons in Toronto.