Do you want to impress people on piano but you only have basic skills?
It sounds like some beginner piano songs and pop songs on piano would be a great thing for you; you just need to make sure they can be learned.
This is why I keep this list of 25 easy piano songs that sound complicated but aren't and update it where possible.
According to this study by Peter Jutras, learning and playing piano gives people feelings of accomplishment and confidence. This can also apply to other instruments like the ukulele and trying to learn drums.
Learning some easy piano songs is a big help. Read on for my guide to these 25 simple piano songs.
What To Look For In Beginner Piano Songs
If you want to look for easy piano songs to impress without going over your skills, here are some helpful qualities to look for:
- Repetitive parts
- Simple chords progressions
- Arpeggios (broken up chords)
- Driving rhythms
- Not jumping around with your hands
- Songs that can be simplified
- Repeated left hand parts
- Single line right hand parts
All of the songs on this list have these elements to some degree.
25 Easy Piano Songs
In this section, we’ll dig into the simple piano songs which can actually impress. Some of the songs will include YouTube tutorials for help, and I’ll help you find the song that’s right for you.
Note: I’ll rate each beginner piano song with a “difficulty” and “impress” rating. Both are out of 10 points, but you want a low difficulty score and a high impress score.
There aren’t many beginner piano songs as iconic as Chopsticks. While there a quite a few people out there who know this song, it still can impress people who aren’t familiar with how to play it.
#2 Fur Elise - Beethoven
Along the same lines, Fur Elise by Beethoven, is iconic as a mark of the piano player. It’s one of the most recognized piano pieces ever written.
Fun fact: Beethoven wrote this piece to impress a girl.
#3 Heart And Soul - Hoagy Carmichael
We’re knocking these popular beginner piano songs out right off the bat. Heart and soul sounds fun, isn’t hard, and lets you play with someone else.
From a teaching perspective, this song can be helpful in teaching chord progression as the bottom part just rotates through the standard I-vi-IV-V progression.
#4 Swan Lake Theme - Tchaikovsky
Between the movie Black Swan and kids shows like Little Einsteins, Tchaikovsky’s lesser known but still popular ballet has been an easily recognized melody.
The title theme isn’t difficult to play at all, but it’s beautiful, flowing melody allows you to show off your emotional expressions while playing.
#5 Let It Be - Beatles
When it comes to pop songs on piano, Paul McCartney’s catchy intro to Let It Be is may require some practice, but once you’ve got the idea, it just rolls off the fingers.
Parents and kids alike have loved this song for over 50 years now for good reason. It’s meaningful message and simple but beautiful tune stick in your ear.
Few songs achieve instant classic status, but The Git Up is one of those. The melody is so simple and repetitive it ends up extremely catchy.
As a pop song on piano, everything repeats, so once you learn it, you have the entire song down.
When I learned this song, I used a tutorial and then practiced it along with Solfeg.io’s songbook. I could control the speed and loop the tricky parts as I practiced.
#7 Lean On Me - Bill Withers
Bill Withers anthem for support is another crowd pleaser. Almost everyone knows at least chorus of the song and can recognize the song instantly from the first 5 chords.
Listening to the actual piano with the original recording, you may think I’m crazy to call this easy. But you can just play the basic chords and rhythms and get the same effect.
Then again, if you’re a little more advanced, you can start to throw in some of the licks between chord changes.
#8 Clocks - Coldplay
Listening to the intro of Clocks by Coldplay, you may think this song is completely impossible for the new piano player. But, in reality, the pattern is actually very repetitive.
Slowing it down and gradually working your way back to the faster tempo (speed), this song will only take you a couple of hours at most to learn. It may take longer to get it up to full speed, but you can take it a little slower and impress people.
#9 All My Life - KC & Jojo
This classic pop song for piano is similar to Clocks. All my life sounds extra complicated, but once you’re past the introduction, you can just play the chords and sound great.
#10 Let It Go - Frozen
While it may seem to have fallen out of favor with kids, don’t let what they tell you fool you. I’ve rarely played this song where kids won’t sing along and be engaged.
Let It Go is one of those that’s just going to stick around, and the piano part is iconic. The chords are simple, but you can always challenge yourself with some of the voicings.
The Solfeg.io songbook can help you practice too.
Impress: 9/10 (in reality) but kids will sometimes pretend it’s a 6/10
#11 What A Wonderful World - Louis Armstrong
What A Wonderful World has stood for decades now as one of the greatest songs ever written. It’s also one of those simple piano songs that can grow with your ability.
The chords are interesting but standard. You can find many tutorials online that show different ways to play them.
Even if you play the basic chords, it will still sound good. Then, as you get better, you can add more intricate parts to sound even better.
