The piano is an instrument that takes many years to master and true dedication to play properly. As a student of piano you will probably play a lot of different genres, but have you delved into the world of piano rock songs on your learning journey?
If you are having piano lessons or just starting out experimenting with piano then you’re in the right place. We’ve put together the best piano songs in the rock genre that will be easy enough for you to pick up with even the most basic of skills. Let’s get started and dive into the world of piano rock classics!
1. Sweet Home Alabama – Lynyrd Skynyrd
As a starting anthem, we have chosen Sweet Home Alabama for our piano rock songs list because of its simple three-chord progression. What makes it even easier is that there’s not too much hand movement as you move from chord to chord – your hand can pretty much stay in the same place throughout the measures. Become a master at playing this and you will have learned the art of smooth chord transitions which is a necessary skill for every budding pianist. If you master this quickly enough then you may want to take a look at the song Werewolves of London written by Warren Zevon. It uses pretty much the same melody as this Lynyrd Skynyrd classic with only a few alterations in the harmonies and overall instrumentation of the piece.
2. Rocket Man – Elton John
Elton John spanned so many genres with his music and he’s considered one a musical genius of his time. The melody and chords used in this rock song are easy enough. Where you’re going to meet a challenge is in the rhythm part. A great tip to learn the rhythm much more easily is to hum or count along to the notes as you practice the main melody. If you can do this you will get the rhythm down quickly and you should be able to master the song in no time.
3. November Rain – Guns ‘n Roses
What a lot of people don’t realize about this song is that the inspiration came from a story called Without You and Axl Rose actually made this to be a tribute to that story. If you are a fan of rock songs that come from the 90s then you may already be familiar with this one. Listening to it, it can seem overly complicated but it’s actually really simple. There are four chords used within the piece until you hit a key and tempo change. The chords here are F, A minor, D minor and C.
If you are having trouble with this song then it may help to break it down into sections. The first part of the song is where the heart of the piece comes from, whereas the second section is where the guitar riffs and real rock energy comes from. Because you aren’t playing the song on a guitar then you may want to skip the second part because you won’t get the same effect on your piano. There’s always a chance you may want to experiment with piano rock songs with a guitarist or other rock musicians to fill out your sound.
4. Let It Be – The Beatles
Many people would not think that the Beatles are considered to be a rock band. However, the definition of rock music is to change from the norm and create waves with your music. The Beatles did just this when they hit the scene and fan frenzies soon ensued. Because of their popularity and variety of music styles, it’s impossible that we wouldn’t include them in our list. Everyone knows this song and it’s beautiful in its simplicity. As a ballad, it follows a similar rhythm throughout and the melody is easy enough to pick up for a piano student.
The song was originally thought up by Paul McCartney who claimed to take inspiration from a dream. He described this dream to John Lennon and Let It Be is the rock song that resulted from their musical genius. You will need to use four piano chords which make up a progression of C major, G maor, A minor and F major. These chords make up the verse. At the end of the verse there is a slight change but it’s not so much that it should throw you off.
Similar to Hey Jude which was also by the Beatles, the chorus using the key of A minor. It has a G major, F major and C major chord progression which then goes on to repeat itself. For Hey Jude you can learn a different chord progression that has a similar rhythm. The chords for that one go F, Bb, A, G, F, E, C, F. Hey Jude also has that iconic na, na, na part which follows pretty much the same chord progression as the verses.
5. Don’t Stop Believin’ – Journey
This Journey classic got a revival when it appeared in the first season of Glee, encouraging more musicians to pick up their instruments and create their own covers of a great song. Because of the popularity of the song, you won’t have any trouble finding someone to sing along with this piano rock classic. The piano part is actually incredibly simple for a piano student to learn. The chord progression follows an E major, B major, C# minor, A minor pattern. These are all chords that you should be familiar with, even with the most basic foundation knowledge of the piano.
