Busking - playing for tips on the street

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Alex_C, Jun 5, 2010.

  1. Alex_C

    Alex_C Piano User

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    May 30, 2010
    Gilroy, California
    Anyone tried it?

    I tried it once, didn't get a dime but that's because I sounded like poo.
     
  2. trumpet addict

    trumpet addict New Friend

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    May 29, 2010
    I did.

    Here's a few tips I learned along the way

    don't put change in your case to start with, people will think its ok to put in spare change after that, then your pockets will be filled with pennies and nickles, unless you want to sound like you're rich :D Instead put in a few bucks, maybe a five to show people they should "donate" seriously

    Also, play popular music, like movie/tv show theme songs and other well known tunes.

    it doesn't matter what you sound like, it just matters where you are, and how professional or musical you look. dress nice and play like you're having the time of your life, because that's when people get excited.:thumbsup:

    have a few cd's or merchandise for sale next to you, it will make you look like a well known musician, and possibly get you a few extra bucks.

    Make sure you have a good venue, a place that has a lot of foot traffic in the middle of a major city is the best place.

    for more tips you can visit BUSKER CENTRAL - Street Performers and Buskers Reference Site and poke around.

    Have fun busking and good luck

    -the trumpet addict :play:
     
  3. tedh1951

    tedh1951 Utimate User

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    The Wide Brown Land
    Yep, tried it when I was younger - before I got to the point that ensured I had to be a comebacker - the only tip I got was "Go and play football young fella - you play like a Rugby forward" - harsh but true - it was my Rugby coach BTW.
     
  4. Alex_C

    Alex_C Piano User

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    May 30, 2010
    Gilroy, California
    If I get on it, I may be in shape for the Xmas carol season this year. That may be a lot of fun.

    The one time I went out with my trumpet before, I dressed in black, with my silver trumpet and thought I looked sharp. Maybe I did, but I sounded flat ... like poo really.

    Poo is good in the garden and fertilizer leads to great things later if one keeps it up. I'm back on it. Thank Goodness I won't have to depend on busking for a living but I'd like to be able to do that, and jam, and have a good time.
     
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  5. Alex_C

    Alex_C Piano User

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    May 30, 2010
    Gilroy, California
    Dang man that's harsh. But then, anyone ever see the photo of Arnold Schwartzenegger playing violin? I felt about like that learning the fiddle, I have muscles I can't help it, it's genetic. And a violin can't stand up to my lifestyle, essentially I live like being in the Army, out in the field. I know, I've done that. And my present lifestyle compares. But a trumpet can deal with wide temperature swings, being carried on a motorcycle, etc. And cutting trees all day doesn't screw with working the valves. It can, with the more delicate muscle control needed for violin. So here I am. Thank G. no one says "Hey kid you look like a sniper go do that" lol.
     
  6. Markie

    Markie Forte User

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    Clarksburg, WV
    Early in my life I tried this. I worked my butt off!! A really tough gig.
     
  7. Alex_C

    Alex_C Piano User

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    May 30, 2010
    Gilroy, California
    Trumpet addict - I'd think it DOES matter what you sound like. Most street musicians suck out loud so some skill would set one way ahead.

    Markie - we're into the Great Recession deep enough for me not to sound odd saying, Minimum wage is extremely high pay, and un-attainable by many people now. I'm not sure if "tough gig" means $2 a day, or "tough gig" means $20 an hour. I know it's tough being out among the public, having to win 'em over. I'm willing to bet a decent player with good public rapport could bring in an average of $5 an hour and that's the big money for many Americans.
     
  8. Mamba21500

    Mamba21500 Piano User

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    Feb 26, 2009
    if you can get other people to play with you, it will be more fun and less embarassing, with five people from my brass band playing for four hours at christmas, we made over four hundred pounds, at that time roughly seven hundred dollars. we kept it simple, but neat, and it worked.
     
  9. Alex_C

    Alex_C Piano User

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    May 30, 2010
    Gilroy, California
    I personally can't think of a better way to get out playing for the public, no matter what amount they tip.

    I've spent some time in Santa Cruz peddling crafts, it's OK but it's work - I'd not want to do that for years and years. I long to jump in with musicians, I can sing OK and mainly, IN TUNE which is a huge advantage there but I'm lousy at knowing the words!

    I'll honestly play anything, commercial jingles, Rush, blues, classical, it's all music and it's all good. Honestly!

    Thank goodness for two things: I live in an area where the houses tend to be FAR apart so, I can practice without getting complaints. I can't sound worse than the donkey and the roosters and geese.

    And, while I live on very little $$ I don't have to busk to make $$, I have a lot of things cooking so the $$'s not the "inspiration" here, it'd be a frill. Like, apparently, some people think trumpet players are cool? It could be considered Nerd City for all I care, I like it. But that it's thought of as being cool, that's a nice frill.
     
  10. Markie

    Markie Forte User

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    Jan 4, 2009
    Clarksburg, WV
    Hi Alex,
    Sorry, I didn't mean that kind of tough. I ment its hard because its a totally solo gig and you have to be on your game or people will just walk, cover their ears or point and laugh when they pass. The only job maybe tougher is a stand up comedian.
    You have to learn to get really good fast or people will be smiling because you suck and not because the music is pleasing.
     

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