If you’re looking for the best piano bar songs of all time, look no further!
Whether you’re looking for something classic or more modern, we have you covered. So please sit back, relax, and enjoy our selection of the best piano bar songs of all time!
This post may contain affiliate links. As affiliates of Amazon, Modacity, Dr. Josh Wright ProPractice, Musicnotes, and Piano Marvel, I may receive a commission at no extra cost if you purchase through a link. Please see my full disclosure for further information. I take no credit for the images appearing on this page. All photos are courtesy of Canva.
What is a piano bar?
A piano bar is a type of bar where live music is played on a piano. The music is usually performed by a solo pianist. Occasionally the pianist will be accompanied by other musicians (such as a singer or guitarist).
Patrons of piano bars typically request songs to be played and tip the performer(s) after each piece.
There are different kinds of piano bars. Some feature a pianist quietly performing jazz music in the background. Others feature talented musicians who sing and take song requests.
And other piano bars feature two piano players who interact with each other and the audience, also known as a dueling piano bar.
All piano bars provide entertainment in the form of live music. The performer generally sets the mood and degree of audience participation.
Some of the best dueling pianos regularly perform top songs in a way that makes it impossible not to sing along!
If you’re planning a night out at a piano bar, it’s always a good idea to familiarize yourself with some of the most popular songs that are typically played. That way, you can request your favorite tunes and sing along!
Piano bars can be found worldwide and are popular destinations for locals and tourists alike.
What about the pianos?
Since this is a piano blog, let’s take a minute to discuss the pianos you might see at a piano bar. Some piano bars feature upright, while others have two grand pianos.
There are even traveling dueling piano shows specializing in corporate events and special events. These shows usually feature digital pianos with grand piano cases to give the appearance of an actual grand piano.
But when you hear them perform, it’s evident that you’re not hearing an actual grand piano.
The experience of visiting a piano bar is more about the ambiance than the actual performance. It’s about throwing a few classic cocktails back with friends and forgetting about everything weighing you down.
Regardless of which kind of piano bar you visit, you’re guaranteed to have a great night!
Without further ado and in no particular order, here are the best songs for an evening at the piano bar!
Ultimate Classic Rock Hits
Do electric guitars and crazy drum riffs come to mind when you think of classic rock hits? If so, you may not believe this type of music lends itself well to a piano bar setting.
But many of these songs translate surprisingly well to solo piano. Especially if the pianist is also a strong vocalist or can at least get people to sing.
And you might find that as the night goes on, the performances get better and better.
Although the music critics may disagree with my choices, my top picks for ultimate classic rock hits are as follows:
Livin’ on a Prayer – Bon Jovi
It’s hard not to feel unstoppable when you hear a Bon Jovi song on the radio. And although his songs don’t typically feature beautiful melodies articulated by a piano, Livin’ on a Prayer translates surprisingly well to the solo instrument.
If you don’t believe me, check out this highly entertaining video!
Request this song from a solo or band, and you’ll be rockin’ all night long!
Sweet Home Alabama – Lynyrd Skynyrd
Sweet Home Alabama is always a crowd-pleasing staple of the Southern rock genre. People know the words, and it’s relatively easy to sing. Even more so once you’ve had a few drinks!
Sweet Home Alabama sounds excellent with a solo performer or as a band. Either way, it’s a great Saturday night anthem!
I Love Rock ‘N Roll – Joan Jett
This one is sure to get the crowd going! Joan Jett’s I Love Rock ‘N Roll is an uptempo, high-energy classic rock tune perfect for a night out. The best part? It’s easy to sing along to, even after a few drinks.
So if you find yourself at a piano bar with a live band, be sure to request this one!
Bad Moon Rising – Creedence Clearwater Revival
Bad Moon Rising is a classic rock song perfect for a piano bar. It’s recognizable, easy to sing along to, and has a great melody.
While you might not think of Bad Moon Rising as a piano song, the solo instrument actually does a great job of capturing the spirit of the original.
Brown Eyed Girl – Van Morrison
Brown Eyed Girl is a classic rock hit that everyone in the crowd will know. This song is so recognizable and a cornerstone of the genre that it was included in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame list of 500 Songs that shaped Rock and Roll.
