One of the best ways to learn to play the piano quickly is by learning songs. There are hundreds of easy songs to learn on piano. We will be posting the sheet music of songs that you can use to practice your piano playing skills. The songs we post here offer you a good opportunity to practice reading sheet music.While these music scores may be good candidates to practice on when you are starting out, if your goal is to become a really good piano player as quickly as possible, we recommend you follow a complete course like Pianoforall, which features structured lessons and a more complete learning scheduled, however practicing the FREE sheet music we post here is a great way to supplement such a course.

Today’s easy piano song is none other than YANKEE DOODLE. This song which you have almost certainly heard of before is a well known Anglo American folk song that was first published in the 1780s. The origin of this song is thought to be in the pre-revolutionary war, where the song was sung by British military officers to mock what they saw as disorganized “Yankees”, who they fought with in the French and Indian war. Although written before the war, the song, then known as “Yankee Doodle Dandy” was widely popular with both the American rebels and British soldiers.

The song is about a simpleton “Doodle”, whereas “Dandy” referred to a gentleman of high class. “Macaroni” mentioned in the song does not refer to food as is commonly believed, but a style of Italian dress that was copied in England and popular at the time.

There were many versions of this song and it is believed 190 verses in all were invented. Today the song is often sung by American patriots and is in fact the “state anthem” of Connecticut. The song is featured in the Roud Folk Song Index where it is placed at number 4501.

The full lyrics of the song can be found here.

Yankee_Doodle

A common question that comes up is what is the quickest way to learn piano songs when you’re a beginner? There are many answers to this question depending on certain variables. Perhaps the fastest way to get to the stage where you can play something is to find some easy songs to learn on piano, These are songs that are suitable for beginners to play and they should not take you much effort to learn. Once you have a few simple songs down pat, then there are a few general ways you can do to learn songs on the piano a bit faster.

Preparation is King

If your goal is to learn a particular song as quickly as possible, there are a few things you can do before you begin to play notes and chords. First listen to the song a few times, so you are familiar with the tune to start with. It can help to choose a song you are already familiar with. Get acquainted with its dynamics and it’s chords and get a “feel” for the song. From this you will at least know by ear when you are playing it wrong and making mistakes. Next step, break the song into separate parts. This will vary from song to song, but typically you want to address a song’s intro, verse, chorus and bridge separately. Playing a song slowly to begin with will help you memorise it more thoroughly.  Additionally you might also like to track down the sheet music for the song. Even if you wish to learn to play it by ear, you can refer to the sheet music in areas that you have difficulty figuring out.

Practicing The Song

If you have sufficiently prepared to learn the song, then practicing it will go much easier. Try and separate the right hand notes and chords from the left hand and practice each individually before attempting to combine them. It may be tempting to attempt both at the same time, but as you’re just beginning, this can often bring you unstuck! It may well be faster to do this at times, but it can also make it harder, forcing you to take extra time to sort out your issues. Try and practice at a slow, consistent pace. Do not allow yourself to speed up right away. Practice the most challenging sections separately. Do them over and over until they become second nature to you and then try to tie them into the other sections of the song. Do not forget to do this last step as you’ll end up only being able to play part of the song.

Whenever you find yourself getting frustrated, take a break and don’t try and force it, but make sure you practice every day. It will become easier over time!

When you’re starting to learn piano, it can be difficult to know where to start. People will say that the fastest way to improve is to find easy songs to learn on piano. This is certainly a good start, but is there a difference between the fast way and the right way? While there are many different schools of thought on the topic of learning piano, I believe most good instructors would say “yes”. Learning easy piano songs can be great when starting out, but to improve and reach a higher level, you need a more structured approach like the one laid out in the excellent Pianoforall course.

Aside from knowing the “correct” way of learning the other issue that can hold you back is motivation.

Removing Negative Thoughts

Most people learning something that they believe is “hard” will balk at the prospect of spending a lot of their time doing it. Negative thoughts of failure enter the mind, yet it is exactly this that must be cleared from one’s mind before embarking on activity of improving oneself. Learning to play piano well will certainly require you spend a lot of time practicing, but this does not mean that this practice should not also be fun. There are thousands of ways to make otherwise boring practice into a fun endeavor, no matter what level you are at.

