Learning new songs is part and parcel of our daily existence as a piano player who plays live music regularly. The challenge is sifting through all the new music and finding what works and what doesn’t work.
In my opinion most of the Pop and Country music these days has become homogenized. For those of you that didn’t grow up in the 60s ‘homogenized’ is not a sexual connotation. It means that everything is made the same. Some might say made to the same standard of quality. But I think what has happened is that most of the popular songs have the same chord changes and a drought of tasty melodies. I know there are some great and talented songwriters out there. But by the time their tune gets to the producer and to the recording process, there are changes that get made to make the song palatable. Axis of Awesome did this comedy music bit that has become a perfect example of what I’m taking about
That’s okay by me. I don’t mind. I just know, as a writer, there are so many possibilities harmonically and melodically speaking, that there is no excuse for this. Even if a song were to have one ‘mystery chord’ in there somewhere, it would go a long way. It could be laziness. It could be ignorance.
But I think what has happened is when people like something, the creators replicate it because they know it’s a winning formula. This is true in every successful business. The music business is no different.
I think Adele has had some good success with adding tasty chords into her songs. Bruno Mars is copying many of the greats that came before him. They are both quite open about the fact that they are standing the shoulders of the giants who came before them.
My job is a piano player is to interpret what is out there and make it my own. For example, I don’t use massive amounts of music production techniques at our performances. I know some players use backing tracks and drum machines, even at dueling pianos shows. That’s cool. I never found it all that inspiring. As a piano player who works a lot I find I get inspiration from the people who are listening. I like that kind of energy rather than a technical energy.
The idea is that then the piano player turns the song into something of his own. Since we are all standing on the shoulders of the great ones who came before us, the only thing left for us to do is to personalize it.
That’s one of the things I learned early on as I was an aspiring musician learning to become a professional piano player. I used to think “Who is the best piano player?”. But then I realized it’s all one magic trick. Once you learn that one trick everything else after that is about adding the personality you were born with or that you are willing to let shine through.
So when I learn a new One Direction song or something from Jason Aldean, it doesn’t matter to me that all the same chords sequences are being used over and over again. I try to find the essence of the tune and make it my own. Sometimes I get it right, other times I need to keep learning.
The kids on the cruise ship are hilarious. They are very antsy and energetic. Like, constantly. But mostly right after a meal. They can’t understand how grown ups just want sit back and talk and relax after a good bite. Kids got to get up and run around. They got to do things.
This is especially so when the child has been fed a very steady diet of soft serve ice cream. It can’t be beat. They don’t want anything but french fries and ice cream. Who can blame them? If I didn’t have repercussions from eating like that I would do it all the time. It’s hypnotizing to think about. Donuts and ice cream. No veggies. No rice cakes. Just ice cream. Mmmmmmmm … mesmerizing.
I saw one little tyke this AM who didn’t look any older than 2 years old. I don’t even think he had been walking for more than a month or two. He was holding his Mom’s hand as they were walking along the pool deck to go to the buffet.
It was as if he could smell the ice cream 50 meters away because once he realized where they were going, he just looked up at his Mom as if to say, “Can’t you move any faster Lady?” I mean he was pulling on her limb as if he wasn’t going to stand for the delay in the proceedings and if she didn’t get with the program, he was going to have to release of her of her duties so he could get on over to the ice cream! “Let’s get on with it!” 2 years old.
His poor mother knew exactly what was going on and was not going to release him until he got something nutritious in him first. But she looked utterly defeated. She knew she should not have brought this kid with them on this trip. She thought she was going to catch up on her sleep. She thought she was going to relax. But Nooooo. This 2 year old needed ice cream and immediately after he was going to run around. Probably where danger existed in the form of swimming pools and slippery floors.
I can’t say I miss those days. I’m only working on this cruise ship as an entertainer because our kids are grown up and out of high school now. This is my time to sit back and watch all those parents deal with saying no to ice cream.
The Power of Live Music Entertainment
will literally astound you!
Edison said …
“If we all did the things we are capable of doing we would literally astound ourselves.”
