#1
Hello there friends

I'm looking at going busking sometime soon, and I want to know some songs to play.
Preferably some songs that are easy on acoustic guitar that a lot of people would know, without the songs being way mainstream.

SO any ideas? Or tips from past experiences?
#2
There are tons of threads on this already.

In general, strumming is hundreds of times better than fingerpicking or picked songs because it is louder, fuller, and gets more attention. Louder is better if it still sounds good. The only real exception to the "strumming is better" rule is if you have another person next to you doing strumming where you are playing a lead line, or you have some sort of remarkable CandyRat-esque technique that will stop people regardless of what you are playing. IN SUMMARY: Yes, strumming is easy compared to that sweep picking exercise you just learned, but it will get more money...so do it.

Remember: Busking is a musical distraction to anyone on the street. Your goal is to take the pedestrian's attention and divert it to you. This is why sometimes acts that aren't very good but are different or have weird gimmicks make more money.

You said you want songs that weren't that mainstream, and so just pick some out, but mainstreams songs tend to do better. When someone walks by and says "I know this song!" they are more likely to stop and listen than to some instrumental ballad they have never heard before. On those same lines, choose something fun and often upbeat. No matter how much you like depressing music, or even non-depressing music that you feel has "emotion" people pay less attention and cash for songs that are emotional. When you are walking down the road, a heavy songs with intricate lyrics about a a dead lover is the last thing you want to hear.

Also, know the laws about busking in your area. Most of the time it is pretty lax and no one will care, but you don't wanna get anyone on you about it. If asked to leave, just do so quickly and politely, because anyone asking you to leave is most likely the owner of the property you are on and they do have legal power to kick you off and the authority to call the police.

Stand up while playing, so get a decent strap and comfortable shoes. Dress up nicely. If you are sitting on the ground, leaning against a wall, or in dirty old clothes, then people will think you are a bum and will not give you money. Your intention is to look like a performer who is doing this by choice, not by necessity.
#3
Quote by ReChord
There are tons of threads on this already.

In general, strumming is hundreds of times better than fingerpicking or picked songs because it is louder, fuller, and gets more attention. Louder is better if it still sounds good. The only real exception to the "strumming is better" rule is if you have another person next to you doing strumming where you are playing a lead line, or you have some sort of remarkable CandyRat-esque technique that will stop people regardless of what you are playing. IN SUMMARY: Yes, strumming is easy compared to that sweep picking exercise you just learned, but it will get more money...so do it.

Remember: Busking is a musical distraction to anyone on the street. Your goal is to take the pedestrian's attention and divert it to you. This is why sometimes acts that aren't very good but are different or have weird gimmicks make more money.

You said you want songs that weren't that mainstream, and so just pick some out, but mainstreams songs tend to do better. When someone walks by and says "I know this song!" they are more likely to stop and listen than to some instrumental ballad they have never heard before. On those same lines, choose something fun and often upbeat. No matter how much you like depressing music, or even non-depressing music that you feel has "emotion" people pay less attention and cash for songs that are emotional. When you are walking down the road, a heavy songs with intricate lyrics about a a dead lover is the last thing you want to hear.

Also, know the laws about busking in your area. Most of the time it is pretty lax and no one will care, but you don't wanna get anyone on you about it. If asked to leave, just do so quickly and politely, because anyone asking you to leave is most likely the owner of the property you are on and they do have legal power to kick you off and the authority to call the police.

Stand up while playing, so get a decent strap and comfortable shoes. Dress up nicely. If you are sitting on the ground, leaning against a wall, or in dirty old clothes, then people will think you are a bum and will not give you money. Your intention is to look like a performer who is doing this by choice, not by necessity.

Damn, you do this often, from what i gather.
And yes, flamboyant is better. Dress your guitar up all nice and pretty, dance around a little, maybe appeal to the kids to make it seem famiy oriented, which pleases moms.
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Last edited by Rockingbird at Jan 21, 2009,
#5
LOL @ the wink....

consider tuning down a half step... makes it easier to sing for long hours.... for me anyway. everyone is dif
2001 Gibson USA Les Paul Studio Black/Gold
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#6
Quote by TheDev01dOne
Try and make eye contact with people too, smile alll the time. Maybe a playful wink at some MILFs.. Anything to catch attention and make a connection.



ROFLFLOA
#7
Try these songs, but they are a bit mainstream (but thats what you want when you busk):
Yesterday-Beatles
Wonderwall-Oasis
Wish You Were Here-Pink Floyd
Knockin on Heavens Door-Bob Dylan
Rooster-Alice in Chains
Pot
Kettle
Black
#8
Quote by A Rolling Stone
Try these songs, but they are a bit mainstream (but thats what you want when you busk):
Yesterday-Beatles
Wonderwall-Oasis
Wish You Were Here-Pink Floyd
Knockin on Heavens Door-Bob Dylan
Rooster-Alice in Chains


i should have clarified, thats the sort of thing i'm after
i don't really mean stuff like your real 'poublic domain' type songs
roosters a good choice, thanks
#9
Try some Creedence Clearwater Revival, 'Sweet Home Alabama', maybe a 'Hey Joe' improv, I would do some Jack Johnson though that may not be to your taste, maybe 'Livin' on a prayer'. I dunno, just do whatever you like that everybody knows and sounds good strummed.