I tried busking and failed...

Discussion in 'Acoustic Heaven' started by claes, Apr 20, 2019.

  1. jvin248

    jvin248 Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    6,957
    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2014
    Location:
    Lions & Tigers oh Mi !
    .


    What if you just played songs without the singing part, at the beginning?

    I haven't busked but these have been good inspiration and contain some tips ... on tips.






    .
     
  2. P Thought

    P Thought Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

    Posts:
    8,774
    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2009
    Location:
    Plundertown (Gasville) OR
    Really good thread, @claes. I have a question for those who've been out there. How many songs for a busking session?

    I ask because I've been putting together "set lists" for my busking box.
     
  3. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Doctor of Teleocity

    Age:
    59
    Posts:
    14,930
    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2010
    Location:
    Maine
    Wow, this seems at first to be a very sad commentary on how humanity sees music today.
    Maybe it's also a commentary on the humanity of Washington DC?
    But in DC anyone of importance gets to work in a limo, so there's that.

    OTOH, IMO the "experiment" was either a manipulative attempt to frame something small in a way that made it appear huge, or else the people who planned the experiment are very out of touch.
    First off, busking at morning rush hour is poor planning, as everyone is waking up and rushing to get to work, while in a busy metro area many are also planning their day.
    Then there's the location.
    A subway station if a fine place but this spot has only moving people.
    You need to choose a spot where there is a reason to stop, like waiting for the next train. On the way to work in a public trans depot you know that missing your train may mean you're late for work and after getting chewed out by the boss the rest of the day or even week sucks.
    So The Washington Post set this up for maximum impact, which is of course their job.

    I see a fine musician who has devoted an entire life to making good music, playing anywhere to be almost a holy event.
    Music is a holy thing.
    It just is.
    We can make it less so, but...

    While I've often lived on the financial edge when in areas where busking was commonplace and seldom put money in their bins, I always try to offer some reverence for their effort, if they are really making an effort to do something uplifting and meaningful. Even city guv sees value in having musicians on streetcorners giving it away for free. I say "for free" because there's no charge, but many do manage to make pretty good money, and probably became musicians not intending to have busking be their life's work, just found a niche there.

    So some I've known better used busking as another self promotion method, to support their primary fan base growth at paid bar gigs and CD sales.

    Others settled in busking and stayed there, but I've not gotten to know many well, as they become sort of gypsies, separate from culture with their carts of gear and duct tape, repeating popular songs all day long, often moving from one city to the next.
    These musicians IME have a grim outlook, playing outdoors in winter, bundled up with their fingerless gloves. Spend a few years relying on the goodwill of strangers and a grim outlook is inevitable. Maybe though, some who choose that life had the grim outlook to begin with.

    Interesting how much we see grim commentary about society in the work of musicians.
     
    Matt G likes this.
  4. DaveTone

    DaveTone Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    272
    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2019
    Location:
    Hamilton, NJ
    No failure there sir. It takes some brass to do what you did. Keep it up.
     
  5. Bluetelecaster

    Bluetelecaster Tele-Meister

    Age:
    56
    Posts:
    210
    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2019
    Location:
    Waynesville NC
    I've thought about trying the street thing, but I do enjoy taking my acoustic to work and playing and singing for the crew on our breaks. We have a good time with it.
     
    Honest Charley likes this.
  6. rangercaster

    rangercaster Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    4,453
    Joined:
    May 8, 2008
    Location:
    portland, or
    There are many great songwriters who are not great performers ... There are many great performers who are not songwriters ... Focus on your strengths and be thankful for your gifts ...
     
    tvvoodoo, P Thought and telemnemonics like this.
  7. VOXTOTHEMAX

    VOXTOTHEMAX TDPRI Member

    Posts:
    60
    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2015
    Location:
    California
    You definitely have not failed, and you definitely can train your mind for optimism and success. You can get over your stage fright. You have stage fright because you are afraid to fail. Once you train your mind to be optimistic your stage fright will dissolve into confidence. Follow this link to Dr. Michael Gervais he trains mindset skills and teaches practices essential for revealing one’s potential. IT WILL CHANGE YOUR LIFE!!!
    https://findingmastery.net/about-michael-gervais/
     
  8. Pineears

    Pineears Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,221
    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2016
    Location:
    Texas
    You made me Google “Busking”
     
  9. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Doctor of Teleocity

    Age:
    59
    Posts:
    14,930
    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2010
    Location:
    Maine
    No buskers in Texas?
     
