Jazz piano songs are smooth and soulful pieces of music. But that’s no reason to be intimidated by the genre. Here are some easy and beautiful jazz songs you can learn on the piano.
Are you new to piano but are beyond the beginner stages?
You’re probably interested in learning advanced songs. If you’re a fan of jazz sheet music, you may think learning jazz piano songs is difficult. But there are great jazz piano songs for all piano players to learn.
There are certain jazz songs that are easy piano play and are remembered by everyone. You can easily jam them yourself and team up with other musicians to play them. And of course, these songs are extremely fun to play.
Whether you’re taking jazz piano lessons or are self-taught, here are the 12 jazz piano songs you should learn now. These songs will improve your piano playing skills while you learn your favorite jazz songs, watch a few of the piano tutorial videos to help you out a bit.
1. Snow White – “Someday My Prince Will Come”
You probably know this song from the Disney movie Snow White and the Seven Dwarves. But this song was reinvented in jazz form by many jazz musicians.
You can easily take the vocal leads and convert them to the piano, such as what Chick Corea did.
The striking feature of this song is the melody. But hearing the Disney version, you can tell the varying notes isn’t an easy song to sing. Therefore, it’s quite difficult to play on the piano.
The lead melodies captivate anyone who hears this song. But unlike the Disney song, the jazz piano version gives this song more complexity. This makes this song fun but challenging.
2. Ella Fitzgerald – “All the Things You Are”
If you’re unsure where to start with jazz piano, always start with the classics. “All the Things You Are” is a perfect starting piece. Dating back to 1939, this song was played by Jerome Kern.
This song is the epitome of classic jazz composition. Chord progressions and other dynamic changes make this song challenging. But everything flows so naturally, so it’s complex yet beautiful.
Most beginners find the intro difficult. But once you get past the challenging beginning, you get a better feel for the song. After you practice this song, the chord changes and other dynamics make more sense.
3. Herbie Hancock – “Dolphin Dance”
You can’t say “jazz piano legends” without mentioning Herbie Hancock. This is why his tune “Dolphin Dance” is on this list. Hancock is an influential pianist for his complex but individualistic writing style.
This song goes through a variety of chord changes but always manages to keep its melody. You’re completely hooked throughout the song because it’s unpredictable. There are also many intricate parts and parts that slow down.
Practicing this song not only enhances your piano playing skills but also improves your songwriting.
4. Bill Evans – “Waltz for Debbie”
“Waltz for Debbie” is one of the most beautiful jazz piano pieces in history.
Performed by Bill Evans, this song is a classic. This song is perfect for a beginner and is constantly revisited by expert pianists.
This song doesn’t do anything too complex but the song is enjoyable enough to play. The secret is the tune. The tune is so strong that it sticks with you. This makes this song easy to get stuck in your head so you’ll recognize each note.
Last but not least, this song is still fresh today. This is why Evans was such a notable pianist for his time. This song is an example of modern jazz.
5. Thelonious Monk – “Round Midnight”
Thelonious Monk is one of the most influential jazz pianists and composers.
“Round Midnight” is one of his most well-known songs. This song has been covered by just about every great jazz pianist. And it’s a perfect song to learn on piano.
“Round Midnight” isn’t as complex as other jazz piano songs. It has a strong melody that you can easily follow. This song is very calm but has enough complexities to challenge a beginner piano player.
From the beginning to the end of the song, “Round Midnight” follows a distinctive but infectious tune. After playing this song, you can understand how Monk has influenced many pianists.
6. Red Garland – “On a Clear Day”
This song is recommended for beginner jazz pianists because it isn’t your traditional jazz song. There’s a lot of swing influence that makes this song a lot of fun to play. The swing influence gives this classic tune a fun and upbeat vibe.
Legendary jazz pianist Red Garland performs this song and is a timeless tune.
The groove of the rhythm section and the fun piano melodies makes this song intoxicating.
This song is relatively simple to play but is fun enough for advanced jazz pianists.
This song is easy to learn for beginners but is challenging enough to improve their skill.
7. Ray Brown Trio – “Sweet Georgia Brown”
Back in 1925, Ray Brown Trio performed “Sweet Georgia Brown” with Gene Harris on piano. This song gives jazz its classic sound but makes the genre more fun.
Even with a dominating rhythm section, Harris’ piano melodies stand out. This song is completely upbeat but still relaxing. It’s an easy song to play but it’s easy to get sucked into the song as you play.
The piano parts are polished and you’ll feel great as you learn to play this song.
In this song, Harris uses piano styles from swing, gospel and blues to create a unique feeling. This makes “Sweet Georgia Brown” one of the most unique songs in jazz. If you want to excel as a jazz pianist, this song is a must.
8. Duke Ellington – “Take the “A” Train”
The famous jazz standard “Take the “A” Train” was written by Billy Strayhorn, and was performed by Duke Ellington, who regularly performed it with his orchestra.
This song was also recorded by countless other artists, including Ella Fitzgerald. The song is about the new subway in New York in the 1930s!
9. Dave Brubeck – “Take Five”
This song was composed by Paul Desmond for the Dave Brubeck Quartet during 1959, in which he uses saxophone. Two years later it became a surprise hit and the biggest-selling jazz single ever.
