Chart piano music

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What Is A Chord Chart Or Lead Sheet

Many people learn start out learning to play the piano by learning to read notation on the staff.

This is definitely a smart approach to learning the piano, but unfortunately, many methods never expose pianists to another way of learning to read music – reading chord charts and lead sheets.

Reading chord charts is an entirely different skill than reading music notation. 

While learning to read music is definitely an important skill at the piano, it’s not necessarily superior to reading chord charts.

Likewise, reading chord charts or lead sheets sometimes seems like a shortcut to learning music, but it’s not better or worse than reading notation.

They are both important skills that pianists should have in their musical toolbox. They are useful in different contexts. If you are a strong music reader and you can play from a chord chart, you’ll be able to play many different types of music and in many different situations.

Chord charts and lead sheets are really similar, with one main difference.

A chord chart shows chord symbols and which beats to play those chords on. It may or may not include lyrics.

In the example below, you see the name of the chord when you first strike the chord and \ for each time you repeat that same chord.

C \  \  \  Am \  \  \  F \  \  \  G \  \  \  

A lead sheet will include these same chord symbols, except that they are shown above a notated melody line in the treble clef.

Sometimes lead sheets have the slash marks to show which beats to play on and other times they are left off and the chord rhythms can be inferred from the line of notation.

Reading music in this format is a really helpful skill to have. 

It allows for creativity at the piano. 

When you are reading music notation, you are either playing right or wrong notes. You’re told exactly which notes to play and when. While you can use your creativity in how you play these notes, there isn’t much creativity when it comes to what you are playing.

One the other hand, playing from a chord chart or lead sheet is a very creative skill that allows you to improvise and interpret the music in your own style. It’s a lot of fun and often very freeing to move from reading music notation to thinking of your music in chords.

It makes it easy to accompany singing and other instruments.

Often, when a piano is accompanying a singer or instrumentalist, the piano is there to lay a foundation of harmony and rhythm, while the singer or instrumentalist carries the melody. When you can work from a chord chart or lead sheet, you can instantly create simple accompaniments to complement other musicians. 

Many pianists enjoy singing along with their own playing in this format as well. 

It helps pianists see and understands chords differently.

When you are only reading music notated on the staff, sometimes it’s easy to overlook theory concepts. For example, you might recognize that you are playing a lot of chords, but it is harder to be aware of which chords you are playing and how they relate to each other.

When you work with chords by name, it forces you to really know and understand how to build chords. You will also become more aware of typical harmonic progressions and the role that each chord plays within your music.

One of the big advantages to reading music from a chord chart is that you have a lot of musical freedom.

Reading a chord chart also requires you to use your ear to pick up on the style and beat of the music so that you can sync up with the music.

Remember this example from before:

C \  \  \  Am \  \  \  F \  \  \  G \  \  \  

A simple way to read this would be to simply give each chord a quarter note value.

However, you are not limited to only playing quarter note values. Any rhythm of each chord that last for four counts will fit your music. 

Many piano methods tend to keep chords in the left hand while the right hand plays the melody. Since a melody line is not priority with chord charts, it’s more common to play chords in the right hand with single bass notes, octave bass notes or an arpeggiated bass line in the left hand.

A chord chart may or may not have a time signature to guide you so you’ll have to notice how chords are grouped or listen to the music to learn which meter fits the best. 

For example, this is similar to the chord progression we just looked at, except that the chords come in groups of 3 rather than 4. This would tell you that you’re in 3/4 time.

C \  \  Am \  \  F \  \  G \  \

You’ll read a lead sheet in a very similar way. However, with a notated line of music, you’ll have a time signature to help you know how to count the beat right away.

With a lead sheet you can also take cues from the melody line to give you ideas about what to play.

The rhythm of the melody might give you ideas about what types of rhythms would work best what that particular song.

You can work the melody line into your chords if you would like to hear the melody on the piano.

You can create a counter melody or harmonic line to accompany the melody.

The options are endless when it comes to reading from a lead sheet.

There is no right or wrong way to play and the best way to learn is to just start playing around with chords from a lead sheet and find what works.

-How To Build Chords

Knowing how to build chords is the most important skill needed in order to play from a chord chart or lead sheet. You’ll also need to know chord-related symbols and terminology.

For example, many chords are either major or minor. Major chords are often written with an uppercase letter and minor chords can be written with a lowercase letter or a lowercase “m” following the chord name.

There are also diminished, augmented and seventh chords that may show up in music.

 -How To Invert Chords

You will also need to know invert chords. When a chord is in its root position, it is named after the lowest sounding note and the other two notes are space evenly, a third apart.

A root position chord can be seen here:

When you invert a chord once, you move the lowest note to the top of the chord and the middle note becomes the new lowest sounding note.

You can invert it a second time and what was originally the highest note is now the lowest note. 

It’s important that you can identify and play chords in root position and in both inversions. 

Piano chords sound and work the best when you play a variety of inversions. If you keep everything in root position, your hand will be jumping all over the piano and the music will sound really choppy. However, using inversions will help you to move between chords with ease and the transitions between chords will sound much smoother.

-Create a bass line

You will usually play chords with your right hand, so your left hand will be responsible for creating a bass line to support your chords.

A lot of times your left hand can double the root note of your chord. 

For example, if you have a C Major chord in your right hand, you can play a single bass C note in the left hand.

If your chord symbol includes a “/“ you will have a different bass note in the left hand.

