Musician Jokes – page 3

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…


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.

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?

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.

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?

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. ”
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.


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.
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(including brass, woodwinds, strings, etc..)

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!

A guitar has a volume knob.
If you break a guitar’s G-string, it only costs $. 79 for a new one.
You can unplug a guitar.
If your guitar doesn’t make sounds you like, you can retune it.
If your guitar strings are too heavy, you can just get a lighter set.
You can have a guitar professionally adjusted to *your* liking.
|You can go to a guitar shop and play all the guitars you want for free.
You can take lessons on how to play a guitar without feeling embarrassed.
You can rent a guitar without worrying about who rented it before you.
You can get rich playing a guitar, not broke.
A guitar doesn’t take half of everything you own when you sell it.

~Stuff you just have to know about music …~
(These are stories and test questions accumulated by music teachers in the state of Missouri.)

Agnus Dei was a woman composer famous for her church music.

Refrain means don’t do it. A refrain in music is the part you better not try to sing.

A virtuoso is a musician with real high morals.

John Sebastian Bach died from 1750 to the present.

Handel was half German, half Italian, and half English. He was rather large.

Beethoven wrote music even though he was deaf. He was so deaf he wrote loud music. He took long walks in the forest even when everyone was calling him. I guess he could not hear so good. Beethoven expired in 1827 and later died from this.

Henry Purcell is a well known composer few people have ever heard of.

Aaron Copland is one of your most famous contemporary composers.
It is unusual to be contemporary. Most composers do not live until they are dead.

An opera is a song of bigly size.

In the last scene of Pagliacci, Canio stabs Nedda who is the one he really loves. Pretty soon Silvio also gets stabbed, and they all live happily ever after.

When a singer sings, he stirs up the air and makes it hit any passing eardrums. But if he is good, he knows how to keep it from hurting.

Music sung by two people at the same time is called a duel.

I know what a sextet is but I had rather not say.

Caruso was at first an Italian. Then someone heard his voice and said he would go a long way. And so he came to America.

A good orchestra is always ready to play if the conductor steps on the odium.

Morris dancing is a country survival from times when people were happy.

Most authorities agree that music of antiquity was written long ago.

Probably the most marvelous fugue was the one between the Hatfields and McCoys.

My very best liked piece of music is the Bronze Lullaby.

My favorite composer is Opus.

A harp is a nude piano.

A tuba is much larger than its name.

Instruments come in many sizes, shapes and orchestras.

You should always say celli when you mean there are two or more cellos.

Another name for kettle drums is timpani. But I think I will just stick with the first name and learn it good.

A trumpet is an instrument when it is not an elephant sound.

While trombones have tubes, trumpets prefer to wear valves.

The double bass is also called the bass viol, string bass, and bass fiddle. It has so many names because it is so huge.

When electric currents go through them, guitars start making sounds. So would anybody.

Question: What are kettle drums called? Answer: Kettle drums.

Cymbals are round, metal CLANGS!

A bassoon looks like nothing I have ever heard.

Last month I found out how a clarinet works by taking it apart. I both found out and got in trouble.

Question: Is the saxophone a brass or a woodwind instrument?
Answer: Yes.

The concertmaster of an orchestra is always the person who sits in the first chair of the first violins. This means that when a person is elected concertmaster, he has to hurry up and learn how to play a violin real good.

For some reason, they always put a treble clef in front of every line of flute music. You just watch.

I can’t reach the brakes on this piano!

The main trouble with a French horn is it’s too tangled up.

Anyone who can read all the instrument notes at the same time gets to be the conductor.

Instrumentalist is a many-purposed word for many player-types.

The flute is a skinny-high shape-sounded instrument.

The most dangerous part about playing cymbals is near the nose.

A contra-bassoon is like a bassoon, only more so.

Tubas are a bit too much.

Music instrument has a plural known as orchestra.

I would like for you to teach me to play the cello. Would tomorrow or Friday be best?

My favorite instrument is the bassoon. It is so hard to play people seldom play it. That is why I like the bassoon best.

It is easy to teach anyone to play the maracas. Just grip the neck and shake him in rhythm.

Just about any animal skin can be stretched over a frame to make a pleasant sound once the animal is removed.

~Actual Titles of Some Country Music Songs:~

– If My Nose Were Full of Nickels, I’d Blow It All On You

– Do You Love As Good As You Look?

– Drop Kick Me, Jesus, Through The Goalposts Of Life

– Get Your Tongue Outta My Mouth ‘Cause I’m Kissing You Goodbye

– Her Teeth Were Stained, But Her Heart Was Pure

– Here’s A Quarter, Call Someone Who Cares

– How Can I Miss You If You Won’t Go Away?

– Been Roped And Thrown By Jesus In The Holy Ghost Corral

– I Changed Her Oil, She Changed My Life

– I Don’t Know Whether To Kill Myself Or Go Bowling

– I Fell In A Pile Of You And Got Love All Over Me

– I Flushed You From The Toilets Of My Heart.

– I Keep Forgettin’ I Forgot About You

– I Wanna Whip Your Cow

– I Would Have Wrote You A Letter, But I Couldn’t Spell Yuck!

– I Wouldn’t Take Her To A Dawg Fight, Cause I’m Afraid She’d Win

– I’d Rather Have A Bottle In Front Of Me Than A Frontal Lobotomy

– I’m Just A Bug On The Windshield Of Life

– I’ve Been Flushed From The Bathroom Of Your Heart

– I’ve Got The Hungries For Your Love And I’m Waiting In YourWelfare Line

– If I Can’t Be Number One In Your Life, Then Number Two On You

– If Love Were Oil, I’d Be A Quart Low

– If The Phone Don’t Ring, Baby, You’ll Know It’s Me

– If You Don’t Leave Me Alone, I’ll Go And Find Someone Else Who Will

– If You Leave Me, Can I Come Too?

