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Any tips for a newbie street busker??

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GUEST,Ben 01 Feb 13 - 05:38 AM
breezy 10 Feb 11 - 04:42 AM
InOBU 10 Feb 11 - 04:03 AM
GUEST,SSRobin 10 Feb 11 - 02:26 AM
Mark Ross 14 Jun 10 - 01:42 PM
meself 14 Jun 10 - 12:30 PM
mousethief 14 Jun 10 - 12:24 PM
GUEST 14 Jun 10 - 12:12 PM
GUEST,Busker Gal 14 Jun 10 - 08:27 AM
Seamus Kennedy 18 Apr 10 - 12:57 AM
GUEST,guest 17 Apr 10 - 04:55 PM
GUEST,jim gillison 05 Jul 08 - 06:49 PM
McGrath of Harlow 05 Jul 08 - 06:21 PM
GUEST 04 Jul 08 - 08:51 PM
GUEST,Jonny Sunshine 07 Apr 08 - 01:26 PM
The Sandman 07 Apr 08 - 03:56 AM
Mr Red 06 Apr 08 - 09:18 AM
GUEST,Unplugged 06 Apr 08 - 09:08 AM
Jim Lad 20 Mar 07 - 08:25 PM
GUEST,meself 20 Mar 07 - 08:08 PM
Jack Campin 20 Mar 07 - 07:37 PM
PoppaGator 20 Mar 07 - 03:36 PM
GlennOrange 14 Mar 07 - 08:24 PM
The Fooles Troupe 04 Oct 04 - 09:30 PM
Joybell 04 Oct 04 - 09:12 PM
PoppaGator 04 Oct 04 - 12:07 PM
alanww 04 Oct 04 - 09:22 AM
Leadfingers 03 Oct 04 - 07:51 PM
GUEST 03 Oct 04 - 06:43 PM
GUEST 03 Oct 04 - 06:42 PM
The Fooles Troupe 03 Oct 04 - 07:00 AM
Zeek 03 Oct 04 - 05:38 AM
Joybell 02 Oct 04 - 07:25 PM
McGrath of Harlow 02 Oct 04 - 04:11 PM
PoppaGator 02 Oct 04 - 01:32 PM
alanabit 02 Oct 04 - 08:02 AM
GUEST,Zeek 02 Oct 04 - 06:16 AM
Seamus Kennedy 29 Jul 04 - 04:16 PM
Peter T. 29 Jul 04 - 11:46 AM
The Fooles Troupe 29 Jul 04 - 05:12 AM
Marion 29 Jul 04 - 12:59 AM
GUEST,Mappa mundi 28 Jul 04 - 02:40 AM
Joybell 27 Jul 04 - 07:09 PM
PoppaGator 27 Jul 04 - 06:13 PM
GUEST,lala 27 Jul 04 - 04:51 PM
Joybell 23 Jul 04 - 07:59 PM
PoppaGator 23 Jul 04 - 04:16 PM
Joybell 22 Jul 04 - 07:18 PM
dermod in salisbury 22 Jul 04 - 12:46 PM
PoppaGator 22 Jul 04 - 12:17 PM
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Subject: RE: Any tips for a newbie street busker??
From: GUEST,Ben
Date: 01 Feb 13 - 05:38 AM

You might find this useful http://fretdetective.blogspot.co.uk/2012/05/busking-tips.html


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Subject: RE: Any tips for a newbie street busker??
From: breezy
Date: 10 Feb 11 - 04:42 AM

Marion's contribution on 19th July 2004 remains compulsory reading for wannabees or hasbeens, whatever, whoever.

but she omits to weather conditions, so

If its wet and or windy , maybe think about having a day off.
Look at the extended forecast and plan ahead.

