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Looking for busking advice

EmilyE95

New Member
Messages
2
I play alto sax and I thought I should try and give busking a try in order to raise funds for month long trip to Thialand through my school. I have no experience of busking and I was hoping I could get some advice as to what kind of tunes would earn the publics attentions on the street. What kind of things should I prepare? Would improvising with a blues scale be something to try also? Any help and advice would be great!
 

Taz

Busking Oracle
Messages
3,662
Hi Emily, first of all, welcome to the cafe. (If you say a quick Hi in the doorbell section you can tell us a little about yourself, etc) Any way, about your question, have a look at Help and advice on busking It's the same question that I asked a couple of years ago and I got some great advice too!
I've been busking ever since so be warned, it is very addictive but more importantly, bloomin' good fun!
 

Littlewailer

Member
Messages
133
I'll preface this with saying that I have been busking for 12 years. As a small twelve year old boy now to a full grown 24 year old man. And in all the time I've been doing it I've noticed a couple of things.....

No matter what you are playing. Play it to the best of your ability. Stay focused. People can tell when your heart isn't really in it.
Learn lots of material. Numero uno. You gotta have a repertoire of songs that people hopefully recognize. Or at least sound like they think they recognize it. I now only have maybe jut over 2 hours of material without repeating. It takes time to learn tunes.

Find somewhere that has a decent flow of people but is not likely to annoy any nearby businesses. Businesses and residents have the right to ask you to move if your sound is disturbing them. You have to respect that relationship and find (by trial and error) good places to play.

Which include: Open areas such as a park or small square. Higher volume areas such as in front of a mall or just off away from it there is likely a spot you can find. Tourist spots if you have any. Many businesses will be ok with you playing in front of the store if 1) the sound doesn't go straight in there door and 2) You area getting people to gather and 3) if it just in general seems like a good area to do it. Use your judgement.

Have a gimmick if you can in any way. Even putting a small stuffed animal in your case helps. I knew a guy who put a target in his case and swore that people through more money in trying to hit the target.

Don't put more than a dollar of seed money in. And Remove money after you've made 15$. Never keep more than that in your case. I have been mugged 3 times and had twoonies and loonies swiped countless times.

Mostly.... have fun. Keep it fresh. Play like people are listening and they will.
 

Taz

Busking Oracle
Messages
3,662
Some great advice from Littlewailer (welcome to the cafe by the way)
 

old git

Tremendous Bore
Messages
5,545
Welcome to the caff©, Emily.

Obvious choice of appropriate material, the Siamese cat song from 1001 Dalmations. Go for it girl and get the mazooma.

ENJOY!​™
 

QWales

Senior Member
Messages
722
Welcome Emily. Check with the local council whether or not you need a license, you don't want to end up being banged up on your first gig, although it could win you a heap of Rock n Roll cool points :)
 

EmilyE95

New Member
Messages
2
Thanks very much, thats really helpful! I've been preparing In the Mood and have recently been thinking about and practicing Fly Me To The Moon. A hard part will be preventing my nerves from affecting my playing - only ever played in a group. Anyway, thanks again for your advice!
 
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