If you can play an instrument then busking could be a great way to earn money fast. Pure talent isn’t required for busking. What you need is the ability to entertain. If you’re a natural entertainer then busking could be perfect for you. So let me tell you how to make money busking.
Busking for Newbies:
Don’t expect to make a fortune. Buskers usually make between $20-$40/hour but only for a few hours each day. That being said many buskers do make a living this way. So it is totally possible to make more when you have a good show and a great spot. In a good spot and at peak hours a busker could pull in $100+ per hour.
Location, location, location. The location is extremely important. It takes time to find the right spot so try a few locations and a few different times to see what works best. A busy location might not be great if no one has space to stop and listen. Likewise a slow location in a working class neighbourhood could be a bonanza since they’re more likely to contribute.
Busking is easy to try, so just give it a shot!
- Stick with it for at least 2hrs. It takes a bit of time to get into the groove.
- Find the peak time. Weekends from noon to 2pm seem to be best.
- Sell yourself. Act confident, smile and be enthusiastic.
- Location is key, pick a busy area with lots of people but not too many other buskers.
- Subways & train stations
- Busy street corners
- Bar area on Fri/Sat nights
- Outdoor markets
- Pick a spot where people can stop, a busy walkway might not be ideal since people can’t stop to listen or contribute.
- Appeal to the masses, play popular and well known songs.
- Or… be original and unique, for example play a childhood video game song to hit that emotional cord or play a very unusual instrument.
- Check legality, sometimes a small fee/permit/license is required when busking for money
- Be respectful, don’t setup too close to another busker.
- Bring something unique for people to put money in.
- “Seed the hat” with some big coins and small bills (just weigh them down to ensure they don’t blow away)
- Look into the busker etiquette in your area. Buskers have been around forever and there is a huge community that is very supportive but there are certain unspoken rules.
Look into the legality of busking in your area. Many places allow busking but require a fee/permit/license. Some places even require registration for spaces and times. Check the busking laws in your area before heading out. You don’t want to get hit with a fine.
Best Busking Songs:
The best songs for busking are easy and popular songs. Buskers entertain people and to entertain the highest number of people at one time you must appeal to the masses. Pick songs that you enjoy to play and can play reasonably well.
Are you a diehard fan? Try appealing to other fans of the same music. This can also be a great way to meet new people.
Have at least 1.5-2hrs of material ready to play. The local shopkeeper is going to get pretty annoyed if they keep hearing the same song every 30min.
Whatever songs you end up playing just make sure to give 110%. In the end you make money by entertaining people. Only part of the entertainment comes from the music. The rest comes from you, your presentation, personality and appearance.
How To Make Money Busking:
Busking for money is easy to do. Just go out there and give it a try and don’t forget to have fun while you’re doing it. You’d be surprised how much money you can make while busking for just a few hours.
Photo by smswigart via Flickr