As a musician you have probably stood outside somewhere, left your guitar case open for tips and played your heart out. Welcome to the world of busking. There is more to busking than meets the eye.
After all, how often can you say you’ve played to hundreds of people in the same day, that you’ve reached listeners from all walks of life with your music and, most of all, that you’ve got some money for doing so!
If we are to fully embrace the true potential of street performance we must move away from the idea of ‘busking as background music’ and instead see it as a valuable promotional tool for our own music.
This is exactly what Devonshire born Tristan MacKay did.
After moving to Yorkshire in 2001 to study, Tristan first took to busking to pay his bills and it was to this pursuit he returned after university to promote his music.
With his energetic performances and trademark-crooked Stetson, Tristan soon became a staple of the Leeds High Street, his open guitar case filled with flyers for his latest gig or E.P Launch.
With a faithful army of followers behind him Tristan was soon discovered on MySpace by Grammy award winning producer Martin Levan.
Together they went on to produce Tristan’s chart topping debut album ‘Out Along the Wire’.
Of course, not every budding-busker with a guitar on their back and a suitcase full of songs will enjoy the same fairytale success as Tristan. In a world where promotion is everything this almost seems like too good of an opportunity to miss.
It’s best to be somewhere people can see or hear you BEFORE they actually walk past you, it gives them chance to enjoy your performance before they decide to pay for it. Obviously the amount of passing trade is essential but it’s also important to play where people have a reason to stop, city landmarks, parks, cafe’s etc.
Different cities have different regulations regarding busking (permits, curfews) so do your research before you go somewhere blind.
We’re always looking for new and imaginative ways to entice people to our gigs. With busking, we take the music to them.
So go on, take the leap and try it for yourself. Make each passer by a new fan.
Have fun making those tips!
[Reprinted From: http://makingmusicmag.com/]