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Must know songs for a cocktail Pianist? #1378819
02/20/10 12:42 PM
02/20/10 12:42 PM
Joined: Jan 2006
Posts: 169
J
josuff247 Offline OP
Full Member
josuff247  Offline OP
Full Member
J

Joined: Jan 2006
Posts: 169
As my my long term (7-10 years) goal is to be a cocktail pianist (I am still in the beginning stages) I was wondering if we could compile a list of songs every cocktail pianist must know.
I'll start.

Misty
Fly me to the Moon
Happy Birthday
Over the rainbow
Unforgettable
WHat a wonderful world
Girl from Impanina

Please add your suggestions.


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Re: Must know songs for a cocktail Pianist? [Re: josuff247] #1378834
02/20/10 01:01 PM
02/20/10 01:01 PM
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 19,862
Kansas
apple* Offline
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Kansas
i REALLY like the piano stylings of the great standards. not too difficult and one could improvise. I have volume I and it's really all one needs to start.

http://www.musicbooksnow.com/steinway-music-books.html

also available at Sheetmusic plus


accompanist/organist.. a non-MTNA teacher to a few

love and peace, Õun (apple in Estonian)
Re: Must know songs for a cocktail Pianist? [Re: apple*] #1378869
02/20/10 01:42 PM
02/20/10 01:42 PM
Joined: Jan 2006
Posts: 169
J
josuff247 Offline OP
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josuff247  Offline OP
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J

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Cool, Apple, It looks good.
So far I am being classically trained for about 6 mos.
I am not decided yet wether to switch to cocktail style, or do both at the same time.

Re: Must know songs for a cocktail Pianist? [Re: josuff247] #1378965
02/20/10 04:08 PM
02/20/10 04:08 PM
Joined: Jan 2010
Posts: 163
Rochester, NY, USA
RayE Offline
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RayE  Offline
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Rochester, NY, USA
Off the top of my head:
Billy Joel's "Pianoman"
Carly Simon's "You've Got a Friend"
Beatle's "Michelle", "Yesterday"
Elton John's "Daniel"

Many Many others!!


Retired Army reserve Bandsman who now plays for the Joy of Music!!
Re: Must know songs for a cocktail Pianist? [Re: RayE] #1379086
02/20/10 07:14 PM
02/20/10 07:14 PM
Joined: Aug 2009
Posts: 873
W
Wizard of Oz Offline
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Wizard of Oz  Offline
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Pick the songs that you like to play, there's enough standards out there that you'll find something.

Also, you can take popular songs and "jazz" them up to make them sound like a standard. I've heard Sting or Peter Gabriel tunes reworked into a jazz song.

Re: Must know songs for a cocktail Pianist? [Re: Wizard of Oz] #1379339
02/21/10 02:13 AM
02/21/10 02:13 AM
Joined: Aug 2004
Posts: 838
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Jazz+ Offline
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Jazz+  Offline
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Joined: Aug 2004
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Whatever you like


Roland FP-4 digital piano, Mason & Hamlin acoustic piano.
Re: Must know songs for a cocktail Pianist? [Re: Jazz+] #1379941
02/21/10 09:21 PM
02/21/10 09:21 PM
Joined: Jan 2006
Posts: 169
J
josuff247 Offline OP
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josuff247  Offline OP
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J

Joined: Jan 2006
Posts: 169
Quick off topic Question.

To be a cocktail pianist is improvising/playing from a fake book, a must?
Can one be a cocktail pianist using regular sheet music (memorized).

SHould I switch my training from Classical to Jazz?

Re: Must know songs for a cocktail Pianist? [Re: josuff247] #1380170
02/22/10 08:08 AM
02/22/10 08:08 AM
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Posts: 19,862
Kansas
apple* Offline
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Kansas
you actually have to be 'very good' to be a cocktail pianist.

able to improvise, know a million songs by memory, be able to talk and play... know bits and snippets to illustrate a thought.

