Piano Man by Billy Joel is considered the signature song of this popular star.
Billy Joel wrote the song during the early seventies while he was establishing his career in music. The song, with its poignant look at real life, was his first big hit.
Billy Joel was born in the Bronx, New York, in 1949. He was intrigued by classical European music from a young age, so his mother encouraged him to take piano lessons. By his early teens, he had become interested in a career in music.
Some of the artists that inspired him musically were Ray Charles, Dave Brubeck, and the Beatles – which shows just how broad Joel’s interests in music have been. While still in high school, he was performing professional gigs to help his divorced mother make ends meet. His first recording was in 1968 as part of a band called “The Hassles.”
Billy’s own personal hassles prompted him to move to the West Coast, where he became a Los Angeles night club performer. It was in this setting that he fictionalized the people in the bar into the lyrics of the his signature song.
Piano Man by Billy Joel captures the imagination and hearts of people everywhere with its slice of life lyrics and lilting tune.
The song begins as a sort of piano pop piece, with a jazz flavor, but also include a Bob Dylan-inspired harmonica solo.
The tune is so catchy that listeners often find themselves singing along after they’ve heard it a few times. In fact, when Joel performs the song at concerts, he doesn’t sing the chorus. He holds the mic toward the audience and lets them sing the familiar words.
Piano Man by Billy Joel is a great song for learning to play the piano.
It has a simple, familiar sound that catches your interest and sounds great when you’re performing for your friends. With the wonders of modern technology, you can even learn songs like this without a teacher. You can teach yourself, via piano lesson websites or CD-Rom or online instruction.
Now, before you start to object that you could never learn a hard song like this one, realize that, no, it won’t be the first lesson you have. You will need to get familiar with the keyboard and some basic simple movements first. Then you’ll have to practice what you are learning. And practice some more.
Having a desire to learn a skill like piano playing goes a lot farther than just plunking down money for a teacher. If you have a passion, like Billy Joel did as a young boy listening to classical music, half the battle is over.
And while regular practice is essential, it is not necessary to spend hours at a time working at piano playing to master it. In fact, spending too much time all at once can be counter productive, because it can lead to burn out. Aim for about 30 minutes every day.
Before you know it, you’ll be playing great songs like Piano Man by Billy Joel.