Ramblings from a Twisted Mind: Light Work
August 26, 2013 in Humour/CommentaryWhen I was at the symphony the other day, I couldn’t
help noticing the timpanist. What was he doing to attract
my attention? Nothing. I don’t mean nothing of interest. I
mean nothing. Standing there. Enjoying the show. Now,
I’m aware that timpanists work very hard indeed during
some performances and that I happened to catch this
man on a quiet night. But it got me thinking about what
the best instruments might be for someone who wants to
be part of a musical ensemble without being involved in
all that tedious practice, training, and general having-towork.
Castanets look good, on the surface. They’re small
and light. They don’t produce a lot of those confusing
notes. Maintenance would be minimal. However,
you’re expected to have a good sense of rhythm, to do
complicated things such as rolls, and, in some cases, to
The kazoo requires a sense of pitch, and people who play
the jug well are expected to have good breath control, and
a range up to two octaves. The triangle and cymbals are
classic “you can’t go wrong” instruments, but people who
play them are usually expected to play other things, too.
Autoharps seem to be an excellent choice, since you just
have to press buttons to select chords...but you have
a ridiculous number of strings to tune. And you’d be
amazed at what goes into playing a musical saw.
After reviewing the options, I think there’s only one
option for the serious non-musical musician: being the
guy who walks up to the microphone and says Check.
Check. Siiiiiibilance. You work for less than a minute and
you’re still part of the show. Even timpanists don’t have it
as good as that.
(Note: Twisted Girl knows that roadies have tough jobs,
and a lot of arm strength. She asks that roadies please not
throw things at her. Thanks for being understanding.)
- Twisted Girl