All profit supporting special needs music education and Help Musicians
Tutorials

Busking in the sunshin.

Taz

Busking Oracle
Messages
3,661
I decided to go busking in Coventry today. It was a little overcast when I left home at about 10.30 this morning, but that didn't bother me at all. When I got to the city center, the sun had come out from behind the clouds and the temperature was on the rise.

The council have been quite strict where busking is concerned. First of all you have to pass an audition. This was simply a case of turning up and playing with a member of the council watching the reactions of the passers by and obviously their own opinion. Once you have your licence, there are five pitches, each has a red dot where you have to stand. If a pitch is full you have to move on. If they are all full you have to wait or go home.

Well today, my favorite pitch was vacant when I arrived, so I set up and within minutes I was playing. I was not really surprised when I saw how busy the city center was, after all it is the school holidays. I decided that today was going to be a good day. I'd only played a few bars of my first tune and the money started to roll in.

I'd been playing for about an hour and a half when a young girl, probably no more than about seventeen, dropped a pound in my case. She wandered off and I thought no more about it. After a couple of minutes she returned and placed an ice cold bottle of water beside me. Its funny, but that meant more to me than the cash. How kind was she to think about me like that? I had some lovely comments from loads of people, which is so nice and always very well received.

As the day wore on, I started to notice the groups of unsupervised children or should I say teenagers wandering about. I don't mind kids, as long as they were brought up with manners, well this lot, apparently, weren't!

The first wave was an airborne assault of Bang snaps First one or two, and then a few more. They didn't bother me to start with, but then they applied the final straw that broke the camels back. Two little children had asked their parents if they could drop some pennies in my box. The mums had diligently coughed up and the kids, holding hands, started to walk up to me. It was just then that the teenagers, now standing behind me, unleashed their worst attack. A large handful of these snaps came flying over and landed directly on these two children! I felt awful and they were terrified, they turned and fled as fast as they could!

Well the teenagers had.....upset.... for want of a family forum friendly word.... me! I spun on me heals and told them in no uncertain terms to go and play with the cars. Preferably the ones on the M1. It was their turn to flee!

Attack number two was a lot more daring and executed with thought, skill and bravery. This one happened right under my noes, literally! I had just been approached by a gent wanting to book me for a party, when I thought I heard someone drop something. I turned around but saw nothing. I returned to my conversation with the gent when it hit me! The stench that is. Click, the penny dropped and I turned and looked at the floor a little more closely. Yup, there it was, a little glass ampule, broken at one end but still full of yellow liquid. It was a stink bomb and they had had the nerve to walk within two feet of me before carrying out this stealth attack!

Thinking quickly I kicked the offending stink bomb as far as I could in the direction of the..... little cherubs........ and then I used the last of the water that I was given earlier, to wash the remaining liquid away. Their plan had been foiled, I was unfazed and my afternoons busking continued.
All in all, I had a great day there were no more "incidents" and it certainly taught me to keep my eyes open, just a little wider! :w00t:
 
Last edited by a moderator:

trimmy

One day i will...
Messages
10,272
Really can't wait til i'm good enough to go busking, seems a lot of fun albeit with a few hiccups. Did you get the booking ?
 

Fraser Jarvis

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,910
Just going back to the girl and the bottle of water...did you drink any of it? could she have been one of the "gang" trying to poison you with water laced with hemlock??
 

Taz

Busking Oracle
Messages
3,661
Ha ha I did wonder that, but I did have to break the seal before I drank it.
 

trimmy

One day i will...
Messages
10,272
Out of interest what songs do you play when busking, do you have a set list that you use for busking ? or just go with the flow.
 

Taz

Busking Oracle
Messages
3,661
summertime Band in a box version
What a Wonderful World Band in a box version
When you say nothing at all
What a difference a day makes
Words
Georgia on my mind
Sunny afternoon
She's like the wind
Hero
Love on the Rocks
Me and Mrs Jones
Tears In Heaven
All time love
To make you feel my love
You make me feel like a natural woman
Just the way you are
Blue Moon
Fly me to the moon
That's Life
Someone Like You
Just The Way You Are Boyce avenue acoustic version.
While my guitar gently weeps

I find that these get a fairly good reaction from the public. They are nice smooth and mellow pieces that suite my playing style as I'm a slow plody type of player, none of this fast and furious playing for me! (I'd love to be able too, but the brain and fingers won't communicate quickly enough) I simply play the melody line all the way through and every now and then I get to do a bit of an improvised solo, just on the instrumental part.

Once I've played this through, I just repeat it as much as I can. It's about an hour and fifteen minutes roughly. I played it three times yesterday and no one complained. It's normally the shop keepers that moan at you, they are the ones who have to listen to you droning on. The public only hear you for a few minutes as they walk past.

You don't have to be a fantastic player to busk, you just have to be good enough to get through the tunes without too many mistakes, and I made loads of them yesterday, even to the point of forgetting where I was in a couple of them and having to stop until I knew where I was again. :w00t:
 

dooce

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,418
You don't have to be a fantastic player to busk, you just have to be good enough to get through the tunes without too many mistakes, and I made loads of them yesterday, even to the point of forgetting where I was in a couple of them and having to stop until I knew where I was again. :w00t:
I think Pete does himself a dis-service here. I took over a solo gig from Pete a few weeks ago - basically, sponsored busking at a local charity ball. I played for an hour to a crowded room of people - who were actually far too busy networking and filling their faces to listen to me - but despite having played in bands for 16 years, this was the single most terrifying gig EVER!

