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· Distinguished SOTW Member and Old King Log
798 Posts
I've occasionally tried to meld with a vocalist provided by a client, almost always for a wedding (father sings to the daughter). Even with a rehearsal in advance, you generally find that the amateur can't hack it in the key that you are in.

Better results occur with original key arrangements, as noted above, However, the original key might not suit your vocalist who is normally called up on to sing the tune. Not much point carrying Crazy in seven different keys when you normally only use one.

Far better results occur with tunes that an audience member can be part of, but without actually singing. I use two of these occasional.

The first is Pennsylvania 6-5000. Years and years ago, I got tired of listening to over played cymbal bells when doing the tune, so I rigged up a two tone electric bell, about as close to a classic telephone as you could get. While we don't do 6-5-oh-oh-oh all that often, I occasionally offer "performing with the band" as a freeby silent auction item that they can raffle off.

The winner (female) gets to sit on a stool, out front of the group, with the bell on her lap and a string around one of her ankles. Comes the appropriate time in the tune, a tug on the string means to push the button. Cute, harmless, and a nice enough comedy gag.

The other one is for a lucky guy in the crowd. He gets stood up on the stool, with one of the vocalists singing Happy, Happy Birthday Baby with the appropriate writhing and so forth. We had one gal that could make a priest forget his vows when doing this...

Up to the top, someone made the point that a wedding is not about you (the musician) and more about them. Keep that point well in mind. IFfen they don't want to hear Play That Funky Music White Boy", well then don't play it.
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