I would DEFINITELY know and understand all 20s to 90s music via fake book.. i would add jazz lessons to classical.

i am suggesting that it is not an 'easy' genre altho it seems so. The cocktail pianists i know are quite good classical musicians.


accompanist/organist.. a non-MTNA teacher to a few

love and peace, Õun (apple in Estonian)
Re: Must know songs for a cocktail Pianist? [Re: apple*] #1380575
02/22/10 06:05 PM
02/22/10 06:05 PM
Joined: Jan 2006
Posts: 169
J
josuff247 Offline OP
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josuff247  Offline OP
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J

Joined: Jan 2006
Posts: 169
Yes, I know it is very difficult, I do not expect short cuts.
Thats why it is a 10 year goal.

I figure I cant go wrong with classical training, at least for now.
I will mess with improvising on the side.

Re: Must know songs for a cocktail Pianist? [Re: josuff247] #1380618
02/22/10 06:57 PM
02/22/10 06:57 PM
Joined: Jul 2009
Posts: 43
P
pippo Offline
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Posts: 43
Originally Posted by josuff247
As my my long term (7-10 years) goal is to be a cocktail pianist (I am still in the beginning stages) I was wondering if we could compile a list of songs every cocktail pianist must know.
I'll start.

Misty
Fly me to the Moon
Happy Birthday
Over the rainbow
Unforgettable
WHat a wonderful world
Girl from Impanina

Please add your suggestions.



George Shearing arranged a great Over The Rainbow, if youre interested. Its in his book simply called George Shearing", I believe......

Re: Must know songs for a cocktail Pianist? [Re: pippo] #1380988
02/23/10 09:39 AM
02/23/10 09:39 AM
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Kansas
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a very worthy goal.


accompanist/organist.. a non-MTNA teacher to a few

love and peace, Õun (apple in Estonian)
Re: Must know songs for a cocktail Pianist? [Re: josuff247] #1381891
02/24/10 12:08 PM
02/24/10 12:08 PM
Joined: Feb 2010
Posts: 1,524
Nashville, Tennessee
PianoZac Offline
1000 Post Club Member
PianoZac  Offline
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Joined: Feb 2010
Posts: 1,524
Nashville, Tennessee
Originally Posted by josuff247
As my my long term (7-10 years) goal is to be a cocktail pianist (I am still in the beginning stages) I was wondering if we could compile a list of songs every cocktail pianist must know.
I'll start.

Misty
Fly me to the Moon
Happy Birthday
Over the rainbow
Unforgettable
WHat a wonderful world
Girl from Impanina

Please add your suggestions.


First of all, good luck with your goal. Stick to it, I promise you'll thank yourself later. Right now, between preparing my own stuff, I play cocktail piano/sing at a nice restaurant in Nashville, Tn. Of your song list, I play/sing Fly Me To The Moon, Over The Rainbow, What A Wonderful World, Girl From Impanina, Happy Birthday (of course!). I suggest once you get going with the piano to pick up one of the American Songbooks (Gershwin Bros, Harold Alren, Rodgers & Hart, Johnny Mathis, Cole Porter, etc.) because those tunes are PERFECT for cocktail playing. Plus they can help build your chops esp if you're playing solo piano cause you have to do intros, head of tune, solo, endings, and if you sing, all the lyrics. It's a lot of work, but very rewarding. Best of luck!

Some songs to add to your list:

I've Got You Under My Skin
I Get A Kick Out Of You
The Lady Is A Tramp
Blue Skies
If I Only Had A Brain
Someone Like You
Fire And Rain
Come Fly With Me
One For The Road
That Old Black Magic



Kawai MP7SE
Re: Must know songs for a cocktail Pianist? [Re: pippo] #1382421
02/25/10 02:19 AM
02/25/10 02:19 AM
Joined: Feb 2004
Posts: 412
LA CA
Rob Mullins Offline
Full Member
Rob Mullins  Offline
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Joined: Feb 2004
Posts: 412
LA CA
Hi,
Don't forget some of the D songs..."Danny Boy" and "Desperado." You can find a pretty complete list by taking one piano lesson from a cocktail pianist and asking them.


Rob Mullins
www.planetmullins.com
Recording Artist and Jazz Piano Instructor
Re: Must know songs for a cocktail Pianist? [Re: Rob Mullins] #1382875
02/25/10 05:21 PM
02/25/10 05:21 PM
Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 1,663
NY
Elssa Offline
1000 Post Club Member
Elssa  Offline
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Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 1,663
NY
Cocktail piano is my very favorite style of playing. smile

Here's my list: www.elssa1.blogspot.com


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