Piano Bar Entertainment Resources
Over the years as a Piano Bar Entertainer, I've amassed a fair amount of material that I use in my shows every night. In the hope that it may be helpful to other entertainers in my industry, I have published all of it right here and it's all completely FREE!
You'll find song sheets for sing-alongs, my complete song request book, ideas for themes, a number of Music Trivia and Name That Tune shows, quizzes, games you can play in the piano bar, as well as the ever-popular game SINGO! It's basically sing-along-bingo and a lot of fun.
Feel free to use, distribute, edit, perform, change, copy, add to, whatever you want with these resources. All I ask is that you include the credit and my website www.jamsheedmaster.com on any printed material (it's included as a footer in the pdfs), as these are technically my "trade secrets" but sharing is always best for everyone, so now they can be OUR trade secrets. Enjoy!
Anything to Add?
Drop me a line via the contact form with any particular requests or ideas or documents we could add to the collection. Enjoy!
SINGO! Sing-Alongs & Song Sheets
SINGO! has been a staple of cruise ship piano bars forever and with good reason: It's a lot of fun and gets everybody involved. You'll need to supply regular bingo cards (75 ball cards with 25 numbers to play) and some kind of random number generator. I use an app on my iPad, there are loads to choose from in the App Store. I find it works best if you throw in some spot-prizes too, split some verses ladies and gents, if somebody's keen give them a solo etc. And don't forgot prizes for a line across, a cross or a full house. Singo!
There's a number of printable song sheets available online. Most of them are full of errors. Mine are more accurate. The full musicals as a sing-along are a lot of fun. You'll need to print the SONGSHEETS for the audience and the CUE SHEET for the piano bar entertainer to lead as it's designed as a song-along with comedy dialogue and narrative between the songs. I've no idea what the rights implications are for these, but most venues and ships have blanket licenses. Just be accurate with the credits and names in any advertising. There'll be more added to this page as I go so check it out again sometime.
Printable Music Trivia Quizzes & Name That Tune
All kinds of themed music trivia and name-that-tune games available to download free right here. For Name That Tune, I often just play the melody (not sing) and sometimes change the tempo or the style. Some are music trivia questions only, some have a missing lyrics round, some are Name That Tune only. These printable trivia quizzes have been formatted for iPad for your convenience, each quiz contains about 15 or 20 questions/tunes and takes about 40 mins to complete.
I get a lot of requests for a copy of my request book. I have no idea what people do with them - there must be copies littering bathrooms across America, who knows? But here it is for your downloading leisure. It's a list of every song I know how to play and sing. It will never be complete and it will continue to grow my whole life long, but I do think every piano bar entertainer should know at least half of this list by heart.
Piano Bar Themes & Games
Write A Song
Get the audience to choose 4 notes, a theme, a situation, a name, a location. Use whatever you get to create a song. Keep it simple so the audience can sing the chorus with you. It's good to have a vague structure in mind to keep it together. For example, a parody of The Beatles' Yesterday is a good starting point and can be easily disguised as you go.
The Name Song
Get the names of people in the room and weave them into musical limericks. The structure of a limerick is perfect to get a laugh even if the content is weak: rhyming couplet, shorter pair, punchline. Also, people love hearing their name being rhymed, as long as it's not a nick-name they got called at school, so be nice.
Below is a complete list of the theme nights I pick from for the piano bar. It differs from ship to ship, depending on the age group, length of the cruise etc. On longer cruises, you can get a narrative going and spread a theme across more than one night, or revisit it later in the week. Each theme will fill about 50mins, perfect for one set.
007: The James Bond Themes
A British Invasion
Barbra Streisand Hour
Beatles Hour of its own
Billy, Elton & Stevie - The Piano Men
Burt Bacharach Evening
Dusty Springfield Hour
Elton, Billy & Stevie - The Piano Men
Freddie Mercury & Queen
Mamma Mia, It's ABBA Hour!
Neil Diamond Hour
Songs Across America
The 1980s: A Decade of Pop
The A-to-Z of Pop
The Carol King Songbook
The Carpenters & Friends
Come Rain Or Come Shine
Frank Sinatra & The Rat Pack
Gentlemen of Song
Judy Garland Hour
Songs From The Silver Screen
The Divas of Jazz
The Music of Gershwin & Cole Porter
A Broadway Extravaganza
Grease - Sing-Along!
Les Miserables: Condensed - works well with cast singers
Movie Musicals Hour
Opening Night (opening songs from shows)
Sing-a-long Special: Mamma Mia!
The 11 o'clock Number
The A-to-Z of Broadway
The Disney Songbook
The Music of Rodgers & Hammerstein
The Music of Stephen Sondheim
The Musicals of Andrew Lloyd Webber
The Sound Of Music Song-Along
There's No Business Like Show Business (songs from shows about shows)
All Request Farewell Party
All Request Hour/Night
An Impromptu Cabaret with the Singers & Dancers
Getting To Know You
Golden Oldies Sing-a-long Night
Name That Tune & Trivia
Songs Across America
Songs Across The World
Sun Songs & Moon Tunes
Up In The Air
A Valentine's Special: Songs For Lovers
Christmas Carols Around The Piano
Christmas Songs Around The Piano
Spooky Hallowe'en Special
St Patrick's Day Song-Along
NAME THAT TUNE & TRIVIA
At The Movies
Come Rain Or Come Shine
Great American Songbook
Name That Musical Trivia
Up In The Air