Musician Jokes – page 1

Welcome to the Worlds Largest Collection of Musician Jokes, No instrument, musician or music style is sacred here.

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* Some jokes are Politically incorrect, off color, slightly suggestive and laced with moderate bathroom humor but the X, XX, XXX stuff is not here … Brought to you by the good folks at: your 7 year old twin sisters have to be able to look at this page without getting into trouble… Enjoy! Dr.Duck

The Worlds Largest Collection of Musician Jokes does not necessarily express the views of Willy’s Custom Guitar Repair or Ducks Deluxe (they are just jokes…) Let the jokes begin…


Did you hear about the guitarist who was in tune ?
Neither did I

How do you get a guitar player off of your front porch ?
Pay for the pizza.

How many guitar players does it take to cover a Stevie Ray Vaughn tune ?
Evidently all of them.

Why are so many guitarists jokes one liners ?
So the rest of the band can understand them

What do you call a guitarist who breaks up with his girlfriend ?
Homeless ..

How do you get two guitar players to play in perfect unison?
Shoot one.

What do you do if your guitarist is drowning?
Throw him his amp.

What’s the difference between a fiddle and a violin ?
Who cares – neither one’s a guitar

How do you know when the stage is level ?
The drummer is drooling out of both sides of his mouth ..


~Saint Peter is checking in new arrivals in heaven….~

“What did you do on Earth?”
“I was a surgeon. I helped the lame to walk.”
“Well, go right on in through the Pearly Gates”

“What did you do on Earth?”
“I was a school teacher. I taught the blind to see.”
“Fine .. go right on in through the Pearly Gates!”

“What did you do on Earth?”
“I was a musician. I helped make sad people happy.”
“You can load in through the kitchen.”


What’s the difference between an oboe and an onion?
No one cries when you chop up an oboe.

What’s the definition of a minor second?
Two oboists playing in perfect unison.

Two drummers and a violinist decide to form a band. The three of them start playing, and the sound is just awful. One drummer turns to the other and says, “We sound terrible. I don’t think this is going to work. Let’s get rid of the violinist.

What’s the difference between a bassoon and a trampoline?
You take off your shoes when you jump on a trampoline.

“Mommy! Mommy! When I grow up I want to be a guitar player!”
“Now Johnny, you can’t do both!”

Why did the chicken cross the road?
To get away from the bassoon recital.

A trombone player and an accordion player are playing a New Years’s eve gig at a local club.. The place is packed and everybody is absolutely loving the music .. shortly after midnight, the club owner comes up to the duo and says, “You guys sound great .. everybody loves you .. I’d like to know if the two of you are free to come back here next New Year’s eve to play ?? …
The two musicians look at each other then to the club owner .. and the trombone player says “Sure .. we’d love to .. Is it OK if we leave our stuff here ??”

Why do clarinetists leave their cases on the dashboard?
So they can park in the handicapped zones.

What is “perfect pitch?”
When you lob a clarinet into a toilet without hitting the rim.

What’s the definition of a nerd?
Someone who owns his own alto clarinet.

What do you call a bass clarinetist with half a brain?

What’s the difference between a lawn mower and a soprano sax?
You can tune a lawn mower, and the neighbors are upset if you borrow a lawn mower and don’t return it.

If you were lost in the woods, who would you trust for directions: an in-tune tenor sax player, an out of tune tenor sax player, or Santa Claus?
The out of tune tenor sax player. The other two indicate you are hallucinating.

How do you make a chain saw sound like a baritone sax?
Add vibrato.

How many trumpet players does it take to change a lightbulb?
Five: one to handle the bulb, and the other four to tell him how much better they could’ve done it.

What do a vacuum cleaner and an electric guitar have in common ?
Both suck when you plug them in

How many lead guitarists does it take to change a light bulb ?
None…they just steal somebody else’s light

What do you say to a guitar player in a 3-piece suit ?
“Will the defendant please rise …”

Two guys were walking down the street …one was destitute …
the other was a guitar player as well ..

How is an orgasm like a drum solo?
You can tell it’s coming but there’s no way to stop it.

What do call a successful musician?
A guy whose wife/girlfriend has 2 jobs



~~The Sideman’s By-Laws (A Guide to the Outside)~~

1. Never recommend anyone who plays better than you.

2. Always suck up. (Leaders, bartenders, bride and/or groom, management, etc.)

3. If you don’t know it, play harmony.

4. Double book, then choose.

5. Always assume the leader knows nothing.

6. Always degrade types of music you can’t play or know nothing about.

7. Always bring your own business cards and solicit during breaks.

8. Never play requests (especially if you know it).

9. Never smile.

10. Always complain.

11. Save all high notes for warming up and after engagement.

12. Never show up sooner than 30 seconds before an engagement. (One minute if you have equipment to set up.)

13. Never leave a book in order. Whenever possible, write on music in ink.

14. Always play Trane or Parker licks during fox trots, tangos, waltzes, or anything in D minor.

15. Always open spit valves over music.

16. If the leader is not sure of a tune, always use substitute changes over his vocals or solos.

17. Always worship dead jazz greats.

18. Be negative about anything connected with the job.

19. Always bring drinks back to the band stand.

20. When a break is over, always disappear. If this is not possible, make a phone call.

21. If you’re backing up an act, talk when not playing. If it’s a comic, don’t laugh.

22. Always bum a ride.

23. Always wait until someone else is buying before you get thirsty.

24. Never bring your own cigarettes to an engagement.

25. Avoid tipping at all cost (waitresses, coat room, valet, etc.).

26. Always ask, “When does the band eat”, or “Where’s our table”?

27. Remember, it’s not your gig. Mingle with guests and enjoy yourself.


C, E-flat and G go into a bar. The bartender says, “Sorry, we don’t serve minors,” and E-flat leaves. C and G have an open fifth between them and after a few drinks, G is out flat. F comes in and tries to augment the situation, but is not sharp enough. D comes into the bar and heads straight for the bathroom saying, “Excuse me, I’ll just be a second.”

A comes into the bar, but the bartender is not convinced that this relative of C is not a minor and sends him out. Then the bartender notices a B-flat hiding at the end of the bar and shouts, “Get out now. You’re the seventh minor I’ve found in this bar tonight.”

Next night, E-flat, not easily deflated, comes into the bar in a 3-piece suit with nicely shined shoes. The bartender (who used to have a nice corporate job until his company downsized) says: “You’re looking pretty sharp tonight. Come on in. This could be a major development.” And in fact, E-flat takes off his suit and everything else and stands there au naturel. Eventually, C, who had passed out under the bar the night before, begins to sober up and realizes in horror that he’s under a rest.

So, C goes to trial, is convicted of contributing to the diminution of a minor and sentenced to 10 years of DS without Coda at an up scale correctional facility. The conviction is overturned on appeal, however, and C is found innocent of any wrongdoing, even accidental, and that all accusations to the contrary are bassless.

The bartender decides, however, that since he’s only had tenor so patrons, the soprano out in the bathroom and everything has become alto much treble, he needs a rest and closes the bar.


What’s the range of a tuba?
About twenty yards, if you have a good arm.

What’s a tuba for?
1-1/2″ by 3-1/2″.

What do you call someone who hangs around with musicians?
A drummer.

What does a timpanist say when he gets to work?
“Would you like fries with that, sir?”

What did the drummer get on his I.Q. test?

How many drummers does it take to change a lightbulb?
None. They have machines to do that now.

“Hey buddy, how late does the band play?”
“Oh, about a half a beat behind the drummer.”

How can you tell when a drummer is at your door?
The knock gets faster.


A mindreader is at a nightclub one night and decides to give a small demonstration of her abilities.

First, she reads the mind of the lead guitarist: “Wow, look at all the cute chicks who showed up tonight! Good crowd!”

Then the drummer: “Lots of people showed up tonight…Great! we’re going to make good money tonight”

Then the Keyboard player: “All three of these guys have no appreciation of my talent…What a bunch of losers”

Finally, the Bass player: “C…G…C…G…”


~Wedding Band Requests~

Dear Bandleader thank you for your letter. I really do think you have an
attitude problem and do want a few requests played if you don’t mind. What
me and my wife were thinking was:

-Any Keith Jarrett composition from his solo series. Please arrange for
full ensemble and nothing in 4/4 please.

-Mahavishnu Orchestra, Dance of the Maya and please have the guitar player
play John Mcglaughlin’s solo from the live performance Nov. 16, 1972 at
Chrysler Arena. My wife and I were at that show and particularly liked his
use of polyrhythmics. If you find it too difficult you can leave out the
feedback. Your choice.

-John Coltrane’s duets with Pharaoh Sanders. I understand that their use of
atonality is not everyone’s cup of tea, but my guests are usually fond of|
high register tenor saxes.

-We thought a little Stravinsky would be nice. We particularly like the
|Rite of Spring. If you want to use the sheet music it’s OK. My husband
likes it about 1/4 note = 93 beats per minute.

-Then for the candle lighting ceremony, please learn Frank Zappa’s “The
Great Wazoo”. If you want to play it in the originally B flat, that would
be OK. And yes, cousin Jeannie does want to sing the baritone sax solo.
Please don’t say no, it would hurt her feelings so.

-Finally we have built our own musical instruments (It’s kind of a hobby
with us) and we would appreciate if you would use our instruments. None of
them are based upon a 12 tone scale or on common harmonics, but our 5 year
old son tells us it’s not really that hard to transpose once you understand
the physics.

We would be happy to pay each member an extra $25 for any inconvenience.
Thank you and don’t be late!

Mr. and Mrs. Snovly


A sax player dies and goes to the pearly gates. St Peter says sorry ‘too much partying you have to go to the other place. The elevator doors open and he goes into a huge bar.All the greatest are on stage on a break.He goes over to Charlie Parker and says .Hey this can’t be Hell all the best are playing here.Charlie say’s hey man ‘Karen Carpenter is on drums!

This trumpet player was on the phone with his agent. He was concerned that he didn’t have a gig in a while. His agent tells him; “Listen, there aren’t any gigs out there, but I found you something. I got you a gig bagging lions.”

To which the trumpet player says, “What does that have to do with my playing. The agent then says “Look, the gig pays 100.00 for each lion that you bag, don’t worry about playing”

.At this point the trumpet player will take anything so he hangs up and flies to Africa. Not wanting to miss any practice time he takes his trumpet with him while looking for the lions. He notices a lion coming toward him and the only thing that he could think of doing is playing his horn. He starts to play a beautiful ballad. He then notices that the lion starts to get sleepy and eventually goes to sleep. He grabs the lion, bags him and throws him in the back of his truck.

