Some singers or musicians are vocalists and, surprisingly, can’t even play the musical instruments used by their band. While it may seem odd, some musicians can’t really do it, or if they can, they’re far from good at it. Today, we’re taking a look at 15 famous musicians who can’t play their own instruments.
1. Ozzy Osborne
“Ozzy Osbourne openly complains that guitar manufacturers keep gifting him guitars even though he’s never so much as held a guitar in his life,” one person stated.
“That’s somehow awesome and hilarious. I mean he has never even pretended to play and the manufacturers are like, ‘Yeah, let’s get one to Ozzy’ somehow,” another replied.
A third commenter added, “Though from memory he always wanted to play an instrument and not being able to be insecurity for him. He wanted to learn after he first left Black Sabbath but was dissuaded for fear that he would lose what he already had with his songwriting.”
2. Pete Wentz
One person stated, “Pete Wentz only learned how to play bass during Fall Out Boy’s hiatus. It’s not like he was hopeless and didn’t know anything, but watching old FOB concerts, you can’t even hear his bass, like he’s unplugged. in the ones where his bass is audible, he’s playing a way simpler version than what we hear in the albums. root notes along with the song. He seems to know what he is doing at least: back then, Patrick Stump would write the basslines and then teach them to Pete.”
“Wentz has always been the heartthrob of FOB [rather than being known for] his musical talents. Damn good lyricist though,” one Redditor replied.
Another added, “I don’t even think of Pete as the bassist of FOB but the lyricist.”
3. Tim McGraw
“Tim McGraw. I’m loosely acquainted with the guy who buys all his guitars. McGraw will have him make the guitars look worn and used, but the guitar is never actually hooked up to the sound system at his shows. It’s just there as a prop basically,” one person shared.
“Why am I having trouble picturing Tim playing guitar? Granted, I’ve never seen him live but I’ve never associated him with a guitar. Kenny Chesney, yes. Tim, no lol,” another added.
“You sent me down an insane rabbit hole and every picture I see of Tim McGraw he’s playing a G or a D or he’s not playing anything, he’s just kind of holding it. I will never unsee this,” another commenter replied.
4. Sid Vicious
One person stated, “Sid Vicious approached Lemmy for bass lessons saying ‘I can’t play bass’ Lemmy said ‘I know.’”
Another person replied, “They lived in the same squat in London. According to his biography, Lemmy tried to give Sid lessons but, ‘He was… hopeless.’ Undeterred, Sid still trod the boards, his volume mostly turned right down by sound men.”
One Redditor added, “most people probably haven’t heard him play unless they’ve listened to live recordings. It’s f- terrible and ruins the impact of the music when his bass is audible in the mix. It’s not that Sid merely lacked technical chops and only could play simple punk songs with just a few chords—he literally just couldn’t play the correct notes or play in time with the band. Not even passable for a ‘punk’ musician. Most kids in their early teens could do better.”
5. Arctic Monkeys
One person said, “None of the members of Arctic Monkeys knew how to play their instruments when they first started, they learned as they went along.”
Another person added, “I envy Jamie the most. Not to sound disrespectful, but his guitar playing, for a guy playing professionally for over 15 years, leaves a lot to be desired. Apparently has a big hand on the band’s style, but his lack of finesse is disconcerting. Small nitpick, but Alex can’t improvise to save his life. Great songwriter, but if he needs to put a spin on a riff. I’d rather him sticking to his guns a bit more.”
“Jamie is literally a bad guitarist. I love the band, but that dude is the luckiest guy in the world. The rest of the band are awesome musicians and Alex is a genius IMO,” one commenter replied.
6. The Shaggs
One Redditor said, “The Shaggs got famous because they couldn’t play.”
Another commenter replied, “You know that thing where you’ve never heard of something, and then you learn about it, and it’s suddenly everywhere? I just learned about the Shaggs last night while reading a story about Frank Sidebottom. The Shaggs’ dad sheltered them from the outside world and then forced them to play music with no point of reference. They sounded that way because they rarely, if ever, heard music. They hated it and quit the moment dear old dad dropped dead.”
7. Luke Bryan
“You’ll see a bunch pretending to play on the CMA’s tonight. Luke Bryan is a big one. Holds the guitar, strums twice the whole song. Probably not even mic’d up,” one person said.
