Did you know that some of today’s most popular music can be easily played with just a few easy piano chords? If you’re looking for songs in C major or other easy keys, you’re not limited to children’s keyboard songs. In fact, you can play some of the most powerful and popular songs of today.
Everyone loves hearing popular tunes performed live, whether it’s at a wedding, talent show, or private concert. This means that as a piano player, it’s important to be able to play many genres and artists. If you want to play professionally, expanding your repertoire with pop music is a must for landing steady gigs and impressing your audience.
Let’s check out a diverse and fun selection of easy keyboard songs, so you can leave an impression on friends, family, and countless crowd members. Don’t forget to enlist the help of a singer (or sharpen your own singing skills) to deliver the full impact of these pop anthems. Follow these video lessons and work your way up to match the original song, then get ready to WOW your next audience!
15 Easy Pop Keyboard Songs
1. “Fallin'” by Alicia Keys
“Fallin'” was the debut song from Alicia Keys back in 2001. The song became a success not only because of its beautiful, repeating R&B melodic line, but also because Alicia Keys was the writer, singer, and instrumentalist on the recording (which is not common in pop music). The lyrics are very meaningful, and piano-wise, the song challenges your jazz/R&B/pop playing, as well as blues improvising.
Here’s how to play “Fallin'” on the piano:
2. “Superman” by Five for Fighting
This early millennium song has a driving melody and powerful chorus. The lyrics are strong, and they tell a story. It has also been featured on many popular TV shows and movies as the theme song or ending credits. It’s a great song for a coffeehouse or a singer/songwriter night. It also happens to be one of the easiest songs in C major to play.
Here’s how to play “Superman” on the piano:
Key of C
It may sound absurd, but don’t be naïve
Even heroes have the right to bleed
I may be disturbed, but won’t you concede even
AM7 F C G
Even heroes have the right to dream
And it’s not easy to be me
Note: Watch for the major and minor changes in this song within the A chord. It’s good practice going back and forth.
3. “Drops of Jupiter” by Train
Uptempo, Piano Rock/Pop
This Grammy award-winner is a great song to bang out on the piano! You should really let loose and feel the melodies, rhythm, and lyrics, especially after the first verse and each time the chorus hits thereafter. I also encourage you to perform this song with a band, if possible, or re-arrange the song with drums and strings by using computer software.
Here’s how to play “Drop of Jupiter” on the piano:
Key of C
So tell me, did you sail across the sun
Did you make it to the Milky way to see
The lights all faded, and that Heaven is overrated
Tell me, did you fall for a shooting star
One without a permanent scar
And did you miss me while you were looking for yourself
Note: These are pretty simple chords; notice the dominant 5th motion: G to D, F-C, C-G.
4. “Bubbly” by Colbie Caillat
This warm and cozy song, transcribed from the guitar, is a wonderfully easy pop song to play on piano. The chords and rhythm flow very naturally along with the voice. Let these easy piano chords carry you to an uplifting place, and “crinkle your nose and toes” along with the beat!
Here’s how to play “Bubbly” on the piano:
5. “When I Was Your Man” by Bruno Mars
Romantic Piano Ballad
This is a gorgeous song to display your deepest emotions. It’s one of the few songs that truly sounds incredible with just piano alone. It does not need a full band or any other instruments, because the vocals and piano are powerful enough.
Here’s how to play “When I Was Your Man” on the piano:
Key of G
That I should have bought you flowers
And held your hand, should’ve given you all my hours
F G C
When I had the chance
Take you to every party, cause all you wanted to do was dance
Am D7 F
Now my baby’s dancing
Fmin C F C G/B
But she’s dancing with another man
Note: G/B means you play a G chord in the right hand over a B root in the left hand.
6. “Love Me Like You Do” by Ellie Goulding
Pop, Love EDM Track
It’s also fun to take brand new pop songs from the charts and make them just for piano alone, as an acoustic version. I encourage you to make this EDM song sound more like your own — try performing a cover of it and put it on YouTube!
Here’s how to play “Love Me Like You Do” on the piano:
Key of G#
So love me like you do, love me like you do
Love me like you do, love me like you do
A#m Fm D#
Touch me like you do, touch me like you do
Note: The great thing about this song is that all four choruses have the same chords!
7. “Take Me to Church” by Hozier
Pop, Blues Ballad
This piano song is easy to play because it has very simple chords. The vocal melodic line makes the song sound very mysterious. It’s also a great song for practicing those minor chords and scales. It won song of the year at the 2014 Grammys!
Here’s how to play “Take Me to Church” on the piano:
Key of Am
Downbeat: G5 F#5
F#5 F5 Em
Take me to church, I’ll worship like a dog
At the shrine of your lies, I’ll tell you my sins
So you can sharpen your knife
Am Em A5 G5
Offer me that deathless death, good God let me give you my life
Note: Because this is primarily a guitar song, there are many power chords, like F5 for example, which means you play just the root and 5th of the chord. Talk about an easy piano chord!