He goes a little further and sees another lion. Again he plays a beautiful ballad and again the lion falls asleep. This goes on all afternoon. The trumpet player has about 99 lions in his truck when he sees another.

He says “What the heck, one more won’t hurt”. He starts to play his ballad and notices that the lion is not paying any attention to him so he starts to play louder. The lion starts to run toward the trumpet player. The trumpet player starts to play faster and faster but the lion keeps coming toward him. The lion jumps on the trumpet player and eats him.

One of the lions on the truck turns to another lion and says, “I told you that when he gets to the deaf one the gig would be over”.


How do you get a rhythm guitarist to play softer?
Give him music to read.

What did the guitarist do when his teacher told him to turn his amplifier on ?
He caressed it softly and told it that he lover it.

Whats the best thing to play on a stand up bass?

How does a lead guitarist change a lightbulb ?
He holds it up and the world revolves around him.

In the 22nd many guitarists will it take to replace a light source ?? to actually do it …and four to reminisce about how much better the old tubes were.

How long does a harp stay in tune?
About twenty minutes, or until someone opens the door.

Why are a violinist fingers like lightning?
They rarely strike the same spot twice.

How can you tell if a violin is out of tune?
The bow is moving.

Why is a violinist like a scud missile?
Both are offensive and inaccurate.

What do violists use for birth control?
Their personalities.

How do you make a violin sound like a viola?
Sit in the back and don’t play.

What’s the difference between a violist and a dog?
The dog knows when to stop scratching.

Did you hear about the violist who bragged he could play 32nd notes?
The rest of the orchestra didn’t believe him, so he proved it by playing one.

Why are violins smaller than violas?
They really are the same size, but the violinists’ heads are bigger.

What’s the difference between a cello and a viola?
The cello burns longer.

What’s the difference between violists and terrorists?
Terrorists have sympathizers.

How do you make a cello sound beautiful?
Sell it and buy a violin.

What’s the difference between a cello and a coffin?
The coffin has the corpse inside.

Why are orchestra intermissions limited to 20 minutes?
So you don’t have to re-train the cellists.

Why did the string bass player get mad at the timpanist?
He turned a peg and wouldn’t tell him which one.

What’s the difference between a guitar player and a bag of garbage ?
The garbage gets taken out at least once a week.

Why bury guitar players 6 feet under?
Because deep down they’re all very nice people..

Whats the difference between a guitar and a tuna fish??
You can tune a guitar but you can’t tuna fish ..

One string bass player was so bad, even his section noticed.

How many string bass players does it take to change a lightbulb?
1)-None; the piano player can do that with his left hand.
2)-Don’t bother…just leave it out one will notice
3)-One ..but the guitarist has to show him first
4)-One. Five. One. Five…
5) to change it and the other five to fight off the lead guitarists who are hogging the light..

How do you put a twinkle in a soprano’s eye?
Shine a flashlight in her ear.


Late one day a local pub saw six guys walk in, obviously in pairs of two, sit down and order their favorite after-work drinks.
The first two to seat themselves and be served by the bartender were two guys working at a major university whose I.Q.s were so high they could hardly be measured! They began discussing from Quantum Mechanics to the fine points of Particle Physics, either one as brilliantly as the other.

The bartender then went over to the next pair who were “regular guys” with ordinary jobs, with average I.Q.s, schmoozing about how hard it was today to keep up with bill payments, how high taxes were, how corrupt politicians were and all the day-to-day struggles most everyone has.

The last two the bartender served were two very badly educated, ill-mannered dolts with very low I.Q.s that could barely be measured on any I.Q. test. As soon as they’d ordered the bartender overheard one say to the other, “Oh, hey, I meant to ask ya, d’you use flatwound or roundwound on your bass?”


How does a soprano change a lightbulb?
She just holds on and the world revolves around her.

How can you tell when a soprano is at you door?
She can’t find the key, and doesn’t know when to come in.

How many altos does it take to change a lightbulb?
None; they can’t get up that high.

If you took all the tenors in the world and laid them end to end…it would be a good idea.

Where’s a tenor’s resonance?
Where his brain should be.

Did you hear about the tenor who was so dumb the other tenors noticed?

What do you call ten baritones at the bottom of the ocean?
A good start.

What is the definition of a mezzo soprano?
Just an alto with a soprano’s attitude.

What’s the definition of a male quartet?
Three man and a tenor.

If you drop a conductor and a watermelon off a tall building, which will hit the ground first?
Who cares?

What’s the difference between a conductor and a sack of fertilizer?
The sack.

What’s the definition of an optimist?
A choral director with a mortgage.

Why are conductor’s hearts so coveted for transplants?
They’ve had so little use.

A musician calls the symphony office to talk to the conductor. “I’m
sorry, he’s dead,” comes the reply. The musician calls back 25 times,
always getting the same reply form the receptionist. At last she asks
him why he keeps calling. “I just like to hear you say it.”

Why do bagpipers walk when they play?
To get away from the sound.

How many sound men does it take to change a lightbulb?
“One, two, three; one, two, three.”

What’s the definition of a gentleman?
One who knows how to play the accordion, but doesn’t.

What’s the definition of an optimist?
An accordion player with a pager.

How many alto sax players does it take to change a lightbulb?
Five: one to handle the bulb and four to contemplate how David Sanborn would’ve done it.

How do you get a violist to play down bow staccato?
Put a tenuto mark over a whole note and mark it “solo.”

What’s the best recording of the Walton Viola Concerto?
“Music Minus One”

How do you get a cellist to play fortissimo?
Write “pp, espressivo” on the music.

What’s the difference between a soprano and the PLO?
You can negotiate with the PLO.

What’s the difference between a violin and a viola?

There is no difference. The violin just looks smaller because the violinist’s head is so much bigger.

What’s the difference between a violin and a fiddle?
A fiddle is fun to listen to.

Why are viola jokes so short?
So violinists can understand them.

How many second violinists does it take to change a light bulb?
None. They can’t get up that high!

String players’ motto: “It’s better to be sharp than out of tune.”

Why is a violinist like a SCUD missile?
Both are offensive and inaccurate.

What’s the difference between a fiddle and a violin?
No-one minds if you spill beer on a fiddle.

Why do violinists put a cloth between their chin and their instrument?
Violins don’t have spit valves.

Why should you never try to drive a roof nail with a violin?
You might bend the nail.

A violinist says to his wife, “Oh, baby, I can play you just like my violin.”
His wife replies, “I’d rather have you play me like a harmonica!”

Jacques Thibault, the violinist, was once handed an autograph book by a fan while in the greenroom after a concert. “There’s not much room on this page,” he said. “What shall I write?” Another violinist, standing by, offered the following helpful hint: “Write your repertoire.”

“Haven’t I seen your face before?” a judge demanded, looking down at the defendant. “You have, Your Honor,” the man answered hopefully. “I gave your son violin lessons last winter.” “Ah, yes,” recalled the judge. “Twenty years

How do you get a ‘cellist to play fortissimo?
Write “pp, espressivo”

How do you make a cello sound beautiful?
Sell it and buy a violin.


NAME OF OFFENDER – ___________________________
INFRACTION DATE – _____________________________


[ ]Playing loudly during warm up $10
[ ]Sound-checking amp with funk slapping $25
[ ]Loud cursing after mistake $10
[ ]Playing high and fast after mistake $20
[ ]Practicing 2-handed tapping between tunes $20
[ ]Asking for “E” tuning note $25
[ ]Playing E anyway when horns tune to Bb $50
[ ]Playing written-out walking line $50
[ ]Failure to play written walking line $75
[ ]Writing note names over ledger-line notes $50
[ ]Writing beat numbers under dotted figures $50
[ ]Playing eighth notes $5 each
[ ]Playing sixteenth notes $10 each
[ ]Playing above 1st octave immediate dismissal
[ ]Dragging fast tempo $75
[ ]Dragging ballad tempo $100
[ ]Blacking out during ballad $200
[ ]Ignoring drummer’s tempo $100
[ ]Following drummer’s tempo $250
[ ]Asking to borrow Real Book for All Of Me $1000


[ ]Showing up before first downbeat $25
[ ]Playing audibly $25
[ ]Faking changes $25
[ ]Slapping $150
[ ]Missing tutti lick, then mentioning vintage of bass $25
[ ]Excessive sweating $25
[ ]Pedal point double-stops during horn solo $50
[ ]Asking leader for a solo $30
[ ]Accepting solo when offered $50
[ ]Taking second chorus $100
[ ]Playing solo arco $400
[ ]Pretending to check tuning after playing out of tune $100
[ ]Playing “A Train” ending on every tune $200
[ ]Playing extended “A Train” ending on every tune $500


[ ]Checking hair between tunes $15
[ ]Experimenting with odd meters $25
[ ]Missing root at end of blistering fill $25
[ ]Playing with a pick $50
[ ]Tuning during ballad $30
[ ]Playing Jaco groove on samba $75
[ ]Playing Jaco samba groove on ballad $150
[ ]Attempting last word on final chord $50
[ ]Achieving last word on final chord $100
[ ]Long gliss down to final note $200


[ ]Forgetting strap $10
[ ]Changing strings after every set $15
[ ]Using electric tuner $15
[ ]Setting up mic “just in case” $75
[ ]Forgetting to turn amp on $40
[ ]Bringing amp larger than 1 person can carry in 1 trip $50
[ ]Asking horn player for help moving amp $25
[ ]Bringing custom-made bass $100 per string above 4
[ ]Bringing more than 1 bass $100 per extra bass
[ ]Skull decals on bass $150
[ ]Bringing fretless bass $500


[ ]Telling bone player about all the gigs you get $10
[ ]Asking bone player about their day gig $10
[ ]Sitting behind drums on break $10
[ ]Quoting “Birdland” $25
[ ]Practicing scales during break $25
[ ]Practicing scales during drum solo $50
[ ]Practicing $150
[ ]Beginning a sentence with “When I was a guitar player…” $50
[ ]Casually mentioning to Musical Director of cheap theater that you are “into sequencing” $10


[ ]Wearing old Buddy Rich tour shirt $10
[ ]Wearing new Whitesnake tour shirt $20
[ ]Asking when the rock set starts $20
[ ]Continually asking “where are we?” $25
[ ]Continually shouting “Yeah!” $25
[ ]Asking bone player where “1” is $50
[ ]Taking cellphone call during 4’s $100


~ Secrets of the Music Biz ~

1. The badness of a musical composition is directly proportional to the number of violas in it.

2. You will never find anybody who can give you a clear and compelling reason why instrumental parts are written in transposed pitch. (Especially trumpet parts in E.)

