The future of music

40 Best Piano Bar Songs to Request or Play

March 17, 2023
best piano bar songs

There’s nothing that can uplift the spirits of a piano bar audience like the right music. 

The energy at piano bars is palpable.

So, whether you are a pianist or you want to listen to some music, here is the list of the best piano bar songs to request or play. 

Table of Contents

1. “Great Balls Of Fire” by Jerry Lee Lewis

Released in 1957, “Great Balls Of Fire” is a hit from one of the best piano players in America. 

Jerry Lee Lewis built quite a reputation because of his electrifying piano concerts, which included him playing while standing on the piano or setting the piano on fire. 

The song was honored as #242 on Rolling Stone’s list of the Top 500 Songs of All Time. 

“Great Balls Of Fire” is a true crowd-pleaser and will get everyone in your audience singing along. 

The song also allows piano players to exhibit their skills. 

2. “Hey Jude” By The Beatles

This is a timeless classic that has never faded after its release. 

The song’s video has over 340 million views, so you can be sure that everyone in your audience will resonate with this track. 

Written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney, “Hey Jude” has a blend of beautiful arrangement and emotional lyrics, which has earned the song a permanent place in the hearts of many people. 

The song is a bit long, clocking over 7 minutes. 

So, if you plan to play during your next piano bar session, make sure you take your time to practice. 

However, the song is perfect for your audience to sing along or hum, especially if they’ve had several drinks.

See also: Best Beatles Songs 

3. “You Shook Me All Night Long” by AC/DC

“You Shook Me All Night Long” is a heavy metal classic you shouldn’t miss in your request list if you frequent piano bars. 

The song is very popular at piano bars, and most people are familiar with it. 

Many pianists play this song passionately, especially if the entire room starts singing along. 

The song is ranked #2 on Loudwire’s list of the Best 10 Catchiest Metal Songs 

4. “Old Time Rock n Roll” by Bob Seger

“Old Time Rock n Roll” still makes headlines today, and Bob Seger’s classic hit is one of the most commonly requested songs in piano bars. 

It’s one of the best songs to showcase your piano skills, and audiences rarely resist singing along to this song, even if they’ve had too many to drink. 

The song is ranked #630 on America’s Rock n Roll list of the Best 1,000 Classic Rock Songs. 

See also: Best Bob Seger Songs

5. “Vienna” by Billy Joel

When listening to Billy Joel’s “Vienna,” you cannot help but think of yourself performing this song in a piano bar. 

If you plan to play this song next time you visit a piano bar, ensure you’ve warmed up your vocals, as it can be challenging. 

Billy Joel is a powerful singer, and the tempo of the vocals in this song is a bit fast. 

If you feel like adding some professional touch to this song, don’t forget to add vibrato and sing with emotion.

Also, you can practice this song with a metronome, which will help you stay in rhythm. 

All in all, this is a tune that will get your audience swinging back and forth with the lyrics. 

6. “American Pie” by Don McLean

Don McLean’s “American Pie” is another commonly requested song at piano bars, which helps people forget about their troubles in life. 

However, this song has a message about being left. 

“American Pie” is melancholy with a catchy folk rock melody and was produced as a tribute to J.P. Richardson, Buddy Holly, and Ritchie Valens, who died in a plane crash. 

The song is ranked #5 in the Top 365 Songs of the Twentieth Century by the Recording Industry Association of America.

7. “Don’t Stop Believin’” by Journey

This classic rock anthem gets everyone in the audience singing along whenever it’s played. 

“Don’t Stop Believin’” has an iconic piano introduction and takes you on a powerful and inspiring journey about believing in yourself. 

The song is easily identifiable by anyone who listens to the radio or watches TV frequently and can easily brighten your day, especially if you are feeling low. 

“Don’t Stop Believin’” might be a few decades old, but the younger generation can resonate with it from the famous show Glee. 