Re 'pee' Always start 'empty'

re temperatures

Plenty of good quality thermal under layers and scarf and cut off gloves, but try to avoid being hot and sweaty before you start, have a top layer to put on when you arrive at the pitch.

minus 8 has been the coldest this year, but I know it gets much colder states side.

gonna be cold again next week so I hear

Bye


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Subject: RE: Any tips for a newbie street busker??
From: InOBU
Date: 10 Feb 11 - 04:03 AM

Well... Kev McGrath and Poppagator are dead on...

On CDs... back to the tape cassette days, then CDs, most of my cash came from selling my recordings while I busked...

On standing... I play the Uillean pipes and a number of other instruments, I noticed, standing intsruments got more attention, as you are looking the audience in the eye... if the look down at you playing they do LOOK DOWN on you. So, I began carting around a high stool to play the pipes, and the earnings went up. Space is everything when it comes to how you are seen.

The only time I used a low chair after that, is when I would busk with my whole band...

As to the person who asked about can't you get gigs... ( long sigh and a shake of the head here...)

Of course many of us get or got gigs. I used to rehearse my band in the park busking, to tighten the performances, and see what worked close up with crowds... we even had a complete battery PA system for what was sometimes up to a nine piece band - even battery mixer so the ballence was great.

Why not get paid to practice, eh?

And more on gigs from busking, I would get a lot of gigs FROM busking... always carry cards...

Licences... never liked them, never got one. It is our world, not theirs... at least keep the open roads, waste grounds and public places free... there is no more powerful thought than freedom.

Philip Petite once said to me, "If busking were legal I would not do it." For those young folks who may not remember, he is the busking high wire walker, who walked beteen the World Trade Center towers, and was sentenced to busk in the streets of New York for a summer, proving that even some judges get it.

Baxt thai sastimos,
Lorcan


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Subject: RE: Any tips for a newbie street busker??
From: GUEST,SSRobin
Date: 10 Feb 11 - 02:26 AM

Hiya,

I've recently started playing the penny whistle, and am slowly building up my repertoire so I can go out in public in 6 months - a year or so.

Do any of you have any experience busking with that instrument? How do you pick which songs to learn? (Mostly I've gotten random jigs and reels from free sheet music databases, but they're nothing that people would know out here in Ontario... haven't really found much in the way of popular music for the tinwhistle)

Is it even a viable instrument for busking?


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Subject: RE: Any tips for a newbie street busker??
From: Mark Ross
Date: 14 Jun 10 - 01:42 PM

There is a difference between PLAYING music and PERFORMING. Just keep that in mind.

Mark Ross


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Subject: RE: Any tips for a newbie street busker??
From: meself
Date: 14 Jun 10 - 12:30 PM

(Sorry - that last "GUEST" was me - unlogged).


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Subject: RE: Any tips for a newbie street busker??
From: mousethief
Date: 14 Jun 10 - 12:24 PM

Many moons ago, a buddy of mine decided to try busking in the underground el stations in the "Loop" of Chicago. He said he tried all different kinds of songs, but the ones that made the most money were old revival hymns. He reckoned it was some kind of nostalgic guilt.


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Subject: RE: Any tips for a newbie street busker??
From: GUEST
Date: 14 Jun 10 - 12:12 PM

"Busking? You can't score a real gig, or an amatuer demo?"

Possibly: no. Possibly: yes, but don't want to. Possibly: what's it to you?

Next question, please.


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Subject: RE: Any tips for a newbie street busker??
From: GUEST,Busker Gal
Date: 14 Jun 10 - 08:27 AM

Marion's point about stamina and patience is very true. You may busk for a while and not get any tips then you may get a lot of tips in a few seconds. Some places in the UK require a licence but most don't. You can call the local authority before and find out if you need a licence or not. Most places it's ok to turn up and do it. If you do get asked to move on (this has happened to me when I've been on private property such as shopping centres) then be polite and ask them where buskers normally go in their town/city.