Ways of Learning

Almost all piano courses start you off in the same way. Usually you will be taught you need to recognize notes. While there are certainly a lot of different notes on the piano keyboard you will need to know, this does not take nearly as long as you would expect. So long as you commit yourself to learning piano, you’ll most likely have it licked in a few short lessons. Second stage is getting to know the keyboard and the different keys. Knowing your white from black keys, “ebony” from your “ivory” so to speak. Next, when you are taught basic fingering and posture you will likely practice the basic “doe”-“ray”-“me” combination which is the foundation of a basic major scale.

Once the basics are out of the way, you can learn to play a few simple songs. Many new players will skip directly to this step, which is perfectly OK, provided that other fundamentals aren’t neglected. There are hundreds (thousands even) of easy songs to play on the piano to get started with. It is here where you will start to learn how to read basic sheet music. These simple songs can also help you to practice different rhythm patterns.

Above is a very basic way a new player can start to play piano. After you can play simple songs on the piano and play them well, you can then move onto more advanced songs, or advanced scales and chords. Scales will help unlock your ability to improves on the instrument, while you can never have to great a repertoire of piano chords at your disposal. It will take time certainly, but it does not necessarily need to be a chord. If you keep it fun the time will fly!

In a wider society, there are countless myths that we assume are correct simply because everyone believes them. But quite often the commonly held perception is on the wrong track. This is also true in the world of piano teaching. While it may seem silly to counter them, on closer inspection, many assumptions that seem “obvious” are not only wrong, but counterproductive to the individual who is bound by their shackles. We will attempt to address some of these myths over a number of articles. This is an attempt to “liberate” new pianists before they get stuck in these age old quagmires. By getting these straight from the beginning you will be able to reach your goal unhindered by outdated schools of thought. Today we address the myth that a comprehensive study of classical music is required before you can play more modern styles of music like pop, rock or jazz.

Classical music has, for a long time been considered the “proper” way to start learning a musical instrument. There is certainly no denying that classical style music is more formal and requires a higher degree of skill than the average pop tune you hear on the radio, or watch on TV, or YouTube. Our school of thought on this matter however is that if your ultimate goal is to play popular music, then you should simply learn it right off the bat.

That is not to say that we are against classical training. There is no deny thing the great value in studying popular chord and scale techniques and improvisation. However the advantage of learning popular music is in fact that it is simpler making it quicker to learn, making it great for beginners to start learning from the start. The chords of most pop music are typically presented in a simple manner and often the notes are printed on the music, so you do not even need to know how to read sheet music to play the chords to your favorite songs. Sometimes these are printed as “guitar chords”, so you will have to check out a chart to figure out the positioning of your fingers. (Feel free to use our simple and extended chord charts for this by the way).

Theoretical knowledge can make you a better memorizer, interpreter, performer, sight reader and a better musician overall. These attributes are certainly applicable to classical music, though that is certainly not to say that they cannot be learned through the study of popular music and learning pop music is by far the easier route.

That said, one could certainly learn classical music first, which would make the basics of learning popular music a relative breeze, however learning classical music does use a slightly different skill set, which you may then need to spend time “unlearning” what you don’t need. You could learn them both at the same time, but if you have no use for classical music then you are wasting half of your effort learning skills that you won’t ultimately use. On a whole, our feeling on this matter is that avoiding popular music until you learn classical will make learning music theory much harder and may prevent you reaching your ultimate goals as quickly as it would have taken otherwise. So don’t get bogged down by thinking you need to learn classical music if you already know it’s not for you!

There are plenty of easy songs to learn on piano that are popular and contemporary and we see no reason to postpone learning them.

I can’t deny it, the prospect of learning to play the piano from scratch is a daunting one! The amount of practice required to get good at playing the instrument is overwhelming! When you are starting off, you should keep in mind the importance of “small wins”. It is much the same as running a marathon. When trying to run a marathon for the first time, one does not just turn up on the day and do it right? To make it to an end of a marathon race, one must achieve a level of physical fitness that permits them to make it through the race. It takes months of regular extended running to achieve this. One does not simply “have it” to start with!

