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20 Easy Piano Songs for Beginners

Posted on September 20, 2019

As a beginner piano player, you might get frustrated when you have trouble playing the songs you love or desperately want to learn your favorite tunes. However, you can play virtually any song if you begin with an easy version of it that is suitable for beginners. Take it step by step, be patient, and gradually increase the complexity of the song over time.

Using Yousician to learn your favorite piano songs is a great way to do this. You can choose the difficulty level and start with easy versions of the songs you love. To make learning simpler and easier, practice each hand independently and then try playing both hands together.

To better help you learn piano, we have selected some easy songs that are simple to learn, and most importantly, fun to play. Here are some tips for you to consider when looking for that perfect piano song.

Piano Basics

Before jumping into the easy songs you can learn on the piano as a beginner, let’s have a look at some tips and tricks for learning how to play the piano:

  1. The first step for all new pianists is to get familiar with the layout of the piano keyboard. Learn how the black and white keys are grouped on the keyboard.
  2. Don’t worry too much about theory and musical vocabulary at this point. Instead, focus on getting some experience on the keyboard and start practicing with one hand at a time.
  3. When you feel comfortable playing with both hands separately, it’s time to practice with both hands together. Try to keep each hand in the same position as when you were playing them separately.

After practicing these basic steps, you can move on to piano chords, scales, and different ranges of notes. You can also adjust the tempo and rhythm of your playing based on your skill level. Let’s go through these in the following sections!

Judge the difficulty level by looking at the notes

When trying to find simple songs for beginners, don’t jump headfirst into playing before first checking the notes. You can easily judge the difficulty of piano songs by looking at the notes and sheet music. If you’ve been making headway with your sight reading, look at the first few measures and see if you can make sense of the notes. If it looks like a foreign language to you and it’s not easy to follow, it’s probably too difficult. It’s okay to go down a level and try easier songs to start learning. If you can make out the first few notes and continue to the next measure without too much difficulty, then this is probably a good song for you to start with.

Look at the range of notes

When you’re starting on the piano, it’s difficult to move from one set of notes to another.  Easy piano songs keep your fingers within a five-note range. Once you’ve moved beyond a five-note range, either by going under with the thumb, or picking your hand up and moving it over five different notes, then you can manage a more complex tune.

Can you identify an octave and play it easily? For example, “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” starts with an octave jump. If you can read a broader range of notes, then piano songs for beginners might be too easy. If the song seems too easy, you may be able to handle the next level of difficulty. You can always choose the right difficulty when searching for songs in the Yousician app.

Assess the complexity of the rhythm

Look at the rhythm in the first four measures of the song you want to play. Easy piano songs mostly use quarter notes, half notes, and whole notes. Try clapping the rhythm a few times. If you know the song, use your memory to help you. If you can get the rhythm after one or two tries, you should be good to go and can learn how to play it yourself. The next step is to try playing the notes and incorporating the rhythm.

Key signatures and accidentals

Always check the key of the song. You can do this by looking for sharp or flat symbols next to the treble and bass clefs. This is called the key signature. Any sharp or flat symbols beside the bass or treble clefs apply throughout the whole song and push that note UP a half step (sharps) or DOWN a half step (flats).

If you need help with this, there are videos on Yousician that clearly explain key signatures and provide practice sessions and exercises. These resources are great when learning to play the piano. Watching videos is usually easier than reading theory.

Beginner piano songs tend not to use sharps and flats, but you might see a few. Apart from the key signature, keep an eye out for any sharp, flat, or natural symbols in front of any notes. These “accidentals” only apply to the measure they’re in. A natural sign cancels any sharp or flat on the note it’s in front of.

Playing Both Hands Together

As a beginner, you should begin practicing piano music by learning each hand separately. Easy piano songs sometimes have three-note chords for the left hand. These chords are worth practicing, as knowing how to play them is a great way to improve your piano skills.

You can begin learning your favorite song by using three-note chords with one hand. Once you can play them comfortably, you can break down the left-hand chords into individual notes.

Tempo and length of the piece

Remember that you can always adjust the tempo and length of the song with Yousician. If the song seems too easy, you can gradually increase the tempo. Don’t feel pressured to go too fast too soon or you won’t play with accuracy. There’s a setting in Yousician that will adjust your speed automatically, so you don’t even have to think about it.

As a beginner, try to find a simpler version of the song you want to play. Choose a song in the key of C, that is not too fast, and that doesn’t have big leaps between notes. Picking a song with a slower melody when you’re starting is a great move, as it will sound recognizable from the beginning.

Easy songs to play on the piano

For help choosing the right songs for your level, we have created a helpful list. Check out these 20 simple songs to start playing the piano:

1. Twinkle Twinkle Little Star

Twinkle Twinkle Little Star (Traditional)

Out of all the easy piano songs, this is always a favorite song to play if you’re an absolute beginner. Because of its simplicity, this piece is one of the best songs for all beginners.

