Calling all Buskers

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Calling all Buskers

Post by Orwell on Wed Nov 26, 2014 1:28 am

After years of thinking about doing it, I did it --- that's busked.... I think I had one of my most harrowing days ever.  Shocked

Now, if anyone here has some expertise in the area, please let me know. I made just over eleven dollars after a harrowing days labour, and, frankly, that didn't even cover my costs! Helllllp! No


(NB I haven't been around a lot lately so as to bedazzle you with my Wisdom, seeing as I have dropped out of the workforce and turned my life upside down, but Odo has kept half of one eye on things here and says that you are all, quote: "...as unrespectable as ever..." unquote. )

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Re: Calling all Buskers

Post by Eldorion on Wed Nov 26, 2014 2:13 am

Glad to see you around again, Orwell.  I hope things are going okay and that the lifestyle change is something you wanted to rather than being forced into by circumstances.

I've never busked, but my brother got by on that for most of this past summer (North American summer, that is).  He said that yuppie neighborhoods tended to be the most interested and generous.  He tended to busk outside restaurants cause he accepted food as well, though.  He also tried to stand out from the crowd by playing the banjo instead of the guitar and referencing works of literature and political philosophy in his lyrics.
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Re: Calling all Buskers

Post by Orwell on Wed Nov 26, 2014 5:01 am

Good advice about the restaurants. I've had others suggest it too and plan to try it. My songs tend to reference literature - and a surprising of what I've picked out as my stronger songs have Biblical references - especially NT stuff! Shocked I'm kinda political - but never too overtly. You know my ambivalence regards politics by now and will understand. You know, I do a range of stuff, so I'm not clear of a demographic I can staightways address. Trad Country? Alt Folk? Blues? Maybe I should give some thought to picking songs of a genre, then pick locations for those chosen genres? Thanks for thoughts Eldo. Very Happy  

Where I did best was in a railway station subway (Melbourne). I could actually hear my guitar and what I was singing too.  Amazing how many smiles I got from a certain age group of ladies (it's true! Shocked ) For some reason,  started singing more of my romantic songs. It felt good while much of the rest of the day was truly daunting and traumatic at times. I think I'll revisit the subway but get there around start of the home Peak Hour - I got there a bit late I think and only got about 45 minutes in. I also did it on a Tuesday and suspect a Saturday/Sunday late morning to early arvo might be a prime time; also, the early to late evening on those days when folk are heading home after a day out in town.

It's an Adventure I grant you. More endangering (at least to the id) than Bilbo's... Nod

NB I think it might be due to narrowing my playlist down and practicing for about four or five hours daily the past three weeks that I even caught myself occasionally holding a tune while singing. Very Happy (NO! It's true Eldo! Mad )

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Re: Calling all Buskers

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Wed Nov 26, 2014 6:45 am

{{{{{Orwell you continue to be my secret hero!}}}}}}

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Re: Calling all Buskers

Post by Orwell on Wed Nov 26, 2014 10:13 am

{{{Was it that video I made when I was young, naive and out of work? Honestly, I thought I bought back all three copies...  Embarassed }}}

Awesome and often uncomfortable experience, Petty. A real challenge. The first stint was reasonably easy on the id (though note * below). Made five dollars the first stint - with the assistance of a lady selling mags on the street. She hailed people to buy her mags and I'm sure whispered to her buyers to throw me a coin or two. Her name was Elizabeth and she had been sitting on a chair in that street for fourteen years selling her mag. I can't think of the name of the mag offhand but people who often live on the street sell it and it talks about world affairs. She was very kind and aplauded each of my songs - which was worth a lot more to me than the coins I got.

The next three got harder with each pass not easier. I made not a cent, but though deflating it was not as bad as the indifference of the thousands of hurrying passersby - that indifference was staggering. (I'm often one of those indifferent people - but in my defence, not always).Though, that's not totally true, there were a few ladies in my third stint of the day who smiled, which was nice.  

