15 Easy Piano Rock Songs (with Video Lessons)

If you are one of those who miss the golden age of rock music, you’ll definitely enjoy this easy piano rock songs list. There are songs we specifically chose to make the piano learning process easier and more fun for you. If you are just a beginner it’s crucial to select songs that are suitable for your level. If you go with the easy ones only you will end up making no progress but if you choose too advanced songs that can be intimidating too.

Easy Piano Rock Songs Being Played by Elton John
Photo by COD Newsroom

In situations like this, rock songs are perfect to fit that niche. They are more complex in terms of structure, harmony, and rhythm compared to pop songs. But less troubling compared to classical music. Plus, if you were born before the 90s, it means you are probably familiar with those rock classics anyway. They changed many people’s lives since then. Take a look at our list of easy piano rock songs and try to enjoy while practicing them at the same time, try to feel the power and energy of these rock hits.

Here is a List of Easy Rock Songs to Play on Piano

16. Purple Rain by Prince

“Purple Rain” was released in 1984 by Prince and his band The Revolution for the album of the same name. It was also the soundtrack of the 1984 film Purple Rain starring Prince. It is a power ballad song with a mixture of rock, R&B, gospel, and orchestral music. It is considered to be one of Prince’s signature songs and it is ranked at No. 144 on Rolling Stone’s list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time and is included in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s 500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll. After Prince’s death, the song entered the charts again and stayed at the top for a long time.

While practicing, you have to be careful about the right hand, because it includes the main melody and some support notes from the chords together. If you want you can first practice the melody while singing and then add the supporting notes and left-hand bass melodies. Also always divide the song into pieces. Do not play the whole song at once with the video. Instead, you should practice each section until you perfect it. You should also pay attention to the rhythm. You can try counting to stay in the beat.

15. Nothing Else Matters by Metallica

Metallica released “Nothing Else Matters” in 1992 as the third single from their self-titled fifth studio album, Metallica. The song peaked at number 11 on the Billboard Mainstream Rock Tracks chart and reached the top ten on many other European charts. It was even used in the music video game Guitar Hero: Metallica. “Nothing Else Matters” has become a staple of live concerts, recognized as one of Metallica’s best known and most famous tracks.

You can use the sustain pedal in the intro to connect the notes. Don’t forget to clean it when it starts to sound messy. Spend some time with the intro before going to the rest of the song. It is a quite iconic intro so try to sound flawless. The rest is pretty easy already. Just don’t rush and don’t forget to play with the dynamics. For example, in the chorus, you can play “forte” and the other parts can be softer, in other words, “piano”.

14. Zombie by The Cranberries

Did you know that “Zombie” was written in response to the death of two children in an Irish Republican Army bombing that took place during early 1993 in Warrington, England? The Cranberries released “Zombie” 1994 as the lead single for their second studio album, No Need to Argue. It won the “Best Song” award at the 1995 MTV Europe Music Awards and reached #1 on the charts in Germany, France, Belgium, Denmark, and Australia.

Pay attention to your left hand. The bass also gives the rhythmic feeling to the song so try to play the notes equal in terms of time and dynamics. After the intro it becomes easier, but if you want you can continue with the same rhythm of the left-hand melody in the intro. Or you can add a lower octave to your left hand to make it bigger. You can try singing or humming; it will keep you in the beat while playing.

13. In The End by Linkin Park

Linkin Park released “In the End” in 2000 as a part of their debut album, Hybrid Theory. It is one of the band’s most recognizable songs. It was also the most-played song in the band’s live performances. It was also remixed on the album “Reanimation” with the title “Enth E ND”. The song reached the top ten on numerous worldwide music charts and reached number two on the US Billboard Hot 100.

After learning the correct notes at the intro, you can try using the sustain pedal to tie the notes to each other. Clean the pedal whenever the bass note changes. If you can sing or hum during the chorus it will help you to stay in the tempo. Try not to rush during the verses because normally there is rapping going on there. You can play the intro during the verse if the tutorial sounds easy for you.

12. We Are The Champions by Queen

Written by Freddie Mercury, “We Are The Champions” is one of Queen’s most popular songs and one of rock’s most recognizable anthems. It was released on their 1977 album News of the World. The lead guitarist Brian May said, “We wanted to get the crowds waving and singing. It’s very unifying and positive.” Well, it created that effect. It has become an anthem for victories at sporting events, even Donald Trump used the song in a convention, of course without the authorization of the band.

Don’t be scared of the fast notes on the right hand. Just try to sing with it, all these short notes will make more sense then. Pay attention to your left hand because it carries the bass and harmony throughout the song. Try to memorize it even before learning the right-hand melodies. It will create a stronger foundation so you don’t need to think about it when you are learning the main melody. If you’re looking for easy rock piano songs this is a great option.

11. Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen

“Bohemian Rhapsody” was written by Freddie Mercury for Queens’s 1975 album “A Night at the Opera”. It consists of a six-minute suite composed of many parts without a chorus: an intro, a section of a ballad, an operatic passage, a portion of hard rock, and a reflective coda. Freddie Mercury revealed in an interview that “there was a time when the others wanted to chop “Bohemian Rhapsody” around a bit, but I refused” EMI and Elektra both tried to cut chunks off the song thinking it was too long and wouldn’t work.

Bohemian Rhapsody has a complex structure so it needs to be divided into different sections while practicing. Otherwise, you will get lost in the song. Just loop each section and practice until you perfect it and then move on to the next part. Pay attention to the tempo changes and the changes in the dynamics as well. This song is not a regular pop or rock song so it is full of surprises. Spend the time the song deserves!

10. November Rain by Guns N’ Roses

Guns N’ Roses released “November Rain” in 1992 as a single on their third studio album, Use Your Illusion. It was written by the lead vocalist Axl Rose. The lyrics of this song and the music video are based on a short story by Del James called “Without You” from a collection “The Language Of Fear”. The song was in the works since the mid-80s when it had been a piano composition with the title “November Rain”.

You can separate the hands first to get used to the notes. The left hand is pretty easy to learn. For the right hand, you should spend some time in the chord parts. Because melody is pretty easy when you already know the song. You can use the sustain pedal to tie the notes to each other when you play chords on your right hand. Just clean the pedal whenever the bass note changes.

9. The House Of The Rising Sun by The Animals

“The House Of The Rising Sun” is a traditional folk song but The Animals recorded the most successful commercial version in 1964 and it became their signature song, a number one in the UK, United States, and France charts and often described as the “first folk-rock hit”. The “rising sun” has been a symbol for brothels in British and American ballads. In the traditional folk version of the song, the main character is either a prostitute or a prisoner. The Animals changed it to a gambler to make their version more radio-friendly.

Learn the bass notes first. After memorizing the bass first try to sing or hum while playing it. Try to tie the chord notes on your right hand either holding them as in the video or using the sustain pedal. Also, pay attention to the finger numbers of the pianist in the video. You should never play with random fingers, always try to play with the same finger numbers each time you play a song.

8. Smells Like Teen Spirit by Nirvana

“Smells Like Teen Spirit” hit the charts in 1991. This song came up in a jam session when Kurt Cobain played it for the band Nirvana. He explained, “I was trying to write the ultimate pop song. I was basically trying to rip off The Pixies.” “Teen Spirit” was a deodorant used by Tobi Vail whom Kurt Cobain went out with at the time. The song defined grunge as a genre, with its loud guitars and angry lyrics.

The bass melody is quite repetitive so it’s a good idea to learn it first until you don’t even have to look at the keys while playing. Then try to divide the song into small pieces and practice them separately. Then combine those parts later when you feel comfortable enough with each section. You can try counting to stay in the beat or you can even use a metronome app if you want to go deeper.

7. Rocket Man by Elton John

“Rocket Man (I Think It’s Going to Be a Long, Long Time)” was released in 1972 and it was composed by Elton John and Bernie Taupin. This song was inspired by the short story “The Rocket Man” by Ray Bradbury. It tells a story about an astronaut who flies to space on a daily basis just doing his job. “Rocket Man” first debuted on Elton John’s 1972 album Honky Château, and became a hit single, rising to No. 2 on the UK Singles Chart and No. 6 on the US Billboard Hot 100. Elton John’s record company Rocket Records is named after this song.

Don’t rush, just pick a tempo you feel comfortable and try to finish with the tempo you started while practicing without the video. You can play with the dynamics, go softer or louder where you feel necessary. Humming or singing if you can, will help to stay in the rhythm. Or you can try counting. While counting, try to count out loud instead of counting inside. This is one of my favorite easy rock songs to play on piano.

6. Wonderwall by Oasis

Oasis released “Wonderwall” in 1995 for their second studio album ”(What’s the Story) Morning Glory?”. It was produced by Noel Gallagher and Owen Morris and according to Gallagher, “Wonderwall” describes “an imaginary friend who’s gonna come and save you from yourself”. Although in 1996 he said about the origin of this song to NME, “It’s about my girlfriend, Meg Matthews.” before he divorced Matthews in 2001. The title of this song was derived from the film “Wonderwall” (1968).

You can start learning the left hand first. Practice the left hand while singing the right-hand melody. Once you feel comfortable with the bass, start learning the chords first and then the main melody. Pay attention to the rhythm of the intro where the right hand plays chords. Watch the gap between left and right hands every second and fourth note. That gap gives the rhythm of the guitar in the original song.

