Home - Biography of Peter Guidi - Video Page - Peter's Photo Gallery - List of EIGHTY SEVEN prizes won by bands led by Peter Guidi
The acclaimed flute method 'The Jazz Flute'
A Short History of the Jazz Flute The prize-winning 'Jazzmania' Big Band
Photos of the prize-winning Jazz Juniors and Jazzfocus big band plus an outline of the MSA Jazz Department
Press Reviews - Jazz Links + Flute Links & Resources


If you have any music jokes you would like to add to this page mail here

Musicians and Money
Saxophone / Clarinet
Big Band Names
Big Band Fines
A Player's Guide For Keeping Conductors In Line
A BBC Quiz For Prospective Violists
Noah's Jobbing Band

The Hepsters'Dictionary


How does a jazz musician end up with a million dollars?
By starting out with two million dollars.

A curious music fan asked the seasoned veteran piano player
why he chose to make his career playing jazz.
The old pro lit up another cigarette. "I don't like crowds." he replied.

A jazz musician who won a million dollars on the national lottery is interviewed by a newspaper reporter.
Reporter: Congratulations on winning the first prize. By the way, what do you do for a living?
Musician: I'm a jazz musician.
Reporter: Now that you have a million dollars, what are you going to do with all that money?
Musician: I guess I'll carry on working until the money runs out.

Two attractive young ladies walking down a country lane are startled by a frog jumping out of the bushes on to the road. They are even more surprised when the frog assumes a theatrical pose and begins to speak:
Frog (in Shakespearean tones): O ye fair damsels, what ye see before ye is not really an ugly frog, but a jazz musician that was transformed into a frog by the evil spell of a wicked witch. But, if one of ye beautiful maidens is brave enough to kiss me, the evil spell will be broken, and I will be transformed back into a great jazz musician. For, before the witch's spell turned me into a slimy frog, I was the greatest jazz musician that ever lived!
For a moment the two young ladies are dumbfounded and stand staring at the frog in amazement. Suddenly, one of the girls quickly snatches up the frog and puts it in her pocket.
'Well, aren't you going to kiss it then?' asks her friend.
'Are you kidding?' says the first, 'A talking frog is worth a hell of a lot more than a jazz musician'.

St. Peter in Heaven is checking ID's. He asks a man, "What did you do on Earth?"
The man says, "I was a doctor."
St. Peter says, "Ok, go right through those pearly gates. Next! What did you
do on Earth?"
"I was a school teacher."
"Go right through those pearly gates. Next! And what did you do on Earth?"
"I was a musician."
"Go around the side, up the freight elevator, through the kitchen....."

What's the difference between a jazz musician and an extra large pizza?
The pizza can feed a family of four.

Why do Jazz musicians stand in line at the bank?
No one knows.

What kind of calendar does a jazz guitarist use for his gigs?

A patient goes to the doctor and complains that he has not been able to evacuate his bowels for over a month. The astonished doctor gives him some very strong laxative telling him to come back the next day.
The following day the patient returns saying that he took the medicine, but was still not been able to relieve himself. The doctor is amazed and takes him to the surgery toilet, where he gives him an injection of a very powerful laxative guaranteed to have an immediate effect. However, after half an hour of much straining on the toilet, the treatment fails to produce any result.
Doctor: This is unbelievable! Please come into my office, you obviously have a psychological problem. I shall have to ask you some questions: firstly, what do you do for a living?
Patient: I'm a jazz musician.
Doctor: Well, why didn't you say so in the first place!? (takes money out of his wallet) Here, go and get yourself something to eat!

What do you call a jazz musician without a girlfriend?

What is the difference between a jazz musician and an insurance policy?
An insurance policy eventually matures and makes money.

Two jazz musicians who haven't seen each other for some time meet late one night in a jazz club. 'Hey man,' says one, 'I hear you recorded a c.d.'
'Yeah, that's right man,' replies the other, 'It was released a few months ago.'
'How much did you sell?' asks the first.
'Oh, just the house and the car.'

A jazz musician goes to the doctor to hear the results of a physical check up.
Doctor: I'm afraid I've got some bad news. You only have three weeks to live.
Musician: On what?

There is a queue of souls waiting outside the Pearly Gates where St. Peter is busy explaining the new procedure for admission to Heaven.
'Times change and even Heaven must change with them.' explains St. Peter. 'Before entering new arrivals are now required to answer a questionnaire for the administrative records of our celestial computer bank.'
He turns to the first new arrival.
'Firstly, what was your annual income on earth?'
'350,000 dollars a year.' came the reply'
'Which profession were you in?'
'I was a bank manager.'
'Thank you,' says St. Peter, 'you may enter.'
The next soul approaches.
'What was your annual income?'
'100,000 dollars a year.'
'And your profession?'
'I was a doctor.'
'Thank you,' says St. Peter, 'you may enter.'
A third soul approaches the pearly gates.
'What was your annual income on earth?' enquires St. Peter.
'6,000 dollars a year,'
'So,' says St. Peter, 'which band did you play in?'

Whenever he found himself in financial distress a philosophical jazz musician would exclaim, "Money isn't a problem. LACK of money, that's a problem."

A) How do you make a jazz musician quit his job?
Q) Tip him a dollar.

What do you say to a jazz musician with a steady job?
Two Big Macs and a large order of fries.

Back to top


How many bass players does it take to change a light bulb?
Only one - but the guitarist has to show him first.

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

Bassist: Man, I went up into the mountains for three whole months to practice.
Pianist: Oh yeah? So what did you practice?
Bassist: The first month I practised quarter notes and eighth notes. The second month I only practised sixteenth notes. And I spent the whole of the third month practising thirty second notes.
Piano player: Wow! A whole month only thirty second notes. That's amazing!
Bassist: Yeah, right. Listen, I'll let you hear one. Tonk!

How many bass players does it take to change a light bulb?
Six. One to change it and five to fight off the lead guitarists who are hogging the light.

What is the definition of a bass note played perfectly in tune?
Pure coincidence.

What is the difference between O.J. Simpson and the bassist Chuck Israels?
O.J. Simpson walked.

What's the difference between a double bass and a coffin?
With a double bass the corpse stands upright behind it.

Just before going on stage a band leader is surprised to see the bass player of the group leaning against the dressing room wall crying.
"What's the matter?', he asks.
'The piano player has de-tuned one of my strings.' sobbed the bassist.
'So, what's the problem?'
'He won't tell me which one!'

What is this? (move your hand as if repeatedly looking at your watch.)
A classical bass player using vibrato.

What is the difference between a bass and a cello?
A bass burns longer.

It is said that each contrabass case has a sign inside it which reminds the player to hold the bass up with his left hand and the bow in his right.'

One angry bass player says to another:
'Wipe that smile off your bass or you'll get into treble'.

How can you tell when a bass player is knocking at your door?
It gets slower.

A bass player who is also a professor of mathematics rejoins a big band after a long absence of many years. In the band room the musicians ask him what he had been doing all this time.
'Didn't you guys hear about it? I wrote a book about relativity.'
'No. We didn't hear about that.'
'I also received a nobel prize for my work on abstract mathematics.'
'Really? We didn't hear about that either.'
'But right now my chops are really down. I sat in at a jam session last week and I played really bad.'
'Oh yeah, we heard about that!'

A journalist visits Africa to interview a tribal chief. As soon as he gets off the plane he hears loud drums beating an obsessive rhythm.
'What do those drums mean?' he asks a steward.
'Man, dem drums is good news. When dem drums stop then you got big trouble!'
Confused, the journalist moves into a hotel while the drums continue their incessant beating. In the morning, after a sleepless night, he asks the hotel attendant for an explanation.
'Why are these drums beating all the time?', asks the anguished journalist. 'Don't they ever stop?'
'Man, dem drums is real good news,' replies the attendant. 'When dem drums stop playing den you got big trouble!'.
Finally, exhausted from the constant pounding, the journalist reaches the tribal village and interviews the chief.
'First of all,' says the journalist. 'I have to know what those drums mean'.
'Man', says the chief, 'dem drums is great news! When dem drums stop beating den real big trouble starts'.
'But I must know, what happens when the drums stop?'
'When de drums stop, terrible thing happens. Then you get the bass solo'.

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

Bass players carrying their bass to a gig must often put up with more than just the weight of the instrument. Struggling out of cars, going up and down stairs, passing through narrow doorways etc. they are a perfect target for inane comments from the general public. Here are some of the most well known examples:
'What have you got in there, your grandmother?'
'Why didn't you take up the piccolo?'
'How the hell can you get that thing under your chin?'
'What kind of vitamin pills did you feed that violin?'

Whenever he would seee a young bass student struggling to carry his double bass to the lesson, a jazz workshop teacher would explain to the student that carrying a bass was a form of karmic debt for having been a drummer in a previous life. In order to console the student he would add that in a future life a truly great bass player would reincarnate as the famous and highly paid jazz harmonica player Toots Thielmans.
However, the fact that there is only one Toots Thielmans just goes to show how few truly great bass players there have been.

A jazz bass player who was short of money took a temporary job as substitute in a classical orchestra performing Bizet's opera 'Carmen'. After a month of playing every night he gets a night off and decides to go and see the show as a member of the audience. After the final curtain he goes back stage to talk with the rest of the bass section.
'What did you think of the show?' asks one of his colleagues.
'Wow, too much man,' replies the jazz bassist, 'Crazy! You know that bit where we play the tonic and dominant, boom boom, boom boom? Well, you won't believe this, but there are all these people up on stage singing 'Toreador....'

What do a bass player and a terrorist have in common?
They both mess up bowings.

A couple that have not been talking to each other for more than a year, go to a marriage councillor for help.
The husband tells the councillor that they have been married for 15 years and lately the realationship has deteriorated to the point that they never speak a word to each other. The councillor asks them to wait a minute while he goes to fetch something. To their surprise he comes back with a double bass and begins to play. In no time at all the husband starts talking to the wife.
'Darling, do you remember that night in Hawai?' The councillor continues playing.
'Yes,' replies the wife dreamily. 'Under a full moon. It was wonderful.'
After five more minutes the couple are reminiscing, happily and cuddling like a pair of love birds.
'This is marvellous!' says the husband. 'It's a miracle! How did you get us to talk to each other?', he asks the councillor.
'During the bass solo, everybody talks!' came the reply.

How many bass players does it take to change a light bulb?
None, the piano player can do that with his left hand.


NAME OF OFFENDER (Bass Player)_______________________
INFRACTION DATE___________________________
Playing loudly during warm up $10
Sound-checking amp with funk slapping $25
Loud cursing after mistake $10
Playing high and fast after mistake $20
Practicing 2-handed tapping between tunes $20
Asking for "E" tuning note $25
Playing E anyway when horns tune to Bb $50
Playing written-out walking line $50
Failure to play written walking line $75
Writing note names over ledger-line notes $50
Writing beat numbers under dotted figures $50
Playing eighth notes $5 each
Playing sixteenth notes $10 each
Playing above 1st octave immediate dismissal
Dragging fast tempo $75
Dragging ballad tempo $100
Blacking out during ballad $200
Ignoring drummer's tempo $100
Following drummer's tempo $250
Asking to borrow Real Book for All Of Me $1000
Showing up before first downbeat $25
Playing audibly $25
Faking changes $25
Slapping $150
Missing tutti lick, then mentioning vintage of bass $25
Excessive sweating $25
Pedal point double-stops during horn solo $50
Asking leader for a solo $30
Accepting solo when offered $50
Taking second chorus $100
Playing solo arco $400
Pretending to check tuning after playing out of tune $100
Playing "A Train" ending on every tune $200
Playing extended "A Train" ending on every tune $500
Checking hair between tunes $15
Experimenting with odd meters $25
Missing root at end of blistering fill $25
Playing with a pick $50
Tuning during ballad $30
Playing Jaco groove on samba $75
Playing Jaco samba groove on ballad $150
Attempting last word on final chord $50
Achieving last word on final chord $100
Long gliss down to final note $200
Forgetting strap $10
Changing strings after every set $15
Using electric tuner $15
Setting up mic "just in case" $75
Forgetting to turn amp on $40
Bringing amp larger than 1 person can carry in 1 trip $50
Asking horn player for help moving amp $25
Bringing custom-made bass $100 per string above 4
Bringing more than 1 bass $100 per extra bass
Skull decals on bass $150
Bringing fretless bass $500
Telling bone player about all the gigs you get $10
Asking bone player about their day gig $10
Sitting behind drums on break $10
Quoting "Birdland" $25
Practicing scales during break $25
Practicing scales during drum solo $50
Practicing $150
Beginning a sentence with "When I was a guitar player..." $50
Casually mentioning to Musical Director of cheap theater that you are "into sequencing" $100
Wearing old Buddy Rich tour shirt $10
Wearing new Whitesnake tour shirt $20
Asking when the rock set starts $20
Continually asking "where are we?" $25
Continually shouting "Yeah!" $25
Asking bone player where "1" is $50
Taking cell phone call during 4's $100


The Lord is my drummer; I shall not rush.
He maketh me to lay out in tasteful places;
He leadeth me beside cool meter changes;
He restoreth my "one."
He leadeth me to the right repeats
For His name's sake.

Yea, though I read through the trickiest road maps,
I will fear no train wrecks;
For Thou art with me;
Thy ride and Thy snare,
They comfort me.

Thou setteth up a solo for me
In the presence of mine guitarists;
Thou annointeth my lines with drive;
My groove overflows.

Surely good feel and swing will follow me
All the tunes of each set;
And I will dwell in the pocket
The whole gig long.

Back to top


What do you call people who hang out with jazz musicians?

How can you tell a drummer is walking behind you?
You can hear his knuckles dragging on the ground.

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

I asked my drummer to spell "Mississippi"... He said, "the river or the state?"

Two drummers walk into a bar, which is actually kind of funny, because you would think that the second guy would have seen the first one do it.

Why are drummers always losing their watches?
Everyone knows they have trouble keeping time.

There was this drummer who, due to limitations of chops, was constantly slowing things down and, as a result, always bumming out the people he played with...you know...getting dirty looks, etc. No matter how hard he tried to improve his time feel, he would still slow everything down. And so, one night after yet another disappointing gig and with more dirty looks and grumbles from the band, the despondent drummer went out and threw himself behind a train!

What would you call the smartest drummer in the world?
Mildly retarded.

What do you call 10 drummers sitting in a circle?
A dope ring.

One night, a front man said to the drummer, "When the band starts to swing, I want you to play more on the ride cymbal." The drummer replied, "When the band starts to swing, will you please raise your hand?"

How can you tell when a drummer has used your computer music notation programme?
Because of the white out all over the screen.

How can you tell a second drummer was at the computer after the first drummer? There is writing on the white out.

What's the difference between a drummer and the rear end of a horse?
I don't know either.

What is the difference between a drummer and a terrorist?
Terrorists have sympathizers.

Why does a drummer always stare intensely at a can of frozen orange juice?
Because it says 'concentrate'.