Its good to have a wide range of songs/tunes, happy songs and popular songs go down really well. We make more when the sun is shining. Busking is a good way to get over nerves, at first you may be nervous about singing on the street but give it a go it's fun! 99% of the people are nice ignore the few negative comments you may get.

Smile and dress smartly. How you present yourself makes a difference. Some people dress up to go with the act I think that's a cool idea. We have been booked to play paid gigs when people have seen us busking, you are your own best advertisement!

If you are singing take a bottle of water it's thirsty work. Seamus is right to say PROJECT. I put as much energy as possible into the performance leaving enough left so I can keep going comfortabley for the lengh of the show (from 1 hour to 3 hours). Build your stamina up over time.

If you are playing a stringed instrument pack some spare strings.

If you are doing it often and walking a lot it helps hugely to get a trolley. The trolley saves my stamina and muscles for playing!!

The most important thing is to enjoy it and have fun. Good luck!


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Subject: RE: Any tips for a newbie street busker??
From: Seamus Kennedy
Date: 18 Apr 10 - 12:57 AM

Sing Loudly.. project!
Strum loudly but clearly (if you're a guitar player).

Salt your case.

Use a bottler.
If no bottler, talk to the people and smile.


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Subject: RE: Any tips for a newbie street busker??
From: GUEST,guest
Date: 17 Apr 10 - 04:55 PM

there have been sociological studies on busking that showed a peckijng order in popularity of buskers.

most popular was vocal harmony accompanied by instraments.

least popular was a solo instramentalist.
    Please note that anonymous posting is no longer allowed at Mudcat. Use a consistent name [in the 'from' box] when you post, or your messages risk being deleted. Guest,guest is not an acceptable posting name - it has already been taken.
    Thanks.
    -Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Any tips for a newbie street busker??
From: GUEST,jim gillison
Date: 05 Jul 08 - 06:49 PM

Busking? You can't score a real gig, or an amatuer demo? If you're
busking, here's one tip. Play public domain songs. Why? No royalties.
If you play someone elses copyrighted material without a performance
license and making money off it, you're ripping them off. So, make sure
you get the performance license to play the songs live in public.
Then, for location: choose a place that is near bars and cafes or where
the owners of those types of places are likely to be passing by. If they like you, they might give you a real gig.


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Subject: RE: Any tips for a newbie street busker??
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 05 Jul 08 - 06:21 PM

Being in the right place at the right time is more important than how you sound or what you play (within reason).

It's a bit like hitching a ride that way. The bottom line isn't how you look, it's, is it a convenient place for a driver to stop.


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Subject: RE: Anyone busking with a Native American Flute?
From: GUEST
Date: 04 Jul 08 - 08:51 PM

I live in Arizona and I play the Native American Flute. I have a small battery powered amp I use. There are times when I use a cd playter playing thunder storms in the background as I play I also use a echo box thru the amp. People like it. So I keep doing it. Keep the music flowing...Ghost Ferret


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Subject: RE: Any tips for a newbie street busker??
From: GUEST,Jonny Sunshine
Date: 07 Apr 08 - 01:26 PM

The larger and more unusual your instrument, the more attention you will attract. Hammered dulcimers are the business. I had a friend who busked with one and happened to pass him in town when he asked me to look after the dulcimer while he got a drink of water. By the time he came back I'd got a crowd of 20 people asking me all about it, and I can't even play it!


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Subject: RE: Any tips for a newbie street busker??
From: The Sandman
Date: 07 Apr 08 - 03:56 AM

Never leave too much money in your collecting hat,it could get stolen.
Bluebell/Jenny lind polka is a good money spinner.Dick Miles


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Subject: RE: Any tips for a newbie street busker??
From: Mr Red
Date: 06 Apr 08 - 09:18 AM

One thing Dave Hart told me he did

Dave was (is) a Morris man, melodeon player and self employed carpenter in Wellington NZ.

