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amplified buskers

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GUEST,Jim Knowledge 18 Apr 17 - 06:18 AM
Big Al Whittle 18 Apr 17 - 12:39 AM
GUEST 17 Apr 17 - 10:33 AM
Bonzo3legs 17 Apr 17 - 10:24 AM
Dave the Gnome 17 Apr 17 - 09:41 AM
Jack Campin 17 Apr 17 - 09:36 AM
Big Al Whittle 17 Apr 17 - 08:48 AM
GUEST,DTM 17 Apr 17 - 07:19 AM
GUEST,Murmurrr 17 Apr 17 - 01:36 AM
GUEST,Guest 10 Feb 14 - 01:05 PM
GUEST 31 Jan 14 - 06:52 PM
Tattie Bogle 27 Jan 14 - 08:19 PM
GUEST,Dave in Oz 27 Jan 14 - 03:50 PM
GUEST,Brian James 10 Sep 13 - 08:06 PM
Tim Leaning 24 May 12 - 04:30 AM
PHJim 24 May 12 - 12:10 AM
greg stephens 23 May 12 - 01:42 PM
ollaimh 23 May 12 - 12:25 PM
GUEST,FloraG 23 May 12 - 09:33 AM
oggie 23 May 12 - 02:07 AM
meself 23 May 12 - 02:01 AM
PHJim 23 May 12 - 12:55 AM
GUEST 22 May 12 - 11:11 PM
GUEST 09 May 11 - 11:41 AM
GUEST,fatsoslim 15 Feb 11 - 01:13 PM
Bernard 09 Aug 10 - 07:24 AM
GUEST,wcruz 08 Aug 10 - 10:35 PM
greg stephens 31 Jul 10 - 10:19 AM
GUEST,999 31 Jul 10 - 09:22 AM
Bobert 30 Jul 10 - 07:51 PM
GUEST,Robz J 30 Jul 10 - 07:39 PM
oggie 24 Aug 08 - 05:42 PM
GUEST,Luke Fictitious 24 Aug 08 - 04:40 PM
GUEST,johnny boy 06 Jan 08 - 04:01 PM
alanabit 01 Jul 07 - 12:02 PM
Midchuck 01 Jul 07 - 10:23 AM
alanabit 01 Jul 07 - 07:10 AM
breezy 01 Jul 07 - 06:14 AM
alanabit 01 Jul 07 - 05:38 AM
GUEST,woodsie 01 Jul 07 - 03:55 AM
GUEST,sore cheeks 01 Jul 07 - 02:54 AM
GUEST,Harry Merkin 17 Mar 07 - 10:24 AM
Paco Rabanne 23 Feb 07 - 04:49 AM
The Sandman 23 Feb 07 - 04:48 AM
Scrump 23 Feb 07 - 03:51 AM
Sttaw Legend 23 Feb 07 - 03:48 AM
Paco Rabanne 23 Feb 07 - 03:43 AM
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Subject: RE: amplified buskers
From: GUEST,Jim Knowledge
Date: 18 Apr 17 - 06:18 AM

I `ad one of those tree `ugging, amplified buskers in my cab the other day. `e `ad a folder full of songs about saving the planet with something `e called "renewable energy". `e looked well miffed, as if all `e`d got in `is `at was a brass farthing.
I said, "Morning Justin. You look like you`ve `ad a bad busk today. Your batteries run out or something?"
`e said, "No, Jim. I don`t use batteries, I depend upon wind to turn this little propeller and sunshine on my solar panels."
I said, "But it`s been pissing down all day.
`e said, "Tell me about it!!"


Whaddam I Like??


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Subject: RE: amplified buskers
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 18 Apr 17 - 12:39 AM

there used to be this bugger in Nottingham with just am unamplified ukulele who could drown out the everything on that street outside the Vic Centre. Noise pollution!
It says much for the politeness of of the populace that no one ever shoved the bloody thing up his bum.
I mean the problem isn't really amplifiers. Its like they say about gun control - its people who cause the problem.

