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#2321403 - 08/29/14 04:18 AM Might play in hotel lounges/bars!!
Pover Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/22/14
Posts: 196
Loc: Jordan
Hey guys! I'm going to copy and paste a new thread I've started on the pianists forum. I thought it was a good idea to also put it here since most of you will probably have more experience with this kind of thing. Before you read on, please remember that I don't know how to improvise, and would like to play in hotel lobbies and lounges as my uncle suggested. I don't know what kind of music works, and I definitely can't play from lead sheets or fake books or that sort of thing. Having said that, good luck making it to the end of this post, and I would REALLY APPRECIATE some suggestions on what to play in those circumstances, hopefully pieces that I can find with sheet music (fully notated :P)

Something cool just happened to me. My uncle, who used to work as a hotel administration manager or something like that, told me that I should play in hotels and lounges. I've been getting this a lot from my relatives, but I always brushed it off as a compliment, so today I kind of "retaliated" and asked him how in the world will an 18 year old do that.

We kept talking and discussing it and finally came to the conclusion that I would play 5-6 nights a week for 1-2 hours, but I have to play appropriate music, and not miss a day. So I asked him what was the pay (which I honestly wasn't even concerned about, since I was gonna play on a grand wink ) and he told me something like (the equivalent of) $2500-3000 a month! laugh

So try to imagine that. An amateur which only plays for pleasure might get $2500-3000 for PLAYING PIANO (the thing I love most in this world), on a GRAND, for a couple of hours a night! Isn't this like a dream come true? I always joked about how happy I would be if something like this would actually ever happen, but I didn't even think about this price (which might seem like nothing to you, but imagine the great teacher I'll be taking lessons with after I get that much money :P).

I thought that this couldn't be possible, since I didn't know how to improvise, and then I asked my uncle "how can I play for 1-2 hours a night and not repeat the same pieces the next day?", and he told me that I don't even have to worry about that, because I will be playing the same program every night. So basically, I will only have to learn 1-2 hours of appropriate music and it will be maintained simply by the act of playing it daily.

So now that I've bored you with my excitement, time for the actual question (if anyone is still here ha ). I have to be able to play at least 90 minutes of appropriate lounge/restaurant/bar music. I don't know what kinds of things I can use, but here's a list of things I'm learning or have already played (I can bring them back pretty quickly), or things I'm considering learning:

Chopin: Waltzes Op. 69 (both), op. 64/2, A minor posth. and maybe I'll learn another one.

Nocturnes op.9/1 (might learn no.2 aswell), C#m posth. Learning op.32/1, considering doing another one of the slightly easier ones after that.

Mazurkas Might learn op.67/4 and op.17/4 (both A minor), but not sure if I should?

Debussy: I don't know anything, but I'm in the process of learning the first arabesque. I'm also considering claire de lune and reverie, what do you think?

I also play a transcription of the blue danube waltz, so there's 10 minutes there.

I play some popular Arabic songs which I learned just yesterday, they turned out to be pretty easy. Too easy in fact. A couple of popular tunes like love story, might do the theme from godfather and titanic just because people know these things and might enjoy the familiarity.

But other than that, I'm sure I can use some suggestions from you guys. A big portion will probably be Chopin nocturnes and waltzes, but I want to vary it slightly. If I do get the job, perhaps I could do some Christmas music around that time aswell. I don't know, tell me what you think!

Eventually when I have the 90 minutes of pieces, my cousin (a photographer) will shoot a video of me playing all this and my uncle will get someone to send it to different hotels to see if anyone will hire me. I know this has been a huge post, but I really appreciate any suggestions. I just can't believe that for a little more work, I can actually make money by playing piano on a proper instrument in a 5-star hotel...
_________________________
Faris
Self-taught for around 3 years now. All advice welcome laugh

Working on:
Schumann arabeske op. 18
Chopin impromptu in Ab op. 29
Chopin nocturne op. 48 no. 2

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Piano & Music Accessories
#2322210 - 08/31/14 11:36 AM Re: Might play in hotel lounges/bars!! [Re: Pover]
Silver Keys Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/21/13
Posts: 167
Loc: Upstate N.Y.
Your enthusiasm is contagious! I too, have a goal of eventually being able to play in some of the bars around town.

