Alan Walker – Faded (Piano Tutorial)

Lisa Witt  /  Song Tutorials / Jul 14

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We learn the piano to play songs, and playing real songs (you know, the ones you hear on the radio or your playlists) make it so much more motivating and fun to keep learning.


Download the lead sheet for this “Faded” piano tutorial


Not all of them are easy, but this one is.

“Faded” by Alan Walker is a massive hit. It’s one of the most popular songs on YouTube and one of the most-streamed songs on Spotify.

It’s also super simple.

This “Faded” piano tutorial will show you how to play this beautiful song (and yes, that intro riff) in just a few minutes.

How is it so easy?

It’s just 4 chords!

If you’ve spent any time on this blog or on our YouTube channel, you’ll know how often I talk about the 4 most common chords in pop music.

I talk about them so much because they are used so much!

This song uses 4 chords. And it uses them in a very specific order that NEVER changes. Literally the entire song is the same 4 chords played in the same order.

Let’s look quickly at how to play each chord.

We start with a D minor:

Faded piano tutorial - D minor

The next chord in the progression is a Bb. This is the only chord with a black key in it:

Faded piano tutorial - Bb major

After that we play an F major:

Faded piano tutorial - F major

And finally, we have a trusty C major chord:

Faded piano tutorial - C major

Those are the chords. There are no others in this song. Spend a few minutes getting comfortable with them.

And then congratulate yourself, because you’ve just learned to play “Faded”!

And that’s the end of this “Faded” piano tutorial!

But what about that riff?

Okay, okay, I was being a little cheeky before. Of course, there is more to this song than playing 4 bland chords in root position.

After all, that intro riff is what makes this song. Let’s take a look at it:

The notes themselves are quite simple and there’s a lot of repetition. One useful thing for you to do is to take a look at these notes and figure out your fingering pattern.

There are a few bigger interval jumps, so you’ll want to make sure your fingers are in a good starting position.

Figuring out your fingering is a skill that takes a bit of practice, but preparation is the key. Watch this lesson for some tips on finding your fingering.

You have room to explore

One of the best things about this song (and most pop tunes) is how simple it is.

Because of that, you can experiment with different playing styles and ways of making the song more interesting.

It’s also a great way to practice your chord inversions and learn to harmonize chords underneath a melody line.

To see how to harmonize, let’s take a look at that intro again:

We have the melody notated, and the chords written above the line. One of the best ways to harmonize a melody is to add some notes BELOW the melody line.

We want the melody to remain the top note that we play, because that is the note our ears are naturally drawn to.

But how do you know what notes to add below it?

That’s where the chords come in. We can choose notes from those chords and add them beneath the melody.

In the first measure, the chord is a D minor, which has the notes D-F-A. Now, the melody starts on an F, before moving to an A.

So we could add a D below that. We could even add a low A if we wanted to (which would create a D minor 2nd inversion chord).

In the second measure, three of the four notes are a D. The chord is a Bb major, which has the notes Bb-D-F. So below that top D, we could add a Bb and a lower F (also creating a 2nd inversion chord).

You don’t have to add harmony notes to every melody note, but it is nice to experiment and explore adding harmony to melody.

You can see more tips and a longer lesson on this concept here.

When you’re really ready to get fancy, you could try adding some riffs and fills in your right-hand.

Remember to have fun

This song can be as simple or as complicated as you want it to be. That’s what makes it so great.

It’s perfect for beginners who want to start playing real songs quickly, and it’s also fantastic as a way to explore harmony, inversions, and improvisation.

I hope you enjoy this “Faded” piano tutorial and as always,

Have fun!

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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