The piano, with its wide range and expressive capabilities, can convey a broad spectrum of emotions. While it may seem like an unlikely instrument for genres like metal, skilled pianists have demonstrated that the piano can capture the intensity, complexity, and depth of metal compositions. We have prepared a list of the best metal songs to play on the piano.
The best metal songs to play on the piano
Numerous metal classics have found new life through piano interpretations. Bands like Metallica, Iron Maiden, and Rammstein, known for their heavy and energetic soundscapes, have had their songs reimagined by talented pianists. The iconic acoustic guitar intro of Metallica’s “Nothing Else Matters” takes on a haunting beauty when played on the piano, and Iron Maiden’s “Fear of the Dark” becomes a melodic journey through the keys.
The percussive nature of the piano keys allows for the recreation of powerful guitar riffs and intricate drum patterns, while the sustain pedal can replicate the lingering echoes of distorted chords. Here are the best songs to play on a piano:
Nothing Else Matters by Metallica
“Nothing Else Matters” is one of Metallica’s most famous and enduring ballads. Not only Metallica’s but one of the best ballads ever.
“Nothing Else Matters” was written by James Hetfield, one of the Metallica band members. 100 years from now, this song will still be listened to and loved.
It is a great chance for piano lovers that such a song is so suitable for piano. Even if you are not a very professional piano player, after some practice, you will be able to play it without any problems.
Easy piano tutorial of Nothing Else Matters by Metallica:
Linkin Park – Numb
“Numb” by Linkin Park is a song that lends itself well to piano adaptation due to its melodic and emotional nature. The original version features a mix of electronic and rock elements, and translating it to the piano allows for a focus on the poignant melody and lyrics.
Feel free to experiment with the dynamics and tempo to suit your playing style. The chords provided here are basic, and you can enhance the arrangement by adding arpeggios, variations, or other embellishments.
If you’re comfortable, you can also try incorporating the vocal melody into your piano playing to capture the essence of the original song. As always, adapting songs to the piano is a creative process, so don’t hesitate to put your personal touch on it. Enjoy playing “Numb” by Linkin Park on the piano!
One by Metallica
We continue our list with Metallica. Metallica’s One is one of the best metal songs to play on the piano.
If you are new to piano, you may have some difficulty with this song. But as always, with a little practice, you can add this song to your repertoire.
Here is a tutorial for One by Metallica:
One of the most preferred metal songs to play on piano is “Fear of the Dark” by Iron Maiden.
“Fear of the Dark” is a song by the British heavy metal band Iron Maiden. It was written by the band’s lead vocalist and primary songwriter, Bruce Dickinson. The track is the title song of Iron Maiden’s ninth studio album, released in 1992. The album marked the end of an era for the band, as it was the last studio album to feature Bruce Dickinson before his temporary departure.
It’s a song with highs and lows and a strong atmospheric structure. It’s a very suitable piece, not only for the piano but also for the orchestra.
With the necessary changes, you can see that it also resembles a piece of classical music.
The lyrics of “Zombie” are inspired by the Troubles in Northern Ireland, a conflict between the nationalist Catholic community and the unionist Protestant community.
The song specifically addresses the 1993 IRA bombing in Warrington, England, which killed two children. Dolores O’Riordan wrote the song as a protest against violence and the impact it has on innocent lives.
The chorus features an iconic and powerful refrain.
“Breaking the Law” by Judas Priest is an iconic anthem that has become a staple in the realm of heavy metal. Released in 1980 as part of their album “British Steel,” the song is a manifestation of Judas Priest’s signature style.
The lyrics tell the story of a person who, feeling downtrodden and pushed to the edge, decides to break societal norms and laws. The catchy chorus, with its anthemic repetition of the phrase “Breaking the law, breaking the law,” has made the song an anthem for those who crave a release from the constraints of conformity.
“Breaking the Law” by Judas Priest is one of the best metal songs to play on piano.
Mein Herz Brennt by Rammstein
The year 2023 was a difficult year for Rammstein and lead singer Till Lindemann. The accusations against Lindemann, after a short trial, were dismissed due to a lack of evidence.
Rammstein’s fans, who thought the band would disband because of the accusations, breathed a sigh of relief when Rammstein announced their 2024 tour dates.
“Mein Herz Brennt” was first released on Rammstein’s third studio album, “Mutter,” which came out in 2001. Translated to English, the title means “My heart is burning.” You will love to play this song on the piano.
Paranoid by Black Sabbath
If you want to improve your piano playing speed, Black Sabbat’s Paranoid is a perfect opportunity for you, because playing this song on the piano requires a certain speed.
“Paranoid” by Black Sabbath is a classic metal song with a distinctive guitar riff. Adapting it to the piano can be a fun and challenging endeavor. Here’s the tutorial for you:
Chop Suey! by System of a Down
“Chop Suey!” is a song by the American rock band System of a Down. It was released as the lead single from their second album, “Toxicity,” which came out in 2001. The song was written by Daron Malakian and Serj Tankian. “Chop Suey!” has become one of System of a Down’s most popular and recognizable songs.
Playing “Chop Suey!” by System of a Down on the piano can be an exciting and challenging endeavor due to the song’s dynamic and intense nature. If you are new to the piano, it might be difficult for you.
While the piano might not capture all the nuances of the original heavy guitar and vocals, you can create a compelling arrangement that reflects the essence of the song. Here’s a tutorial for you:
Duality by Slipknot
“Duality” was released as the lead single from Slipknot’s third studio album, “Vol. 3: (The Subliminal Verses),” in 2004.
Adapting “Duality” for piano may require some creativity, as the original relies heavily on distorted guitars and percussion.
What is your favorite metal song to play on the piano? Let us know in the comments.
Image credit: Franco Robert