How to Busk
Seems like a basic question, huh? How to busk? Well it isn’t as simple as you might originally think. You need to have the correct equipment, you need to have the right permissions, and you need to make sure you’re not making an idiot of yourself by playing the right songs, and keeping them in tune, plus you might want to make money busking, so you need to make sure you are prepared for that.
I’m going to write out how to busk as a bullet pointed list, I love my bullet points as you’ll know if you read my other blog posts. It just makes it easier to digest. Here goes then:
- First things first, planning. Where are you going to busk and when? Do you want a big audience? You might need to think about when you choose to go busking in order to get it right. You also need a plan when it comes to songs. You cant just turn up and strum, you need something of a setlist like you would have for a gig, and a bunch of backup songs for if you get stuck.
- Equipment. You need the gear, of course. You might just choose to go with a good old fashioned acoustic guitar, and that’s cool, but you might want to go further and buy a busking amp. Don’t forget spare strings, plenty of plectrums, a capo, and any other spares you might need.
- Permission. This is key. No, really. Don’t just go out and play for money, or even at all, without finding out the relevant permissions you need. You may need a permit, license or police permission to busk on the streets near you, and it may vary from town to town and county to county. We provide as much info as we can here on Busking HQ, but we can’t possibly provide information for every place in the world, so you need to contact your local authorities (council) to find out the busking laws where you are and where you plan to play.
- Practice. It’s a gig, at the end of the day! You might not think of it as one, but trust me, it is, and you need to be ready like you would for a gig, the only difference here is that you might play for 4 or 5 hours! Dont forget to make sure you know every song you are going to play inside out.
- Check the weather. Please do this, it’s so easily forgotten, but its especially important if you’re traveling to busk. Check the forecast and see how the weather is supposed to be. Hopefully I dont need to explain the reasons in too much detail, but just imagine yourself watching a gig outdoors in a thunderstorm, except you’re not at a gig, and you haven’t paid to get in, and there’s a nice warm coffee shop over there…
- Don’t forget, it’s earnings. I’m no tax advisor but if you are going to make a lot of money out of it, you’re probably going to have to pay some sort of taxes. Don’t overlook this.
- Go for it. It can be hard to take the plunge and just go out and busk, but once you’re legally covered and have the right permissions, go out and baptise yourself in the world of Busking!
Thanks guys, hope these tips are helpful for your busking, dont forget, there’s loads more information here at busking HQ to help you make the most of your busking.