In this short write up, you will find 11 important busking tips and ideas which you can use to make your busking experience much more worthwhile, fruitful and entertaining.
Do not mistake busking for begging
For those of us who know how to entertain crowds through our music, juggling, magical tricks etc, busking provides a very good opportunity to get that extra push (financially) to see you through the day. Although, there are some of us who busk for non-financial reasons e.g. recognition for your music, a chance to be in the spotlight etc. Whatever the reason, you should know that famous performers like Eric Clapton, Bob Hope, Jimmy Buffett to name a few started out busking. So don’t be quick to mistake busking for begging as most people do. In fact, busking is an equivalent of an entry level job in showbiz.
However, not every busker will be able to attract large crowds or receive an income comparable to their work. To help you with your situation you can use the following busking tips that I have outlined below. Veterans to this field will also find this article very informative and helpful.
The first busking tip I will be talking about is your location. You should select a location where people will be able to watch you for some time preferably a queue. The purpose of this is to let your audience recognize what you are doing and decide whether they will give you a tip. Sometimes the streets can be a very dangerous place, so you should choose a spot where security is not a major concern. Some cities prohibit busking in certain streets, so if you don’t what to be caught and have all your items confiscated you should try to be familiar with the local by-laws concerning busking.
2- Avoid Competition
Okay I am not saying that you should run away from competition. But you should at least try to set up your stage in a place where you can perform without worrying whether people will leave you for another busker nearby. This will show that you are respectful of other’s people space and the same will be reciprocated back to you.
3- Practice, practice, practice
To ensure that you don’t embarrass yourself in front of a crowd while doing your gig ( especially juggling), ensure that you have had enough practice. You can start by practicing solo then move on to practicing before smaller crowds like your family or friends. By practicing in front of people you know, you will get to know whether your act is good or not. Note this feedback can be through body language.
Another really good busking tip is timing when you busk. You can increase your earning simply by picking the right time of day to perform. So in short do not perform during rush hours more specifically the morning hours. But you can capitalize during lunch breaks or evening hours when people are not in a hurry to get back home.
5- Be Unique
You must give people reason enough to stop what they are doing and listen to you. This means you must come up with something new at least once a month which you know will entice audience with. For example, if you are a one man guitar you can try to sing while you are upside down (use a lamp post for support). You will be surprised at how many people will stand there to watch you. Yes, it may look crazy but you will have managed to get an audience to watch you. You can even try doing what has already been done by someone else as long as the “packaging” is different.
6- Never Beg
This will this only help in lowering your credibility and PR. A good performer should never solicit or beg money from their crowd. You can only accept tips nothing more. And if someone does tip you above average try to act modest and say that they have over –tipped you (of course this must not be genuine). This will only help in improving your public image. While you should not act like a beggar, always ensure that the jar, hat etc. which you use to collect your money is not “over flowing”. Why should anyone give you more money when the one you have already exceeds what they have in their pockets?
It is important to introduce yourself to your audience from the start. You can start with a joke which will put them in a good mood (tipping mood). After that, later in the routine you can try to encourage audience participation (for magicians this is always necessary). You can ask for volunteers especially kids to help you with your trick. But at the same time make sure you don’t overly embarrass your volunteer to the extent of hurting their feelings. Make eye contact with your audience. Smile and talk for a minute between songs. Be clean, and smell good w/o being heavily perfumed. Salt your case with a few folded dollar bills and some coins.
Although it is recommended to get your own patch where you can perform on a daily basis, you should try to move to different locations. This is because chances are that the people who left you performing yesterday are the same people who will pass you today. So you can have four or five different locations you can move to in case you earnings start to dwindle. Therefore always remember never to get too comfortable in any specific location, be ready to move to newer areas where you can exploit “untapped crowds”.
9- Good experience = Better Busker
Like all other skills, busking is largely dependent on experience. So if you are a beginner and still you can’t attract large crowds don’t give up just yet. But if you are not new to this field, the tips I have provided can help you with your current predicament. Strive to gain as much experience as you can. Test different things, make a good deal of research, test deterrent locations at different times of the day. Document what works best and start striking to it.
10- Sing songs people know
You should always sing songs people know. When busking it is very boring to listen to songs you don’t know and people walking in the street are often old or middle aged. Don’t forget to learn some songs that the public like and you will earn more money. Things like oldies. Songs from 60′s 70′s 80′s.
11- Use the techniques recommended in the “Buskers Bible” Guide
If you want to take your busking to the next level, I suggest you get a copy of the “Buskers Bible” Guide. The “Buskers Bible” is a great and effective guide with some of the best buskers tips you can find today. Thousands of people round the world have used this guide and most of them are now successful buskers.
Do you want to master the art of successful busking for fun and profit?
Click here ==> “Buskers Bible” to instantly download a copy of this guide.