Dueling Pianos

Dueling Pianos

We have the 88 KEYS Rockin Piano show every Friday and Saturday night. Come enjoy the music of your choice from any genre and generation. Never been to a dueling piano show? read below about the rare breed of musician that make 88 KEYS a premiere destination for a fun night on the town!!!

About dueling piano Players…
by Adam Blue

Today there are less than 200 noteworthy dueling piano players in the United States. That number is rapidly growing, however, as the popularity of the dueling piano concept rises.
Why are dueling piano players so rare? Because a dueling piano player has to have some serious qualifications:

First, you must have NATURAL musical ability. Natural musical ability is something that you have to be born with. You cannot learn it, you either have it or you don’t. There are two types of musicians out there, those who have natural ability and usually learn by “playing by ear” and then there’s the more geeky musicians who have little or no natural ability but insist on being musicians. The latter type of musicians usually go to “music school” and get their degrees and so forth and rely mostly on music theory to compensate for their lack of natural talent. Dueling piano players are ALL natural born musicians. There is no sheet music in the world of dueling pianos. So, first and foremost a dueling piano player must be a natural.

Second, and this is where most piano players fall off, you must be FUNNY. Humor is essential in the dueling piano world as most of the show is based around shtick and spur of the moment jokes. So, as you can see, finding someone who is both musically talented AND humorous is a far fetch.

Third, a dueling piano player must know EVERY song ever written. Well, maybe not all of them – but you’d better know most of them. Dueling pianos is based upon random requests from the audience and you have no script to get you through your performance. This is where the “playing by ear” concept comes in handy BIG TIME. Sometimes a dueling pianist will play a song that he has never even played before – but if he has HEARD it before – he can usually pick it out quickly and at least make an attempt at playing it for you. You cannot learn this ability, you have to be born with it. This is also why you will sometimes see dueling piano players using big songbooks – these songbooks do not have sheet music in them – but lyrics. Even though a dueling piano player may have the talent to pick out the melody to a strange song, he may not know the correct lyrics – thus the lyrics book comes in handy.

Fourth, a dueling piano player must be able to READ an audience. It’s true what they say, no dueling piano show is alike, you never know what you’re going to get. A good dueling piano playercan look out at his audience and decide what genre and era of songs to play, as well as what comedy rating they will use. Dueling piano players usually rate their comedy just like movies, G, PG, PG13, R, and unfortunately sometimes rated X.

Fifth and finally, a dueling piano player must be able to generate tips.

So, as you can see – a dueling piano player is almost super human, and this is why there are so few of them.