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Musicians: Have you ever Busked? (Perform in Public)

Discussion in 'Making Money' started by entrepreneur513, Feb 20, 2010.

  1. entrepreneur513

    entrepreneur513 Newbie

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    I was just reading Quincy Jones's autobiography, and he mentioned as a Kid he would sometimes go on Trains or Buses and play his saxophone

    He'd usually make $200-300 a day.

    Now, obviously we are living in a different era, do you think this can still be done today?

    One "Blackhat" technique I came up with, is filling your bucket with money, before you even begin performing.

    This way, passerbys think other people are already tipping, so they are more likely to follow the crowd, and tip you also.

    Thoughts?
     
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2010
  2. BENNY8877

    BENNY8877 Supreme Member

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    That is actually an old trick. People usually use guitar cases or whatever instrument case. It's not blackhat it just works.
     
  3. showmethemoolah

    showmethemoolah Newbie

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    Been talking about doing this all this coming summer with a mate actually, really wanna do it...
     
  4. readingaddict

    readingaddict Registered Member

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    that's my main source of income for when I become homeless :p
     
  5. Sanitarium

    Sanitarium Regular Member

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    Occupation:
    I guess making love to your eyes since you're read
    Location:
    In your mind.
    Play some erotic, enchanting music to lure people in then BAM shank 'em.
    You could become the Epic Guitar Shanker in no time = youtube profit

    But to be serious, a girl with big boobs and blue eyes to sit by you, can't hurt.
     
  6. Standard

    Standard Junior Member

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    I had Idea for this. I have alot of musicians at my univ. I had the idea to either get them or craigslist up some musicians. Then, "teach" them how to busk correctly, and get optimum tips. Singers, viollin players etc. etc. Itd be a good way to spend two days and get about a few hundred for you and your artists. If they are good, you can get easily for 4 or 5 hours of work about $200-300 each.
     
  7. tednet

    tednet Newbie

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    Busking isn't as easy as it seems. It's much easier. Just get a permit (free), find a nice spot and start playing. People will throw you money even if you suck really badly. Most of them don't even listen to you. Make sure that the place you have chosen isn't full of busy people. Really busy people don't have the time to throw you money. And concerning putting money in your hat/case, when there's too much money, make sure you take some out. People will think you are making too much money and will actually envy you and most likely they won't throw you any money. Also, be careful of thugs, they will actually take your money...

    Anyways, an income you should be striving for is around $10-$20 an hour and that's easy. Might not seem like much but sure as hell beats working hourly. Heck, I even got 6-7 project proposals from producers and a few managers tried to recruit me. And considering I live in a shitty country, where hourly based jobs pay around $2-$3 an hour, busking rocks.
     
  8. utkarshpaliwal

    utkarshpaliwal Regular Member

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    First time I played guitar was in my college (I was not paid for that obviously) :)
     
  9. KevinK

    KevinK Junior Member

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    I play saxophone and have made money "busking" as you call it, but it definitely isn't one of my focuses... however, I do have a video up on FB, but it doesn't seem to get all that much traffic. Think maybe I'd be better doing songs and selling them for $1 online if you catch my drift. But internet marketing is definitely the way to go. Haven't worked a steady job in almost 7 years, and have traveled the U.S. in an RV -- I can relate to the movie -- too funny! {for me the movie RV is 'real-to-life' [a lot of it]}

    I would not recommend 'busking' for a living... esp. being out in the cold where I am!
     
  10. grabdavid

    grabdavid Registered Member

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    Yeah i used to go busking with mates while i was studying at uni for some each cash.
    My Tips.

    1. Dress up in some crazy outfits, random stuff even fansy dress you can even discuise yourself this can remove fears

    2. make sure youve got some old tins you can bash around for abit of theatre and sound this always pulls in cash.

    3. find a place with good acoustics improves your sound.

    4. much sure you have a drummer.
     
  11. Terrifyer

    Terrifyer Newbie

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    My friend does this, but he doesn't put any cash in hes case when he starts to play. He's a metalhead, but he appreciates all kinds of music (that has talent). He makes $100-$200/day in summer. He usually plays popular tunes like stuff from Beatles, all mighty Hendrix etc..
     
