How To Play "The Scientist"

Why this Coldplay classic is a great song to learn

<< Download the lead sheet HERE >>


"The Scientist" by Coldplay was released in 2002. That's a long time ago, but the song remains popular today and it's actually an awesome song to learn as a beginner pianist.


It's very simple to play, but it's catchy so it sounds good. There are really only four chords you have to learn, as they repeat again and again throughout the song. So there aren't many chords to learn. But we're playing chords in different inversions -- so it's a great song to learn and get comfortable with different chord inversion shapes.


The chords we'll be playing are: Dm7, Bb, F and Fsus2.


Here's how to play them:


D minor 7 (Dm7) - We'll play this with the 7th at the bottom. So the notes are C-D-F-A. This is called the 3rd inversion.


Bb major - This will be played in 1st inversion, so the notes are D-F-Bb.


F major - We'll play this chord in 2nd inversion. So the notes are C-F-A. 


Notice how the F chord is nearly identical to the Dm7 chord?! Only the D is different.


And finally, Fsus2. The sus2 just means that we will substitute (sus) the 3rd note of the F triad for the 2nd.


An F triad is F-A-C. So we'll swap out the A for the G.


But we will still play this in 2nd inversion, so the notes will be C-F-G.


And those are pretty much all the chords you will need to know! There is a C chord later in the song - but that's easy :)


One final thing to mention. In this lesson, we are going to be playing quarter notes for the right AND left hand. 


BUT - in the Coldplay recording the left-hand plays eighth notes. So you could choose to do that with the root note OR and octave in the left hand.


 Have fun!


#Lisa Witt


#The Scientist

#The Scientists Song Tutorial

#How To Play The Scientist

Hi, I'm Lisa Witt

Lisa has taught in a variety of settings from beginners just getting started to recording artists preparing their songs for the road. While her background is classical, she loves helping students play the music they love by ear and is excited to be a part of YOUR journey.