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Must know songs for a cocktail Pianist?

Posted By: josuff247

Must know songs for a cocktail Pianist? - 02/20/10 05:42 PM

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.

Posted By: apple*

Re: Must know songs for a cocktail Pianist? - 02/20/10 06:01 PM

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
Posted By: josuff247

Re: Must know songs for a cocktail Pianist? - 02/20/10 06:42 PM

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.
Posted By: RayE

Re: Must know songs for a cocktail Pianist? - 02/20/10 09:08 PM

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!!
Posted By: Wizard of Oz

Re: Must know songs for a cocktail Pianist? - 02/21/10 12:14 AM

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.
Posted By: Jazz+

Re: Must know songs for a cocktail Pianist? - 02/21/10 07:13 AM

Whatever you like
Posted By: josuff247

Re: Must know songs for a cocktail Pianist? - 02/22/10 02:21 AM

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?
Posted By: apple*

Re: Must know songs for a cocktail Pianist? - 02/22/10 01:08 PM

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.
Posted By: josuff247

Re: Must know songs for a cocktail Pianist? - 02/22/10 11:05 PM

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.
Posted By: pippo

Re: Must know songs for a cocktail Pianist? - 02/22/10 11:57 PM

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......
Posted By: apple*

Re: Must know songs for a cocktail Pianist? - 02/23/10 02:39 PM

a very worthy goal.
Posted By: PianoZac

Re: Must know songs for a cocktail Pianist? - 02/24/10 05:08 PM

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

Posted By: Rob Mullins

Re: Must know songs for a cocktail Pianist? - 02/25/10 07:19 AM

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.
Posted By: Elssa

Re: Must know songs for a cocktail Pianist? - 02/25/10 10:21 PM

Cocktail piano is my very favorite style of playing. smile

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