The last (my fifth) stint was in the subway and a nice young woman turned up and was setting up an Art Exhibition. I learned they are often held in that subway, behind glass on a series of video screens. We talked a little about John Lennon climbing that ladder in Yoko Ono's Exhibition where he read the word "Yes" on the ceiling and fell in love. Not the usual conversation you have with a stranger -- not in redneck Bendigo, anyhow! Melbourne is big city. [Btw there are people who are not white there. Lots of not-white people. (God, I break myself up! Very Happy )]

I like the subway. I felt like I was in my bedroom - just it had grown longer, with better acoustics, and hundreds of people were walking past. Many of them smiled at me - mostly ladies - though guys tossed me a few coins in a slightly embarrassed fashion. Or at least so it seemed to me. You know, no eye contact. Anyway, I liked the ladies smiling at me. I think it was because I was smiling at last. It's hard not to smile at someone who smiles at you, and I've proved it. On the cold clustered streets earlier it was hard to smile - especially as very few looked at me in passing to begin with on said bustling streets. Life's fascinating (and sometimes injurious to the id as I mentioned).

NB Another mag seller I happened to say hello to, as I angstedly and in white terror wandered looking for another location to play, told me her whole sad life story - including lots of genuine tears. It was like I was her only intimate in the whole world. (She may have been trying to soft sell me into buying a mag, but I don't think so. She never mentioned it).

You know, I feel like I had about ten years of human experience crammed into one day. Awesome stricken enlightening day it were. I was mostly largely achingly and cavernously alone - but not utterly totally all the time.



*I struck my first chord of my first stint and some worker doing reno's in an old building I was outside got cross immediately and waved me away. I thought, "Well fuck you mate!" Made that stint get off to a stronger start as I was pissed off with him. If he had have come out I would have let him have it. (You can take a man out of the police force but not the police force out of the... well, you know what I mean Laughing ). It wasn't an auspicious start though - but as I said, it firmed up my resolve, so it was just as well really. Truth is stranger than fiction.. I mean, the First Fucking Chord I played! Talk about instant rejection!!!!! Laughing ).

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Re: Calling all Buskers

Post by Mrs Figg on Wed Nov 26, 2014 1:24 pm

Shocked you are Amazing. king

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Re: Calling all Buskers

Post by Sinister71 on Wed Nov 26, 2014 4:28 pm

subway stations are great for busking at least when the noise of the trains coming through isn't overpowering. But they have wonderful acoustics and the sound resonates everywhere. Giving the music a wonderful tone that seems to loosen the purse strings of quite a few people. Like I said its the acoustics

I never made a living at it but did do it a few times just to see what it was like to be a street (well technically under the street) musician. I found the mandolin actually gets you more money than just a simple guitar does.

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Re: Calling all Buskers

Post by Norc on Wed Nov 26, 2014 5:16 pm

The hell is busking?
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Re: Calling all Buskers

Post by Sinister71 on Wed Nov 26, 2014 5:25 pm

being a street musician basically Very Happy

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Re: Calling all Buskers

Post by Orwell on Thu Nov 27, 2014 4:40 am

Sinister71 wrote:subway stations are great for busking at least when the noise of the trains coming through isn't overpowering. But they have wonderful acoustics and the sound resonates everywhere. Giving the music a wonderful tone that seems to loosen the purse strings of quite a few people. Like I said its the acoustics

I never made a living at it but did do it a few times just to see what it was like to be a street (well technically under the street) musician. I found the mandolin actually gets you more money than just a simple guitar does.

What you say is right, Sin. The acoustics themselves lifted my spirits immediately and I reckon the sound was instantly kinda of warmer and inviting. I swear I've never sung better. I think after the invisibility of my playing and singing in the noisy streets I had found a safe haven. A bit like The Shire, only aural. Coins did start to arrive and as I mentioned in an earlier post, I think if I had timed my playing better, say played from about four pm onwards, I would have recieved more. It was the response of folk - not all, but much more than on the streets - that was the icing on the cake. You must tell me more about that mandolin playing btw. Nod

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Re: Calling all Buskers

Post by bungobaggins on Thu Nov 27, 2014 4:44 am

You can't busk with a piano. Embarassed

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Re: Calling all Buskers

Post by Orwell on Thu Nov 27, 2014 7:18 am

I guess you could, but I'm not volunteering to help you carry one around. Very Happy

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Re: Calling all Buskers

Post by Bluebottle on Sat Nov 29, 2014 5:09 pm

I think having some sort of hook is a good thing, whether that be playing the mandolin or, me and my brother used to do two part harmonies when we did it, which is a lot of fun and also grabs the attention a bit. Doing it on your own is certainly a lot more daunting.

Finding a good spot is pretty essential too. I don't think I'd see it as worthwhile to do it anywhere in Oslo but on Karl Johan, the main street, a big part of which is closed to vehicles, so you get a good stream of pedestrians going past.