“About 20 years ago, I was excited to go to a concert because some of my friends were pumped up about it. I don’t even remember who it was now, but the lead singer had a guitar, would randomly strum it, and I don’t think he was even plugged into an amp. I spent most of the concert taken by the fact he would just randomly start strumming, and nothing was happening. Don’t know if it was lost in the mix, or it was just a prop to give his hands something to do, but it took a bit of fun out of the show,” another Redditor replied.
One commenter argued, “Ironically, Luke Bryan can actually play the guitar rather well. And piano. Not sure why he doesn’t play much in performances.”
8. Wyld Stallyns
One person said, “At first, but then they had 16 months of intensive guitar training (except for that two-week medieval honeymoon) where they came out sounding like Kiss.”
Another person replied, “So they still couldn’t really play their instruments.”
Another Redditor said, “Wyld Stallyns rule though.”
9. Courtney Love
Courtney Love was an American singer and the lead vocalist of the Hole band, which she formed in 1989.
One person stated, “Courtney Love p***ed off her sound guy by not paying him, so he soloed her live tracks and uploaded them. Pay your audio engineers, people.”
Another commenter replied, “This has to be one of the most epic videos I have seen this year. The dude pulled the ultimate troll move.”
10. Lil Wayne
Dwayne Michael Carter Jr., aka Lil Wayne, is an American rapper who began his musical career at the age of 12. Despite starting at a very early age, Redditors said he couldn’t play his guitar well.
One Redditor said, “Lil Wayne is odd like that. Dude also can’t rap sometimes but still sells the album. Other times, he’s one of the best rappers to ever live. One day he’s going to get sober a sec and go platinum playing backup guitar for somebody when he’s bored.”
Another added, “I think he’s a rapper. Not a guitarist.”
11. DJ Khaled
Khaled Mohammed Khaled, better known by his stage name DJ Khaled, is an American rapper, record producer, record executive, and DJ. One person referred to a video in which Khaled plays his guitar badly but seems to think he knows exactly what he’s doing, “He plays that like he thinks that’s exactly like the guitar is supposed to sound.”
“What’s funny is one of the guitars he used on stage has tape on the side of the fretboard showing where to place his fingers during the song. It still sounded bad,” another commenter replied.
“He is just playing open strings and muting, and a couple strings are horribly out of tune,” one Redditor added.
12. Gene Simmons
Gene Simmons, aka the Demon, is an American-Israeli lead singer and bassist in the rock band Kiss.
One person stated, “Gene Simmons can play his bass, but he is not a good bass player, and I believe he’s aware of the fact.”
Another added, “Gene doesn’t like to be reminded of that little fact, either. He pouts when reminded of it. My wife and I witnessed it. Gene, however, is a marketing and business genius that revolutionized music merchandising.”
One commenter replied, “Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley have always been good musicians. Good, not great. But they’ve been absolutely exceptional businessmen. They put on the show while they’d have people like Ace Frehley, Eric Carr, and Bruce Kulick backing them up.”
13. Jim Morrison
Jim Morrison was an American singer and the lead vocalist of the band Doors. Apart from that, he was also a poet and songwriter. While he’s undoubtedly talented with great vocals, Redditors said he was not good with musical instruments.
One person stated, “Jim Morrison couldn’t play an instrument to save his life. Guitars, keys, a bongo, nothing. But then again, he’s Jim Morrison.”
One commenter added, “Vocals are an instrument.”
Another replied, “He didn’t really need to. Other Voices is proof of this.”
14. Katy Perry
Who could ever forget the video of Katy Perry when she was pretending she could play the flute? The embarrassment on her face is written all over, and it seems people can’t forget it. However, she’s nevertheless a creative and brilliant singer.
15. Lars Ulrich
Lars Ulrich R. is the drummer of the famous American heavy metal band Metallica. However, Redditors have something to say about his drumming skills.
One person said, “My old drummer once said, ‘Lars is a better drummer than me, but if my full-time job was to drum for Metallica, I would play those songs better than he can be bothered to.’”
“There are times in recent shows where he seems to be improving like he finally buckled down to practice, but it can be fleeting. Though his double bass pedaling is solid, I’ve definitely heard worse there,” another replied.
Another Redditor added, “I always feel Lars looks like Bill Bailey but has none of the talent of Bill.”
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