Busking is a great way to fund a round the world trip. If you can play an instrument, then packing it into your luggage and heading for far-flung destinations is easier than ever. Some people are heading off on round the world vacations and paying for the experience with nothing more than a few hours a day performing in the streets. It’s not without its issues though, so if you’re tempted to pack your guitar, sax, or keyboard and head off on your travels with nothing but a playlist and your first EP, then here are some valuable tips that might help you complete a full trek of the planet with nothing more than a love of entertaining others.
You can’t just plonk down and start playing whatever you like. Every country and city has its own rules and regulations regarding busking. Make sure that you don’t fall foul of the law by doing some research into your destination before you set off.
2: Control Your Volume
If you’re too loud, then people are just going to get annoyed at you. Everyone has seen and heard those buskers with no sense of volume, and you can be sure that if you stray from entertainment into annoyance, then you’re not going to get the money in your hat you need for the next stage of your journey.
3: The Right Instrument
Of course, the most common kind of busking instrument is the guitar. Easy to travel with and with no end of songs to choose from, it’s easy to see why guitars are a mainstay of the travelling busker’s world. However, it’s not your only choice. Classical music, or even popular songs played with a classical instrument, might earn you a lot more respect and money from passersby. Invest in Dawkes bass clarinets before you start travelling and you’ll see a lot more money thrown in your hat.
4: Don’t Improvise
Performing on the street is no place to practice. If you’re performing, then you need to know how to play and what to play. Perfect a one hour set and continuously update it as you learn new tracks. Mix up your types of music and don’t be afraid to experiment with different genres, but do that in your own time and not when you’re trying to earn cash for your next flight.
5: Dress Well
Even if you’re living out of a backpack, there’s no reason not to dress the part when you’re busking. The smarter that you look, the more likely that people will be happy to throw their spare change in your guitar or clarinet case. If you dress like a scruffy backpacker, then people aren’t going to be as keen on handing over their cash, and that might mean you get stuck for another day trying to scrounge up money for the next train out of dodge.
Being a busker can be hard work, but with more people than ever funding their holidays with some well-timed and well-rehearsed musical accompaniment, you could be using your musical talent and love of performing to see much more of the world.