A similar thing applies to learning the piano. It’s important to slowly gain confidence as you build up your skill set. While the common suggestion is to find easy songs to learn on piano and practice a few of them, you may find you even struggle with simple songs when you first attempt them. This does not matter at all, what matters is your commitment to learning them and playing them competently. This is what a “small win” is about.

Even if the song is “Twinkle twinkly little star”, an easy song by the way, having the skill to play it competently when a few weeks ago you could not even play chopsticks on the piano is a “small win” that you should be immensely proud of! Whether it took you 5 minutes or 5 weeks to get there doesn’t matter when you’re just starting, achieving the goal is where the “win” is at!

You should always be looking for the next big win. When you have learned to play “Chop sticks” you should try and learn another beginner song. If you have just learned how to play “When The Saints Go Marching In” with your right hand, you should aim to go one better and add in the left hand piece of the music, but don’t forget to congratulate yourself on your “small win” in the first place.

Some good goals to set yourself as you get better at the piano are:

  • Expanding your repertoire of songs – as well as learning new songs you should also be learning songs that are harder than what you already know.
  • Learn a new music genre – If you can already play a lot of pop songs, challenge yourself by learning Jazz, or Blues
  • Learn new chords and scales – To get good at playing piano, you should immediately strive to learn the basic chords. Once you know them, you should aim to learn more.
  • Learn a classical music track or two – classical music is generally more complicated than popular music, so it’s a great challenge to learn and will be a boost to your playing ability.
  • Learn how to sigh read – when you get really good, an excellent skill to learn is how to play a music track for the first time from sheet music. Once you’ve got this down, the world’s your oyster!

Learning how to play the piano is a never ending process and this can be daunting if you’re new. If you are always setting small goals and striving for “small wins”, then you’ll always be improving, which will put you well ahead of those who stay in their comfort zone. Like Robin Hall, author of the Pianoforall course once said: practice what you DON’T know, not what you DO know and you’ll be a much better piano player!

Popular myths have always been the bane of society. For some reason we tend to be swayed by “common knowledge”, whether is has any basis of fact or not. While not all common knowledge is far from the truth, there is no denying the many popular myths that lead to backwards thinking. This is also true in the music world, where old modes of thinking can hinder learning. Here we will debunk one of the popular myths that is held amongst a lot of adults, that in which past a certain age one can not learn as quickly as they could when they were a child.

In reality, there is very little difference. An experienced piano tutor once told me that in his experience in teaching both adults and children for many years, that the idea that a child’s brain is more receptive is simply not true. What does tend to be true is that the child has more time on their hands to learn new things and is not so encumbered by the stresses of life which reduces their “mental clutter”.

When in this state, you are naturally better at focusing on the task at hand, which creates the illusion that children absorb new material much faster than an adult does. What a child may not have that an adult does, however is the desire to achieve something. Many adults have a burning desire to become better piano players, which creates greater focus in those people who are seriously committed to learn. Adults who set themselves to “make up for lost time”, can often outperform in learning speed over children by a significant margin.

Adults who do tend to learn slower than children are those who just dabble in learning piano and do not have the desire in them to stretch themselves. This typical “frazzled” adult living a hectic life will often learn slower, but not necessarily because they don’t practice, but due to the fact that they do not have a burning desire to achieve “quality learning”. There is a distinction between time spent learning and quality time spent learning. The two are certainly not equivalent.

Another issue adults tend to have is negative self-judgement as well as impatience and stress they bring on themselves. Adults may have learned music before and so have formed prejudices from the past which can hold them back. They may stubbornly stick to how something is “supposed” to sound rather than how it is presented to them in the sheet music. Children who have never seen the piece before will not think twice about it.

Adults who have been competent players in the past may suffer another limiting factors which is frustration at not playing as well as they used to. Or even if they haven’t may get frustrated that they cannot play one of a selection of easy songs to learn on piano that “should be easy”. The additional stress from this added frustrating can add to the myth that children learn faster than adults. The adult simply may be so stressed that they give up trying.

