A Completely Debate Free Playground For Your Worst Music Takes

This, via my sister, the music theorist, always makes me laugh:

What’s your favorite bad music take? (No viola jokes. Too easy.)

Also: this thread. It is open.

68 replies
  1. 1
    RepubAnon says:

    Q: How can you spot an accordion player with perfect pitch?

    A: Anyone who can throw the accordion into a dumpster from 30 feet away

    See also bagpipers

  2. 2
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    Not exactly a bad musical take, but I do remember cellist trying to annoy me by playing really “high” notes. I was a violinist.

  3. 3
    NotMax says:

    Flip side of “They’re Coming to Take Me Away, Ha-Haaa!”

    Both sides of The Hardly-Worthit Players’ cover of “Wild Thing.”

    Concerto for Index Finger” featuring Gracie Allen.


  4. 4
  5. 5
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    No viola jokes. Too easy.

    I don’t care who you are, that right there is funny.

  6. 6
    Captain Oblivious says:

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

  7. 7
    Captain Oblivious says:

    What do you call two piccolos playing in unison?
    A minor second.

  8. 8
    Captain Oblivious says:

    How do you get a trumpet player to play mezzo-forte?
    Write ppp below the staff.

  9. 9
    mrmoshpotato says:

    The classic – you can tune a piano but you can’t tuna fish.

  10. 10
  11. 11
    Captain Oblivious says:

    What’s the difference between a bull and a symphony orchestra?
    The bull has its horns up front and its asshole in the rear.

  12. 12
    Tom Levenson says:

    @NotMax: Awesome. Utterly wonderful.

  13. 13
  14. 14
    Suzanne says:

    Q: What do you get if you drop a piano down a mineshaft?
    A: A flat minor.

  15. 15
    NotMax says:


    Or the motto of the Greek piano tuner who refused to schedule return visits.

    “Oppornokati tunes only once.”

  16. 16
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @NotMax: As God is my witness, I will find a way to drive there and cut you.

  17. 17
    HumboldtBlue says:

    Back to normal as to website connection if that’s helpful to the engineering crowd.

  18. 18
    James E Powell says:

    Q: What did the drummer get on the SAT?
    A: Drool

    What is the difference between a guitar player and a savings bond? Eventually, the savings bond will mature and start to earn money.

  19. 19
    NotMax says:

    @Tom Levenson

    Honorable mention to ‘Jonathan Edwards’* managing to get through Dizzy Fingers. :)

    *Note the hands on the album cover. Musician Paul Weston in his Edwards persona played as someone so equipped might.

  20. 20
    Middlelee says:

    Okay that made me laugh.

  21. 21
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    Deep in the African jungle, a safari was camped for the night. In the darkness, distant drums began a relentless throbbing that continued until dawn. The safari members were disturbed, but the guide reassured them: “Drums good. When drums stop, very bad.” Every night the drumming continued, and every night the guide reiterated, “Drums good. When drums stop, VERY bad.” This continues for several days until one morning the drumming suddenly stops and all the natives panic and run screaming. The man asks the guide what’s the matter? The guide looking very frightened says: “When drums stop, VERY, VERY bad,” he said. “Why is it bad?” asked a member of the safari. “Because when drums stop, bass solo begin!”

  22. 22
    Drdavechemist says:

    My son proudly plays viola, but he also happily shares all the viola jokes he comes across.

    I take credit for getting him started on viola, with the idea that as long as he was more than minimally competent he would always be able to find someplace to play, and so far he has proved me out.

  23. 23
    Peale says:

    Sally came from a long line of successful musicians. Her grandmother was a bassoon player for the New York Philharmonic. Her mother played the double base for the Philadelphia Orchestra, and her father was for a time a Sousaphonist for a Marine Corp band. She dated a flautist against her family’s wishes for awhile. Sadly, they were right about him. he was nothing but treble and she was relieved when he was out of her life.

  24. 24
    Yutsano says:

    Bassoon = Faggott auf Deutsch. You can’t be a versatile double reed player and not have heard that over. And over. And over.

    @Captain Oblivious: How do you get two piccolos in tune?

    Shoot one.

