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Things Musicians do When They Play a Wrong Note

A bit of music humour for those of us who have played instruments or sang in a choral ensemble. I assure readers that all of these are accurate, having spent the last 17+ years of my life around these people. :)

First Violins: Screw up your face and pluck your strings as if making sure they are in tune.

Second Violins: What wrong note?

Violists: Adjust the placement of the viola on your shoulder, or else completely retune your instrument, no matter how bad the timing is.

Cellists: Make a big show of tightening/loosening your bow hair, or stop playing entirely. Ask the conductor to retune your instrument.

Bassists: Oh, what, were we supposed to play there?

Clarinetists/saxophonists: Check the placement of your keys; when further wrong notes are played (or if discovered that all keys are present), make a show of checking your reed for cracks or fiddling around with the ligature.

Oboists/Bassoonists/English Hornists: Take your reed off, take your reed knife out, and “trim” your reed.

Trumpeters: What do you mean, “wrong note?” We were right - the rest of the orchestra was playing the wrong notes.

Trombonists: Don’t notice the wrong notes - there’s too many of them to choose from.

French Hornists: Adjust your mouthpiece and 37 different pieces of your instrument.

Tuba Players: Play even louder in hopes that will make up for the wrong note, therefore drowning out the rest of the orchestra.

Euphonium/Baritone Players: Oh, well, life goes on.

All Brass Players: Blow through your instrument, making sure it didn’t get too cold during the 3 beats of rest; always good is taking out your cleaning cloth and pulling all the nasty stuff out of your instrument and dumping it on the floor. The audience is now too grossed out to notice the wrong notes.

Flautists: Stare blankly at your flute for a moment, then pull out a bit. If still wrong, pull out even more and hope that did the trick.

Percussionists: Giggle and joke about it with the rest of your section; miss your next cue and giggle again, causing the conductor to stop the entire rest of the orchestra.

Guitarists: Hey, man, I $%#&ed up…let’s go back to the beginning (even if 2 lines from the end of the piece, as you have no clue where you were in the first place).

Accordionists: Who cares? The rest of the people vacated the room long before the wrong note.

Sopranos: Fake a coughing fit or give a dirty look to the soprano next to you.

Altos: (grumbling) Why fix it? Nobody will notice anyways, right?

Tenors: Crack a joke, apologise to the conductor, and get on with your life.

Basses: You’re singing so low that they’ll all swoon even if the note is wrong


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