THis isn't the best recording - but please try out the wonderful Gaz Brookfield currently gigging with the fiddler Benny Wain


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fe50l-c8PTI


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Subject: RE: amplified buskers
From: GUEST
Date: 17 Apr 17 - 10:33 AM

I once worked in a shop that was located on a busy street corner. Every day at about 11 am this amplified busker would arrive and played very loudly for about six hours. Merchants on the street complained, customers complained but the guy just kept at it, I quit after three weeks..I would ban any amplified busking, it is just a nuisance


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Subject: RE: amplified buskers
From: Bonzo3legs
Date: 17 Apr 17 - 10:24 AM

I played electric guitar for a Morris side back in the 1980s before the era of modern busking amps. The problem we had was making an amp loud and undistorted enough on battery power. I bought a 50 watt power amp which required, I was told, 80 volts DC to work to full potential. After trying banks of largest size 9v batteries, which expired after 10 minutes, a fiend suggested using a couple of 12v motor bike batteries which could provide the high amount of current needed by the amp. That worked, and with a high gain preamp, provided plenty of undistorted volume which could be heard by the dancers over the noise of traffic.


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Subject: RE: amplified buskers
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 17 Apr 17 - 09:41 AM

I used to be of the opinion that it was not a good a good thing until I heard Ed Alleyne-Johnson in York.

Bear in mind that this is not backing tracks or any such but multi-tracking at it's best and impossible without amplification and electronic wizardry!

Cheers

DtG


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Subject: RE: amplified buskers
From: Jack Campin
Date: 17 Apr 17 - 09:36 AM

I'd like to go to Scotland. What's the situation? Do i need license? There's any problem with foregineople to get that license?

No licence or permit needed, except for a few locations like Edinburgh High Street during the Festival. And there are restrictions on using amplification in some places (rather randomly enforced).

But if the British Home Office has any say in the matter you won't get through border control to begin with. Make sure the immigration people don't get to know what you're intending to do.


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Subject: RE: amplified buskers
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 17 Apr 17 - 08:48 AM

entertaining is a funny job. everybody has some opinion as to how it should be done.

there are no rule books. the BBC believe you've got to have been to Cambridge and done footlights and the edinburgh fringe.

People who would have paroxyms of nerves doing the best mans speech at a wedding tell blokes playing the palladium and the O2 that they're crap.

You find people on mudcat who genuinely believe the folk clubs would be full - if we stuck to the Childe Ballads. There's some idiot slagging off Dylan at the moment saying he doesn't understand traditional music.

Dylan! whose first album introduced many of us to the traditional forms of his own country; who along with Pete Seeger employed traditional song forms to to articulate our feelings of helplessness in the Cold War period, when our middle class artists artists and poets like Francis Bacon and Philip Larkin were immersed in their own private angst.

I thank God i always got paid for music which I got paid a fee for - but there are some free spirits who need the open air - they're the expert on how its going to work - not the bloke watching.


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Subject: RE: amplified buskers
From: GUEST,DTM
Date: 17 Apr 17 - 07:19 AM

Amplification? I've no time for these plucking buskers. ;-)


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Subject: RE: amplified buskers
From: GUEST,Murmurrr
Date: 17 Apr 17 - 01:36 AM

I'm singer and i use audio tracks because I'm not a good player. I work as a singer since a long time with different kind of ensembles but as guitar player my level is very low. Now I'm going to travel around Europe alone and i need the tracks but i don't use any microphone.
When you say that you hate amps are you talking also about speakers?
By the way, I'd like to go to Scotland. What's the situation? Do i need license? There's any problem with foregineople to get that license?


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Subject: RE: amplified buskers
From: GUEST,Guest
Date: 10 Feb 14 - 01:05 PM

Given a choice between Panpipers playing Lloyd Webber and blokes in suits doing 'Rat Pack' I think I'd move cities.


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Subject: RE: amplified buskers
From: GUEST
Date: 31 Jan 14 - 06:52 PM

That's where MeetUp comes in.