– Mama Get The Hammer (There’s A Fly On Papa’s Head)

– May The Bird Of Paradise Fly Up Your Nose

– My Every Day Silver Is Plastic

– My Head Hurts, My Feet Stink, And I Don’t Love Jesus

– My John Deere Was Breaking Your Field, While Your Dear John Was Breaking My Heart

– My Wife Ran Off With My Best Friend, And I Sure Do Miss Him

– Oh, I’ve Got Hair Oil On My Ears And My Glasses Are Slipping Down, But Baby I Can See Through You

– Pardon Me, I’ve Got Someone To Kill

– She Got The Gold Mine And I Got The Shaft; She Got The Ring And I Got The Finger

– She Made Toothpicks Out Of The Timber Of My Heart

– She’s Got Freckles On Her, But She’s Pretty

– Thank God And Greyhound She’s Gone

– They May Put Me In Prison, But They Can’t Stop My Face From Breakin’ Out

– Velcro Arms, Teflon Heart

– When You Leave Walk Out Backwards, So I’ll Think You’re Walking In

– You Can’t Have Your Kate And Edith Too

– You Can’t Roller Skate In A Buffalo Herd

– You Done Tore Out My Heart And Stomped That Sucker Flat

– You Were Only A Splinter In My Ass As I Slid Down The Bannister Of Life

– You’re The Reason Our Kids Are So Ugly

How do you fit 100 drummers in a phone booth?
Throw in a food stamp

How do you get em out?
Throw in a bar of soap

Why are bass players steering wheels so small?
so they can drive with handcuffs on

Why do flys have wings?
to beat the drummers to the trash can.

What do a conductor and a sperm have in common?
only one out of a million work.

There’s a deer and a conductor lying dead in the road, whats the difference?
there is skid marks in front ofthe deer.

A drummer and a bass player both fall off a building, who hits the ground first?
who cares.

Why don’t bass players play hide and seek?
because no one will look for them.

Why do guitarist make great astronauts?
because all they take up is space in school.

Who won the drummer beauty contest?

What do you get when you cross a drummer and an ape?
a retarted ape.

What are the three most difficult years in a bass players life?
second grade.

Why are scientists breeding guitarist instead of rats for science expirements?
because they breed faster and you don’t get as attatched to them.

How do you give a drummer a concusion?
smash his head with the toilet seat while he’s drinking.

What do you say to a guitarist in a three- piece suit?
will the defendent please rise.

What do you call a bass playing sky diving?
instant air pollution.

What do you call a conductor without a lawnmower?

What do you call a building full of guitarist?

Q: How many drummers does it take to roof a house?
A: Depends on how thin you slice them.

Q: What do you have when a keyboard player is buried up to his neck in sand?
A: Not enough sand.

Q: When guitarist die, why are they buried in a hole 24 feet deep?
A: Because down deep, they are all nice guys!

Q: How do you get a drummer out of a tree?
A: Cut the rope.

Q: How do you stop a guitar player from drowning?
A: Shoot him before he hits the water.

Q: What is the definition “lucky break?”
A: When a busload of bass players goes off a cliff.

Q: What is the definition of a “crying shame”?
A: There was an empty seat.

Q: Have you heard about the conductors word processor?
A: No matter what font you select, everything comes out in fine print.

Q: What’s the difference between a catfish and a drummer?
A: One’s a bottom-crawling scum sucker and the other’s just a fish.

Q: Hear about the terrorist that hijacked a 747 full of bass players?
A: He threatened to release one every hour if his demands weren’t met.

Q: What does a guitar player and a sperm have in common?
A: Both have about a 1-in-3 million chance of becoming a human being.

Q: Where can you find a good drummer?
A: In the cemetery

Q: What do bass players use as contraceptives?
A: Their personalities.

Q: How many conductors does it take to change a light bulb?
A: Hell, you need 250 just to lobby for the research grant.

Q: Why did the post office recall the new guitar player stamps?
A: Because people could not tell which side to spit on.

Q: What is the ideal weight of a drummer?
A: About three pounds, including the urn.

Q: What’s the difference between a dead skunk in the road and a dead guitar player in the middle of the road?
A: There are skid marks in front of the skunk.

Q: What is black and brown and looks good on a song writer?
A: A Doberman.

Q: What do you call 20 bass players skydiving from an airplane?
A: Skeet.

Q: If you see a guitar player on a bicycle, why would you swerve to avoid hitting him?
A: It might be your bicycle.

Q: Santa Claus, the tooth fairy, a talented drummer and an old drunk are walking down the street together when they simultaneously spot a hundred dollar bill. Who gets it?
A: The old drunk, of course; the other three are mythical creatures.

Q: You’re trapped in a room with a tiger, a rattlesnake and a guitar player You have a gun with two bullets. What should you do?
A: You shoot the guitar player. Twice.

Q: Do you know what happens when a bass player takes Viagra?
A: He gets taller.

Q: What do you call a handcuffed bass player?
A: – Trustworthy.

Q: What does it mean when a drummer is in your bed gasping for breath and calling your name?
A: You didn’t hold the pillow down long enough.

Q: Why do only 10% of guitar players make it to heaven?
A: Because if they all went, it would be Hell.

Q: Why do drummers like smart women?
A: Opposites attract.

Q: How are lead singers like lawn mowers?
A: They’re hard to get started, they emit noxious odors, and half the time they don’t work.

Q: How can you tell when a drummer is well hung?
A: When you can just barely slip your finger in between his neck and the noose.

Q: How do guitar players define a “50/50” relationship?
A: We cook-they eat; we clean-they dirty; we iron-they wrinkle.

Q: How do bass players exercise on the beach?
A: By sucking in their stomachs every time they see a bikini.

Q: How do you get a drummer to stop biting his nails?
A: Make him wear shoes.

Q: How does a guitar player show he’s planning for the future?
A: He buys two cases of beer instead of one.

Q: How is Colonel Sanders like the typical keyboard player?
A: All he’s concerned with is legs, breasts and thighs.

Q: What do you do with a lead singer who thinks he’s God’s gift to women?
A: Exchange him.

Q: What should you give a keyboard player who has everything?
A: A bass player to show him how to work it.

Q: What’s a guitar players idea of honesty in a relationship?
A: Telling you his real name.

Q: What’s the best way to force a drummer to do sit ups?
A: Put the remote control between his toes.

Q: What’s the difference between Big Foot and an intelligent drummer?
A: Big Foot’s been spotted several times.