Where a beginner may get stuck with this piece is with how much work each hand does. This is a song where your left hand will be working just as hard as your right. If you’re not used to playing pieces like this then you will need to keep practicing to make sure every section of the song is played well. Learn the piece separately and then put them together. Make sure to learn the correct hand positions as well because this will make playing the melody and chords at the same time a whole lot easier.
Your hand span and finger flexibility will absolutely be put to the test, but this is something you will want to work on if you plan on being a great piano player. Finger and hand exercises can go a long way to improving your hand stretch as well as your finger flexibility if you feel they need some work.
6. Piano Man – Billy Joel
Another one like the Beatles is Billy Joel who you may not be considering as a rock artist. However, this is one of those songs that translates to a lot of different genres and it will become a firm favorite quickly because of how fun it is to play. What’s funny about this song is that so many people love to play it, but Billy Joel actually claimed it was his least favorite of all his pieces. The irony is that it will probably be the most known song from the artist for many years to come.
For the chord progression, you will go C major, G major, F major, C major, F major, C major, D major, G major. This pattern repeats for pretty much the whole song which makes it easy for beginners to pick up. The interlude is much more difficult and will help build on your playing skills. Practice the progression that goes A minor, D major, A minor, D major, G major, F major, C major and G major. Some of the G and D chords are seventh so keep an eye out for these.
7. Bohemian Rhapsody – Queen
Bohemian Rhapsody is a beast of a song to play on the piano and it features a lot of complex structures. To make it easier you can break them down into sections and then divide these sections into parts so that the song is more suitable for a beginner. If you want to you can choose just a small part of the song to play and master. Don’t feel overwhelmed by thinking you have to play the entire thing.
Freddie Mercury made this song so long because he wanted it to be an anthem. His sound technicians and various producers begged him to shorten it and chop it into different sections because of how disjointed the rhythm and melody changes seemed. The tempo and dynamics also change a lot but the artist stuck to his guns and outright refused to change his masterpiece. Staying true to your work is incredibly important for any musician and thank goodness Freddie did this. What resulted is a piece of art that is now known as one of the best and greatest pieces of music to ever be written.
8. Tears In Heaven – Eric Clapton
Tears In Heaven is a really sad song from the guitar legend that is Eric Clapton. Playing this piece for others on your piano will certainly bring a tear to the eye of even the most stoic of people. It’s a song that can be used in remembrance to reminisce on all of the great times you had with someone that you may have lost. Eric Clapton originally penned the song after his own tragedy where he lost his son.
For the intro to the song, you will need to follow a chord progression of A, E/G#, F# minor, A/E, D/F#, E7sus4, E7, A. Don’t be scared of the sustained notes and the sevens. They’re really easy once you know what they are. In the chorus you will have to add in a little bit more complexity with a chord pattern of A, E, F# minor, A/E. If you don’t want the sorrow that comes along with the song then go with Wonderful Tonight by the same artist which celebrates love.
9. Ramblin’ Man – Allman Brothers Band
To finish off our list of piano songs we’ll go back to a light-hearted and fun tune that is Ramblin’ Man. The format is easy enough for you to follow and the chords used are G#, F#, C# and F minor. These chords keep repeating themselves over and over again throughout the entire song. Once you know these chords, you can play the whole piece.
If you really want to excel at learning any of these songs on the piano, the key is practice. Being able to play and sing along at the same time is also another skill you will want to practice over and over again to master. Make sure you are playing your chords a lot. Playing any sort of instrument takes dedication, discipline and passion if you truly want to become an expert.
What is the easiest rock song to play on piano?
No rock song is easier than another to play on piano. All of the pieces we have included in our list are easy songs to play that come from the classic rock genre so you can learn a few of the simpler ones as a beginner pianist.
What are the easiest songs to play on piano?
There are a lot of easy songs to play on the piano. In this list we have featured classic rock songs but we have other articles you can look at on our site for other easy songs from different genres.
What is the easiest Elton John song to learn on piano?
Many people would cite Are You Ready For Love to be the easiest Elton song thanks to the repeating chords and simple rhythm.
What rock songs have piano?
Most rock songs will feature piano or at least a piano synthesizer in some way.