Love is in the air, and what better way to win the heart of your someone special than by serenading them?
Playing love songs is a useful skill to have no matter what time of year it is. And these 3 romantic songs make great choices because they sound really beautiful, and they're simple to learn and play. Even if you're a beginner you'll be able to follow along without too much trouble.
We also have FREE lead sheets for you to download and print, so make sure you click the links for each song and follow along.
Song #1 - The Rose (Bette Midler)
This one is a classic, and one of the easiest songs for a beginner to learn. In this version, you don't even have to play chords. Instead, you'll be playing fifths with your right hand.
To play a fifth, simply place your thumb on the bottom note and then play the note that's five steps higher. It's the note that naturally rests under your pinky finger, and that's the finger you'll use to play it.
It looks like this:
This is the shape you'll use for the ENTIRE song, and it's a great first step towards playing full chords. For your left hand, just play the single notes that are written above the measures. So if it says a C above the line, play a C note with your left hand.
Super simple. Very beautiful.
Song #2 - Can't Help Falling in Love (Elvis Presley)
You might notice that all of these songs are in the key of C. That's on purpose because I'm trying to keep things as easy as possible, so you can start playing them as fast as possible.
For this song, you'll again start with that fifth shape in the right hand, but this time you're going to add a note in the middle. It's called the third, and it's the note in between the bottom and top notes.
It looks like this:
As you can see, we're now playing the notes C-E-G in the right hand. In the left hand, continue to play the same single notes that you did in "The Rose".
For this song, I like to play those right-hand chords on every beat. So there are 4 chords per measure, just repeating. You can try that if you like, or stick to playing each chord once and holding it.
That will be enough to play the main theme and verse of the song.
The chorus in this one can get a little tricky...
Because of an extra chord. You can choose to skip it for now, or if you're up for a challenge we can tackle it together!
It's a chord we haven't seen yet. A B7 chord. You can learn all about 7th chords in this lesson, but essentially this means you'll play a B chord (B-D#-F#) with an added 7th note (A) as well.
Here's how I play it:
You can see here I’m playing the notes A-B-D#-F# in my right hand. I play that 7th note (A) at the bottom because I have small hands and it's more comfortable for me that way. If you don’t feel comfortable with playing that A yet, that’s fine. You can stick to just the B major chord.
You’ll notice this chord DOES have black keys, even though we are in the key of C. That’s because we are stepping “outside” the key signature for just a moment to create this really unique sound.
Thankfully, this is the only tricky chord in the chorus. The other one is an E minor, which is all white notes (yay!)
Once you have those down, you have the entire song.
Song #3 - A Thousand Years (Christina Perri)
This song is really beautiful, and it sounds much more complicated than it is. You’ll be using intervals in your right hand to create that beautiful, iconic melody that your sweetheart will recognize instantly.
Again, you’ll just play single notes with your left hand, but you might notice a weird-looking chord in measure two.
It’s that G/B:
That’s called a slash chord, and it just means you play a G chord (or the outside shell of a G chord in this case) with your right hand, while playing a B note in the bass.
The next measure looks tricky on the lead sheet, but it’s easy to play. It’s an A minor 7. Again, if you want to learn more about 7th chords we have the perfect lesson here. For now, you just have to play the notes written on the page, which are G and E, and play an A note in the bass.
There is one more slash chord at the end of the intro - but it’s very simple. Just remember the left-hand plays the note on the right of the slash symbol (/).
That’s the hardest part of the song!
To play the rest you’ll just be playing chords. Up until now, we’ve only been playing chords in root position, but if you would like to experiment with inversions, it’s a great time to do it. We have a fantastic lesson on inversions here. Otherwise, it’s fine to keep playing basic chords.
You will see a few slash chords in this song, so just remember what you’ve already learned.
For example, here is the G/B in Verse 1:
Remember the letter in front of the slash tells you what chord to play with your right hand (G), and the letter after the slash tells you what note to play with your left hand (B). It’s that simple.
Final tips for success
Having a goal is a great way to motivate and encourage you to practice and get better.
And what better goal is there than playing songs for the one you love? No matter what time of year it is, these 3 songs make wonderful pieces for beginners.