Party Ideas

Dueling Pianos: Rocking the Keys at Your Party!

By Heather Roonan

If you have never been to a Dueling Pianos Bar, then you are missing a truly entertaining experience.  Dueling Pianos are one of the most popular forms of entertainment for events such as weddings, bachelor parties, bachelorette parties, birthdays, engagements, anniversaries, and many other special occasions.  You can take your party to the bar, or you can bring the piano show to your event!

Here’s how it works.  There are two professional pianists seated on a stage at grand pianos facing each other (traveling shows can use vertical pianos or keyboards).  Many times there will be more than two piano players, and they take turns to give each player a break.  All performers will not only be talented piano players but also funny with high energy.  Some shows may also include a drummer to add a little “somethin-somethin” to the music.  The guests of the bar or party will submit song requests, and the players take turns playing those requests.  Everyone can sit back and enjoy their dinner or drinks while listening and singing along to their favorite tunes.

There are a few things to know about attending or hiring a dueling pianos show.  First, tips are more than “recommended.”  If you actually want hear your song,  then you will want to tip them.  The higher the tip, the more guarantee that your song will be played.  Keep in mind that while it is fun to try and challenge the players to see how many songs they actually know, it’s important to pick songs that aren’t too obscure.  The players know lots of songs, but they’ll pick the requests for songs that the crowd will also know.  This is because everyone is expected to sing along, so don’t be shy!  Audience participation is what makes a dueling piano show stand out from regular entertainment such as a solo performer or full band.  Not only will the audience sing along, but often the guests of honor will be pulled onto stage to be included in a song or a funny gag performed by the piano players.  If those guests of honor are easily embarrassed and do not find embarrassment to be amusing, make sure the piano players know that in advance.

Here are a some of the most popular songs that you are almost guaranteed to hear at every dueling piano show you attend/hire:

  • Bennie and the Jets
  • Joy to the World
  • Sweet Caroline
  • Don’t Stop Believin’
  • Friends in Low Places
  • Great Balls of Fire
  • Hotel California
  • Piano Man
  • Bohemian Rhapsody

Those are just some of the classics.  The players will also be ready for top 40 hits and popular radio tunes.  If the bar is in a city with colleges nearby, they will also often be ready to play those school fight songs.

If you do choose to bring the show to your event, there are many professional dueling piano companies and acts available.  These companies will work with you on your event to make sure you have everything you need for a successful celebration!

Ready to book dueling pianos for your next event? Find the best at GigSalad!


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