5 Contemporary Songs to Learn How to Play Piano by Ear

Can your favorite contemporary songs help you learn how to play piano by ear? They sure can! Check out how to get started in this guest post by Corona, CA teacher Milton J...


Recently, I started teaching a new piano student who simply wanted to play his favorite pop songs by both ear and sight to not only become a better pianist, but to be the life of the party for his friends. I loved his goal and made sure he knew about the great ways of learning how to play piano by ear using the popular songs he heard every day. To help you achieve your similar goal, here are five songs you’ve most definitely heard that can be easily learned and turned into the next groove when you reconvene with your friends and family!

“Stay With Me” — Sam Smith

This song is one of my favorites this year and it’s not at all hard to play. When you want to slow the tempo down and learn something that sounds soothing, you cannot go wrong with this tune.

“Radioactive” — Imagine Dragons

This song was everywhere last year, and is still a song with a wonderful melody that I personally love to play. With this version, you’ll learn the chords and melody, and you can feel free to add in your own rhythms that deviate from this version if you want it to sound more like the original.

“All Of Me” — John Legend

This is a wonderful ballad for learning how to play piano by ear. It’s not that difficult to play the chords and melody together, and as your proficiency level increases, you can then switch to John Legend’s original piano composition for added fun!

“Rude” — MAGIC!

We’ve all been there, right? That song that stays in your head and you find yourself humming or singing it without realizing it? That was me with MAGIC!’s “Rude” for a good month. Because of that, I felt I had no choice but to learn it on the piano. Luckily, it’s a wonderful melody with a pretty cool rhythm that I’m sure you will enjoy learning!

“Happy” — Pharrell Williams

2014’s most popular song is ready for you to learn on the piano! The very simple but incredibly infectious “Happy” took America by storm with its decree to oneself – just be happy. Surely you will hold to that ideal when you learn this one. You can even have someone with you tap the drum beat as you play for added fun!

Now that you’ve got some piano songs under your belt, it’s time to warm up those fingers and share your talents with the ones in your life! Happy playing!

MiltonJMilton J. teaches guitar, piano, singing, music recording, music theory, opera voice, songwriting, speaking voice, and acting lessons in Corona, CA. He specializes in classical, R&B, soul, pop, rock, jazz, and opera styles. Learn more about Milton here!



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