How to Play Songs on Guitar

How to Play Songs on Piano

How to play Piano Man by Billy Joel

Billy Joel was having a rough time in life when he was working as a piano player in a lounge. His first album had failed and he was having issues with his record company. However, his time at that piano bar was a blessing in disguise because it inspired him to write the song Piano Man, which would become his first major hit and would become his signature song.

Joel went on to sign with Columbia Records and his second album, propelled by the song Piano Man, was a hit. He continued to turn out hits through the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s.

Joel has had 33 Top 40 hits in the United States and been inducted to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Though officially retired from the music business, Joel tours with English rock and roll musician Elton John.

The ‘Piano Man’ full video lesson will show you how to play the song in easy to learn parts.

Lesson Quick Facts

Song Title: Piano Man
Artist: Billy Joel
Recorded: Sep 1973
Tutor: Ashleigh Southam
Rating: Hard
Duration: 7 mins (approx.)

Piano Man video lesson
Click to visit the Song Lesson

Contents:

Learn the Chords to Piano Man

Why we think Piano Man by Billy Joel is a great song

Why we think Piano Man by Billy Joel is a great song to learn

Why we classed Piano Man by Billy Joel as ‘Hard’ on Piano

Visit the Piano Man Video Lesson

Learn about Billy Joel and Piano Man

Some history about Piano Man by Billy Joel

What Album Piano Man came from

YouTube User plays Piano Man by Billy Joel

Can you Play Piano Man by Billy Joel?

Learn the Chords to Piano Man

Here are main chords that are used in the song:

Chords:

  • a_min
  • c_maj
  • c_maj7
  • d_dom7
  • e_min
  • f_maj
  • g_dom7
  • g_maj

These chords can also be found in the chord viewer on the ‘Piano Man’ video lesson page.

In this lesson you learn how to play Piano Man by Billy Joel on the Piano in step-by-step chunks.

Why we think Piano Man by Billy Joel is a great song

  1. It’s a song that tells a great story
  2. It’s Billy Joel’s signature song
  3. Billy Joel’s a master on the piano

Why we think Piano Man by Billy Joel is a great song to learn

The song Piano Man by Billy Joel uses a waltz feel. Learn how to play its descending bass line, block chords, slash chords, and arpeggios.

Why we classed Piano Man by Billy Joel as ‘Hard’ on Piano

SongPond tutor, Ashleigh Southam delivers a cut down version of the full song, which makes learning the song as a whole a lot easier.

The main sections are broken down and prepare you for playing the song as a whole. Each video section is about 8-10 minutes long. We recommend you listen to the original piece and really get a feel for the song.

Check out the preview and introduction on the Piano Man lesson page.

Visit the Piano Man Video Lesson


Click to visit the lesson page

Learn about Billy Joel and Piano Man

Billy Joel began piano lessons at an early age at the insistence of his mother. However, in 1964 he was inspired by seeing The Beatles on The Ed Sullivan Show and decided to pursue a full-time musical career. He participated in several Long Island bands and eventually was signed to his first solo record contract with Family Productions.

That deal resulted in Cold Spring Harbor and was released in 1971. The album didn’t fare well and there were problems with the record company. During that time Joel moved to Los Angeles and adopting the stage name Bill Martin, he did a six month gig in The Executive Room piano bar in Los Angeles. That resulted in his signature hit Piano Man about the bar patrons he met.

Joel toured through the end of 1972 and caught the attention of Herb Gordon, an executive of Columbia Records. Joel signed a contract with Columbia that year.

Joel has gone on to have Top 40 hits in the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s achieving 33 Top 40 hits in the United States. He’s a 23-time Grammy nominee and was inducted into the Songwriter’s Hall of Fame in 1992. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio in 1999.

Courtesy of wikipedia.com

Some history about Piano Man by Billy Joel

Piano Man by Billy Joel is considered his signature song and was his first major hit. The song tells about real people Joel met during his days as a piano lounge singer in Los Angeles at the Executive Lounge after the failure of his first album Cold Spring Harbor.

In the song, Joel expresses his feelings about the failure in the failed dreams of the characters in the song. When the song was first released it was thought to be too long by record executives so two verses were cut and spliced.

The song peaked at #25 on the Billboard Hot 100 and is such a favorite today that Joel usually lets the audience sing the chorus at concerts.

What Album Piano Man came from

Piano Man is a song from the 1973 album Piano Man by Billy Joel. The album was Joel’s second album and his first with Columbia Records but it was his breakthrough album.

The album carries strong influences from Elton John’s Tumbleweed Connection and has a western theme in much of the music and lyrics. The title track, Piano Man, became Joel’s first major hit and became his signature song.

Piano Man

YouTube user plays Piano Man by Billy Joel

This is a nice little cover of Piano Man by Billy Joel performed by a duo. The gal on the piano has a great voice and nice piano playing skills. The gentlemen is great on the harmonica.



Can you Play Piano Man by Billy Joel?

If you have a video of yourself playing the song and want to share the youtube link with us please do so below!

We would love to hear your comments and thoughts on this blog post, the song in general, the lessons and anything about Piano Man.

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