For example:

C \  \  \  F \  \  \  C/G \  \  \ G  \  \  \  C 

C/G indicates that you will have a C chord in your right hand with a single G note in your left hand.

It can see boring to play chord charts and lead sheets at first. With little guidance about what to do, it might seem like you’re just holding really long chords or playing the same chords over and over.

Once you get comfortable building and playing chords, spend as much time as you can playing around with the chords and experimenting. It definitely helps to play along with some prerecorded music or with another musician so that you can feel the music and practice changing chords quickly and smoothly.

Here are some things you can try as you’re experimenting with chords:

Arpeggiate – we often first play chords blocked, or with all the notes sounding simultaneously, but you can also arpeggiate your chords so that each note sounds independently. A lot of times, we play arpeggios from low to high, but you can really play the notes of broken chords in any order. Find patterns that sound interesting and that are fun to play.

Passing Tones – Passing tones exactly what they sound like. They are notes that you can use to pass from one chord to the next. As you are practicing transitioning between chords, you can use passing tones to fill in gaps between chords.

Changing Rhythms – Sometimes it’s easy to get stuck playing the same rhythm over and over, such as all quarter notes or all eighth notes. Find different rhythmic patterns to include. You don’t have to repeat the same rhythm over and over throughout a song, so find a few that work well together and alternate between them.

Dotted Rhythms – Using dotted rhythms is a really easy way to make your music sound more interesting. A dotted quarter note + an eighth note or dotted eighth notes + sixteenths can make your music sound much more lively and engaging. 

Left Hand Octaves– Your left hand can play single bass notes to start out, but octaves in the left hand will make your music sound much fuller. You could also play or arpeggiate and octave + a fifth, for example, C-G-C, in the left hand. This is a really common left hand pattern on the piano. It’s easy to play and it can instantly make music sound much more interesting.

Be careful not to completely repeat the same chords from your right hand in your left hand. Full chords in the left hand can sound really muddy. If you’re already playing a chord in your right hand find something different for the left hand.

Walking Bass Line

Bass lines work really well when the notes walk step-wise from one note to the next. For example moving from C – B – A – G.

Even if your chords don’t indicate to play an inversion, you can use a different bass note than the root if it helps keep your bass line in order. 

Or, your bass line can also include passing tones. For example, if your chord progression has you moving from C – Am, your bass line could start on a C and pass through a B before arriving at the A.

Bass lines don’t have to walk, so don’t worry if your bass line jumps around a bit. But, once you start playing around with walking bass lines you’ll discover that they’re really easy to play and they make the music sound really put-together.


This post was written by Megan, piano teacher and author of Pianissimo: A Very Piano Blog. Visit her website for more piano related blogs for teachers, parents, students, and all things piano.


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Tagschordchord charthow to read a lead sheetlead sheetleadsheetpiano tips and tricksroot positionsheet musictips and tricks

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There are good reasons why the piano is the most popular instrument on the planet. The astounding power and dynamic range of the piano is nothing short of incredible, and with it, songwriters and performers are able to convey a wide range of moods, sounds, and emotions. Today, we’re going to show you how to play some popular piano songs, but first let’s talk about what the piano is and where it came from.

 

 

Piano Origins and Importance

 

popular piano songsThe international musical landscape changed forever after an Italian instrument-maker named Cristofori invented the piano in 1700. When he decided to add a system of small striking-hammers to a harpsichord, an instrument that used a plucked-string system, he almost certainly had no idea how large of an impact his new instrument would have on the world. Foot pedals allow pianists to control the dynamics of what they’re playing, and this is what makes the piano a unique instrument. No other instrument since has been able to combine the range and dynamic power like the piano does.

 

The piano’s role in modern songwriting is front and center in genres like rock, blues, and alternative, and many songwriters use the piano to write their songs whether the final product of what they’re creating features piano or not. The piano is not only an instrument, but also a visual representation of the way we understand music theory. The piano is the perfect place to learn how to build chords and modes. In this article, we’ll show you how to play the simplified versions of chords you’ll find in popular piano songs. Some of the chords in these songs feature alternative chord voicings, but we’ll show you the basic versions to help you get started.

 

“Sympathy For The Devil,” By The Rolling Stones

 

 

Written by Keith Richards and Mick Jagger, this seemingly upbeat song showcases The Rolling Stones’ ability to add a profound lyrical depth and meaning to their work. “Sympathy For The Devil” is sung from a first person narrator that sings about committing some of the world’s darkest atrocities. Because the song was written from the viewpoint of the devil, a rumor began circulating that the members of The Rolling Stones were devil worshipers. The band laughed off the allegations, but many fans and religious groups still believe the rumor to be true.

 

This is one of many great popular piano songs to learn for beginning piano students and is a great example of a song that manages to sound interesting despite how predictable and repetitive it is.