Q: What’s the smartest thing a guitar player can say?
A: “My wife says…”

Q: Why do drummers play sports on artificial turf?
A: To keep them from grazing.

Q: Why do lead singers need instant replay on TV sports?
A: Because after 30 seconds they forget what happened.

Q: Why is psychoanalysis a lot quicker for drummers than for other musicians?
A: When it’s time to go back to his childhood, he’s already there.

Q: Did you hear about the bass player from Texas who was so big when he died that they couldn’t find a coffin big enough to hold the body?
A: They gave him an enema and buried him in a shoe box.


And so it came to pass, during one date, that the Sidemen were assailed by Doubts, and Darkness descended upon the Bandstand.

And the Leader turned to his quaking flock, and saith, “My children, why do you doubt me? Have I not led you through the Valley of the Loading Dock to the Promised Land of Long Breaks, Hot Meals, and Undertime?

Have I not banished the dreaded Macarena from the Set List, and allowed thee to Solo on selected numbers? Do we not play the Correct Changes for the Bridge of Girl From Ipanema, and do we not play Motown selections at the Proper Tempi? And do I not pay you all equitably, neither overpaying the Chick Singers nor underpaying the Horn Players? And are there not Charts for the Horns, so that thou need not Fake Parts?

So why doth thou protest when I call The Slim Dusty Song, or The Peter Allen Ballad? Are they not preferable to Achey Breaky Heart or anything by Celine Dion? Wouldst thou rather suffer Flung Beverage Containers or Scowls and Hectoring by the Aunts and Uncles?

And the Sidemen answered him, “But Father, we look out into the Dance Floor, and we see The Maelstrom; We fear the Youngsters with Pierced Body Parts, as well as the Ancient Ones with Canes and Walking Frames; Also do we fear the Bridesmaids with the Large Hair, and the Groomsmen with Cigars and Dishevelled Tuxedos; Also do we fear the Relatives from the Far North, as well as those from Western Australia, and from Melbourne; Also do we regard with Fear and Loathing the Function Organiser, and the Master Of Ceremonies; But mostly do we fear the Bride, and Her Mother, who ruleth the Earth, yea, even above you, our Leader.”

And the Leader looked and saw that this was true. And he took his Book, and he flung it into the Buffet Heaters; And he took his Bandstand, and he broke it over his knee; And he took his Red Bow Tie, and he rent it asunder; And he turned to the Function organiser, and he said, “Now you have no power over me, Minion of Evil.” And he turned to the Master Of Ceremonies, and he said, “I will leave by the Front Entrance”; And he turned to the Bride, and said, “Take thy Whitney Houston CD and place it where thy Groom may find it during your Honeymoon;” And he turned to the Bride’s Mother and said, “Thy Daughter is a Spoiled Brat, and I hope that she soon Divorces her Callow Husband and returneth to live with thee with her three children for the rest of thy Natural Life”

And he turned to the drummer and said, “The band is yours.”

And he went home and slept deeply and soundly, and arose the next day smiling, and began Making Calls to find work as a Sideman.
~ Chick Singer Offences ~

Singer’s name __________________________________
Real name _______________________________
Date of offense(s) _____ /_____ / _______

Preparation / Equipment Offenses:


Doesn’t know how to adjust mic stand-$15

Can’t figure out how to connect cable to mic-$15

Takes up over an hour getting EQ setting on monitors-$50

Still gripes about EQ setting on monitors-$75

Lays mic down on stage and walks off stage-$15

Lays mic down facing kick drum-$20

Lays mic down facing guitar amp-$25

Lays mic down facing monitor-$50

Points mic toward monitor-causing feedback during song-$75

Straight arms mic when singing-$15

Drops mic-$10

Leaves lipstick all over mic-$100

Doesn’t have set list-$10

Doesn’t have keys on set list-$15

Doesn’t have original songs charted-$20

Singing Offenses


Doesn’t know key to songs-$10

Doesn’t know when to come in-$15

Modulates without informing band-$20

Continues singing in old key after song modulates-$30

Forgets original singer of song-$10

Dances great but sings off key and out of time-$30

Gets off key singing acapella-$200

Stands onstage but doesn’t sing harmonies-$30

Sings bad harmonies-$35

Sings harmonies already contributed by band member in song-$40

Stops song halfway through and starts over-$25

Forgets to sing bridge-$20

Forgets words-$20

Sings verses out of order in song-$15

Makes up 4th verse to 3 verse song-$100

Holds words to song while singing onstage-$20

Looks at pager while singing song-$10

Sings consistently flat-$25

Sings consistently sharp-$25

Sings too softly-$5

Just plain ol’ CANNOT SING, but buys band a round of drinks – No Charge

Sings “Stand By Your Man” in the key of A-$30

Wants to sing “Crazy” by Patsy Cline more than once a night-$100

Thinks that “Poor Pitiful Me” is a new Terri Clark song rather than old Warren Zevon song-$50

Thinks that “I Will Always Love You” is a new Whitney Houston song instead of

an old Dolly Parton song-$100

“Dolly who?”-$50

“Patsy who?”-$10

Stage Presence Offenses


Leaves stage when not singing lead vocal-$20

Holds guitar, but doesn’t play-$15

Plays guitar but plays wrong chords, not plugged in-$25

Plays guitar, wrong chords, plugged in-$250

Plays tambourine-$10

Plays tambourine out of time-$50

Leaves tambourine, drink, charts, entertainer’s secrets laying all over


Plays harmonica solo during song-$100

Tells jokes over mic-$5

Tells bad jokes over mic-$50

Tells bad joke and then laughing hysterically about it over mic-$500

Leaves stage to argue with boyfriend-$35

Argues with band members onstage-$150

Argues offstage with boyfriend musician-$175

Argues onstage with boyfriend musician-$200

Gripes at band onstage-$20

Gripes at band onstage over mic-$75

Walks off stage to use cell phone on gig-$15

Uses cell phone on stage during gig-$30

Powders nose, sprays perfume, sprays hairspray, freshens up lipstick on


Thousand dollar outfit, ten dollars worth of singing lessons-$60

Other Miscellaneous Offenses


Late for gig-$30

Dates a musician in the band-$50

Dates the drummer-$150

Sets foot on a Karaoke stage-$20

Sings on a Karaoke stage-$50

Uses fictitious last name-$50

Falls for so-called producer she meets on gig, “Hey baby, I’ll make you a


Dumps management, band, etc. after making the big time-$10,000

Hates the phrase “chick singer”-$500

~Chapter 22 : The Temptation of Jaco-Mo~
(How the Bass player became Perpetually Bored.)

