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hired for wedding cocktail hour, need song suggestions

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by Linas, Mar 11, 2009.

  1. Linas


    Jan 6, 2005
    So its my drummers sisters wedding and our 4 piece band (keys/vox, bass, drums, guitar/vox) was hired to play an hour and a half set of music for cocktail hour. They really didn't specify what to play, other than specifying that were not the party band. So pretty much we have to play something a little more relaxed and mellow. We have some jazz standards that were going to play, but i was wondering if you guys have any suggestions that would be wedding appropriet for "cocktail hour".

    Thanks guys!
  2. tapp01


    Apr 10, 2008
    Wilmington, NC
    Ryan Adam's "Two" is an amazing love song. Maybe a little Stevie Wonder. Some Beatles.
  3. Misty
    Satin Doll
    This Masquerade
    Girl From Ipanema
  4. seanm

    seanm I'd kill for a Nobel Peace Prize!

    Feb 19, 2004
    Ottawa, Canada
    Stormy Monday, especially the Bobby Blue Bland version
  5. EddiePlaysBass


    Feb 26, 2009
    Still Got The Blues For You (Gary Moore)

    Sorry, no idea what type of band yours is, so the above may be very inappropriate :) Do a YouTube search on "Richard Cheese & Lounge Against The Machine", they have mellow renditions of known songs. Again, might be considered inappropriate :)
  6. I've done a million of these. The tunes you play are MUCH less important than the volume you play them. Soft is EVERYTHING in that type of gig. It's more about 'they want to see you but not necessarily hear you' in that situation. However soft you are playing, it won't be soft enough. Keep your volume about the level of a single person speaking, and you should be fine.

    There are two approaches to this type of gig. One is the 'Real Book' approach... get a real book and just swing a bunch of standards. If that isn't your thing, then instrumentals of pop tunes is fine (NO singing...ever!).

    IMO and about 30 years of IME! Good luck.

    And remember... soft is good:D
  7. Oh common' ken ... sure .... sing ..LOUD ...(you go girl/boy)just put lead vocal mic on -.01 ;)

    capt K
  8. i would take this opportunity to cover some really inappropriate songs in a really soft jazzy or 'lounge' fashion!
    how can ya resist? do some hard rock numbers!
  9. Marley's Ghost

    Marley's Ghost Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 9, 2002
    Tampa, FL
    Love Stinks
    She Hates Me
    I hate myself for loving you

    you get the idea. If you play them low and jazz em up, no one will even notice. :ninja::bag::ninja:

    j/k ;)
  10. OtterOnBass


    Oct 5, 2007
    moondance by van morrison
  11. crayzee


    Feb 12, 2009
    Mississauga, ON
    Agreed. Do up some mellow Twisted Sister or NIN. As long as it's mellow and quiet, it's all good.
  12. Jessup


    May 22, 2008
    Regina Sk.
    Has anyone ever went wrong playing jukebox hero? i think not
  13. Ed Goode

    Ed Goode Jersey to Georgia Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Nov 4, 2004
    Acworth, GA
    Endorsing Artist: FBB Bass Works
    Like Ken, I do this all of the time. His "soft" advice is 100% correct. This isn't a show, it's not entertainment, it's really just background distraction while people chat. Volume is bad ....

    Standards will work out the best, especially if it's a mixed age crowd .... just get a Real Book, open a page and play the tune ... :cool:
  14. The choice of material is *almost* secondary.

    Just strive to be ignorable. Honestly - I've done a million of these gigs and the secret is you've got to be pleasantly listenable if people CHOOSE to listen but if you force people to pay attention, either with volume or playing with "attitude", you've failed.

    Think Kenny G but not quite as hardcore...
  15. thejrace


    Oct 3, 2008
    dancing in the moonlght - thin lizzy, probably my fav TL song
  16. Kyon`


    Aug 17, 2007
    Boston, MA
    Ellington ~ In a Sentimental Mood

    Nat King Cole ~ LOVE

    Those two are pretty pleasing
  17. tlwaps


    Feb 13, 2006
    Smack My B**** Up by Prodigy.

    If you go with NIN make sure it's Closer.
  18. seanm

    seanm I'd kill for a Nobel Peace Prize!

    Feb 19, 2004
    Ottawa, Canada
  19. ForSix


    Jul 22, 2008
    My band specializes in this type of gig. It's important to play soft, but with intensity. And by soft, I mean that you should play as though you're performing to an audience 5' in front of you and no deeper.

    Don't read through the Real Book. Every pickup band in the world does this, and it's so obvious that they are not taking the gig seriously.

    Look to Old-Vegas style tunes. It's OK to use a chick singer. We do things like Witchcraft, Laura, Corcovado, Into the Mystic, Sunrise, You Make Loving Fun, Girl from Ipanema (yes, it's a chestnut, but people REALLY LOVE this long), Just the Way You Are.

    Generally speaking, light rock and rhumbas work pretty well. Easy swing tunes, say around tempo 132, are good, too.

    If you can play a good cocktail set, you are a step above maybe 80 percent of the bands that are playing.
  20. ForSix


    Jul 22, 2008
    Another thing to remember is that when you're playing a bar gig, you're playing for people who can afford the price of a beer. When you're playing a private gig, you're playing for the person who can afford to hire the band.

    Your set list and volume level should reflect that.

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