Some of the best piano bar songs are requested at dueling piano bars. Haven’t heard of dueling piano songs yet? Keep reading!
The “dueling pianos” style of entertainment (which traces back as far as the 1890s) has experienced a recent resurgence in popularity in many big cities. There’s something special about two master ivory ticklers going note-for-note and song-for-song on a stage in front of a packed house.
Dueling piano bars are typically characterized by having two grand (or baby grand) pianos placed opposite each other with two talented musicians performing and accepting audience requests for songs. They are fantastic places to let your hair down and cut loose with a group of close friends. Between the dancing, energy, and sheer fun, dueling piano bars have it all.
Most dueling piano songs are in the rock and country music genres. Generally, the performers are operating with the goal of encouraging audience participation rather than directly battling one another. But there’s no doubt that a healthy competitive spirit exists between the two, whether it’s acknowledged or not.
Whether you’d rather go to a dueling piano bar to play or party, it’s a good idea to get familiar with some of the best piano bar songs before you go. Here are 36 roof-raising ideas to get the party started!
All-Time Best Piano Bar Songs
Fan-Favorites at the Piano Bar
Everyone has a particular tune that checks all the boxes. Whether that song makes you dance like no one’s watching or boogie-down like you’re in a 1970s discotheque, for some reason, it gives you all the feels. These are some of the best dueling piano songs to request at a piano bar. Any of these crowd-pleasers is sure to be a good time!
- “Joy to the World” – Three Dog Night
- “Rocket Man” – Elton John
- “Barracuda” – Heart
- “Carry On, Wayward Son” – Kansas
- “Rock and Roll All Nite” – KISS
- “Piano Man” – Billy Joel
Piano Bar Songs that Push the Envelope
Most competent piano players can bust out Jerry Lee Lewis’ “Great Balls of Fire” without even thinking about it. So, next time you find yourself at a dueling piano bar, challenge the performers with some of these well-loved, complex tunes.
- “The Devil Went Down to Georgia” – Charlie Daniels Band
- “Bohemian Rhapsody” – Queen
- “Layla” – Eric Clapton
- “Sultans of Swing” – Dire Straits
- “For Those About to Rock (We Salute You)” – AC/DC
- “One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer” – George Thorogood
Modern Dueling Piano Songs
Piano bar songs don’t have to be decades old. They can be a new single from a present-day pop star. Pick any of these contemporary pop tunes – the whole bar secretly wants to hear them one more time!
- “Someone Like You” – Adele
- “Firework” – Katy Perry
- “That’s What You Get” – Paramore
- “Crazy in Love” – Beyonce feat. Jay-Z
- “Every Morning” – Sugar Ray
- “The Way” – Fastball
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Best Piano Bar Songs from Musicals
Musicals are chock-full of outstanding songs that are perfect for dueling piano bars. Everyone loves these hits from your favorite movies and musicals.
- “Footloose” – Kenny Loggins (Footloose)
- “Singin’ in the Rain” – Gene Kelly (Singin’ in the Rain)
- “Stayin’ Alive” – The Bee Gees (Saturday Night Fever)
- “Hakuna Matata” – Nathan Lane and Co. (The Lion King)
- “Summer Nights” – John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John (Grease)
- “All That Jazz” – Catherine Zeta-Jones, Renee Zellweger (Chicago)
Funky Dueling Piano Songs
Whether it be a tune with a rootsy vibe from the Caribbean, a funky, hip-swaying jam from the 70s, or a hodgepodge masterpiece from the height of the Jazz Age, you can’t go wrong with reggae, funk, and jazz hits.
- “Uptown Funk” – Mark Ronson
- “Play That Funky Music, White Boy” – Wild Cherry
- “Superfreak” – Rick James
- “Sophisticated Lady” – Duke Ellington
- “Stand by Me” – Ben E. King
- “No Woman, No Cry” – Bob Marley
Classic Piano Bar Songs
As much as a wide variety of tunes is a good thing, it’s hard to beat good ol’ fashioned rock ’n’ roll songs. Nothing gets the crowd going like this list of some of the best dueling piano songs. From ZZ Top to the wildly unpredictable Jerry Lee Lewis, these artists and songs seem to have the right stuff behind them.
- “Born to Be Wild” – Steppenwolf
- “Old Time Rock & Roll” – Bob Seger
- “Take it Easy” – The Eagles
- “Sharp Dressed Man” – ZZ Top
- “Eye of the Tiger” – Survivor
- “Great Balls of Fire” – Jerry Lee Lewis
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Spending an evening at a dueling piano bar is a great way to get some sing-along therapy, make new friends, and discover new music. And, of course, to polish your dancing skills.
We hope you have a great time listening to the best dueling piano songs next time you go out! And don’t be afraid to explore piano lessons for yourself. Find great teachers right here! After all, you never know when you’ll be called up to the stage to duel.
Photo by Jill Shih