1) And it came to pass in the Very Loud Big Band a disgruntlement upon the bassist, Jaco-Mo, which he could no longer abide.” I am first to arrive, last to leave and yet receive no more sheckels than the saxophones,” he thought unto himself. ” “I must toil like a galley slave, pulling a very large oar for the horns, only to receive their scorn, and exhortations to “dig in”. “This while they “walk the bar” and play all manner of preening blather, chorus after chorus on “Choo-Choo-Cha-Boogie” and the hated “Caledonia”. All this began to chafe on Jaco-Mo in such exceeding fashion that he did stray from the written line and blasphemously “take it out”.

2) This provoked an outcry amongst the horns and especially the Female Vocalist Who Could Not Count until finally the Leader did chastise Jaco-Mo, ” Lo, you have caused the horns great consternation, and led astray the Female Vocalist Who Cannot Count three times on this gig. I have no recourse but to docketh sheckels from your pay.”

3) One night after a particularly arduous engagement, Jaco-Mo sat disconsolately at the bar in his tuxedo, the Badge of Shame. Presently, a somewhat seedy character sidled up him.”Say man, you want a gig?” He hissed,”It’s a trio, man, smoking, play whatever you want, solo on every tune, and we’re done at 10 O’clock. C’mon man, lose the monkey suit! Free up, baby! ”

4.) And Jaco-Mo was sorely tempted, for he sorely wished to free up and shed The Badge of Shame, and solo on every tune. And so he agreed, and subbeth not his gig with the Very Loud Big Band. “I will surely show them, for I shall be sorely missed, ” he thought. “Then they will appreciate the toil of Jaco-Mo.”

5.) The time came for Jaco-Mo to make the trio gig and he followed the directions to the club. “This is a very bad part of town,”he said to himself, as he double checked the locks on his conveyance. And the people on the street did look covetously on Jaco-Mo as he made his way up the street with his Bass, perhaps to separate him from it or the brand new turtleneck he had chosen for his raiment.

6.) But the gig was all he had wished for. They played at fantastic tempos no human could dance to, they traded 4’s, 8’s, 2’s, and the like and lo, they did “take it out” repeatedly. All three patrons of the establishment were duly impressed and stayed until the end, one even beseeching Jaco-Mo for a ride home.

7.) Thence came the time of remuneration, and the leader did hand Jaco-Mo but 11 sheckels ($ 4.37 US). As he did so he said,” Swingin’ baby, you down for Saturday night?”

8.) Jaco-Mo was in a quandary as he walked to his conveyance. He had played what he wished, indeed, “taken it out”, but had only enough sheckels for Ramen and perhaps a gallon of gas. As he unlocked his ride he realized his CD Player had been plucked from the dash !

9.) Now Jaco-Mo was miserable, and decided to drop by the Wedding Reception to see how the Very Loud Big Band was doing. At least they would be sorry and beg him to come back. As Jaco-Mo mounted the stairs he heard bass ! Not real bass though, something not of the bass world, but somehow passing for bass. And as he reached the top of the stairs, there was the keyboard player, doing Jaco-Mo ‘s job with his left hand .

10.) Came the intermission, and the players did disperse to the buffet line , some with their Tupperware hidden beneath the Badge of Shame, that they might avail themselves of the repast at a later date, and avoid Ramen. Jaco-Mo threw himself on the mercy of the Leader, ” My conveyance broke down, and I got here as soon as I could”, he sputtered dishonestly. “I can start the next set.” The Leader, having gone through many bass players, fixed his gaze on Jaco-Mo, and spoke unto him,” What’s up with the turtleneck?”

11.) The Leader spoke as thunder now, “If thou dost return, Jaco-Mo, do thy swear to not stray again from the printed page? “Yes!,” blurted Jaco-Mo weakly ( rent was due). “And thou shalt not lose the Female Vocalist Who Cannot Count again ?” “I promise,” he groveled , for he did miss his CD player, and wished to be anointed at the buffet line, that he might avoid Ramen. “All right Jaco-Mo , as your penance , go to the Road Case and don the Powder Blue Badge of Shame for the rest of the gig.”And as a final warning he said, “Do not cross me again, son, or I will give your gig back to the keyboard player’s left hand.”

12.) And so Jaco-Mo did once more assume the yoke of duty in the rhythm section, in the Powder Blue Tux. His face became a blank mask of perpetual boredom, whether The Female Singer Who Could Not Count was smiling at him, (for he never lost her again),or the horns scornfully exhorted him to “dig in. “Jaco-Mo learned the hard way : It is better to eat than “take it out! Amen?

~Noah and the Band~

And so in the dark of night the Lord awoke Noah, and spoke to him. “Noah, awake and heed my words!”

And Noah, being sore afraid and disoriented, did cry out, “Who goeth there?”

And the Lord did smite him upside the head, saying, “It is the Lord of all things, dummy!”

And Noah did tremble, saying, “Lord, why hast Thou wakened me?” And the Lord did say, “Noah, build me a Jobbing Band” “For the earth will be visited by a plague of Brides, followed by forty days of Trade Shows and forty nights of Awards Banquets.” And Noah did say, “But Lord, will I not be thy Leader?’

And the Lord did smite him again, saying, “Fool, thou wilt be my Contractor. Ask not why!” And Noah did bow his head, saying, “Yes, my Lord. And what will this Leader play?” And the Lord said, “It mattereth little, whether he play or not, or whether he be proficient or not. For his job shall primarily be to talk to the Brides and their Mothers, and to deal with Clients, and to count off Tempos wrong, and to inquire as to whether Overtime will happen, and to try to segue tunes that should not be segued. If he playeth any instrument, thou must always have another player of that instrument in the band, just to be safe.”