 

Popular piano songs rolling stones

 

E                       D
Please allow me to introduce myself
A                 E
I’m a man of wealth and taste
E                      D
I’ve been around for a long, long year
A                           E
Stole many a man’s soul and faith

E                     D
And I was ’round when Jesus Christ
A                   E
Had his moment of doubt and pain
D
Made damn sure that Pilate
A                    E
Washed his hands and sealed his fate

B
Pleased to meet you
E
Hope you guess my name
B
But what’s puzzling you
A            E
Is the nature of my game

E                  D
I stuck around St. Petersburg
A                       E
When I saw it was a time for a change
D
Killed the Czar and his ministers
A                 E
Anastasia screamed in vain

E
I rode a tank
D
Held a general’s rank
A
When the Blitzkrieg raged
E
And the bodies stank

B
Pleased to meet you
E
Hope you guess my name
B
But what’s puzzling you
A            E
Is the nature of my game
E
I watched with glee
D
While your kings and queens
A
Fought for ten decades
E
For the Gods they made

E
I shouted out
D
“Who killed the Kennedys?”
A
When after all
E
It was you and me

E                  D
Let me please introduce myself
A                 E
I’m a man of wealth and taste
D
And I laid traps for troubadours
A                             E
Who get killed before they reached Bombay

B
Pleased to meet you
E
Hope you guess my name
B
But what’s puzzling you
A            E
Is the nature of my game
oh yeah, get down, baby

(The previous chord progressions repeat until the end of the song)

 

 

“Two Weeks,” By Grizzly Bear

 

 

Though it was released in 2009, this song written by Brooklyn-based indie pop darlings Grizzly Bear boasts a sound and feel straight out 1960’s pop music. The song talks about a lover trying to save their strained relationship. Singer Ed Droste’s tenor crooning floats perfectly over simple staccato piano chords in a simple and effective display of contrasts. “Two Weeks” was one of indie rock’s most popular piano songs when it was released nearly a decade ago, and it’s still widely loved and recognized today. We recommend practicing the chord progressions in this song slowly to the click of a metronome first before attempting to play to the track if you’re new to the piano.

 

Piano chords for Two weeks

 

 

[Intro]

F Am C

[Verse]

F               Am   C
Save up all the days
F           Am    C
A routine relays
F               Am
Just like yesterday
C                F     Am C
I told you I would stay

[Chorus]

Bb      F C
Would you always
Bb         F C
Maybe sometimes
Bb        F C
Make it easy
Bb      F C
Take your time

[Instrumental]

F Am C

[Verse]
F                Am     C
Think of all the ways

F                Am    C
Momentary phase

F                Am    C
Just like yesterday

F                  Am    C
I told you I would stay
F                 Am   C
Every time you try

F                Am    C

Quarter half the mile

F                Am     C
Just like yesterday

F                 Am    C
I told you I would stay

[Chorus]

Bb      F C
Would you always
Bb         F C
Maybe sometimes
Bb        F C
Make it easy
Bb      F C
Take your time

 

 

“Hey Jude,” By The Beatles

 

 

 

This joyous song’s origins are steeped in loss, heartbreak, and sadness. In 1968, John Lennon and his wife Cynthia separated because John was caught having an affair with Yoko Ono.  After the breakup, McCartney drove down to visit Cynthia and her son Julian at their home and he wrote what would later become the ballad of “Hey Jude” in the car while driving. He wrote the song to comfort the young boy during the painful separation of his parents. The song was originally called, “Hey Jules,” but McCartney later changed it because he thought Jude “sounded better.”

 

The right hand of this song switches from playing the 3rd and 5th notes of the chords to playing the root notes.

 

piano chords for hey jude

 

 

[Verse 1]

F                C
Hey Jude don’t make it bad
C        C7   C7      C7       F
take a     sad       song  and make it better
Bb                           F
Remember to let her into your heart
C               F
and then you can start to make it better

[Verse 2]

F              C
Hey Jude don’t be afraid
C      C7   C7      C7       F
you were made    to  go    out and get her
Bb                            F
The minute you let her under your skin
C                F   Fmaj7 F7
then you begin to make it better

[Chorus]

Bb      Bb    Gm
And anytime you feel the pain hey Jude refrain
Gm7       C    C            F    Fmaj7 F7
don’t carry the world upon your shoulders
Bb      Bb      Gm
For well you know that it’s a fool who plays it cool
Gm7       C       C      F
by making his world  a little colder

[Interlude]

F    F7      C     C       C  F  C7
Da da da da da   Da   da    da    da

[Verse 3]

F               C
Hey Jude don’t let me down
C            C7         C7     C7       F
You have found    her      now go and get her
Bb                         F
Remember to let her into you heart
C                F   Fmaj7  F7
then you can start to make it better

[Chorus]

Bb     Bb   Gm
So let it out and let it in hey Jude begin
Gm7         C    C     F         Fmaj7  F7
you’re waiting for someone to perform with
Bb      Bb        Gm
And don’t you know that it’s just you hey jude you’ll do
Gm7         C       C         F
The movement you need is on your shoulders

[Interlude]

F  F7      C  C     C    C  F  C7
Da da da da da   da  da   da    da

[Verse 4]

F                C
Hey Jude don’t make it bad
F  C7   C7          C7      F
take a  sad   song  and make it better
Bb                            F
Remember to let her under your skin
C                F
and then you’ll begin to make it better

[Outro]

F  F7      Eb
Na na na   na na na na
Bb
Na na na na
F
Hey Jude
F  F7      Eb
Na na na   na na na na
Bb
Na na na na
F
Hey Jude

 

“Someone Like You,” By Adele

 

 

 

This song was released in 2011 on Adele’s second studio album 21. Like many popular piano songs, it tells the story of a person attempting to cope with a broken relationship. The song propelled Adele to a new level of stardom, and it helped her make history by becoming the first female British solo singer of the Billboard Hot 100 to have two number ones from the same album.

 

You can arpeggiate these chords the way that’s done in the recording, or you can simply play block chords along with the song.