A jazz trio is playing a gig at an upscale nightclub. They play a classic bebop tune at a fleet tempo with grace and ease. Then comes a Wayne Shorter composition filled with mysterious harmonies, poignant melodies and daring improvisations. Next they present a medley of lesser known Harold Arlen songs that only a connoisseur would recognize, again played with elegant styling and exquisite taste. The whole evening has been one dazzling performance after another.
Though the trio is playing background music and not a formal concert, the audience can sense the musical display they are witnessing is of such a high caliber that the musicians should be allowed to perform as they please without interference.
Then a well-dressed middle-aged man approaches the bandstand and asks the pianist "Can you play Lara's Theme from Dr. Zhivago?" The pianist tells the man they are jazz musicians and that they usually don't take requests of that sort. The man reaches into his coat pocket and pulls out three one hundred dollar bills
which he lays out on the piano. The pianist looks at the bass player and drummer and says "Lara's Theme in G."
They play the tune in the fashion of the original version, the pianist emulating the Balalaika textures with a delicate upper register tremolo. The song obviously does not present the same level of difficulty that the trio is accustomed to dealing with.
As the pianist plays, he absent-mindedly gazes at the soundboard of his ebony Steinway B and wonders about the grain in the wood. "How would the tonal characteristics be altered if the grain of the soundboard ran perpendicular to the strings rather than parallel", he silently asks himself.
The bass player amuses himself with an assortment of well-placed double-stops and harmonics. He daydreams as he looks at the top of his mid-nineteenth century double bass made by French master, Paul Claudot, and wonders "How many times has the top been varnished, how did the varnish of past years differ from today's, how would the resonance properties be affected if there were no varnish at all?"
The drummer gazes down onto the single-ply, medium-weight head of his 1950's vintage black oyster pearl snare drum and thinks to himself: "One, two, three, one, two, three, one, two, three."

How do you stop a drummer drowning?
Why would you want to?

Conductor: Again from measure 5, if you please.
Drummer: But there are no measure numbers.

Why do drummers have a half ounce more brains than horses?
So they don't disgrace themselves at the parade.

How many drummers does it take to change a light bulb?
One, but only after asking "Why?" ("Oh, wow! Is it like dark, man?")

How many drummers does it take to change a light bulb?
None. They have a machine that does that now.

Guy walks into a shop. "You got one of them Marshall Hiwatt AC30 amplificatior thingies and a Gobson StratoBlaster geetar with a Fried Rose tremolo?" "You're a drummer, aren't you?" "Duh, yeah. How'd you know?" "This is a travel agent."

Did you hear about the drummer who was locked up in jail?
He asked for 8 bars in front!

Two drummers are standing outside a music store looking in the window. One says to the other: 'Don't tell anybody, but I've always wanted to play the accordion'.
'Look', says the other pointing to a notice on the window. 'There's a sale on this month, why don't you go in and buy one'?
'You know what people think about drummers', says the first. 'I'm just too ashamed to go into the shop and ask'.
The second drummer ponders over the problem for a while then he says: 'I've got an idea! You can go disguised as a business man. That way no one will know you are a drummer'.
Next day the drummer walks into the music shop dressed in a pin-stripe suit, a bowler hat and carrying a tightly rolled umbrella.
Assistant: Can I help you sir?
Drummer: Yes, I would like to buy an accordion.
Assistant: Certainly sir. Which one would you like?
Drummer: That one over there. The one against the wall.
Assistant: You are obviously a drummer.
Drummer (shocked): How can you tell?
Assistant: Because you are pointing to the radiator!

What is the difference between a frikandel (cheap Dutch sausage) and a drummer?
A frikandel has brains.

How many drummers does it take to paint a wall red?
It all depends how hard you throw them!

A drummer at Conservatory is taking his ear-training exam, which involves the teacher playing a series of chords on the piano and the student having to identify them.
Teacher (plays a simple three note C major triad on the piano): What is this?
Drummer: Wow, that's pretty hard. But I think if I hear it again I can tell you what it is.
Teacher (plays the chord again): So, what is it?
Drummer: It's very difficult, but I think if you play it just one more time I've got it..
Teacher (plays chord again): Well?
Drummer: I've got it! It's a piano!

How can you tell when the drummer in the band is Jewish?
There's no skin on the bass drum.

A drummer was asked by a journalist if he listened to anything else besides drums. 'Oh yeah', he replied, 'I like listening to Billie Holiday. I think he's great!'

How many drummers does it take to change a light bulb?
Ten. One to do it and nine to tell him they can do it faster.

How many drummers does it take to change a light bulb?
A hundred. One to do it and ninety nine to tell him that Buddy Rich could have done it better.

Understandably, drummers get a little paranoid about the jokes told about them. Here is a way of making the drummer believe the joke is going to be at the expense of the bass player (you can even conspire with the drummer beforehand thus raising his expectations) but at the last moment you turn the joke on him.

What do you need to make a bass player?
First you take a large piece of cow dung from a field, a very large piece of cow dung. But be careful not to use too much or it turns into a drummer! (this should be embellished and dragged out to produce the desired effect.)

How can you tell when the stage is perfectly level?
The saliva dribbles evenly from both sides of the drummers' mouth.

A terrible drummer is murdering the beat and making life unbearable for a famous sax player. During the break the drummer comes slinking up to the table where the sax player and the rest of the band are relaxing over a few drinks in the company of attractive young ladies. Wanting to impress the girls he patronises the horn player:
Drummer (putting his arm on the sax players shoulder): Yeah man, too much baby! Say, when was the last time we played together?
Sax player: Tonight!

Did you hear about the bass player who lost his car keys?
It took three hours to get the drummer out of the car!

A bass player is surprised one day to see a piano being hoisted up to the top floor apartment of the drummer across the street. 'I see you've finally decided to learn a real instrument', he shouts across.
The next day he is even more surprised to see the piano being lowered down again. 'What's the matter have you given up already after just one day?'
'No', replied the drummer 'Don't be stupid, I'm going for my first lesson'.

Why do drummers smile when there is a thunderstorm?
Because they think someone is taking their photograph.

Band leader: We've had a request for 'Come Rain Or Come Shine'.
Drummer: So, which one are we going to play?

A few guys are sitting alone drinking at the bar. One turns to the person sitting next to him and says: 'You know I have an IQ of 180 and I'm very bored because I've got no-one to talk to'.
'What a coincidence', replies the other, 'I also have an IQ of 180. Would you like to talk about something with me? Nuclear physics perhaps, or Einstein's theory of relativity?'
Further down the bar another lonely drinker turns to his neighbour and says 'What a boring dump this is. I've got an IQ of 90 and no-one to talk to'.
'What a coincidence', replies the person sitting next to him 'I've also got an IQ of 90. What do you want to talk about, football, motorbikes, or girls?'
At the far end of the bar are sitting two drunken slobs. One turns to the other and says; 'I hate this bloody place. What a ****hole! Here am I with an IQ of 40 and nobody to talk to'.
'Would you believe it,' says the other drunk slobbering over the bar, 'I've got an IQ of 40 too'.
'What 42?' says the first.
'No, 40 too - 40 also,' replies the other.
'Oh, so what do you want to talk about then?' asks the first.
'Well, first off, what kind of sticks do you use?'

How do you get a drummer to play louder?
Ask him to use dynamics.

A big band leader, fed up with the drummer's lack of inspiration and his failure to observe any of the written dynamics, exclaimed in exasperation: 'Why don't you realise that you are not only the drummer of the band, you are the drama!'

A jazz big band drummer standing for the first time in front of the Niagara falls was heard to exclaim 'At last, fortissimo!'

What is the difference between a drummer and a computerised drum machine?
The drum machine has a memory.

How many drummers does it take to change a light bulb?
Twenty. Actually it only takes one, but he puts nineteen on the guest list.

Why is an electronic drum machine better to play with than a drummer?
Because with a drum machine you only have to punch in the information once.

A jazz quartet on tour in the middle east decides to go exploring and ends up getting lost in the middle of the desert. Without food or water, the four jazz musicians walk aimlessly under the blazing sun searching for some sign of civilisation. After walking for many hours and on the verge of collapse from thirst, they see the ruins of a small fort in the distance. Summoning up their last reserves of energy, they desperately try to reach the protection of the old fortress walls. Staggering through the shattered gate they collapse into the nearest shaded corner and lie there exhausted.
A little later the saxophone player looks around to examine the situation and is surprised to see a strange object gleaming in the rubble. He crawls towards the object to investigate: 'Hey guys,' he croaks 'I've found something - it looks like a lamp! The kind you rub and then a Genie comes out.'
'Hey man, what have we got to loose,' says the piano player. 'Give it a rub and see what happens.'
'Okay. Here goes!' and so saying the sax player rubs the lamp and.....whoosh! A huge Genie appears in a cloud of smoke.
'Cool baby!' says the Genie. 'I'm free and cookin' again! And it's all thanks to you. Man, I've been waitin' for a thousand years for this. So, come on you cool cats, lay the word on me. Hip me to where the action is around here. Oooh baby! Am I gonna boogie tonight!'
'Wait a minute,' says the sax player. 'Don't we get the traditional three wishes?'
'Hey man, there are four of you guys, I can't give you three wishes each. That would be against the regulations man.'
'Okay, let's make a deal. Give us just one wish each.'
'Cool baby, I can fix that, you got it. I am the genie of the lamp, what dost thou desire baby? Thy cool wish is my command.'
The saxophone player thought for a second. 'I wish I was back home, lying on my bed next to two sexy chicks with a crate of ice cold beer in the fridge.'
No sooner had he finished speaking than he disappeared in a puff of red smoke.
'And what is thy wish?' says the Genie to the piano player.
'I wish I was on a Caribbean island lying in the cool shade of a palm tree, drinking iced cocktails, surrounded by beautiful naked women.'
He too disappeared in a flash.
'And what dost thou desire?' says the Genie to the bass player.
'I wish I was back in my favourite jazz club, drinking litres of my favourite beer, surrounded by admiring and willing young ladies.'
In an instant he too was gone.
'And finally what is thy wish?' says the Genie turning to the drummer.
'Wow, that's a really tough question,' says the drummer anxiously. 'I need some time to think. Oh God I can't make up my mind. Gee, I wish the other three were back here to help me.'

What are a drummer's last words?
Hey guys, why don't we play one of my tunes?!

Female flute player (suggestively): Mmmmmm, I love to play the flute.
Drummer: Really? Can you play the piccolo as well?

The captain on a Roman galley makes an announcement to the slaves chained to the oars.
'I've got some good news and some bad news. The good news is that you are going to receive a double ration of rum. The bad news is that today Buddy Rich is on the drums.

A big band drummer is sitting silent during a long ensemble passage where no drums are required. At that moment the club manager walks in sees the situation and goes straight up to the drummer.
'Why aren't you playing?' he asks.
'I've got Tacit.' replies the drummer.
'I don't care what you've got, we want to have a drummer in this club. Go to see a doctor about it and send a substitute.'

A quartet out on the town in Amsterdam winds up in the heart of the Red Light District, where the working girls sit in windows seductively displaying their wares.
The drummer of the band approaches one of the windows and knocks on the glass.
'How much?' he asks.
'50 euros,' replies the girl.
'Really?' says the drummer looking surprised, 'that's pretty cheap for double glazing.'

How many dynamics can a big band drummer play?
Two: 'on' and 'off'!

A jazz trio is playing at a society gig in the fifties when jazz was considered the 'in' music to have at high class parties, despite the fact that nobody took any notice of the music. Very soon the members of the trio are extremely bored with the gig and, to make matters worse, no one is getting any drinks for the band.
Finally, the piano player leans towards the bass player and tells him to take a bass solo while he goes to get some drinks. Fifteen minutes pass and the piano player has still not returned to the stand. At this point the bass player tells the drummer to take a solo while he goes to find the piano player. The drummer starts up a furious solo. Ten, fifteen, twenty minutes he plays and there is still no sign of either the pianist or the bass player.
Eventually, just as the drummer has reached the limit of his endurance, a very snobbish lady comes up to the stage: 'Excuse me' she says to the sweating drummer, 'could you play the Autumn Leaves please?'
'What the hell do you think I was playing!' replied the drummer.

What's the difference between a drummer and a bass player?
Half a beat.

A theory teacher has been asked to give a class of drummers a lesson in harmony. He walks in, looks around the crowded classroom and declares: 'So many drummers, and so little time!'

How can you tell when a drummer is knocking at your door?
It gets faster.

Turkish drummer has had a lifelong ambition to visit America to study jazz drumming with his idols. In order to earn enough money for the venture he has joined 'Abdul Ahmed's club date band', which specialises in Turkish folk music and is much renowned in the circuit of well paid society gigs. After saving up enough money he leaves the band and moves to New York where he takes private lessons from his favourite drummers, Steve Gadd and Elvin Jones.
After two years of hard study and penniless, he returns to Turkey, where necessity once again forces him to join the famous Abdul Ahmed.
Eager to show off his recently acquired jazz licks, the drummer crams every available space in the arrangements with fills and breaks of astonishing complexity, displaying all of his breath-taking technique.
After enduring an hour of deafening pyrotechnics, Abdul Ahmed approaches the drummer during the intermission and takes him to one side. 'You know, I think what you are doing is very nice. Very, very nice.' he says smiling patiently, 'but for this kind of music all I want from you is a simple offbeat on seven and nineteen'.

Two drummers jump out of a 15 storey window at exactly the same time. Which one of them hits the ground first?
Who cares?

What is the difference between a drummer and junk food?
Junk food has taste.

A jazz drummer, being between gigs and needing money to live, decided to hire himself out as a handyman-type and started canvassing a wealthy neighborhood. He went to the front door of the first house and asked the owner if he had any jobs that needed to be done.
"Well, you can paint my porch. How much will you charge?" answered the homeowner.
After a moments calculation, the drummer told him, "How about 50 dollars, if you supply the paint?" The man agreed and showed him the paint and ladders in the garage.
The man's wife, inside the house, heard the conversation and said to her husband, "Doesn't he realize that the porch goes all the way around the house?"
The man replied, "He should, he was standing on the porch."
An hour or so later, the tired erstwhile painter came to the door to collect the money.
"You're finished already?" was the question.
"Yes," came the answer, "and I had paint left over, so I gave it two coats."
Impressed, the man reached in his pocket for the $50.
"By the way," the jazzer added, "Didn't you know? That's not a Porch, it's a Ferrari."

After having been praised by his teacher for playing an energetic and interesting drum solo, the drummer complained to the teacher: 'The trouble is when I play like that I make a lot of mistakes.'
'Don't worry,' replied the teacher. 'A drum solo is one gigantic mistake.'

A drummer comes rushing excitedly on to the stage exclaiming 'I did it! I did it! And it only took me six months!'
'You did what in just six months?' asks one of the band.
'I finished the jigsaw puzzle man. I completely finished the jigsaw puzzle!'
'So what's the big deal about finishing a jigsaw puzzle in six months?' asks a band member.
'Hey man, on the box it says 'from 3 to 5 years.'

A patient due to have a brain transplant is being shown a price list by the doctor. On the list he reads that a teacher's brain costs one thousand dollars. A professor's brain ten thousand dollars, and a drummer's brain one million dollars.
'Why is the drummer's brain so expensive?' he asks the doctor.
'It's never been used!'

Good - better - best.
Big - bigger - biggest.
Dumb - dumber - drummer.

Why does it take a drummer so long to eat breakfast?
Because the orange juice carton instructions say, "Concentrate!!"