And Noah did say, “And what else shall this Leader do?” And the Lord replied, “It shall be his job to spread Bad Information and Confusion amongst the Sidemen, and to pit them one against the other, and to delay all Payments.” “Further shall it be his job, until we can afford a Soundman, to create Feedback, and to invent new Equalization Curves therefore.” And Noah did shake his head in wonder, saying, “Lord, Thy ways are Strange and Mysterious. What more shall I do?”

And the Lord said, “Next, find Me a Rhythm Section. “First, find me a Drummer. and three things above all must this Drummer possess.” And Noah did ask, “What are these Three Things? Double Bass Drums? An Electronic Kit? Congas?” And the Lord did smite Noah again, saying, “Second-guess Me not, my servant. First, this Drummer must have slightly imperfect time, so that whenever he playeth a Fill (and he shall play many), he always emergeth at a different place, sometimes early and sometimes late, but thou may not guess which. “And second, he must be Supremely Discontent, always hoping for the Big Break which will lead to him playing with Chick Corea or Madonna, so that he despiseth Jobbing. “And third, he must always be convinced of his Righteousness in all things, including Time, Volume, Tempo and Feel, so that he argueth always with the Bass Player.”

And Noah did say, “As you command, Lord. And what next?” And the Lord did say, “Thou art learning, Noah. Next shall be the Bass Player. And he shall be Bored. That is all.”

And Noah did say, “Of course. And next, my Lord?” “Next shall be the Keyboard Player. And he shall play as if he has twenty fingers, and he shall ply Substitute upon Substitute, until no man may name the Chord, and he will not be helpful. “Furthermore, he shall always be Late. And he shall always be trying out New Gear, of which he has no knowledge.”

And Noah did wonder aloud, “Lord, great is Thy Wisdom!” “Next shall be the Guitar Player. And he shall be a Rock Guitar Player. And he shall be Loud, and he shall sing “Old Time Rock n’ Roll”. Also shall he not know The Page, and so shall rely upon his Ears, which have been damaged by exposure to High Sound Pressure Levels. For the Guitarists who Read shall already be playing Shows, and will be making the Big Shekels. “And his tux shall be the Rattiest.” And Noah did say, “It shall be done.”

And the Lord did say, “Next thou shall need Horns. “First shall be the Saxophones. And ye shall know them as Beboppers. And they shall play their Bird Quotes in every song, yea, even the Celine Dion ballad. And they shall Get High on every break, and make the Long Faces all night long, but especially when “In The Mood” is called.

“Next shall be the Trumpeters. And they shall every one attempt to take everything Up an Octave, and fail frequently. And of Changes they shall know nothing.

“And finally shall be the Trombone Player. And many jokes will be made about him, for he will have a Beeper, as well as a Day Job, and he will be the first to be Cut from the Band.”

And Noah, taking many notes, did say, “Mighty is the Lord!” “Next shall be the String Players. Find me Three Women, and attach pickups to their Violins that are more ancient even than Myself, so that their instruments screecheth and causeth great pain. ‘And their job shall be to dress in Evening Gowns, and to Fake Parts on all Ballads, and to occasionally Stroll, and to complain about the Volume, and the Intonation, and to impede the Swing.”

And Noah did say, “What else can be left, Lord?” “And the Lord did say, “Finally, find me the Singers. “And they shall be Three, one a Male, and two Females. “And the Male shall be a Strutting Peacock, with the Rock ‘n Roll Hair, and he shall never have to wear The Tuxedo, and also shall he play The Harmonica. “And of the Females, one shall be Black and one shall be White. And the Black one shall ALWAYS sing the Aretha songs, And the Disco. And the White one shall ALWAYS sing the Power Ballads, and the Country Songs. But both shall share the Motown Medley, and shall sing Backup for the Male, And forget the Words, and be Late, and know nothing of Keys or Form. And they shall leave every gig immediately, having never touched a piece of Equipment. “And they shall be paid many more shekels than the Sidemen. Ask not why.” And Noah did say, ” As Thou sayest, my Lord.”

And the Lord did command him, “Search high and low for these, as not every musician can fulfill these requirements. And though we have No Work yet, a Commitment must be secured from All. And while you’re at it, start looking for Subs.” And Noah did say, “Lord, Thy will be done.” And it was.

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.”

~Musical Terms Misunderstood by Country-Western Musicians~

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 — Men who wear dresses

Cut Time– Parole

Order of Sharps — What a wimp gets at the bar

Passing Tone– Frequently heard near the baked beans at family barbecues

High 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!”

Cadenza — That ugly thing your wife always vacuums dog hair off of when company comes

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

Bassoon — Typical response when asked what you hope to catch, and when

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: “Darn! 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


Oh, say can you BOOM, CRASH
By the dawn’s early BOOM, CRASH
What so proudly we BOOM, CRASH
At the twilight’s last gleaming?
Whose broad stripes and bright BOOM,CRASH
Through the perilous BOOM, CRASH
O’er the ramparts we BOOM, CRASH
Were so gallantly streaming? 3 &


Notes from an inexperienced chili taster named FRANK, who was playing a gig in Texas:

Recently, I was honored to be selected as an outstanding famous celebrity in Texas, to be a judge at a chili cook-off, because no one else wanted to do it. Also the original person called in sick at the last moment, and I happened to be standing there at the judge’s table asking directions to the beer wagon right after doing 5 sets of hardcore country rock with 3 encores when the call came. The other two judges (Native Texans) assured me that the chili wouldn’t be all that spicy, about the same as usual. And besides, they told me I could have free beer during the tasting, so I accepted. Here are the scorecards from the event:

Chili #1: Mike’s Maniac Mobster Monster Chili

JUDGE ONE: A little too heavy on tomato. Amusing kick.

JUDGE TWO: Nice, smooth tomato flavor. Very mild.

FRANK: Holy smokes, what the hell is this stuff? You could remove dried paint from your driveway with it. Took me two beers to put the flames out. Hope that’s the worst one. These hicks are crazy.

Chili # 2: Arthur’s Afterburner Chili

JUDGE ONE: Smoky (barbecue?) with a hint of pork. Slight Jalapeno tang.

JUDGE TWO: Exciting BBQ flavor, needs more peppers to be taken seriously.