8. “Don’t Stop Me Now” by Queen

“Tonight, I’m gonna have a real good time. I feel alive, and the world I’ll turn it inside out, yeah, I’m floating around in ecstasy. So don’t stop me now.”

Combine those lyrics with your piano skills, and you will get everyone in the bar on their feet and dancing. 

The song was written by Freddie Mercury, famously known for his piano skills and strong vocals. 

Anyone who believes they have pure musical ability and the stage presence to pull this song off should go for it. 

9. “Livin’ On a Prayer” by Bon Jovi

Written in 1989, Bon Jovi’s “Livin’ on a Prayer” is a classic hit everyone cannot fail to sing along to whenever it’s played. 

The song was written by Bon Jovi and Richie Sambora and became the band’s signature tune. 

Bon Jovi once said that he thought the song wasn’t up to par with other songs released by the band and didn’t want to add it to the Slippery When Wet album. 

However, he changed his mind after a meeting with a group of teens, and the rest is history. 

10. “Mustang Sally” by Wilson Pickett

Blues and rhythm are common genres at piano bars. 

This is evident with the popularity of Wilson Pickett’s “Mustang Sally”, a popular track with a seductive and bluesy hook. 

The song’s chorus has a lyrical repetition and musical groove, which makes the entire song the perfect choice for gathering around a piano and singing all night. 

11. “All of Me” by John Legend

“All of Me” by John Legend is a captivating and emotional ballad that exhibits his powerful vocals and skillful piano touches he’s popular for. 

John Legend wrote this song as a love letter to his wife, and its lyrics express his commitment and love for her. 

The piano, on the other hand, acts as the backbone of this song. 

In case you notice that the crowd is very lively from several upbeat and energetic songs, and you need things to cool down a bit, this song will get the job done. 

The song will also take you down an emotional journey of devotion, commitment, and love, especially to your partner. 

12. “Devil Went Down to Georgia” by Charlie Daniels

This song talks of a young, lively player who challenges the devil to prove his skills. 

Although this country song is a bit technical, skillful pianists can shine when playing it, but they must add a bit of creativity.

This is why “Devil Went Down to Georgia” features at most piano bars, especially if the pianist is confident with their skills. 

The song is not only great and fun to sing along to, but it is also a toe-tapper and will get you moving once it starts playing. 

13. “Fly Me to the Moon (In Other Words)” by Frank Sinatra

This song perfectly fits piano bars that play slow jazz tunes.

Frank Sinatra’s “Fly Me to the Moon (In Other Words)” has a jazzy feeling, making it the perfect sing-along tune at a piano bar. 

The song has a live piano accompaniment, which gives the song a playful and classy feel at the same time.

Bart Howard originally wrote this song in 1954 as “In Other Words” and had different lyrics. 

However, Frank Sinatra changed its title to “Fly Me to the Moon” and changed the lyrics to the song. 

So, if you hear this song while in a piano bar, grab your drink and sit, and let the melodious voice of Frank Sinatra carry you to the moon and back. 

“Fly Me to the Moon (In Other Words)” is a timeless classic that never gets old. 

14. “The Way You Look Tonight” by Fred Astaire

“The Way You Look Tonight” is a classic tune written in 1936, but it’s been covered by numerous artists, including Tony Bennett, Nat King Cole, and Fred Astaire. 

As a classic piano bar song, “The Way You Look Tonight” is still popular today and one of America’s most requested piano bar tunes. 

15. “Your Song” by Elton John

Elton John is an artist whose most of his songs are frequently played at piano bars. 

“Your Song” is one of John’s hits that you shouldn’t miss in your request list when planning to visit a piano bar. 

Making this song a dedication to your loved one will earn you instant brownie points. 

Elton John is popularly known for his ability to convey emotions via music, which is why most people love his songs. 

He writes songs that people can resonate with and sing along to, and “Your Song” fits into that category. 

16. “Sweet Home Alabama” by Lynyrd Skynyrd

Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Sweet Home Alabama” is a staple southern rock genre that has found its way into many piano bars across America and has remained to be a constant audience favorite.  