A quartet are travelling by plane on an overseas tour. Travelling by the cheapest fare they are sitting at the back of the plane where they have been trying in vain to attract the attention of the stewardess.
'Man, I've got to have a drink,' says the saxophone player. 'Isn't there any way of getting her attention?'
'Well, I've brought my parrot with me,' replies the piano player 'this parrot used to belong to an army general and he can order anybody to do anything'.
'Too much,' says the saxophone player cheering up 'can you get it to order me a whisky on the rocks?'
'Sure thing.' says the piano player and so saying he takes the parrot out of its box and places it on his shoulder.
'Napoleon, tell that stewardess to bring a whisky on the rocks'.
The parrott lets out a squawk of delight and proceeds to speak in an authoritarian army voice.
'Hey bitch! Get your fat ass over here and bring a whisky on the rocks. Fast!'
The band is astonished to see the stewardess immediately drop everything and rush to the back with the requested drink on a tray.
'Here is the drink you requested sir. I hope it is to your liking.' After elegantly serving the drink the stewardess smiles sweetly to the band and wiggles her way back down the aisle.
'Hey man, that's great!' says the bass player recovering from the shock, 'could you ask the parrott to order me a gin and tonic?'
'Sure thing', says the piano player. 'Napoleon, tell the stewardess to bring a gin and tonic'.
Once again the parrott screeches with delight and speaks in a commanding voice.
'Hey bitch! Get your big fat ass over here and bring a gin and tonic. On the double!'
Again the stewardess drops everything and comes scurrying up to the back with the drink on a tray.
'Here is the drink you requested sir. The ice is in the ice bucket and help yourself to the salted nuts.'
The drummer, who is sitting accross the aisle by himself, has been watching the whole proceedings and thinks to himself "If a stupid parrott can do it, I can do it too.'
'Hey you dumb bitch!' he shouts at the top of his voice 'get your big, fat, flabby ass over here and bring a glass of vodka on the rocks. That's an order you dumb blonde!'
At that moment, in answer to complaints from passengers about the use of foul language, the pilot and co-pilot are watching through the open communications door to see where the insults are coming from. Spotting the culprit the co-pilot, who happens to be the boy friend of the stewardess, and who also happens to be very powerfully built, comes charging angrilly down the aisle and in one swift movement picks up the drummer, opens the emergency exit, and throws him out of the plane.
After a few moments of stunned silence, the parrott turns to the piano player. 'Man,' he says, 'for someone who can't fly, that guy sure had a big mouth!'

What do you get when you cross a drummer with a Gorilla?
A very stupid Gorilla.

What do you call a drummer with only half a brain?

Musician's slogan:
Don't kick ass, kick drummers!

A jazz guitarist and a drummer (the kind that plays drums, not a door to door salesman) are watching the 6 o'clock news one evening. The guitarist bets his pal $50 that the man in the lead story, who is threatening to jump from a 40 story building, will jump.
"I'll take that bet," the drummer replies.
A few minutes later, the newscaster breaks in to report that the man had, indeed, jumped from the building. The guitarist, feeling sudden guilt for having bet on such an incident, turns to the drummer and tells him not to bother paying off.
"No, a bet's a bet," comes the reply, "I owe you $50 dollars."
The guitarist, now feeling even more guilty, confesses, "No, you don't understand, I saw the 3:00 edition, so I knew how it was going to turn out."
"Yeah, I saw that, too," answers the drummer "but I never thought he would jump again!"

General Custer and his aide are conferring on patrol. The aide said, "General, I don't like the sound of those drums." From over in the hills you hear a voice yell, "It's not our regular drummer."!

What's the difference between a drummer and Dr Scholl's footpads?
Dr Scholl's footpads buck up the feet.

Two cowboys were waiting in their fort for the Indians to attack. They listened to the distant pounding war drums. One cowboy muttered to the other, "I don't like the sound of them drums." Just then, a distant voice came over the hill, "It's not our usual drummer!"

Back to top


How many classical flutists does it take to change a light bulb?
Only one, but she'll pay $5,000 for a gold-plated ladder.

How do you get 5 flutes in tune?
Shoot 4 of them.

Definition of a flute: a sophisticated pea shooter with a range up to 500 yards, blown traversely to confuse the enemy.

How many flute players does it take to change a light bulb?
Only one, but he'll spend 15 minutes screwing it in and out until he gets it just right.

What is the definition of a minor second?
Two flutes playing in unison.

How many flute players does it take to change a light bulb?
Only one, but she needs a sterling silver screwdriver with a gold-plated engraved handle.

What do you get when you mix a flute player and a fifth of scotch?
A pie-eyed piper.

How many concert band flute players does it take to change a light bulb?
None. They ask their boyfriends to do it for them.

How many flute players does it take to change a light bulb?
Only one, but he'll break 10 bulbs before he realizes they can't be pushed in.

What key is the alto flute pitched in?
G------I really don't care, either!!

Two musicians are walking down the street. One asks the other, "who was that piccolo I saw you with last night?"
The other replies, "that was no piccolo, that was my fife!"

What's the difference between a flutist and a seamstress?
A seamstress tucks up frills and a flutist f---s up trills.

How do you tune two piccolos?
You shoot them both.

What do you call a good flute section?

How do you define perfect pitch on a piccolo?
When you toss it in the toilet and it doesn't hit the rim

I was once a piccolo player in an orchestra that travelled around
Europe. First we went to England and played for the Queen. She said
"Simply marvelous!! Fill their instruments with gold!" So they filled
the tuba with gold and the trombone with gold and damnit.....I play
piccolo. So then we played for the King of France and he declared
"Formidable!! Fill their instruments with silver!!" So they filled the
tuba with silver and the trombone with silver and damnit.....I play
piccolo. Finally we played for the Czar of Russia. He interrupted
right in the middle and shouted "They are TERRIBLE!! Shove their
instruments up their behinds!!!" And the tuba wouldn't fit, and the
trombone wouldn't fit.......and damnit.....I play piccolo.....

.How can you tell if a plane is full of flute players?
When the engines stop, the whining continues.

Back to top


You are in a room with Saddam Hussein, Adolf Hitler, and Kenny G. You have a gun but only two bullets. What do you do?
Shoot Kenny G twice... just to make sure.

Kenny G has made a new album featuring his own adaptations of Thelonious Monk compositions. The album includes some truly unforgettable tracks such as 'Round Noon' and 'Straight No Changes'.

What do you call a saxophonist who plays mostly 1/64 notes?
A ballad-specialist.

Why did Adolph Sax invent the saxophone?
He hated mankind but couldn�t build an atom-bomb.

The reason why so many weird noises comes out of the business end of saxophones is that Mr Sax never issued any instructions on how to use them. Contrary to popular belief the saxophones are percussion-instruments and meant to be beaten by hammers. Large hammers.

When should a saxophonist change his reed?
Whenever a difficult section comes up in the music score.

Which is the ideal place to practise on a tenor-saxophone? A: In Saddam Husseins bedroom. B: Five fathoms under the surface of the Pacific Ocean. C: In a deserted coal mine. D: None of the above. Correct answer: D: None of the above. A saxophone-player never, but never practises. The risk of learning to play is too great.

What's the difference between a saxophonist and a lawnmower?
A lawnmower cuts grass; a sax player smokes it.

What's the purpose of the bell on a bass clarinet?
Storing the ashes from the rest of the instrument.

What do you get when you remove half a bass clarinetist's brain?
An even more gifted contrabass clarinetist.

How do you get a clarinetist out of a tree?
Cut the noose.

What's the difference between a clarinet solo and scraping your nails down the blackboard?

Why don't sax players like playing soprano? There's no place to hide your drugs.

Why did the lead alto player play so many wrong notes?
Because he kept ignoring the key signature-- he thought it was a suggestion.

What is the difference between Kenny G and a machine gun? The machine gun repeats only 10 times per second.

Kenny G. steps out of an elavator with a big grin on face and says: "Man, this place rocks!"

How many C melody sax players can you fit into a phone booth?
All of them.

A good title for a saxophone with strings album: �Sax and Violins'.

What's the difference between a lawnmower and a tenor sax?
1. Lawnmowers sound better in small ensembles.
2. You can tune a lawnmower.
3. The neighbors are upset if you borrow a lawnmower and don't return it.
4. The grip.

What's the difference between the creationist theory of the origin of life and a tenor sax?
The theory doesn't have as many leaks.

What's the difference between a bari-sax and a chain saw?
1. Vibrato.
2. The exhaust.

At the end of a concert a critic approached a bebop alto sax player and said: 'You know your problem is that you sound just like Charlie Parker.' The sax player took his alto sax from around his neck and handed it to the critic. 'Here,take this,' he said. 'Now you try and sound just like Charlie Parker.'

You may be a redneck saxophonist if...
...you have an old bass sax up on blocks in your front yard.
...you spell it "saxaphone."
...you think the bell of your instrument is a great place to hold a longneck during a gig.
...the gun rack in your pickup truck holds a couple of old Buesher sopranos.
...you think that Boots Randolph is the greatest jazz musician who ever lived.

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

A famous saxophone player renowned for being an excessive drinker was astonishing the audience by taking extended solos on difficult tunes although he was clearly highly intoxicated. At the end of a particularly long solo on 'Cherokee', taken at a break-neck tempo, an incredulous admirer came to the side of the stage.
'Man, how can you play so good when your drunk?', he asked in amazement.
'I practise drunk,' came the reply.

How many clarinetists does it take to change a light bulb?
One. But he has to go through a whole box of light bulbs before he finds a good one.

After a gig the band leader says to a dep sax player, "you were making that saxophone talk", the sax player is very flattered, the band leader says, "it was saying please put me back in my case".

The Golden Club, Las Vegas The morning after a night on the town in Las Vegas, Bob told his friend about the Golden Club that he had been drinking in. Everything in the club was lined with gold. The glasses had a gold rim, the rail on the bar was plated with gold, even the urinals were gold plated. Bob was ready to believe his buddy until he mentioned the gold plated urinals so he called the Golden Club. "Is it true that the glasses in your club have a gold rim?" Bob asked. "Yes, it's true" replied the voice on the other end. "And is the rail on the bar plated with gold?" asked Bob. "Yes it is," was the reply from the other end. "And, one more thing, is it true that the urinals are gold plated?" inquired Bob. Bob could hear the person on the other end yell to the band, "Hey Joe, I think I found the guy that pissed in your saxophone last night."


Back to top


How do you know there's a girl singer as a patient on the intensive care unit?
She's the only one that asks for more echo on the monitor.

A chick singer is always calling tunes in strange keys. One day during a rehearsal the piano player in the band has had enough:
Pianist: Why the heck do you want to sing the tune in D? Why not take it up a semitone and do it in Eb?
Singer: Eb? Isn't that faster?

What is the difference between a chick singer and a Porsche?
Most musicians have never been inside a Porsche.

After a rehearsal session a frustrated chic singer turns to the big band and shouts,
"Me and this big band have nothing in common."
"Yes we do," replied the band leader. "We are all madly in love with you."

What's the inscription on a dead blues-singers tombstones?
"Didn't wake up dis mornin'....."

A certain chick singer of questionable talent commented on the band bus:
"I'd rather sing than eat."
To which one of the band members replied:
"I'd rather listen to you eat."

How does a singer change a light bulb?
She stands on a chair, takes hold of the bulb, and waits for the whole world to revolve around her.

What are ten thousand chick singers at the bottom of the ocean?
A start.

A genie appears to a big band leader and offers him one wish.
Band leader: 'I must use this wish for the good of humanity. I wish for peace on Earth.'
Genie: 'That's a tough one. Can't you think of something a little easier? Something for yourself perhaps.'
Band leader: 'Well, for myself, I wish that the singer in my big band would sing in tune for once.'
Genie: 'On second thoughts, let's settle for peace on Earth.'

Why is the ideal chick singer only three feet tall?
Because she is the perfect height for the band to rest their beer glasses on top of her head.

What is the chick singer's motto?
Wherever ego, I go.

How does a chick singer commit suicide?
By jumping from her ego to her IQ.

Band leader: 'Can you sing from sheet music?'
Singer: 'Of course, but not the first time.'

What is the difference between a vocalist and a terrorist?
You can negotiate with a terrorist.

What do a vocalist and a terrorist have in common?
They both blow bridges.

How can you tell when it's a chick singer knocking at your door?
Because she can't find the key, and she doesn't know how to come in.

Why is a bad singer like a bomb?
Because when you hear it it's too late.

One night you walk into a jazz club where there is a terrible group performing on stage. The pianist is playing all the wrong changes, the bass player is way out of tune and the drummer has no sense of time. However, you are very surprised to hear that the singer is really quite good. You are armed with a gun but you only have two bullets in the magazine.
Which members of the band do you shoot?
You shoot the singer - twice!

Did you hear about the Irish chick singer? She married the arranger.

There are a hundred chick singers buried up to their necks in sand. Why?
There wasn't enough sand!

A jazz musician goes to heaven and is delighted to see that paradise is full of jazz musicians. All the greatest jazz players are to be found there. But to his surprise he notices that everybody is looking extremely miserable. Curious, he approaches one of the musicians and asks him what the problem is.
'Everybody is depressed because the jam session is about to start', he replied.
'Are you serious?' asks the new arrival in astonishment, 'You've got the greatest players in the history of jazz up here and you guys are depressed because the jam session is about to start. you've got to be kidding'.
'Man, it's obvious you're a new cat up here and you haven't heard the bad news yet.'
'Bad news? In heaven? What bad news?' asks the newcomer.
The musician gave a sigh, 'God's girlfriend is a singer!' he groaned.

Why do singers never say anything bad about musicians?
Because they're too busy talking about themselves.

How many singers does it take to sing 'My Funny Valentine'?
Probably all of them.

A piano player is rehearsing the female singer of the band:
Pianist: In this tune you will sing seven bars of the first verse and then go immediately to the second ending. You will then sing four bars of the second verse a semitone higher and only half of the first ending before going to the bridge. After six bars of the bridge you will give me a five bar solo then come back in with the first six bars of the last verse followed by half of the coda. You will repeat the coda five times before finally ending on the root a semitone higher.
Singer: But that's impossible.
Pianist: No it isn't. That's what you do every tune.

How do you know there's a girl singer as a patient on the intensive care unit?
She's the only one that asks for more echo on the monitor.

How does Michael Jackson pick his nose?
From a catalogue.

Musician: How's your singing career coming on?
Singer: Great! Lately I've been concentrating on songs from the Southern states of America. My audience seems to prefer them.
Musician: How do you know they prefer songs from the South?
Singer: They're always putting cotton in their ears!

How many country and western singers does it take to change a light bulb?
Ten. One to do it, and nine to sing about how good the old one was.

What is the difference between a big band leader and a baby?
A baby sucks his fingers.

Singer: So, what do you think of my singing?
Band leader: It could be worse.
Singer: That's not a very nice thing to say.
Band leader: Okay, it couldn't be worse.

What do you get when you play a country song backwards?
You get your truck back, you get your farm back, you get your woman back........

A female singer about to do an audition is suffering from an acute attack of nerves. She has just been tipped off by one of the club waiters that if she wants to get the job she must sing 'Misty', the club owner's favourite song. Unfortunately she can't remember all the words and there is no time to look them up. In a panic she decides to confide in the house band.
'Don't worry' says the piano player in a kindly tone of voice, 'If you get into trouble just look at me and I'll help you out'.
Reassured, but still apprehensive, the terrified vocalist gets up on stage and begins to sing: 'Look at me.....'.
No sooner has she sung the first phrase than her mind goes completely blank. With a look of abject terror she turns to the piano player for assistance.
'Bb minor seven' came the whispered prompt.

What do you say when a chick singer reaches the stage?
The chain is too long.

An American band leader met a Romanian jazz singer while on tour in Eastern Europe and took her back to the U.S. where they married. The inevitable consequence was that every performance of the band now included a feature spot for the female vocalist. However, having only a scant knowledge of the English language, she would frequently mispronounce and misunderstand the lyrics. For example, when singing 'Don't Get Around Much Anymore' she would begin with the line: 'Mister Saturday dance...'
This tendency to misinterpret the lyrics, together with a very strong accent, often resulted in the band writhing in contortions of suppressed laughter.
One night they could contain themselves no longer. A regular customer requested his favourite tune 'The Lady is a Tramp'. After the customary eight bar intro. the enthusiastic singer came bursting in with: 'Tickets to Hungary for dinner at eight...'
At which the band fell about in hysterics.

