Hey guys. Not quite sure where to put this so I chucked it here. Basically, I wanna do some busking, and I would like to have a 30 minute 'set'. However, at the moment I've probably got 10-15 minutes worth of stuff. So what I wanted was to know what some good songs are to learn, preferrably well-known and that don't involve singing, as I'm not much of a singer. Also, flamenco/latin is always good as I love that style. So if you guys could give me some reccommendations, that'd be awesome. Cheers.
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well mate,

if you dont sing then that probably limits your earning capabilities. however if your playing flamenco/latin maybe that isnt that important.

one thing you have to realise is this. people walk past hear you playing, think your good, listen to maybe 20 secs max (theyre busy on their way somewhere) and decide that you deserve a chunk of change so give you a dollar/euro/pound/yen whatever and walk off.

the point here is that noones gonna stick around for longer than half a minute tops so theres no need to have more than a few minutes material. you could in theory only have one song that you can play well and just repeat it for as long as you like and the crowd would be none the wiser. this might (and infact probably would be) insanely boring though. so i would recommend having 3 maybe 4 songs that you know well and can play well and then you just play through them until youre tired/earned enough money. its a bit cynical, but its the truth, and its what all baskers do. they just play the same couple of songs again and again.

good luck with it mate, ive earned suprisingly large amounts of money busking. try to find a good spot and get comfortable and just sit and play your heart out. lots of people will give you money just for the fact that your there.
Hi I'm
Mr. JimBo R. Insane
I would love to busk, but Im in the same boat with the cant sing part.
I like rock though, is there anything rocky that I can play without singing (that would sound good on its own).

Plus, its true, I walked past a busker and was like hmm thats a nice song, then half an hour later i walked back the other way, and he was still playing it Lols! (I gave him 50p though )
I'd say split it into songs you know, and improvistion. Half and half. You know 15 minutes of songs? Running out of stuff? Just improv. Have some sort of chord prog ready, if in doubt, just 12 bar blues it. But then again i've never been busking so I wouldn't know what the demands are like.
The problem with improvising is improvising chords is kind of boring, and you can't really solo without a rhythm guitar, so I'm kind of limited.

I was more looking for song suggestions, but that's helpful advice. Thanks guys.
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Quote by Skater901
The problem with improvising is improvising chords is kind of boring, and you can't really solo without a rhythm guitar, so I'm kind of limited.

I was more looking for song suggestions, but that's helpful advice. Thanks guys.

Don't worry so much about conventional soloing, since you're right, it won't be much good without a rhythm guitar.

Here's what I do:

1. Open tunings are your friend. DADGAD in particular is one of those tunings that you can solo in while you play rhythm at the same time. It also sounds bitchin' cool and people eat it up.

2. Buy a few cheap (I pay $30CDN for mine, but you can get them for ten bucks if you are careful not to break the cheap little things) harmonicas and a harmonica stand. Instead of singing, just play harp while you strum and people will actually stop and grin at you and usually throw some money in. Playing both at the same time is actually ridiculously easy even if you've never played a harmonica in your life, and with practice you can sound amazing.

As for songs, some of these are ones that I use in my act and some are ones that I think might be useful to you as someone that doesn't sing much:

1. Neil Young - My My, Hey Hey - Has a nice harmonica part and Neil isn't much of a singer anyways so you can just capo it wherever and sing your best. Nobody will care if you're a bit off key as long as you can impress them with the harmonica.

2. Jimmy Page - White Summer - It's in DADGAD and is mostly just improvisation. It's not easy, but you don't have to play it exactly like Jimmy does.

3. Billy Joel - Piano Man - Probably one of the most overplayed busking tunes but again, the harmonica can help you if your vocals aren't very strong.

4. Mason Williams - Classical Gas - I'd only recommend this if you're playing out of a very small belt-amp or something to that effect because nobody will be able to hear you if you're not. Then again, I'd recommend a small amp like that for pretty much every busker unless you're playing on a quiet street that still has a lot of people.

This isn't related to the actual performance, but last but not least, make sure you find out if you need a license to busk in your city. I got fined once because I didn't even know you needed to pay $26 for a "business license" from the city.

Hope that info helps.
personally id reccomend "people are Strange" by the doors and just give the singing a try cos you can only get better

also i wud reccomend some irish trad using DADGAD tuning as theyre usually crowd pleasers especially where i live
Last edited by guitar-guy01 at Mar 17, 2008,
gimme me some money- spinal tap

Quote by Spoonman69
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Ok, yes you do need a license, I've already got one but I think it's expired. Wow, $26 for a license, that sucks. I get 'em for free. Just give them some info and they give me one.

Um, harmonica eh? Maybe. A bit cheesy though, in my opinion. I was kind of thinking more impressive latin/flamenco playing, as I quite enjoy that. Sort of Rodrigo Y Gabriela, but for one guitar. That kind of stuff. Still, I'll have a look at the stuff you reccommended, and maybe I will try with the singing.
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