He played on a Friday betwixt the railway station and the bus station at the far end of the underpass, to commuters. Friday only - punters bouyant, for one day, rushing to work. And he picked the rhythm of their feet and gave it a lift. It produced more revenue. It helped that he played a lot of morris type tunes.

But the lesson is: read your audience and pick them too, time and demeanour. Mostly people want jolly. Grab them musically as they pass.

Good luck - and do the Social Services and Taxman want to know?


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Subject: RE: Any tips for a newbie street busker??
From: GUEST,Unplugged
Date: 06 Apr 08 - 09:08 AM

Any retired folks out there who have taken up busking? I figure to take my banjo and voice and give it a whirl real soon. Great advice here. Much appreciated.


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Subject: RE: Any tips for a newbie street busker??
From: Jim Lad
Date: 20 Mar 07 - 08:25 PM

Works for Michael Jackson.
The monkey, I mean!


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Subject: RE: Any tips for a newbie street busker??
From: GUEST,meself
Date: 20 Mar 07 - 08:08 PM

Failing either of those, a monkey is not a bad idea.


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Subject: RE: Any tips for a newbie street busker??
From: Jack Campin
Date: 20 Mar 07 - 07:37 PM

If you do anything even vaguely Scottish, wear a kilt.

Having a cute kid or a woman with big boobs to go round with a hat while you're playing will more than double the take.


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Subject: RE: Any tips for a newbie street busker??
From: PoppaGator
Date: 20 Mar 07 - 03:36 PM

Good Rule Number One, there, Glenn: stand instead of sit, absolutely! (Unless you have a piano out on the street, or some other instrument at which you need to be seated).

And, rather than "Perform TO your crowd," I'd rephrase and say "...TO you audience," even when there isn't a crowd. Keep in mind that even those people who are walking by can hear you, and may have been listening from a block or more away, since before you ever saw them. So try to make eye contact with anyone and everyone you encounter; you may be surprised at who's actually interested, and a smile and acknowledgement may be all a person needs to decide not to keep walking but to stop and listen for a bit, and/or to dig out a bill or a few coins after all.


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Subject: RE: Any tips for a newbie street busker??
From: GlennOrange
Date: 14 Mar 07 - 08:24 PM

If you want to be a succesful busker then you should GIVE your absolute best performance.
   Stand instead of sit.
   Perform TO your crowd.
   Play songs people can relate to (wether it's original or a cover)
   Never, ever, EVER think, worry, or obsess about money.

    If you are giving a great performance and are reaching the peple, the money will come. If you focus on money (or your need for it) then you can't focus on performing.
               myspace.com/glennorange


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Subject: RE: Any tips for a newbie street busker??
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 04 Oct 04 - 09:30 PM

$0.02


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Subject: RE: Any tips for a newbie street busker??
From: Joybell
Date: 04 Oct 04 - 09:12 PM

I sang unnaccompanied mostly. I usually had an old 5 string banjo with me but didn't do anything fancy with it - just simple 2 finger style back-up for some songs. Mainly it was just a prop. My voice is high and clear enough to cut across city noise so that was an advantage. I was terrified before every time - over 7 or so years, but I found that if I dressed up in some kind of easily recognizable outfit and strode confidently into the very middle of the main street and started singing - nothing bad happened and people smiled and welcomed me. It was a matter of theatre really while playing myself. Wonderful times. Wonderful memories. Joy


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Subject: RE: Any tips for a newbie street busker??
From: PoppaGator
Date: 04 Oct 04 - 12:07 PM

My own experience was almost exclusively singing-with-accompaniment (acoustic guitar).

When I first ventured out on the street (my first *day* only), I was too scared to sing -- suffering "stage fright" without even being on a stage -- and had no success attracting any contributions at all with my low-volume fingerpicking. Only after I summoned up the gumption to open my throat and sing (and to play louder, albeit more simply, at the same time) did I find any success.