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Subject: RE: amplified buskers
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 27 Jan 14 - 08:19 PM

Mr friends and I go busking in local Farmers' Markets just to liven up the ambiance. No amps or electricity required, anything from 4 to 14 of us in a good mix of instruments. We put out a collecting bucket to support our parent organisation, where most of us learned our instruments and tunes, as it has had it's own financial difficulties, to ensure the continuation of traditional music education in our area. Nobody ever takes any personal expenses, even those who have travelled some distance to take part. We get lots of positive feedback from the market traders and customers, and have eve persuaded a few to dust off the old fiddle or guitar and come to our organisation's classes.


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Subject: RE: amplified buskers
From: GUEST,Dave in Oz
Date: 27 Jan 14 - 03:50 PM

Brian James - excellent post.

I too am a swing/jazz/pop vocalist that leans a lot toward Sinatra and that genre. To do this a capella or even with a guitar or other solo instrument just doesn't work. You need the full Nelson Riddle or Count Basie behind you if you want to sound right. Don't get me wrong, I'm not suggesting or infering that I'm a Frank impersonator, but merely the songs from that era and that style of delivery is what is important (to me).

So I've got to use a small battery-powered amp. Like Brian, I introduce myself if near local shops etc, give them my card, tell them what I sing and ALWAYS ask them for their input. I tell them that it is difficult for me to judge the volume when I'm in back of the mic and amp, and so encourage them to let me know if it is too loud etc. And of course, I will ALWAYS comply, even if they suggest it is too loud and not suitable - I'll move on elsewhere.

It's all about keeping goodwill, and this courtesy has had me invited back on many occasions, even resulting in some private gigs!

Just last weekend I was busking and the manager of the markets asked me to return the following Saturday and that he'd provide mains power for me. This isn't so that I can be any louder than I was, but as he's a muso himself, he realized that I have "pro" equipment that makes me sound infinitely better than any battery kit can do. Really nothing more than a PA and condenser mics instead of dynamic mics. Understand this was offered by him, not by me asking! I wonder how many buskers here who "shun" the use of amps would react to this kind of an offer???

As for others busking in proximity, again it is all about courtesy and not "stepping on someone's toes" so to speak. I'll make sure I'm well enough away from any other performers primarily because I use amplification (tho very, very limited really), but also out of respect of their own art. I might even sound much better than they do, but this is their space and I've no right to infringe upon it. In much the same way as a local farmer wouldn't set up a fruit & veg stall outside his local grocers, one has to consider similar conditions when performing on the street and respect the rights of others, even if those rights are "grey area". Simple courtesy always wins, IMHO.

Just my two cents...

Dave


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Subject: RE: amplified buskers
From: GUEST,Brian James
Date: 10 Sep 13 - 08:06 PM

Probably going to upset many on here but I really hope not.

I am a big band, swing, easy listening and jazz singer I sing solo and with a 20 piece big band. I'm also a singer guitarist doing 60s style music in clubs.

I busk doing the big band swing, easy listening and jazz using amplification and backing (although well capable I don not want to do the 60s or guitar stuff on the street).

Three real points to make.

One is volume. Using an amplifier I have a volume control which can (and does) have the ability to turn down as well as up. I am ALWAYS quieter with my amplification against when I am singing with a live brass player.

Two is respect. If another artist (for yes, buskers are artists) is playing close by then I move on or wait. Many times I have sat with a coffee waiting for another artist to take a break before I set up a pitch (It has been known for me to wait, listen then contribute to them just for them to do the same when I start to sing). I also talk with them, find out how long they have been there or intend to be there. If they are not moving then I do, far enough away as to not be an issue. When I do find a pitch I ask the businesses around me to let me know if they are unhappy with the volume. If they are then I adjust or move on. I don't argue. I also try to find out the town centre manager if there is one (the one in Carlisle UK is Fred and he is a great character who WILL keep you right BUT is very fair and has given me some REALLY valuable advice on volume levels).

Getting everyone on side and being pleasant will always gain you more allies than enemies.

Three is that I don't pro-port to be anything other than a swing/jazz/easy listening singer. As a professional singer I am demonstrating and selling my art just as much as any other street performer and if this is the only way to do it then I have as much (or as little) right as any other street performer to ply my craft.

And yes I do gig through a Marshall!!! (lol)however, it is a small Marshall acoustic amp running off a battery & inverter. I used to use a smaller amp but it just distorted which sounded offensive, this at low volumes sounds clean and controlled and soooo much more acceptable to the public.