Why do chick singers always leave all the doors open?
So they can come in when they like.

What is the difference between a singer and a grand piano?
About a semitone.

In the middle of a square room there is a large pot of gold. In the four corners of the room equidistant from the pot of gold are a lead trumpet player who can hit stratospheric high notes, a female vocalist who can scat sing, Santa Claus, and the Fairy Queen.
Which one of them gets the pot of gold?
The lead trumpet player. The other three don't exist!

What do you call a female singer with two brain cells?

What do you do when a singer comes begging on her knees?
Shoot her again.

What does a singer do when she opens the fridge in the morning?
She takes a bow.

A band leader tells a chick singer 'Don't believe people when they tell you that you can't sing shit, because you can.'

What's the difference between a soprano and a pirhana?

A jazz musician sitting at a bar between two tall ladies asks them if they want to hear a joke about a chick singer. 'Í am am a singer', replies one of the women 'and I am also a black belt in Karate. And she is a singer too and an expert in Kung Fu. So.... do you still want to tell a joke about chick singers?'

'Hell no,' replies the musician, 'not if I have to explain it twice!'.

What's the difference between a soprano and a pit bull?

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

What's the difference between a Wagnerian soprano and an average all-pro offensive lineman?
Stage makeup.

During a break between sets a chick singer is sitting at the bar next to a male customer.
Singer: So, which record company are you from?
Man: Actually I'm not from any record company.
Singer: In that case, get your hands out of my pants!

What advice does a chick singer give her teenage daughter?
If you're not in bed by midnight come straight back home!

A chick singer goes into a studio to do an overdub.
‘Where is the drummer?’, she asks.
‘Don’t worry’, says the sound technician, ‘it’s all here on tape’.
‘But where is the bass player,’ she asks, getting more perplexed.
‘Don’t worry, it’s okay, it’s all in the can.’
‘But where is the piano player?’ she asks, now almost in tears.
‘I said, it’s okay they’re all on tape.’
‘But if they’re all on tape, which one is going to take me home with him?’

How does a chick singer commit suicide?
She jumps from the great height of her ego and crashes to the depths of her I.Q.

What do you call a chick singer who is a virgin?

Gig Infractions: Chick Singer Fines

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 a capella-$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 the 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 secret laying all over stage-$25
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 stage-$15
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 STAR"-$20
Dumps management, band, etc. after making the big time-$10,000
Hates the phrase "chick singer"-$500.

One chick singer says to another "I slept with a Brazilian."
The other singer says:
'OMG you slut! How many is a Brazilian?"

Back to top


How does a trombone compare to a trumpet?
A trombone is to trumpet as the Hindenberg is to the space shuttle. Slower, meandering, out-of-date, overinflated, full of hot air, and known to go down in flames when there's a big audience.

What's the difference between a bass trombone and a chain saw?
1. Vibrato.
2. It's easier to improvise on a chainsaw.

Lead trumpeter Derek Watkins said of the trombone: 'Never trust an instrument that changes size while you are playing it!'

A child returned from his first music lesson on the bass trombone. "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 did not come home. The father was frantic when the child finally came home after 2:00 AM.
"Where in hell have you been," screamed the father.
"I had a gig at a jazz festival in The Hague," answered the son.

Why do people play trombone?
Because they can't move their fingers and read music at the same time.

What's so tragic about a minivan with 5 trombones in it running off the side of a cliff?
You could have fit more trombones in it.

How do you kow if there's a trombonist at your door?
The doorbell drags.

It was the first day of school and the teacher thought she'd get to know the kids by asking them their names and what their fathers did for a living.
The first little girl said, "My name is Mary and my daddy is a postman."
The next little boy said, "I'm Andy and my Dad is a mechanic."
It was then little Johnny's turn and he said "My name is Johnny and my father is a striptease dancer in a cabaret for gay men."
The teacher gasped and quickly moved on, but later, in the school yard, the teacher approached Johnny privately and asked if it was really true that his Dad dances nude in a gay bar.
Little Johnny blushed and said, "Nah, he's really a Dixieland trombone player but I was just too embarrassed to say so."

How can you tell that a kid on a playground is a trombonist's kid?
He can't swing and he complains about the slide.

Someone asks a trombonist: "What's the subdominant of F major?"
The trombonist is confused: "What??? I thought F major was the subdominant!"

How many trombone players does it take to change a light bulb?
Only one, but he'll spend half an hour trying to figure out what position he needs to be in.

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

Top Ten Reasons To Play The Trombone
10. It doubles the flow of testosterone
9. Chicks dig the big cases
8. It's shiny!!!
7. Works as a lightning rod
6. Tastes like chicken
5. Slides nicely when lubricated
4. Scare's away the neighbour's cat
3. Outblows any woodwind
2. No batteries necessary
1. It's the only instrument that doesn't suck

What's the first position a trombonist learns?
Head cocked, arm above it, finger scratching scalp.

A guy walks up to the band director and inquires about joining the band. The director says,"Sure, you can join the trombone section." The guy replies, "But I don't play the trombone." "Well," the director replies "Neither does anyone in our trombone section!!!"

A trombone player walks past a bar. (Well, it could happen!)

What do you call a beautiful woman on a trombonist's arm?
A tattoo.

How many trombonists does it take to change a light bulb?
I don't know, they can't reach that high.

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

How do you make a french horn sound like a trombone?
Take your hand out of the bell and lose all sense of taste.

Trombone: a slide whistle with delusions of grandeur.

What is the difference between a dead chicken in the middle of the road and a dead bass trombone player in the middle of the road?
The chicken was on its way to a gig.

What is the definition of a gentleman?
A trombonist who takes his horn to a jam session and doesn't sit in.

How many bass trombone players does it take to change a light bulb?
Ten: one to do it and nine to ask him how he got the gig.

A studio trombonist who had just returned from a two weeks holliday turned to his colleague in the bone section to complain about the state of his chops.
'How can you lose thirty years of chops in just two weeks?', he asked.
'I lose my chops during an eight bar rest,' replied the other.

How do you stop a trombone player drowning
Take your foot off his head!

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

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

What is the definition of an optimist?
A freelance bass trombone player that invests in an answering machine.

During a rehearsal a band leader asked a trombone player if he could play the solo part more beautifully.
'It's beautiful when it goes in,' replied the trombone player, 'it just sounds ugly when it comes out!'

What's the difference between a trumpet and a trombone?
You can get more beer into a trombone.

The trombone player had a New Year's gig with his quartet. It was going very well. The band was enjoying it, the audience was digging it and the club owner was ecstatic. "Hey, you guys are great!" the club owner exclaimed, "I'd like to book you for New Year's Eve next year. Are you available?" "As a matter of fact we are," answered the trombonist. "Well, consider it booked then!" "Thanks very much," answered the trombonist, "Is it alright if I leave my horn here?"

Which is the lesser of these three evils? A terrorist act, an airplane hijacking or a trombone solo?
An airplane hijacking, because it might have a good outcome.

A trombonist finally played a gig and his colleague asks him how the money was.
'Fifty dollars', he replied, 'That's all I could afford!'

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

Back to top


A terrorist group captured 50 trumpet players. They demanded 10 million dollars or they threatened to release one every hour.

What are trumpets made out of?
Leftover saxophone parts.

How many trumpets does it take to change a light bulb?
Just one, but he'll do it too loudly.

A trumpet player swaggers about his skills to the band leader: " I play as loud as Louis Armstrong, as high as Maynard Ferguson, as fast as Dizzy Gillespie, and as cool as Chet Baker." After his audition the band leader says: "I wish you were as dead as Miles Davis."

A replacement trumpet player was rehearsing for the first time with a big band famous for playing unusual and complex arrangements. On looking over the charts he saw that all the pieces were in uncommon time signatures such as 7/4 and 11/8. Turning to the trumpeter next to him he asked: 'Hey man, what are these? Hat sizes?'
'Man,' replied the other, 'Tell me about it! The only time this band plays in 4/4 is when we play 'Take Five'!'

How do trumpet players traditionally greet each other?
"Hi. Nice to meet you. I'm better than you."

A jazz trumpet player working as a substitute in a classical orchestra had a 32 bar rest. On the 33rd bar he failed to come in which caused the conductor to stop the rehearsal. 'Why didn't you play?' asked the conductor'
'It says here in the part that I've got to take a 32 bar rest,' replied the trumpeter.
'I know that, but we were at bar 33 and there you must play. You have to count.'
'Man, that's not fair.' complained the jazz musician. 'If I have to count what kind of a rest is that?'

How do you get a trumpet player to play fff? Write mp on the part.

How many trumpet players does it take to change a lightbulb?
Five: one to handle the bulb and four to tell them how they could do It better (but only in the practice room)!

A trumpet player goes through customs where is stopped by a suspicious customs officer.
Customs officer: Excuse me sir. Is that a musical instrument.
Trumpeter: Sometimes.

How many jazz trumpeters does it take to change a light bulb?
Never mind- they can fake the changes.

A very well known arranger was rehearsing a big band assembled to play arrangements of the "Canadiana Suite" by Oscar Peterson. At some point plunger mutes were required and all the trumpet players but one got them out.
The arranger asked: "Hey man the part says plunger mute, where's your mute?"
The trumpet player replies: "I don't have one."
Arranger: " I can't believe that! How can you not have a plunger?"
Player: "Well I don't have one!"
Arranger: "Listen what the hell do you do at home when your sink or your toilet get blocked up?"
Player: "I use a harmon".

How do you get a trumpet player to play softly?
Take away his instrument.

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

How can you tell a trumpet player's kids at a playground?
They don't know how to swing.

4 trumpet players are in a mini van. The mini van goes off a cliff. What's the tragedy in this? You can fit 8 trumpet players in a mini van.

A lead trumpet player and his neighbour are talking about the value of their respective houses.
Trumpeter: I've just had my house valued at $250.000.
Neighbour: How is that possible. My house is exactly the same as yours and was recently valued at $100.000.
Trumpeter: Yeah, but I don't have a trumpet player living next door.

How can you tell when a lead trumpet player is at your door?
The doorbell squeeks!

How many trumpet players does it take to screw in a lightbulb?
Zero. They just complain about the darkness until a trombone player does it for them.

Back to top


What is a guaranteed way of stopping the spread of AIDS?
Ask a jazz record company to distribute it.

Ten things not to say when you first meet a jazz musician:

10. Isn't jazz just making it up?
9. Aren't all jazz musicians drug addicts?
8. I've never heard of you.
7. What's jazz?
6. I like Kenny G.
5. Wow, that really rocks.
4. I like blues; aren't jazz & blues like the same.
3. But what do you do for a living?
2. I didn't know there were any jazz musicians alive anymore.
1. So do you like to play in a band?

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

A conductor became ill before a concert one evening and the orchestra had to find an emergency substitute conductor immediately. The only person in the orchestra with any conducting experience was the 2nd trombone player. He bravely and meticulously conducted the concert and it was a tremendous success. The regular conductor had recovered by the next night and was back on the job. As the trombone player took his seat in the orchestra, the 1st trombone player turned to him and said, "So, where were you last night?"

'If it wasn't for bad luck I wouldn't have any luck at all.'
Anonymous blues singer.

What do you do when you see a guitar player drowning?
Throw him his amp!

A jazz critic is a legless man who teaches running.

Al Capone visits a jazz club and asks one of his body-guards to request the band leader to play 'Come Rain or Come Shine' for him. The broken-nosed hoodlum walks over to the pianist and says: "Mr. Capone wants you to play 'Come Rain or Come Shine'. But if you know what's good for you you better play both of them."

An orchestra is rehearsing a piece in which the tuba has a solo after 84 bars rest. At the point where the tuba should start the solo, nothing happens. So, the conductor stops and asks the tuba player why he didn't play. " I have 84 bars rest," says the tubist. To which the conductor replies, "But we are past those 84 bars already." The tubist: "How should I know that?" The conductor replies, "You can count, can't you?" The tubist: "Do you call that rest?"

Definition of an oboe: An ill wind that no one blows good.

Why are intermissions limited to 15 minutes at jazz gigs?
So you don't have to retrain the musicians.

What did the jazz guitarist say when his agent called him on his cell phone?
"How did you know I was at Manny's Music"?

Many people don't know that the great American composer George Gershwin loved computers. But his brother, Ira, hated them. That is why Ira took all of George's songs and changed the titles and words. The original titles include: I Got Algorithm, They Can't Take That Array From Me, I Got Plenty O' Debuggin' 'The Mainframe I Love', 'A Foggy Database', 'Our Love Is Here To Stack' 'Softwaretime' and, of course, the all-time classic: 'Rhapsody In Boolean'.

What do you get if you run over an army officer with a steam roller?
A flat major.

What did the guitar say to the guitarist?
Pick on someone your own size!

After a gig the band leader says to a dep sax player, "you were making that saxophone talk", the sax player is very flattered, the band leader says, "it was saying please put me back in my case".

A very intense, self-absorbed saxophone player is sitting at the bar after playing all night. A beautiful woman shyly approaches him and says, "Excuse me, I hate to intrude, but I just have to tell you that I saw you play tonight. I have never been so deeply affected by music before. It's like it woke up my mind and my heart. It also woke me up as a woman. Your music touched me so deeply that I just want to take you home with me and make mad passionate love to you all night long."
The saxophone player stares at her for a moment and asks, "Did
you see the first set or the second set?"

What is the difference between a Blues musician and a Jazz musician
A Blues musician plays 3 chords in front of a 1000 people. A Jazz musician plays a 1000 chords in front of three people.

Jazz is the most fun you can have with your clothes on. (Herb Pomeroy)

The better it gets, the fewer of us know it. (Ray Brown)

What do a jazz archtop guitar and a lawsuit have in common?
Everyone is happy when the case is closed.

How are a jazz guitarist and a blind javelin thrower alike?
Both command immediate attention and alarm, and force everyone to move out of range

How can you tell if a Jazz Guitarist is a dreamer?
He has an agent.

How can you tell if a Jazz Guitarist is insane?
He has an agent and a publicist.

Warren Covington used to have an arrangement of "Tea for Two Cha-Cha" that had a carefully rehearsed break on the downbeat of the 15th measure, with total silence until the beginning of the 17th. One night, Doug Mettome found the opening irresistible. When the band hit the break, Doug stood up and shouted, "Pennsylvania six, five thousand!" The rest of the band did not come back in on the 17th bar, or anywhere else. They had all collapsed with laughter. ......................... !

What is the difference between a guitar and a tuna fish?
You can tune a guitar but you can't tuna fish.

What is God's favourite chord?
G sus.

Miss Beatrice, the church organist, was in her eighties and had never been married.
She was admired for her sweetness and kindness to all.
One afternoon the pastor came to call on her and she showed him into her quaint sitting room.
She invited him to have a seat while she prepared tea.
As he sat facing her old Hammond organ, the young minister noticed a cut-glass bowl sitting on top of it. The bowl was filled with water, and in the water floated, of all things, a condom!
When she returned with tea and scones, they began to chat.
The pastor tried to stifle his curiosity about the bowl of water and its strange floater, but soon it got the better of him and He could no longer resist.
"Miss Beatrice", he said, "I wonder if you would tell me about this?" pointing to the bowl.
"Oh, yes," she replied, "Isn't it wonderful?
I was walking through the park a few months ago and I found this little package on the ground.
The directions said to place it on the organ, keep it wet and that it would prevent the spread of disease.
Do you know I haven't had the flu all winter."