Pete dropped his ipod and amp round to me a couple of weeks beforehand and I started practising - as he says, the numbers he plays aren't technically demanding but, with no band to hide behind, your tone is right out there for everyone to hear. And I hated mine. I'm used to blasting away in 3-piece horn section where all the action takes place from low G upwards, mostly in the middle/upper registers. Suddenly I am faced with slow, languorous pieces that rarely venture above middle D and require a huge amount of tone control. I got away with it, after swapping my raucous Brancher for the nice mellow Cannonball mp that came with the sax, doing lots of tone exercises, and ditching some of the songs for more upbeat/jazzy stuff, but I practised the set for at least an hour every day for 10 days till I felt I could blag my way through it.

No-one threw any fireworks, or even stale buns at me, and I also gave my contact details to one appreciative punter before I left (but he never rang.....). So the lesson is - you might be technically brilliant and able to knock out screaming solos in a band, but busking is all about tone and expression - skills Taz has in spades.
 

aldevis

Surrealist Contributor.
Cafe Moderator
Messages
12,125
Someday I will transcribe this version of My Way. It seems suitable for busking.

 
Last edited by a moderator:

trimmy

One day i will...
Messages
10,272
^^^^
After listening to that it's made me realise 'I can play the sax' :happydance: :happydance: Aldevis :thanks:


But on the flipside....gotta give him credit for getting up and having a go
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Taz

Busking Oracle
Messages
3,661
:blush: Thanks for the comments Bill, I'm touched (well thats what the wife says anyway! :confused:)
 

kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
Subscriber
Messages
21,947
Someday I will transcribe this version of My Way. It seems suitable for busking.

Jokes aside we all went through this sort of thing. Some of us still are. Good for him for trying!
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Taz

Busking Oracle
Messages
3,661
When I saw this I did wonder if it was just a bad case of nerves or whether as a relative beginner he had monitoring problems? Like Kev said, at least he has the balls to give it a go.
 

Jazzaferri

Well-Known Member
Messages
2,667
Someone once told me that it is often better to be quiet than open ones mouth and confirm idiocy. Im thinking tjere is a sax equivalent.
 

visionari1

Senior Member
Messages
1,581
When I saw this I did wonder if it was just a bad case of nerves or whether as a relative beginner he had monitoring problems? Like Kev said, at least he has the balls to give it a go.

I agree he certainly has the balls...pity he has no ears!
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Fraser Jarvis

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,910
I listened to this and heard certain things within his sound, bits of phrases, licks, a certain dexterity here and there.....which makes me think this guy can play really well and this video is just a bit of fun..
 

Merryfisher

Member
Messages
265
I decided to go busking in Coventry today. It was a little overcast when I left home at about 10.30 this morning, but that didn't bother me at all. When I got to the city center, the sun had come out from behind the clouds and the temperature was on the rise.

The council have been quite strict where busking is concerned. First of all you have to pass an audition. This was simply a case of turning up and playing with a member of the council watching the reactions of the passers by and obviously their own opinion. Once you have your licence, there are five pitches, each has a red dot where you have to stand. If a pitch is full you have to move on. If they are all full you have to wait or go home.

Well today, my favorite pitch was vacant when I arrived, so I set up and within minutes I was playing. I was not really surprised when I saw how busy the city center was, after all it is the school holidays. I decided that today was going to be a good day. I'd only played a few bars of my first tune and the money started to roll in.

I'd been playing for about an hour and a half when a young girl, probably no more than about seventeen, dropped a pound in my case. She wandered off and I thought no more about it. After a couple of minutes she returned and placed an ice cold bottle of water beside me. Its funny, but that meant more to me than the cash. How kind was she to think about me like that? I had some lovely comments from loads of people, which is so nice and always very well received.

As the day wore on, I started to notice the groups of unsupervised children or should I say teenagers wandering about. I don't mind kids, as long as they were brought up with manners, well this lot, apparently, weren't!

The first wave was an airborne assault of Bang snaps First one or two, and then a few more. They didn't bother me to start with, but then they applied the final straw that broke the camels back. Two little children had asked their parents if they could drop some pennies in my box. The mums had diligently coughed up and the kids, holding hands, started to walk up to me. It was just then that the teenagers, now standing behind me, unleashed their worst attack. A large handful of these snaps came flying over and landed directly on these two children! I felt awful and they were terrified, they turned and fled as fast as they could!

Well the teenagers had.....upset.... for want of a family forum friendly word.... me! I spun on me heals and told them in no uncertain terms to go and play with the cars. Preferably the ones on the M1. It was their turn to flee!

Attack number two was a lot more daring and executed with thought, skill and bravery. This one happened right under my noes, literally! I had just been approached by a gent wanting to book me for a party, when I thought I heard someone drop something. I turned around but saw nothing. I returned to my conversation with the gent when it hit me! The stench that is. Click, the penny dropped and I turned and looked at the floor a little more closely. Yup, there it was, a little glass ampule, broken at one end but still full of yellow liquid. It was a stink bomb and they had had the nerve to walk within two feet of me before carrying out this stealth attack!

Thinking quickly I kicked the offending stink bomb as far as I could in the direction of the..... little cherubs........ and then I used the last of the water that I was given earlier, to wash the remaining liquid away. Their plan had been foiled, I was unfazed and my afternoons busking continued.
All in all, I had a great day there were no more "incidents" and it certainly taught me to keep my eyes open, just a little wider! :w00t:
hey, Coventry's finest! the urchins must have been the offspring of the punters at a gig I played at The Grapes (does it still exist?) in Cov some 20 or so years ago. Kate Adie was a glass collector in this place, and menacingly they would'nt let us leave until we had played Monkey Man five times in a row at the end of the evening. Fond memories!
 
Saxholder Pro
Help!Mailing List
Top Bottom