  10. blowtorch

    blowtorch Telefied Ad Free Member

    Posts:
    24,650
    Joined:
    May 2, 2003
    Location:
    Wisco
    I don't really think one can fail at busking, anymore than one can fail at karaoke
    I busked a few years back on mandolin, and I made like eleven dollars :)
     
    telemnemonics likes this.
  11. Pineears

    Pineears Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,221
    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2016
    Location:
    Texas
    We had Willie Nelson on a corner in Austin trying to make some bucks to pay his taxes.
     
    telemnemonics likes this.
  12. Pineears

    Pineears Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,221
    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2016
    Location:
    Texas
    He did well and got into biodiesel.

    upload_2019-4-22_11-52-32.jpeg
     
  13. noah330

    noah330 Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    3,814
    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2009
    Location:
    Maryland
    I love seeing people in costume. The Crocs just put that TGP spin on things!
     
  14. noah330

    noah330 Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    3,814
    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2009
    Location:
    Maryland
    The best begging for change guy I ever saw was this guy who dressed up like a robot in all silver and painted his face silver as well. He stood perfectly still on a bucket with a sign 'Dollars Makes Me Move'.

    If you put a dollar in the bucket he would do a Michael Winslow-esque performance for about 30 seconds until another dollar was put in.

    He used to be in Park Street Station/Boston in the 1990s.

    Way better than seeing someone playing guitar.
     
    Wildcard_35 likes this.
  15. Wildcard_35

    Wildcard_35 Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    235
    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2012
    Location:
    Austin, Texas

    If you got through several songs and learned something, I'd say you didn't fail. It just didn't go quite according to plan, but you'll do better next time. Get back out there and make that street corner your stage!
     
  16. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Doctor of Teleocity

    Age:
    59
    Posts:
    14,930
    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2010
    Location:
    Maine
    I think the point of learning something is a good one.
    I notice that much of what we do as musicians is for our own amusement.
    We like making music and that is what drives us.

    A question arises though: Does anyone want to hear it?
    We've seen that you can get famous with lousy song writing, a lousy voice, poor instrument skills, no stage presence, and even if we're really ugly to look at.
    So how do we know if our act will draw in listeners?
    Gotta get out and try it, and them maybe pay attention to which stuff works best on the listeners.

    When I hit the street I had been playing old popular rock tunes at parties and with friends, so I knew at least that people liked what I did.
    But I didn't want to play old pop (or even new rock at the time) music in bars, and was moving into other styles that were not well mapped out in the record bins.

    So I brought stuff out in front of strangers for testing.
    For example I listened to '60s free Jazz and tried to make music that had the spirit of those artists of that time, but among my "peers" and in my time.
    I had no clue if anyone outside of my musician social group could even stand to hear me play saxes, never mind like it.

    So yeah, playing solo sax or sax with guitar in Harvard Square was a little risky and I wasn't expecting much in terms of success.
    Back then I was a multi instrumentalist and could not maintain the highest skill level on all my instruments. While I enjoyed playing, some got better audience response than others.
     
    Wildcard_35 likes this.
  17. Pineears

    Pineears Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,221
    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2016
    Location:
    Texas
    Western attire in Texas is not a costume. In large sections of Texas it is still the predominant attire.
     
    LGOberean likes this.
  18. claes

    claes Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    747
    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2007
    Location:
    sweden
    Thanks for all the hints, nice words and encouragement.

    When I wrote failed I meant just that I was ill prepared. Like showing up in a pirate costume at a formal dinner. I definitely learned some things

    I intend to be back strumming and singin 3-4 notes (5-6 frets) higher. And next time my only goal should be volume. Been away over eastern and now I have a horrible cold. So well have to wait and see when.

    My goal is to be a better and more comfortable performer. Trying out ideas for songs, hopefully bring joy and not annoyment and if I make 5 bucks as someone wrote it's a good day.

    How many song do you need? That depends on your approach. My take is that when singer/songwriters was popular (60's) songs was about 2 and a half minute. Songs grew longer with bands and instrumental parts. There's a limit how big variation you could get from just guitar and voice (compared to a band), so I try to get more variation by playing more shorter songs. So my version of Dylans”my backpages” has only 4 verses, Hallelulja 3. So I need around 20 songs for an hour of music without storytelling. If you play a lot of instrumental or harmonica it's a different thing.
     
  19. noah330

    noah330 Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    3,814
    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2009
    Location:
    Maryland
    It's a costume to me.
     
    telemnemonics likes this.
  20. Ron R

    Ron R Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    53
    Posts:
    2,500
    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2016
    Location:
    Raleigh, NC
    Every look/outfit is a costume. :twisted:
     
IMPORTANT: Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult!
No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.


  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.