As an aside though, I believe that being a busker should mean that you are seen as a professional, you are being paid for your performance after all. Look the part (I sing swing...I dress to sing swing), have a wash!!!, comb your hair!!!, Have public Liability Insurance (£10M free in the UK if you are a Musicians Union member), insure your equipment (free in the UK if you are a Musicians Union member), have risk assessments and stick to them (drop me a line and I'll e-mail you a copy of mine brian@brian-james.org.uk), have your equipment PAT tested VERY regularly (yes, I know, if its run off batteries it doesn't NEED a PAT but it does no harm, may save a life AND keeps local councils VERY happy and may make a difference between them saying yea or nae.

AND KEEP SMILING!!


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Subject: RE: amplified buskers
From: Tim Leaning
Date: 24 May 12 - 04:30 AM

why would an amped up busker
be any more considerate
than the turn it up to number 11, bands
that play in the pubs and clubs?


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Subject: RE: amplified buskers
From: PHJim
Date: 24 May 12 - 12:10 AM

meself - What's the difference between a real busker and a fake busker? I have busked independently and in the context of a festival. I felt just as real in both instances. I have always been allowed to keep anything that was put in my case.

Back to the topic of amplified busking. I've never done it, but I could forgive this guy, even the drum machine seems unobtrusive.
Amplified busker


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Subject: RE: amplified buskers
From: greg stephens
Date: 23 May 12 - 01:42 PM

People seem to have managed to play guitars in the street quite reasonably well for hundreds(??) of years without amplifiers.Those that choose to so now get my money. Those that amplify that bit out of the Deerhunter don't.


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Subject: RE: amplified buskers
From: ollaimh
Date: 23 May 12 - 12:25 PM

i used to busk mostly without amplification. however some peopledo need it. classical guitarists can't be heard in publkic without ampflication. piano players can't regularily bring a full piano so they use electronic keyboards. yes some buskers do over do it, and many don't ubderstand that you make more money by creating an intimate connection to the udience rather than overwhelming them. unfortunately we do live in an age when people are used to and expect amplification in many situations. i remember playing a small folk festival in a small room venue and people were amazed i just puched away the amps and mikes and sang and played acoustically. if you can't be heard in a room of fifty people maybe you should reconsider your act? however when i play finger style guitar i need an amp on the street. i don't for harp, mandolin bouzouki and hurdy gurdt, if i pick good spots.

regulators tend to ban busking in subways and similar spots which is fine with me--adapt! except for classical guitarists and piano players their music shouldn't be pushed aside as they are among the most pleasant to hear and they need an amp on the street or in a subway.


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Subject: RE: amplified buskers
From: GUEST,FloraG
Date: 23 May 12 - 09:33 AM

I like the sound of a busker festival. Do they collect for charity or themselves? Is there anywhere in England that does this?
More info please.
FloraG


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Subject: RE: amplified buskers
From: oggie
Date: 23 May 12 - 02:07 AM

@Guest

There is amplification and there is amplification. If you can be heard 100 yards away, why? People that far away aren't going to put money in your hat!

Parliament Street/St Sampson's in York can support half a dozen buskers but if one of two acts set up in the centre then that is it, no-one else has a chance.

IMHO the most successful buskers are performers who can draw in and interact with the punters, it's hard to do that when you're so loud that no-one comes nearer than twenty yards!

Steve


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Subject: RE: amplified buskers
From: meself
Date: 23 May 12 - 02:01 AM

Don't get me started on Busker Festivals - the real buskers aren't allowed anywhere near them. If a Busker Festival is coming to Your Town, you might as well plan on a vacation.

(And yes, Guest, I would suggest you improvise over silence).


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Subject: RE: amplified buskers
From: PHJim
Date: 23 May 12 - 12:55 AM

In southern Ontario there are many towns and cities that have "Busking Festivals". Some places close the main street to traffic. Often they occur in conjunction with a sidewalk sale. Our town had a Buskers' Program sponsored by the Downtown Merchants Ass. that would pay buskers to busk in one spot for at least two hours. Toronto's subway has a busking program that you must audition for and carry your busking permit with you when busking.

