How to Play “Tiny Dancer” by Elton John

Lisa Witt  /  Pop/Rock  /  UPDATED Jan 16, 2023

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The Elton John biopic, “Rocketman”, has just been released, and I cannot wait to see it!

Tiny Dancer is a classic that should be on every piano player’s list!  One of Elton John’s most iconic songs, Tiny Dancer was recorded in 1971 but didn’t gain popularity till much later. In the US it was certified gold in 2005 and hit 3x platinum in 2008 after being featured in the film “Almost Famous”.

<<Download The Lead Sheet Here>>

The Story

The lyrics were written by Bernie Taupin who stated that the song was about his wife at the time. I don’t know about you but I feel like the lyrics are perhaps some of the most misheard lyrics found in a famous song. Have you ever sung along with this song and had to kind of guess the lyrics as you went?

The Riff

The song starts with a super fun piano riff that is what makes Tiny Dancer instantly identifiable. Based on just two chords this riff is simple in theory but can be a challenge to play from a rhythmic standpoint. Learn the intro to this song and you won’t want to stop! There are so many really fun chord changes, rhythmic skills and little riffs that will challenge and grow you as a piano player.

🎹 5 LEVELS OF TINY DANCER: The cool thing about piano is you can play a pop song as simply or as complicated as you want…and it’ll all sound good. Watch this in action with 5 Levels of Tiny Dancer.

Plus, you’ll be able to play this one at parties and everybody will love you.

In the lesson, I will walk you through the learning step by step and give you a few options so that you can adjust your approach based on your skill and comfort level. 


Lisa Witt has been teaching piano for more than 20 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. Learn more about Lisa.

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