a pianist is playing an easy sad piano song

10 Easy Sad Piano Songs That Will Make You Cry

October 1, 2020 Selin Gökova 7 min read No Comments

I think we can all agree that sad piano songs actually make us happy! Sad piano songs evoke such powerful emotions that it is really hard to resist playing them if you are a piano player.

When I was just a beginner starting to learn the piano, I remember I was looking for easy sad piano songs that I could learn quickly because sad songs were my favorite things to play on the piano.

And guess what? I’ve been playing the piano for over 10 years now and I still look for sad and emotional songs to practice in my free time ☺️ So, I can confidently say that over the years, I had the chance to learn a lot of sad piano songs, some of which I will share with you on this list!

Among many sad piano songs I played throughout the years, I’ve selected the 10 easiest and most beautiful ones that any beginner can learn quickly!

River Flows in You-Yiruma

Without any doubt, River Flows in you is the most popular contemporary piano piece. If you are a piano player and haven’t come across this piece yet, you should check it out now because there is no chance you can survive without knowing this extremely popular piece haha 🙂

However, I think it is not difficult to see why River Flows in You is such a popular piece. It has a simple melody and texture, but it sounds so impressive and emotional that I don’t know any person who didn’t fall in love with River Flows in You on their first listening.

The piece has two main patterns that repeat throughout the piece, so all you have to do is to learn those parts, then you’ll be ready to make everyone cry!

Sheet music

Song From a Secret Garden-Secret Garden

Song From a Secret Garden is one of the most melancholic piano pieces that are ever composed. Though the original piece is written for piano and violin, its solo piano arrangement is quite popular as well. Once I played this piece at one of my concerts, and I remember my English teacher was in tears after the performance…

Song From a Secret is an instrumental piece from Secret Garden’s first album, which is Songs From a Secret Garden. The album received a world-wide success and could stay on Billboard New-Age Chart for 2 years!! It’s crazy and really unseen for a classical album to receive that much recognition and appraisal.

The other pieces in the album are also quite melancholic and emotional, so you can check them out as well if you love this song.

Sheet music

Nuvole Bianche-Ludovico Einaudi

It is actually really difficult to choose a Ludovico Einaudi piece to include on this list because all his piano pieces are very emotional. However, Nuvole Bianche is a very popular and easy one, and one of my favorites from Einaudi. I think you will love it too!

Nuvole Bianche starts with a simple 4-chord introduction that should be repeated twice. After the introduction, you start to play the main theme that you will play repeatedly until the end of the piece. There isn’t any challenging part in this piece, except that it is 6 minutes long. However, it can also be a good memorization practice for you if you haven’t played a long piece before.

Sheet music

Theme From Schindler’s List-John Williams

Theme from Schindler’s List is the soundtrack of the Oscar-winning movie Schindler’s List and is one of the saddest soundtracks ever. While it is originally composed for piano and violin, its solo piano arrangement sounds as beautiful as the original.

The piece is fairly easy to play. It should be played at a slow tempo, which means there is enough time to do the chord transitions on the left hand.

Sheet music

Kiss the Rain-Yiruma

Kiss the Rain is another very melancholic piano piece from South Korean-British composer Yiruma. This piece is also quite popular like River Flows in You, and I actually find this piece even sadder.

It is very easy to play because it should be played calmly and at a slow tempo. The left-hand accompaniment of the piece is easy as well because you don’t need to play any chords but only a simple one-note accompaniment. Plus, once you learn the beginning of the piece, there is not anything new on the rest of the piece, which means you can learn this beautiful piano song very quickly.

Sheet music

Gymnopedie No 1.-Erik Satie

While some say that Gymnopedia No 1. is not a sad piece, the majority thinks that it is intensely sad and heartbreaking. So, it’s really up to you to decide if it’s sad or not. However, I’ve been playing Gymnopedia No 1. for years, and for me, it feels quite melancholic.