So if you are an adult piano player, whether you have played in the past or not, you need to realize that adults can learn just as fast or even faster than children can, however you also need to be aware of some of the common limitations that tend to hold adults back. If you can work through these, there is no reason why you can’t come up to speed on the piano very rapidly indeed!

Learn to embrace your current ability and be open minded about learning or re-learning your way of playing.

In modern culture, there are countless popular myths that everyone subscribes to that are not always 100% accurate. While many of them are and can be a good thing, there are certainly many outdated modes of thinking that hold people back. This is also true when it comes to learning a musical instrument like the piano. Students who are serious about becoming great piano players can get caught up in learning “correct” technique. The desire to play music the “correct” way is understandable, but somewhat misguided. In this article we will dismiss the myth that you should learn proper piano technique before you begin to pay music on the piano.

Amongst musicians, there is the age-old debate of whether physical technique and accuracy is as necessary as a player’s interpretation and expression of a musical piece. While technique is certainly important, what’s most important is the music that’s produced as the end-result so the answer to this question is most certainly. No!

Another question to ask is whether playing technique and perfect note-accuracy takes longer to learn than to interpret a piece of music well and express yourself when playing it. The answer again is a resounding No! We are comparing apples and oranges here, peaches and pears. Both skills mentioned above take a lot of time to master. Probably the best way to improve your interpretation and expressiveness is via repertoire. In fact it is not unheard of in some countries for music students to practice repetitive drills for many years before they are even allowed to attempt to play a piece of music! When they do the student is allowed to play repertoire, however the result is that these musicians end up playing fast and accurately with almost no expression! Is this really a big surprise?

Probably the most effective way to study music on the piano is to practice playing music as you practice fingering technique and playing accuracy. The ideal way is that the difficulty of a technique should be harder than what is required of the repertoire. This way you are always pushing yourself to learn more advanced techniques, while not compromising on other factors that are neglected by many piano players.

We advise you begin with easy songs to learn on piano, but we do NOT advise that you get stuck on them. You should ideally be continually advancing your technique and repertoire as your playing ability improves.

Common misconceptions can be the bane of a society! They can also be the bane of beginning piano players who get trapped in the wrong mode of thinking. Here we address another popular myth that many new players take for granted. Today we will look at the issue of long practice sessions. Most new players starting out believe that it is better to spend many hours of practice at a time to improve, but this has it’s drawbacks too as we will see.

The problem with marathon practice sessions is mental fatigue. After about 15 minutes of practice, the average person becomes mentally tired. Thus, regular short bursts, with breaks in between is actually more effective than extending a session over many hours non-stop. For this reason, we believe that you should practice on days even when you only have a short amount of time available to you. You may think it would be wasted time, but this is not necessarily the case. So long as you keep doing a lot of short practice sessions, by the end of the week they’ll have added up to something significant.

Say you only have 10 minutes per day. If you can squeeze in 16 of these 10-minute bursts over a few days, then that makes 16 micro practice session, totaling 160 minutes which is just under three hours. You might think stopping and starting like this would not give you enough time to “ramp up” to something important, but it can actually be a highly efficient way of practicing.

It can also be much easier to squeeze in 10 minute bursts than committing yourself to an hour a day. If your initial goal is to practice an hour, three days of the week, yet you get tied up and keep postponing your practice, days go by without practicing and by the end of the week you have done exactly ZERO practice. The result is you delay practicing the piano ALTOGETHER. Compare this to sneaking in a 10-15 minute interval twice a day when you can. Even if you can only do it once a day for three days and twice for two that’s an hour or two of practice a week compared to ZERO practice!

Even if you do have as much time on your hand as you need and can dedicate it all to piano practice, small chunks of practice is still preferable to six hours of practice straight. It is also preferable not to practice when you are tired, frustrated, distracted, angry or in a hurry as these will be “learned” into your piano playing which is not a good thing.

On the other hand if you do find yourself stuck seated at the piano for a long time then it will help to rotate your activities so you practice a variety of activities in turn. Select a piece from our easy songs to learn on piano and spend 20 minutes learning it, then switch to practicing chords, then switch to some fingering techniques. You can then switch back to the song you were learning at the beginning and you’ll feel mentally much fresher and your practice session will be much more effective. You are balancing your learning of new skills and your mind will be fresher.

