Busking - playing for tips on the street

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

  1. guyclark

    guyclark Piano User

    Feb 28, 2008
    Los Gatos, CA
    By the way, in 2005, my wife and I were in Holland playing with the Chicago Brass Band at the World Brass Band Championships in Kerkrade. In walking around the towns and cities in the area, my wife and I encountered a great many buskers, and all of them quite high quality!

  2. turtlejimmy

    turtlejimmy Utimate User

    Jun 6, 2010

    Good story about the undercover horn playing ... Sounds like a movie. I can just picture it. I like the piper one too. Now, that's an instrument (bagpipes) that may just be louder and carry farther than a trumpet. Awfully nice, though, to suddenly happen upon one in an unusual setting, playing one of those beautiful songs ..... I ran into one in the Columbia River gorge once, playing by himself on top of a hill. Hard to forget something like that.
  3. Ed Kennedy

    Ed Kennedy Forte User

    Nov 18, 2006
    When I lived in Chicago ('70's) and was between engagements and the weather was decent, I busked with my pocket trumpet. My best location was the Michigan Ave bridge at lunch time. I played mostly dixieland type tunes. I usually walked away with $30 or more at a time.

    MTROSTER Piano User

    Jan 25, 2007
    Never did it myself, but have seen others and arrived at a few conclusions. I don't think the trumpet totally by itself is a great busking instrument. Most solo trumpeters were a) not too good, or b), plagued by a very limited repetoire. Successful buskers are those in a group who make music that really schmecks and gets that toe tapping. Most important - Location, Location, Location.:thumbsup:
  5. Alex_C

    Alex_C Piano User

    May 30, 2010
    Gilroy, California
    You mean, the Emperor has no clothes? It can't be!
  6. SFPat

    SFPat Pianissimo User

    Sep 20, 2009
    My biggest issue is the ever changing nature of copyright laws. When it was discovered in the recent past that a lot of money could be made from holding music copyrights, the scope and length of copyright laws was expanded to preserve the money flow, primarily to large recording companies who, with modern technology are dinosaurs funded by an outdated concept. Where once something entered the public domain after 25 years, it now takes 90 years to enter the public domain (those "oldies" in the public domain are really old). And you can bet it will be extended again when it's determined that they can continue to rake in the money, long after the original composer/performer has long passed. As was mentioned previously, this is choking creativity in music and performance (why do you think bands from the 70's are still highly popular). Unfortunately, this will ultimately lead to the demise of the music industry.
  7. Ed Lee

    Ed Lee Utimate User

    Aug 16, 2009
    Jackson NC
    As for copyright laws, they are applicable internationally in countries signatory to the copyright conventions. As to heavy law enforcement against busking, such isn't as much unless a complaint is filed and locally such is only a chase away without prosecution under interpretation of local pan-handling ordinances.

    When this discussion juxtaposes adverse comment against law enforcement not going after more dangerous crimes my dander is raised. Think of it in this extreme, if they only investigated homicides and then what would you say the next time you encountered a traffic collision, or what would you say when you found out your child was hooked on illegal narcotics. I could go on and on, but officers receive special training in different areas of expertise and are assigned to cope primarily in those areas. If you are an ex-militrary well trained rifle marksperson, I wouldn't have appreciated you being assigned to pilot a fighter aircraft as cover for me in my reconnaisance aircraft. No, law enforcement are primarily assigned in areas of their expertise. In my LEO career, I've received extensive training and academic achievement in several areas of expertise which now wouldn't give me any advantage in securing the purchase of a good cup of coffee, but in some restaurants I do receive a senior discount. Still, I still possess active credentials albeit relieved of assignment duty due to disability resultant from such service. On the streets, I'm still eyes and ears for LEO with direct speed dial office numbers to on-duty LEO on my cell phone. Some on duty LEOs have said my present "cover" is better than ever and they weren't kidding. Yes, I could carry concealed for my own or other's safety, but to know if I am or not, the NEED must exist. Within the last 3 months, I re-qualified as did my wife, she only now having an NC civil permit and now works for the county in a finance position that justifys it.

    Yes, its just a pleasure for me to make music ... and something I presently sorely miss.

    Yes, I've nothing now but TIME to pass my remaining hours away. I read, play solitaire, and listen to music in addition perusing many forums on our computer in addition to e-mail communication with friends and family when personal contact isn't viable.
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2010
  8. Ed Lee

    Ed Lee Utimate User

    Aug 16, 2009
    Jackson NC
    YES, I can't disagree that some laws seemingly protect the rich ... many of which have finally made it after long years of drudgery. How many achieved this success is often like the odds of one playing the lottery or one just having more ability than another, and using such ability effectively.

    I just can't see how one deduces that such is at the expense of the poor and or that the poor are powerless. Many a time in my life I could have qualified to live in a low income housing project. I chose not to and I don't think anyone touring such projects today would disagree with my choice. Try paying one's own way through college, working one full time job and part time at another and now and then busking. Surely, one doesn't possess a fine wardrobe of clothes or a fancy sports car in such situation. Yes, I've had times when I needed clean shirts, trousers, underwear and socks and didn't have the coins for the laundry machines in the basement of the apartments I lived in. I then hand washed my laundry in the bathtub. It was a wash and wear lifestyle. Then, I had only one suit and overcoat, and my old Air Force raincoat. Could I have filed bankruptcy, yes, but I didn't! Have I eaten at a mission, yes.

    Subsequently, have we lived in a nice mortgaged home, yes, and had 2 paid for vehicles, yes, one new and one old. Now, by the grace of family inheritance, we were lucky enough to move to NC, and sell our Northern VA home with enough equity to pay moving expenses, liquidate nice frurnishings at great loss and downsize to one vehicle, all thanks to Bernie Madoff and the recession. While our bills are current and the pantry is stocked for the next 2 weeks, our checking account is now less than $300 balance ... and I'll be in the hospital some part of this time.

    You don't get to me with "poor talk"! I know what such is and isn't. Too, my parents and grandparents knew ... and they survived the Great Depression ... or I wouldn't be here.

    True, that many composers sell their works to corporations ... but the copyright law still sets a termination of copyright protection a certain time after the last death of composer(s) and or Lyricists. The catch point then is re-copyright as an arrangement or derivation ... use original music.
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2010
  9. Alex_C

    Alex_C Piano User

    May 30, 2010
    Gilroy, California
    The copyright stuff sounds weird .... and scary. 90 years now?

    Maybe we'll come up with some kind of a counter-movement to produce music that's expressly put in the public domain, for people to play and enjoy. I care about making some money, I no longer care about making a LOT of money, that's a huge PITA.

    I'd say MOST buskers I've seen/heard are not exactly toe-tapping inspiring artists with great repertoire. I myself ALWAYS give money to those few who are good - even if they make more than me and that's not hard, my income averages about $10 a day.
  10. gzent

    gzent Fortissimo User

    Nov 5, 2003
    Rochester, MN
    The real question is, who determines when an arrangement is an infringement?

    I would venture to guess that 99% of all "wedding bands" are violating copyright laws to some degree. The rationalization is that they are playing interpretations or their own arrangements of classic pop tunes so they are not breaking the law.

    I'm guessing ASCAP might see it otherwise, but thankfully don't pursue damages.

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