General Question

Jillysback's avatar

Is it OK for a background pianist to use sheet music?

Asked by Jillysback (95 points ) January 29th, 2013

I can easily sit and play piano for hours, and people have told me I should play at parties or restaurants for ambience, however I need the sheet music…I have a very hard time memorizing anything. Would this be acceptable?

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9 Answers

gailcalled's avatar

Why not? You’re not giving a recital or performing in a concert hall. Go for it.

The only difficulty might be not being able to play requests.

dxs's avatar

It doesn’t bother me, but make sure that you are confident enough in the music to not completely rely on the sheet music. I have to say, however, that improvisation works really well for background piano, since you are not the main focus in the room or setting.

wundayatta's avatar

Absolutely. Many background pianists use music. Others have been playing so long they know everything. But don’t worry about it. That should not stop you from getting a gig.

AshlynM's avatar

Seems fine to me. It’s better if you have it in front of you so in case you forget some notes, you’re not fumbling around on the keys.

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dabbler's avatar

Totally acceptable in my book. I’ve seen pros at Carnegie Hall bring sheet music on rare occasion – although that’s usually for something madly complicated or ensemble pieces that are outside their core repertoire.
For a casual entertainer a big book makes sense. You could get a request for something you haven’t played in a Loooong time and if having the sheets with you makes it possible then, perfecto!

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