3. People who feel the need to tell you that they have perfect pitch are telling you that their sense of relative pitch is defective.

4. The most valuable function performed by a Wagnerian opera is its ability to drown out a rock concert.

5. You should never say anything to a sideman that even remotely sounds like a compliment unless you are prepared to pay double scale.

6. A string sample saved is worthless.

7. Wynton Marsalis can hold all the Lincoln Center Jazz Concerts he wants. Billions of years from now, when Earth is hurtling toward the Sun and there is nothing left alive on the planet except a few microorganisms, the microorganisms will still prefer Yanni.

8. The most powerful force in the universe is Andrew Lloyd Webber.

9. The one thing that unites all non-musicians, regardless of age, gender, religion, economic status, or ethnic background, is that, deep down inside, they all have below-average musical taste.

10. There comes a time when you should stop expecting other people to make a big deal about your musical talent. That time is age 11.

11. There is a very fine line between “arranging” and “mental illness.”

12. People who want you to listen to their music almost never want to listen to yours.

13. There apparently exists, somewhere in Los Angeles, a computer that generates music for television dramas. When TV composers need a new dramatic cue, they turn on this computer; after sorting through millions of possible musical themes, it spits out, “ONE LONG LOW SCARY NOTE ON A SYNTHESIZER, ” and this becomes the cue. The next time they need a cue, the computer spits out, “TWO LONG SCARY NOTES ON A SYNTHESIZER.” And so on, ad infinitum. We need to locate this computer and destroy it with hammers – – along with TV producers and entertainment lawyers.

14. No group singer is normal.

15. At least once per year, Bill Conti will become very excited and announce that: (1) His producers loved the first theme he played for them; (2) They loved the second theme even more than the first; (3) He has never composed anything they didn’t love.

16. If you had to identify, in one word, the reason composers have not achieved, and never will achieve their full potential, that word would be “copyists.”

17. The main accomplishment of Disney Studios was the film “Fantasia” in which they ripped-off Stravinsky’s “Rite of Spring” by paying his agent $2500, of which Stravinsky received $500.

18. The value of a composer’s agent is to convince the producer that using a music-cue library would not be cheaper than hiring a composer.

19. If there really is a Devil who is out to destroy the universe by means of vile conspiracies, and if God decides to deliver this message to humanity, He will not use, as His messenger – – Oliver Stone. But John Williams will write the score.

20. You should not confuse your lack of musical talent with your inferiority complex.

21. A movie producer who is suddenly nice to you is not really a nice person. It means he is thinking about hiring another composer, probably John Williams.

22. No matter what happens at a recording session (for example, the players shout “Bravo” and applaud) somebody will still find something wrong with your music, and the producer will begin to have doubts. Serious doubts.

23. When musical problems in a film arise and things look bad, there is always one individual who perceives a solution and is willing to take command. Very often, that individual is the producer’s brother-in-law. He is a (budding) composer.

24. Your friends love you, even if you are tone-deaf.

25. Nobody cares if you can’t compose music well. Just go ahead and compose. You are sure to succeed… if you suck up to the right person.


How do you make a double bass sound in tune?
Chop it up and make it into a xylophone.

A double bass player arrived a few minutes late for the first rehearsal of the local choral society’s annual performance of Handel’s Messiah. He picked up his instrument and bow, and turned his attention to the conductor. The conductor asked, “Would you like a moment to tune?” The bass player replied with some surprise, “Why? Isn’t it the same as last year?”

At a rehearsal, the conductor stops and shouts to the bass section: “You are out of tune. Check it, please!” The first bassist pulls all his strings, says, “Our tuning is correct: all the strings are equally tight.” The first violist turns around and shouts, “You bloody idiot! It’s not the tension. The pegs have to be parallel!”

Two bass players were engaged for a run of Carmen. After a couple of weeks, they agreed each to take an afternoon off in turn to go and watch the matinee performance from the front of house. Joe duly took his break; back in the pit that evening, Moe asked how it was. “Great,” says Joe. “You know that bit where the music goes `BOOM Boom Boom Boom’–well there are some guys uptop singing a terrific song about a Toreador at the same time.”

Lute players spend half their time tuning their instrument and the other half playing out of tune.

Why are harps like elderly parents?
Both are unforgiving and hard to get into and out of cars.

How long does a harp stay in tune?
About 20 minutes, or until someone opens a door.

What’s the definition of a quarter tone?
A harpist tuning unison strings.

What do you get when you drop a piano down a mine shaft?
A flat minor.

What do you get when you drop a piano on an army base?
A flat major.

Why is an 11-foot concert grand better than a studio upright?
Because it makes a much bigger kaboom when dropped over a cliff.

Why was the piano invented?
So the musician would have a place to put his beer.

The audience at a piano recital were appalled when a telephone rang just off stage. Without missing a note the soloist glanced toward the wings and called, “If that’s my agent, tell him I’m working!”

What does a German Hammond organist do in his life’s most tender moments?
He puts his Leslie on “slow”.


The organ is the instrument of worship for in its sounding we sense the Majesty of God and in its ending we know the Grace of God.

Two musicians are walking down the street, and one says to the other, “Who was that piccolo I saw you with last night?”
The other replies, “That was no piccolo, that was my fife.”

Why is a bassoon better than an oboe?
The bassoon burns longer.

What is a burning oboe good for?
Setting a bassoon on fire.

What is the definition of a half step?
Two oboes playing in unison.

What is the definition of a major second?
Two baroque oboes playing in unison.

How do you get an oboist to play A flat?
Take the batteries out of his electric tuner.

What’s the difference between a SCUD missile and a bad oboist?
A bad oboist can kill you.

How many clarinetists does it take to change a lightbulb?
Only one, but he’ll go through a whole box of bulbs before he finds just the right one.

What’s the definition of “nerd?”
Someone who owns his own alto clarinet.

How many alto sax players does it take to change a lightbulb?
Five. One to change the bulb and four to contemplate how David Sanborn would have done it.

What’s the difference between a saxophone and a lawn mower?
1.Lawn mowers sound better in small ensemles.
2.The neighbors are upset if you borrow a lawnmower and don’t return it.
3.The grip.

What’s the difference between a baritone saxophone and a chain saw?
The exhaust.

What is the difference between a drummer and a large pizza?
The pizza can feed a family of four.


A Jazz Guitarist’s Dilemma! ~

If you have a lot of chops and use them .. you play too many notes

If you don’t have a lot of chops don’t play enough notes

If you’re a high energy player don’t play with enough feeling

If you play with lots of feeling you’re too sappy

If you like a fat round sound..your sound is too fat

If you thin out your’re sound is too thin

If you play a lot of chordal solo’s..why does he play so many chords?

If you chord work is sparce..he doesn’t play enough chords.

If you use heavy strings..why does he use such heavy strings?

If you use lighter strings..he should use heavier strings to sound better

If you sit and play..why doesn’t he stand?

If you stand why doesn’t he sit?

If you smile..what’s wrong with him?

If you don’t smile..what’s wrong with him?

If you play two measures in octaves..Wes was a big influence

If you play more than two measures in sound just like Wes

If you like to play “out” what’s he doing, can he really play?

If you play ” inside”. Yeah! But can he really play?

If you play an Archtop ..why does he need such a big guitar

If you play a solid-body that’s not a jazz guitar

If you’re not a good reader..he can’t read

If you’re a good reader..why?..some of the best players couldn’t read

If you like to dress up and look neat..who does he think he is?

If you don’t look neat..he’s still a hippie

If you grow a beard..what’s he hiding?

If you’re clean shaven..he doesn’t look like a jazz musician


You introduce yourself as a jazz guitarist …

Oh God! Not another guitar player!


Small wonder we have so much trouble with air pollution in the world when so much of it has passed through saxophones.

What’s the difference between a Trumpet player and the rear end of a horse?
I don’t know either.

How to trumpet players traditionally greet each other?
“Hi. I’m better than you.”

How do you know when a trumpet player is at your door?
The doorbell shrieks!

Why can’t a gorilla play trumpet?
He’s too sensitive.

In an emergency a jazz trumpeter was hired to do some solos with a symphony orchestra. Everything went fine through the first movement, when she had some really hair-raising solos, but in the second movement she started goingimprovising madly when she wasn’t supposed to play at all. After the concert the conductor came round looking for an explanation. She said, “I looked in the score and it said `tacit’–so I took it!”

What’s the difference between a bass trombone and a chain saw?
1.Vibrato, though you can minimize this difference by holding the chain saw very still.
2.It’s easier to improvise on a chainsaw.

How can you make a french horn sound like a trombone?
1.Take your hand out of the bell and lose all sense of taste.
2.Take your hand out of the bell and miss all of the notes!

How do you know when a trombone player is at your door?
The doorbell drags.

Why do musicians have to be awake by six o’clock?
Because most shops close by six thirty.

What would a musician do if he won a million dollars?
Continue to play gigs until the money ran out.

What’s the difference between a conductor and a stagecoach driver?
The stagecoach driver only has to look at four horses’ asses.


What is the diffference between a dead trombone player lying in the road, and a dead squirrel lying in the road?
The squirrel might have been on his way to a gig.

How many trombonists does it take to change a lightbulb?
Just one, but he’ll do it too loudly.

How do you know when there’s a trombonist at your door?
His hat says “Domino’s Pizza”

How do you improve the aerodynamics of a trombonist’s car?
Take the Domino’s Pizza sign off the roof.

How can you tell which kid on a playground is the child of a trombonist?
He doesn’t know how to use the slide, and he can’t swing.

What is the dynamic range of the bass trombone?
On or off.

It is difficult to trust anyone whose instrument changes shape as he plays it!

How do you get your viola section to sound like the horn section?
Have them miss every other note.

How can you make a trombone sound like a french horn?
Stick your hand in the bell and play a lot of wrong notes.

What is the difference between a french horn section and a ’57 Chevy?
You can tune a ’57 Chevy.

What do you get when you cross a French Horn player and a goalpost?
A goalpost that can’t march.

How many French horn players does it take to change a lightbulb?
Just one, but he’ll spend two hours checking the bulb for alignment and leaks.

Why is the French horn a divine instrument?
Because a man blows in it, but only God knows what comes out of it.