I've seen plenty of successful instrumental-only busking acts, but very few guitar soloists among them. The instrumentalists who do best seem to be those who appear in groups and/or who play "interesting" instruments (e.g., harp, hammered dulcimer; even a fiddle is "exotic' enough -- or maybe just loud enough -- to attract a little extra interest).

Unaccompanied singing might just be unusual enough to command a lot of attention. I'm sure you'd have to be *very good* and fairly loud)to pull it off.

Classical players, solo or in trios, quartets, etc., seem to do very well just about everywhere. More power to 'em, but it's not very helpful to advise a folkie to go out and "Learn classical music."


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Subject: RE: Any tips for a newbie street busker??
From: alanww
Date: 04 Oct 04 - 09:22 AM

There certainly are some brill tips here, particulary from Marion.
I have only done a bit of busking myself and, although I am primarily a singer (mostly traditional and unaccompanied), for practice I played my concertina without singing.
What are people's experiences in terms of the mode of performance? Do you get more money by singing unaccompanied, playing solo or singing with accompaniment? (Of course, I acknowledge that over a longish period the lets-stave-off-the-boredom factor may suggest a mixture.)
"Dancing and singing, bell ringing...!"
Alan


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Subject: RE: Any tips for a newbie street busker??
From: Leadfingers
Date: 03 Oct 04 - 07:51 PM

Get as much advice from Mudcat people as you can - We are all 'Fairly' user friendly . And when you join come in to Mudchat and join the loony bin !!


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Subject: RE: Any tips for a newbie street busker??
From: GUEST
Date: 03 Oct 04 - 06:43 PM

Make sure your shots are current, always use a condom, get tested every 12 weeks.


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Subject: RE: Any tips for a newbie street busker??
From: GUEST
Date: 03 Oct 04 - 06:42 PM

Don't declair your earnings, apply for foodstamps and never let someone borrow your sleeping-bag (its a bitch getting rid of body lice.)


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Subject: RE: Any tips for a newbie street busker??
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 03 Oct 04 - 07:00 AM

If you look up the top of the page, you will see a link "FAQ"

Robin


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Subject: RE: Any tips for a newbie street busker??
From: Zeek
Date: 03 Oct 04 - 05:38 AM

Thanks everyone. I will be joining for sure. This site is so huge. Tunes are my interest here so I am trying to navigate around finding how everything works...but with some it difficulty I admit. Signing in is more infomation than I know about myself presently...but will work on it. I made one attemp already. I'm not real cyber friendly yet.

zeek


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Subject: RE: Any tips for a newbie street busker??
From: Joybell
Date: 02 Oct 04 - 07:25 PM

Yes, Zeek joining is a good idea. You can view some of our pictures as buskers.
I was a busker in Melbourne, Australia for about 7 years. The first licenced one.
I sang in restaurants, and worked as a nurse at the same time. Damage to my back from nursing forced me into retirement, and damage from passive smoking forced me out of restuarants. I still busk when I can but we live away from the city now, so it's not very often.
I'm enjoying this thread too, talking with other buskers around the world. Joy


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Subject: RE: Any tips for a newbie street busker??
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 02 Oct 04 - 04:11 PM

A few CDs of the busker on display make sense - even aside from the possiblity of selling some, it implies that this music is worth listening to. And these days it's easy enough to make CDs a few at a time, with minimal equipment and minimal cost.

And there are people who find the idea of handing over a few quid for a CD an easier thing to do than putting a few coins in a hat as a gift.


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Subject: RE: Any tips for a newbie street busker??
From: PoppaGator
Date: 02 Oct 04 - 01:32 PM

Hey Zeek,

Let me second the motion that you consider joining.

If you scroll up to the very top of this page, you'll see a list of "blue clickies," each of which is a link to another thread on the same (or related) subject. That is, the links at the top of *this* page all take you to other discussions of busking. Check 'em out!