You're in a room with Adolph Hitler, Josef Stalin, and a jazz guitarist, but you only have a gun with 2 bullets, what do you do?
Shoot yourself.

How do you get a guitarist to play quietly?
Put a sheet of music in front of him.

What is the difference between a jazz guitarist and a machine gun?
The machine gun repeats only 10 times per second.

A man walks into a Music City Pet Store looking to buy a monkey.
The store owner points towards three identical looking monkeys in politically correct, animal-friendly natural mini-habitats.
"The one on the left costs $500," says the store owner.
"Why so much?" asks the customer.
"Because it can write and arrange for small combos and groups up to 16 pieces," answers the store owner.
The customer inquires about the next monkey and is told,
"That one costs $1500. It knows Jazz and Classical music.
He can improvise or play technically difficult solos."
The startled man then asks about the third monkey.
"That one costs $3,000," answers the store owner.
"3,000 dollars!!" exclaims the man. "What can that one do?"
To which the owner replies,
"To be honest, I've never seen it do a single thing, but it calls itself a Band Leader."

How do you get a flute player to play quietly?
Take the music away.

What is the definition of counterpoint?
Two guitarists reading the same chart.

What chord do you get when the elevator in a mine shaft crashes to the ground?
A flat minor!

Two New York City jazz musicians got a gig in Chicago, but had to drive separate cars. When the trumpet player arrived at the gig, he was told the sax player had been killed tragically on a bridge in Indiana. He looked totally confused, and said, "Man, what are you talking about? There's no bridge in Indiana!"

A jazz musician goes to audition for a job playing in a broadway musical.
Orchestra leader: Can you read music?
Jazz musician: Not enough to hurt my playing.

What is the jazz musician's rule for crossing the road?
C sharp or b flat.

A jazz musician who's spent his entire life trying to get a record deal is feeling extremely depressed. He's been turned-down by every record company he's ever contacted. No one seems to recognize his unique talent, so he comes up with an ingenious plan to get back at all the record companies who've rejected him all of his life. He books time at a recording studio, and instructs the sound engineer to record everything he says, and every sound he hears, and then copy it all onto 1000 CDs, and send a CD to every record company executive on the list that he hands the engineer. The guy walks into the vocal booth; the red light is on, and he begins...
"This is a message for all you sycophantic, talentless, stupid record company idiots who've ignored me for all these years. I've dedicated my life to writing beautiful, emotive, soul-searching music, and all you bastards do is discard my tapes, never return my phone calls, and sign these horrible, no-talent, ridiculous, dumb bands, and these filthy, dirty rappers! Well, you bunch of morons, you parasites, you dumb pricks; I've taken all I can of your puerile, shallow industry, and it's you who have driven me to this!
Goodbye you fuckin' murderers of art!""
With that he pulls out a gun, puts it to his head and blows his brains out. The sound engineer glances up and says, "Okay, that's fine. I've got a good level. Wanna go fo a take"?

An oboe player during a passionate, ecstatic, fortissimo passage swollowed his reed. In panic the orchestra conductor phones the emergency department of the hospital:
Conductor: Our oboe player has swallowed his reed and is suffocating! What should I do?
Nurse: Use a trumpet with a straight mute.

What is the difference between a good big band leader and a bad one?
A good leader has the chart in his head, a bad leader has his head in the chart.

Two jazz musicians were walking through the woods when one looked down and said "Oh, look at the deer tracks."
The other looks and says "Those aren't deer tracks, those are wolf tracks."
"No. Those are deer tracks."
The jazzers keep arguing back and forth, and eighteen minutes later they were both hit by the train.

A spiritual medium made contact with Jesus and Charlie Parker to ask if they had a message for mankind.
Jesus said, 'Pray.' Bird said, 'Play!'.

What is the difference between a very bad orchestra leader and a bull?
A bull has horns in front and an asshole behind.

Customer: How late does the band play?
Band leader: About half a beat behind the drummer.

A tourist in new york approaches a jazz musician who is standing outside a jazz club scat singing, finger popping, while watching the world go by through dark tinted glasses:
Tourist: Excuse me, can you tell me how to get to Carnegie Hall?
Jazz musician: Practise man, practise!

What do you do to a guitarist who has fallen in a ditch?
Throw his amplifier on top of him.

A British company is developing computer chips that store music in women's
breast implants. This is a major breakthrough because women are always complaining about men staring at their breasts and not listening to them.

A journalist asked Andres Segovia, the great Spanish classical guitarist, what he thought the difference was between a guitar and an electric guitar.
He answered: 'There are chairs and there are electric chairs.'

A blind musician asks a deaf musician who can lip read: Are the people dancing?
Deaf musician: Why? Have we started playing already?

During a session which included blind, British pianist George Shearing a member of the audience asked if the band would play 'The Night Has A Thousand Eyes'. Whereupon Shearing was heard to say, 'Can I have two of them?

During a plane journey in which George Shearing was a passenger, the pilot, a big Shearing fan, approached him to ask for an autograph. Never missing the opportunity for a prank Shearing replied that the pilot would get his autograph on condition that he walked back to his pilot's cabin wearing Shearing's dark glasses and tapping his way with Shearing's white walking stick. The pilot promptly walked back to his cabin tapping his way uncertainly down the isle and groped his way into the cockpit much to the consternation of the passengers. Needless to say he got his autograph.

After a bizarre club fire, four members of the jazz ensemble (three guitarists and a bass player) found themselves hanging perilously from a rope out a window just off the rear of the stage which had been on the fifth floor. After dangling there for a only a couple of minutes, it became obvious that, while they were safe from the fire and would be saved as soon as the firemen noticed them, the rope would not hold their collective weights much longer. They decided that to prevent the rope snapping and killing them all, one of them must sacrifice himself and let go, to save the others.
Well, they talked about it for a while but no one could decide a fair way of choosing who should jump. Finally, the bass player, exasperated by the indecisiveness of the jazz guitarists, could see that if nobody acted soon the rope was going to snap. To save the others he bravely decided that he would be the one who made the sacrifice and plucked up what little courage he could muster to tell the others that he would jump to save the rest of them.
After giving a short but very moving speech that he hoped would be remembered, the guitarists were all so moved that they gave him a round of applause.

A young piano student approaches an experienced jazz pianist in a club.
Student: pardon me sir, but could you give me a tip on how to become a better jazz pianist?
Veteran: Sure son. During the break make sure you hold your beer in your left hand.

Why are terrible sound engineers said to have perfect ears?
Because they have no holes in them!

Why are sound technicians said to have absolute hearing?
Because they hear absolutely nothing!

In Holland it is said that a bad sound technician has Vincent van Gogh's ear for music - the one he cut off!

What is the definition of a super tonic?
A tonic that comes with the gin already in it.

How many conductors does it take to change a light bulb?
Only one but nobody will watch him !

What is the definition of bagpipes ?
The missing link between noise & music!

A steam locomotive passing through Poland one night was running low on coal.
The engineer said to his fireman, "We're coming to a town, let's stop and
send the porter out to get more coal. Can you see the name of the town on
the depot sign?"
The fireman replied, "It appears to be Danzig in the dark."
And the engineer shouted, "Buy coal, Porter!"

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

Band Leader (to Jazz Guitarist): "Give us the F in tune!"
Jazz Guitarist: "Can I have the F-in' tune too?"

How do you get a violist to play 'piano e tremuloso' ?
Mark the passage "solo."

An accordionist is on his way home from a late-night gig. He decides he shouldstop and get some coffee to stay awake for his trip. So he finds a 24-hourdiner along the road, pulls in, parks and locks his car, and starts walking tothe front door. Suddenly he says, "Oh, my God, the accordion." So he turns andraces back to his car, but when he gets there it's too late. Someone has smashed in the back window and thrown in two more accordions.!

What are the chords to John Coltrane's 'Mr P.C.' ?
Cm7 - Shift F7

A black blues singer from the deep south wanted to know if God was white or black. He prayed every day for God to reveal the truth to him. One day the earth shook and he heard a loud, thunderous voice from Heaven proclaiming 'I am what I am'.
Terrified, he went to tell the local preacher what had happened.
Blues man: Preacher I been prayin' to God for a long time to let me know if he is white or he is black and today I got an answer direct from Heaven. I heard this voice say Ii am what I am'. What does it mean?
Preacher: Well son, that means God must be white.
Blues man: Why's that?
Preacher: Because if God was black he would have said 'I is what I is'.

An Italian lesson in solfege:
La - mi - sol - re - la - si - fa - fa - re - sol - sol - fa!
In Italian this is phoenetically equivalent to:
My sister likes to make love on the sofa!

What is the difference between a dead hedgehog in the middle of the road and a dead banjo player in the middle of the road?
There are skid marks in front of the hedgehog.

Customer: Excuse me, can you play some free jazz?
Band leader: Sorry we don't play free jazz. We may be very cheap, but we don't play free.

What is the difference between a violin and a viola?
Nobody cries when you saw a viola in half.

A barman in a jazz club accidentaly knocks over a stack of empty beer glasses that fall to the ground with a deafening crash. One of the band relaxing at the bar calmly turns to him and says: 'Please man, no free jazz in this club'.

Definition of free jazz: a pet shop on fire.

Why is free jazz also known as 'progressive' jazz ?
Because every time you hear it played it gets progressively worse.

Customer: Can you play something we can dance to?
Band leader: Why don't you dance something we can play to.

What is the ideal weight of a big band leader?
About 1 kilo, including the urn!

A rabbit and a snake, both blind, collide with each other in the forest.
'Who are you?' asks the snake to the rabbit. 'I don't know. I've always wanted to know that, but Iam blind and cannot see what kind of creature I am. Who are you?'
'I don't know either' , replied the rabbit. I am also blind, and I too have always wondered what kind of creature I am'.
'I've got an idea', says the snake. 'Supposing I feel you all over and tell you what you are. Then you can do the same for me'.
'Great idea!', exclaims the rabbit.
The snake begins to feel the rabbit all over explaining as it goes along.
'Let me see, you're all covered in fur, you've got big teeth, very large ears, and a furry little tail at the back. You must be a rabbit!'
'Wow!', exclaimed the rabbit excitedly. 'I'm a rabbit, I'm a rabbit! Now I'll do the same for you'.
The rabbit begins to feel the snake very carefully.
'Well, you're very cold, terribly slimy, completely bald, and you've got no ears. You must be a record producer!'

What is the difference between a big band and a terrorist group?
A terrorist group has its own equipment.

A jazz musician goes to heaven and is astonished to see how many great players from the jazz hall of fame are there. Bix, Duke, Lester, Bird, Dizzy, 'Trane etc. The new arrival notices that there is someone in the corner playing the trumpet with his head down and his back turned towards the others. Thinking that it reminds him of someone famous , the curious musician asks St. Peter.
Musician: Who is that playing the trumpet in the corner?
St.Peter: Oh that's God. He thinks he's Miles Davis!

What is the definition of perfect pitch?
Being able to throw a banjo player down a well without touching the sides.

What was the last tune the band on the 'Titanic' played before the ship hit the iceberg and sank?
'I Only Have Ice For You'.

What is the difference between the bankrupt record company E.M.I. and the 'Titanic'?
The 'Titanic' had a good band.

Two sharks are swiming around the wreck of the 'Ttitanic' discussing the pickings they enjoyed after the fatal shipwreck.
'I got this big, fat, juicy guy,' said the first. 'Had lots of meat on him, must have been a rich banker.'
'I got this very skinny guy, all skin and bones, still holding on to his saxophone as he went under,' said the other. 'Must have been a jazz musician. Hardly any meat at all. But mmmmm! What a liver!'

A young rooster wants to take over the chicken coop from the old rooster. So he goes into the hen house and tries to impress the female birds by singing intricate bebop tunes. Standing in the middle of the coop and filling his lungs with air he lets fly: 'Bedo ba re ba do be do wah' (Billie's Bounce).
Instead of being impresssed, the hens move away in alarm with cries of 'Who is this wierdo?. This guy can't crow!'
A little taken aback by the reaction the rooster thinks he will impress them by singing an even harder tune so he takes a deep breath and tries again: 'Doodlaree-ba-re-ba-doodle-bop-a-re-ba-doo-bop-oo-co', (Confimation). But at the end of the tune the reaction from the hens is even more hostile than the first time.
'I know', thinks the cocky young rooster. 'i'll get them with the heaviest bebop tune there is 'Donna Lee' that'll get them'.
So once again he inflates his chest and bursts into song: 'didlee-be-ba re-ba-doodle-bop-ba-re-ba-didlee-be-ba-doo-ba re-ba-doo-wah'.
This is the last straw for the hens who leave the chicken coop and run out into the yard screeching in disgust.
In the yard leaning against a wall chewing on a straw is the older more experienced rooster, who has been watching the whole show.
'Hey man,' he says to the young demoralised cockerel, 'let me show you how it's done. Watch closely and learn'.
So saying the older rooster takes his place in the middle of the yard, takes a deep breath and lets out a mighty crow: 'Cock-a-doodle-doo!!'.
All the hens cluck with excitement and come fussing around him full of amourous intentions.
'Wow man! How did you do that? How come it worked for you and not for me?' asks the young rooster.
'Well, you see son', replied the veteran. 'First you've got to be able to sing the standards'.

If a musician is a terrible reader it is said that he has studied using the 'Ray Charles Sight Reading Method.'

An interviewer asked Ray Charles whether he felt that life had been hard on him having been born both poor and blind.
'It could have been much worse,' replied Ray Charles. 'I could have been born black.'

What's the difference between a dress maker and a viola?
A dress maker tucks up frills.

A teacher says to a flashy young student who has just played a long solo containing many notes but no substance: 'I've got some good news and some bad news. The good news is you've got a lot of technique. The bad news is you've got a lot of technique.'

How do you get a guitarist to play a tremolo?
Give him some music to read.

A jazz guitar teacher fed up with a young student who left no spaces in his solos finally exclaimed: 'Don't just do something, stand there!'

A great classical conductor told an audience who demanded an encore: 'Applause is a receipt, not a bill.'

Have you ever seen Stevie Wonders' wife?
Neither has he!

A renowned classical conductor famous for his biting sarcasm reprimanded a lady cellist whose sound on the cello was less than beautiful: 'Madame, between your legs you have an instrument designed to give pleasure to thousands, and all you can do is scratch it!'

The following is the jazz musicians answer to a timeless riddle.
What came first, the chicken or the egg?
It all depends which one got laid first!

A Japanese tourist approaches a piano player in a cocktail bar and asks him for a request. 'Can you play jazz chord?' he asks.
'Sure,.' replies the pianist who is a jazz musician doing a piano bar gig for the money. Pleased that there is finally a jazz fan in the audience, he enthusiastically starts to play 'Cherokee' at a burning tempo.
'That not jazz chord,' says the Japanese tourist. 'I want to hear jazz chord.'
'Okay, check this out,' says the piano player and starts to play 'Body and Soul' with heavy flourishes.
'Solly, but that not jazz chord,' interrupts the tourist. 'I want famous jazz chord.'
'Okay,' says the pianist. 'You've got it.' And so saying he begins to play a very up tempo version of 'Giant Steps'.
'No, no! That not jazz chord,' insists the Japanese client.
'If those aren't jazz chords,' says the pianist losing his patience, 'then tell me what kind of tune you mean.'
'It is velly famous song. It go rike this "Jazz chord to say I rove you".'

Why is an electric guitar like a vacuum cleaner?
When you plug it in it sucks.

Why is an orchestra leader like a condom?
Because it's much better without, but it's far safer with.