 

Adele piano chords
[Intro]

A A/G# F#m D

[Verse]

A                A/G#
I heard that you’re settled down
F#m
That you found a girl
D
And you’re married now
A              A/G#
I heard that your dreams came true
F#m
Guess she gave you things
D
I didn’t give to you
A                   A/G#
Old friend why are you so shy
F#m
It ain’t like you to hold back
D
Or hide from life

[Bridge]

E                          F#m                D
I hate to turn up out of the blue uninvited but

I couldn’t stay away I couldn’t fight it
E
I’d hoped you’d see my face
F#m                             D           D  D
And that you’d be reminded that for me it isn’t over

[Chorus]

A                E                 F#m D
Never mind, I’ll find someone like you
A               E        F#m D
I wish nothing but the best for you too
A           E        F#m        D
Don’t forget me I beg I re-member you said
A                 E                     F#m   D
Sometimes it lasts in love but sometimes it hurts in-stead
A                 E                     F#m   D
Sometimes it lasts in love but sometimes it hurts instead, yeah

[Verse]

A              A/G#
You’d know how time flies
F#m
Only yesterday
D
was the time of our lives
A
We were born and raised
A/G#
In a summer haze
F#m                    D
Bound by the surprise of our glory days

[Bridge]

E                          F#m                D
I hate to turn up out of the blue uninvited but
D
I couldn’t stay away I couldn’t fight it
E
I’d hoped you’d see my face
F#m                            D             D
And that you’d be reminded that for me it isn’t over

[Chorus]

A                E                 F#m D
Never mind, I’ll find someone like you
A               E        F#m D
I wish nothing but the best for you too
A           E        F#m       D
Don’t forget me I beg I re-member you said
A                 E                     F#m   D
Sometimes it lasts in love but sometimes it hurts in-stead, yeah

[Break]

E
Nothing compares no worries or cares
F#m
Regrets and mistakes their memories make
D
Who would have known how
Bm    A       D   D
Bitter-sweet this would taste

[Chorus]

A              E                  F#m D
Never mind I’ll find someone like you
A               E        F#m D
I wish nothing but the best for you too
A           E        F#m       D
Don’t forget me I beg I re-member you said
A                 E                     F#m    D
Sometimes it lasts in love but sometimes it hurts in-stead

[Chorus]

A              E                  F#m D
Never mind I’ll find someone like you
A               E        F#m D
I wish nothing but the best for you too
A           E        F#m       D
Don’t forget me I beg I re-member you said
A                 E                     F#m    D
Sometimes it lasts in love but sometimes it hurts in-stead
A                 E                     F#m   D
Sometimes it lasts in love but sometimes it hurts in-stead
A                 E                     F#m    D
Sometimes it lasts in love but sometimes it hurts instead   Yeah Yeah
For help learning the full versions of these popular piano songs, we recommend working with a patient and experienced piano instructor. Remember, we’ve provided simplified chords for these songs, so feel free to add more details into your playing whenever you feel ready.

Sours: https://www.musikalessons.com/blog/2017/03/popular-piano-songs/
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  • ⦗ ANY PIANO OR KEYBOARD ⦘ Suitable for all popular piano and keyboard models. Chart sits nicely behind the keys and does not interfere with your playing.
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Piano Chords Chart for Beginners

Here's a free printable piano chords chart (PDF) for beginners! In this easy piano lesson you'll get tips on how to use this chord chart for piano playing.

You'll also learn how chords are built and get tips on how get started playing chord piano. Have fun!


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The Chords in a Piano Chords Chart

We'll get to the printable chords chart below, but first let me show you how chords work!

How Music Chords Are Built

  • A chord consists of three or more notes played together.
  • The notes of a chord in root position are all spaced an interval of a third apart.
  • You actually “build” chords by stacking thirds on top of each other.
  • Depending on if the thirds are major (big) or minor (small) and in what order they are stacked, you get different types of chords.
  • The most basic piano chords are either three-note or four-note chords. 
  • Basic three note chords are also called "Triads".
C major Piano ChordA three note chord, or a triad.

Tip!

When you start to learn piano chords, I recommend that you get a book with melodies and simple chords to practice with, like this Easy Fake Book that I also often use in my studio. 

It has easy, well known songs to practice playing easy chords to, and making (faking) your own accompaniments.

Basic Chords: Triads & Seventh's

Triads

Chords with 3 notes are called triads. There are four types of triads:

Triads4 Types of Triads
  • The Major Chord is a triad (a three note chord) made of a major third and on top a minor third. This creates the specific sound of “major”; a “happier”, “lighter” sound. It is written for ex.: E (Root=E, major chord).
  • The Minor Chord is built with a minor third and on top a major third. This gives the sound of “minor” a more “sad”, “darker” sound. It is written for ex.: Am (Root=A, minor chord).
  • The Diminished Chord is made from only minor thirds. This gives the chord a sound like it really wants to go somewhere, to be resolved somehow. That is why it is often referred to as a Dominant 7th chord with no root. It is written for ex.: D dim (Root=D, diminished chord).
  • The Augmented Chord is built from only major thirds; it also has a very “unresolved” sound.

Sevenths

The 7th chord is a four note chord. It has a root, a third, a fifth and a seventh.

Starting from the root (red), the third (blue), the fifth (green) and the seventh (yellow). This is a 7th chord in "root" position:

Seventh chord

Tip: A chord book is a useful tool when you start learning about chords. This one is handy to have: Piano Chord Dictionary

  • A “regular” 7th chord, also called a Dominant 7th chord, for example C7, is made from a major chord plus a minor third on top. That would make the thirds stacked like this (from the bottom and up): major third, minor third, minor third.
  • Major 7th chord, for example Cmaj7, is a major chord plus a major third on top. The thirds are stacked like this: major, minor, major.