I sang on the streets of New Orleans (winters) and San Francisco (summers) full-time for about three years in the early 70s. Even though I've been "retired" for 30 years, I still don't hestitate to pontificate, offer advice, tell stories, etc. I know that Marion and alanabit, among others, are currently active buskers who always have helpful and interesting things to say. So, definitely check out those other threads referenced above, and also join up and stick around.

Oh yeah -- you ask: "Is this "mudcat" thing all about street performing or what?"

Not at all. The original raison d'etre for the site was as a place to store the Digital Tradition, a huge database of traditional song lyrics, which had been maintained by Xerox/PARC until they abruptly dropped it. This forum had more of an American folk/blues slant in the early days, but since then many members have joined from all over the English-speaking world, and topics under discussion include a wide range of British, Irish/Celtic, and other folk traditions as well as American. Also a fair amount of personal news, gossip, and other such "BS." Discussions of street performance pop up periodically, but it's really just one of the many aspects of folk music -- very broadly defined -- that you'll find here.


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Subject: RE: Any tips for a newbie street busker??
From: alanabit
Date: 02 Oct 04 - 08:02 AM

Welcome Zeek. Why not become a member? It's free, simple and takes about five minutes. It also enables you to put up your own personal page and receive and send PMs (Personal Mails).
The site is a meeting of people who like various forms of folk music -there have been several debates about trying to describe what "folk" means. We talk about lots of other subjects though.
I am interested in busking, having done it for over twenty-five years. Here is a good place to discuss it and hear from the old hands like Reggie Miles, InObu and Marion. There's much more though. Stick around.


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Subject: RE: Any tips for a newbie street busker??
From: GUEST,Zeek
Date: 02 Oct 04 - 06:16 AM

I just found this thread somehow while surfing and read the entire thing. Wonderful! I put it on favorites and I'll be back.   I have no tips on busking as yet but I'm excited about trying it since i'm without a job. I wanted to post something to see how this shows up and I can begin learning how to use this site which seems complicated at the moment. Is this "mudcat" thing all about street performing or what?

Heres one tip I have for hitching a ride sometimes though. *Where traffic is not heavy on a two way road...try thumbing on the "wrong" side of the road. For some reason it works faster.

Zeek


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Subject: RE: Any tips for a newbie street busker??
From: Seamus Kennedy
Date: 29 Jul 04 - 04:16 PM

Marion - excellent stuff!
Did you ever think of writing and publishing a little handbook of all your practical tips for busking?
I can think of a few buskers who could use the advice.
Unlike us old-timers, they wouldn't have to learn the hard way!

Seamus


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Subject: RE: Any tips for a newbie street busker??
From: Peter T.
Date: 29 Jul 04 - 11:46 AM

This is an audience comment, but I always give money to musicians who go against the tempo of the place -- like doing slow songs when everyone is rushing. It reminds me that music is different, and that the people doing it are not part of the rat race. I am sure that standard advice is probably to do things that are flashy and speedy, but that never works for me -- especially accordion players. A slow accordion player will stop me every time; a fast one is like wallpaper.

But that is just me.

yours,

Peter T.


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Subject: RE: Any tips for a newbie street busker??
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 29 Jul 04 - 05:12 AM

If I really knew EXACTLY, I'd be there. If anyone else really did too, so would they. And sometimes, you just have to be there at the right time too, as well as having the right material... but that's already been covered above.

Robin


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Subject: RE: Any tips for a newbie street busker??
From: Marion
Date: 29 Jul 04 - 12:59 AM

Hi gang. Sorry for the delay in following up on this thread - too busy being an opportunistic bastard.

Georgeward, that's really nice of you, thanks on behalf of your local buskers.

Dermod, sorry if I've ruined the romance for you. I see where you're coming from - but I'm sure we can agree that marketing is a necessary evil.