Two bebopper meet on the street and one introduces the other to his wife who is exteremely ugly. Later in the club the bopper asked his friend how he could have married such an ugly woman.
The husband was astounded. 'Man! Get hip! Don't you dig distortion?'

Tom and Harry, two jazz musicians, make a deal that whoever dies first will return and tell the other what it's like in Heaven.
Not long after thesudden demise of Tom, Harry is lying in bed anxiously waiting for a message from the other side. Suddenly an icy wind blows through the room and the ghost of Tom appears standing at the foot of the bed.
Harry: Man, you scared the pants of me! Hey, you kept your word! Too much! So, hip me to the state of things up in the big 'H' man.
Ghost: I've got some bad news and some good news.
Harry: Man, you better give me the good news first.
Ghost: The good news is that all the greats from Louis to 'Trane are up there. All playing together in one giant big band. What's more, there is a place in the band reserved for you.
Harry: Wow, that's terrific! Hey, so what's the bad news?
Ghost: The bad news is that your first rehearsal is tomorrow night.

Why is a jazz critic like a eunuch in a harem?
Because he is there every night, he sees people do it every night, but he can't do it himself.

Musician: What's your opinion of my latest recording?
Critic: It's worthless!
Musician: I know, but I'd like to hear it anyway.

After the death of a pennyless music critic a collection was held for his funeral in a cafe frequented by jazz musicians. When asked to contribute ten dollars one musician replied: 'Here take twenty, bury two critics.'

It is worth remembering that no one has ever erected a statue to a critic.

A hip bebopper goes to a railway ticket office and asks for a return ticket. 'Certainly sir,' replies the ticket clerk. 'Where to?'
The jazz cat thinks for a moment then replies 'Back here of course man!'

Two beboppers at the zoo visit the lion enclosure.
Suddenly a huge lion shakes its head and emits a mighty roar.
'Come on man,' says one. 'Let's split. Iv'e had enough.'
'What,' demanded the other, 'and miss the movie?'

What is the difference between Bebop players and Dixieland players?
Bebop players flatten their fifths, Dixieland players drink theirs.

While working for a band leader famous for his bad temper and notorious for being a harsh disciplinarian, a trumpet player was asked by a colleague if the band leader was really so unreasonable.
'Well, let me put it this way,' replied the trumpeter. 'After two years of working for him, the band finally has him exactly where he wants us.'

What is endless love?
Stevie Wonder and Ray Charles playing each other at tennis.

Stevie Wonder got a cheese grater for his birthday. He said it was one of the most violent books he'd ever read.

An absent minded big band leader would sometimes say: 'Alright gentlemen let's take it again from the last few bars.'

A big band leader, renowned for his complete lack of musicianship, was struggling as usual with the chart of a new arrangement.
While everybody in the rehearsal room waited for the leader to decipher the score, the drummer lost his patience releasing his frustration by hitting the drums and cymbals as hard as possible. Whack! Bang! Wham! Boom! Crash!!!
The shocked band leader looked up from the chart glaring angrilly at the band.
'Alright,' he demanded. 'Which one of you did that?'

Two beboppers were walking along a country road when they suddenly heard a very loud crash. They didn't know it but a huge bell had come loose from the belfry of a nearby church falling to the ground with a deafening clang.
'Hey man, what was that?' asked one of the beboppers.
Without looking round the other replied: 'F sharp.'

Another jazz proverb:
If you can't b flat, b natural.
If you can't b natural, be good.
If you can't be good, be careful.

Two jazz flute enthousiasts could never agree about their favourite flute players:
Sam Most fan: Most is the man!
Herbie Mann fan: Mann is the most!

A self-taught jazz musician was proud to have received his musical education the old way by learning from more experienced jazz musicians while playing the clubs.
When asked which conservatory he had studied at he would reply: 'The Conservatory of Life!' (or of Hard Knocks)

Two American jazz musicians are on tour in Italy. Together with an Italian saxophone player they were due to play for the first time at the Verona jazz festival held in the ancient Roman arena situated in a large square in the center of town. On the way to the gig the local sax player listened patiently while the two Americans extolled the virtues of the U.S. and the merits of their respective cities.
'In Chicago we just built a new theater that holds 10,000 people, and we built it in just nine months!' said the first.
'That's nothing!,' replied the second. 'In L.A. we built a theater that holds 20,000 people and it only took six months!'
This rivalry continued until they arrived in the square and saw the huge Roman arena lit up in all its grandeur.
'Wow man. Look at that!' exclaimed one of the Americans in amazement. 'We're gonna play there tonight? What kind of a place is that?'
'I don't know,' replied the Italian sax player. 'It wasn't there yesterday.'

One night a band leader who was annoyed with a talkative public, took hold of the microphone and spoke to the audience in a sarcastic tone:
'I hope you people back there at the bar can hear the band okay. We can hear you perfectly!'

A band leader would say to noisy hecklers: 'If you don't have anything to do, don't do it here!'.

A jazz teacher would introduce his students to other musicians in the following way:
'I'd like to introduce you to some promising students. But these are going to have to do instead.'
Or: 'I'd like to introduce you to some promising students. They promise much, but deliver nothing.'

A hip jazz bebopper dropped in to a bar and asked for a slice of apple pie.
'The apple pie is gone.' said the bartender.
'Crazy man. Give me two pieces!'

In todays electronic age it is a rare occurance to find a full orchestra assembled in a recording studio. One such occasion was the recording of a lucrative and very successful broadway musical.
A studio musician arriving late for the rehearsal, looked around in amazement at the large number of musicians filling the studio to capacity.
'Wow!' he was heard to exclaim, 'this must be putting two keyboard players out of work.'

A jazz teacher who was fed up with students who believed the secret of creative improvisation lay in learning as many scales as possible, decided to invent his own.
When asked what scales could be played over a certain chord he would explain that the best scale to use was the 'Frigid scale' or the 'Faggot Minor' or, alternatively, the 'Lesbian Dominant' and the 'Lesbian Minor Sex' (a.k.a the Lesbian Flattened Sex'). He would then go into a lengthy explanation of the Libyan scale' and the 'Macho Libyan scale' (Colonel Ghedaffi's favourite) and go on to analyse the harmonic movement of the 'Richter scale' and the 'Beaufort scale'. The psychology of jazz was explained by use of the 'Freudian scale' and, in conclusion, he would encourage serious students to master the only two scales truly essential for any aspiring jazz musician, the 'Booze scale' and the 'Alcoholian scale'.

Jazz musician: I've started a special diet
Doctor: Really? What kind of diet is it? A high fibre diet?
Jazz musician: No. A whisky diet. I've lost three days already.

A young lady sax student with eye-sight problems playing in a big band for the first time, surprised the band leader by repeatedly producing a fixed grin at a certain point in the arrangement. Curious, he asked the young lady what she was doing.
'I'm doing what it what it says on the chart,' she replied. 'At the end of this phrase it says 'smile'.'
The band leader looked at the chart and saw that above the stave, written in small letters, was the word 'simile'.

Whenever he left the rehearsal room a Japanese trumpet player would amuse the memberes of a multi-racial big band by saying: 'I go now for short time, but I'll be white black.'

Whenever a musician in the band played a wrong note an understanding big band leader was known to comment: 'Well, nobody's human.'

A jazz piano player is booked to play as a guest soloist with a famous classical orchestra. Knowing the reputation of jazz musicians the director is surprised to see him arrive early. He is even more surprised to hear the jazz pianist perform Stravinsky to perfection, and is wide-eyed with amazement when he suggests modifications to the score. Feeling remorse the conductor approaches the pianist.
'I must be honest, after hearing so much criticism concerning the behaviour of jazz musicians, I was very prejudiced and I expected a total disaster. Instead, I am astonished by your understanding of the music and your absolute professionalism. Please accept my appologies.'
'That's alright man,' said the piano player. 'Don't mention it. By the way, I forgot to tell you I got another gig that night so I'm sending a substitute.'

Charlie Parker goes to Heaven and comes face to face with St.Peter at the pearly gates.
'What is your name?' asks St. Peter
'Man, I'm Charlie Parker.'
'Anybody can say that. In order to enter heaven you must prove that you are who you say you are.'
'That's no problem,' says Bird. He takes takes out his saxophone and plays 'Donna Lee' at a blistering tempo.
'Very well,' Says St. Peter, 'Clearly you are who you say you are. You may enter.'
The next in line is bassist Jaco Pastorius.
'What is your name?'
'I''m Jaco Pastorius the famous bass player.'
'Anybody can say that. In order to enter you must prove that you are who you say you are.'
'No problem man,' says Jaco and he proceeds to play a series of amazing bass licks.
'Very well,' says St. Peter. 'Clearly you are who you say you are. You may enter.'
Next in line is John Doe (here substitute the name of the musician you are telling the joke to.)
'What is your name?' asks St. Peter.
'My name is John Doe I'm a jazz musician.'
'Anybody can claim to be John Doe. In order to get into Heaven you must prove beyond all doubt that you are who you say you are. Earlier we even gave Charlie Parker a test.'
'Charlie who?' asks John.
'Okay, you may enter,' says St. Peter. 'That clearly proves you are who you say you are!'

A jazz saxophone player dies and is sent down to Hell where he is surprised to find a complete big band playing 'In the Mood'. 'Oh well,' he thinks as he is shown to his place in the crowded sax section. 'Perhaps this isn't going to be so bad after all.'
He sits down and begins to play the theme of 'In the Mood' along with countless others. After a while he turns to the sax player next to him. 'Say man, when do we play the bridge?'
'Never.' came the doleful reply.

When asked to come up with an ambiguous song title a jazz saxophone player produced the following gem. 'The Party's Over. It's all over my friend.'

A jazz musician phoned the office of a newspaper early one morning and asked the secretary if he could speak to the jazz critic. 'I'm sorry,' replied the secretary, 'he can't speak to anyone right now. He's busy writing an article about tonights' concert.'

A big band leader with no idea of dynamics or musical terminology was complaining to the band about the loud volume at the climax of an arrangement.
'If you look on the chart,' the lead trumpet pointed out patiently, 'you'll see that it's supposed to be forte.'
'I don't care if it's supposed to be fifty,' replied the band leader, 'it's still too loud!'

A jazz fan goes into a pet shop to buy a parrott. While he is looking around he is surprised to hear what sounds like jazz scat singing coming from the back room. Listening more attentively he recognises the theme of Charlie Parker's 'Confirmation'.
'Who is that singing jazz back there?', he asks the owner of the shop.
'That's a very special parrott just delivered from New York.'
'Wow, a parrott that can sing jazz. Crazy!' says the overjoyed jazz fan. 'I'll take him.'
'Okay, but there's one condition,' warns the shop keeper, 'if you buy that parrott you have to buy this parrott too.' So saying he produces a cage from under the counter with a very ragged looking bird in it surrounded by empty beer bottles and cigarette butts. The parrott, bleary eyed from lack of sleep, is hanging over the perch twitching nervously.
'Why do I have to take him?' asks the customer. 'This parrott is a total wreck.'
'Yeah, but he's the arranger.'

A jazz musician goes to Heaven and meets St. Peter at the gates.
'I hear there are a lot of musicians up here. Is that right?' he asks.
'Oh yes,' replies St. Peter, 'for example there is Ron.'
'Ron Carter?' asks the musician enthousiastically.
'No, Ron Green.' replies St. Peter. 'Then there's Miles.'
'Miles Davis?'
'No, Miles Smith. And there's Ella.'
'Ella Fitzgerald?'
'No, Ella Brown. Then there's John. (here substitute the name of the person you are telling the joke to)
'What John Doe?'
'Yeah,' says St. Peter in a depressed voice, 'that's right, John Doe.'

What is the difference between a band leader and a pig?
There are some things a pig just wont do.

What is the difference between a banjo and a trampoline?
You take your shoes off before jumping on a trampoline.

A wealthy film producer made the following comment to a script writer seeking financial backing for a film on the life of Tchaikovsky: 'It sounds like a great idea. But who do we get to write the music?'

What happens when you play the blues backwards?
Your wife comes back to you, you become sober again and you went to bed this morning.

You don't have to feel blue to play the blues. You play the blues to make other people feel blue and get paid for it! The Simpsons.

Youngster: Mummy, when I grow up I want to be a jazz musician.
Mother: Don't be ridiculous dear. You can't do both.

In the words of a roadie philosopher: 'Wherever you go, there you are.'

What will it take to reunite The Beatles?
Three more bullets.

A conductor became ill before a concert one evening and the orchestra had to find an emergency substitute conductor immediately.
The only person in the orchestra with any conducting experience was the 2nd trombone player.
He bravely and meticulously conducted the concert and it was a tremendous success.
The regular conductor had recovered by the next night and was back on the job.
As the trombone player took his seat in the orchestra, the bass trombone player turned to him and said, "So, where were you last night?"

What was John Lennon's last hit?
The pavement.

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

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

What did the guitarist do when he was told to turn on his amp?
He caressed it softly and told it that he loved it.

What does a German Hammond organist do in his life's most tender moments?
He puts his Leslie speakers on "slow".

Why is a guitar like a girlfriend?
Because there are always strings attached.

Two beboppers are listening to the Thelonious Monk Quartet. After a great solo by tenor sax man Charlie Rouse, Monk just sits at the piano staring at the keyboard without playing. One of the beboppers continues moving his head to the beat and clicking his fingers in an extasy of appreciation while Monk sits at the piano motionless. 'Hey man,' says the other 'What' are you so ecited about? Monk hasn't played a note.'
'I know,' replies the first, 'But man, dig what he's thinking!'.


Your call is important to us, so please use the following menu system to shorten your wait:

If you are a bandleader wishing to know your opinion of yourself, press 1

If you are a tuba/sousaphone player in a 'classic jazz band' inquiring about which beats you will be expected to play on, press 1 and 3

If you are a drummer wanting to know on which beats to press your hi-hat pedal, press 2 and 4... regularly spaced if you can manage it

If you are a banjo player inquiring about how many strings to buy for a complete re-stringing of your instrument, press 4

If you are old enough to remember Dave Brubeck, press 5 then 4

If you need to know the average number of ounces of beer absorbed by brass players each hour, press 6 and 4

If you've forgotten the number of positions trombonists use, press 7 (many with the instrument)

If you are an agent wanting to know how much commission to charge, press 15. Or 20. Or 25. Or whatever number you fancy

If you want to know the REAL length in minutes of a jazz musician's '15-minute break' enter any number in excess of 45

If you are at a cultural crossroads between jazz and rhythm & blues and can't decide which Route to take, press 66

If you are over 60 and always forget to play the coda, press R-E-C-A-L-L

If you are a bebop tenor player press as many keys as fast as you can for 20 minutes or until the room is empty, whichever comes first

And If you wish to check your retirement account, press 0

Wedding Band Requests

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Mr. and Mrs. Snovly

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

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

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

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

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

Translation Guide to a Recording Session:
Session Musician to engineer. "Could we have more band in the phones?"
Translation: "The singer is too f**king loud in the phones!
Singer to engineer: "I can't hear myself."
Translation. "I don't want to hear anyone but myself."
Musician to guitarist: "Can you hear yourself okay?"
Translation: "You're too f**king loud in the phones !"
Bassist to band. "Can everybody hear the drums?"
Translation: "This band is swinging like a broken record!"
Drummer to bassist: "Can you hear the kick drum?"
Translation: "We're not locking..... !!
Bassist to producer: "Could we have more steel/fiddle/accordion in the phones?"
Translation: "I will punish the band for rushing."
Musician to producer: "Could we have more piano in the phones?"
Translation: "Your artist can't sing in tune."
Musician to writer: "This song has nice changes."
Translation. "It's amazing what you can do with two chords."
Musician to producer or artist: "This song sounds like a hit."
Translation: "This song sounds like another song."
Producer to band: "It's a feel thing."
Translation: "I know the song sucks, but the artist wroteit."
Musician to producer: "I don't think we'll beat the magic of that first take."
Translation: "Please don't make us play this piece of s**t again."
Drummer to band: "Should we speed up the tempo a couple of clicks?"
Translation: "Do you all intend to keep rushing?"
Musician: "Could we listen to one in the control room?"
Translation: "The way these phones sound, we might as well be listening to Radio Free Europe."
Producer to band: "Let's take a break and come back and try one more."
Translation: "I think I'm having a nervous breakdown."
Musician to producer- "Were we booked for two sessions today?"
Translation: "Another three hours of this and I may have to kill you."
Producer to band: "We're supposed to be done at six, but we've got only one more tune and I was wondering if we could skip our dinner break and work straight through."
Translation: "You'll be done at nine, and you'll be hungry."
Artist to producer: "I don't like this song; it really sucks."
Translation: "I didn't write this song."
Producer to artist: "Trust me. It is a good song. Radio will love it."
Translation: "F**k you, I own the publishing on this song."
Singer to musician: "Can you play something like (so-and-so) would play?"
Translation: "I really wanted (so-and-so) on this record."