How to Use a Piano Chords Chart

  • First pick a piece with chord markings and melody, or just lyrics and chords. You can use anything you like for guitar with chord tabs as well- since chord names for piano are the same.
  • Highlight the different chords that are used- it might seem like there are a lot, but usually there are only a few chords, or a specific chord progression. 
  • Study the piano chords chart and learn the patterns (how they look) of the chords you'll be using. 
  • Next, write those chord names on a piece of paper and  practice only the different chords that are used until you know them well.
  • Then, practice the chords in the order of the song, until fluent.
  • Finally, sing or hum the melody of the piece you picked, playing the chords at the right words!

How To Play Chord Piano

When playing chord piano using for example a “Fake book". I use this "Easy Fake Book"  with my students, which is a great way to learn to play chords and melody following a lead sheet.

A lead sheet has only the melody written with notes (or only lyrics), and above it the chords are written as chord symbols, like Cmaj7, Eb dim. or Bm for example.

If you already know the melody, you only need the lyrics and the chords.

You can either sing the melody of the song (or have someone else sing it!) and make up your own accompaniment, or pick out the melody in one hand and play the chords in the other.

Use the piano chords chart below when you need to remind yourself how to play basic chords in root position.

However- make sure to check out my beginner piano lesson about how to play piano chord inversions to learn how you can change the position of the chord for smooth transitions from one chord to the next.

Printable Piano Chords Chart

A piano chords chart is a handy tool especially when you start learning how to play chords.

This chord chart shows you the most common chords in root position; major, minor, diminished, 7th chords and Major 7th chords in all keys. 

Click on the link below the image to get your PDF.

Free Printable Piano Chords ChartPiano Chords Chart with Inversions

Click on the link to download your free chord chart:

Printable Piano Chord Chart (PDF)

(a new window will open.) 

 More Useful Chord Piano Tools

You might like these

  • Diatonic Harmony

    Chords built from major or minor scales are called Diatonic Harmony. It is useful since it's easy to use these chords to harmonize a melody in major or minor.

  • Introduction to Chord Piano

    Chord piano is what we call the style of "comping" or "faking" chords either together with a melody, or by playing only chords (or harmonies).

Sours: https://www.onlinepianocoach.com/piano-chords-chart.html

Piano music chart

Want A Piano Notes Chart?


Here I’ve a got a piano notes chart for a couple of different things. There’s a chart for notes in the treble clef, notes in the bass clef, and a chart of the types of notes you’ll see on the clefs. If you need more information on how to read the notes, check out read piano notes.




Treble Clef Spaces

Piano Notes Chart: Treble Clef Spaces



Treble Clef Lines

Piano Notes Chart: Treble Clef Lines



Bass Clef Spaces

Piano Notes Chart: Bass Clef Spaces



Bass Clef Lines

 Bass Clef Lines


Notes and Their Length

Here’s a chart of the different types of notes. You’ll see the amount of “counts” they get. (If you need more information on how to “count” in music, go to piano music notes .)

Whole Notes: 1 note = 4 beats.

Piano Notes Chart: Whole Notes


Half Notes: 1 note = 2 beats.

Piano Notes Chart: Half Notes



Quarter Notes: 1 note = 1 beat.

Piano Notes Chart: Quarter Notes



8th Notes: 1 note = 1/2 a beat

Piano Notes Chart: 8th Notes



16th Notes: 1 note = 1/4 of a beat

 16th Notes

Piano notes games

These games we created will help you learn the notes easily. 

How about this rhythm quiz. See more free music rhythm games and quizzes. 

Learn more about piano notes

  • Piano Notes

    Learn about piano notes - what they are and how to read them. Check out the video lessons!

  • Piano Notes Diagram

    See a piano notes diagram of where the notes on the piano keyboard match with the notes on the staff.



If you’d like a diagram of which piano keys go with which notes, go to piano diagrams. That’s it for the charts!

Return from Piano Notes Chart to Piano Lessons Info Homepage.

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Ultimate Chord Cheat Sheet

Ultimate Chord Cheat Sheet

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Instrumental Pop Songs 2021 - New Study Music Mix (2 Hours)

Musicnotes features the world's largest online digital sheet music catalogue with over 400,000 arrangements available to print and play instantly. Shop our newest and most popular sheet music such as "Loser [easy]", "Instagram [easy]" and "MONEY [easy]", or click the button above to browse all sheet music.

Download our free apps for iOS, Android, Mac, and PC and interact with your sheet music anywhere with in-app transposition, text & highlighter markup and adjustable audio/video playback. Plus, organize your music into folders and set lists and much more!

