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Busking

Rico Vandoren

Member
Messages
141
After threatening to do so for some time, I finally plucked up the courage to go busking yesterday.
Saturday is market day in Ormskirk and the sun was shining ( up to now I have used bad weather as an excuse ) so I thought I would give it a go.
I parked up and went for a look round first. Unusually, there were no other buskers out at all, which I took as a good sign.
I've worked out a 45 minute set, playing along on alto to backing tracks on a mobile amp/speaker device. Setting up I was really nervous, but I could see that one or two people were already taking notice, waiting to see what I would do. The set is mainly Beatles, plus half a dozen standards and one each by Keane and Coldplay.
I started with a nice slow easy one to get me over the nerves, and within a minute someone had put a pound in my case. I was stunned!
Two or three tunes into it I started to relax and some people made nice comments as they put money in my case. Between tunes other folks came up and talked about the sax, how they would like to play etc. and it was really enjoyable. I even made 14 pounds into the bargain.
I will certainly be doing it again, and would recommend it to anyone thinking of taking the plunge.

Thanks, by the way, to all of you who encouraged me when I first started to think about doing this- particularly Littleplum and Taz.
 

kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
Subscriber
Messages
21,947
Congratulations but don't forget the 10% for the CaSLM.
:confused:

This is extortion. Cafesaxophone membership provides more support and more protection than the CaSLM, who're just a small group of members running/making a nasty racket on the side. 5% to Pete's charity - half the price and ten times the protection. Time I sorted the CaSLM out. OG, there's a panzer batallion coming up to discuss things with you.

;}
 

Two Voices

Senior Member
Messages
1,113
:confused:

This is extortion. Cafesaxophone membership provides more support and more protection than the CaSLM, who're just a small group of members running/making a nasty racket on the side. 5% to Pete's charity - half the price and ten times the protection. Time I sorted the CaSLM out. OG, there's a panzer batallion coming up to discuss things with you.

;}
With a top speed of less than 20mph I’m sure even the advanced CaSLM members could out manoeuvre a Panzer! Not to mention its inferior armour and gun power compared to the sax wielding CaSLM.
 

B'dragon

New Member
Messages
9
Hear a lot about guys busking with backup sound/music, but what about just busking solo san any backup music? Any one ever do that? How did it turn out? I would think that some waysit would be harder, gotta keep your own time and intonation! And expose your tone too!
 

Taz

Busking Oracle
Messages
3,661
Hear a lot about guys busking with backup sound/music, but what about just busking solo san any backup music? Any one ever do that? How did it turn out? I would think that some waysit would be harder, gotta keep your own time and intonation! And expose your tone too!
I know several guy's have had ago, but I think they found they got better results financially when they used backing tracks. I know personally, I believe that your playing needs to be to a very high standard before you could get away with busking "solo."
I know that I need backing music to give me confidence and to help passers by recognise what I'm actually playing!!!!! :w00t::)))


Good on you Rico V, I hope you felt good afterwards? Personally, the comments you get from people far outweigh the financial reward (At least that's what I told OG, I mean how can he have 5% of "that sounded lovely mate!") :)))
 

Clivey

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,020
Hear a lot about guys busking with backup sound/music, but what about just busking solo san any backup music? Any one ever do that? How did it turn out? I would think that some waysit would be harder, gotta keep your own time and intonation! And expose your tone too!
I did it years ago in a London Tube Station, Cops and officials moved you every 30mins. I was very young and had a very basic set but I did make enough for something to eat :thumb:
 

visionari1

Senior Member
Messages
1,581
Hear a lot about guys busking with backup sound/music, but what about just busking solo san any backup music? Any one ever do that? How did it turn out? I would think that some waysit would be harder, gotta keep your own time and intonation! And expose your tone too!
Yes I've done heaps of solo busking, actually with hind sight I think now this was very bad for my timing, as I didn't need to learn any tunes right through just mainly the heads, also my sense of time became very flexible, this is not noticed on the street by passers by, but when you go to play with others it's not good!
I've played with an amp and you can sound allot better with backing, however you have to go with the tune being played.
Playing solo you can instantly play a tune you think would be suitable for a passerby and be more creative with your antics and sound.

I've not made a huge amount of money, but have met allot of interesting people and played in some beautiful places and had allot of fun.

My enjoyment of busking was in making sounds in the street and connecting with people as they pass by.

Ciao
Jimu
 

MellowD

Lost In Theory
Messages
544
In the UK, or maybe just in England, is it not a requirement to have a licence for busking from the local council?
 

trimmy

One day i will...
Messages
10,272
In the UK, or maybe just in England, is it not a requirement to have a licence for busking from the local council?
I believe you do have to have one, and you have to attend an audition :shocked: (i'd fail) the pretend police just move you on if you haven't got one.
 

Chris

Well Known
Subscriber
Messages
3,821
It all depends on your local council.:confused: Police will only move you on if someone complains>:). Best to ask your own council what they require..

Chris...
 

zannad

Member
Messages
410
Hear a lot about guys busking with backup sound/music, but what about just busking solo san any backup music? Any one ever do that? How did it turn out? I would think that some waysit would be harder, gotta keep your own time and intonation! And expose your tone too!
I've never used any backing track...beside the sax is loud enough.
It's also more liberating playing at your own rhythm - some days you feel moody and deliberately play a bit slower - the feel of the moment dictates - the ambiance around you is also very relevant....try to play a ballad like "my funny valentine" on a ultra busy street full of shoppers - it doesn't work (not for me anyhow) - play the same in a half desert street with a bit of reverberation (natural reverberation from buildings...), and people would cross the other side of the street to drop a pound (that also depends on your performance)....
You got to read the situation - e.g. when it rains I play "raindrops keep falling on my head" people gets happier by that and drops more coins, take pictures and greets you - just because you connect with the situation and the people around you.
 

Rico Vandoren

Member
Messages
141
Prior to my recent busking in Haverfordwest ( see thread ' Busking- Third Attempt ) I sent this email to Pembrokeshire County Council....

Dear Sir,
During the week commencing 6th October I will be on holiday in St. Davids.
I am a keen saxophonist and would like to seek permission to busk in Haverfordwest. Can you tell me how I go about this, and if I would need a permit?
I play alto saxophone to a musical accompaniment played on my iPod via a small speaker. I play Beatles tunes, pop songs and jazz standards.
I always ensure that the volume is reasonable and is never too loud.

Thank you,

Tony Waine.

And got this one back...

Dear Mr Waine
Thank you for your recent enquiry regarding busking in the Haverfordwest area. There is no permit required for busking as it is generally spontaneous and you are not guaranteed to be playing for the benefit of an audience in a specific location.

You will not require a street trading permit as you are not selling any products. When people have busked in the area previously we have received a number of complaints in relation to noise so, as stated in your e-mail, I would suggest keeping the music to a background level. Should any complaints be received you may be requested to move on.

Regards

Amanda Millard, Licensing Inspector (north)

However, I recently enquired about busking in Manchester over Christmas and was informed that I would have to pre-book a one hour slot in one of four pre-selected locations, and that I would not be allowed to use amplification of any kind.

So I suppose the lesson is that different places have different rules, and its always best to check first.
 
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