8. “Elastic Heart” by Sia
Passionate Pop EDM
From the soundtrack of “Hunger Games: Catching Fire,” “Elastic Heart” is a pop song from Australian artist Sia. It’s groovy, especially dominant in the chorus, and it translates well into a keyboard song. I encourage you to really groove in this song and try to be “in the moment,” because it’s very powerful!
Key of C
C G D
Well I’ve got thick skin, and an elastic heart
But your blade it might be too sharp
C G D
I’m like a rubber band until you pull too hard
But I may snap when I move close
C G D Em D
But you won’t see me move no more
C G D Em D
Cause I’ve got an elastic heart
9. “Dark Horse” by Katy Perry
Pop/Rap and Pop/Hip-Hop
Have fun with this one and explore how rap and piano can play along with each other! Their respective rhythms complement each other well. It also has a really fun intro that doubles as a fast exercise for your fingers!
Here’s how to play “Dark Horse” on piano:
10. “Counting Stars” by One Republic
Bright, Uptempo Pop
This feel-good song will have everyone singing, clapping, and dancing along! It’s a great song to show off your piano and vocal skills, as you can add in fun embellishments and improvisation!
Here’s how to play “Counting Stars” on piano:
Key of Am
Lately I’ve been, I’ve been losing sleep
Dreaming about the things that we could be
But baby I’ve been, I’ve been praying hard
Said no more counting dollars, we’ll be counting stars
11. “Thinking Out Loud” by Ed Sheeran
Easy Listening Ballad
This is a very soft easy listening piece. It’s perfect to play on a rainy day or lazy afternoon. Challenge yourself and try re-harmonizing the chords, or do different inversions to make the song sound a bit more dramatic.
Here’s how to play “Thinking Out Loud” on the piano:
Key of C
D D/F# G A D D/F#
So honey now, take me into your loving arms
Kiss me under the light
D D/F# G A
Of a thousand stars, place your hand
D D/F# G A
On my beating heart, I’m thinking out loud
Bm A G D/F# Em A7 D
Maybe we found love right where we are
12. “Clarity” by Zedd
Vocal EDM Song
This is a great song to play on the digital keyboard; try exploring with synthesizers and different effects. This is an EDM-driven song, but its core is on the piano. A fun idea is to use different keyboard settings played with the left and the right hand.
Here’s how to play “Clarity” on the piano:
13. “Shake It Off” by Taylor Swift
Upbeat, Funky Pop
This is a fun, upbeat song with a funky beat. Don’t be afraid of the syncopation and the tempo changes. It’s a great song to practice your rhythm chops while having fun!
Here’s how to play “Shake It Off” on the piano:
14. “How to Save a Life” by The Fray
This 2005 hit predominantly features piano; it’s mostly a rock song, but the piano is undoubtedly the highlight. The piano does a good job of making the song sound full. The song’s lyrics convey a strong message of key values and lessons in life.
Here’s how to play “How to Save a Life” on the piano:
Key of A#
C D Em
Where did I go wrong, I lost a friend
Somewhere along the bitterness
C D Em
And I would have stayed up with you all night
G D/F# G
Had I known how to save a life
15. “Let It Go” by Idina Menzel
Musical Theater/Movie Soundtrack, Power Ballad
From the popular movie “Frozen,” you can play this song two ways — in a Broadway/movie soundtrack style, or in a rock ballad style as Demi Lovato covered. Both ways sound outstanding on the piano. This song has many diverse elements, including softer verses, driven choruses, and a climatic bridge. This is the #1 most-requested song for piano players today.
Here’s how to play “Let It Go” on the piano:
These tutorials should help you quickly learn how to play a variety of pop songs with just a handful of easy piano chords! To keep track of all your favorites, try compiling a notebook specifically for piano pop songs. When taking on a new song, you may want to start slowly and work out the voicings one by one. Try to find chord voicings that work smoothly together, so you can seamlessly transition between chords. As your muscle memory grows, you won’t even have to think about how to play these easy piano chords!
While YouTube videos are a great piano learning resource, there’s no replacement for hands-on piano lessons. Whether in-person or online, personalized guidance makes all the difference when it comes to learning the piano. If you’re interested in mastering the pop piano techniques that you hear in these tunes, schedule a piano lesson with a professional teacher near you or try a live streaming lesson!
A piano instructor can provide you with a roadmap to get you from where you are now to where you want to be. With each lesson, your instructor will help you gain the confidence and skills you need to master your next performance. We look forward to seeing your own piano videos on YouTube!
What are your favorite pop piano tunes to play? Let us know in the comments below!