Musical Jokes

Our band members come from all walks of life, but have a few things in common: We love to play, and we like to have fun. When new band members sign up here on the website, we ask for a Favorite Musical Joke. Sometimes folks offer a traditional joke, sometimes they offer self-deprecating comments about their own abilities or those of others, and sometimes — well, sometimes it's just not entirely clear what they were thinking! Trumpet players and drummers seem to come in for the brunt of the humor, but plenty of others take their licks too. Sometimes the most humorous part of the application doesn't even come in the Jokes section, but in the random comments that people add. Here's your chance to find out what was on their minds when they took the plunge.

Favorite Band Memory: HS Dance Band Greenbank Prom when we found out the Football Coach had married the head cheerleader.

From the Top Ten Reasons for being an Alto (I used to sing Alto in a choir): When the Altos miss a note, nobody gets hurt.

"What time is it?"

"Dunno. Pass me that trombone and I'll find out."

*blows trombone loudly*


What is the longest distance between two points?   A parade.

My friend recently played in Key West.  It was the first time he knew what key he was in.

What is Beethoven's Favorite Fruit?  BA-NA-NA-NAAAAA!

Hell is full of musical amateurs...George Bernard Shaw

How do you know a trumpet player rang your doorbell? It rang too early and too high.

What's green and sings?  Elvis Parsley  haha

How do you make a trombone sound like a french horn?  Stick your hand in the bell and miss half the notes.

How can you just walz into the room when I'm clearly listening to something in 4/4!

What form of birth control do the basses use? Their personalities.

You know you're in colorguard when you believe the wind is out to get you.

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

I had a joke I thought was pretty sharp, but it always falls flat.

A priest, a rabbi, and a tuba player walk into a bar. The bartender gives them a suspicious look and asks "What is this... a joke?"

Question: What do you throw to a drowning trombone player ?   Answer: A trombone

What's the difference between a pizza and a drummer?  A pizza can feed a family of four.

If you can hear other instruments during a march you are trumpeting wrong. -Tim (1st chair)

Principal to Funky Winkerbeam at practice for field show: "How did you get their lines so straight?"
Band Director (with a smirk):   "Land mines"

Two women commiserating:  "He told me he was a musician, but he is a trombonist."

What's the difference between listening to Kenny G and drunk driving?  None... friends don't let friends do either one!

What s the difference between a duck and a drummer walking down the street? The duck is probably on his way to a gig.

What do you call a documentary about Trombone players? A slide show.

What do you do if a drummer shows up at your door?  Pay him for the pizza!

To quote the late great director of the University of Massachusetts Minuteman Marching Band, George N. Parks. "If you are not having fun, FAKE IT!"

What key did the pianist play in after falling down a mine shaft? A flat miner.

Rushing? I'd prefer if you called it 'Spontaneous tempo enhancement'.

Answer:  9W
Question: Does your name start with a V, Mr. Wagner?

It takes One Sextillion Piccolos to equal One Gigolo. Truth. (I've even proofed it out if you want to see my Excel spreadsheet.)

(From a Color Guard member) - Favorite Musical Joke:  Trumpets are 15 points.

There are 3 types of musicians: Those that can count and those that can't.

A drummer, tired of being ridiculed by other musicians, decides to change instruments. At the music store, he goes up to the sales counter and says, I ll take that red trumpet over there, and that accordion. After a second, the store clerk says , OK, you can have the fire extinguisher but the radiator stays.

That did the tuba player say to the baritone player? ... "Your mother must have played piccolo."

How do you make a million dollars in the music business? Start with two million and keep playing.

ALLREGRETTO:  When you're 16 measures into the piece and realize you took too fast a tempo.
ANGUS DEI:  To play with a divinely beefy tone
A PATELLA:  Accompanied by knee-slapping
APPOLOGGIATURA:  A composition that you regret playing
APPROXIMATURA:  A series of notes not intended by the composer, yet played with an "I meant to do that" attitude
APPROXIMENTO:  A musical entrance that is somewhere in the vicinity of the correct pitch
DILL PICCOLINI:  An exceedingly small wind instrument that plays only sour notes
FERMANTRA:  A note held over and over and over and over and . . .
FIDDLER CRABS:  Grumpy string players
FLUTE FLIES:  Those tiny mosquitoes that bother musicians on outdoor gigs
FRUGALHORN:  A sensible and inexpensive brass instrument
GAUL BLATTER:  A French horn player
GREGORIAN CHAMP:  The title bestowed upon the monk who can hold a note the longest
PLACEBO DOMINGO:  A faux tenor
SPRITZICATO:  An indication to string instruments to produce a bright and bubbly sound
TEMPO TANTRUM:  What an elementary school orchestra is having when it's not following the conductor

"Don't forget to cheer for the football team...they're here too."