2. Canon

Canon in C (Made famous by Johann Pachelbel)

Start with the right hand only as a beginner exercise. The rhythm is simple and there are no sharps or flats.

3. Skipping Stone

Skipping Stone (Made famous by The Yousicians)

Start with the left hand on this one. The song is in three-time, so it moves along a little bit faster. It’s nice and moody sounding, making it satisfying and fun to play even though it’s simple.

4. Californication

Californication (Made famous by Red Hot Chilli Peppers)

Do the right hand alone on this 90s rock classic. There’s no hand position change and no sharps or flats. Still, the rhythm gives you a good workout—especially when played at full speed. At first, you might need to start with about 60% speed before practicing this piece a little faster.

5. Ain’t No Sunshine

Ain’t No Sunshine (Made famous by Bill Withers)

This classic pop song is a great one to focus first on your left hand, then on the right.

5. Yellow

Yellow in C (Made famous by Coldplay)

This is a fun song. It has some 8th notes in it, but only a few, no hand position change and no sharps or flats. The right hand does most of the work but there are a few left-hand notes, so it’s a good one to get the feel of playing both hands simultaneously.

7. Yankee Doodle

Yankee Doodle (Traditional)

Hands alternate when playing this song, making it a great exercise in switching hands. There are no hand position changes and no sharps or flats.

8. Hold Back The River

Hold Back the River (Made famous by James Bay)

If you want to advance your rhythm reading, this piece is a great one. In the chorus, there are some faster notes with some tied notes to practice.

9. Midnight Train To Georgia

Midnight Train to Georgia (Made famous by Gladys Knight and the Pips)

This beloved classic is lovely to play (and sing along to) at the easy level. It uses five notes in each hand all the way through, has a simple rhythm and no sharps or flats.

10. Blue Danube

Blue Danube (Made Famous by Johann Strauss II)

This piano piece is a great one for two exercises: jumping notes and counting rests (beats with no notes played on them).

11. Molly Malone

Molly Malone (Traditional)

This song is another that uses both hands, but more right hand than left. There are a few small challenges in the rhythm in this song, which makes it a good stepping stone to the next level.

12. I’m Yours

I’m Yours (Made Famous by Jason Mraz)

Getting a bit more rhythmic now so there are more challenges in this song to practice. Some 8th notes and independence of hands are needed by the time you reach level 4.

13. La Valse D’Amalie

La Valse d’Amalie (Made famous by Yann Tiersen)

With this beautiful song, you will play broken chords in the left hand and a simple tune with the right hand.

14. Black Is The Color Of My True Love’s Hair

Black is the Color of my True Love’s Hair (Traditional)

This haunting melody is a delight to play. It has a simple left hand, but the right hand gets quite a workout, especially learning to jump over notes. This is an excellent and fun piano piece to practice playing a melody.

15. Take Me Out To The Ball Game

Take Me Out to the Ball Game (Traditional)

This song is especially fun if you’re a baseball fan! It has fairly equal work in each hand, no hand position changes and no sharps or flats. You might need to go a bit slower at first to learn the song.

16. Good Vibrations

Good Vibrations (Made famous by The Beach Boys)

This 60s rock and pop classic has a key signature of one flat (Bb) but also has some sharps and natural signs to cope with. In some parts of the song, the right hand plays two notes at once some of the time, which is another useful skill to practice.

17. Desire

Desire (Made famous by Years & Years)

This is a great song to practice playing with both hands. At first, each hand only plays one note. Later on, the right hand begins playing two notes at once, and finally three-note chords.

18. Andante

Andante (Made famous by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart)

Building on the last song, if you’ve got your three-note chords going well, have a go at Mozart’s “Andante” and get started with some classical music.

19. When The Party’s Over

When the Party’s Over (Made famous by Billie Ellish)

A step up in difficulty. This modern pop song has a hand change position in each hand and one flat in the key signature (so all the B’s are flat).

20. Someone Like You

Someone Like You (Made Famous by Adele)

If you’ve mastered some easier piano pieces, try this one! It’s in the key of A major, which means it has 3 sharps (F, C, and G). The hands also change positions.

Mastering multiple instruments with Yousician

Now that you have a bunch of great piano songs to practice, you’re ready to become a skilled pianist! If you’ve mastered some favorite beginner songs on the piano, you may want to continue your musical journey by learning other instruments. Besides piano, Yousician can also teach you guitar, bass, ukulele, and singing.

Get started with any instrument by downloading Yousician and following our easy lessons to improve your musical skills with real-time feedback from the app. Check out Yousician’s full library of piano songs and find your favorites!

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