Help me to find some party piano songs.
May 29, 2012 10:59 AM   Subscribe

Looking for suggestions of intermediate level piano pieces suitable for parties/get togethers with friends.

I started taking piano lessons a few years ago and finally feel that a lot of intermediate pieces are within my grasp. I'm taking lessons with a teacher who is classically oriented - the teacher is great, and I'm learning a lot from the pieces we are working on and want to continue the classical approach in my lessons.

However. . .I've been taking lessons long enough that when people come over to my house they want to hear me play some songs for them. The classical stuff I'm working on just doesn't have that relaxed/cool vibe I'm looking for when entertaining friends, so I'm looking to build a "party repertoire".

Here are some more specific guidelines of what I'm looking for:
1. Popular songs are OK, but I don't have a great singing voice and a lot of pop stuff falls flat when you play it in isolation from the lyrics.
2. Nothing too brooding/quiet/reflective. I'm a huge fan of nocturnes, for instance, but that's not the mood I want to set at a party.
3. Nothing too sweet or syrupy.
4. Nothing with complicated syncopation, large hand jumps, or really fast finger work throughout the piece (for example, most ragtime stuff would probably be a little over my head technique-wise at this point).
5. Pop culture references - tv/movie/video game themes - would probably be fun and would get a laugh or two. Reference point - most of my friends fall into late 20s-mid 30s age range.

What new music should I learn?
posted by sherlockt to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (9 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
>I don't have a great singing voice

Good party songs (for rowdier values of "party") are those that everyone probably knows most of the lyrics to. You get it started and the group takes over. To wit: Sweet Caroline.
posted by GPF at 11:08 AM on May 29, 2012 [1 favorite]

There are various arrangements of the classic Charlie Brown song "Linus and Lucy" at different levels of difficulty to match your current abilities.
posted by drlith at 11:11 AM on May 29, 2012 [2 favorites]

My daughter just got sheet music for "You Raise Me Up" by Josh Groban.
posted by Sassyfras at 11:16 AM on May 29, 2012

Further to drlith, just about any Vince Guaraldi has a "tinkling the ivories" feel and are simply great, accessible tunes otherwise.
posted by rhizome at 11:33 AM on May 29, 2012 [1 favorite]

Er, I guess that should be "tickling."
posted by rhizome at 11:33 AM on May 29, 2012

"Bad Romance" by Lady Gaga is fun and easy to play on the piano. A cool riff and two very different feels in the verse and chorus. Also you shouldn't worry about singing yourself, look for songs that other people enjoy singing along to.
posted by grog at 6:25 PM on May 29, 2012

I have a lot of recommendations:

1. Really old songs that everyone's grandmother used to sing - Bicycle Built for Two, You Are My Sunshine, etc

2. Still old, but newer songs: Peter Paul and Mary, Bob Dylan, Simon and Garfunkel, any folk songs or campfire songs.

3. Themes from Disney movies: Kiss the Girl, Whistle While You Work, I Can Fly, etc

4. It's time to start practicing your Christmas songs.

5. Really, go to the sheet music dept of any music store and they will have thousands of piano books in categories by skill level and by subject. Pick the kind of music that you and your friends like, then look for a book that has been leveled-down so you can play it. (For example, I have 2 copies of My Heart Will Go On from Titanic - one of them is super easy, the other one I can't even begin to figure out. Get the easy one.) Ask the clerk to let you try a bit on one of their pianos.
posted by CathyG at 7:43 AM on June 5, 2012

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