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Coldplay “The Scientist” – Piano Lead Sheet Music, Chords & Tutorial

Lisa Witt  /  Beginner Songs / Aug 2

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“The Scientist” by Coldplay was released in 2002, but it’s a piano classic that’s still beloved by many. It’s also one of my favorite tunes. This song is awesome for beginners because, once you know the introduction, you basically have the blueprint for the entire song! Yay! Before you start, make sure you download the free piano lead sheet music for “The Scientist.”

There are just four main chords and they repeat over and over in a simple rhythm. Since there are so few chords to learn, this an opportunity to get comfortable with inversions.

Our piano sheet music for “The Scientist” includes the chords and the melody, giving you space to develop your own left hand accompaniment if you wish.

DOWNLOAD THE LEAD SHEET

Coldplay “The Scientist” – Guide to Piano Sheet Music & Chords

The four main chords we’ll use are:

Dm7 | Bb | F | Fsus2

If these chords sound intimidating, don’t worry! We’ll tell you exactly how they work.

Intro line and chords from Coldplay's "The Scientist" piano lead sheet music.
The intro to “The Scientist” with some fingering markings.

Dm7 (“D Minor Seven”) in 3rd Inversion

A standard Dm7 chord is D-F-A-C. 3rd inversion means we flip the bottom note up three times, making the chord “stack” order C-D-F-A. In the introduction, we’ll just play the notes C-F-A, but here’s what the full chord looks like.

Colplay "The Scientist" piano chords - keyboard diagram and staff notation of Dm7 in 3rd inversion

Bb (“B Flat Major”) in 1st Inversion

1st inversion means we flip the bottom note up once. This means our Bb chord, normally Bb-D-F, is now D-F-Bb.

Colplay "The Scientist" piano chords - keyboard diagram and staff notation of Bb in 1st inversion.

F (“F Major”) in 2nd Inversion

Here’s our first 2nd inversion chord. The default position of an F chord is F-A-C. For 2nd inversion, we flip up the bottom note once (A-C-F), then again (C-F-A)

By the way, did you notice how the F chord is almost identical to the Dm7 chord? Only the D is different!

Colplay "The Scientist" piano chords - keyboard diagram and staff notation of F chord in 2nd inversion.

Fsus2 (“F Sus Two”) in 2nd Inversion

A sus chord is when you substitute (sus) the 3rd of the chord with something else. In this case, we substitute the 3rd of the F chord (A) with the 2nd note of the F Major scale (G).

We’ll play Fsus2 in 2nd inversion, which means we’ll reorder F-G-C to C-F-G.

Colplay "The Scientist" piano chords - keyboard diagram and staff notation of Fsus2 in 2nd inversion.

There’s one more chord in the song, C Major, which doesn’t come until the end, but it’s pretty easy.

Playing “The Scientist” Lead Sheet Music Hands Together

In our tutorial, we’ve simplified things by playing quarter notes in both the right and left hands. However, in the original recording, eighth notes are played in the left hand. This means the left hand plays twice as fast as the quarter notes on the right.

Play whatever sounds good to you. You can also just play the root note of each chord on your left hand, or play it in an octave.

Since the rhythm is so steady and simple, “The Scientist” is a perfect song to practice singing while playing. We hope you enjoy this classic tune, and happy practicing!

Cover image by Frank Schwichtenberg – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0


Lisa Witt has been teaching piano for 19 years and in that time has helped hundreds of students learn to play the songs they love. Lisa received classical piano training through the Royal Conservatory of Music, but she has since embraced popular music and playing by ear in order to accompany herself and others.

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