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To Busk or not to Busk that is the question

Der Wikinger

Member
Messages
188
Location
Silvis, IL USA
I have an opportunity to Busk if I want to. The problem is that good musicians want a lot of money to help me play for free. I can make cd's with background music on my computer (example http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jJPHDBWw9-o) with me playing Tenor Sax lead on a boom box type setup (played in the example) Would this work successfully as far as people listening to me (do you think)? We have a coffee bar that offers the opportunity to play on a stage also (no pay).

I also am not so sure how popular my kind of music is in this area. Feedback appreciated.
 

Chris98

Senior Member
Messages
1,076
Hi Larry,

You must have been incredibly busy, I’ve just wandered to your YouTube page and realised you’ve posted 111 videos, that’s just amazing. I think you have manage to surpass even crazydaisydoo and he’s been quite prolific. I would seriously struggle to have 6 tunes to a ‘performance’ ready standard. Then there’s the whole recording palaver which seems to take me ages as I dither over whether I’ve got the mic in the right place, recording levels etc. And that’s before the mix where I agonise over the balance, reverb levels etc. It’s no wonder I usually only manage to create one or two recorded tunes a month and even then I’m always intending to do a better take.

I can make cd's with background music on my computer (example http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jJPHDBWw9-o) with me playing Tenor Sax lead on a boom box type setup (played in the example) Would this work successfully as far as people listening to me (do you think)? We have a coffee bar that offers the opportunity to play on a stage also (no pay).

I also am not so sure how popular my kind of music is in this area. Feedback appreciated.
I have no experience busking so can’t offer any advice on that side of things, Taz is your man with that. But I did have one thought that might help - Do you have access to a video camera? If so you could set it up to record (in a convenient location) and run through a couple of tunes playing your sax along to your Boom Box. This would give you an approximation of how you will be presented to your audience and you can then better judge if the play a longs work, which I’m sure they will. You’d also be able to take the video along to the café and see if they felt the genre would suite their clientele’s tastes. And if you wanted to you could post it here and get further feedback.

Best wishes,

Chris
 
OP
Der Wikinger

Der Wikinger

Member
Messages
188
Location
Silvis, IL USA
Thanks for the advise! good ideas! Why do I post so much on Youtube? I would like to be "discovered" whatever that means, and if they don't look for me perhaps they will fall over me. ha!

Of all the songs I have practiced and played, I believe "Galveston" that was made famous by Glen Campell rings home the most, as it reminds me of my days in Vietnam!

Galveston, oh Galveston, I still hear your sea winds blowin'
I still see her dark eyes glowin'
She was 21 when I left Galveston

Galveston, oh Galveston, I still hear your sea waves crashing
While I watch the cannons flashing
I clean my gun and dream of Galveston

I still see her standing by the water
Standing there lookin' out to sea
And is she waiting there for me?
On the beach where we used to run

Galveston, oh Galveston, I am so afraid of dying
Before I dry the tears she's crying
Before I watch your sea birds flying in the sun
At Galveston, at Galveston

I guess I just wax a little sentimental and nostalgic, sigh!
 
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Taz

Busking Oracle
Messages
3,623
Location
Rugby UK
I think Chris' idea of videoing yourself is a great idea, I for one would love to see you play! ;}
As for the busking, I don't know about in the States, but over here people love to see a bit of a performance. They also love music that is not too intrusive. Just background stuff, at least that's what I've found. I play some very mellow tunes that just put a smile on your face. After all, that's what this wonderful gift is all about. Isn't it?
Go for it, but post a video so that we can tailor our advice a bit better.
 

visionari1

Senior Member
Messages
1,606
Location
Out in the Countryside of Nelson NZ
Hi Larry,

I've done some busking in the States, and found it fun though not particularly profitable..

Speaking personally busking is about having fun, practising your tunes and trying out new stuff.
I love to meet the people, the money is nice if it comes in, but if you go in with only this expectation you will be dissapointed.
I listened to your youtube, you already sound good enough to me to play in coffe bars, resteraunts, etc although in America with all the colledge programmes and heaps of good players you are up against some hot competition.
One thing I will say, sometimes the streets of USA are not so safe, there are some weird people, and if your not comfortable with this then don't go as it will show and attract exactly what you don't want. My opinion of UK it that it is easier here, fools and characters are allowed and supported in UK. I am visiting UK from NZ on a busking holiday so my opinion may be coloured somewhat!

I love to take in the aumbience while I busk........best of luck either way!

Cheers & Ciao
Jimu:mrcool
 

Clivey

Senior Member
Messages
789
Location
Edinburgh/Hot Rock off African Coast
Just been listening to some more of your you tube Larry. Can you tell me Is it you playing all the parts .

I particularly like the piano in " Dream a little dream of me ". a very nice impro. The Brass section stuff sounds a bit phony but the rhythm section sounds very nice.
 
OP
Der Wikinger

Der Wikinger

Member
Messages
188
Location
Silvis, IL USA
The sax is me. The rest is what I have been able to carve out with Finale & BIAB. If you PM me I can give more details if you want to do likewise.
 
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