16 objectively disgusting things all musicians do

15 August 2019, 16:26

Gross classical music things
Gross classical music things. Picture: Social Media

By Siena Linton

When you’re a classical musician, it’s sometimes easy to forget that the rest of the world finds bodily functions gross. Not that it stops us.

  1. Emptying spit valves onto the floor.

    Wet floor by French horns
    Wet floor by French horns. Picture: Social Media

    Petition for all brass players to carry a ‘wet floor’ sign everywhere they go...

  2. Makeup on your chin rest.

    Make-up on chin rest
    Make-up on chin rest. Picture: Plucky Violin Teacher

    No matter what we do, nothing seems to keep foundation on our faces and not our violins.

  3. Flute chin.

    via GIPHY

    Any foundation-wearing flute players will have found out the hard way that silver and skincare do not mix. Beware the dark mark beneath your lip.

  4. Clearing spit bubbles from wind instruments.

    We know it's a necessary evil, but that doesn't make it any less gross.

  5. Soaking reeds in water.

    Oboe reeds soaking
    Oboe reeds soaking. Picture: Social Media

    Thankfully no bodily functions here, but it still makes us a little squeamish. Definitely lawful evil.

  6. Soaking reeds in spit.

    via GIPHY

    There is literally no excuse for this. Ever. Just don't do it.

  7. Drinking the water you soaked your reed in.

    via GIPHY

    Seriously? For the love of oboes, just find a drain to pour it down.

  8. Sweaty conductors.

    via GIPHY

    Don't think you can get away with being gross just because you aren't playing an instrument.

  9. Breathing down your flute to warm it up.

    Tuning is important, but how much longer until someone invents a self-regulating flute? For now, let's just hope you've brushed your teeth beforehand.

  10. Violin neck.

    An occupational hazard that can make public outings awkward. Keep a scarf handy, just in case.

  11. Finger calluses.

    Guitarist fingers
    Guitarist fingers. Picture: Social media

    They're not hardcore, just gnarly.

  12. Comparing finger calluses.

    via GIPHY

    Not. A. Competition.

  13. Bleeding violin fingers.

    Bleeding Shostakovich fingers
    Bleeding Shostakovich fingers. Picture: Frank Almond/Facebook

    Okay so, maybe finger calluses are a good thing if they make this less likely. This is about as rock 'n' roll as it gets.

  14. Bleeding piano fingers.

    Blood on piano
    Blood on piano. Picture: Chris Slaughter/Cincinnati World Piano Competition

    Writing finger-mashing melodies must be an Eastern European tradition. One pianist bled all over the piano keys playing Bartók at a piano competition!

  15. Singers: gargling.

    via GIPHY

    Turns out you don't need an instrument to be gross. Really, no one needs to hear this.

  16. Practising in the bathroom.

    via GIPHY

    Floor to ceiling tiles make for great acoustics, we must admit. But if you stop to think about hygiene... actually, let's not.