The song’s infectious chorus makes it an irresistible piano bar sing-along. 

This ultimate classic is ranked number two on the Top 10 Southern Rock songs.

17. “I’d Do Anything For Love” by Meatloaf

“I’d Do Anything For Love” is a classic ballad with an intro that sets the stage for the entire song. 

The song starts with a bout of notes, eventually becoming melancholy lyrics of “I’d Do Anything For Love”.

Meatloaf released this hit in 1993, reaching number 1 in numerous weekly charts in America, including the Billboard Hot 100. 

People born in the 80s are familiar with this song, and you can easily capture their attention when you start playing it. 

18. “Someone Like You” by Adele

Adele has become a popular artist because of her emotional and sad power ballads. 

Everything in most of her songs, from her poignant lyrics to her piano instrumentation and emotionally charged vocals, seems to evoke deep emotions and connection with her fans. 

“Someone Like You” makes one of the best piano bar tunes because of its piano melody and passionate lyrics. 

The song has a real meaning behind it as it’s based on Adele’s broken relationship.

This makes it one of the best songs you might want to hear at a piano bar if you are going through a breakup. 

19. “Truth Hurts” by Lizzo

Lizzo’s “Truth Hurts” is a beats-laden show-stopper about independence and moving on from relationships that aren’t working. 

Lizzo released the song in 2017, and she managed to take it to #1 on the charts, which made her the only third female artist to reach that level. 

Although this song didn’t become an instant hit when it was released, it became popular one and half years later when its piano version was featured in the film, “Someone Great.”

The movie’s success moved the tune up the charts and turned Lizzo into the performer we all know and love today. 

20. “Wagon Wheel” by Old Crow Medicine Show

“Wagon Wheel” is a track that has been performed by several bands over the years. 

However, the scaled-back arrangement released by Old Crow Medicine Show makes the track one of the best piano bar songs. 

“Wagon Wheel” was originally written and performed by Bob Dylan. 

The song later became a hit for Darius Rucker, and his version is associated with the Old Crow Medicine Show’s rendition released in 2003. 

The track’s simple and string-backed melody evokes warm feelings in even the most unemotional audience. 

21. “Total Eclipse of the Heart” by Bonnie Tyler

Bonnie Tyler’s “Total Eclipse of the Heart” is the perfect piano bar song for anyone who wants to get the audience involved in the song. 

The song can help you build rapport with your audience and make them excited to hear you play it repeatedly. 

The song’s “Turn around” phrase repeats frequently, and it is an important call-and-response section of the song. 

“Total Eclipse of the Heart” is a popular song in piano bars because of its timeless classic status, crowd-engaging potential, and piano-heavy melody. 

22. “Sweet Caroline” by Neil Diamond

“Sweet Caroline” is a favorite sing-along song for music fans of all ages. 

Even if you are not conversant with all the song’s lyrics, we are sure you will join the rest of the crowd with the song’s rousing chorus, “Sweet Caroline”. 

Neil Diamond wrote this love song as a dedication to his second wife, Marcia, but he changed the name to Caroline for the three syllables to rhyme with the melody. 

The song became so popular that there was an increase in the number of babies named Caroline for several years after the song was released. 

Although “Sweet Caroline” might be an old-time classic, everyone in your audience will appreciate it when you start singing it. 

23. “Hit The Road Jack” by Ray Charles

Ray Charles released this song in 1961, and it became one of his signature hits. 

The song was ranked number one in America and won a Grammy Award for Best Rhythm and Blues song, making it even more popular worldwide. 

“Hit The Road Jack” might have been released over 50 years ago, but it always gets a positive response whenever it’s played in a piano bar. 

So, if you plan to perform or request this song in a piano bar, your crowd will be pleased. 

24. “Always On My Mind” by Willie Nelson

Willie Nelson isn’t the artist who comes into most people’s minds when thinking of a piano song to request or play at a piano bar. 

