Imagine by John Lennon

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Here I am going to show you how to play Imagine by John Lennon on the piano. It is a song that is fairly easy to play and that sounds great. Instantly recognizable, it'll add another song to your repertoire and make you seem like you've been playing piano for years. Lets start as usual with a chord sheet, its quite long so I'll link to it, download it and print it out.

Imagine Chord Sheet

To really do this song justice you need to sing along with it, so we're not going to learn the melody. We'll learn a simple piano part that you'll be able to sing over to produce a surprisingly professional sounding song.

Breaking this song down you'll notice there's a lot of repetition. Let's go through it.


There are 9 different chords used in the song, practice playing each of these chords until you are comfortable with them. If this seems like a lot of chords forget about the G7 and E7 for now, in their place you can just play normal G and E chords

C = C E G
Cmaj7 = C E G B
F = F A C
Am = A minor = A C E
Dm = D minor = D F A
G = G B D
G7 = G B D F
E = E G# B
E7 = E G# B D

Chords explained


For most of the bass line you're simply going to play the root note of each chord with your left hand. For a C or Cmaj7 or C7 chord the root note is C, for a D or Dm or Dm7 chord the root note is D etc. There is one exception to this rule and that is for the slash chords. Remember, a slash chord such as Am/E simply means play Am with an E as the root note. When you see a slash chord in Imagine, simply take the part after the slash as your bass note to be played with your left hand. Your bass line will sound like this:

Imagine bass

Right Hand

Now for the right hand, start by simply playing the chords as is until you are fluent with it. For the slash chords forget about the part after the slash, you'll be playing that note with your left hand so Am/E just becomes a regular Am for your right hand Dm/C = Dm etc.

Simple right hand verse

Simple right hand chorus

There's a little fill that we need to add at the end of the verse, the notes for the fill are A A# B, practice playing it


Completed Imagine

Now join up that bass part with your right hand to get a workable version of Imagine!

Verse bass plus chords

Chorus bass plus chords

Now what we want to do is add a bit of colour to it.

Imagine is a great song to throw the sustain pedal in, that's the pedal on the right side. Use it all the way through the song, make sure you release it and press it down every now and again otherwise it'll start sounding too muddy. Next, with your right hand for the verse I want you to alternate between playing the top 2 notes of each chord with the root note. Add it to the bass and you've got a decent sounding song.

Colourful Imagine verse

Colourful Imagine chorus

Ok now to complete it you need to practice singing along with it, I CAN NOT SING!! But to demonstrate how YOU can sing along I will give it a go.

Imagine with terrible singing

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