  25. 25
    NotMax says:

    @Omnes Omnibus

    Much less drenching to drive to NY next month.


  26. 26
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @NotMax: Ah, but much less of a challenge.

  27. 27
    jl says:

    @Yutsano: But oboe is Oboe. Why? Having been a double reed player, yes I know.

    Spanish is fagot, Italian is fagotto. I think because it looks like a bundle of sticks. And often sounds like someone in pain buried under a bundle of sticks.

  28. 28

    @Omnes Omnibus: Good luck, the bridge is out.

  29. 29
    burnspbesq says:

    If Bach kicks kittens when Wes Montgomery plays, he’s mean enough to work for ICE.

  30. 30
    Ninedragonspot says:

    Not really a joke per se, but I often get smiles when I sit down at a piano and play the opening 4 bars of Tristan und Isolde followed by the brindisi from Traviata (transposed down to A).

  31. 31
    Pete Downunder says:

    The oboe – the ill wind that nobody blows good.

  32. 32
    Pete Downunder says:

    Richard Strauss is said to have told a young conductor “never look encouragingly at the brass”

  33. 33
    Pete Downunder says:

    What the difference between a banjo and a Jaguar?

    With time and enough money you can tune a Jaguar.

  34. 34
    cmorenc says:

    Paddle faster – I hear banjos.

  35. 35
    Jack Canuck says:

    How many lead singers does it take to screw in a lightbulb? One: they hold the lightbulb and the world revolves around them.

  36. 36
    Pete Downunder says:

    What’s the difference between a large pepperoni pizza and a guitar.

    The pizza can feed a family of four.

  37. 37
    Jack Canuck says:

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

  38. 38
    Jack Canuck says:

    The definition of a gentleman: someone who can play the bagpipes (or banjo, or accordion) – but doesn’t.

  39. 39
    Yutsano says:

    How do you know if someone has perfect pitch?

    Don’t worry: THEY’LL TELL YOU!

  40. 40
    mdblanche says:

    For those who could never follow the Ring Cycle, Anna Russell will explain it to you.

  41. 41
    jl says:

    @Pete Downunder: oboe is much harder to play than bassoon.
    My favorite scare story from Jr High is people coming up and telling me that the double reeds vibrating in your mouth make you deaf and insane if you play double reeds too long.

    But for a guy, jokes about playing the flute were worse. ‘Really which flute do you like to play best?’

  42. 42

    @Omnes Omnibus: This is one of my faves

  43. 43
    oatler. says:

    “Is that the banjo player’s Porsche parked outside?”

  44. 44
  45. 45
    montanareddog says:

    Sir Thomas Beecham was the master of orchestra jokes:

    The sound of the harpsichord – “two skeletons copulating on a tin roof”

    “The British may not like music, but they absolutely love the noise it makes”

    “I’ve not heard any Stockhausen, but I think I’ve trodden in some.”

    To the lady cellist – “Madam, you have between your legs an instrument capable of giving pleasure to thousands and all you can do is scratch it.”

  46. 46
    Jacel says:

    As a conductor these days more than any other music making, I can tell this one…

    An inept conductor was directing an orchestra in rehearsal. His beat was hard to identify, so players in the orchestra were on all sorts of different beats of the measure or even measures. But he kept waving his arms vaguely, face focused on the score, and the results got worse and worse. A percussionist got so frustrated that he picked up the loudest pair of cymbals and clashed them together. The conductor threw down his baton, looked up angrily, and shouted, “OK! Who did that?”

  47. 47
    opiejeanne says:

    What’s the difference between a conductor and God?

    God doesn’t think he’s a conductor.

  48. 48
    JPL says:

    @opiejeanne: Have fun tonight at the meetup.

  49. 49
  50. 50
    David 🎅🎄Merry Christmas🎄🎅 Koch says:

    @JR: True. Apollo Creed was an awesome fighter.

  51. 51
    A Ghost To Most says:

    @Captain Oblivious: Correct answer: who cares?

  52. 52
    opiejeanne says:

    @JPL: Thanks. This has been an interesting trip but because of a mistake yesterday I’m covered in mosquito bites.