It’s not surprising since it’s easy to sing along to and has a simple melody with an infectious chorus.
This is another song that sounds great with a solo performer. So if you’re looking for a fun, sing-along song, this is a great choice!
Top Pop Fan Favorite Piano Bar Songs
Pop music has a definite “feel good” vibe that pairs exceptionally well with a night out! And whether it’s from the early 90s or has a Latin feel, pop music is guaranteed to put a smile on your face!
Here are my recommendations for the best pop piano bar songs:
You Learn – Alanis Morissette
I love a great Whitney Houston ballad, but there’s nothing like an Alanis Morissette song to make me feel like I can belt it out with the best! Maybe it’s her vocal range or how she combines a beautiful melody with an infectious rhythm, but You Learn has to be one of my all-time favorites.
It’s a fun song to hear live if the piano bar musician is a great vocalist. And if not, the lyrics are familiar, so you and your besties can make up for what the performer lacks!
All the Small Things – Blink 182
This song ALWAYS puts a smile on my face! It’s catchy, upbeat, and really fun to sing regardless of how much you’ve had to drink. It’s one of those songs that can be easily forgotten, but once you hear it again, you’re reminded of how truly fun it is.
This is another one that translates really well from band to solo keys.
Bad Guy – Billie Eilish
Look no further than Billie Eilish’s Bad Guy if you’re looking for a more recent pop song to sing at the piano bar. It has a great beat and catchy tune and is perfect for showing off your best friend’s killer vocal range.
Despacito – Luis Fonsi ft. Daddy Yankee and Justin Bieber
This one is a bit of a wild card, but I had to include it because it’s so darn catchy! You might not think Despacito would work as a piano bar song, but trust me, it does! The best part is that everyone knows the words, so you can all sing along even if you don’t speak Spanish.
This is another excellent choice whether the music is a solo piano or a band. Horns and percussion add a nice touch and bring the song to life.
Fallin’ – Alicia Keys
Alicia Keys is a classically trained pianist, and her love for the instrument is apparent in her songs. This is especially true in the song Fallin’. Its haunting melody and interesting harmonic progressions showcase all we know and love about the instrument.
This song is beautiful, with or without a vocalist.
And speaking of hauntingly beautiful, check out her performance of the Moonlight Sonata by Ludwig van Beethoven. She performed it as a tribute to Kobe Bryant, and her emotional rendition is nothing short of riveting.
Legendary Country Hits
Of all the music genres, country is, hands-down, my favorite. It’s versatile and relatable. And the lyrics are often thought-provoking but fun! Although there are so many country songs that translate well to piano bar style, here are my favorites:
Friends in Low Places – Garth Brooks
Who hasn’t ended their night singing this classic 90s country hit in a bar? Even if you’re not an avid country fan, I’m willing to bet you know the words to this one which is why it’s an excellent request for crowd singing!
And it’s easy to pull off whether there’s a solo performer or a band.
It’s versatile, fun, and a great piano-bar song!
I Love This Bar – Toby Keith
This is another country song that’s fun to sing, regardless of whether you’re a fan of the genre. And like Friends in Low Places, it sounds great with either a solo performer or a band.
I Love This Bar is the perfect song to request when you’re ready to let loose and have a good time!
Hurt – Johnny Cash
Sentimental and heartfelt, this one cuts to the core. It’s been covered by many artists, but Johnny Cash’s version is my favorite. His voice is so raw and passionate, bringing the lyrics to life.
Hurt is a beautiful piano ballad perfect for a slow dance with your someone special.
Whether you find yourself frequenting a piano bar with friends or your significant other, I hope this list has inspired you to make a special request. Piano bars are a blast; if you’ve never been to one, here’s your reminder to take advantage of a great time!
Leave a comment below with your favorite piano bar songs!
And if you loved this post, check out a few of my other posts I know you’ll love!
- Can You Really Learn Piano Without a Teacher?
- Your Ultimate Guide to the Perfect Piano Practice Routine
- ABRSM Exams: What They Are and Why You Should Take One
- 5 Simple Reasons You Should Be Calling Yourself a Pianist
- SkillShare for Pianists: 2 Classes Guaranteed to Up Your Piano Skills
- How to Learn Piano as an Adult