FRANK: Keep this out of reach of children! I’m not sure what I am supposed to taste besides pain. I had to wave off two people who wanted to give me the Heimlich maneuver. Shoved my way to the front of the beer line.

Chili # 3: Fred’s Famous Burn Down the Barn Chili

JUDGE ONE: Excellent firehouse chili! Great kick. Needs more beans.

JUDGE TWO: A beanless chili, a bit salty, good use of red peppers.

FRANK: This has got to be a joke. Call the EPA, I’ve located a uranium spill. My nose feels like I have been snorting Drano. Everyone knows the routine by now and got out of my way so I could make it to the beer wagon. Barmaid pounded me on the back; now my backbone is in the front part of my chest.

Chili # 4: Bubba’s Black Magic

JUDGE ONE: Black bean chili with almost no spice. Disappointing.

JUDGE TWO: Hint of lime in the black beans. Good side dish for fish or other mild foods, not much of a chili.

FRANK: I felt something scraping across my tongue, but was unable to taste it. Sally, the barmaid, was standing behind me with fresh refills so I wouldn’t have to dash over to see her.

Chili # 5: Linda’s Legal Lip Remover

JUDGE ONE: Meaty, strong chili. Cayenne peppers freshly ground, adding considerable kick. Very impressive.

JUDGE TWO: Chili using shredded beef; could use more tomato. Must admit the cayenne peppers make a strong statement.

FRANK: My ears are ringing, and I can no longer focus my eyes. I farted and four people behind me needed paramedics. The contestant seemed hurt when I told her that her chili had given me brain damage. Sally saved my tongue by pouring beer directly on it from a pitcher. Sort of irritates me that one of the other judges asked me to stop screaming.

Chili # 6: Vera’s Very Vegetarian Variety

JUDGE ONE: Thin yet bold vegetarian variety chili. Good balance of spice and peppers.

JUDGE TWO: The best yet. Aggressive use of peppers, onions, and garlic. Superb.

FRANK: My intestines are now a straight pipe filled with gaseous flames. No one seems inclined to stand behind me except Sally.

Chili # 7: Susan’s Screaming Sensation Chili

JUDGE ONE: A mediocre chili with too much reliance on canned peppers.

JUDGE TWO: Ho Hum, tastes as if the chef threw in canned chili peppers at the last moment. I should note that I am worried about Judge Number 3. He appears to be in a bit of distress.

FRANK: You could put a grenade in my mouth and pull the pin, and I wouldn’t feel it. I’ve lost the sight in one eye, and the world sounds like it is made of rushing water. My clothes are covered with chili that slid unnoticed out of my mouth at some point. Good! At the autopsy they’ll know what killed me. I’ve decided to stop breathing, it’s too painful, and I’m not getting any oxygen anyway. If I need air I’ll just suck it in through the 4-inch hole in my stomach.

Chili # 8: Helen’s Mount Saint Chili

JUDGE ONE: A perfect ending, this is a nice blend chili, safe for all, not too bold but spicy enough to declare its existence.

JUDGE TWO: This final entry is a good, balanced chili, neither mild nor hot. Sorry to see that most of it was lost when Judge Number 3 fell and pulled the chili pot on top of himself.

FRANK: (Editor’s note: Judge #3 was unable to report)

~EXPRESSIONS TO AVOID During A Recording Session~
(From Steely Dan’s Web Site)

1.Ready, Freddie (pronounced red-eye fred-eye)
2.Bingo, gringo
3.Uno, Bruno
4.The phones sound O.K. but I need more of myself
5.We won’t need a click
6.I like what you’re trying to do but not the way you’re doing it
7.An excellent first attempt
8.Was that the sound you had on the demo?
9.Make the click louder
10.That was a pretty good take for this time of night
11.If you want the tempo any brighter than that, we better wait for a sunny day
12.No dynamics? We’re playing as loud as we can
13.I think that’s a pretty good sounding take for what were getting paid..
14.That was great, let’s do it again
15.Is that about as tight as you boys want to get it?
16.Is it possible the click is speeding up?
17.I’m at the point where I’m making dumb mistakes – before I was making much smarter mistakes
18.So many drummers, so little time
19.Why don’t we do the double first and the lead will be easier to get once we’ve got the double
20.I never had this problem when I was being produced by Lenny and Russ
21.We got some things, we need some things
23.Punch in at the section
24.You can’t make ice cream out of shit
25.You can’t polish a turd
26.Just let your spirit soar
27.My spirit’s already sore from the last thirty takes…
29.Less is more
30.Less is Paul
31.Less is Brown
32.Less is less
33.That’s the way I’ve been playing it all along
34.I just wish I could get a whole band that sounds as good as I do
35.This will be a great opportunity for me to show off my chop
36.Let’s hear the bass, if you can call it that
37.Play something Paul would tell Linda to play
38.Does your amp have an underdrive channel?
39.You can erase that one, I remember exactly what I played
40.We’ll catch that in the mix
41.You guys can fix that in Soundtools, right?
42.I brought my kid along, he’s never been in a recording studio before
43.My girlfriend sings great background vocals
44.I know a great drummer
45.You guys want to try some heroin?
46.Your girlfriend’s been in the bathroom a long time
47.Please, man, stay away from my faxes, okay?
48.I’m not going to be any more dishonest with you than I am with Donald
49.I’d like a little more of a live feeling on this tune.
50.I also play eleven other instruments
51.Sorry I’m late, I just got through with my blood test (or CAT scan)
52.That vocal’s not a keeper is it?
53.That’s how I wrote it but that’s not how I like to play it
54.I can’t think of any improvements that won’t make it worse
55.That ground loop is a trademark thing for me
56.That’s the new old comp from today – I want to hear the new old comp from last Tuesday
57.That reverb would sound a lot better if it were coming out of a piece of MY GEAR
58.How bout we get rid of these 3M machines and get ourselves a frozen yogurt machine
59.Roz Shrank on line one for you
60.Skunk called, he’s on his way down
61.The frozen yogurt machine is broken
62.When was the last time we worked together? Tonight.