TitleArtist or ShowScoringType
ManhattanRichard RodgersPiano/Vocal/Chords•••

Average Rating

What a Wonderful WorldLouis ArmstrongPiano/Vocal/Chords•••
NDABillie EilishPiano/Vocal/Chords, Singer Pro•••
Because You're YouThe Red MillPiano/Vocal/Chords, Singer Pro•••
I Still Have Faith in YouABBAPiano/Vocal/Guitar, Singer Pro•••
The Entertainer [excerpt]Scott JoplinPiano Solo•••
ShallowA Star Is Born [2018]Piano/Vocal/Chords, Singer Pro•••
drivers licenseOlivia RodrigoPiano/Vocal/Chords, Singer Pro•••
Can't Help Falling in LoveFrancesco ParrinoPiano Solo•••
Happier Than EverBillie EilishPiano/Vocal/Chords, Singer Pro•••

Average Rating

When He Sees MeWaitress: The MusicalPiano/Vocal/Chords, Singer Pro•••

Average Rating

All of MeJohn LegendPiano/Vocal/Chords, Singer Pro•••
traitorOlivia RodrigoPiano/Vocal/Chords, Singer Pro•••

Average Rating

Your SongElton JohnPiano/Vocal/Guitar, Singer Pro•••
Always Remember Us This WayA Star Is Born [2018]Piano/Vocal/Chords, Singer Pro•••
Bad HabitsEd SheeranPiano/Vocal/Guitar, Singer Pro•••

Average Rating

PerfectEd SheeranPiano/Vocal/Guitar, Singer Pro•••
Fly Me to the MoonFrank SinatraPiano/Vocal/Chords, Singer Pro•••

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Let It GoFrozenPiano/Vocal/Chords, Singer Pro•••
12 Disney ClassicsVarious ComposersPiano/Vocal/Chords, Singer Pro•••
You Are the ReasonCalum ScottPiano/Vocal/Guitar, Singer Pro•••

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I Get to Love YouRuellePiano/Vocal/Chords, Singer Pro•••

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Here Comes the SunThe BeatlesPiano/Vocal/Guitar•••
Don't Shut Me DownABBAPiano/Vocal/Guitar, Singer Pro•••
12 Vintage Christmas FavoritesVarious ArtistsPiano/Vocal/Chords, Singer Pro•••

Average Rating

At LastEtta JamesPiano/Vocal/Chords, Singer Pro•••
Someone You LovedLewis CapaldiPiano/Vocal/Guitar, Singer Pro•••
Women of JazzVarious ArtistsPiano/Vocal/Chords•••
No Time to DieBillie EilishPiano/Vocal/Chords, Singer Pro•••

Average Rating

Stand by MeBen E. KingPiano/Vocal/Guitar•••
Sours: https://www.musicnotes.com/

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Looking for a good list of easy pop songs for the piano? If so then you’ve come to the right place. I’ve compiled a huge list of 21 easy pop songs to play on the piano. Every song on this list has a simple structure that can be learned quickly. Whether you’re a novice or experienced pianist, these pieces will add a bit of fun to your list of repertoire.

If you don’t have a piano, it might be a good idea to get a beginner keyboard like this one. That way you can practice all of these songs whenever you want! Also, if you’re just starting out on the piano, make sure to read my free guide on how to read sheet music here.

I’ll talk briefly about each piece. Each piece will have a breakdown of the musical structure, some chord analysis, and practice tips. I’ll also share some helpful video tutorialsto help you get started as well as where to pick up great sheet music arrangements for each song.

Let’s start off with one of my favorites, Titanium!

Easy Pop Songs To Play On Piano

1. Titanium – Sia

This popular song by Sia is one of the easiest pop songs to learn on the piano. It has a very simple chord structure, so once you get a grip on that it’s pretty straight forward. The song is easy to play in E flat major.

While reading sheet music is great for most pop music, Titanium is actually quite easy to learn if you understand the chord structure.

Starting in E flat, it follows a simple chord structure of I V vi for the verses. During the transition section before there is a lot of basis on IV chords. When the chorus comes in the chords move to IV V iii vi. The bridge section just before the last entrance of the chorus also follows the same chord structure as the chorus.

The melody is all controlled by the right hand. Depending on your playing level, you can decide to do this as simple chords, or single note melody lines.

Below is a Titanium chord chart along with one of the best titanium piano tutorial videos to learn from.

Titanium Chord Chart
Verses
Eb Bb Cm Ab
Eb Bb Cm Ab (REPEAT)
Chorus
Ab Bb C Gm
Ab Bb C Gm
Ab Bb C Gm
Ab Bb C Gm
C Gm
C Gm
Bridge
Ab Bb C Gm
Ab Bb C Gm

2. If I Aint Got You – Alicia Keys

A song that needs very little transcription is If I Aint Got You by Alicia Keys. It was produced in 2003 and has an interesting backstory. It’s definitely something you can play for special occasions such as a wedding. You can find this and other wedding piano songs in this post.

This song is entirely piano-based, and the triplet riff is easy to remember. Because that riff is a sequence you can use the same finger pattern of pinky, index, and thumb and just move down by intervals of a second.

To accompany that introductory sequence are downward stepping notes in the left hand. When combined with the right hand, this creates a series of seventh chords in stepwise motion. The left-hand starts with C followed by B A G in the bass line. The hands take those same chords and move them back up in the reverse.

The song eventually settles in G minor and moves along pretty consistently. Start with a G major chord, followed by E minor, A minor, and D major. The transition at the end of the verse is a simple move of G A B and back down to A.

When the chorus enters, the same sequence and chord structure from the introduction returns. The song ends with a doubling of the chorus, and then a repeat of the introduction again.

This is a really fun song that’s easy to learn. Not only is it easy to remember, but it also has some more advanced piano technique involved with the triplets int he right hand. It’s a soulful song that everyone will enjoy!

Below is a chord chart for If I Aint Got You along with a quick tutorial video on how to play this.

If I Aint Got You Chord Chart
Intro
C7m Bm7 Am7 GM7 (REPEAT)
Verses
G Em Am D
G G# Am D
Bridge
G Am Bm7 Am
G Am Bm7
G Am Bm7 Am
G Am Bm7
Chorus
C7m Bm7 Am7 GM7 (REPEAT)

3. One Call Away

This 2017 hit by Charlie Puth is one of the most played on YouTube. This is an easy song to turn into a piano arrangement because the chord structure is so simple.

