Sept 30, 2020–With several readers commenting that I’m coming across “curmudgeonly” in my writing lately, I decided to lighten up on the topic choice.

So, for your column-reading pleasure, here is a list of favorite musician jokes I’ve heard uttered backstage over many years in the business.

And before you accuse me of being anti-musician, know that all these jokes were told by musicians, about other musicians. Sometimes about me.

Q: What’s the difference between an oboe and an onion?

A: No one cries when you chop up an oboe.


Q: What’s the difference between a guitar player and a bag of garbage?

A: The garbage gets taken out at least once a week.


Q: How do you make a trombone sound like a french horn?

A: Stick your hand in the bell and play all the wrong notes.


Q: What’s the difference between a dead snake in the road and a dead trombonist in the road?

A: Skid marks in front of the snake.


Q: What’s the difference between a violist and a dog?

A: The dog knows when to stop scratching.


Q: Why do bagpipers walk while playing?

A: To get away from the sound.


As you can tell, no instrument or musician is safe. But in the world of music, there is a pecking order. Somewhere near the bottom–just beneath violists–sit us drummers.

Q: Why are orchestra intermissions limited to 20 minutes?

A: So you don’t have to retrain the drummers.


Q: What do you call someone who hangs out with musicians?

A: A drummer.


Q: What did the drummer get on his IQ test?

A: Drool.


Q: How do you know when a drummer is at your door?

A: The knock gets louder and slows down.


Q: How do you get a drummer off of your front porch?

A: Pay for the pizza.


Q: What do you call a drummer who breaks up with his girlfriend?

A: Homeless


Q: What do you call a beautiful woman on a drummer’s arm?

A: A tattoo.


Stop me if you’ve heard these…

Q: What happens if you play the blues music backwards?

A: Your wife returns to you, your dog comes back to life, and you get out of prison.


Q: What’s the difference between a puppy and a singer-songwriter?

A: Eventually the puppy stops whining.

(That one’s my favorite.)


Q: What’s the difference between a musician and a savings bond?

A: One of them eventually matures and earns money.


And finally, one that is not a joke:

Q: What would a musician do if he won a million dollars?

A: Continue to play gigs until the money ran out.


In spite of this humor abuse, musicians will never stop playing. Because, in the words of the King Of The Hill philosopher Peggy Hill: “We must have a band at the office picnic. Live entertainment is the only thing that distracts people from how much they don’t like each other.”

Hey, I can’t purge all of my curmudgeon-ry.