(Dance joke - yes, we have dancers too!)    Q:  What do you call a one-legged ballerina?      A:  Eileen!

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

Wow... I don't know any... Hmmmm... I love to use three dots in communications...

Q: What happens if you sing country music backwards? A: You get your job and your wife back.

(From a clarinet player):  In 9th grade band, we had a substitute. My friend and I traded musical instruments and I pretended to play the french horn.

2 bass drums and a cymbal fall off a cliff. Ba-dum cha!

Marriage is like twirling a baton (alternate form: playing a flute); it looks easy until you try it.

How do you recognize the trombonist's kids on the playground?
They don't know how to use the slide and they can't swing.

Doesn't matter as long as the punch line is "A flat minor"

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!"

So a C, E-flat and G go into a bar. The bartender says, "sorry, but we don't serve minors." So E-flat leaves, and C and G have an open fifth between them. After a few drinks, the fifth is diminished and G is out flat. F comes in and tries to augment the situation, but is not sharp enough.

D comes in and heads for the bathroom saying, "Excuse me. I'll just be a second." Then A comes in, but the bartender is not convinced that this relative of C is not a minor. Then the bartender notices B-flat hiding at the end of the bar and says, "Get out! You're the seventh minor I've found in this bar tonight."

E-Flat comes back the next night in a three-piece suit with nicely shined shoes. The bartender says, "you're looking sharp tonight. Come on in, this could be a major development." Sure enough, E-flat soon takes off his suit and everything else, and is au natural.

Eventually C sobers up and realizes in horror that he's under a rest. C is brought to trial, found guilty of contributing to the diminution of a minor, and is sentenced to 10 years of D.S. without Coda at an upscale correctional facility.

What does an english horn player use for a contraceptive? Her personality

The soprano, not being smart enough to use birth control, says to her saxophophonist lover, "Honey, I think you better pull out now." He replies, "Why? Am I sharp?"

How do you get a guitar player to play softly? Give him a sheet of music.

Einstein was wrong:  E = Fb

Musical joke: Electronic keyboards in drum corp shows.

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

What's the difference between trumpet players and government bonds? Government bonds eventually mature and earn money.

"Please enjoy our first song. It's from China. It's called "Too-Ning."

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

A young child returned from his first music lesson on the tuba. "How did it go?" asked his father. "Great," said the child. "I learned how to play a ‘C’."

The next week the child took another lesson and his father asked about the lesson.  Terrific," said the child. "I learned how to play a ‘G’."

The following week the child didn’t come home. The father was frantic with worry when the child didn’t come home until 2:00 AM.

"Where in hell have you been?!" screamed the father…


"Out gigging," answered the son.

Q: What do you get when you place a piccolo on a clock?
A: One flute over the cuckoo's nest.  Okay, I just made that up because I don't know any good jokes, yet. You'll teach me.

Q: Why did the chicken cross the road?
A: To get away from the trumpet players!

Q: How many bassoonists does it take to screw in a light bulb?
A: Only one, but they'll insist on going through about 5 bulbs before they find one that suits this particular room and situation.

Accordion player going home from big concert got lost in bad part of town and ran out of gas/ Left car in gang land to get gas/ Came back had two accordions in car

Q. What's the definition of a gentleman?
A. Someone who knows how to play the bagpipe (or saxophone or accordion) and doesn't.

Pardon me Roy, is that the cat who chewed your new shoes? (To the tune of "Chattanooga Choo-Choo")

Descant: That obligato part, whose tessitura "des' can't" be reached.

(From one of my band students):  "What note is a quarter note on my clarinet?"

How do you make a trombone sound like a french horn?
By sticking your hand in the bell and playing lots of wrong notes ...

What's the difference between a clarinet and a trampoline?  You take your shoes off before jumping on the trampoline!

Trombones know more positions. (Not a joke, more of a philosophy!)

From a gal: (The one I was gonna use was already listed twice) ... Okay, setup: I played bari sax in jazz band. 8th grade. On the school bus in heated argument with alto sax-playing friend I was apparently riled enough for the volume to go up, because I yelled, for the whole bus (of pubescents, remember) to hear, "Mine's bigger than yours!!" Oops!