The bass line and melody move sequentially with each other. The first three notes of the bass D flat, C, and B flat. Then it moves up an interval of a second to E flat, D flat, and C. The harmonies that are formed are basically D flat major, an inverted A flat major chord and a B flat minor chord.

The same sort of idea follows with the chord pattern now being ii, I, V. The chords can be formed completely in the left hand, or you can choose to use the melody of the right hand and play this as single notes.

In the verse, the chord structure is B flat minor, A flat major, D flat major, and G flat major. An easy way to remember that in numerals that would be vi, V, I, IV.

The bridge sections where things get a little interesting. It’s still based on a three-chord structure though. It’s simply a movement from IV I V in the overall key of D flat major.

Have a look at the One Call Away chord chart, and tutorial video below to get an idea of how the whole song is put together.

4. A Thousand Miles

Released in 2000, this song has possibly the most famous piano riff in all of pop music. It’s got a really repetitive sequence of notes, however, it takes a bit of finesse to get it just right. The harmonies, however, are very easy to digest, and they repeat the entire song.

There are some sheet music arrangements of this piece available, but the best way to learn it is by rote. This video breaks down the right hand first starting with the octave B and adding in the A and F sharp to it.

Then it adds in the left-hand line of E F sharp, D and back to E. It also breaks down lining everything up as this is rhythm is very syncopated. Through subdividing the rhythm and counting, its easy to get the rhythm down in a few practice attempts.

5. Despacito

Despacito was one of the biggest pop hits in 2018. It’s been covered on piano, guitar, and basically any instrument you can think of.

The chords repeat throughout the entire song. It’s in B minor, so that will be the first chord. After that, it moves to a major VI, major III, and major VII chord. This gives us B minor, G major, D major, and A major.

The chorus section uses the same chord structure, however, there’s much more energy and variety here. In the right hand, single-note melodies should become full chords and the dynamics should be more intense in this section.

To get the melody down takes a really good ear. There are a lot of embellishments you can do with the right hand. To make it sound really good on the piano, make sure to accent certain parts of the melody. This is a fun song with Latin flavor!

Here’s a chord chart for Despacito

6. All Of Me

John Lends all of me is another piano-based song just like Alicia Keys’ If I Aint Got You. It was recorded in 2013. While the song is written in A flat major, it has a strong sense of F minor in the verses. In each verse, the chord structure follows quite simply. It goes from I, VI, III, VII.

In the transition section, the song alternates between B flat minor, A flat major, E flat major. The E flat minor is actually the dominant of the next key area which is the A flat major chorus.

The bridge section shows a return to the B flat minor material from the earlier transition. It’s quite short though and eventually returns to several repetitions of the chorus. Like most pop songs, there’s a tag on the end.

Here’s a chord chart for All Of Me

7. Thinking Out Loud

Ed Sheeran nailed it with his chart-topping hit Thinking Out Loud in 2014. Originally a tune for guitar, this is a great one to learn on the piano. The song has a lot of blues style music influence moving at a similar pulse and style as Marvin Gaye’s “Let’s Get It On”.

This song is in D major which is one of the easier keys to play a pop song on the piano in.

Like most pop songs, it’s got a repetitive harmonic structure. The first two chords are D major, with the second being an inversion of it starting on F sharp.

Next, it goes to the IV in G major, and then to the V in A major before returning. While all of that is happening, the melody starts on F sharp and goes from there. The best way to get the melody is to see it done by rote.

The transition bridge area briefly goes between E minor and A major before settling in D major for the chorus.

Here’s a chord chart for Thinking Out Loud

8. Firework

Katy Perrys Firework was a huge success during its release in 2010. It’s a great starter piece if you want to learn a simple accompaniment for piano. In this case of this song, I recommend checking out a sheet music arrangement like this one.

Most arrangements start out with the left hand playing the constant quarter chords. The song is in A flat major. In some arrangements, the left-hand plays broken triads using the same chords from the introduction.

In other versions, the left hand continues to play blocked chords. Depending on if you’re an intermediate or novice player should help you determine which way to play this piece.

The rhythm of the melody is consistent in all the versions I’ve come across. It starts off with a rest on beat one, followed by grouped eighth notes. The chorus has a bit of syncopation, but overall it’s really easy to line up with the left hand.

Here’s a chord chart for Firework along with a tutorial video.

9. Happy

Pharells Happy is one of the most popular songs of all time. It was part of the Despicable Me soundtrack, so it’s a fun piece to play for kids too.

This is a jazzy sounding piece, featuring some elements of blues chords. It’s based primarily in F minor for all of the verses but quickly shifts to F major when the chorus comes in.

The left-hand doesn’t have to play very much in the verses as the melody dominates most of the song. In the chorus, you can hold down the chords as they change. This song also has some counter melodies in the original track that the pianist can play as well.

There’s the option to play some of the counter melodies in the left hand and sustain the chord with the pedal. Another option is to play the melody and leave out the counter melody altogether.

Most people play this song by singing the verses and simply supporting themselves with the chord progressions. Check this video out to get an idea of how that can be done.

What I like about this song is that there are plenty of ways you can play it and still make it sound good. Below is a super helpful chord chart for Happy to get you started.