#12 Prelude To The Well-Tempered Clavier - J.S. Bach
Looking back in the classical music world, J.S. Bach wrote this Prelude as a beginner piano song. This Prelude takes a super simple chord progression and breaks it up.
Although he intended it as a practice tool for arpeggiation (playing chords note by note), it still sounds simply beautiful. The way he moves the chords and breaks them down sounds way more complicated than it actually is.
#13 Prelude in E min, Opus 28, No 4 - Chopin
Similar to Bach’s Prelude, Chopin’s Prelude uses some beautiful chords over a simple melody. While not as easy as Bach’s, it’s still completely attainable with a little practice.
It also offers the chance to show off your emotional side and make the piece sound like more than it is.
#14 To A Wild Rose - Edward MacDowell
The classic tune, To A Wild Rose, moves around the hands a bit more making it a great beginner piano song for those moving on to more complicated material. But the song is recognized by most people.
The classic Elvis song, Can’t Help Falling In Love, is sure to be a crowd pleaser. It also offers some interesting chord progression and gives students good practice on arpeggios for the chords.
This in Solfeg.io’s songbook. I really appreciate practicing along with this one to help me keep track of the chord changes.
#16 The Entertainer - Scott Joplin
It’s not just pop songs we can do this with. Like Marry You, Scott Joplin’s The Entertainer is one of those tunes you can adjust to meet your ability.
As one of the most iconic piano pieces ever written, The Entertainer has many many arrangements for all sorts of ability levels; just find the one that works for you.
Difficulty: Anywhere from 2 to 6 depending on the arrangement
#17 Canon in D - Pachelbel
As far as beautiful songs go, Pachelbel’s Canon in D is one of the most respected. Learning to play it on piano may be a small challenge, but it’s quite impressive.
The left hand plays the same repeating part for almost the entire piece, so it’s actually not hard to master. Then, you can learn as much of the right hand part as you want.
For teachers, this song is great for getting the left hand independent of the right as it does move on its own, but it keeps repeating.
#18 Ave Maria - Schubert
Schubert’s Ave Maria is legendary in the music world. You may not recognize the name, but when you hear it, you’ll know it instantly.
For the piano, it sounds a lot more complicated than it is. The chord arpeggios are actually very formulaic with a stunning right hand melody floating over them.
#19 Yesterday - Beatles
Another song by the Beatles (and I only allow myself 2!), Yesterday is another simple piano song that sounds a lot trickier than it actual is. Though it was originally written for guitar, it translates well to piano.
From a teaching point of view, the chords are broken up in ways that allow for great practice of the chords and progressions (almost like Bach’s Prelude below).
With Halloween just finished, I was surprised at how many people know and love the Addam’s Family theme song. The opening piano lick is instantly catchy and makes people young and old snap their fingers in response.
Whether you’re just paying the chords or all the intricate parts, this song is just fun. On top of this, Solfeg.io has it in its songbook to help you practice.
#21 All That Jazz - Chicago
You may not be instantly familiar with All That Jazz, but the catchy piano part with stick in your ear. If you manage to move beyond the simple piano accompaniment to add some filler parts, your audience will be floored.
#22 All Of Me - John Legend
John Legend’s love song to his wife, All of Me, is a great song with a driving syncopated rhythm. The chord progression is also interesting as it moves beyond the standard chord form.
But while the chord progression may be different, it’s not far out of the normal realm. Even better, the voicing of the chords means you only have to slightly adjust your fingers in either hand to reach the next chord.
#23 Marry You - Bruno Mars
Pop songs on piano have an unusual place in a piano player’s repertoire. On the one hand, some patterns are quite tricky, but on the other, the chords will often be simple.
Marry You by Bruno Mars is the same. You can get away with some basic chord ideas and sound impressive, but then challenge yourself later on with more of the tricks involved with the song.
Difficulty: 2/10 (if simple) 5/10 (if full version)
#24 My Heart Will Go On - Titanic
This Grammy award-winning simple piano song from the movie Titanic is sure to catch the ears of anyone who hears it. Students may not recognize it instantly, but parent sure will.
The chords and voicing isn’t hard at all compared to the pay off.
This pop song on piano is a killer favorite for students. Stitches isn’t hard to play with the right tools, and Solfeg.io can help.
I hope you found this list of 25 easy piano songs that sound complicated but aren’t helpful. It may seem like a pipe dream, but with some good song selection and helpful tools like Solfeg.io, anything is possible.
Solfeg.io can help you play along with high-quality covers of the songs while changing the speed or looping difficult parts. It’s the musician’s ultimate practice tool.
Written by Zach VanderGraaff