Every once in a while, I get somewhat of a lull in my day. When such a lull occurs, I sometimes let my mind wander on any given random subject that pops into my head. This is why I often refer to my writing as random ramblings and mindless minutiae.Such mental wandering can often lead down some amusing bunny trails.
Allow me to offer you some background that can give you an idea of how the rambling starts. I am what you call a frustrated guitarist. I know a few chords, a few scales, and some decent riffs or two. Having said that, no one is going to make me sing for my supper. Some HAVE been known to start feeding me so I will shut up and stop playing. Now, there are many guitarist out there that I admire. Presently, I am a bit fixated on Jeff Beck. This guy has a long history that includes playing with the likes of Rod Stewart and The Yardbirds. He is also a well known musician in his own right. Jeff Beck is truly a master of the Stratocaster. I have had his song “Freeway Jam” stuck in my head for days.
This fixation on Jeff Beck lead me to watching a video of him performing at the 2010 Crossroads Festival. Watching Jeff Beck playing his beautiful song “Cause We’ve Ended As Lovers” simply made my jaw drop. I also enjoyed watching other acts such as Robert Cray and Joe Bonamassa perform. The seamless interaction with the other musicians onstage is nothing of short of fascinating to me. Then, a pun popped into my head about how it seemed seamless. It was seemingly seamless.
Once the puns started going into my head I started thinking about all the musician jokes I have heard. I have heard (and shared) jokes about drummer, bass players, singers, and guitarist. After all, if I am unwilling to share jokes about guitarists, I have little business joking about the others. Such jokes include (but are not limited to) the following:
- How many drummers does it take to change a light bulb? ONE…TWO…ONE, TWO, THREE, FOUR!
- How many bass players does it take to change a light bulb? None. Leave it out. No one will notice.
- How many lead singers does it take to change a light bulb? One – he holds the bulb in the socket and the world revolves around him.
- How many guitarists does it take to change a light bulb? Twelve – One to change it and the other eleven to say they could have done it better.
This rambling prompted me to think about the symbols on a music staff (as similar symbols in general). I found it perfectly natural that joking about music had me thinking of symbols (Did you really think I was going to let that pun get away?). Anyway, I was thinking about the symbol for a flat note (♭). When I see it I get images of a lowercase letter b, or a broken golf club, or a flower with only one petal left. This, of course lead me to the the symbol for a sharp note (♯). I, then, briefly thought: Hey, aren’t they just using the same symbol as the number key? I would come to discover they they are not the same. The number sign (#) is also known as the pound sign. The key distinguishing difference from the musical sharp symbol (♯), is that the pound sign has true horizontal lines whereas the sharp symbol has diagonal lines. In net speak, the pound sign is also known as a hash tag. Personally, I think a hash tag sounds like something a 70’s acid rocker uses to label his stash. I try to stay family friendly so I won’t digress on that.This leads me to think of other symbols such as the ampersand ( &) which is used often used to symbolize the word “and”. Then I got to thinking of the at symbol (@). Now this poor symbol, unlike, the ampersand and pound sign, doesn’t even have it’s own special name. It is simply named after it’s function. Does this make the at symbol feel inferior?
Now, all of this rambling had me thinking about the musical pun about slipping on a banana peel: If you don’t C♯ then you might B♭ & in the end your face might # into the ground and you will wind up @ the hospital. This is how my mind wanders in my spare time. I appreciate you indulging me by taking a step into the musty basement that is my mind. Oh yeah, one more joke: What does it mean when a guitarist is drooling from both sides of his mouth? The stage is level.