However, “Always on My Mind” is a piano-based track by Willie Nelson and played by Bobby Emmons. 

The song was originally written and recorded by Brenda Lee and covered by Willie Nelson. 

It became one of his best songs, thanks to his recognizable vocals. 

“Always On My Mind” is a perfect sing-along track, which guarantees to give your bar patrons a good time. 

It can also be the perfect song to dedicate to your loved one if they accompany you that night.

25. “Escape (The Pina Colada Song)” by Rupert Holmes

Also known as the Pina Colada Song to many people, “Escape” is one of those must-try piano bar songs for people who love technical songs. 

The song’s structure is a bit unconventional, with three different choruses, but its message makes it one of the top-ranked piano bar songs.

“Escape (The Pina Colada Song)” has a soft rock tune, which speaks to a person’s craving for adventure and romance and motivates them to speak their hearts out. 

The song was ranked number three on VH1’s top 40 Most Softsational Soft Rock Songs.

26. “How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You)” by James Taylor

James Taylor is popularly known for his legendary guitar songs. 

However, “How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved by You)” is a piano-laden track you shouldn’t miss in your piano bar songs request list. 

The song’s vibrant and upbeat rhythm of the piano instrumentation acts as the perfect accompaniment to James Taylor’s poignant vocals. 

After its release, “How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved by You)” reached #1 on the Adult Contemporary chart and #5 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in the US. 

The song is very popular and will put a smile on the faces of your audience. 

27. “Friends in Low Places” by Garth Brooks

Garth Brooks’ “Friends in Low Places” is a technical piano bar song because its melody demands a two-octave vocal range. 

However, this song shouldn’t be a big challenge for piano bar fans, as high and low notes are not a big challenge for them. 

Generally, this song is perfect for crowds who love sing-alongs, as it becomes easier to perform. 

The song was released in 1990 and won the Single of the Year Award in 1991 from the Academy of Country Music and the Country Music Association. 

See also: Best Garth Brooks Songs

28. “Don’t Stop” by Fleetwood Mac

This is another toe-tapper that’s impossible to resist once it starts to play. 

Fleetwood Mac’s “Don’t Stop” has a great beat and catchy rhythm to get everyone in the bar dancing. 

Also, the song’s piano chords are simple, and the melody and rhythm are easy to follow. 

This makes a good song for pianists not experienced with piano bar songs. 

29. “Against All Odds” by Phil Collins

This song by Phil Collins is considered the piano bar anthem of all time. 

Released in 1984, this classic power ballad features the stunning vocals of Phil Collins, accompanied by a catchy piano melody. 

Phil’s pure passion can be heard in his voice as he sings this song.

So, you should be prepared to bring your A-game if you plan to sing this song. 

The song’s piano section was played by the famous New York pianist Rob Mounsey, showing his pure piano talent and skills. 

30. “Welcome To The Jungle” by Guns N’ Roses

The first thing that comes to your mind when you hear about this song is the pounding drums and shrieking electric guitars. 

However, this heavy and thumping metal tune is a common request in piano bars. 

“Welcome To The Jungle” requires special piano skills to pull it off, and when it works perfectly, no one can resist singing along to the tune. 

31. “Bohemian Rhapsody” by Queen

Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” is a unique song to the extent it was first rejected by the record label.

However, it’s those rejected songs that come to shine over and over decades after their release, and it’s no different with “Bohemian Rhapsody”, as it has become one of the best songs to be released by Queen. 

It requires a talented and imaginative pianist to execute this classic rock tune that is as inventive and funky as any progressive rock track can be. 

People always appreciate it when talented pianists bring “Bohemian Rhapsody” to life in piano bars, and you shouldn’t be surprised to hear people request it repeatedly. 

32. “Hotel California” by The Eagles

“Hotel California” is one of those tracks to request at piano bars when you feel like you need a true, old-time classic rock. 

The Eagles released this song in 1976 and titled it “Mexican Reggae”. 