1. Never start a trio with a married couple.
2. Your manager’s not helping you. Fire him/her.
3. Before you sign a record deal, look up the word “recoupable” in the dictionary.
4. No one cares who you’ve opened for.
5. A string section does not make your songs sound any more “important”.
6. If your band has gone through more than 4 bass players, it’s time to break up.
7. When you talk on stage you are never funny.
8. If you sound like another band, don’t act like you’re unfamiliar with their music (“Oh does Rage Against The Machine also do rap-rock with political lyrics?”)
9. Asking a crowd how they’re doing is just amplified small talk. Don’t do it.
10. Don’t say your video’s being played if it’s only on the Austin Music Network.
11. When you sign to a major label, claim to have inked the best contract ever. Mention “artistic freedom” and “a guaranteed 3 record deal”.
12. When you get dropped insist that it was the worst contract ever and you asked to be let go.
13.Never name a song after your band.
14. Never name your band after a song.
15. When a drummer brings in his own songs and asks to perform one of them, begin looking for a new drummer IMMEDIATELY.
16. Never enter a “battle of the bands” contest. If you do you’re already a loser.
17. Learn to recognize scary word pairings: “rock opera”, “white rapper”, “blues jam”, “swing band”, “open mike”, etc.
18. Drummers can take off their shirts or they can wear gloves, but not both.
19. Listen, either break it to your parents or we will; it’s rock ‘n’ roll, not a soccer game. They’ve gotta stop coming to your shows.
20. It’s not a “showcase”. It’s a gig that doesn’t pay.
21. No one cares that you have a web site.
22. Getting a tattoo is like sewing platform shoes to your feet.
23. Don’t hire a publicist.
24. Playing in San Marcos & Alpine doesn’t mean you’re on tour.
25. Don’t join a cover band that plays Bush songs. In fact, don’t join a cover band.
26. Although they come in different styles and colours, electric guitars all sound the same. Why do you keep changing them between songs?
27. Don’t stop your set to ask that beers be brought up. That’s what girlfriends/boyfriends are for.(“and/or lead singers!” -Timbo)
28. If you use a smoke machine your music sucks.
29. We can tell the difference between a professionally produced album cover and one you made with the iMac your mom got for Christmas.
30. Remember, if blues solos are so difficult, why can so many 16 year olds play them?
31. If you ever take a publicity photo, destroy it. You may never know where or when it will turn up.
32. Cut your hair, but do not shave your head.
33. Pierce your nose, but not your eyebrow.
34. Do not wear shorts onstage. Or a suit. Or a hat.
35. Rock oxymorons; “major label interest”, “demo deal”,” blues genius”, “$500 guarantee”, and “Fastball’s second hit”.
36. 3 things that are never coming back: a)gongs, b)headbands, and c)playing slide guitar with a beer bottle.

So, how many have YOU broken?

~A Definition of the Orchestra~

The members of the orchestra are divided into four sections. These are woodwinds, the strings, the brass, and the percussion. There’s also someone standing in front of all these other folks playing no instrument at all. This would be the conductor. It is generally required that the conductor is required to make musical decisions and to hold all of the instruments together in a cohesive interpretation of any given work. Not so. Rather, the conductor is necessary because the four groups would rather eat Velveeta than have anything to do with someone from another section. And, as we know, musicians are quite serious about their food.

Why all the animosity? Before I begin my explanation, let me set the record straight in plain English about some of the characteristics which typify the four groups.

Woodwind players have IQs in the low- to mid- genius range. Nerds with coke-bottle glasses and big egos, blowers tend to be extremely quiet, cowering behind bizarre-looking contraptions — their instruments — so nobody will notice them. It is often difficult to discern whether a wind player is male or female.

String players are neurotic prima donnas who won’t even shake your hand for fear of permanent injury. A string player will never look you directly in the eye and they never bathe carefully … or often.

Brass players are loud-mouthed drunkards who bully everyone with the possible and occasional exception of a stray percussionist. They like to slick their hair back. Nobody knows why.

Percussionists are insensitive oafs who constantly make tasteless jokes at the expense of the strings and woodwinds. They look very good in concert attire but have the worst table manners of all musicians. They are always male, or close enough.

Now, is it any wonder orchestra members have little to do with anyone outside of their own section? For the answer to this and other pertinent questions we will need to examine the individual instrument and the respective — if not respected — players within each section.
The woodwinds:

Oboe players are seriously nuts. They usually develop brain tumors from the extreme air pressure built up over the years of playing this rather silly instrument. Oboists suffer from a serious Santa Claus complex, spending all their waking hours carving little wooden toys for imaginary children, although they will tell you they are putting the finishing touches on the world’s greatest reed. Oboists can’t drive and always wear clothes one size too small. They all wear berets and have special eating requirements which are endlessly annoying and which are intended to make them seem somewhat special.

English horn players are losers although they dress better then oboists. They cry at the drop of a beret.

Bassoon players are downright sinister. They are your worst enemy, but they come on so sweet that it’s really hard to catch them at their game. Here’s an instrument that’s better seen than heard. Bassoon players like to give the impression that theirs is a very hard instrument to play, but the truth is that the bassoon only plays one or two notes per piece and is therefore only heard for a minute in any given evening. However, in order to keep their jobs — their only real concern — they act up a storm doing their very best to look busy.

It takes more brawn, and slightly less brain, to play contrabassoon. They are available at pawnshops in large numbers — the instruments as well as the players — and play the same three or four numbers as the tuba, although not quite as loud or beautiful.

Okay, now we come to the flute. Oversexed and undernourished is the ticket here. The flute player has no easier time of getting along with the rest of the orchestra than anyone else, but that won’t stop them from sleeping with everyone. Man and woman alike, makes no difference. The bass flute is not even worth mentioning. Piccolos, on the other hand, belong mainly on the fifty yard line of a football field where the unfortunate audience can maintain a safe distance.

The clarinet is, without a doubt, the easiest of all orchestral instruments to play. Clarinets are cheap, and the reeds are literally a dime a dozen. Clarinetists have lots of time and money for the finest wines, oriental rugs, and exotic sports card. They mostly have no education, interest, or talent in music, but fortunately for them they don’t need much. Clarinets come in various sizes and keys — nobody knows why. Don’t ask a clarinetist for a loan, as they are stingy and mean. Some of the more talented clarinets can learn to play the saxophone. Big deal.
Let’s continue now with the real truth about … the strings.

