The Art of Playing Ophelia Piano: Everything You Need to Know

If you’re a fan of indie-folk music, then you’re certainly familiar with the hit song “Ophelia” by The Lumineers. This iconic song has swept the world with its upbeat melody and catchy lyrics, leaving listeners eager to learn more about it. In particular, many fans are interested in the Ophelia piano version, wondering who played it, what key it’s in, and how to play it themselves. If you’re one of those fans, then you’re in the right place. In this blog post, we’ll explore everything you need to know about playing Ophelia on piano.

Who is the piano player for Lumineers?

Before we dive into the specifics of playing Ophelia on piano, let’s take a moment to acknowledge the pianist behind the melody. The Lumineers’ resident pianist, Jeremiah Fraites, is the one playing the iconic Ophelia piano version. Fraites is known for his impeccable piano skills, which he showcases in several of the band’s tracks. Ophelia, in particular, stands out as one of his most impressive works, earning him accolades from music enthusiasts all over the world.

What key is Ophelia Lumineers in?

Now that we know who played the Ophelia piano version, let’s talk about the technicalities of the track. Ophelia is played in the key of C major. This key is commonly used in pop and rock music and is known for its bright and cheerful sound. If you’re a beginner on the piano, then C major is an excellent key to start with since it has no sharps or flats.

How to play Ophelia interlude on piano?

Playing the Ophelia piano interlude requires a certain level of skill, but it’s not impossible to learn. The interlude is played in a fast-paced manner, using arpeggios and a combination of single and double notes to create a distinct melody.

Here’s a breakdown of how to play the Ophelia interlude on piano:

  1. Start by placing your right hand on the middle C note.
  2. Play the C note followed by G and E, using your thumb, middle, and little finger, respectively.
  3. Repeat the same three notes, but this time, use your index finger for the G note.
  4. Next, play the G note with your thumb, followed by B and D notes using your index and little fingers.
  5. Repeat the above three notes; G, B, and D, but this time, use your thumb, middle, and little fingers to play them.
  6. Finish the first phrase with a single C note played with your right pinky.

  7. Now, play the next set of notes starting with a G note played with your thumb, followed by B and D, played with your index and little fingers.

  8. Repeat step 7, but this time, use your thumb, middle, and little fingers to play G, B, and D.
  9. Play a single E note with your right pinky finger.
  10. Next, play the C note with your thumb, followed by G and E, using your middle and little fingers.
  11. Finish the interlude with another single C note played with your right pinky finger.

Ophelia cover: Making the Song Your Own

One of the great things about Ophelia is its versatility. The song lends itself well to covers and adaptations, and there are numerous examples of musicians putting their own spin on it. If you’re looking to make the song your own, then consider trying out some of the following Ophelia cover ideas:

  • Play the song in a different key, such as D major or A minor, to give it a unique twist.
  • Play the melody using a different instrument, such as guitar or ukulele.
  • Experiment with different tempos and rhythms to create a fresh new sound.
  • Add your own lyrics or change the existing ones to suit your style and preferences.

What does Ophelia mean in the song Hamlet?

If you’re familiar with Shakespeare’s play “Hamlet”, then you might be wondering if there’s a connection between the play and The Lumineers’ song “Ophelia”. The short answer is yes. The song’s lyrics make several references to the play, particularly the character of Ophelia.

In Hamlet, Ophelia is a tragic character who is driven to madness and eventually drowns herself. In the song, The Lumineers use Ophelia as a metaphor for the pressures and expectations that often come with fame and success. The lyrics suggest that the song’s protagonist is struggling with these pressures and that they are taking a toll on her.


Playing Ophelia on piano is no easy feat, but with practice and dedication, anyone can master the song’s interlude. Whether you’re a fan of The Lumineers or just love easy piano songs, Ophelia is a great track to add to your repertoire. With its bright and cheerful melody and meaningful lyrics, Ophelia has become an iconic piece of indie-folk music, inspiring countless artists and fans around the world. So go ahead, grab your piano, and give Ophelia a try. You never know, you might surprise yourself with your newfound skills.

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