However, they later renamed it “Hotel California” after shooting the video. 

The song has a catchy piano tune, which is easy to play. 

“Hotel California” is also a crowd-pleaser, and you should expect your audience to join you in singing the song once you start it. 

33. “A Thousand Miles” by Vanessa Carlton

Vanessa Carlton’s “A Thousand Miles” is one of those favorite songs on the internet, thanks to the massive memes it has attracted over the years. 

The song has a unique piano riff, which is instantly recognizable.

Also, the song has a simple melody and catchy chorus, which you will be singing for days after you hear it. 

“A Thousand Miles” is the perfect example of how Vanessa is talented in writing hit songs. 

34. “Love Song” by Sara Bareilles

This upbeat piano-based song by Sara Bareilles has become very popular because of its contrasting lyrics.  

“Love Song” tells a story of a lady trying to end her relationship because it’s no longer working for her. 

The lady needs a good reason to write a love song to her lover because she is not sure whether their love still exists. 

Regardless of the sad feeling of the song, it has a very catchy beat and will get your audience’s feet tapping the moment it starts playing. 

35. “If I Ain’t Got You” by Alicia Keys

“If I Ain’t Got You” is a great song that reaffirms the pure talent and vocal range of Alicia Keys. 

The song reflects on the importance of love and things that matter in life. 

Alicia Keys says that the song inspired the loss of her fellow musician Aaliyah, and it’s considered a dedication to her and other people who are no longer with us. 

Although the song has many emotions, it’s one of the best songs to request or play at a piano bar. 

36. “Autumn Leaves” by Nat King Cole 

Anyone not well-versed in jazz music should only recognize Nat King Cole because of his classic renditions of Christmas songs

With that said, “Autumn Leaves” is one of the most popular songs to be released by Nat King Cole. 

Although most of the original song’s instrumentation is orchestral, playing the song on piano adds some elegance that your audience will enjoy. 

37. “What a Wonderful World” by Louis Armstrong

George David Weiss and Bob Thiele wrote this song, which was later recorded and released by Louis Armstrong in 1967. 

Since then, “What a Wonderful World” has become a hit and featured in numerous movies. 

The song has gained a lot of fame because of its lyrical optimism and its upbeat and jazzy musical arrangement, which always brings a sense of peace whenever you listen to the song. 

38. “Chariot” by Gavin DeGraw

Funny enough, Gavin DeGraw’s “Chariot” music video seems to take place in a piano bar where DeGraw plays before he gets carried away by a lady in the audience. 

Gavin DeGraw is a singer-songwriter from New York, and he became famous in 2003 after releasing his first album, Chariot

This song is a great addition to your piano bar song list because it allows one to inhibit their piano skills and vocal delivery. 

39. “Walking in Memphis” by Marc Cohn

Marc Cohn’s “Walking in Memphis” is a soulful and bluesy ballad that tells the story of Cohn’s journey in Memphis. 

This song was inspired by a trip that Marc took to Memphis, where he visited Elvis Presley’s home, Graceland. 

The song has a catchy piano riff that, when combined with Marc’s powerful vocals, becomes ideal for a piano bar setting. 

40. “Don’t Know Why” by Norah Jones

This song is a blend of blues, jazz, and some pop, which makes it slow and sultry.

However, Norah Jones’ smooth voice and pitch precision make this song shine. 

The tune has spare but effective instruments, which makes it great for creating an intimate mood for your piano bar audience. 

Best Piano Bar Songs – Final Thoughts

There you have it! 

These are the best piano bar songs that you can request or play if you are a frequent visitor to piano bars. 

Our list has a variety of genres, making it perfect for helping people create a piano bar song list. 

You may also like: Best Bar Songs of All Time

Will Fenton

Will, the founder of MIDDER, is a multifaceted individual with a deep passion for music and personal finance. As a self-proclaimed music and personal finance geek, he has a keen eye for futuristic technologies, especially those that empower creators and the public.

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