This piece can easily be learned by beginners. There is only one part that might be challenging, which is the large leaps at the left hand. However, it is definitely playable by beginners with enough practice.

I highly recommend that you learn Gymnopedia No 1. if you want to improve your left-hand technique and strength. The right-hand part is quite simple, which means you can focus on improving your left-hand dexterity by practicing large leaps and chord transitions.

Sheet music

If you are interested in learning more easy classical music pieces, you can check out my other post on 11 Easy Classical Piano Songs For Beginners.

The Sick Doll-Tchaikovsky

As the name implies, The Sick Doll is a heavily sad solo piano piece. It was one of the first pieces I learned when I started piano, and I still play it from time to time because I really love its depressing feeling, plus it’s incredibly simple to play.

Like Gymnopedia No 1., playing The Sick Doll is also very helpful for left-hand dexterity. The majority of the piece is played by the left hand while the right hand only plays one note at the end of each bar.

The piece is really easy to learn because the same pattern should be repeatedly played throughout the piece at a very slow tempo. Also, it is one of the shortest pieces on this list, and it shouldn’t take you more than an hour to learn and master it.

Sheet music

The Crisis-Ennio Morricone

The Crisis is probably the least popular one on this list, and I wanted to share it because it is very different from the rest. It is actually a soundtrack from the movie The Legend of 1900, which is an amazing movie about an orphan who spends all his life on a cruise ship only playing the piano. I highly recommend you watch the movie if you haven’t done it already.

Related: 18 Greatest Piano Soundtracks Of All Time

There is a constant dissonance throughout the piece caused by the use of minor 2nd interval, and this is what makes the piece unique. The Crisis is a great example of how a dissonance sometimes can sound emotional, moving, beautiful, and intense without being disturbing.

When you listen to the piece you will see that there is only one simple pattern, which is successively ascending notes on each bar. Despite being unique and experimental, The Crisis is incredibly easy to play. Also, learning this piece will greatly improve your piano pedaling technique, because you constantly need to keep the sound clear after pressing dissonant notes.

Sheet music

Butterfly Waltz-Brian Crain

Butterfly Waltz by Brian Crain was one of the first pieces I learned to play on the piano. I fell in love with this song the first time I heard it. If you like this piece, Brian Crain has many other sad piano songs you can easily learn so I recommend you check out his website.

Butterfly Waltz is probably the easiest piece on this list. Even if you are a complete beginner, it won’t take you more than an hour to learn and master this piece.

Sheet music

Valse-Evgeny Grinko

You can strongly feel the melancholy in this beautiful piano piece even without watching its music video. I play this piece at every concert and it usually becomes everyone’s favorite! It’s an incredibly impressive piano piece yet quite easy to play.

It’s in valse form, which means it’s in 3/4 time measure. While you won’t have any difficulty learning most of the piece, there is a part towards the end which requires playing octaves. If you are a complete beginner, this will be the only part that may be challenging. If you are not yet ready to play the octaves, you can just play those parts in a simple way without pressing octaves.

Conclusion

This was my list for the top 10 easy and sad piano songs! I tried to include the most impressive, popular yet easy ones so that any beginner can enjoy playing them.

I also included their sheet music and videos to help you get to know the pieces better and start learning them right away.

What do you think? Which one of these sad songs is the most depressing or beautiful? ☺️

Let me know in the comments section below!

Selin Gökova

Selin Gökova is a neo-classical composer and pianist from Istanbul, Turkey. Holding an ABRSM certificate on piano performance, she's been playing the piano and composing for ten years. Wandering Tunes is her side project where she combines her two passions: writing and music. Whenever she doesn't have assignment deadlines approaching at university where she's majoring in psychology, you'll likely find her here researching everything about piano playing to help other piano players alike.

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Hi, my name is Selin. Playing the piano and composing are my biggest passions. I've founded this blog to share everything I've learned throughout the years about piano playing and learning. I hope you stick around! Read More

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