If you’re just venturing into the world of playing the piano, you might be wondering what the best easy piano songs are to get you started. Music is made up of pitch – the actual sound of the note – and rhythm – how fast or slowly you move from one note to the next. When you’re starting out on the piano, the easy piano songs are going to be the ones that don’t move around on the notes too much, and have a fairly simple rhythm.
Of course, playing the piano involves using two hands at the same time. However, if you’ve never played before, or not for long, it’s best to start with songs that you can play with one hand. When learning any song at any level, it’s always best to learn each hand separately before you start playing the song hands together.
Also, keep in mind that you need to use the most logical finger on each note and this can take a bit of experimentation and working out what works best for you. Once you’ve found the best finger for each note in order to get around easily, take care to use the exact same finger each time you play the notes and it’ll make it a lot easier.
1. Twinkle Twinkle
Twinkle Twinkle Little Star is always popular, especially with young students, but adults who are just starting out can benefit from learning this too. Start by putting your right thumb on the note C. All the notes you need will be under your fingers with the exception of the highest note, which is just one note above your little finger. Watch this video for a clear demonstration of how to play Twinkle Twinkle.
2. Happy Birthday
Happy Birthday is a very useful and easy piano song for beginners to learn to play. If you’re at a birthday party and there happens to be a piano or keyboard nearby, you can lead the singing and it might help people sing in tune! Like Twinkle Twinkle, put your right thumb on C and the first half of the song falls nicely under your fingers. However, there is an octave jump – from the C you start on up to the next C. If you play the higher C with your little finger, then the next set of notes are going to be right under your fingers. There is also one black note – a B flat. Have a few goes at it with the help of this tutorial.
3. Jingle Bells
The chorus of Jingle Bells is one of the best easy piano songs to learn as there are a lot of repeated notes and virtually everybody knows the tune. Knowing a tune always makes it easier to learn a song than playing one from music notes that you’ve never heard before. Although the verse is a bit more complex, it’s not too difficult. Have a look at this tutorial of Jingle Bells.
Once you’ve mastered a few songs with the right hand only, it’s time to take the next step and start learning how to use the left hand. All music is based in chords and so learning basic chords in the left hand is a logical step and a great tool for being able to play any song you like. One of the most beautiful and yet easy piano songs for beginners is Hallelujah by Leonard Cohen. In the following video you can start to learn how to play chords in the left hand while playing the melody of the song in the right hand.
Havana is such a lovely fun song! It has a slightly more complex tune in the right hand as well as that off-the-beat rhythm, which makes it more challenging. For the chorus, the left hand has a pattern that repeats over and over, so once you’ve got that going along, you’ve got it. There are a couple of chords in the right hand to begin with, then we get into the actual tune. This video gives you a really easy to follow tutorial about how to learn each hand and then put them together. So, although it’s not as easy as some songs, if you take it one step at a time, you might think it’s one of the easy piano songs to learn.
6. Prelude in C Major by Bach
Bach’s Prelude in C Major is one of the best easy piano songs to learn when you want to start playing some classical music on the piano. It’s a step up in difficulty from the other easy piano songs for beginners mentioned here because it moves around the keyboard more and needs two hands to sound right. This is because the tune is divided between the hands, but no two notes are played at the same time. In other words, you only ever play one note at a time, even though you are using two hands.
When you hear the piece, you don’t particularly notice that no two notes are played at once, and that’s because the notes in the left hand are held down while you play the notes in the right hand.
The other great thing about this song is that every pattern of notes happens twice. So once you’ve got the pattern in each measure and play through it, the next thing you’re going to do is repeat the same pattern.
If you’re reading the music for this easy piano song for beginners, you might be put off because it looks far more complex than it really is. Just take one note at a time and you’ll get there. Take advantage of the repeated patterns to look ahead to the next measure to figure out what comes next.
This video is the first part of a set of short videos that takes you through each hand and does the repetition with you. This is a very good way to learn it.
7. Fur Elise
If you’ve mastered Bach’s Prelude in C major, you may well be ready to tackle Beethoven’s, Fur Elise. One of the most famous piano pieces of all time, amazingly, it’s one of the best easy piano songs to learn once you are comfortable with playing with two hands.
Fur Elise involves a couple of black notes and some of the jumps between notes are further than those in Bach’s Prelude in C major, but if you’ve worked your way through these easy piano songs for beginners you should be ready for the challenge. The first section of Fur Elise is the best part of it for beginners. The second section is quite a big jump technically, so aim to play just the first section for a while. That’s the bit everybody knows anyway and your friends will be so impressed!