#1
Hello guys, I have been playing guitar for about 4 years now and I want to share my talent with others. I was thinking about busking in the downtown area in my city on the weekends to entertain people and earn some extra cash. Now, I cannot sing at all, so I was thinking of doing electric guitar instrumentals. Some songs I am thinking about performing are:

Joe Satriani - Satch Boogie
Joe Satriani - Surfing With The Alien
Steve Vai - For The Love Of God
Steve Vai - Tender Surrender
Eric Johnson - Cliffs Of Dover
Steve Ray Vaughan - Little Wing (Hexdrix Cover)
Jimi Hendrix - All Along The Watchtower
Jimi Hendrix - Voodoo Child

Do you guys think people would enjoy me playing instrumentals of these songs (and other songs like these)? I feel like I may not get many tips simply because some of these songs aren't very mainstream. I know I could take the easy route and just play Stairway To Heaven or Hotel California over and over again, but I want to be at least a little original. But what do you guys think of busking with a setlist of instrumentals like this?
#2
Depends on your performance style, if you've got enough flash to make the pieces seem cool, then you'll get money, but if you just stand there and shred, people will likely just walk by without a single word.
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#3
Those are all awesome songs. If you can play those with a nice amp and pedal set up in a crowded place like a town square or something (and not get kicked out) then that's a pretty good gig. Make sure you dess nice and look like a performer NOT a street bum.
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#4
If you wanna make some scratch by playing instrumentals make sure you play with a backing track, unless you play like Joe Robinson or Tommy Emmanuel.
#5
Honestly, I don't know how well you play so maybe you could pull off those off solo but it's difficult to do. People pay little attention to electric guitar stuff unless you're manipulating your sound so it sounds radically different to the norm.

You need to decide first and foremost what your real objective is. Play for you or for money. As you can see there can be crossover, but if you want to impress people and get money then there are likely better ways to go about it.

Sadly the reality is that guitar is simply a drone instrument to most walking by, people respond more to melodies they can repeat in their head, and they like stuff they already know - if your stuff is that dazzling then you can get away with getting their attention to stuff they don't know. But that's why any noob playing wonderwall can grip an audience to sing along.

From what I've witnessed, the best route to go down as a solo performer without vocals or backing band/track is to go down the acoustic fingerstyle route. This may destroy your soul inside but if you can play an acoustic fingerstyle version of top 40 hits in the charts then people are going to be super impressed by your arpeggios, slapping techniques, tapping, natural and artificial harmonics etc. The more variety of techniques you use the more you will impress.

Here's an example of what I'm talking about.



Gareth is great because he does some of the best tutorials out there for his songs.
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#6
firstly i'd like to say that if you're good enough, Lenny by Stevie Ray Vaughan, and also Riviera Paradise by SRV too, are incredible songs which are instrumentals. secondly i'd like to encourage you to learn how to sing, it takes a little while but you'll find that you may have a good singing voice and not even know it. try doing vocal exercises every day and singing very softly and learning how to use your diaphram and breathing deeply. there are many great free youtube videos which tell you how to sing. singing is a beautiful form of expression and everybody who is good at guitar should learn how to sing imo; let's be honest, it opens up your possibilities to being able to play 1000x more songs without a backing track and you can be a walking musician with a tiny acoustic guitar. but yeah, up to you

edit: the main thing you may struggle with with singing is relaxing, like most people. learning exercises and listening to professionals on youtube about this issue can cure this in a matter of days
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Last edited by laid-to-waste at Jan 5, 2017,