The power of music is astounding! I get to see it every night I am playing piano music live in a corporate event or at a club date. I can see it whether I am entertaining in a country club or at a fund raiser.
Yes I can play piano and yes I can sing. But the music isn’t mine. It belongs to all of us and my job is to provide the vehicle for you to climb in and take a ride;
A Magic Carpet Ride.
Ride Sally Ride.
Baby You Can Drive My Car.
The tricky part is letting you know you need it before you know you want it.
So I am here to tell you want it. You need it. You crave live music entertainment and you’re going to be talking about what an astounding time you had last night tomorrow morning and for the rest of your life.
You will remember your event for years to come and maybe even beyond. It won’t because of the bean dip. It won’t be that really funny story Uncle Funky tells every party ever year every time you get guys get together.
It’s going to be the live music you shared. It’s going to be the dancing and the singing and the great memories you’ve created together with me behind the piano or with my band.
I’m not making this up. The music is telling you this is true.
You know how I know?
Let me ask you a question:
Do you remember where you were when you got your first kiss?
Of course you do.
Now what was your favorite song from that time period?
See? You knew instantly.
That’s the power of music.
That song (or songs) that was playing on the radio or on the 8 track player in the car you were in at the time, ingrained your emotional happiness. It became the soundtrack to your life.
That’s the power of music.
It transcends everything that was going on at the time. You don’t remember what you ate for breakfast the morning of your first kiss. But you remember the song that was your favorite.
So call me and let’s create some more great memories with live music entertainment.
I am Dan and I am the PianoMan and I would be honored if you would let me create those moments with you and your friends and family that will last a lifetime.
Live Music Entertainment is Astounding!
Piano Music Will Raise Funds. Really!
Live Music Creates Astounding Memories!
Piano Music Will Raise Funds. Really!
Live sing along piano music goes down in history as one of the all time great fundraising ideas and is a great choice for your next charity fund raiser event.
1. We are affordable with structured rates to fit every budget. We offer discounts for charity event entertainment packages that benefit children such as after school programs, athletic associations and most especially religious groups.
2. We can involve everyone in your audience because it spans every demographic; kids, tweeners, teens, millennials, young families, retirees on up to grandparents.
Even the people who don’t get to joining in with the sing along or the dancing will have a good time watching all their friends and co-workers get up and be all silly.
3. A VERY versatile live music entertainment choice. We can add a band or maybe hust a drummer, we can feature ‘guest’ singers from your group, we can create a karaoke event. Sound versatile to you too?
4. The piano player can take your requests. You get to set the pace of the show. If you don’t like the song one of these wonderful performers are playing, make a request and change the song. It’s fun when you’re in charge.
5. The very best reason you’re getting is live music entertainment played by a real musician in real time. Too many acts play with recorded music these days. And why not? The technology is there and it sounds so good. But because we’re actually playing piano and singing live for you, you get to hear us make mistakes and screw up the words and laugh at ourselves for doing it. Not bad huh,?
Try us. You’ll see why live piano music makes one of the All Time Great Fundraising Ideas to come around since forever.
… oh wait … did I say 6 Reasons? Yes. I did. Reason #6 … IT’S FUN!!!
So are you going to make down to the piano bar tomorrow night?
I’m going to be at The Redhead — one of the Top 5 Coolest Piano Bars in the World – Thursday Feb 5 2015 starting at 1130 PM. It’ll only be cool of you’re there though. So get down there!!!
Chicago Piano Bar
You get to have a coupla drinks, a coupla laughs, a coupla great memories with your friends (we’re sure you got some) and if you do it right, you WILL make some new friends too!
Not a bad deal all around.
So get on down to hear some great piano music, sing along with the Chicago piano player, me, Dan Gillogly, and make some requests. You decide what I am going to play on the piano music that night. Plenty of room for dancing. Plenty of room around the piano (if ya’ get there early) and plenty of good times to be had.
See you there?
Chicago piano music at The Redhead Chicago – live music and comedy for you!