5. Dream On by Aerosmith

“Dream On” is a power ballad by Aerosmith from their 1973 debut album, Aerosmith. It was Aerosmith’s first single. Until the release of the single, Columbia Records wanted to drop the band because their first album had sold very badly. The band’s management contributed to the release of “Dream On” as a single with slight changes to make it more radio-friendly, and it reached number 59 in the USA helping the band save their deal. And Columbia obtained one of their most successful acts. The main riff and chorus were sampled in the song “Sing for the Moment” by Eminem on his album “The Eminem Show” (2002). Joe Perry himself played the guitar solo on that song.

Spend some time on the intro. It is a beautiful intro and at the same time, it is super fun to play. After learning the correct notes pay attention to the rhythm. It should be precise almost like a clock ticking. When you feel comfortable with the intro you can move on to the other sections. Yes, don’t forget to divide the song into sections while practicing. It is crucial especially to learn more complex songs. This technique is called “divide and conquer”.

4. Eye Of The Tiger by Survivor

Mostly known as the theme song for the film Rocky III, “Eye of the Tiger” was released as a single from Survivor’s third album of the same name in 1982. It was composed by the guitarist Frankie Sullivan, and Jim Peterik, the keyboardist. And it was recorded by the demand of Sylvester Stallone after Queen refused his request to use “Another One Bites the Dust” for the Rocky III theme. In the United States, it held No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart for six consecutive weeks. It also peaked at No. 1 in the United Kingdom, remaining at the top of the UK Singles Chart for four consecutive weeks. The band won an award for “Best Rock Performance by Duo or Group With Vocal” at the 25th Annual Grammy Awards.

Imagine a rock band playing in your head. The intro should be very precise and sharp. Pay attention to short notes especially try to play them forte and gutsy. After you master the intro you can go on with the other sections. The rest is pretty easy actually. The left-hand plays the same fifth position over and over. And the right hand plays the main melody which is quite easy if you know the song already. You can try singing or humming also.

3. The Sound of Silence by Simon & Garfunkel

“The Sound Of Silence” was released in 1964 as an acoustic ballad recorded by Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel as the lead single from their debut album “Wednesday Morning, 3 A.M.” At first, the album and “The Sound Of Silence” were a commercial disaster (sold less than 2000 copies) and the duo were starting to break apart. Simon returned to England and Art Garfunkel to his studies at Columbia University. But then, producer Tom Wilson remixed and re-released the track in 1965, overdubbing electric instruments and drums. Simon & Garfunkel didn’t even know anything of the song’s remix until after “The Sound Of Silence” achieved success. The song hit No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 leading the duo to reunite and hastily record their second album.

Don’t try to play fast because we have chosen a slow version video for this one on purpose. The left-hand plays really beautiful chord patterns. The type of patterns you can see in most of the classical music. So it’s not just playing the bass note only. Spend some time on the rhythm of your left hand. At first, the notes probably won’t sound even but after a little practice, they will be more even sounding. Just pay attention to finger numbers as well.

2. Sweet Child O’ Mine by Guns N’ Roses

Sweet Child O’ Mine is the most successful single for Guns N’ Roses reaching the top of the Billboard Hot 100. It was released as the third single in 1988. The song began as a joke during warming up when guitarist Slash played some simple cyclic melody. The others started adding chords, drums, and bass. Slash later said in his autobiography, “Within an hour my guitar exercise had become something else.” It won Best Single, Heavy Metal/Hard Rock at the 1989 American Music Awards. In 1989 the song won the MTV Video Music Award for Best Heavy Metal Video.

Start slow and increase the tempo after you feel comfortable enough. Don’t rush and finish with the bpm you started. You can use the sustain pedal to tie the notes to each other but don’t forget to change when the bass changes. Probably the most famous part of this song is the intro, so spend some time with the intro before moving on to the other sections. Singing, humming, or counting will always help to stay in the beat.

1. Boulevard Of Broken Dreams by Green Day

Green Day released “Boulevard of Broken Dreams” in 2004 in their seventh studio album American Idiot. It was written by Billie Joe Armstrong during a break from the pre-production of the album “American Idiot” when he went alone to New York to get some inspiration for new songs. The title of the song was derived by Armstrong from a photo of James Dean from 1948 who pictured walking in New Your. The phrase under the photo was “Boulevard of Broken Dreams”. It won the Grammy award for Record Of The Year and MTV Video Music Award for Video of the Year. The song peaked at number two on the Billboard Hot 100, behind “Candy Shop” by 50 Cent and Olivia, making it Green Day’s most successful song in the United States.

In your right hand, aim to be rhythmically precise. You can count or use a metronome to keep up with the tempo. You can use the sustain pedal to tie up notes after you learn the right notes. But when the left-hand plays a different note, make sure to clean the pedal. You can start by learning the left hand until you don’t have to think about it while playing.

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