Entertaining Instrumentals

Macarina

Silver Member
So I’m running with a small comment our singer suggested a couple of months ago and that’s for the singer(s), to take a break and the band performs an instrumental (or two). I’d like to really run with this idea, but in a fun entertaining way for the audience as well as the band. We are positioning ourselves as a party/dance band, so I don’t want the audience to think this is an opportunity to tune out and have a bathroom break because of a standard or worse, mediocre instrumental. I’m thinking the opposite… an instrumental where the audience takes notice. But what? Any thoughts on killer instrumentals?

We do have sax and keyboards and would love to give them some spotlight.

I do have a nugget of an idea, starting with a theme song, but contemporary. For instance Adam Clayton’s take on Mission Impossible theme. But even that, I would think gets mundane after a minute, so maybe morph into a variety of iconic themes?

Anyway, cool, fun, entertaining instrumentals?
 

blinky

Senior Member
Since you have a saxophone I would check out "Theme One" recorded with Van der Graaf Generator.
 

alparrott

Platinum Member
Medleys are a great way to do instrumentals without them getting old before you finish them. You could mash up the MI theme, the James Bond theme, and the verse and chorus from "Secret Agent Man" with the sax taking the vocal melody. That would last easily four or five minutes without really repeating anything.
 

JustJames

Platinum Member
Green Onions?

There's some fun stuff on the Pulp Fiction soundtrack.

With our previous lead guitarist, we used to just play a 12 bar blues as a warm up tune. It was kind of fun 'cause it always came out differently.
 

Morrisman

Platinum Member
There's always Tequila - with the crowd yelling 'Tequila' once in a while.
Perhaps do a Pee Wee Herman dance with it.

Yackety Sax? Only 1 minute long though.

Peter Gunn - in the Blues Brothers style
 

bermuda

Drummerworld Pro Drummer - Administrator
Staff member
We are positioning ourselves as a party/dance band...
Then the instrumental should be danceable. There are many classic instrumentals that fit the bill, especially with sax and keys. Off the top of my head, in addition to what's already been mentioned, how about "Put It Where You Want It" - perfect for keys and sax!

Search Amazon for "instrumental hits" CDs and you'll find your list.

As for being entertaining, don't feel that there needs to be novelty, simply continue in the vein of the band's song list. If you play well, the crowd will be entertained.

Bermuda
 

pgm554

Platinum Member
So I’m running with a small comment our singer suggested a couple of months ago and that’s for the singer(s), to take a break and the band performs an instrumental (or two). I’d like to really run with this idea, but in a fun entertaining way for the audience as well as the band. We are positioning ourselves as a party/dance band, so I don’t want the audience to think this is an opportunity to tune out and have a bathroom break because of a standard or worse, mediocre instrumental. I’m thinking the opposite… an instrumental where the audience takes notice. But what? Any thoughts on killer instrumentals?

We do have sax and keyboards and would love to give them some spotlight.

I do have a nugget of an idea, starting with a theme song, but contemporary. For instance Adam Clayton’s take on Mission Impossible theme. But even that, I would think gets mundane after a minute, so maybe morph into a variety of iconic themes?

Anyway, cool, fun, entertaining instrumentals?
Killer Joe by Quncy Jones

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aASXNyc6xmY
 

FITM

Member
So I’m running with a small comment our singer suggested a couple of months ago and that’s for the singer(s), to take a break and the band performs an instrumental (or two). I’d like to really run with this idea, but in a fun entertaining way for the audience as well as the band. We are positioning ourselves as a party/dance band, so I don’t want the audience to think this is an opportunity to tune out and have a bathroom break because of a standard or worse, mediocre instrumental. I’m thinking the opposite… an instrumental where the audience takes notice. But what? Any thoughts on killer instrumentals?

We do have sax and keyboards and would love to give them some spotlight.

I do have a nugget of an idea, starting with a theme song, but contemporary. For instance Adam Clayton’s take on Mission Impossible theme. But even that, I would think gets mundane after a minute, so maybe morph into a variety of iconic themes?

Anyway, cool, fun, entertaining instrumentals?
I play in a band that plays with a sax and keyboards. We play Compadre Pedro Juan (a merengue), but best of all?! We make room for a nice drum solo through one verse.

Depending on what type of music you play or what crowd you play to, it may or may not work for you. I know we have played this to a variety of crowds, and the beat alone usually just gets people into a dancing mood. It's in our arsenal on most gigs.

Here's an instrumental version featuring a sax and keys: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zt2XhYI0mFs

This version has a much more jazzier feel to it than what I'm used to playing. We usually start it off with 4 measures of the drums doing a merengue beat on toms/snare thrown off and go right into the song without the intro.
 
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Ghostnote

Guest
Pick Up The Pieces
Miserlou
Hip Hug Her
Surfrider
Barney Miller Theme
Hawaii 5-0 Theme
 

Macarina

Silver Member
Thanks folks... some great idea's thrown out here.

I like the medley idea's.

I completely forgot about Lily Was Here. I'm going to definitely suggest we take a look at that.

With regards to Pulp Fiction, it got me thinking of a all the other Tarantino movie soundtracks. There is just some amazing gems in there. I'm going to dig deeper into that.

SmoothOperator, when you suggested Harlem Shake, my mind transposed it to Shaky Ground, I guess because I've been listening to a lot of Etta James lately.

Again, good thoughts and suggestions... keep 'em coming.
 
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