Ever wanted to be a street musician? Just grab your guitar and hit the road, Jack and don’t you come back no more, no more, no more…
Busking would seem the ideal way for the traveller to work his or her way around the world. All you need is a battered old guitar, a Bob Dylan songbook, an old hat for spare change and you’re off and away.
Okay, it might not be quite as easy as that but entertaining the maddening crowds in the street is as old a tradition as any and one that survives in almost every country in the world in some shape or form. In some places buskers and performers are persecuted as nuisances or parasites, in others they’re celebrated as the life and soul of the street and are considered a tourist attraction.
It’s not that easy to be an instant hit. Most successful buskers that you’ll meet went through quite an apprenticeship on the street, learning their art and how to bring it to a sometimes disinterested public. Talk to as many professional street musicians as you can and pick up the tricks of the trade.
Beyond that, play or perform on the street because you enjoy it. If you’re ‘only in it for the money’ then people will feel that. But a genuine enthusiasm and spirit of joy is contagious and cheering people up is what it’s all about.