    Looking forward to meeting some more of our jackals. The couple in KC were fun but I forgot to get a photo. Sheldon and Paula Vogt. He’s a lurker so there will be no corroboration, but the food at Arthur Bryant’s was very good. Just sorry that our plane was so delayed at takeoff that we missed going to the Negro Leagues Museum, but there were portraits of Buck O’Neill and Satchell Paige and others painted on the building next to Arthur Bryant’s. If we get a chance on July 3rd we’ll go then.

  53. 53
    ChuckInAustin says:

    How can you tell if a trombone player is knocking at your door?

    1) he’s holding a pizza.
    2) the knock is dragging

  54. 54
    BigJimSlade says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: I love that one (I play me some bass). I like to draw the story out, then reveal the response to ‘what happens when the drums stop’ with a long pause, a look of grim horror ‘… BASS SOLO.’

    What did the bass player do when he locked his keys in the car?
    Went for help so he could get the drummer out.

  55. 55
    BigJimSlade says:

    OK, no one has put this one in yet…
    How many sopranos does it take to change a light bulb.
    3. One change the light bulb and 2 to stab her in the back.

  56. 56
    BigJimSlade says:

    How do you get a guitar player to turn the volume down?
    Put music in front of him.
    (I would argue that black marks on a page aren’t actually ‘music’ but whatevs.)

  57. 57
    BigJimSlade says:

    @ChuckInAustin: part 2 makes it kill!

  58. 58
    Deep Southerner says:

    Not really a joke, per se, but Frank Zappa: “Music is the decoration of time.”

  59. 59
    Dev Null says:

    You toss the soprano and the violist over a cliff.

    Q. Which goes splat first?

    A. The violist. The soprano has to stop to ask directions.

  60. 60
  61. 61
    Dev Null says:

    from Viola jokes Part 1:

    Why do violists stand for long periods outside people’s houses?
    They can’t find the key and they don’t know when to come in.

    What’s the difference between a seamstress and a violist?
    The seamstress tucks up the frills.

    What’s the difference between a washing machine and a violist?

    Why do so many people take an instant dislike to the viola?
    It saves time.

    How can you tell when a violist is playing out of tune?
    The bow is moving.

    How was the canon invented?
    Two violists were trying to play the same passage together.

    Why is playing the viola like peeing in your pants?
    They both give you a nice warm feeling without making any sound.

    Why is a viola solo like a bomb?
    By the time you hear it, it’s too late to do anything about it.

    Why is a viola solo like premature ejaculation?
    Because even when you know it’s coming, there’s nothing you can do about it.

  62. 62
    Dev Null says:

    from “Instrument Jokes” (one link up from viola jokes part 1):

    Q. 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 bill in the middle of the field and they run to grab it. Who gets it?

    A. The second violinist, because:
    – No first violinist is going anywhere for only $100.
    – There’s no such thing as a virtuoso violist.
    – The bass player hasn’t figured out what it’s all about. (sorry, @BigJimSlade!)

    The Spousal Unit had an interesting speculation about dropped notes, but ultimately failed to carry off the prize.

    I mean, srsly, I’ve been carrying these links around for 25 years, and this is so far my only opportunity to use them??

    Talk about a wasted life. [drunkenly]

  63. 63
    Dev Null says:

    The author has requested that if you quote any of this information, please cite this paper.

    And from his 2000 paper:

    Q. What do violists use for birth control?

    A. …

    As usual, I have come in late, after the comments thread has closed.

    What do you expect from a failed musician?

  64. 64
    Heywood J. says:

    How many guitarists does it take to change a light bulb?

    4. One to change the bulb, and the other three to sit around and say, “Aaah, I coulda done it better than that.”

  65. 65
    Dev Null says:

    And in the free spirit of the thread, it is open:

    The Don’t Bother Travel Guide

    on Amazon.

  66. 66
    Inspectrix says:

    @Dev Null:
    Thanks for the linked article (the author has requested…) explaining the viola joke history and the viola’s place in symphonic hierarchies. I was about to search and this answered all of my questions.

  67. 67
    Dev Null says:

    @Inspectrix: Delighted!

  68. 68
    Dr Ronnie James DO says:

    Q: Did you hear the one about the 3 musicians and the drummer?

Comments are closed.