The quartet recorded the tune in two takes, and when it was done, Paul Desmond thought the song was a throwaway — so much so that he once joked about using his entire share of royalties from the song to buy a new electric shaver. The title “Take Five” was Brubeck’s idea which became the A side of a 45 record.
10. Erroll Garner – “Misty”
The pianist and composer who came to fame during what is often called the swing era of Jazz in the 1940s was Erroll Garner with his style of piano playing encapsulated the stride technique of earlier pianists but it was Garner’s abundant virtuosity and lyrical fluency that characterized his performances.
Misty is a jazz standard written in 1954 by pianist Erroll Garner. He composed it as an instrumental on the traditional 32-bar format and recorded it for the album Contrasts (1955).
11. Duke Ellington – “Satin Doll”
This song was also written by Duke Ellington last 1953. Its chord progression is well known for its unusual use of chords and opening with a ii-V-I turnaround.
Duke Ellington used “Satin Doll” as the closing number in most of his concerts. Wherein it makes as a modest hit, entering the pop charts in June and rising to number twenty-seven.
12. Joseph Kosma – “Autumn Leaves”
This is a 1945 popular song and jazz standard composed by Joseph Kosma with original lyrics by Jacques Prévert in French, and later by Johnny Mercer in English.
This song was listed as a number 1 best-seller in the US Billboard charts of 1955 by an instrumental version of the pianist Roger Williams.
Time to Learn These Jazz Piano Songs
If you want a unique challenge to your piano playing abilities, learning jazz piano is an enjoyable way to improve your piano skills. If you’re unsure which songs you should learn, these jazz songs are perfect for any piano player to learn. Jazz piano makes ample use of improvisation, polyrhythms, syncopation and swung note, as well as aspects of European harmony, American popular music, the brass band tradition, and African musical elements such as blue notes and ragtime.
These songs are all fun to play but offer unique challenges. They’re well-rounded and can help you improve on many areas of piano playing. From complex chord progressions to simple melodies, all of these songs are different but amazing.
More Jazz Piano Songs
|SONG||ARTIST||LISTEN / WATCH|
|Blue Bossa||Joe Henderson||Listen / Watch|
|Stardust||Hoagy Carmichael||Listen / Watch|
|Georgia on My Mind||Ray Charles||Listen / Watch|
|Misty||Erroll Garner||Listen / Watch|
|Watermelon Man||Herbie Hancock||Listen / Watch|
|In A Sentimental Mood||Michel Petrucciani||Listen / Watch|
|I Fall in Love Too Easily||Chet Baker||Listen / Watch|
|Cantaloupe Island||Herbie Hancock||Listen / Watch|
|You Are so Beautiful||Diana Ross||Listen / Watch|
|Maple Leaf Rag||Scott Joplin||Listen / Watch|
|So What?||Miles Davis||Listen / Watch|
|Take Five||Michel Camilo||Listen / Watch|
|Christmas Time Is Here||Vince Guaraldi Trio||Listen / Watch|
|My One and Only Love||John Coltrane||Listen / Watch|
|The Other Side Of The Heart||Jeff Lorber||Listen / Watch|
|Dream||Etta James||Listen / Watch|
|Cry Me A River||Dinah Washington||Listen / Watch|
|Satin Doll||Duke Ellington||Listen / Watch|
|All Of You||John Legend||Listen / Watch|
|All The Things You Are||Jerome Kern||Listen / Watch|
|Dolphin Dance||Herbie Hancock||Listen / Watch|
|Round Midnight||Oscar Peterson||Listen / Watch|
|Sweet Georgia Brown||Brother Bones||Listen / Watch|
|Summertime||Porgy & Bess||Listen / Watch|
|When the Saints Go Marching In||Bruce Springsteen||Listen / Watch|
|Autumn Leaves||Eva Cassidy||Listen / Watch|
|Take the A Train||Duke Ellington||Listen / Watch|
|Nature Boy||Nat King Cole||Listen / Watch|
|New York, New York||Frank Sinatra||Listen / Watch|
|Soul Bossa Nova||Quincy Jones||Listen / Watch|
|Blueberry Hill||Fats Domino||Listen / Watch|
|Body and Soul||Carly Simon||Listen / Watch|
|Hold On||Michael Bublé||Listen / Watch|
|What a Wonderful World||Louis Armstrong||Listen / Watch|
|Dizzy Fingers||Zez Confrey||Listen / Watch|
|Kitten on the Keys||Zez Confrey||Listen / Watch|
|Black and White Rag||George Botsford||Listen / Watch|
|Take the “A” Train||Duke Ellington||Listen / Watch|
|Birds Flyin High||Nina Simone||Listen / Watch|
|Moonlight Bay||Percy Wenrich||Listen / Watch|
|Ain’t Misbehavin’||Fats Waller||Listen / Watch|
|Over the Rainbow||Aretha Franklin||Listen / Watch|
|Sixteen Tons||The Platters||Listen / Watch|
|Blue Monk||Thelonious Monk||Listen / Watch|
|Lullaby Of Birdland||Sarah Vaughan||Listen / Watch|
|Peacherine Rag||Scott Joplin||Listen / Watch|
|The Girl from Ipanema||Stan Getz and Joao Gilberto||Listen / Watch|
|Cold Duck Time||Eddie Harris||Listen / Watch|
|Mack the Knife||Louis Armstrong||Listen / Watch|
|Work Song||Hozier||Listen / Watch|