Top 5 Best Pop Songs for Adults Beginners (ish) to Learn on the Piano
As a piano teacher, I constantly strive to find songs that my pupils like and at the right level for their ability. Learning a song that is too hard frequently leads to the pupil becoming frustrated and them ultimately giving up on the song.
I decided to create this post as a guide for the best pop songs for adult beginners to learn. I don't mean complete beginners when I say beginners. You need to know how to read the notes in the treble and bass clef to perform the songs I'm about to recommend, but I've been looking for arrangements with easy melody lines and basic rhythms.
1) John Legend - All of Me
This was a massive hit back in 2013 and has one of the most popular piano riffs of the last decade. I wrote this arrangement myself because for beginners, many of the "easy" versions out there were actually quite difficult. I to write a version that could be played by people earlier than Grade 1 level. I arranged it with single notes in each hand to make it simpler to execute and in the key of C Major (using only F sharp accidentals), so you don't have to deal with the original's tricky key signature with lots of black notes.
Get the sheet music here: John Legend - All of Me - Super Easy Piano Version
Or if you're looking for a slightly more complicated version check out the Music Notes version: John Legend - All of Me - Sheet Music (Easy Piano)
2) Hallelujah - Leonard Cohen
This one is a little older, but perhaps more famous if you're not a millennial. It's one of those songs you can picture in a smoky bar walking up to a piano (yes, I'm old enough to remember going into smokey bars before it was banned) and tinkling away, capturing everyone's attention.
This song has been covered many times, perhaps most famously by Jeff Buckley. It's even in the Shrek movie! I have chosen this in my top 5 because it's a song that most people like and a lot of my own adult pupils often request it. Again I have chosen this arrangement in the key of C Major to make it easier to follow.
This one is slightly more complicated rhythmically than the previous two tracks, because the right hand melody contains a lot of quavers (eighth notes), some being tied. If you focus on the right hand first, and practise it until you can play it with ease before incorporating the left hand you should be alright.
Get the sheet music here: Hallelujah by Leonard Cohen - Sheet Music (Easy Piano)
3) Downton Abbey (theme) - Easy Piano Version
If you've seen the TV series Downton Abbey then this is a perfect piece to learn if you are a beginner on the piano. This popular theme tune works really well on the piano.
There are a few different arrangements of this tune out there, but all of them have an advanced left hand. I have arranged this version so that the left hand is super simple, mainly using just two chords, A minor and F major. Because of this you can just focus on the right hand melody which also has a nice simple rhythm which is mostly dotted crotchets (quarter notes).
Listen to me playing it in the first couple of minutes of this video tutorial I created (although forgive the dodgy production on the video it was actually one of the first videos I ever made on Youtube - things have improved since then.)
To get the sheet music for the Downton Abbey theme tune on piano click here:
4) Let it Be - The Beatles
I love this song, and more recently it was introduced to a younger audience with the release of the movie Yesterday, directed by Danny Boyle and written by Richard Curtis. There are some chord inversions in the treble clef in the right hand that might look a bit intimidating for some, so you could just play the chords C Major, G Major and A Minor for the first three if you're finding it difficult to remember the chord shapes.
The rest of this arrangement is mainly using single notes and basic rhythms, so if you decide to give this one a go, hope you enjoy learning it.
Check out the sheet music here: Let it Be by The Beatles - Sheet Music (Easy Piano)
5) Your Song - Elton John
And finally I have chosen Your Song by Elton John. Again an instantly recognisable piano intro and another song that's been covered many times, including in the film Moulin Rouge sung by Ewan McGregor. Ellie Goulding did a good job of bringing it to a younger audience (almost ten years ago now, wow), but I have must admit that I prefer Elton's version the most. You can't beat a singer song writer twinkling away on the ivories whilst singing can you?
There is a B flat in the key signature in this arrangement so be careful with that. There are also a few ties in the treble clef throughout the song, but I think you'll be fine if you carefully go over it first.
Have a look at the sheet music here: Your Song by Elton John - Sheet Music (Easy Piano).
That's it. I hope you enjoyed my top 5 songs to learn on the piano for adult beginners. I spent a long time looking at "easy" versions of songs and many of them were more like Grade 2-4 standard, so I've saved you some time and that you've found this article useful.
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Thanks for reading. Keep practising.
Founder - Birds Piano Academy