How do horn players traditionally greet each other?
1.”Hi. I played that last year.”
2.”Hi. I did that piece in junior high.”

A girl went out on a date with a trumpet player, and when she came back her roommate asked, “Well, how was it? Did his embouchure make him a great kisser?” “Nah,” the first girl replied. “That dry, tight, tiny little pucker; it was no fun at all.” The next night she went out with a tuba player, and when she came back her roommate asked, “Well, how was his kissing?” “Ugh!” the first girl exclaimed. “Those huge, rubbery, blubbery, slobbering slabs of meat; oh, it was just gross!” The next night she went out with a French horn player, and when she came back her roommate asked, “Well, how was his kissing?” “Well,” the first girl replied, “his kissing was just so-so; but I loved the way he held me!”

How many tuba players does it take to change a light bulb?
Three! One to hold the bulb and two to drink ’till the room spins.

How do you fix a broken tuba?
With a tuba glue.

These two tuba players walk past a bar… Well, it could happen!

Why are orchestra intermissions limited to 20 minutes?
So you don’t have to retrain the drummers.

What do you call someone who hangs out with musicians?
A drummer.

How do you know when a drummer is knocking at your door?
The knock always slows down.

How do you get a drummer to play an accelerando?
Ask him to play in 4/4 at a steady 120 bpm.

Why do bands have bass players?
To translate for the drummer.

Did you hear about the time the bass player locked his keys in the car?
It took two hours to get the drummer out.

How many drummers does it take to change a lightbulb?
1.”Why? Oh, wow! Is it like dark, man?”
2.Only one, but he’ll break ten bulbs before figuring out that they can’t just be pushed in.
3.Two: one to hold the bulb, and one to turn his throne (but only after they figure out that you have to turn the bulb).
4.Twenty. One to hold the bulb, and nineteen to drink until the room spins.
5.None. They have a machine to do that.

Why is it good that drummers have a half-ounce more brains than horses?
So they don’t disgrace themselves in parades.

Heard backstage: “Will the musicians and the drummer please come to the stage!”


In New York City, an out of work jazz drummer named Ed was thinking of throwing himself off a bridge. But then he ran into a former booking agent who told him about the fantastic opportunities for drummers in Iraq. The agent said “If you can find your way over there, just take my card and look up the bandleader named Faisal–he’s the large guy with the beard wearing gold pajamas and shoes that curl up at the toes.” Ed hit up everyone he knew and borrowed enough to buy transport to Iraq. It took several days to arrange for passport, visas, transportation into Iraq and the shipping of his equipment, but he was finally on his way. Ed arrived in Baghdad and immediately started searching for Faisal. He found guys in pajamas of every color but gold. Finally, in a small coffeehouse, he saw a huge man with a beard–wearing gold pajamas and shoes that curled up at the toes! Ed approached him and asked if he was Faisal. He was. Ed gave him the agent’s card and Faisal’s face brightened into a huge smile. “You’re just in time–I need you for a gig tonight. Meet me at the market near the mosque at 7:30 with your equipment.” “But,” gasped Ed, “what about a rehearsal?” “No time–don’t worry.” And with that, Faisal disappeared. Ed arrived in the market at 7:00 to set up his gear. He introduced himself to the other musicians, who were all playing instruments he had never seen in his life. At 7:30 sharp, Faisal appeared and hopped on the bandstand, his gold pajamas glittering in the twilight. Without a word to the musicians, he lifted his arm for the downbeat. “Wait.” shouted Ed. “What are we playing?” Faisal shot him a look of frustration and shouted back, “Fake it! Just give me heavy afterbeats on 7 and 13.”


A drummer, sick of all the drummer jokes, decides to change his instrument. After some thought, he decides on the accordion. So he goes to the music store and says to the owner, “I’d like to look at the accordions, please.” The owner gestures to a shelf in the corner and says “All our accordions are over there.” After browsing, the drummer says, “I think I’d like the big red one in the corner.” The store owner looks at him and says, “You’re a drummer, aren’t you?” The drummer, crestfallen, says, “How did you know?” The store owner says, “That `big red accordion’ is the radiator.”

What do you call a groupie who hangs around and annoys musicians?
A bodhran player.


What is the difference between a bodhran player and a terrorist?
Terrorists have sympathisers.

How do you know when there is a bodhran player at your front door?
The knocking gets faster and faster and faster.

What do bodhran players use for birth control?
Their personalities.

What’s the best thing to play a bodhran with?
A razor blade.

If you threw a violist and a soprano off a cliff, which one would hit the ground first? (two answers)
1.The violist. The soprano would have to stop halfway down to ask directions.
2.Who cares?

What’s the difference between a soprano and a pirhana?
The lipstick.

What’s the difference between a soprano and a pit bull?
The jewelry.

How many sopranos does it take to change a lightbulb?
1.One. She holds the bulb and the world revolves around her.
2.Two. One to hold the diet cola and the other to get her accompanist to do it.
3.Four. One to change the bulb and three to pull the chair out from under her.

What’s the difference between a Wagnerian soprano and the average All-Pro offensive lineman? Stage makeup.

What’s the difference between a Wagnerian soprano and a Wagnerian Tenor?
About 10 pounds.

How is a soubrette different from a sewer rat?
Some people actually like sewer rats.

What is the difference between a soubrette and a cobra?
One is deadly poisonous, and the other is a reptile.

How do you tell if a Wagnerian soprano is dead?
The horses seem very relieved.

What’s the definition of an alto?
A soprano who can sightread.

A jazz musician dies and goes to heaven. He is told “Hey man, welcome! You have been elected to the Jazz All-Stars of Heaven–right up there with Satchmo, Miles, Django, all the greats. We have a gig tonight. Only one problem–God’s girlfriend gets to sing.”

What’s the difference between an alto and a tenor?
Tenors don’t have hair on their backs.

How many altos does it take to screw in a lightbulb?
1.None. They can’t get that high.
2.Two; one to screw it in and the other to say, “Isn’t that a little high for you?”

How many tenors does it take to change a light bulb?
Four. One to change the bulb and three to bitch that they could have done it if they had the high notes.

How do you tell if a tenor is dead?
The wine bottle is still full and the comics haven’t been touched.

Where is a tenor’s resonance?
Where his brain should be.

What’s the definition of a male quartet?
Three men and a tenor.


Ouch!! You’re too old to play gigs when…..

1. It becomes more important to find a place on stage for your fan than for your amp.

2. Your gig clothes make you look like George Burns out for a round of golf.

3. All your fans leave by 9:30 p.m.

4. All you want from groupies is a foot massage and back rub.

5. You love taking the elevator because you can sing along with most of your play list.

6. Instead of a fifth member, your band wants to spring for a roadie.

7. You don’t know (or care) who any of the new bands are.

8. You need your glasses to see the amp settings.

9. You’ve thrown out your back jumping off the stage.

10. You feel like hell before the gig even starts.

11. The waitress is your daughter.

12. You stop the set because your ibuprofen fell behind the speakers.

13. Most of your crowd just sways in their seats.

14. You find your drink tokens from last month’s gig in your guitar case.

15. You refuse to play without earplugs.

16. You ask the club owner if you can start at 8:30 instead of 9:30.

17. You check the TV schedule before booking a gig.

18. Your gig stool has a back.

19. You’re related to at least one member in the band.

20. You don’t let any one sit in.

21. You need a nap before the gig.

22. After the third set, you bug the club owner to let you quit early.

23. During the breaks, you now go to the van to lay down.

24. You prefer a music stand with a light.

25. You don’t recover from a Saturday night gig until Tuesday afternoon.

26. You hope the host’s speech lasts forever…..

27. You buy amps considering their weight and not their tone or cool factor.

28. Feeling guilty looking at hot women at the bar ’cause they’re younger than your daughter.

29. You can remember seven different club names for the same location …

30. You have a hazy memory of the days when you could work 10 gigs in 7 days and could physically do it

31. Your set list is dance able.

32. You think “homey” means cozy and warm

33. You have to look over your glasses to check your PA connections.

34. You’re playing the same venue in three months and you ask the club owner if you can leave your amp!

35. Most of the band members are a lot younger than you.

36. Your son is waiting for the gig to end to drive you and your stuff home, then go back out and party…

37. Your date couldn’t make it because she couldn’t find a sitter for the grandkids…

38. In consideration of your age, the audience requests some British invasion.

39. On all out of town gigs you draw straws to see who the driver will be coming home.

40. You start listing your truss as a “business expense”.

41. You forget to take your Flowmax so all sets that night are only 15 minutes long.

42. When you get a “Cease and Desist” letter from the Spandex co.

43. When you play 2 nights in a row, and the next day your body aches like you played in the Super Bowl!

44. Or, you play a Wednesday night gig and call into work sick on Thursday and Friday..

45. When the only “Stones” you care about are in your gallbladder or kidney.

46. You have to charge extra money if there are any steps to climb.

47. Your hearing has deteriorated so badly that you actually ask the guitar player to “turn himself up.

48. You call out the next song only to have someone remind you played it 10 minutes earlier.

49. Your drugs are keeping you alive rather than killing you.

50. You worry more about breaking a hip than being hip.

52. Musicians half your age are in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame or have appeared on postage stamps.

53. The only white powder to be found amongst the band members is foot talc.



Did you hear about the tenor who announced that in the following season he would only sing three title roles: Othello,Samson, and Forza del Destino? (true story)

If you took all the tenors in the world and laid them end to end, it would be a good idea.

How do you tell if a bass is actually dead?
Hold out a check (but don’t be fooled: a slight, residual spasmodic clutching action may occur even hours after death has occurred).

How do you tell if a bass is dead?
1.What’s the difference?
2.Who cares?

In the last act of Don Giovanni, there is always a statue which is replaced at some point by a real singer, a bass (the Commendatore). How can you tell when the switch has occurred?
The “statue” starts looking a bit stiff.

How many basses does it take to change a lightbulb?
None. They’re so macho they prefer to walk in the dark and bang their shins.

Why do musicians tour the most in the summer?
So they can visit all their kids.

What is the difference between the men’s final at Wimbledon and a high school choral performance?
The tennis final has more men.

How does a young man become a member of a high school chorus?
On the first day of school he turns into the wrong classroom.

What is the difference between a world war and a high school choral performance?
The performance causes more suffering.

Why do high school choruses travel so often?
Keeps assassins guessing.

What’s the definition of an optimist?
A choral director with a mortgage

What do you call a good flute section?

What do you get when you cross a piccolo with a clarinet?
An earache

How do you know there’s a flute player at your door?
You don’t. They can’t find the right key and don’t know when to make
the entrance.