We begin with the string family’s smallest member: the violin. The violin is a high-pitched, high-tension instrument. It’s not an easy instrument to play. Lots of hard music is written for this instrument. Important things for a violinist to keep in mind are: Number one — the door to your studio should be left slightly open so that everyone can hear your brilliant practice sessions. Number two: you should make disparaging remarks about the other violinists whenever possible, which is most of the time. And number three: you should tell everyone how terribly valuable your instrument is until they drool.

The viola is a large and awkward instrument, which when played, sounds downright disgusting. Violists are the most insecure members of the string section. Nothing can be done about this. Violists don’t like to be made fun of and therefore find ways of making people feel sorry for them. They were shabby clothes so that they’ll look as if they’ve just been dragged under a train. It works quite well.

People who play the cello are simply not good looking. They have generally chosen their instrument because, while in use, the cello hides 80% of its player’s considerable bulk. Most cellists are in analysis which won’t end until they can play a scale in tune or, in other words, never. Cellists wear sensible shoes and always bring their own lunch.

Double bass players are almost completely harmless. Most have worked their way up through the ranks of a large moving company and are happy to have a secure job in a symphony orchestra or anywhere. The fact that it takes at least ten basses to make an audible sound tends to make these simple-minded folks disappear into their woodwork, but why do they drive such small cars?

Harpists are gorgeous. And they always know it. They often look good into their late eighties. Although rare as hen’s teeth, male harpists are equally beautiful. Harpists spend their time perfecting their eye-batting, little-lost-lamb look so they can snare unsuspecting wind layers into carrying their heavy gilded furniture around. Debussy was right – harpists spend half their life tuning and the other half playing out of tune.

Pianists in the symphony orchestra work the least and complain the most. They have unusually large egos and, because they can only play seated, also have the biggest butts. When they make mistakes, which is more often than not, their excuse is that they have never played on that particular piano before. Oh, the poor darlings.
The brass:

Trumpet players are the scum of the earth. I’ll admit, though, they do look good when they’re all cleaned up. They’ll promise you the world, but they lie like a cheap rug. Sure, they can play soft and pretty during rehearsal, but watch out come concert time! They’re worse than lawyers, feeding off the poor, defenseless, weaker members of the orchestra and loving every minute of it. Perhaps the conductor could intercede? Oh, I don’t think so.

Trombone players are generally the nicest brass players. However, they do tend to drink quite heavily and perhaps don’t shine the brightest headlights on the highway, but they wouldn’t hurt you and are the folks to call with all your pharmaceutical questions. They don’t count well, but stay pretty much out of the way anyway. Probably because they know just how stupid they look when they play. It’s a little-known fact that trombone players are unusually good bowlers. This is true.

The French horn. I only have two words of advice: stay away. Horn players are piranhas. They’ll steal your wallet, lunch, boyfriend, or wife or all the above given half a chance or no chance at all. They have nothing to live for and aren’t afraid of ruining your life. The pressure is high for them. If they miss a note, they get fired. If they don’t miss a note, they rub your nose in it and it doesn’t smell so sweet.

The kind-hearted folks who play the tuba are good-looking and smart. They’d give you the shirt off their back. The tuba is one of the most interesting to take in the bath with you. It’s a crying shame that there’s only one per orchestra. Would that it could be different.
And finally — the percussion.

These standoffish fools who get paid perfectly good money for blowing whistles and hitting things that don’t deserve the considerable space they are allotted on the stage. Aside from the strange coincidence that all percussionists hail from the Deep South, another little known, but rather revealing fact, is there are no written percussion parts in the standard orchestral repertory. Percussion players do have music stands and they do use them — to look at girlie magazines. Percussionists play whatever and whenever they damn well feel like it and it’s always too loud! The ones with a spark of decency and intelligence play timpani, or kettle drums. Most percussionists are deaf, but those who play kettle drums pretend to tune their instruments for the sake of the ignorant and easily duped conductor. The guy with the short nose who plays the cymbals is no Einstein, but he’s also one of the best guys to share a room with on tour. Cymbal players don’t practice — I guess they figure it’s bad enough to have to listen to those things at the concert. Percussionists pretend to have lots of kids whose toys can be seen quite often shaken, dropped, or manhandled to great effect. Whole percussion sections can be seen and now and then on various forms of public transportation, where they practice getting up and down as a group. This represents the only significant challenge to a percussionist.

And that just about does it. I trust that this little tour has enlightened you just a little bit to the mysterious inner world of the symphony orchestra. This world, one which is marked by the terrible strain of simple day-to-day survival, is indeed not an easy one. Perhaps now you will be a bit more understanding of the difficulties which face a modern-day concert artist. And so the next time you find yourself at the symphony, take a moment to look deeply into the faces of the performers on the stage and imagine how much more difficult their lives are than yours. This is surely what’s on their minds … if anything.

~Great Lies of The Music Business~

The booking is definite

Your check’s in the mail

We can fix it in the mix

This is the best dope you’ve ever had

The show starts at 8

My agent will take care of it

I’m sure it will work

Your tickets are at the door

It sounds in tune to me

Sure, it sounds fine at the back of the hall

I know your mic is on

I checked it myself

The roadie took care of it

She’ll be backstage after the show

Yes, the spotlight was on you during your solo

The stage mix sounds just like the program mix

It’s the hottest pickup I could get

The club will provide the PA and lights

I really love the band

We’ll have it ready by tonight

We’ll have lunch sometime

If it breaks, we’ll fix it for free

We’ll let you know

I had nothing to do with your marriage breaking up.

The place was packed

We’ll have you back next week

Don’t worry, you’ll be the headliner

It’s on the truck

My last band had a record deal, but we broke up before recording the album

Someone will be there early to let you in

I’ve only been playing for a year

I’ve been playing for 20 years

We’ll have flyers printed tomorrow

I’m with the band

The band drinks free

You’ll get your cut tonight

We’ll supply someone for the door

You’ll have no problem fitting that bass cabinet in the trunk of your car

There’ll be lots of roadies when you get there

It’s totally compatible with your current program

You’ll have plenty of time for a soundcheck

This is one of Jimi’s old Strats

We’ll definitely come to the gig

You can depend on me