As a semi-responsible parent of a now eleven-year-old child, I am being asked to purchase a THIRD musical instrument to go along with her flute and guitar. It’d be one thing if she were able to call Dragon Caesar with the thing, but mostly all I get is arguments about practicing. Still, as a grade-school sousaphone player myself, I can appreciate the compact nature of the flute, and understand why it has been the instrument of choice for so many D&D bards I’ve known. It wouldn’t be very practical to try and go into combat with a harpsichord, and while the double bass has that wicked spike, it’s not very portable, which leads us to today’s melodious query…

The MS-QOTD (pronounced, as always, “misquoted”) doesn’t mind playing it traditional, so long as I’m not playing the accordion, asking: If you were to become a traditional musical bard, what instrument would you use to channel your powers?


About Author

Once upon a time, there was a young nerd from the Midwest, who loved Matter-Eater Lad and the McKenzie Brothers... If pop culture were a maze, Matthew would be the Minotaur at its center. Were it a mall, he'd be the Food Court. Were it a parking lot, he’d be the distant Cart Corral where the weird kids gather to smoke, but that’s not important right now... Matthew enjoys body surfing (so long as the bodies are fresh), writing in the third person, and dark-eyed women. Amongst his weaponry are such diverse elements as: Fear! Surprise! Ruthless efficiency! An almost fanatical devotion to pop culture! And a nice red uniform.


  1. Well, if I can’t have the Dragon Dagger/Zyusouken or a Mandalorian Bes’bev (a flute-like pipe that was both an instrument and a weapon used to bleed out enemies), then I’m not sure what I’d pick.

    I used to play alto sax way back when, so that is a possibility. It might not seem like the most ideal instrument, but just think of what kind of emotions can be evoked by blues style and blues influenced music. Some songs can make you feel peppy, while others can bring you down. Not to mention the thing had a good weight to it and could easily be used as a club in tight situations (not that I ever used it in such a way *tries to look innocent*).

    Then again, imagine how cool a keytar would be! Why are you laughing? I’m being super serious!

  2. I’ve always liked drums. Trying to cart around a drum set on your adventures would be cumbersome. Maybe a drum app on my iPhone instead? :D

    • A clockwork/steampunk mecha with drums in the cockpit that also can cause blasts of sound to come forth from somewhere? You get the dual pleasure of playing drums AND having a giant robot!

  3. TheWolverine on

    A solid stainless steel electric guitar with black skull motifs & built in sonic disrupters that will quite literally level the playing field. My talent could be felt from miles away( if I knew how to play it that is(^_^)).

    • With that kind of power, why bother learning to play? Just strum the guitar and BOOM! Anyone in the sound wave’s path is dead and you can just lie and say you played some really awesome complex song when you tell the tale later.

  4. If it were me, I would go with the guitar, since that’s what draws me, but if I were to try to make an ideal D&D Bard, it’s kazoo all the way. You don’t even need hands!

    • In my old group, one of my friend’s characters had something that was essentially an enchanted kazoo. I forgot what it was called, but the DM’s wife made him a “replica” of the item with a kazoo she painted and added a few little fake (glass or plastic) gems.

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