If you want to fast-track your ambitions, I would recommend getting a teacher who is willing to work with you on your goals and learn to play from a fake book and improvise some.

Also, find an on line sheet music store and look for songbook collections of the "cocktail lounge" or "standards" or "top hits of whatever decade" variety.
_________________________
So much music and so little time!
-----------------------------------
1916 Mason & Hamlin BB
Yamaha P155

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#2322228 - 08/31/14 12:34 PM Re: Might play in hotel lounges/bars!! [Re: Pover]
Music Me Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/23/12
Posts: 235
Loc: New York
Sounds like a good plan!
_________________________
Barbara
...without music, no life...

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#2322967 - 09/02/14 05:17 AM Re: Might play in hotel lounges/bars!! [Re: Pover]
Lilia Ahmetzyanova Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/27/14
Posts: 37
Hello Pover!

I worked in a few hotels in Jordan, so I can tell you something.
Normally, you will have to play 4 sets of 45 minutes each every day. Your repertoire should consisit of all styles. Better if you change your playlist every day, because playing the same pieces might be annoying for guests, for hotel staff and for you as well.
As for the fee, 2500-3000$ sounds like an exaggeration. But who knows, maybe by the moment when you start your entertainer career, the thing will change to better.
Work hard and try. Feel free to ask me here or in pm.
Best wishes!
Lilia

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#2323782 - 09/03/14 05:50 PM Re: Might play in hotel lounges/bars!! [Re: Pover]
Michael Martinez Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/22/12
Posts: 450
Loc: California
folks, best way to start playing piano in bars is go into the place, and when nobody is paying attention (and of course when nobody else is supposed to be playing), just sit down and start playing your tunes. The bartender/manager usually notices and if you're decent (as I'm sure most people here on pianoworld probably are), they'll usually complement your playing. More often than not, they'll give you a beer on the house, or one of the customers will buy a beer for you, or ask you if you know how to play a certain tune (if you don't, then you say no, but you'll play something similar) ... Repeat this often enough and you'll find yourself being offered a gig.
_________________________
Music Educator, Computer Engineer, avid reader of literature, enjoyer of the outdoors
http://www.michael--martinez.com/music/

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#2323860 - 09/03/14 10:41 PM Re: Might play in hotel lounges/bars!! [Re: Michael Martinez]
rocket88 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/04/06
Posts: 3188
Originally Posted By: Michael Martinez
folks, best way to start playing piano in bars is go into the place, and when nobody is paying attention (and of course when nobody else is supposed to be playing), just sit down and start playing your tunes.


No. Always first ask the Bartender/manager/person in charge. Always.


Edited by rocket88 (09/03/14 10:44 PM)
_________________________
Music teacher and piano player.

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#2324166 - 09/04/14 08:26 PM Re: Might play in hotel lounges/bars!! [Re: rocket88]
Michael Martinez Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/22/12
Posts: 450
Loc: California
Originally Posted By: rocket88

No. Always first ask the Bartender/manager/person in charge. Always.


I don't think I've ever done that, and never experienced any problems. If they don't want you playing (which is rare) then they'll simply tell you and that's that.
_________________________
Music Educator, Computer Engineer, avid reader of literature, enjoyer of the outdoors
http://www.michael--martinez.com/music/

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#2324186 - 09/04/14 09:38 PM Re: Might play in hotel lounges/bars!! [Re: Pover]
rocket88 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/04/06
Posts: 3188
Asking first is not only about avoiding problems; it just courteous, (IMHO), and a good business move to begin what could be a future working relationship with the venue.
_________________________
Music teacher and piano player.

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