Definition of a flute, according to David W. Barber in his book A Musician’s Dictionary:
“A sophisticated pea-shooter with a range up to five hundred hards and deadly accuracy in close quarters. Blown transversely to confuse the enemy, it can be dismantled into three small pieces, for easy concealment.”


What is the difference between a high school choral director and a chimpanzee?
It’s scientifically proven that chimpanzees are able to communicate with humans.

What’s the difference between a banjo and a chain saw?
The chain saw has greater dynamic range.

What’s the least-used sentence in the English language?
“Isn’t that the banjo player’s Porsche?”

There’s nothing I like better than the sound of a banjo, unless of course it’s the sound of a chicken caught in a vacuum cleaner.

Female five string banjoist shouting at her boyfriend in a crowded shopping mall: “Don’t forget, sweetheart, I need a new G string.”

How many guitar players does it take to change a light bulb?
Twelve. One to change the bulb and eleven to say they could do it better.

How do you make a bass player turn down the volume?
Put a chart in front of him.

What do you call two guitarists playing in unison?

Did you hear about the electric bass player who was so bad that even the lead singer noticed?

If you drop an accordion, a set of bagpipes and a viola off a 20-story building, which one lands first?
Who cares?

What’s the difference between an Uzi and an accordion?
The Uzi stops after 20 rounds.

What do you call ten accordians at the bottom of the ocean?
A good start.

What’s a bassoon good for?
Kindling for an accordion fire.

What’s a accordion good for?
Learning how to fold a map.

What do you call a group of topless female accordian players?
Ladies in Pain

Bumper Stickers:
1.Play an accordian–go to jail!
2.Three rows and you’re out!

Minimum safe distances between street musicians and the public:

Violinist: 25 feet
Bad Violinist: 50 feet
Tone Deaf Guitar Player who knows 3 chords: 75 feet
15 year-old Electric Guitar Player with Nirvana fixation: 100 feet
Accordionist: 60 miles

A “Chang” is a Central Asian instrument (from countries such as Uzbekistan). It’s something like a hammered dulcimer with a damper pedal.

How long does it take to tune a chang?
Nobody knows.

Why is it so difficult to tune a chang?
So that violist can feel superior about something.

Q: How many chang players does it take to change a light bulb?
All of them. One to twist the bulb for several hours, and the other one to decide that it’s as good as it’s going to get, and that they might as well flip the switch.

What’s the difference between an Appalachian dulcimer and a hammered dulcimer?
A hammered dulcimer burns hotter; an Appalachian dulcimer burns longer.

How many country & western singers does it take to change a light bulb?
Three. One to change the bulb and two to sing about the old one.

What happens if you play blues music backwards?
Your wife returns to you, your dog comes back to life, and you get out of prison.

The symphony orchestra was performing Beethoven’s Ninth.

In the piece, there’s a long passage, about 20 minutes, during which the bass violinists have nothing to do.

Rather than sit around that whole time looking stupid, some bassists decided to sneak offstage and go to the tavern next door for a quick one.

After slamming several beers in quick succession, one of them looked at his watch and said, “Hey! We need to get back!”

“No need to panic,” said a fellow bassist. “I thought we might need some extra time, so I tied the last few pages of the conductor’s score together with string. It’ll take him a few minutes to get it untangled.”

A few moments later they staggered back to the concert hall and took their places in the orchestra.

About this time, a member of the audience noticed the conductor seemed a bit edgy and said as much to her companion.

“Well, of course,” said her companion. “Don’t you see? It’s the bottom of the Ninth, the score is tied, and the bassists are loaded.”


What do you get when you play New Age music backwards?
New Age music.

What does it say on a blues singer’s tombstone?
“I didn’t wake up this morning…”

What’s the difference between a puppy and a singer-songwriter?
Eventually the puppy stops whining.

How many sound men does it take to change a light bulb?
1.”One, two, three, one, two, three…”
2.”Hey man, I just do sound.”
3.One. Upon finding no replacement, he takes the original apart, repairs it with a chewing gum wrapper and duct tape, changes the screw mount to bayonet mount, finds an appropriate patch cable, and re-installs the bulb fifty feet from where it should have been, to the satisfaction of the rest of the band.

How many Deadheads does it take to change a lightbulb?
12,001. One to change it, 2,000 to record the event and take pictures of it, and 10,000 to follow it around until it burns out.

How many punk-rock musicians does it take to change a light bulb?
Two: One to screw in the bulb and the other to smash the old one on his forehead.

Know how to make a million dollars singing jazz?
Start with two million.

How many jazz musicians does it take to change a light bulb?
1.None. Jazz musicians can’t afford light bulbs.
2.”Don’t worry about the changes. We’ll fake it!”

How do you turn a duck into a soul artist?
Put it in the oven until its (it’s) Bill Withers.

Micheal Caine goes up to Milton Berle during a party and asks, “What kind of cigar are you smoking there?” “It’s a Lawrence Welk.” says Milton. “What’s a Lawrence Welk?” Micheal asks. Milton says “It’s a piece of crap with a band wrapped around it.”

Angus was asked why there were drones on the bagpipe when they make such a distressing sound. He answered, “Without the drones, I might as well be playing the piano.”

Two musicians are driving down a road. All of a sudden they notice the Grim Reaper in the back seat. Death informs them that they had an accident and they both died. But, before he must take them off into eternity, he grants each musician with one last request to remind them of their past life on earth. The first musician says he was a Country & Western musician and would like to hear eight choruses of Achy-Breaky Heart as a last hoorah! The second musician says “I was a jazz musician…kill me now!”

I was playing in a night club, and getting few requests and small tips. Towards the end of the night, a man walked up with a wad of bills in his hand and asked me to play a jazz chord. I played an Amaj7. He said, “No, no. A jazz chord.” I did a little improvisational thing, but he didn’t like that either. “No, no, no! A jazz chord. You know, ‘A jazz chord, to say, ah love you.'”

Son: Mother, I want to grow up and be a rock-n-roll musician.
Mother: Now son, you have to pick one or the other. You can’t do both.

A Jazz musician was told by his doctor, “I am very sorry to tell you that you have cancer and you have only one more year to live.” The Jazz musician replied, “And what am I going to live on for an entire year?”

What’s the difference between a bull and an orchestra?
The bull has the horns in the front and the asshole in the back.

A conductor and a violist are standing in the middle of the road. which one do you run over first, and why?
The conductor. Business before pleasure.

Why are conductor’s hearts so coveted for transplants?
They’ve had so little use.

What’s the difference between a conductor and a sack of fertilizer?
The sack.

What do you have when a group of conductors are up to their necks in wet concrete?
Not enough concrete.

Did you hear about the planeload of conductors en route to the European Festival?
The good news: it crashed.
The bad news: there were three empty seats on board.

What’s the difference between a pig and a symphony orchestra conductor?
There are some things a pig just isn’t willing to do.

What is the ideal weight for a conductor?
About 2 1/2 lbs. including the urn.

What’s the difference between God and a conductor?
God knows He’s not a conductor.

What’s the definition of an assistant conductor?
A mouse trying to become a rat.

What’s the difference between alto clef and Greek?
Some conductors actually read Greek.

What do you do with a horn player that can’t play?
Give him two sticks, put him in the back, and call him a percussionist.
What do you do if he can’t do that?
Take away one of the sticks, put him up front, and call him a conductor.


A musician arrived at the pearly gates. “What did you do when you were alive?” asked St. Peter. “I was the principal trombone player of the London Symphony Orchestra” “Excellent! We have a vacancy in our celestial symphony orchestra for a trombonist. Why don’t you turn up at the next rehearsal.” So, when the time for the next rehearsal arrived our friend turned up with his heavenly trombone [sic]. As he took his seat God moved, in a mysterious way, to the podium and tapped his batton to bring the players to attention. Our friend turned to the angelic second trombonist (!) and whispered, “So, what’s God like as a conductor?” “Oh, he’s O.K. most of the time, but occasionally he thinks he’s von Karajan.”

It was the night of the big symphony concert, and all the town notables showed up to hear it. However, it was getting close to 8 o’clock and the conductor hadn’t yet shown up. The theater’s manager was getting desperate, knowing that he’d have to refund everyone’s money if he cancelled the concert, so he went backstage and asked all the musicians if any could conduct. None of them could, so he went around and asked the staff if any of them could conduct. He had no luck there either, so he started asking people in the lobby, in the hope that maybe one of them could conduct the night’s concert. He still hadn’t found anyone, so he went outside and started asking everybody passing by if they could conduct. He had no luck whatsoever and by this time the concert was 15 minutes late in starting. The assistant manager came out to say that the crowd was getting restless and about ready to demand their money back. The desperate manager looked around and spied a cat, a dog, and a horse standing in the street. “Oh, what the heck,” he exclaimed, “let’s ask them–what do we have to lose?” So the manager and assistant manager went up to the cat, and the manager asked “Mr. cat, do you know how to conduct?” The cat meowed “I don’t know, I’ll try,” but though it tried really hard, it just couldn’t stand upright on its hind legs. The manager sighed and thanked the cat, and then moved on to the dog. “Mr. dog,” he asked, “do you think you can conduct?” The dog woofed “Let me see,” but although it was able to stand up on its hind legs and wave its front paws around, it just couldn’t keep upright long enough to last through an entire movement. “Well, nice try,” the manager told the dog, and with a sigh of resignation turned to the horse. “Mr. horse,” he asked, “how about you–can you conduct?” The horse looked at him for a second and then without a word turned around, presented its hind end, and started swishing its tail in perfect four-four time. “That’s it!” the manager exclaimed, “the concert can go on!” However, right then the horse dropped a load of plop onto the street. The assistant manager was horrified, and he told the manager “We can’t have this horse conduct! What would the orchestra think?” The manager looked first at the horse’s rear end and then at the plop lying in the street and replied “trust me–from this angle, the orchestra won’t even know they have a new conductor!”

Once upon a time, there was a blind rabbit and blind snake, both living in the same neighborhood. One beautiful day, the blind rabbit was hopping happily down the path toward his home, when he bumped into someone. Apologizingprofusely he explained, “I am blind, and didn’t see you there.” “Perfectly all right,” said the snake, “because I am blind, too, and did not see to step out of your way.” A conversation followed, gradually becoming more intimate, and finally the snake said, “This is the best conversation I have had with anyone for a long time. Would you mind if I felt you to see what you are like?” “Why, no,” said the rabbit. “Go right ahead.” So the snake wrapped himself around the rabbit and shuffled and snuggled his coils, and said, “MMMM! You’re soft and warm and fuzzy and cuddly…and those ears! You must be a rabbit.” “Why, that’s right!” said the rabbit. “May I feel you?” “Go right ahead.” said the snake, stretching himself out full length on the path. The rabbit began to stroke the snake’s body with his paws, then drew back in disgust. “Yuck!” he said. “You’re cold…and slimy… you must be a conductor!”

