Outdoor set up for live music at a private party.
Can you have wedding music outdoors? Of course—if it’s not pouring it down, that is! With all this bad weather we’ve been having lately here in the UK, it can be tricky knowing whether it’ll rain or shine on your big day. But the good news is that you don’t have to decide until the day before your wedding, or even the morning is fine—having played at lots of weddings, I can easily adapt to any situation so long as you have an indoor space on standby.
I’ve played live music outdoors in all kinds of settings in the London area and beyond—from garden birthday parties under big marquees to smart pub patios out in the open. You can have the same set up as indoors, with the keyboard, speakers and lighting. So long as there’s a nearby electrical supply, it’s easy enough—but, if not, why not opt for an acoustic set on the guitar?
When booking their wedding music, people often ask me whether they should have a solo wedding musician (just me on my own) or me as part of a band. There answer is of course that it all depends on what your budget is and what kind of wedding you’d like.
Booking me to play on my own is the most affordable option, but thanks to a technology, it can sound like I have a whole band playing along with me! You can see a video here, but the bit of kit I use is a pedal which allows me to create a live upbeat backing track by layering up samples of the guitar, piano, extra vocals or various percussion instruments. As you can see, having a soloist doesn’t necessarily mean slow, romantic music—but that’s what some people prefer. Perhaps you’re looking for gentle background piano music while your guests sip bubbly instead which of course I can provide, too.
If you’re willing to splash out a bit more, I can perform as part of a duo or bring along three, four of even five piece band. For more information, please get in touch.
Now Spring is here, I’m really looking forward to all the weddings and parties that I’ve got coming up. The next few months are already looking quite packed, but do still get on touch if you want me to provide live music for your wedding. If I’m not free on your big day, I can help point you in the direction of someone who might be so it’s always worth a try. Also this year, I’m busy preparing for my next performance diploma which will make me an associate of the London College of Music. This is following my DipLCM Piano Performance exam which I passed at the end of 2016 and which musicians can go on to do when they’ve passed their grade 8 music qualification.
Needless to say, at this level the classical pieces I’m learning are getting seriously tricky! Still, it’s all good practice– and, of course, means that playing pop songs on the piano seems a whole lot easier now!
Last weekend I had the pleasure of playing for some of the Sussex area rock choirs‘ summer party. I had so much fun playing for them and they were the most (and best!) backing vocalists I’ve ever had! As well as performing live for the folks, I also ran a karaoke session and a number of the ladies didn’t dissapoint – they were all brilliant singers, of course! I was then treated to a performance by all the representatives of the five choirs present and I was completely blown away by the songs they sung. It reminded me how much fun it is to sing as part of a big group with multi part harmonies and counter melodies; it was excellent. Myself and a talented keyboardist called Jamie then finished off the night with a bit of rock ‘n roll which had everyone up and dancing. Thanks to the leader of the choir, Sarah, who you can see on stage in the picture, for inviting me to play– hopefully we can do it again soon.
One of the best things about being a wedding musician is getting to travel around for work and see lots of new places– especially if it’s somewhere hot and sunny! This month I was lucky enough to be invited to play at a wedding in California’s capital city, Sacramento. It was for a lovely couple called Simon and Brittany who were getting married at a local yacht club and wanted me to play live music for both their pre-wedding cocktail party and the big day itself.
My sets included my usual fare such as Billy Joel, Elton John and Oasis on both the keyboard and guitar. I also threw in some local crowd pleasers, like Hotel California— which, as you can imagine, went down very well considering the location! For the wedding ceremony itself, the couple wanted a song by Emeli Sandé called This is Where I Sleep which I learnt especially for the occasion.
I was able to play outside which is something I quite often do at weddings here in the UK, when the weather is good enough.
It was a brilliant couple of days and I even had a few of the guests asking whether I’d be available to play over in the States again later in the year, which would be great!
I’ve just received my certificate from The London College of Music after passing my DipLCM Piano Performance exam. It was difficult and I was glad for all the hours I spent every day preparing for the exam. I’ve added the programme below if you’d like to have a search for the pieces; I’m sure you’ll appreciate why I spent hours preparing!
Prelude and Fugue No.2, C Minor, BWV 847 . . . . . . . . . . . . J. S. Bach
Piano Sonata No.14, Op.27 No.2, 1st & 2nd Mov. . . . . L. V. Beethoven
Nocturne No. 20, C Sharp Minor, Op. posth . . . . . . . . . . . . . F. Chopin
This isn’t the end of my training though, I’ve already started working on the pieces for the next level, ALCM (Associate of The London College of Music) – 1 down , 3 to go! Thanks go especially to my teacher Mrs Perry who holds all 4 diplomas, a rare feat indeed!