A typical dueling piano show usually features two to four piano players. They work in teams throughout the night, taking audience requested songs. Generally, tips are expected when the guests make a song request, and priority may be given to a song with a larger denomination bill. Upon a tip, the players will often play the fight song of whatever college is requested too, which often results in bidding wars between alumni and students of various universities in attendance. Patrons can also request that an audience member be brought on stage. Generally, this is to celebrate a birthday, bachelorette party, anniversary, or other occasions. The piano players then perform a “calldown” in which the participant (or participants) is embarrassed in a light-hearted fashion.
Calldowns may be parodies of well-known songs, or simply original material intended to generate a reaction from the audience.
“Bits” are comedic routines or audience participation, many woven into the songs themselves. A commonly used bit can be found in the song Joy to the World by Three Dog Night as one piano player will teach the crowd “sign language” that accompanies the song, then bring up an audience member to demonstrate.
Our goal is to provide you with the best dueling piano showmaking you, the client, shine, and providing your guests with a top-notch entertaining piano show. If you have specific requests, we will make sure our dueling piano players make every attempt to fulfill them. We look forward to working with you!
Pete’s Pianos to Go originated in Austin, Texas, in 1992. Our success is a direct result of the professionalism we demand of our dueling piano players and the high standards we have held when placing our piano players in high-profile events for the past 27 years. With our recent successes at corporate and special events, weddings, and college and military markets, we are the nation’s leading source for hiring dueling pianos talent.
With a dedicated veteran roster of dueling piano players and a team who regularly performs for private events nationwide, Pete’s Pianos to Go has the luxury of keeping performance fees reasonable. Our staff works hard to create routes for our piano players so we can maximize their time spent on the road while lowering costs for our clients.
If you are planning to hire a dueling pianos band for a wedding or a corporate event, call us today. One of our friendly agents would be happy to assist you: 214-668-4200.
Dueling pianos (also known simply as “sing-along”) are a form of entertainment, usually on stage with two grand pianos, each played by a professional piano player who sings and entertains; humor and audience participation are prevalent. Often, these types of pianos have substantial sound systems, and most of the songs performed are rock and roll, classic rock, Top 40, R&B, or country, and today’s hits played primarily by request.
Literal “dueling pianos” can be verified as early as the late 1890s when ragtime piano playerswould actually “duel” to see who could play better and faster. In 1933, when B.H. O’Brien and Charlie Cantrell opened Pat O’Brien’s Bar in New Orleans, they included a room where two piano players would entertain the crowd on copper-topped baby grand pianos. Piano players would take turns singing songs requested by the audience, written on cocktail napkins.