  12. CEPI

    CEPI Power Member

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    Let me prove to you why I know people who "perform" in public make a crap ton of money:

    OK when I used to live near UCLA, I used to always come off the exit of the 405 on Wilshire ave. For those of you in SoCal you will know this area VERY well. It is massive traffic, a big "audience" if you will.

    I would ALWAYS see this same guy day after day holding his "need food, will work for food" sign.. but he has a little box that had some random money in it, always looked to be around 10 bucks and some change.

    Anyway, one day I was feeling extra giving and I had just come from the grocery store heading home off my same exit and I see him. I actually decided to give him food. I put on my hazards and moved into the emergency vehicle lane and jumped out to give him the food where I got the shock of my life!

    I said, "hey man I see you out here almost everyday I thought I would bring you some food" handing the man the bag of groceries. He says, "are you fucking kidding me man, I am not homeless, I don't want food (he is now throwing my groceries on the ground), standing out here collecting money is my JOB" he says. "Being at this off-ramp I make almost $900 a DAY, I live over on Wilshire and Barrington in the Plaza, I'm basically an actor man, and acting pays me well"

    So that is the reason I ..

    A) Never give money to homeless people
    B) Know that street performers make a lot of money

    I got blackhatted by a bum actor!
     
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  13. Deviance

    Deviance Regular Member

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    Hehe nice story Cadkins, although you have to admit $900,- / day seems a bit exaggerated, but yeah sure I believe that some ''bums'' are making a nice living begging for money. It's still a pathetic job though, and I wouldn't feel all that good doing it, but hey if you have no shame.. go for it.

    Oh and if I had any musical talent whatsoever I'd definitely go out ''busking'' in the Summer with a few mates, sounds like fun to me :)
     
  14. Grizzy

    Grizzy Senior Member

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    cadkins I never give money to seemingly "legit" bums/homeless for this reason as well. Either they are conning you, or your handout will be spent on booze or something else destructive. I'd rather give to a structured organization where I can be somewhat certain that the money will be going to a good cause.

    Sorry, I never give money to street performers either (unless its at a street performers festival or something). If you can play the violin like Paganini you can go get a job at McDonalds. :D
     
  15. CEPI

    CEPI Power Member

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    Deviance, I wouldn't be surprised if he was being honest about the amount. Even if he converted a dollar from 1 out of 100 cars that pass that off-ramp.... he would be lookin at a minimum of $500, I would say between 60,000 - 75,00 cars hit that on and off ramp every single day and it's CONSTANTLY jammed so people don't just "drive by" he has a captive audience during all hours.

    His business definitely has traffic! HAHA. As far as his location goes it would be the equivalent of top ranked on Google, super high bum ranking!

    After it happened to me I actually thought about it for a long time, he might be a horrible person, but he may also be a genius.
     
  16. terry56

    terry56 Junior Member

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    @ entrepreneur513
    My wife considered "street performing" (as its called in USA)
    We go to Santa Monica a lot, and most "buskers" are on 3rd street promenade.
    They are licensed ($10 a year) and not allowed to perform any music / lyrics that are covered by form of song license.
    *Tip* If you need an amplifier, get a small hand cart, add 12Volt batteries and a power inverter to run your rig for a few hours.
    Basically, anything goes, as long as its entertaining. I have seen gays, flutes, violins, guitar duos, 6 piece bands, jugglers, acrobats, magicians,and card tricks....and that just in one day!!

    Some musicians ended up on CNN, breakfast Tv shows and Youtube only last year, due to a local TV producer who saw their talent.

    As for street bums (tramps in England) I once was living in Cleveland, Ohio and bought a fresh, hot coffee for a tramp outside a shopping mall as he was freezing in the Winter Snow...His response, "Coffee!! No thanks man!..I wanted Hot Chocolate!!" JEEZ!!! Looks like the old saying "beggars can't be choosers" has gone out the window :)
     
  17. CEPI

    CEPI Power Member

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    he may also be a genius.
     
  18. CEPI

    CEPI Power Member

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    I got blackhatted by a bum actor!
     
  19. Sunlight Media

    Sunlight Media Newbie

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    How about the guy who got busted for putting dummies all around town, lying beside a sign and a cup? He just drove around all day collecting money all day from his "props" :D

    I thought that was a pretty creative idea, and he apparently made a killing, but always wondered how he could scoop the money each time he "collected" without passerby's questioning him. He either had some pretty good lines, or people walking by didn't give a shit.