Why are trombone players better lovers? Well, trumpet players do it with three fingers, baritone players do it with four fingers, but trombone players do it in seven positions!

Q: What is the difference between a french horn section and a '57 Chevy?
A: You can tune a '57 Chevy.

What's the difference between an onion and an oboe?
Nobody cries when you chop up an oboe.

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


  • Detaché: an indication that the trombones are to play with their slides removed.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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)

Musical Joke: trumpet players (especially my husband!)

A bug walked into a bar and asked for a Lite. A Bug Light. Hey, it could happen. As for music, the bug might be a tuba player, who knows.

What do you call 200 accordians at the bottom of the sea? A good start.

Q: What do you call a musician without a girlfriend?
A: Homeless.

A jewish flute player, a catholic trumpet player, and a protestant drummer walk into a bar, and the bartender says "what is this, a joke?"

What's the difference between a bari sax and a chainsaw? -----------------------vibrato

What do you get when you throw a piano down a mineshaft? A flat miner.

How do two trumpet players greet each other on the street?  "Hi, I'm better than you are."

I'd have to get to know people better before I insult them for the instrument they play ... if I need to explain that for Sopranos and 1st Trumpet players, let me know...

Sign in music shop: Gone Chopin.
Bach in a Minuet.

What sounds better than a bagpiper? anything, even beginning violin players.

What do you call someone who hangs around with musicians? A drummer.
(I love all the lame drummer jokes because it just shows how jealous people are of the best part of music! Heh heh heh)

What do you call 500 lawyers and 1 oboe at the bottom of the sea????
A good start ....

Two tuba players walked by a bar...
Hey! It could happen!

10 Things to do in Band Class when You're Bored

  1. Repeat "This one time at Band Camp..." over and over.
  2. Stand up, scream "Music comes from the soul!", and shred your music sheets.
  3. Make outrageous claims like you wrote the music being played.
  4. When you finish a piece, wave a lighter in the air...
  5. Kidnap the first-chair flutist and leave a ransom note on the board.
  6. Glue trinkets to your instrument if your instructor asks what you are doing just say "pretty".
  7. Wear a hat made out of tinfoil and claim you're channeling the soul of Mozart with it.
  8. Sing, sing a song.
  9. Play nothing but one note the entire time.
  10. Replace the percussion with pots and pans and attach a note that says "Sorry, budget cuts.

"How do you make two piccolos players play in tune?  Shoot one of them.

(Query from applicant included in the Comments field): Is it acceptable to have an instrument that also looks it age?
(Webmaster's response): Don't you think that question is a little personal considering that we've only just met?

Normalcy:  Two octaves below high C.

What did the musician say when teaching her son how to cross the street?  "You'd better C# or you'll Bb!"

How can you tell a drummer is at your door?
He doesn't know when to come in.

Musical Joke: Tubas

Cartoon from the Journal of Irreproducible Results.

My family keeps telling me to hit the road so I thought I'd join a band.

Look out! Another manhole!

Why is a drummer so cool? They are so hard to beat.

MusicalJoke:  My $19 trombone

MusicalJoke:  The artist formerly known as...

Q: Why did the drummer keep his sticks on the dashboard of his car?
A: So he could park in the handicapped zone.

I don't remember how it goes, but the punch line is, "then the oboe player got hit by a car!"

How do you make two piccolos players play in tune? Shoot one of them.

(Q) How many clarinet players does it take to change a light bulb? (A) Only one but he has to try 20 boxes to find the perfect bulb.

Two graverobbers find Beethoven's grave so they dig it up. When they reach the coffin they hear a strange sound coming from inside. Carefully, they open the lid and see Beethoven himself, sitting there erasing musical scores. "What are you doing?" they ask. "Don't you know? I'm decomposing."

Can't remember any jokes, but I remember when our director was knocked unconscious by a twirling flag — it was a lot funnier back then.

(in the Comments section): Can I hang the music on the person in front of me since lyres are not particularly useful for flutes?

Hmmmm.....let me think. brain hurts now. I can't think anymore.

Q. A musician without a girlfriend
A. Broke and or Homeless

How do you know when you're kissing a french horn player? He has his hand up your butt.

What did the sousaphone say to the french horn? Tu-bad you are so small! (I invented this joke!) (Just in case you couldn't tell!)

Q: How do you get a saxophonist off your front porch?
A: Pay for the pizza.

