Monday, December 29, 2008

It's Not My Birthday

Lots of shows love to give away tickets or prizes to audience members. Often there's some kind of audience challenge to get the free loot. There are a few musical challenges that I've seen used, with varying degrees of success...

Name that Tune

An oldie but a goodie, everyone understands how this one works. Muso starts playing a song, first person to stick their hand up and name it wins a prize.

I always feel pressure to make this a bit difficult. Belting out "Happy Birthday" is pretty cheap, you'll have 80 hands in the air within one second. I'm more of a fan of either playing a slightly-obscure song very accurately, or playing a well-known song weirdly. (Think of the "Look what they've done to my song mum" game from Spicks and Specks.) Of course, then you risk no one picking the song, which is something of a downer when it happens.

I get a lot of mileage out of a lovely Richard Clayderman version of Kylie Minogue's I Should Be So Lucky. I trot that out every couple of years. Sad, isn't it?

Stump Anderson

Roger Beames gets all the credit for this game. And by "game" I mean "instant win while making this Anderson fellow look dumb". Audience volunteer names a song, and if the muso can't play it, volunteer wins a prize. If the muso can play it, volunteer wins nothing, and someone else has a go.

My world record score for successful Stump Andersons is... 1. I think that's happened twice. Any semi-intelligent audience member will name a nice obscure song, or heck just make some title up, and voila free tickets. I was chuffed when I managed to pull out Kiss Me, Son of God by They Might Be Giants in a Stump Anderson.

I've wrestled with finding some device to make this actually good. Does the volunteer have to karaoke to the song? So if they can't sing it, they win nothing?

Don't Stump Anderson

In an effort to decrapify Stump Anderson, we tried Don't Stump Anderson. Name a song, and if the muso *can* play it, you win a prize. And that's when Happy Birthday comes in handy.

Anything better?

Found any musical giveaway games that work better? Leave a comment. Please. I'm begging you.

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