A guy walks into a pet store wanting a parrot. The store clerk shows him two beautiful ones out on the floor. “This one’s $5,000 and the other is $10,000.” the clerk said. “Wow! What does the $5,000 one do?” “This parrot can sing every aria Mozart ever wrote.” “And the other?” said the customer. “This one can sing Wagner’s entire Ring cycle. There’s another one in the back room for $30,000.” “Holy moly! What does that one do?” “Nothing that I can tell, but the other two parrots call him ‘Maestro’.”

A new conductor was at his first rehearsal. It was not going well. He was wary of the musicians as they were of him. As he left the rehearsal room, the timpanist sounded a rude little “bong.” The angry conductor turned and said, “All right! Who did that?”

A violinist was auditioning for the Halle orchestra in England. After his audition he was talking with the conductor “What do you think about Brahms?” asked the conductor. “Ah…” the violinist replied, “Brahms is a great guy! Real talented musician. In fact, he and I were just playing some duets together last week!” The conductor was impressed. “And what do you think of Mozart?” he asked him. “Oh, he’s just swell! I just had dinner with him last week!” replied the violinist. Then the violinist looked at his watch and said he had to leave to catch the 1:30 train to London. Afterwards, the conductor was discussing him with the board members. He said he felt very uneasy about hiring this violinist, because there seemed to be a serious credibility gap. The conductor knew for certain that there was no 1:30 train to London.


-A Player’s Guide for Keeping Conductors in Line-

If there were a basic training manual for orchestra players, it might include ways to practice not only music, but one-upmanship. It seems as if many young players take pride in getting the conductor’s goat. The following rules are intended as a guide to the development of habits that will irritate the conductor. (Variations and additional methods depend upon the imagination and skill of the player.)

1.Never be satisfied with the tuning note. Fussing about the pitch takes attention away from the podium and puts it on you, where it belongs.

2.When raising the music stand, be sure the top comes off and spills the music on the floor.

3.Complain about the temperature of the rehearsal room, the lighting, crowded space, or a draft. It’s best to do this when the conductor is under pressure.

4.Look the other way just before cues.

5.Never have the proper mute, a spare set of strings, or extra reeds. Percussion players must never have all their equipment.

6.Ask for a re-audition or seating change. Ask often. Give the impression you’re about to quit. Let the conductor know you’re there as a personal favor.

7.Pluck the strings as if you are checking tuning at every opportunity, especially when the conductor is giving instructions. Brass players: drop mutes. Percussionists have a wide variety of dropable items, but cymbals are unquestionably the best because they roll around for several seconds.

8.Loudly blow water from the keys during pauses (Horn, oboe and clarinet players are trained to do this from birth).

9.Long after a passage has gone by, ask the conductor if your C# was in tune. This is especially effective if you had no C# or were not playing at the time. (If he catches you, pretend to be correcting a note in your part.)

10.At dramatic moments in the music (while the conductor is emoting) be busy marking your music so that the climaxes will sound empty and disappointing.

11.Wait until well into a rehearsal before letting the conductor know you don’t have the music.

12.Look at your watch frequently. Shake it in disbelief occasionally.

13.Tell the conductor, “I can’t find the beat.” Conductors are always sensitive about their “stick technique”, so challenge it frequently.

14.As the conductor if he has listened to the Bernstein recording of the piece. Imply that he could learn a thing or two from it. Also good: ask “Is this the first time you’ve conducted this piece?”

15.When rehearsing a difficult passage, screw up your face and shake your head indicating that you’ll never be able to play it. Don’t say anything: make him wonder.

16.If your articulation differs from that of others playing the same phrase, stick to your guns. Do not ask the conductor which is correct until backstage just before the concert.

17.Find an excuse to leave rehearsal about 15 minutes early so that others will become restless and start to pack up and fidget.

18.During applause, smile weakly or show no expression at all. Better yet, nonchalantly put away your instrument. Make the conductor feel he is keeping you from doing something really important.

It is time that players reminded their conductors of the facts of life: just who do conductors think they are, anyway?

The stages of a musician’s life:
1.Who is name?
2.Get me name.
3.Get me someone who sounds like name.
4.Get me a young name.
5.Who is name?


A community orchestra was plagued by attendance problems. Several musicians were absent at each rehearsal. As a matter of fact, every player in the orchestra had missed several rehearsals, except for one very faithful oboe player. Finally, as the dress rehearsal drew to a close, the conductor took a moment to thank the oboist for her faithful attendance. She, of course, humbly responded “It’s the least I could do, since I won’t be at the performance.”

Saint Peter is checking ID’s at the Pearly Gates, and first comes a Texan. “Tell me, what have you done in life?” says St. Peter. The Texan says, “Well, I struck oil, so I became rich, but I didn’t sit on my laurels–I divided all my money among my entire family in my will, so our descendants are all set for about three generations.” St. Peter says, “That’s quite something. Come on in. Next!” The second guy in line has been listening, so he says, “I struck it big in the stock market, but I didn’t selfishly just provide for my own like that Texan guy. I donated five million to Save the Children.” “Wonderful!” says Saint Peter. “Come in. Who’s next?” The third guy has been listening, and says timidly with a downcast look, “Well, I only made five thousand dollars in my entire lifetime.” “Heavens!” says St. Peter. “What instrument did you play?”

A guy walks into the doctor’s office and says, “Doc, I haven’t had a bowel movement in a week!” The doctor gives him a prescription for a mild laxative and tells him, “If it doesn’t work, let me know.” A week later the guy is back: “Doc, still no movement!” The doctor says, “Hmm, guess you need something stronger,” and prescribes a powerful laxative. Still another week later the poor guy is back: “Doc, STILL nothing!” The doctor, worried, says, “We’d better get some more information about you to try to figure out what’s going on. What do you do for a living?” “I’m a musician.” The doctor looks up and says, “Well, that’s it! Here’s $10.00. Go get something to eat!”

Did you hear that Mr. Solfege had a dog?
His name was feedo.

What do you get when you put a diminished chord together with an augmented chord?
A demented chord.

How many producers does it take to change a light bulb?
…hmm…I don’t know…what do you think?

A first violinist, a second violinist, a virtuoso violist, and a bass player are at the four corners of a football field. At the signal, someone drops a 100 dollar bill in the middle of the field and they run to grab it. Who gets it?
The second violinist, because:
1.No first violinist is going anywhere for only 100 dollars.
2.There’s no such thing as a virtuoso violist.
3.The bass player hasn’t figured out what it’s all about.

Why did the Philharmonic disband?
Excessive sax and violins.

Borodin nothing to do!!

Gone Chopin. Bach in a minuet.


There were two people walking down the street. One was a musician. The other didn’t have any money either.

Ladies and gentlemen, I’d like to introduce the members of tonight’s
band… in fact any band.

“On piano____________:

But first a few words about pianists in general, they are
intellectuals and know-it-alls. They studied theory, harmony and
composition in college. Most are riddled with self-doubt. They are
usually bald. They should have big hands, but often don’t. They were
social rejects as adolescents. They go home after the gig and play with
toy soldiers.

Pianists have a special love-hate relationship with singers. If you talk
to the piano player during a break, he will condescend.

“On bass we have _____________

Bassists are not terribly smart. The best bassists come to terms
with their limitations by playing simple lines and rarely soloing.

During the better musical moments, a bassist will pull his strings hard
and grunt like an animal. Bass players are built big, with paws for
hands, and they are always bent over awkwardly. If you talk to the
bassist during a break, you will not be able to tell whether or not he’s

“On drums____________

Drummers are radical. Specific personalities vary, but are
always extreme. A drummer might be the funniest person in the world, or
the most psychotic, or the smelliest. Drummers are uneasy because of the
many jokes about them, most of which stem from the fact that they aren’t
really musicians.

Pianists are particularly successful at making drummers feel bad. Most
drummers are highly excitable; when excited, they play louder. If you
decide to talk to the drummer during a break, always be careful not to
sneak up on him.

“On saxophone______________

Saxophonists think they are the most important players on stage.

Consequently, they are temperamental and territorial. They know all the
Coltrane and Bird licks but have their own sound, a mixture of Coltrane
and Bird.

They take exceptionally long solos, which reach a peak half way through
and then just don’t stop. They practice quietly but audibly while other
people are trying to play. They are obsessed. Saxophonists sleep with
their instruments, forget to shower, and are mangy.

If you talk to a saxophonist during a break, you will hear a lot of excuses
about his reeds.

“On trumpet_______________

Trumpet players are image-conscious and walk with a swagger.
They are often former college linebackers. Trumpet players are very
attractive to women, despite the strange indentation on their lips. Many
of them sing; misguided critics then compare them to either Louis
Armstrong or Chet Baker depending whether they’re black or white. Arrive
at the session early, and you may get to witness the special trumpet
game. The rules are: play as loud and as high as possible. The winner is
the one who plays loudest and highest. If you talk to a trumpet player
during a break, he might confess that his favorite player is Maynard
Ferguson, the merciless God of loud-high trumpeting.

“On guitar_________________

Jazz guitarists are never very happy. Deep inside they want to
be rock stars, but they’re old and overweight. In protest, they wear
their hair long, prowl for groupies, drink a lot, and play too loud.

Guitarists hate piano players because they can hit ten notes at once,
but guitarists make up for it by playing as fast as they can. The more a
guitarist drinks, the higher he turns his amp. Then the drummer starts
to play harder, and the trumpeter dips into his loud/high arsenal.

Suddenly, the saxophonist’s universe crumbles, because he is no longer
the most important player on stage. He packs up his horn, nicks his best
reed in haste, and storms out of the room. The pianist struggles to
suppress a laugh. If you talk to a guitarist during the break he’ll ask
intimate questions about your 14-year-old sister.

“Our feature vocalist is the lovely _____________

Vocalists are whimsical creations of the all-powerful jazz gods.
They are placed in sessions to test musicians’ capacity for suffering.

They are not of the jazz world, but enter it surreptitiously. Example: A
young woman is playing minor roles in college musical theater. One day,
a misguided campus newspaper critic describes her singing as “…jazzy.”