I'm in no way claiming to be an expert though. I guess the best way to figure it out is simply by doing it. Smile

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Re: Calling all Buskers

Post by Orwell on Sun Nov 30, 2014 11:26 pm

Doing it has to offer more hope of getting a coin or two than not doing it, Blue. One must be positive. Very Happy Not having someone holding my hand makes it more daunting, but on the other hand, I am a sucker for punishment. The sheer dauntingness of doing it solo - the dread of it in fact - acts as a definite stimuli for me. Confronting one's demonic doubts usually leaves one feeling validated somehow. Maybe I'm just a bit of a looney. I am Australian after all.... The upside is, it should not be be fatal, all things being equal - I hope! I'm heading down next weekend to try out Friday and maybe Saturday. Just short stints in the subway - fitting them in between my daughter doing a dance comp over said weekend. I'll let you know how I go. Covering costs will be the issue that defines how often I do it. Cheers. Very Happy

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Re: Calling all Buskers

Post by Bluebottle on Mon Dec 01, 2014 4:54 pm

Ah, well, best of luck. Nod Who knows, maybe you'll inspire me to give it a go again next summer. It's been a couple of years since I did it.

Feel free to play that Just a Relationship thing if you want.

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Re: Calling all Buskers

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Mon Dec 01, 2014 5:08 pm

Have you tried busking in a kilt Orwell? Works a treat I'm told, especially if you can find a vent to play over. Nod

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Re: Calling all Buskers

Post by Orwell on Mon Dec 01, 2014 11:07 pm

{{{Mmm... it's just a partnership... mmm... in a kilt, hey... ching ching... Twisted Evil }}}

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Re: Calling all Buskers

Post by Sinister71 on Wed Dec 03, 2014 12:35 am

I have several Kilts and have never worn them pan handling for money since they cost about 300 bucks a piece  LOL might get me mugged for my Kilt

If you have a cheaper hook up on Kilts let me know Petty. My last one was 275.95 without s and H

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Re: Calling all Buskers

Post by Orwell on Wed Dec 03, 2014 1:25 am

I'll just have to do it in boring old pants then, I see. Thumbs Up

I'm off to Melbourne today. Hope no one's pimched my subway! Very Happy

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Re: Calling all Buskers

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Wed Dec 03, 2014 6:33 pm

Cant see you making much money playing in your pants Orwell Suspect

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Re: Calling all Buskers

Post by Orwell on Sun Dec 07, 2014 1:56 am

I'll get arrested without 'em...

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Re: Calling all Buskers

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Sun Dec 07, 2014 3:02 am

Talking of which do you need a permit to busk? You do here.
And if so are you busking legally or using your inside knowledge of police busking black spots to slip under the radar of the Man?

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Re: Calling all Buskers

Post by Orwell on Mon Dec 08, 2014 11:28 am

I've got a permit. The Right thing to do is the ONLY thing to do. I am a noble soul, you know --- damn Eldo's noble influence - it's like he's infected me Mad  Begs the question though -- do Police have inside knowledge of illegal busking? I think I might be the only one who ever has whether legally or illegally! Very Happy Anyway, since December 12th I'm NOT a Policeman anymore, so the whole issue seems moot.

Btw I went back to my subway and some other guy had taken it with his amplifier and sweet singing voice... Mad He did nice covers of what I might call 'lady' songs, and my only consolation was that after an hour of listening was that I was thoroughly bored by him. At the beginning I was traumatized because he was so professional, but he bored me in the end. So ha! to him!* .... My Missus had gone off to shop, so I had to wait patiently for her return, but the prick only left about ten minutes before my Missus returned. Proved my theory that Fridays between about 4 and 6pm is a good time to busk but should have known someone else would have had the same idea. Sad


* Yeah - I'm being negative about the competition! It's a concrete jungle out there! Mad

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Re: Calling all Buskers

Post by Ringdrotten on Mon Dec 08, 2014 4:21 pm

Got to say, I love that we have our very own busker in Forumshire (learned a new word because of it too!). There were two or three really good ones that I used to make a stop and listen to when I lived in Oslo. They liven up the streets, and it was always my pleasure to contribute with whatever change I had on me Smile

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Re: Calling all Buskers

Post by Orwell on Tue Dec 09, 2014 2:23 am

You must come to Melbourne one day, Ringo... very soon is best. Nod

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