10. Let It Go

This list of easy piano songs would not be complete without something from Disney! Kids everywhere loved “Let It Go” from the movie Frozen.

This is a song that is primarily piano-based, so learning to play it can be as simple as listening to the track and copying it. There are also plenty of good piano arrangements available for it.

The best sheet music for Let It Go from Frozen is this one by Hal Leonard. Hal Leonard along with Faber make really great arrangements of Disney music. To help with the difficulty, it’s written in a different key than the original tune.

11. I Just Can’t Wait To Be King

Another Disney tune worth looking into is I Just Can’t Wait To Be King form the Lion King movies. While there are a lot of great arrangements of this one available, my favorite is from the Faber piano books.

This version is written in C major, but it holds true to the original tune. The rhythms are a bit simplified as this is an intermediate level book. Everything is reduced to either quarter notes for the most part.

There are some occasional E flats that do appear. In a few areas, there are also eighth notes and tied rhythms. While this version does not feature as much syncopation as the record, it still sounds great and it’s easy to play.

12. Aint No Mountain High Enough

This is an old classic that caters to adult pianists needing some true soul. The rhythms are really simple, and the notes in the melody line are easy to remember too.

The chords move at a nice slow pace, although there are some dotted rhythms there. Those syncopated rhythms are easy to line up though. I find the left hand to be a little complex because it drives so much of the song with it’s pulsing. There are some specific jazz runs in there, and it’s full of seventh chords.

The video below is a good demonstration of what I mean about that. Certainly, you could find some arrangements that are simpler than this video. However, if you’re trying to achieve an authentic sound, I would try to mimic this version.

13. Respect

Respect was one of the biggest songs of the late 1960s. Its sang by Aretha Franklin, and a popular song to play on the piano this day. There’s a lot back and forth between IV and V in the verses.

The chorus is simply I to V chords. This is written in C major, so it’s a fairly easy song to memorize. The melody is based on the blues scale. You can expect to play E flat, B flat throughout the melody line.

14. Mmm Bop

If you’re a fan of Hansen, then Mmm Bop is going to be a no brainer. The whole song is based on three simple chords. Play them with a bit of pulse in your rhythm, and it’s a hit. This song works best when it’s played and sung! Have a look below to see how to play Mmm Bop on the piano.

15. Party In The USA

Miley Cyrus’ “Party In The USA” is a classic worth learning on the piano. Overall it uses the same 3 chord riff throughout, so it’s something you can learn quickly. The chords aren’t overall complex either.

The song is in G flat major. It’s a song that the pianist will play primarily on the black keys which is a nice switch-up from the white keys.

16. Uptown Funk

Uptown Funk was a huge success in 2014 for Bruno Mars. This is a classic funk song. There’s a lot of accented rhythms and an ostinato bass line that keeps coming back again and again.

When learning it, it’s best to get that down first so you know what the intervals are between each note of the bass line are. This is also a great chance to lock down the rhythm and to place the accents in just the right spot.

For the most part, the melody line is going to be the same three notes with a few occasional outliers. Check out this tutorial below for Uptown Funk.

17. Halo

Any piano pop song list wouldn’t be complete without a mention of Beyonce! Halo was one of her most celebrated tracks in 2008. This song was widely covered on various instruments, but the piano arrangements by far sound the best for this tune.

18. Superstition

If you’re looking for another blues funk tune, then look no further than Stevie Wonder. His song Superstition fits the bill and it’s a fun one to play. It’s in E flat, and once you learn the moving bass line the rest of the song falls into place.

The hands can actually share the bulk of the bass line between the left hand and the bottom fingers of the right hand. That’ll actually make it easier to play. Have a look at the video below to see what I mean about using the hands to help each other.

Unlike some of the other songs on this song, this is a great song for working your improvisation skills. Because it’s so repetitive, it works best if you can mix up the melodies, and how you voice the different chords.

19. What A Wonderful World

This old tune by Louis Armstrong has been a staple of American culture. It’s been featured in many movies, and it’s always a joy to play for friends and family.

Because the song is so old and well covered, there are tons of arrangements available. Take your time searching through what’s there.

A couple of things to note in your search. This song was recorded in F major. There’s also lots of variance in the rhythm, so be sure to not get a reduced version if you want it to sound authentic.

Keep in mind that even if you can’t find notated sheet music, simply having the chord charts can work well too. In that style, this allows you to play and sing at the same time.

20. Human Nature

An easy piano pop song list would not be complete with a song by sung by the “King Of Pop”. Michael Jacksons Human nature is one of his more Jazz influenced works. The combinations of the chords are what makes this song so unique compared to most of the other songs he’s well known for.

The song starts off with an introduction that an instrumental interlude. In between all of the verses and choruses, that instrumental keeps coming back, so I would learn that first. There are four chords that make up all of the verses and chorus sections.

Overall the left hand is quite stationary and can be played with the bottom and top fingers of the hand for the most part.

Take a look at the video below to see what hand positions work best.

21. Don’t Let Me Down

This collaboration between Halsey and Chainsmokers is pretty straightforward. The entire song is in E major and follows a basic progression. The progression is E major, B major, F sharp major, G sharp minor.

In the original track, the chorus section is just an instrumental that plays on a pedal chord of G sharp minor. The bridge at the end also follows the same progression from the opening material.

This is a really upbeat song. The overall rhythm is syncopated in the melody line. It’s easy to digest as it follows the harmonic structure of the left hand.

 

Sours: https://joshuarosspiano.com/easy-pop-songs-to-play-on-piano/


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