Back to top

A BBC Quiz For Prospective Violists

You too can be a viola player with the BBC Sympathy Orchestra Look what we have found. While sifting through the BBC's dustbins the other day we came across this. The pass mark is 10%, but be careful. Over 45%, and you are overqualified. The marks for each question are shown on the right. Entry Exam For The BBC Sympathy Orchestra - Viola Players
1. Who wrote the following: a) Beethoven's Symphony No. 6 b) Faur� Requiem c) Wagner's Ring Cycle [15 pts.]
2. Tschaikovsky wrote 6 symphonies including Symphony No. 4. Name the other five. [5 pts.]
3. Explain 'counterpoint' or write your name on the reverse of the paper. [10 pts.]
4. Which of the following instruments would you tuck under you chin? a) a timpani b) an organ c) a 'cello d) a viola [1 pt.]
5. Can you explain 'sonata form'? (Answer yes or no.) [5 pts.]
6. Which of the following literary works was made the subject of a Verdi opera? a) First among Equals - Jeffrey Archer b) Macbeth - William Shakespeare c) Noddy and Big Ears - Enid Blyton [5 pts.]
7. Domenico Scarlatti wrote 555 harpsichord sonatas for which instrument? [5 pts.]
8. Arrange the following movements in order of speed, starting with the slowest first. a) Quickly b) Slowly c) Very Quickly d) At a Moderate Pace [4 pts.]
9. Where would you normally expect to find the conductor during a performance? [5 pts.]
10. Which of the following wrote incidental music to A Midsummer Night's Dream? a) Des O'Connor b) Mickey Mouse c) Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy d) Terry Wogan [5 pts.]
11. Which of the following is the odd one out? a) Sir Colin Davis b) Andrew Davis c) Sir Peter Maxwell Davies d) Desmond Lynham [5 pts.]
12. Arrange the following words into the name of a well known Puccini opera. Boh�me, La [5 pts.]
13. Within five minutes, how long is Chopin's Minute Waltz? [5 pts.]
14. From which of the following countries did Richard Strauss come? a) Venezuela b) Sri Lanka c) Germany d) Japan [5 pts.]
15. For what town were Haydn's Paris'' Symphonies written? [5 pts.]
16. Which is the odd one out? a) Fantasy Overture Romeo and Juliet - Tchaikovsky b) Romeo and Juliet - Berlioz c) Romeo and Juliet Ballet - Prokofiev d) Ten Green Bottles - anon. [5 pts.]
17. From which song do the following lines come? 'God save our gracious Queen, Long live our noble Queen.' [5 pts.]
18. Spell the following musical terms. allegro rallentando crotchet pizzicato intermezzo [5 pts.]
19. Tosca is a character found in which Puccini opera? [5 pts.]
20. Arrange the following letters to form the abbreviation for a well known British broadcasting corporation. C, B, B. [5 pts.] .

Back to top



Al Tissimo (scream trumpet)
Pops de Vane (old time 1st trumpet)
Pearce Eardrum
Keane Payne
Plenty Haitönen (1st trumpet Finland)
Willy Makit or Kenny Makit (1st trumpet - & wife Betty Wont)
Buster Bloodvessel (1st trumpet)
Felix Cited
Howie Spitz
Ames Toulouse
Chops O'Gonagen (or Lips O' Gonagen)
Ed Down
Rusty Piston

Buster Hinote
Diz Astor
Noah Count

Hi Register
Slip Shod
Willie Show
Bjent Slide
Adolf Tune
Slide Rule
Mosley Late
Scott Noslide (on valve trombone)
Terry Billnoise
Slip Horner
Moe Zaic
Justin Tune
Latent Pist (Swedish)
Lew Slips (bass trombone)
Keith Myath (toothless bass trombone)
Tom Bone

Kenny Read - lead alto
Izzy Sharp - lead alto
Pearl Keys (female lead alto)
Mosley Flat - 2nd alto
Les Tone - 2nd alto
Manny Notes - 1st tenor
Mai-Lik - Chinese 1st tenor
Reed Mylips - 1st tenor
Otto Tune - 2nd tenor
Ron Key - 2nd tenor

Lee King - 2nd tenor
Olaf Awhiskey - Swedish tenor
Mustafa Fix - Arabic tenor
Selmer Horn - broke tenor player
Seymour Butts - baritone
Rusty Keys - baritone

Arthur Chorus - baritone
Ima Growler - baritone

Bret Support - Will Trill - Mosley Sharpe - Lotta Air - Vera Piercing (piccolo)

Dick Hertz -
Sue Saphone


Zero Terry Valve - Belle Tone


Switzer Land


Ravi Oli (Indian / Italian)


R. Peggio - Manny Wong Kordz - Phil Allgaps - Hugo Tommy Head (piano bar) - Sven Lightsarlo (Swedish piano bar) - Thelonious Gallintown (gay pianist)

Page Turner

Ron Lines - Pete Ziccato (Italian) - Toulouse De Beat (French) - Buster Gutt - Warren Fretts - Uguludunga (African) - Dieter Gee (Ian's brother - see below) - Stan Dupp - Simi Lowe - Sleepy Walker

Ron Kords - Rex Yurears (rock guitarist) - Ian Gee & Rudy Mentry (folk guitarists) - Kent Reed - Segovia Carpet (classical guitarist) - Django Bells - Rock Enrol -
Sten Gunn (Swedish rock guitarist)
- Ivan Slipisliksin (Russian BeBop guitarist) - Blues Lee (Chinese blues guitarist)

Phil Dinn - Don Swing - No-Tai-Ming (Vietnamese) - Owen Transport (Welsh) - Will Travel - Arturo Versees - Knut Loose (Danish) - Ching Boom (Chinese) - I.Q. Lowe - Pres Rohl - Willie Rushmore - Chick Chickering

Hal Mallet

Ricky Tick

Anne Dante

Arron Variation

Hammond Orgone

Perry Diddle - Jim Nasium - Tim Bales

Adolf Fiddler - Phil Harmonic (1st Violin) - Fay Kerr (2nd violin) - Vi Baratto - Vera Sharp (violas) - Beau Braker (Cello) - Aaron De Djeestryng

Dinah Sore - Betty Whont - Sonia Papermoon - Sharon Sharalijk - Lois D. Nominator - Barbara Seville - Tamara Nevercomes - Tamara Zanutha Day - Anne Fetamin - Anna Rexia - Tap Bottoms - Tutu Divine

Amanda B. Reckonwith - Ben Dover (gay) - Dan Sing (Asian) - Jacques (or Jock) Strahp

Ko & Nova Caine - Sam & Janet Evening - Monica Zakerminov (Russian)

Norma Stitts (or E. Norma Stitts) - Eileen Back - Eileen Dover - Annie Keewildoo - Sheila Blige (or Sheila O'Blige) - Marsha Dymes - Lotta Head - Terri Belle (French)
- Kay Sirah-Sirah (Anglo/Egyptian)
Deborah C. Ewe (singer with adenoid problem) - Mozarella Fitzgerald (Italian jazz singer) - Carmen Gettit (Spanish) - Vera Bedworthy - Ava Banana (South American)

Bertha De Blues - Elefants Gerald - Areefer Franklin

Annie Tune 'n' Annie Key

Amos B.Haven - Denny Nodsout - Lee Thargic - Amos Havacik Daly (Jewish,Slovak,Irishman) - Chester Gigolo - Payne N. Diaz - Kanta Singh (Indian) - Barry Tone - Beau Bells

Lars Roundup (Swedish) - Abner Selfabal

Rachel Prejudice - Freda Slaves - Sybil Rights (South African trio) - Anita Leigh - Eustace Crew - Ike and Turner Corner

Hal E. Tosis - Iona Ferrari

Walt Smedley

Dewey Needham - Ron Tempo - Ivor Wiggon - Walter Mess - Charles Louis D'Inse (French) - Voorhees A. Jollygoodfellow - Owen De Guys (and his wife Leigh De Guys) - Yuron Yurown (Israeli) - Seldon Wright - Kent Count - Ofun Wong (Chinese) - Kick der Raas (Dutch) - Count Immov - Izzy Goudinov - Phil Harmonic (classical) - Dick Dolittle - Hans Zupp - Austin Tatius

Darryl B. Moreticome - Jertzy Bounce (Polish)

Lucius N. Savuma

Lew Swires - Mike Rafone - Mustafa Djoint - Mike Fawlty - Elco Short - Anna Log - Lotta Elco

Justin Case - Flip M. Awn - Jerry Rigg

Les Voltage

Will Shutter

Noah I. Cue

B. A. Dick - Rick O'Shae - Ian Security

Miss Inga Page

L. Egible

Oliver Beer (English) - Mannheim Stoned (German) - Manuel Lehba (Spanish) - Ram Shackle (Indian), Fu Kiu (Chinese) - Wang Kerr - Tucker Inn - Humphrey Cases - Leonard Beerstein - Largo Factotum - Park Benchley

Lew Scannon - Stan By

Ben Z. Dreen - Oliver de Rode

Alice Verboten (German - discipline)
Ate De Jong (Dutch - child care)
Walter Wohlcarpitz (accomodation)

Morey Ziduals - Scott Free - Fairleigh Honest

Baron Wasteland - Lord Elpuss

Bacchus Stabber

Al Fresco (Outdoor Festivals) - Gig Booker - Willy Paye - Rip Orff

Robin Bastard - Anthony Bluitt

Igg Norriss - Ed Vertise - Mai Ling (China) - Jess Fine

Doug de Ban

Hiram Cheap

Dewey, Cheatham, & Howe - Art Schmartz - Shuster Sheisster

Zip Herrup - I. B. Sewinn

Andy Pasta - Harry Vederci - Laika McAroni - Sal Monella - Art Burne - Mo Zarella - Al Dente

Iris Audit - Sawyer Cockoff

Theo Log (Dutch) - C. de Light - Hal L. Ujah - Patience Hopefully (female pastor)

Zip Cody


Lancelot Carver

Pandit Mersey-Leslie

Back to top


Obnoxious show-off warm up $25
Vibrato on unison passage $50
Failure to swing $1000
Sound checking section mike with obnoxious jazz licks $15
Playing highest note possible during warm up $15
Raising hand after making mistake $15
Practicing multiple tonguing not called for on gig $15
Failure to use 3rd valve slide when necessary $50
Being told by conductor to play louder $400
Taking tuning note up octave $25
Taking tuning note up 2 octaves $2500
Playing Bb when band tunes on A $75
Blacking out after high note $20


Changing mouthpiece mid song $15
Missing high lick then mentioning previous gigs that day $25
Faking section into early entrance $10
Faking self into early entrance $20
Asking leader if it's ok to take lick up $25
Asking leader if it's ok to take lick down $400
Taking lick down on gig that you took up on rehearsal $100
Missing last note of 'In The Mood' $200

Missing entrance when leader drops out on unison $15
Hanging over past lead player on last chord $100
Attempting unassigned high lick lead player biffs $50
Asking lead player what mouthpiece he uses $75
Pointing out to lead player that guy on record took last passage up $20
Attempting to out-screach lead player on last chord $100
Successfully out-screaming lead player at any time $500

Dropping mute $10
Dropping horn $20 + repairs
Dropping dead Warning
Forgetting pencil $20
Forgetting mutes $50
Forgetting bow-tie or socks $30
Forgetting mouthpiece $30
Playing with screw on rim $10
Blaming mistake on sticky valve $25
Getting marble or similar object stuck down bell $75
Polishing horn on stage $75

Playing Johnny Hodges type bends on high passages when not required $15
Using nausiatingly wide 'Guy Lombardo' vibrato on no vib passage $25
Failure to use bends and vibrato when required $100
Playing flashy show-off patterns while testing section mike $25
Playing flashy show-off patterns while rest of band tries to tune $50
Saying that every reed in a box sounds equally good $25
Actually playing on every reed in a box $50
Actually playing on every reed in a box and sounding equally good $2000
Playing Coltrane changes instead of written out 'In The Mood' solo $25
Playing Coltrane changes under someone else playing written solo $50
Quoting from Kenny G record $2500
Showing off old rare Selmer bought for peanuts in small town $500
Showing off very expensive Guardala mouthpiece to penniless section $75
Having very expensive clarinet and flute and sounding awful on both $100
Having very expensive clarinet and flute and sounding great on both $1000
Having very cheap clarinet and flute and sounding great on both 10000
Playing top tone on last chord which is higher than lead trumpet note $5
Emitting loud squeek on reed in opening of 'Harlem Nocturne' solo $50
Continuously squeeking during theme of 'Li'l Darlin'' $100


Quoting Herb Alpert or Chick Mangione song $25
Casually mentioning to Musical Director that you also play keyboards $100
Discussing how plentiful gigs were in the old days $50
Farting on the bandstand $25
Talking about great deal on your new horn $10
Hawking old horn on bandstand $15
Having nicer gig bag than rest of section $10
Practicing legit style on commercial gig $35
Beginning sentence with 'When I played for Kenton....' $50

Playing on Jet-Tone mouthpiece $20
Continuously asking 'Where are we?' $25
Drunkenness on the gig $25
Stonedness on the gig $50
Sobriety on the gig $75
Sitting next to leader at pre/post-gig meal $100
Pretending to be friends with bone players $10
Actually being friends with bone players $20
Dating bone players $75
Loaning money to bone player (oops) amount loaned
Wearing old MF Tour shirt $15
Wearing new MF Tour shirt $25

Back to top

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 favour.

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, flute 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# to play, or were not playing at all 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. Ask 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.

19. After the concert, approach the conductor backstage. Put your hand on his shoulder patronisingly, then, with a sad smile and a look of heartfelt sympathy, whisper, "Really, I don't care what all the others say about you, I still think you're okay."

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

Back to top

Noah's Jobbing 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 hath 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, "Command me, Lord." And the Lord did say, "First, thou must find me a Leader."

And Noah replied, "But Lord, will I not be thy Leader?" And the Lord did smite him again, saying, "Fool, thou will 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 on 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 Piano Player. And he shall play as if he has twenty fingers, and he shall play 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 know not 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 they shall be 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!"

And the Lord spoke, and said, "Verily shall you also have a Flute Player. She will play Sharp on the Upper Notes, and yet will flatten the Lower Notes. Yea, she will cause great consternation among all the Winds, playing in tune with none of them."

