Dueling Piano Players

Dueling Pianos - The Players

Dueling piano players are a unique brand of performer indeed.  A dueling piano player must be able to perform thousands of different songs on demand at a moment's notice - per requests from the audience. The exceptional players (there are very few of them in the world) are naturally gifted musicians, they are not trained in music schools, nor do they hold degrees in music theory. The best dueling piano players are naturally talented musicians who typically learned to play completely by ear, and can play any song that they hear. They do not need sheet music, in fact, there should NEVER be any sheet music on a dueling piano player's stage. If you see a piece of sheet music, you are in trouble.

Another element of a great dueling piano player is COMEDY. A great performer must be able to keep the comedy rolling throughout the show. Comedy can be somewhat planned in advance, but the best dueling piano players have to think fast on their feet and be able to whip jokes out at the audience based on what is happening right that very moment. Heckling is a big part of a dueling pianos show because the piano players basically invite the audience to yell out, sing, dance and even heckle. The best dueling piano players can have a humorous exchange with a heckler just like a real comedian.

How To Become a Dueling Piano Player

First of all, there is a reason why there are less than 100 noteworthy dueling piano players in the entire WORLD. So with that in mind, consider your chances of making it as a dueling piano player...not good, not good. It might be possible to break into the world of dueling piano players through one of the bar chains, especially the piano bars that are located in smaller rural towns where they don't expect as much. Some dueling piano bars will send you to a training school type of thing, but if you don't have the talent to begin with, then that isn't going to help much. If you're going to attempt to start your own dueling piano group then you're going to need about $15,000 in start up capital. You can't just get a buddy who plays piano and sings, put up two cheesy keyboards on X stands, put up two speakers on sticks and a little crappy rack of lights and think that you're going to compete. You will get killed by the competition who show up with a truck with two grand piano boxes with custom sparkle or colored covers, an 8 speaker PA system complete with 18' subwoofers and about $5000.00 worth of LED lighting all being ran through an iPad to move with each song individually. Don't just go out there like chumps and hack it up. If you're a dorky little guy who just thinks that being a dueling piano player looks like a cool thing to do and it might get you laid, your best bet is one of the large dueling piano bar chains who hire some pretty low grade talent.
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BEWARE OF CHEAP IMITATORS!  There are some "fly by the seat of their pants" dueling pianos out there who show up dressed like bums, bring plastic cheap keyboards on stands instead of pianos, and if they are part of the chain dueling piano bars like "scowl at the goon" and "bernie gags" (not their real names, but you get the point) - they will send out their WORST pianists and cheap sound and lighting equipment.  Trust us, we've seen it, and you don't want it.

BIG SHOW Dueling Pianos always brings in state of the art sound and LED lighting equipment, and FULL SIZE grand pianos.  There is NO dueling piano act in the United States that has as much time and equipment invested in their product as BIG SHOW dueling pianos.
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AWARDS and HONORS

BIG SHOW Dueling Pianos were voted "Entertainers of the Year" by WGN, Chicago

BIG SHOW Dueling Pianos were inducted into Dick Clark's Walk of Fame.

BIG SHOW Dueling Pianos received the award for "Best Variety Entertainment" by The Village Voice, NYC

BIG SHOW Dueling Pianos won "Best Dueling Piano Act" in the Dueling Piano "Duel Off" at Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida

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