Gypsy makes a good point about learning to talk while playing, especially to say thank you. I've found a difficulty in listening while playing: if someone stands in front of me and talks in a normal conversational tone while I've got a fiddle under my ear, I simply can't hear them. So what I had to learn to do was a graceful stop in the middle of a tune so I can ask them what they just said: trying to find a way to resolve the melody in a few beats. It sounds terrible if you just stop the tune cold, but if it takes too long to come to a natural stopping point they'll think you're ignoring them.

Guest Lala, we did have a thread about the laws in various locations: Busking permits, but I skimmed through it and the only mention of Spain is Alanabit's caution not to look poor. You might want to start another thread called "Busking in Barcelona?", or become a Mudcat member (it's free) and write to Alanabit for advice. Buena suerte, let us know how it goes.

Jess A, I think it's certainly true that some tunes will pay better than others, but I'm not too sure what to do about that fact. Sometimes I think I'd make a fortune if all I did was alternate between Redwing and Danny Boy (both in G, BTW...) but I resist the temptation for two reasons. First, as I said above, the real key is patience and stamina, and I believe that I have more patience and stamina if I'm entertaining myself as well as the listeners. If I were to just go through a short rotation of hits again and again (I know you didn't suggest this, but people do suggest it sometimes), I'm pretty sure I would burn out on busking. The other reason is that I like my busking to be valuable practice time as well as an income-producing activity, so if I have an unproductive day, it wasn't wasted time because I got in some practice of recently memorized repertoire.

(Aside: that reminds me of what I forgot to put in my list: don't use a music stand, play from memory.)

I liked your story of the Marilyn Monroe skirt incident, but I'm not too sure about the short skirt suggestion. When I busk I dress as my normal frumpy self, and even so, I get a lot more sexual attention from men than I do at other times: sometimes polite, sometimes obnoxious, and always unwelcome. Maybe they think that a girl who would busk is likely to be free and easy, or maybe they think I'm desperate for money. But either way, I consider the men problem to be busking's biggest drawback, and I expect it would be worse if I showed a little leg (or a big leg, in my case).

Foolestroupe, your post was factual but not very helpful. What can you tell us about identifying a good location?

Joybell and PoppaGator, thanks a lot for sharing your experiences. The few times that I've busked with other musicians, I didn't feel that they earned their keep (i.e., we didn't make double my normal income), but those were ad hoc jam sessions, not a tight act. I would like to work up some tunes with a partner and see how it goes, once I'm settled again.

I don't recall that anyone's ever told me they admire my guts for busking alone (they do for travelling alone, though). But there have been several times that passersby have said something like "You must be hot," or "You've been playing all day!" and I felt that their tip was in tribute to my patience and stamina rather than my fiddling.

The other thing that I often hear is other musicians telling me they think it takes a lot of guts to go out busking. For example, in the "Busking and begging" thread Brucie said: It takes a serious set of cajones to put your talent on the line that way, and I admire people who have the 'brass' to do just that. I've never really understood this. I only had stage fright the first ten minutes of my busking life - I think playing gigs is the stressful thing. After all, no matter how bad you screw something up, in five minutes anyone who heard it will be gone and you have a fresh new audience.

Thanks for your thoughts everyone - keep them coming.

Cheers, Marion


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Subject: RE: Any tips for a newbie street busker??
From: GUEST,Mappa mundi
Date: 28 Jul 04 - 02:40 AM

lala - you will need a licence - unless you can bear being moved on frequently.
You can get one (subject to an audition) from the local (Barrio) council office.


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Subject: RE: Any tips for a newbie street busker??
From: Joybell
Date: 27 Jul 04 - 07:09 PM

PoppaGater, I'll bet you were just so sweet in 1951. Yes my other pictures are more or less current - well not the one with the Giant Penguin. I met him in 1970-something. He still looks pretty good - he's in the first photo too - the fairly new one. I'll look forward to seeing some more of your pictures. Isn't this time-travelling grand? Joy


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Subject: RE: Any tips for a newbie street busker??
From: PoppaGator
Date: 27 Jul 04 - 06:13 PM

Joybell,

Getting old is just fine, if you consider the alternative. Illness is something else, of course.

