A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

Recent entries:
“Soup of the Day: Whiskey” (3/27)
“Put some whiskey in my coffee because it’s Ireland somewhere” (3/27)
“Whiskey is what beer wants to be when it grows up” (3/27)
“I don’t have enough coffee or middle fingers for today” (3/26)
“I like coffee because it gives me the illusion that I might be awake” (3/26)
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Entry from September 18, 2014
“A rock guitarist plays 3 chords to 3,000 people; a jazz guitarist plays 3,000 chords to 3 people”

"A rock guitarist plays 3 chords to 3,000 people; a jazz guitarist plays 3,000 chords to 3 people” is a popular music joke. “A blues musician plays three chords in front of a thousand people and a jazz musician plays a thousand chords in front of three people” was cited in print in July 2007. “Blues is 3 chords played in front of 3,000 people. Jazz is 3,000 chords played in front of 3 people” was cited in March 2008.

“A pop guitarist plays three chords in front of a thousand people, a jazz guitarist plays a thousand chords in front of three people” was cited in August 2008. It’s not known who told the joke first.


Google Groups: rec.music.makers.guitar.jazz
What’s the difference?
Joe Finn
7/17/07
Q: What’s the difference between a blues musician and a jazz musician?
A: A blues musician plays three chords in front of a thousand people and a jazz musician plays a thousand chords in front of three people.

Google Groups: rec.music.makers.guitar.jazz
Joke
steve
7/17/07
Q: What is the difference between a Blues musician and a Jazz musician?
A: A Blues musician plays 3 chords in front of 1,000 people. Jazz musicians play a 1,000 chords in front of 3 people.

David Hall Blog
WEDNESDAY, JULY 18, 2007
Difference Between A Blues Musician And A Jazz Musician
Today a friend explained to me the difference between a blues musican and a jazz musician. He said that a blues musician plays 3 chords in front of 1000 people and that a jazz musician plays 1000 chords in front of 3 people.
posted by David Hall @ 12:02 AM

organissimi
take5
Posted 03 March 2008 - 06:25 PM
What’s the difference between blues and jazz music?
Blues is 3 chords played in front of 3,000 people. Jazz is 3,000 chords played in front of 3 people.

The Acoustic Guitar Forum
My top ten guitar jokes..
fitz
08-12-2008, 01:29 PM
An oft-repeated classic:

What’s the difference between a pop guitarist and a jazz guitarist?
A pop guitarist plays three chords in front of a thousand people, a jazz guitarist plays a thousand chords in front of three people.

Music of Sound
Detritus 33
March 18, 2010
(...)
Warning! Muso joke: What’s the difference between a rock guitarist and a jazz guitarist?
A rock guitarist plays three chords to thousands of people, while the jazz guitarist plays thousands of chords to three people

Twitter
gormendizer
‏@gormendizer
A rock musician plays three chords to thousands of people and a jazz musician plays thousands of chords to three people.
8:45 AM - 12 Aug 2010

Twitter
Maria Zurutuza
‏@MerZuru
Rocker: Plays 3 chords in front of 3,000 people. Jazzman: Plays 3,000 chords in front of 3 people. #Truestory
10:16 PM - 1 Jan 2012

Sickipedia
What’s the difference between a rocker and a jazz man?
A rocker plays 3 chords in front of 3,000 people.
A jazz man plays 3,000 chords in front of 3 people.
(Added in January 2012.—ed.)

Twitter
Seth Brown
‏@sethryanbrown
A rock guitarist plays 3 chords to an audience of 3,000 people. A jazz guitarist plays 3,000 chords to an audience of 3 people.
4:14 PM - 4 Nov 2012

Twitter
manuaLs
‏@manuaLsdrums
“jazz: 3,000 chords for 3 people.”
“rock: 3 chords for 3,000 people.”
extreme, no doubt. but i understand what he’s getting at..
4:29 PM - 2 Apr 2013

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityMusic/Dance/Theatre/Film • Thursday, September 18, 2014 • Permalink