New To Busking And Need Pointers

Problems, how to get them, favorite songs to play, groupies, funky bar owners, etc. NO names of clubs, please.

New To Busking And Need Pointers

Postby Bant's Bluz » Tue Aug 12, 2008 6:00 pm

The title says it all. I will soon be delving into busking and was hoping that those of you who do this routinely might have some pointers. Note that I have done my research as it pertains to applicable city codes and all that. Any and all advice is more than appreciated.
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Re: New To Busking And Need Pointers

Postby allanlummox » Tue Aug 12, 2008 9:26 pm

Never, ever busk playing guitar while sitting cross legged on the ground.

Be considerate, but sing loud.
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Re: New To Busking And Need Pointers

Postby ricochet » Tue Aug 12, 2008 11:17 pm

Aside from any other risks, it's unlikely I'd be able to get up if I tried that.
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Re: New To Busking And Need Pointers

Postby allanlummox » Wed Aug 13, 2008 12:11 am

It just looks all bummy, like some junkie with a stolen guitar.
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Re: New To Busking And Need Pointers

Postby texas blues » Wed Aug 13, 2008 2:28 am

Do your 'thang but lay off the ABBA covers. Ifind the best buskers do their own music and have their own schtick. If you have yours...count it off and bust a nut.

Cheers, TB.
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Re: New To Busking And Need Pointers

Postby oleman » Wed Aug 13, 2008 3:34 am

I have found that busking with a partner works well. Either a harp player or another 6stg player that can sing a little bit.
I think that the interpersonal give and take with the listeners is almost as important and as much fun as playing the music.
Around where we play, we have found that throwing in a fair amount of C&W helps with the cash flow. We stick pretty close to the blues but like to throw in a shocker or two every now and then; either an old standard or Metallica.
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Re: New To Busking And Need Pointers

Postby Slim » Wed Aug 13, 2008 4:04 am

When I was in New Orleans I would "pseudo-busk" technically if you took money you need a license but I just sat on my stoop alot playing and would take my hat off....if some money fell in it it wasnt my fault! :twisted: Where I live now in the country I dont have that oppurtunity.....
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Re: New To Busking And Need Pointers

Postby jaybee » Wed Aug 13, 2008 6:18 am

don't start with an empty guitar case, throw in some coins AND a $ note, a good example is usually followed :wink:

if you have a dog, take it with you, unless it does what mine used to do: go sleep in the guitar case an throw out any money passers by would throw in... she actually picked it up with her teeth and "spit" it out next to the case... she was an act all by herself 8)
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Re: New To Busking And Need Pointers

Postby Bant's Bluz » Wed Aug 13, 2008 1:57 pm

Folks, I really appreciate the feedback! Lummo, I never considered sitting on the ground cross legged for a number of reasons, fire ants being one. The spot I've picked out has benches, but figured I'd just stand and play and let any interested in listening have the seating. As for music, I plan on a mix of blues, country, gospel, and a couple of original ditties I've come up with. I only plan to take one git at a time, so one session will be with my spider bridge reso in standard tuning and the next time my biscuit bridge reso in G. I don't have any expectations of setting the world on fire, just have a need to play and have decided that I'll play for myself and if something's thrown into the git case or not, so be it. Any monies that might come, I've decided to keep enough to pay for a couple of bottles of H2O and the rest I'm going to donate to the local St. Vincent DePaul Society. Chances are I'll end up being a complete disaster, but nothing ventured, nothing gained. Oh, almost forgot, jaybee thanks for your suggestion, I never even considered that, but it does make sense.

Again, muchas gracias to all for the feedback.
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Re: New To Busking And Need Pointers

Postby NEONMOONY » Wed Aug 13, 2008 2:06 pm

Don't busk naked.
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Re: New To Busking And Need Pointers

Postby boogiechillun85 » Wed Aug 13, 2008 5:21 pm

Be prepared to be ignored.

By everyone.

...

On a separate note, I used to busk with a guy down in New Hope, PA, and he'd put a $50 bill to start with in his guitar case. Said he wanted to "set the bar high."
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Re: New To Busking And Need Pointers

Postby allanlummox » Wed Aug 13, 2008 5:54 pm

" Don't busk naked"

NYC's "Naked Cowboy" does alright busking with the idea of nakedness, at least.

Image
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Re: New To Busking And Need Pointers

Postby bigdaddy » Wed Aug 13, 2008 6:25 pm

I found a spot on a street with a lot of restaurants. I also learned that if our Triple A baseball team is playing in town I got good money, same is true if there was an event of some type in town that brought in out of towners. Out of towners gave bills where in towners gave up change. I thanked every one. I used a coffee can for collections and there was a couple of times I had dudes hanging around my coffee can, I believe they were gonna do a snatch and run so I would move closer to the can and they would go away. Homeless types with guitars and harmonicas would want to join in but I could tell by the looks on peoples faces that these homeless types scared givers away so I would run them off. I used the coffee can because we tend to always have a slight breeze in Utah and the bills would not blow away. I would put the $5's and $10's in my pocket as soon as there was no one around, remember the dudes I believe was going to snatch and run. Lastly, I always started with a couple of $1's and change of my own money, it let the people think others had so I should to.
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Re: New To Busking And Need Pointers

Postby allanlummox » Wed Aug 13, 2008 6:43 pm

Homeless and even more likely "gutterpunks" are indeed liable to do a snatch - in general, a sense of humor is the best defense, although I did once drop a brass bodied guitar on a gutterpunks hand as it was reaching for some of my swag. Looked like it hurt, too. But in general, street people are part of the parade, and can add to the fun.

Just don't let passersby see you mad. It's only loose cash, even if you needed it to live on.

After a while, you'll start to see the flow of the street - busking is the best seat in the house for people watching.
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Re: New To Busking And Need Pointers

Postby maxx england » Thu Aug 14, 2008 2:37 pm

How about bolting the can to a plank with your foot hard on the other end? You'd have to be desperately unlucky to have someone run off with your leg :mrgreen:
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