If the concert is set to start at 8pm and last a minimum of 2 hours, and there are 250 people in the audience - how many watch alarms will go off? (or worded something to that affect)


My sister Susan told you the only joke I know about music.

Why don’t cannibals eat trumpets ………. Because they are usually flat.

Why don’t cannibals eat flute players ………. Because they’re usually spoiled.

How many trumpets does it take to screw in a light bulb?
Answer: 75, 1 to actually screw in the light bulb and 74 to say how they could do it better

How many trumpet players does it take to screw in a lightbulb? 1, he holds the bulb and the world revolves around him.

Composers shouldn't think too much, it interferes with their plagiarism.

Why did God give drummers 2% more intelligence than horses? So they don't 'poop' on the street during a parade.

MusicalJoke: The entire Leland Stanford Junior University Marching Band

MusicalJoke: C-Flat

Myself on a clarinet after 20 years may be a joke, but I have no others ;)

Me, picking up my axe again

Anything involving PDQ Bach. I once played a car horn from a Model T (really! it's my Dad's) in a PDQ Bach number in college.

How many trumpet players does it take to screw in a light bulb? 5. One to do and 4 others to say how much better they could have done it.

I'm still waiting to hear one worth repeating....

"Oops, I meant to play that."

You can tune a piano but you can't tuna fish!

What's the last thing to go through a bug's mind when it hits the windshield of your car? His butt. Ok, it's not a music joke but I still like it

This is a true story...  Back in the summer of 1977, I was given the prestigious honor of marching the bass drum. During one of our block marching practices, in the hot San Diego sun, the band was intensely playing our new favorite JP Sousa. However, the daydreamer that I was, wasn't paying attention to what I was doing and had totally been playing out of beat. So, the enraged Mr. Cole ran screaming towards the band, and unbeknownst to me, bee-lined in my direction only to reprimand me fully. Finally, to ask me (and without thinking about what he was about to say) "Elton, don't you know that you are the "Master Beater" of the band?" The entire ensemble roared in laughter. Henceforth, I was dubbed the MCHS Marching Band "Master Beater".

MusicalJoke: A lot of post 1980 popular rock "music"

MusicalJoke: The Hosaphone (tm). [Note: Be sure to check out this link; the FAQ alone is amazing!]

A favorite quote: There are two sides to a Trumpeter's personality. There is the one that lives only to lay waste to woodwinds, strings, french horns, percussionists, and trombones, leaving them lying blue and lifeless alongside the swath of destruction that is the Trumpet's fury. And then there is the dark side...

(this came from the section of the application that asked what instrument(s) the applicant plays):
Instrument: Tuba/Sousaphone - "instruments on loan from God"

What do 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.

MusicalJoke: some of the bands I've seen

Why did the piccolo player take a ruler to bed? She wanted to find out how long he slept.

What is "perfect pitch?"
When you 'pitch' a violin into a toilet without hitting the rim!

Does doing a forward roll wearing a base drum count? I've done it before but can't guarantee I will do it again.

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

MusicalJoke: Musicians have senses-of-humor? ;)

(from the comments section):  It is really hard for me to watch a parade - the sound of a drum cadence makes my insides start jumping, my eyes start to gloss over, and . . .you know the rest. I would really like to be involved in a marching band again.

What do you call the good looking girl on the arm of a drummer? A: a tattoo

3)Why is a chainsaw better than the bagpipes? You can tune a chainsaw.
2) How is a roadkill snake different from a roadkill trombonist? The snake might have been on its way to a paying gig.
1) Frantic band director calls 911: "My oboe player just swallowed her reed, what do I do?!    911: "Use a muted trumpet."

True story: Guy strapped on a big round drum, tripped and rolled over so he was head first in horse poop, his feet in the air!

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

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

Q: What is the least-used sentence in the English language?
A:  Isn't that the banjo player's Porsche?

Q: What do you say to a banjo player in a three-piece suit?
A: Will the defendant please rise?

Last Saturday night the Oregon 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 being bored, some of the bassists decided to lift the curtain and sneak offstage to the tavern next door.

Fifteen minutes later, after slamming several beers in quick succession, one of them looked at his watch and said, "My God! 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 will take him a few minutes to get it untangled. We’ve got plenty of time”

After finishing their last beer they staggered back to the concert hall, once again lifted the curtain and took their places in the orchestra. About this time, a member of the audience noticed the bass players were giggling and the conductor seemed a bit edgy. She turned to her companion and asked if he knew what was going on.

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