Busking - how to do it

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  • @punkrockfuneral 8 weeks

    Hi Friends!

    So I'd like to record final products for a few songs I did this year, and I thought busking them would help me really get to know the songs first.

    Have you busked before? What advice do you have for someone who has only performed twice like 15 years ago?

  • @gubna 8 weeks

    I busked once with my old singer. We went out to an area people ate their lunch and played a bunch of our songs.

    I think we made about 5 bucks each.

  • @nancyrost  8 weeks

    Busking favors the bold. Perform with gusto!
    It's better to flub the words than drop a beat. Just keep going.
    Feel free to repeat songs as the audience passes by.

  • @fuzzy  8 weeks

    Don't look scared, even if you are.
    Nobody wants to stop and listen to someone who appears to lack confidence.

  • @dzdandcunfsd  8 weeks

    A good spot is probably the most important. There's no magic formula, but all good advice above, be confident and always just keep going. You want some crowd, but not a busy one that's doing something else. You don't want to be in interruption if someones just wanting a peaceful walk or conversation.

    parks are sometimes good places if they're friendly to it(some aren't) and you'll be run out for "panhandling" a lot of places, some cities require permits/etc. for lots of reasons, fights over the best sounding reverby spots being the number one LOL.

    Talk to some store owners outdoor cafes/quick stops/etc. they usually won't mind if you setup outside as long as you aren't driving away more customers than you're bringing in, or just pick a corner by a bus stop and have at it, you'll find out real quick if the people are willing to listen or not.

    Good luck!


    edit: oh if you're trying to work out a song/set or something busking probaby isn't the best idea, be ready to improvise and talk to the people who are listening...... my I just want $5 for a taco ever and always evolving tune is usually the biggest hit 😉

  • @punkrockfuneral 8 weeks

    Thanks everyone. I meant I want to practice the songs and gain confidence before the re-record. I really don't care if I get any money.

  • @phenola 8 weeks

    Never done it, but Adam Neely made a video on this.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DT4aeRQOY4g

  • @dzdandcunfsd  8 weeks

    @punkrockfuneral then yeah I'd just recommend a park, find a friendly stranger that isn't busy and ask for their input.....street folk make good listeners especially if you offer some grub and a brewski.

  • @ustaknow 8 weeks

    - No matter what, it's just got to be fun, - for you.

    - All the above advice is great input.

    And, some answers like mine would qualify the - "where" of it.

    So, where are you? (rhetorical) (talk to those there, first? make a friend first, there?)

    There are areas where, even if you're careful and not take someone else "spot", if you build one up, you could still get stomped (beaten) if don't then give it up 😀 - some see it as "begging" (like in my married family and are petrified of the street beggers in their country, so I have to deal with that too). You may not care about the money, but "they" will. And if folks are chucking money at you, your Can, - they'll want it 😀 Hey, then tell them, it's all your's, - protect me 😉 hahh, - street friend! (If they then don't take your guitar, at the end 😀 - depends on where you are.)

    However, you may be near a University or like that, well, there you go. However, I guess it depends on the Universities now though, - they used to be safe 😀

    One area I loved and was going so well for so long so much fun got overrun by a different kind of intention which then made that city require you to get a City License and ONLY play on designated spot (painted on the spot). Ironically, it drove ALL away, - now it's all gone in that area. (The Police were not fooling around either, with that.)

    So, no matter what, it just needs to be fun.

    And anything done on the street in different areas, - means different things, - context driven. Know your context, audience, Bail company 😀

    So, you asked for advice and my not have expected that, and my not be relevant to you, in Anchorage Alaska, 😀 or Seattle WA 😉 or NYC, or Oklahoma! 😀 or Nashe-ville or Downtown Columbus Ohio, Salzburg AT, Mumbai IN, ... etc. (Key West FL at the Point 😀 )

  • @lvgd09  8 weeks

    @phenola seeing is believing...well done (the video)

  • @candle  8 weeks

    Check with your local municipality to make sure they don't have an annoying by-law about needing a permit to busk before you do it (like there is in my town). Luckily, there's a local lawyer who supports the arts & will help artists defend themselves against the fines received for "illegal busking", usually pro bono.

    Otherwise, just have fun with it.

    See You In The Shadows…

  • @cblack 8 weeks

    Fun is infectious. Have fun, and pay attention to when the passersby are having fun too.

    That's my theory, anyway. I'm not an experienced busker though. But yes! Look up local laws!

  • @wylddandelyon 8 weeks

    I'd say first to check out the laws where you live. There's no reason not to go sing in a park if you want to just be out in the open, but if you have your case open, it's good to know you're not gonna get yourself in trouble.

    I have done busking, setting up deliberately with the case open and in a spot where people will be passing by. It's a very different feel than sitting in a park with the case closed, even if there are also people nearby. I enjoyed both.

  • @punkrockfuneral 8 weeks

    Thanks again everyone. Some great stuff. I live in Chicago and I didn't even think about legal stuff.

  • @mikeb 7 weeks

    Some places require a license. Some places don't allow any amplification. Other places, if you don't have amplification, you are doomed because some guy half a block away will drown you out! Some places that are popular will have 'regular' buskers who may not appreciate you taking their 'preferred space'. One good thing about busking is that you don't need a long set - people seldom stick around more than a few minutes, 10 at the longest unless its a park situation where people are anyway. But also know that most passers-by want to hear songs they recognize, so doing a set of originals is usually not going to get much of an audience.

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