If you are just starting on the piano, then you will know that you have a long journey ahead of you. And it is going to be frustrating, and there will be times when you might want to give it all up. We all feel like that at times about whatever instrument we play. However, there is a simple solution that helps some people, and it certainly helped me.
Have Some Fun
That is one way to relieve the stress of it all. Pick some Easy Rock Songs To Play On The Piano. And then take some time to learn them. Don’t simply copy a video or a lesson. Try to work out the chords yourself. And if you get stuck, then you can enlist some online help.
I think I learned more about music and chords from doing that than in any other way. Choose some songs you know that you or family members or friends can sing along to. That always helps.
Good Technique is Vital
So just because you’re having some fun, don’t forget the basics. Make sure you are using both hands and selecting the correct fingers to create the chord shapes. Concentrate on timing as well.
What is a Rock Song?
A loose term indeed that covers many genres. You will notice in this list that I have excluded a few of the piano rock n roll greats. No Jerry Lee, no Little Richard, no Fats Domino. They are probably a bit too complex, especially for the left hand.
And standing on top of the piano and jumping up and down is not so good at home. But there are plenty here to give you some thought on how to play them.
Mozart and Beethoven, and a few others shifted the musical planet. There has been nothing like them before or after. But in later years, there have been some that made sure that the piano stayed in the front-line of music. Let’s look at a few.
1 – Let it Be – Lennon / McCartney
Key: C major
Some might insist The Beatles weren’t a rock band. But then they woke up. Probably the first “rock” band as we know them, they were and still are unique.
This was the title track from the last released album. Although it wasn’t the last album that they recorded. Easy to play with some nice chord patterns that are relatively simple to construct. A good place to start.
2 – Rocket Man – Elton John / Bernie Taupin
I have included this for a couple of reasons. It was a period in time when Elton John was becoming a world-class act. Supported, of course, by Bernie. But the real reason I have included this is for musical reasons. This one is going to make you think.
It is written in Bb, but the C chord is not naturally in Bb. Neither is the C and the Gm pattern. These can make you think that you might be in the dominant of Bb, which is F. However, the Eb included in the fifth bar takes us to the home Bb key.
Not only a great song to play on the piano but a little bit of a learning curve as well. You will need to give the tempo and rhythm a little bit of concentration to make sure the feel is right.
3 – Hey Jude – Lennon / McCartney
Key: F major
Back to the Beatles again for one of their anthems. This is included because it has a nice steady tempo that revolves around some very basic chord structures. What carries this on the piano is the constant rhythm and changes.
There are also some nice C7 suspended 4th chords, without giving too much away. The final repetitive ending does allow a little bit of lack of restraint if you want to put it that way. You can have a good time with this one.
4 – Piano man – Billy Joel
Key: C major
You can’t put together some of the best classic rock songs on piano without including Billy Joel. A great pianist and a songwriter supreme. This is not one of his personal favorites. However, it has so many good things to think about and play; it is a must for inclusion.
Other than the opening, which is an opportunity for you to create something yourself, it is quite basic. A great progression of chords with a falling bass line played with the left hand offers some great practice routines. A nice steady tempo allows even a beginner to get to grips with this straight away. Play this at a gathering, and someone will buy you a beer.
5 – Daniel – Elton John / Bernie Taupin
Key: C Major
From his album “Don’t Shoot Me I’m Only the Piano Player,” released in 1973, Daniel is another classic Elton John and Bernie Taupin collaboration. There are some nice chord progressions, and it is played at an easy pace.
Once you have learned the chord structures, there are plenty of opportunities to add some personal creativity to the mix. Elton also adds some nice piano links, which are good to learn and maybe use at a later date.
6 – The Sound of Silence – Paul Simon
Key: Various but G or D major works quite well.
Maybe a strange choice for a piano as it is such a recognizable guitar song. But a piano arrangement can be just as effective. Paul Simon’s masterpiece has had many interpretations regarding the lyrics. He cleverly concealed the real meaning behind it, inside the words.
A flop on its first release, the second time around, it did well and is now one of the great Simon songs. The piano can be used to add a different type of emotion to the music. And it allows experimentation with left-hand variances, not just root bass notes if you choose.
7 – You Are the Sunshine of My Life – Stevie Wonder
Key: Original D
Another great exponent of piano and keyboard, this is one of his classic songs. Definitely, one of the best piano songs to learn and play with family friends. The slight changes in rhythm add some interest. And there are some great 6ths, 7ths and 9ths added, which you will have fun finding.
From his album “Talking Book,” it is a love song written to his then-wife, Syreeta. It’s one of those songs that just stays with you. Despite its use of a lot of minor chords, it still retains its happy feel.
8 – Candle in the Wind – Elton John / Bernie Taupin
Key: Original E major
Back to Reggie and Bernie once more. This has been included because of his style of playing. Elton uses the piano in a staccato fashion in the verses. He emphasizes the power of the lyrics with his accents and linking of the chords as they change. A good technique to learn if you have dreams of becoming a solo artist.
The chorus is more traditional in the way he plays it. I have also included this song because it can be learned in its entirety. The left hand can take the chord patterns while the melody exists only on the right-hand side. This is the only song I have included here that will allow you to do that with reasonable ease.
9 – The Man with the Child in his Eyes – Kate Bush
Key: Original Em
This was Kate’s second single after “Wuthering Heights,” though it was the first song she recorded. An unbelievable talent, she taught herself piano at 11 and wrote this at 13. Dave Gilmour recognized her abilities and launched her on the road to success paying himself for the early recording sessions.
An interesting song to learn, her use of minor phrases mixed in with major chords creates an almost eerie feel. As does her whole step drops with the bass line from the chord being played.
A comfortable tempo and plenty of opportunities to see how the structured approach to writing is essential. No doubt one of the best easy rock songs to play on the piano.
10 – She’s Always a Woman – Billy Joel
Key: Original Eb
Back To Billy Joel one last time. I must confess this was always one of his favorites for me. This is a very typical “piano man” song. He starts off just emphasizing the chord structure with single strikes. Into the second verse, and his style changes. A great song to demonstrate how changing and pattern style can affect the mood of the song.
If you want to learn how to accompany yourself on piano, then this is one of the masters at work.
11 – Imagine – John Lennon
Key: C Major
Don’t need to say too much about the final choice. Possible the greatest piano song ever written. Simple enough chord structure and style, but it will teach you a little about the emphasis of a simple rhythmic chord structure. Sometimes you don’t need any more than that.
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And don’t miss our handy guides on 15 Piano Pop Songs Everyone Will Love, 10 First & Easiest Songs You Should Learn on Piano, Easy Christmas Songs For The Piano, and How to Become a Better Piano Player for more useful information.
Easy Rock Songs To Play On The Piano – Final Thoughts
Eleven songs and all of them, besides being great songs, have something to teach you. But the most important thing is that they’re not the end of the road, but the start. They are here to have some fun with. And maybe learn a bit as you play them.
If you are learning the piano and are still quite new to it, then you will need to learn a little about chords and structures. Piano Scales, Chords & Arpeggios Lessons with Elements of Basic Music Theory may help. And to take things further, there’s Discovering Rock Piano.
We didn’t include anything by Jerry Lee, Little Richard, or Fats Domino. Mainly because that is a special art you need to grow into. However, if that is what you want to play, have a look at Rock’N’Roll Piano – The Complete Guide with Audio.
Until next time, let your music play.