Takeaway lesson: practice sessions need not be long, short bursts of 10-15 minutes are in fact an effective way of learning if you are on a tight schedule.

So you’ve taken the first steps to learn to play the piano. Whether you are seeing a piano teacher every week, or have purchased one of the better online piano courses like Pianoforall and are following the lesson plan, the main thing is you are putting in some effort to improve your piano playing.

A challenge you’d probably like to take sooner or later is playing one of your favorite songs, but chances are, the songs you wish to play are a bit tougher than “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” and “When the Saints Go Marching In”. While there are easy songs to learn on piano that are also popular, many popular music songs are hard for a beginner to play right off the bat. Nevertheless, you would like to play the songs you would like to play! And if they are a bit more challenging than the piano songs you’ve played up until now, you’ve got a tough job ahead of you! With that in mind, here are a couple of tips to make it a bit easier.

Break It Down Into Chunks

Later when you become a skilled piano player, you should ultimately be trying to sight-read all, but the most complicated music scores without stopping, but for beginners getting started, breaking a song down is perfectly acceptable.

Even songs that are only slightly tricky in complexity can be broken down into sections. You could do this by breaking a song into the usual verse, chorus, bridge, etc, but the natural way to break down a song will vary quite a lot from song to song. As a rule of thumb, try and break it down into 8-16 bars at a time (you may even wish to go as low as 4 bars). When you can play a section comfortably, move onto the next section. Once you are comfortable playing the next section move on to the next and so on until you can play the entire song.

Play at a Slower Tempo

Lowering the tempo at which you practice a piece of music is more important than you might realize.

It’s all about muscular memory. Playing slower is easier and you are more likely to get it right by keeping things simple at a slower pace. Once the body “gets used” to the mechanical action of the song, playing the notes will have been committed to memory and will become as natural as say riding a bicycle, typing or walking. This is the goal anyway and this is what repetitive practice will help you to achieve.

The mind will gain more control of the muscle movements that are required to play the song and you will have more control over your ability to play the song in question. The basic premise is that the better controlled and more precise the muscle movements (which is what happens when you play slow), the quicker your body will commit this action to muscle memory.

Learning to play the piano is not something you will learn in a day. Learning to play your favorite songs will certainly improve your playing ability, but it should be done in combination with other exercises and a structured lesson plan that includes scales, chords and other important exercises.

One of the best ways to get good at playing piano is to look for easy songs to learn on piano to learn and play. Many traditional folk songs fall into this category. These types of songs usually feature a simple melody that can be played against easy chords. One such song is the traditional English ballad “Scarborough Fair”. This song is the tale of a young man who instructs the subject of the song to request his former lover to perform impossible tasks and that if she can perform these tasks he will take her back. The melody is typical of the middle age English period.

Over time, many theories have been proposed about the plot of the song. Some say it was set in the time of the Great Plague of the Middle Ages. That the song is about the Yorkshire town of Scarborough seems obvious, although the worlds “Scarborough Fair” seem to associate with an obscure Scottish ballad which can be traced back at least as far back as 1670.

There have been several commercial recordings of this song, most popularly the 1968 single by Simon and Garfunkel which was released as a 7″ single. Their song performed very well in the charts, breaking into the top 10 in the UK Singles Chart.

Here is a shortened version of the sheet music of Scarborough Fair. It should be sufficient to practice with, but you may wish to track down the full sheet music if you’d like to play the whole song in its entirety.

Scarborough Fair

The chords and melody are fairly straight forward here. Note that this version of the song is in the key of F major or D minor. So the note “B” is flattened. This song is a good one for practicing loudness as there are crescendos (denoted by left pointing “arrow”) and diminuendos (denoted by right pointing “arrow”). If you are not familiar with these in sheet music they depict a gradual increase and decrease in the music respectively. Also take note of the dynamics denoted by “p”, which stands for piano meaning soft and “pp” which stands for “pianissimo” and means very soft.

If dynamics are a bit too tricky for you at the moment, then don’t worry too much about them, just practice the chords and melody for now.