Since the 1980s, the art of dueling pianos was a popular performance style that people found very entertaining.
You probably never heard of this term before since it is resurfacing the entertainment industry, mainly in piano bars.
If you are a piano player, dueling pianos in a bar could be your next gig if you want extra cash for more gear.
You could also do it if you are passionate about playing the instrument. Even if you don't want to perform at first, go into a piano dueling bar as a spectator to have fun, and get entertained.
What is Piano Dueling?
Piano dueling is not your ordinary performance. It is an interactive way of performing that you try to get the audience into the whole act. With that being said, you need to select songs on the pop spectrum. Getting the audience to sing along is the entire essence of piano dueling.
Typically, the set up would be two baby grand pianos facing each other, and two pianists would accept requests from the audience. It is probably not the kind of performance you are used to; it is not like you are performing your own songs in an underground club.
In this article, I have compiled some of the best dueling F if you ever want to get into the art.
Dueling Piano Songs To Sing Along To
Here are a couple of dueling piano songs that people like to sing along to:
- Hey Jude by The Beatles
- Hey Ya by Outkast
- Sweet Caroline by Neil Diamond
- Brown Eyed Girl by Van Morrison
- Sweet Home Alabama by Lynyrd Skynyrd
- E.S.P.E.C.T. by Aretha Franklin
- I Will Survive by Gloria Gaynor
- Louie Louie by The Kingsmen Trio
- Take it Easy by The Eagles
- Strokin’ by Clarence Carter
- Roadhouse Blues by The Doors
- Margaritaville by Jimmy Buffet
- Old Time Rock and Roll by Bob Seger
- Baby Got Back by Sir Mix-a-Lot
- What I’d Say by Ray Charles
- What I got by Sublime
- Mustang Sally by Wilson Pickett
- If that Ain’t Country (Why you drink- to get drunk!)
- Friends in Low Places by Garth Brooks
- King of the Road by Roger Miller
- Pour Some Sugar on Me by Def Leppard
- Family Tradition by Hank Williams Jr.
- Shout (Otis Day Version from Animal House)
- Ring of Fire by Johnny Cash
Aside from people singing along, it is helpful to prepare some songs that people could dance to.
Dancing while you are playing may be similar to bands that play at proms and weddings, which as a performer, you could probably relate to this concept.
Dueling Piano Songs To Dance To
Check out this next list for ideas about dueling piano songs that people can dance to:
- Play that Funky Music White Boy by White Cherry
- Locked out of Heaven and Treasure by Bruno Mars
- Celebration by Kool and the Gang
- Happy by Pharrell Williams
- Brick House by The Commodores
- Twist and Shout by The Beatles
- Proud Mary by Tina Turner
- We are Family by Sister Sledge
Now that you got the audience to dance and sing, you can also show what you can do as a piano player and showcase your talent.
Here are some songs that you can perform and sing if you want before accepting any more requests from the audience.
Dueling Piano Songs For Events
These next songs are pieces you can play not only for piano dueling, but if you get hired to do corporate gigs, birthdays, and weddings.
- Let’s get it on by Marvin Gaye
- Piano Man, Bennie, and the Jets, and Just the way you are by Billy Joel
- Tiny Dancer and Rocket Man by Elton John
- Wonderful Tonight by Eric Clapton
- With a Little Help from My Friends by Joe Cocker
- Unchained Melody by The Righteous Brothers
- My Girl by The Temptations
- Let’s Stay Together by Al Green
- Georgia by Ray Charles
It is always better to be prepared when you get sudden requests.
Most Popular Dueling Piano Songs
Here are a couple of the most requested songs at piano dueling bars that you should probably have up your sleeve:
- Rock and Roll All Night by Kiss
- Carry On, Wayward Son by Kansas
- Joy to the World by Three Dog Night
- Rocket Man by Elton John
- Piano Man by Billy Joel
To take things to the next level, here are some of the most complex songs you can perform.
Make sure you got the whole song on-point, so the audience will get their minds blown.
Here is a list of sophisticated songs that can you can play if it is within your skillset:
- One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer by George Thorogood
- Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen
- The Devil went Down to Georgia by Charles Daniels Band
- For those about to Rock (We Salute You) by AC/DC
- Sultans of Swing by Dire Straits
In this modern era, dueling piano bars are becoming patronized by the new millennial generation.
Aside from the classics, you should probably need to learn some of the most popular songs of the new millennium.
Modern Dueling Piano Songs
Here are some modern dueling piano songs that you should probably know how to play depending on the audience:
- Firework by Katy Perry
- Bad Guy by Billie Eilish
- That’s what you Get by Paramore
- Someone like you by Adelle
- Wonderwall by Oasis
- Halo by Beyoncé
Now that you have a good idea of what piano songs to play, if ever you get a chance to be in a piano dueling bar as a performer, it is time to practice.
If you are a music producer and performer on the side, I find it very inspiring to try and learn other people's songs.
It can help you develop writing and playing techniques that would help you with your music production.