Music Jokes: Viola

You didn’t think I was going to finish this series without viola jokes did you!

No. In fact, I’ve got a particularly long one this time.
It’s in two sections, the short jokes, and then (after the break), some longer jokes. I personally think the longer jokes are actually better, although the viola jokes are particularly good when compared to other instruments.
How is lightning like a violist’s fingers?
Neither one strikes in the same place twice.
How do you get a violist to play a passage pianissimo tremolando?
Mark it “solo.”
What’s the difference between a viola and an onion?
No one cries when you cut up a viola.
What’s the definition of a minor second?
Two violists playing in unison.
Why do violists stand for long periods outside people’s houses?
They can’t find the key and they don’t know when to come in.
How can you tell when a violist is playing out of tune?
The bow is moving.
How was the canon invented?
Two violists were trying to play the same passage together.
Why is a viola solo like a bomb?
By the time you hear it, it’s too late to do anything about it.
Why is a viola solo like premature ejaculation?
Because even when you know it’s coming, there’s nothing you can do about it.
What do a SCUD missile and a viola player have in common?
They’re both offensive and inaccurate.
What is the definition of a cluster chord?
A viola section playing on the C string.
Why do violists get antsy when they see the Kama Sutra?
All those positions!
If you’re lost in the desert, what do you aim for? A good viola player, a bad viola player or an oasis?
The bad viola player. The other two are only figments of your imagination.
Why do people tremble with fear when someone comes into a bank carrying a violin case?
They think he’s carrying a machine gun and might be about to use it.
Why do people tremble with fear when someone comes into a bank carrying a viola case?
They think he’s carrying a viola and might be about to use it.
Why can’t you hear a viola on a digital recording?
Recording technology has reached such an advanced level of development that all extraneous noise is eliminated.
What instrument do violists envy most?
The harp. You only ever have to play pizzicato on open strings.
What is the similarity between a violist and a prostitute?
Both are paid to fake climaxes.
How does a violist’s brain cell die?
How do you call a violist with two brain cells?
What’s the similarity between the Beatles and the viola section of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra?
Neither has played together since 1970.
What is the longest viola joke?
Harold in Italy [a piece of music featuring a long viola solo]
How do you transcribe a violin piece for viola?
Divide the metronome marking by 2.
What’s the difference between the first and last desk of a viola section?
  1. half a measure
  2. a semi-tone

What is the difference between a violist and a prostitute?
  1. A prostitute knows more than two positions.
  2. Prostitutes have a better sense of rhythm.

How do you get a dozen violists to play in tune?
  1. Shoot 11 of them.
  2. Shoot all of them.
  3. Who the hell wants a dozen violists?

Cross the break to get the longer jokes.
A violist came home and found his house burned to the ground. When he asked what happened, the police told him “Well, apparently the conductor came to your house, and …”
The violist’s eyes lit up and he interrupted excitedly, “The conductor? Came to my house?”
A viola player went to a piano recital. After the performance he went up to the pianist and said, “You know, I particularly liked that piece you played last—the one that started with a long trill.”
The pianist said, “Huh? I didn’t play any pieces that started with trills.”
The viola player said, “You know—[he hums the opening bars of Für Elise.]”
Once there was a violist playing in the Winnipeg Symphony. He wasn’t that wonderful a player, so he sat at the back of the section. One day he was cleaning out his attic and discovered an old lamp. He gave it a rub and out popped a genie.
“For letting me out of my lamp I’ll grant you three wishes!” he said.
The violist thought for a moment and replied, “Make me a far better musician than I am now.”
The genie told him that this would be done. He was to go to sleep, and in the morning he would be a much better musician. The next day he woke up to find himself the principal violist of the Symphony. Well, this was just great, he thought! But he knew he could do better. He rubbed the lamp again, and out popped the genie.
“You have two more wishes!” he said.
“I want you to make me a better musician than I am even now!”
Once again, the genie told him to go to bed, and when he woke up it would be so. When the violist awoke, he found he was now the principal violist of the Berlin Philharmonic. Well, the violist thought this was pretty grand, but knew he could do better yet. He rubbed on the lamp again, and once more out came the genie.
“This is your last wish.” the genie said.
“I want you to make me yet a better musician still!”
Yet again, he was told to go to sleep. The next morning, he woke up to find himself back in Winnipeg, sitting in the last desk of the second violin section.
A musician from the Chicago Symphony one day ran across an old lamp at a garage sale, took it home, washed it up, and out popped at genie.
“Thank you kind sir for releasing me from this old lamp. I regret to say that you have encountered a poor, less powerful genie, and I can only grant you one wish, but wish away.” said the genie.
“Oh that’s wonderful. I think I would really like to make a difference in the world with my one wish.”, said the musician. He thought for a moment and then reached for his atlas. “Here’s a map of the Middle East. The people who live there have been fighting for years and years. For my one wish, I would like to to bring peace to this land.”
The genie, a little caught off guard, said “Oh, well, ah… that’s a little bit too much for even this old master to handle. Aah, ya see, these people… they’re involved in that touchy religious stuff, and aah, the kids, aah, they begin fighting when they’re just teenagers. I’m afraid you’re going to have to make another wish.”
“Well, okay.” said the musician. “For my one wish, I would just once like to hear the Chicago Symphony viola section play in tune.”
The genie quickly thought for a moment and replied, “Um, let me take a look at those maps again.”
A man (call him Horace) went on a safari in darkest Africa with a bunch of other people and some native guides. They traveled on foot, going deep into the jungle where they could hear the screeching of birds and howling of wild cats and other fierce wild animals.
After a few days of travel, Horace came to notice that there was a constant drumming noise in the background. He asked the leader of the guides what the drumming was. He got no answer, just a stony silence. The drumming continued all day and all night for the next several days. In fact, as they traveled deeper into the jungle the drumming got even louder. Horace tried again to find out what the drumming meant by asking the other native guides, but he still got no answer.
Finally one morning, after days of marching to this drumming (which by now was sounding quite ominous), the drums suddenly stopped. The native guides screamed and ran into the jungle to hide in the undergrowth. The leader remained behind with his charges, but he was trembling with fear. Horace asked “What is wrong? Why have the drums stopped?”
The native guide replied “Very bad.”
“What?” asked Horace, who was expecting the worst.
The guide answered “When drum stops, very bad–next comes viola solo!”
The short-form viola jokes are from
The website also has a third page of jokes, which is an “Entry Exam for the BBC Symphony Orchestra—Viola Players”. It’s quite entertaining, so I recommend you check it out at
As always, please leave comments, what were your favourite jokes, what didn’t you like? Do you know any others?
Thanks for sticking through all these, and if you haven’t, then I recommend you do. Musical jokes in general are really funny (although some of them require a level of musical knowledge), and I’ve picked only the best of the best.
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