The Value of Busking
I’ve only recently taken up the practice of Busking. I assume most musicians that have learned how to connect with just about anyone have at some point gone outside to hone their skills of looking people in the eye, playing what the folks want to hear and being open and ready to accept whatever the street can throw at them. I’ve only done this in the past year or so of my musical journey and I’ve already seen benefits and growth come from it.
The city I live in, Ft Worth Tx has some pretty strict street performing rules, one of which is that you can’t perform in just any public space, so it has been a little more difficult to find places to play. Luckily there are a few events which shut down portions of the city for arts festivals/Open Streets events that have finally given me the chance to work on the street. I’ve also discovered some Urban/Farmers Markets that allow performances as well so things have been looking up.
The things I’ve most enjoyed about busking so far have been the fact that my 3 hour set I usually play at the local watering holes can now last me all day which means I get more time to meet more people. Busking also allows me to actually have conversations with the people I’m playing for and not weird, hurried and muffled conversations as someone passes me in a bar to go to the restroom or leave. Really when it comes down to it, Busking is the ideal way, connection-ise, to interact and share yourself and songs with those who would not be hearing you otherwise, which is why I think i’m enjoying it so much. When you play a bar/restaurant you are being paid (which is a major plus) but you then have to approach the performance as a job you are performing for and employer. If you know any musicians, this is generally not our cup of jo obviously. You are asked to play for 3 -45 minute sets to provide background and ambiance to a locatian that folks can come and interact with each other at. This is all fine and good and I love getting to play those kinds of gigs, but if I want to connect MY songs directly to those people, the best, most efficient way (albeit, with no financial guarantee) is to gt out on the street and meet folks there.
So I’m loving both, but Busking is giving me something I felt was lacking in my regular gigs and I really hope to learn a lot and build up the ol’ repertoire by getting out and playing the (somewhat limited) streets of Ft Worth.
See you around?