And Noah did say, "It shall be done."

"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 Committment 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.




Some six years ago I compiled the first glossary of words, expressions, and the general patois employed by musicians and entertainers in New York’s teeming Harlem. That the general public agreed with me is amply evidenced by the fact that the present issue is the sixth edition since 1938 and is the official jive language reference book of the New York Public Library.

“Jive talk” is now an everyday part of the English language. Its usage is now accepted in the movies, on the stage, and in the song products of Tin Pan Alley. It is reasonable to assume that jive will find new avenues in such hitherto remote places as Australia, the South Pacific, North Africa, China, Italy, France, Sicily, and inevitably Germany and wherever our Armed Forces may serve.

I don’t want to lend the impression here that the many words contained in this edition are the figments of my imagination. They were gathered from every conceivable source. Many first saw the light of printer’s ink in Billy Rowe’s widely read column “The Notebook,” in the Pittsburgh Courier.

To the many persons who have contributed to this and the other editions, this volume is respectfully and gratefully dedicated.

Cab Calloway


* A hummer (n.): exceptionally good. Ex., “Man, that boy is a hummer.”
* Ain’t coming on that tab (v.): won’t accept the proposition. Usually abbr. to “I ain’t coming.”
* Alligator (n.): jitterbug.
* Apple (n.): the big town, the main stem, Harlem.
* Armstrongs (n.): musical notes in the upper register, high trumpet notes.


* Barbecue (n.): the girl friend, a beauty.
* Barrelhouse (adj.): free and easy.
* Battle (n.): a very homely girl, a crone.
* Beat (adj.): (1) tired, exhausted. Ex., “You look beat” or “I feel beat.” (2) lacking anything. Ex, “I am beat for my cash”, “I am beat to my socks” (lacking everything).
* Beat it out (v.): play it hot, emphasize the rhythm.
* Beat up (adj.): sad, uncomplimentary, tired.
* Beat up the chops (or the gums) (v.): to talk, converse, be loquacious.
* Beef (v.): to say, to state. Ex., “He beefed to me that, etc.”
* Bible (n.): the gospel truth. Ex., “It’s the bible!”
* Black (n.): night.
* Black and tan (n.): dark and light colored folks. Not colored and white folks as erroneously assumed.
* Blew their wigs (adj.): excited with enthusiasm, gone crazy.
* Blip (n.): something very good. Ex., “That’s a blip”; “She’s a blip.”
* Blow the top (v.): to be overcome with emotion (delight). Ex., “You’ll blow your top when you hear this one.”
* Boogie-woogie (n.): harmony with accented bass.
* Boot (v.): to give. Ex., “Boot me that glove.”
* Break it up (v.): to win applause, to stop the show.
* Bree (n.): girl.
* Bright (n.): day.
* Brightnin’ (n.): daybreak.
* Bring down ((1) n. (2) v.): (1) something depressing. Ex., “That’s a bring down.” (2) Ex., “That brings me down.”
* Buddy ghee (n.): fellow.
* Bust your conk (v.): apply yourself diligently, break your neck.


* Canary (n.): girl vocalist.
* Capped (v.): outdone, surpassed.
* Cat (n.): musician in swing band.
* Chick (n.): girl.
* Chime (n.): hour. Ex., “I got in at six chimes.”
* Clambake (n.): ad lib session, every man for himself, a jam session not in the groove.
* Chirp (n.): female singer.
* Cogs (n.): sun glasses.
* Collar (v.): to get, to obtain, to comprehend. Ex., “I gotta collar me some food”; “Do you collar this jive?”
* Come again (v.): try it over, do better than you are doing, I don’t understand you.
* Comes on like gangbusters (or like test pilot) (v.): plays, sings, or dances in a terrific manner, par excellence in any department. Sometimes abbr. to “That singer really comes on!”
* Cop (v.): to get, to obtain (see collar; knock).
* Corny (adj.): old-fashioned, stale.
* Creeps out like the shadow (v.): “comes on,” but in smooth, suave, sophisticated manner.
* Crumb crushers (n.): teeth.
* Cubby (n.): room, flat, home.
* Cups (n.): sleep. Ex., “I gotta catch some cups.”
* Cut out (v.): to leave, to depart. Ex., “It’s time to cut out”; “I cut out from the joint in early bright.”
* Cut rate (n.): a low, cheap person. Ex., “Don’t play me cut rate, Jack!”


* Dicty (adj.): high-class, nifty, smart.
* Dig (v.): (1) meet. Ex., “I’ll plant you now and dig you later.” (2) look, see. Ex., “Dig the chick on your left duke.” (3) comprehend, understand. Ex., “Do you dig this jive?”
* Dim (n.): evening.
* Dime note (n.): ten-dollar bill.
* Doghouse (n.): bass fiddle.
* Domi (n.): ordinary place to live in. Ex., “I live in a righteous domi.”
* Doss (n.): sleep. Ex., “I’m a little beat for my doss.”
* Down with it (adj.): through with it.
* Drape (n.): suit of clothes, dress, costume.
* Dreamers (n.): bed covers, blankets.
* Dry-goods (n.): same as drape.
* Duke (n.): hand, mitt.
* Dutchess (n.): girl.


* Early black (n.): evening
* Early bright (n.): morning.
* Evil (adj.): in ill humor, in a nasty temper.


* Fall out (v.): to be overcome with emotion. Ex., “The cats fell out when he took that solo.”
* Fews and two (n.): money or cash in small quantity.
* Final (v.): to leave, to go home. Ex., “I finaled to my pad” (went to bed); “We copped a final” (went home).
* Fine dinner (n.): a good-looking girl.
* Focus (v.): to look, to see.
* Foxy (v.): shrewd.
* Frame (n.): the body.
* Fraughty issue (n.): a very sad message, a deplorable state of affairs.
* Freeby (n.): no charge, gratis. Ex., “The meal was a freeby.”
* Frisking the whiskers (v.): what the cats do when they are warming up for a swing session.
* Frolic pad (n.): place of entertainment, theater, nightclub.
* Fromby (adj.): a frompy queen is a battle or faust.
* Front (n.): a suit of clothes.
* Fruiting (v.): fickle, fooling around with no particular object.
* Fry (v.): to go to get hair straightened.


* Gabriels (n.): trumpet players.
* Gammin’ (adj.): showing off, flirtatious.
* Gasser (n, adj.): sensational. Ex., “When it comes to dancing, she’s a gasser.”
* Gate (n.): a male person (a salutation), abbr. for “gate-mouth.”
* Get in there (exclamation.): go to work, get busy, make it hot, give all you’ve got.
* Gimme some skin (v.): shake hands.
* Glims (n.): the eyes.
* Got your boots on: you know what it is all about, you are a hep cat, you are wise.
* Got your glasses on: you are ritzy or snooty, you fail to recognize your friends, you are up-stage.
* Gravy (n.): profits.
* Grease (v.): to eat.
* Groovy (adj.): fine. Ex., “I feel groovy.”
* Ground grippers (n.): new shoes.
* Growl (n.): vibrant notes from a trumpet.
* Gut-bucket (adj.): low-down music.
* Guzzlin’ foam (v.): drinking beer.


* Hard (adj.): fine, good. Ex., “That’s a hard tie you’re wearing.”
* Hard spiel (n.): interesting line of talk.
* Have a ball (v.): to enjoy yourself, stage a celebration. Ex., “I had myself a ball last night.”
* Hep cat (n.): a guy who knows all the answers, understands jive.
* Hide-beater (n.): a drummer (see skin-beater).
* Hincty (adj.): conceited, snooty.
* Hip (adj.): wise, sophisticated, anyone with boots on. Ex., “She’s a hip chick.”
* Home-cooking (n.): something very dinner (see fine dinner).
* Hot (adj.): musically torrid; before swing, tunes were hot or bands were hot.
* Hype (n, v.): build up for a loan, wooing a girl, persuasive talk.


* Icky (n.): one who is not hip, a stupid person, can’t collar the jive.
* Igg (v.): to ignore someone. Ex., “Don’t igg me!)
* In the groove (adj.): perfect, no deviation, down the alley.


* Jack (n.): name for all male friends (see gate; pops).
* Jam ((1)n, (2)v.): (1) improvised swing music. Ex., “That’s swell jam.” (2) to play such music. Ex., “That cat surely can jam.”
* Jeff (n.): a pest, a bore, an icky.
* Jelly (n.): anything free, on the house.
* Jitterbug (n.): a swing fan.
* Jive (n.): Harlemese speech.
* Joint is jumping: the place is lively, the club is leaping with fun.
* Jumped in port (v.): arrived in town.


* Kick (n.): a pocket. Ex., “I’ve got five bucks in my kick.”
* Kill me (v.): show me a good time, send me.
* Killer-diller (n.): a great thrill.
* Knock (v.): give. Ex., “Knock me a kiss.”
* Kopasetic (adj.): absolutely okay, the tops.


* Lamp (v.): to see, to look at.
* Land o’darkness (n.): Harlem.
* Lane (n.): a male, usually a nonprofessional.
* Latch on (v.): grab, take hold, get wise to.
* Lay some iron (v.): to tap dance. Ex., “Jack, you really laid some iron that last show!”
* Lay your racket (v.): to jive, to sell an idea, to promote a proposition.
* Lead sheet (n.): a topcoat.
* Left raise (n.): left side. Ex., “Dig the chick on your left raise.”
* Licking the chops (v.): see frisking the whiskers.
* Licks (n.): hot musical phrases.
* Lily whites (n.): bed sheets.
* Line (n.): cost, price, money. Ex., “What is the line on this drape” (how much does this suit cost)? “Have you got the line in the mouse” (do you have the cash in your pocket)? Also, in replying, all figures are doubled. Ex., “This drape is line forty” (this suit costs twenty dollars).
* Lock up: to acquire something exclusively. Ex., “He’s got that chick locked up”; “I’m gonna lock up that deal.”


* Main kick (n.): the stage.
* Main on the hitch (n.): husband.
* Main queen (n.): favorite girl friend, sweetheart.
* Man in gray (n.): the postman.
* Mash me a fin (command.): Give me $5.
* Mellow (adj.): all right, fine. Ex., “That’s mellow, Jack.”
* Melted out (adj.): broke.
* Mess (n.): something good. Ex., “That last drink was a mess.”
* Meter (n.): quarter, twenty-five cents.
* Mezz (n.): anything supreme, genuine. Ex., “this is really the mezz.”
* Mitt pounding (n.): applause.
* Moo juice (n.): milk.
* Mouse (n.): pocket. Ex., “I’ve got a meter in the mouse.”
* Muggin’ (v.): making ’em laugh, putting on the jive. “Muggin’ lightly,” light staccato swing; “muggin’ heavy,” heavy staccato swing.
* Murder (n.): something excellent or terrific. Ex., “That’s solid murder, gate!”


* Neigho, pops: Nothing doing, pal.
* Nicklette (n.): automatic phonograph, music box.
* Nickel note (n.): five-dollar bill.
* Nix out (v.): to eliminate, get rid of. Ex., “I nixed that chick out last week”; “I nixed my garments” (undressed).
* Nod (n.): sleep. Ex., “I think I’l cop a nod.”


* Ofay (n.): white person.
* Off the cob (adj.): corny, out of date.
* Off-time jive (n.): a sorry excuse, saying the wrong thing.
* Orchestration (n.): an overcoat.
* Out of the world (adj.): perfect rendition. Ex., “That sax chorus was out of the world.”
* Ow!: an exclamation with varied meaning. When a beautiful chick passes by, it’s “Ow!”; and when someone pulls an awful pun, it’s also “Ow!”


* Pad (n.): bed.
* Pecking (n.): a dance introduced at the Cotton Club in 1937.
* Peola (n.): a light person, almost white.
* Pigeon (n.): a young girl.
* Pops (n.): salutation for all males (see gate; Jack).
* Pounders (n.): policemen.


* Queen (n.): a beautiful girl.


* Rank (v.): to lower.
* Ready (adj.): 100 per cent in every way. Ex., “That fried chicken was ready.”
* Ride (v.): to swing, to keep perfect tempo in playing or singing.
* Riff (n.): hot lick, musical phrase.
* Righteous (adj.): splendid, okay. Ex., “That was a righteous queen I dug you with last black.”
* Rock me (v.): send me, kill me, move me with rhythm.
* Ruff (n.): quarter, twenty-five cents.
* Rug cutter (n.): a very good dancer, an active jitterbug.


* Sad (adj.): very bad. Ex., “That was the saddest meal I ever collared.”
* Sadder than a map (adj.): terrible. Ex., “That man is sadder than a map.”
* Salty (adj.): angry, ill-tempered.
* Sam got you: you’ve been drafted into the army.
* Send (v.): to arouse the emotions. (joyful). Ex., “That sends me!”
* Set of seven brights (n.): one week.
* Sharp (adj.): neat, smart, tricky. Ex., “That hat is sharp as a tack.”
* Signify (v.): to declare yourself, to brag, to boast.
* Skins (n.): drums.
* Skin-beater (n.): drummer (see hide-beater).
* Sky piece (n.): hat.
* Slave (v.): to work, whether arduous labor or not.
* Slide your jib (v.): to talk freely.
* Snatcher (n.): detective.
* So help me: it’s the truth, that’s a fact.
* Solid (adj.): great, swell, okay.
* Sounded off (v.): began a program or conversation.
* Spoutin’ (v.): talking too much.
* Square (n.): an unhep person (see icky; Jeff).
* Stache (v.): to file, to hide away, to secrete.
* Stand one up (v.): to play one cheap, to assume one is a cut-rate.
* To be stashed (v.): to stand or remain.
* Susie-Q (n.): a dance introduced at the Cotton Club in 1936.


* Take it slow (v.): be careful.
* Take off (v.): play a solo.
* The man (n.): the law.
* Threads (n.): suit, dress or costume (see drape; dry-goods).
* Tick (n.): minute, moment. Ex., “I’ll dig you in a few ticks.” Also, ticks are doubled in accounting time, just as money is doubled in giving “line.” Ex., “I finaled to the pad this early bright at tick twenty” (I got to bed this morning at ten o’clock).
* Timber (n.): toothpick.
* To dribble (v.): to stutter. Ex., “He talked in dribbles.”
* Togged to the bricks: dressed to kill, from head to toe.
* Too much (adj.): term of highest praise. Ex., “You are too much!”
* Trickeration (n.): struttin’ your stuff, muggin’ lightly and politely.
* Trilly (v.): to leave, to depart. Ex., “Well, I guess I’ll trilly.”
* Truck (v.): to go somewhere. Ex., “I think I’ll truck on down to the ginmill (bar).”
* Trucking (n.): a dance introduced at the Cotton Club in 1933.
* Twister to the slammer (n.): the key to the door.
* Two cents (n.): two dollars.


* Unhep (adj.): not wise to the jive, said of an icky, a Jeff, a square.


* Vine (n.): a suit of clothes.
* V-8 (n.): a chick who spurns company, is independent, is not amenable.


* What’s your story?: What do you want? What have you got to say for yourself? How are tricks? What excuse can you offer? Ex., “I don’t know what his story is.”
* Whipped up (adj.): worn out, exhausted, beat for your everything.
* Wren (n.): a chick, a queen.
* Wrong riff: the wrong thing said or done. Ex., “You’re coming up on the wrong riff.”


* Yarddog (n.): uncouth, badly attired, unattractive male or female.
* Yeah, man: an exclamation of assent.


* Zoot (adj.): exaggerated
* Zoot suit (n.): the ultimate in clothes. The only totally and truly American civilian suit.



Back to top