A star is born! Quickly she learns “My Funny Valentine,” “Summertime,” and
“Route 66.” Her training complete, she embarks on a campaign of musical

Musicians flee from the bandstand as she approaches. Those who must
remain feel the full fury of the jazz universe. The vocalist will try to
seduce you–and the rest of the audience–by making eye contact,
acknowledging your presence, even talking to you between tunes. DO NOT
FALL INTO THIS TRAP! Look away, make your distaste obvious. Otherwise
the musicians will avoid you during their breaks. Incidentally, if you
talk to a vocalist during a break, she will introduce you to her “manager.”

“On trombone___________________

The trombone is known for its pleading, voice-like quality.
“Listen,” it seems to say in the male tenor range, “Why won’t anybody
hire me for a gig?” Trombonists like to play fast, because their notes
become indistinguishable and thus immune to criticism. Most trombonists
played trumpet in their early years, then decided they didn’t want to
walk around with a strange indentation on their lips. Now they hate
trumpet players, who somehow get all the women despite this
disfigurement. Trombonists are usually tall and lean, with forlorn
faces. They don’t eat much. They have to be very friendly, because
nobody really needs a trombonist. Talk to a trombonist during a break
and he’ll ask you for a gig, try to sell you insurance, or offer to mow
your lawn. ”



string quartet: a good violinist, a bad violinist, an ex-violinist, and someone who hates violinists, all getting together to complain about composers.

detaché: an indication that the trombones are to play with their slides removed.

glissando: a technique adopted by string players for difficult runs.

subito piano: indicates an opportunity for some obscure orchestra player to become a soloist.

risoluto: indicates to orchestras that they are to stubbornly maintain the correct tempo no matter what the conductor tries to do.

senza sordino: a term used to remind the player that he forgot to put his mute on a few measures back.

preparatory beat: a threat made to singers, i.e., sing, or else….

crescendo: a reminder to the performer that he has been playing too loudly.

conductor: a musician who is adept at following many people at the same time.

clef: something to jump from before the viola solo.

transposition: the act of moving the relative pitch of a piece of music that is too low for the basses to a point where it is too high for the sopranos.

vibrato: used by singers to hide the fact that they are on the wrong pitch.

half step: the pace used by a cellist when carrying his instrument.

coloratura soprano: a singer who has great trouble finding the proper note, but who has a wild time hunting for it.

chromatic scale: an instrument for weighing that indicates half-pounds.

bar line: a gathering of people, usually among which may be found a musician or two.

ad libitum: a premiere.

beat: what music students do to each other with their instruments. The down beat is performed on top of the head, while the up beat is struck under the chin.

cadence: when everybody hopes you’re going to stop, but you don’t.

diatonic: low-calorie Schweppes.

lamentoso: with handkerchiefs.

virtuoso: a musician with very high morals. (I know one)

music: a complex organizations of sounds that is set down by the composer, incorrectly interpreted by the conductor, who is ignored by the musicians, the result of which is ignored by the audience.

oboe: an ill wind that nobody blows good.

tenor: two hours before a nooner.

diminished fifth: an empty bottle of Jack Daniels.

perfect fifth: a full bottle of Jack Daniels.

ritard: there’s one in every family.

relative major: an uncle in the Marine Corps.

relative minor: a girlfriend.

big band: when the bar pays enough to bring two banjo players.

pianissimo: “refill this beer bottle”.

repeat: what you do until they just expel you.

treble: women ain’t nothin’ but.

bass: the things you run around in softball.

portamento: a foreign country you’ve always wanted to see.

conductor: the man who punches your ticket to Birmingham.

arpeggio: “Ain’t he that storybook kid with the big nose that grows?”

tempo: good choice for a used car.

A 440: the highway that runs around Nashville.

transpositions: who wear dresses.
2.An advanced recorder technique where you change from alto to soprano fingering (or vice-versa) in the middle of a piece

cut time:
2.when everyone else is playing twice as fast as you are.

order of sharps: what a wimp gets at the bar.

passing tone: frequently heard near the baked beans at family barbecues.

middle C: the only fruit drink you can afford when food stamps are low.

perfect pitch: the smooth coating on a freshly paved road.

tuba: a compound word: “Hey, woman! Fetch me another tuba Bryll Cream!”

1.that ugly thing your wife always vacuums dog hair off of when company comes.
2.The heroine in Monteverdi’s opera Frottola

whole note: what’s due after failing to pay the mortgage for a year.

clef: what you try never to fall off of.

bass clef: where you wind up if you do fall off.

altos: not to be confused with “Tom’s toes,” “Bubba’s toes” or “Dori-toes”.

minor third: your approximate age and grade at the completion of formal schooling.

melodic minor: loretta Lynn’s singing dad.

12-tone scale: the thing the State Police weigh your tractor trailer truck with.

quarter tone: what most standard pickups can haul.

sonata: what you get from a bad cold or hay fever.

clarinet: name used on your second daughter if you’ve already used Betty Jo.

cello: the proper way to answer the phone.

1.typical response when asked what you hope to catch, and when.
2.a bedpost with a bad case of gas.

french horn: your wife says you smell like a cheap one when you come in at 4 a.m.

cymbal: what they use on deer-crossing signs so you know what to sight-in your pistol with.

bossa nova: the car your foreman drives.

time signature: what you need from your boss if you forget to clock in.

first inversion: grandpa’s battle group at Normandy.

staccato: how you did all the ceilings in your mobile home.

major scale: what you say after chasing wild game up a mountain: “Damn! That was a major scale!”

aeolian mode: how you like Mama’s cherry pie.

bach chorale: the place behind the barn where you keep the horses.

plague: a collective noun, as in “a plague of conductors.”

audition: the act of putting oneself under extreme duress to satisfy the sadistic intentions of someone who has already made up his mind.

accidentals: wronng notes.

augmented fifth: a 36-ounce bottle.

broken consort: when someone in the ensemble has to leave to go to the bathroom.

cantus firmus: the part you get when you can play only four notes.

chansons de geste: dirty songs.

clausula: Mrs. Santa Claus.

ducita: a lot of mallards.

estampie: what they put on letters in Quebec.

hocket: the thing that fits into a crochet to produce a rackett.

interval: how long it takes to find the right note. There are three kinds:
1.Major interval: a long time.
2.Minor interval: a few bars.
3.Inverted interval: when you have to go back a bar and try again.

intonation: singing through one’s nose. Considered highly desirable in the Middle Ages.

isorhythmic motet: when half of the ensemble got a different edition from the other half.

minnesinger: a boy soprano.

musica ficta: when you lose your place and have to bluff until you find it again.

trotto: an early Italian form of Montezuma’s Revenge.

di lasso: popular with Italian cowboys.

supertonic: Schweppes.

metronome: a city-dwelling dwarf.

allegro: leg fertilizer.

transsectional: an alto who moves to the soprano section.


Three violin manufactures have all done business for years on the same block in the small town of Cremona, Italy. After years of a peaceful co-existence, the Amati shop decided to put a sign in the window saying: “We make the best violins in Italy.” The Guarneri shop soon followed suit, and put a sign in their window proclaiming: “We make the best violins in the world.” Finally, the Stradivarius family put a sign out at their shop saying: “We make the best violins on the block.”

Once there was a violinist who got a gig to play a recital at a mental institution. He played the recital brilliantly, and backstage after the concert, he got a visit from one of the institutionalized patients. “Oh, the concert you played was just lovely. The Paganini caprice was stunning, the counterpoint in the Bach came out so clearly, and the phrasing in your Debussy was just exquisite!”, said the patient. “Why, thank you,” said the musician (thinking this person seemed pretty normal for a institutionalized person). “Are you by chance a musician?” “Oh yes, I was concertmaster of an orchestra for many years, I’ve played all of the major concertos: Tchaikowsky, Brahms, Mozart, all the major ones.” said the patient. “Wow, that’s impressive,” said the violinist. “Did you do recitals as well?” “Oh yes, I’ve done all the major sonatas, Bach, Kreisler, Vieuxtemps, all of the major ones,” said the patient. “Wow! Did you ever do chamber music?” asked the violinist. “Oh yes. Duets, trios, quintets, sextets, all the major repertoire,” said the patient. Puzzled, the violinist asked “Did you ever play string quartets?” All of the suddenly the patient went berserk and shouted “String quartets!… String quartets!… String quartets!… ”

Quite a number of years ago, the Seattle Symphony was doing Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 under the baton of Milton Katims. Now at this point, you must understand two things:
1.There’s a quite long segment in this symphony where the basses don’t have a thing to do. Not a single note for page after page.
2.There used to be a tavern called Dez’s 400, right across the street from the Seattle Opera House, rather favored by local musicians.
It had been decided that during this performance, once the bass players had played their parts in the opening of the symphony, they were to quietly lay down their instruments and leave the stage, rather than sit on thier stools looking and feeling dumb for twenty minutes. Once they got backstage, someone suggested that they trot across the street and quaff a few brews. When they got there, a European nobleman recognized that they were musicians, and bought them several rounds of drinks. Two of the bassists passed out, and the rest of the section, not to mention the nobleman, were rather drunk. Finally, one of them looked at his watch and exclaimed, “Look at the time! We’ll be late!” The remaining bassists tried in vain to wake up their section mates, but finally those who were still conscious had to give up and run across the street to the Opera House. While they were on their way in, the bassist who suggested this excursion in the first place said, “I think we’ll still have enough time–I anticipated that something like this could happen, so I tied a string around the last pages of the score. When he gets down to there, Milton’s going to have to slow the tempo way down while he waves the baton with one hand and fumbles with the string with the other.” Sure enough, when they got back to the stage they hadn’t missed their entrance, but one look at their conductor’s face told them they were still in serious trouble. Katims was furious! After all… It was the bottom of the Ninth, the basses were loaded, the score was tied, there were two men out, and the Count was full.


Letter from a Guitarist to the “Dear Abby” help column in a newspaper.

Dear Abby

I think my wife is cheating on me.

I am a working musician and, as you would expect, travel a lot.

I have been noticing strange things happening when I get home. Her mobile phone rings and she steps outside to answer it or she says, “I’ll call you back later”. When I ask her who called she gets evasive.

Sometimes she goes out with friends but comes home late, getting dropped off around the corner and walking the rest of the way.

I once picked up the extension while she was on the phone and she got very angry.

A buddy of mine plays guitar in a band. He told me that my wife and some guy have been to his gigs.