I took note of your picture dated nineteen-sixty-something, but I had assumed all the others were pretty much current. You didn't have to admit that the seated picture dates back to the 70s!

You have inspired me to look for an good representative OLD photo. I have, or used to have, a set of great B&W shots of myself, with guitar, on a makeshift stage at Earth People's Park, Norton, Vermont, summer of 1971. If I can still find 'em, I'll pick one, scan it, and email it to Pene Azul for the member photo page.

I *do* have a copy of my school picture from kindergarten, 1951-52 school year... Nahhh!

PG


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Subject: RE: Any tips for a newbie street busker??
From: GUEST,lala
Date: 27 Jul 04 - 04:51 PM

whats d story bout getting a license, im heading to barcelona on fri 30july, i heard u need to get one--how much? where from? can i get away without one????


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Subject: RE: Any tips for a newbie street busker??
From: Joybell
Date: 23 Jul 04 - 07:59 PM

No full length. But from the front and seated in a chair. Isn't this time travel great. My photo is from about the 1970s. I looked rather good if I say so myself. I'll view your photo while automatically taking off a few pounds PoppaGater. That's only fair. Hope you are feeling better. Getting sick is a real bummer isn't it? I don't much like getting old either for that matter! Joy


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Subject: RE: Any tips for a newbie street busker??
From: PoppaGator
Date: 23 Jul 04 - 04:16 PM

I was about 100 lb. lighter in my streetsinging days -- early 1970s -- than I am in those recent pix shown on the member-pictures page.

(I've lost almost 40 in the last six months, due to illness, but that's another story. I expect to gain some, but hopefully not all, of that weight back in the near future.)

Now, I'm off to the member-photos page myself, to check out Joybell and her "bottom line" -- unless she provided head-shots only!


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Subject: RE: Any tips for a newbie street busker??
From: Joybell
Date: 22 Jul 04 - 07:18 PM

We didn't start busking with the same amount of knowledge that we gained after we'd been at it for a while. I quite agree with Poppagater and dermod in salisbury. Also it's hard to believe that you could keep it up if you didn't really enjoy the whole thing. Sigh!! I was slim and had a good "bottom line" then. Now I would have to act the plump and grandmotherly type.
There's a picture of me as a busker on my photo page here at Mudcat. There's one of Poppagater on his page too - if I remember rightly. Joy


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Subject: RE: Any tips for a newbie street busker??
From: dermod in salisbury
Date: 22 Jul 04 - 12:46 PM

You're right. What use is experience if it doesn't produce knowledge? What use is knowledge if you don't pass it on?


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Subject: RE: Any tips for a newbie street busker??
From: PoppaGator
Date: 22 Jul 04 - 12:17 PM

Jeez, Dermod, you must really have your head in the clouds if Marion's thorough, articulate, and very helpful message "depressed you a bit."

For anyone who has actually gone out there in public and done it -- or for anyone who seriously plans to begin doing so -- strategies for being *effective* are equally as important as one's musicality or artistic talent or whatever.

Many of Marion's points -- like her advice to interact with little children, to be willing to take requests even by "winging it" by ear, etc. -- have as much to do with providing pleasure and entertainment to the folks on the street as they do with "marketing" or profiteering. Indeed, just about every piece of advice offered by any of us here has been intended as a way to reach an audience and "brighten their day." Indeed, the *only* way a busker can hope to maximize his/her "take" is to please the listeners and thus induce some of them to make voluntary contributions.

Your own analogy to hitchhiking is pretty apt. If one if going to stand at the roadside in hopes of catching a lift, one can hardly be faulted for seeking advice for ways to actually induce a driver to stop. Similarly, if one if going to perform in public, what's wrong with trying to find ways to reach an audience and provoke a response?


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