He wanted to borrow my guitar amp. That’s when I got the idea to find out for myself what was really happening. I said “sure, you can use my amp but I want to hide behind it at the gig and see if she comes into the venue and who she comes in with”. He agreed.

Saturday night came and I slipped behind my Marshall JCM800 half stack to get a good view. I could feel the heat coming off the back of the amp. It was at that moment, crouching down behind the amp, that I noticed that one of the tubes was not glowing as bright as the other 3.

Is this something I can fix myself or do need to take it to a technician?

Thanks – Very Concerned.


-Orchestra Personnel Standards-

Leaps tall buildings in a single bound.
Is more powerful than a locomotive.
Is faster than a speeding bullet.
Walks on water.
Gives policy to God.

Leaps short buildings in a single bound.
Is more powerful than a switch engine.
Is just as fast as a speeding bullet.
Walks on water if sea is calm.
Talks with God.

Leaps short buildings with a running start and favorable winds.
Is almost as powerful as a switch engine.
Is almost as fast as a speeding bullet.
Walks on water in an indoor swimming pool.
Talks with God if special request is approved.

Trumpet Player:
Barely clears a quonset hut.
Loses tug-of-war with locomotive.
Can fire a speeding bullet.
Swims well.
Is occasionally addressed by God.

Makes marks high on wall when trying to clear short buildings.
Is run over by locomotive.
Can sometimes handle a gun without inflicting self-injury.
Talks to animals.

Second Violinist:
Runs into buildings.
Recognizes locomotives two times out of three.
Is not issued any ammunition.
Can stay afloat with a life jacket.
Talks to walls, argues with self.

Falls over doorstep when trying to enter buildings.
Says “Look at the choo-choo.”
Wets self with water pistol.
Plays in mud puddles.
Loses arguments with self.

Horn Player:
Lifts buildings and walks under them.
Kicks locomotives off the tracks.
Catches speeding bullets in teeth and eats them.
Freezes water with a single glance.
Is God.



1. Most blues begin “woke up this morning.”

2. “I got a good woman” is a bad way to begin the blues, unless you stick something nasty in the next line.

I got a good woman,
with the meanest dog in town.

3. Blues are simple. After you have the first line right, repeat it. Then find something that rhymes. Sort of.

Got a good woman
with the meanest dog in town.
He got teeth like Margaret Thatcher
and he weighs 500 pounds.

4. The blues are not about limitless choice, convertible debentures, golden parachutes, BMWs, opera, or environmental impact statements.

5. Blues cars are Chevies and Cadillacs. Other acceptable blues transportation is Greyhound bus or a southbound train. Walkin’ plays a major part in the blues lifestyle. So does fixin’ to die.

6. Teenagers can’t sing the blues. Adults sing the blues. Blues adulthood means old enough to get the electric chair if you shoot a man in Memphis.

7. You can have the blues in New York City, but not in Brooklyn or Queens. Hard times in Vermont or North Dakota are just a depression. Chicago, St. Louis, Austin and Kansas City are still the best places to have the blues.

8. The following colors do not belong in the blues:

a. violet
b. beige
c. mauve
d. taupe

9. You can’t have the blues in an office or a shopping mall – the lighting is wrong.

10A. Good places for the Blues:

a. the highway
b. the jailhouse
c. an empty bed

10B. Bad places:

a. Ashrams
b. Gallery openings
c. Weekend in the Hamptons
d. Trump Plaza

11. No one will believe it’s the blues if you wear a suit, unless you
happen to be an old black man.
Yes, if:
a. your first name is a southern state — like Georgia
b. you’re blind
c. you shot a man in Memphis (see exception below)
d. your woman can’t be satisfied.

12B. No, if:
a. you were once blind but now can see.
b. you have a trust fund.
c. you hold elected office.
d. your woman CAN be satisfied.

13. Neither Julio Iglesias nor Barbara Streisand can sing the blues.

14A. If you ask for water and baby gives you gasoline, it’s the blues.
Other blues beverages are:
a. cheap wine
b. Irish whiskey
c. muddy water

14B. Blues beverages are NOT:
a. Any mixed drink
b. Any wine Kosher for Passover
c. Yoo Hoo (all flavors)

15. If it occurs in a cheap motel or a shotgun shack, it’s blues
death. Stabbed in the back by a jealous lover is a blues way to die.

Other blues ways to die include:
a. the electric chair
b. substance abuse
c. being denied treatment in an emergency room.

It is NOT a blues death if you die during a liposuction treatment.

16A. Some Blues names for Women
a. Sadie
b. Big Mama
c. Bessie

16B. Some Blues Names for Men
a. Joe
b. Willie
c. Little Willie
d. Lightning

Persons with names like Sierra or Sequoia will not be permitted to sing the blues no matter how many men they shoot in Memphis.

16C. Other Blues Names (Starter Kit)
a. Name of physical infirmity (Blind, Cripple, Asthmatic)
b. First name (see above) or name of fruit (Lemon, Lime, Kiwi)
c. Last name of President (Jefferson, Johnson, Fillmore, etc.)

For example, Blind Lemon Jefferson, Anorexic Willie, or Cripple Chirimoya. [Personally, I dig “Asthmatic Kiwi Fillmore” given the above choices…]



~ News Release ~

CLARKSDALE, MS–Ida Mae Dobbs,longtime woman of Willie “Skipbone” Jackson, called a press conference Tuesday to respond to charges levied against her by the legendary Delta blues singer.

“Despite what Mr. Jackson would have you believe, I am not an evil-hearted woman who will not let him be,” Dobbs told reporters. “I repeat: I am not an evil-hearted woman who will not let him be. To the contrary, my lovin’ is so sweet, it tastes just like the apple off the tree.”

Dobbs, accused of causing Jackson pain and breaking his heart by calling out another man’s name, categorically denied treating him in a low-down manner.

“He says he sends for his baby, but I don’t come around,” Dobbs, a brownskin woman, said. “He says he sends for his baby, but I don’t come around. Well, the truth is, I do come, but he is out messing with every gal in town.”

During the press conference, Dobbs also disputed an Aug. 27 statement made by Jackson, who compared her to a dresser because someone is always going through her drawers.

“My drawers have not been gone through by any man but Willie “Skipbone” Jackson,” Dobbs said. “Neither Slim McGee nor Melvin Brown has ever been in my drawers. Nor has Sonny ‘Spoonthumb’ Perkins, nor any of those other no-good jokers down by the railroad tracks. My policy has always been to keep my drawers closed to everyone but Mr. Jackson, as I am his woman and would never treat him so unkind.”

In addition to denying Jackson’s drawer-opening allegations, Dobbs disputed charges of unrestricted sweet-potato-pie distribution, insisting that her pie is available only to Jackson.

“I do not give out my sweet potato pie arbitrarily, as I am not the sort of no-good doney who engages in such objectionable behavior,” Dobbs told reporters. “Only one man can taste my sweet potato pie, and I believe I have made it perfectly clear who that man is.” Dobbs noted that the same policy applies to her biscuits, which may be buttered only by Jackson.

While most of the accusations levied against Dobbs relate to her running around town with other men, she does face one far more serious charge, attempted homicide. On May 5, 1998, Jackson was rushed to the hospital and narrowly escaped death after ingesting nearly five ounces of gasoline. Jackson claimed that Dobbs tried to murder him, serving him a glass of the toxic fuel when he requested water. Dobbs dismissed the episode as “an accident.”

Dobbs, a short-dress, big-legged woman from Coahoma County, said it is not she but Jackson who should be forced to defend himself. According to Dobbs, Jackson frequently has devilment on his mind, staying up until all hours of the night rolling dice and drinking smokestack lightning.

“Six nights out of seven, he goes off and gets his swerve on while I sit at home by myself. Then he comes knocking on my door at 4 a.m., expecting me to rock him until his back no longer has any bone,” Dobbs said. “Is that any way for a man to treat his woman? I don’t want to, but if he keeps doing me wrong like this, I am going to take my lovin’ and give it to another man.”

Added Dobbs: “Skipbone Jackson is going to be the death of me.”

Dobbs said that until she receives an apology from Jackson and a full retraction of all accusations, he will not be given any grinding.

“Mr. Jackson says that I stay out all night and that I’m not talking right. He says he has rambling on his mind as a result of my treating him so unkind. He says I want every downtown man I meet and says they shouldn’t even let me on the street,” Dobbs said. “Well, I refuse to allow my name to be dragged through the mud like this any longer. Unless my man puts an end to these unfair attacks on my character, I will neither rock nor roll him to the break of dawn. I am through with his low-down ways.”


~New Musicians Contract~

Dear Client:

Thank you for engaging _________________(insert ensemble’s name here).

Because we know better than you, please, don’t tell us what to do, play, wear, or bring. Please, just simply pay us what we ask, and please forgo all the tedious nickel-and-diming you always try to get away with. (You know who you are!)

We want four (4) COMFORTABLE chairs; not folding metal chairs, not splintery ones, and not those cane chairs where the seat is about to fall through.

Preferably padded. No, MUST be padded.

We will not play outside, so don’t ask.

We want to be fed. Fed well. The same food your 200 guests eat. What’s four more meals, really?

We will not eat sandwiches. Especially not sandwiches on white bread.

And we want to eat at a table. Is that too much to ask? We are not “the help” so please do not treat us that poorly!

Before the engagement, please do not call us. Once we have been hired, that’s it…you don’t need to talk to us for any other reason.

Please do not call other bands trying to compare prices. We all cost the same. Incidentally, we all wear the same clothes, play the samearrangements, and hire the same people, so it really makes no difference.

Do not make requests for music we don’t have. It’s just way too much of a pain to cater to your tiny needs. Find a new favorite song. No Andrew Lloyd Webber! Period!!

No song will be transposed down a half-step so your cousin Jeannie can sing it during your candle lighting ceremony. She’s not a very good singer anyway.

Forget about The Bride Cuts the Cake, The Hokey Pokey, Alley Cat, The Chicken Dance, etc. These are juvenile songs, we are artists, and we will not degrade ourselves. Furthermore, there is no reason for you to act stupid in front of us.

The garter and bouquet are OK, but do not allow children under 18 years of age to participate (or 12 years old in Arkansas, Alabama and Mississippi).

Do not allow young children to make requests. The wretched little imps are not as cute as you think they are, and nobody else wants to hear their crummy tunes anyhow.

And finally the answer is no! You can’t keep the demo tape. They aren’t cheap, you know!

Thank you for using us, and DO call again!