Although the guitar is my most proficient instrument, I've found that I make far more money with a banjo, mandolin or Autoharp than with the guitar. It seems that no matter how good you are, you're just another guy with a guitar. Though it's not my most proficient instrument, the Autoharp has earned me the most money. Women buskers seem to do a lot better than guys too.

A while ago, GUEST,Chris B (Born Again Scouser) said,"If you can afford the gear you don't need my money." Maybe I'll try that line on my plumber.


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Subject: RE: amplified buskers
From: GUEST
Date: 22 May 12 - 11:11 PM

so, to the guys complaining about amps...I play violin, jazz standards and django...are you suggesting I should improvise over silence? I wonder how good one would have to be to recognize an improvisation over, say, Funny Valentine, or, Limehouse Blues? There are those of us who are not singers with a guitar and three chords and a bunch of Beatles songs (MIAOWW! :-)) for whom amplification is essential...
I don't blast it, in fact, have been blasted off the street by accordian players with no respect for the "laws" that every true busker knows and respects...
may the 4th be with you! :-)
ps..anyone any idea why it's called Street Performance when there are festvials on, and Busking when not? :-) ha ha!


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Subject: RE: amplified buskers
From: GUEST
Date: 09 May 11 - 11:41 AM

9th May 2011
In August 2009 I busked in Edinburgh centre using a Peavey solo. I had made backtracks of simple drums and bass lines for blues standards, and played lead guitar or harp. I set the levels in my garden using a decibel sound level meter to match me playing my acoustic guitar. I had no complaints about noise and could ease the volume up or down, according to background noise. But no matter how hard I tried to be caring of others the bastard Pan Pipe bands just overwhelmed everything. If they come from such beautiful and mystical places why don't they bugger off back to them.
                                    Fletch


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Subject: RE: amplified buskers
From: GUEST,fatsoslim
Date: 15 Feb 11 - 01:13 PM

Im an Amplfied (SHOCK HORROR) busker.which if you came from another planet and read most of these posts,it would be akin to the Mass murder of children.Times move on and with the emergance of the Begger/busker the faster pace of life ect ITS NEEDED,as for "its a shame for the ones who "can't afford" amps,if they did'nt spend it on booze dope ect,maybe they would be able to.I think most of these comments are from people who feel buskers should be seen & not heard OK in 1966 but not now.Another point regarding volume sax, trumpet bagpipes ect are as loud as an amp but a full time guitar singer(not a student fannying around at weekend for a laugh)would Knacker his voice up big time in no time.I've found that when these pureist come moaning cos they aint got an amp im ready for going anyway cos its usually 2;30 and they have just dragged thereselves out off bed
    Signed..The Evil amplfied One...LIGHTEN UP MISERY GUTS!!!!


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Subject: RE: amplified buskers
From: Bernard
Date: 09 Aug 10 - 07:24 AM

Agreed, there can be justification for using amplification. Sadly there are some around who have very little skill and just use an amplifier to emphasise the point a little too loudly.

Using a looper is a clever trick that needs practice to successfully carry it off, and was originally pioneered by Les Paul, as I remember. Clearly it cannot be done without an amplifier!

Used tastefully, I can see no problem.


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Subject: RE: amplified buskers
From: GUEST,wcruz
Date: 08 Aug 10 - 10:35 PM

Came up from busking through homelessness and catastrophic illness with my loud booming voice, my aggressive strumming, and my cornet.   

I found that when I had made enough money to buy myself an amp, my earnings doubled. Along the way, I keep adding to my kit, using a looper now to lay down a guitar track I can play the trumpet over.

It's not about drowning other's out, it's about creating the best music and sound that you can in order to make as much as you can. So you can keep a roof over your head, and food in your belly.


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Subject: RE: amplified buskers
From: greg stephens
Date: 31 Jul 10 - 10:19 AM

Well I am pretty clear what I mean by amplified. I mean using an amplifier.


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Subject: RE: amplified buskers
From: GUEST,999
Date: 31 Jul 10 - 09:22 AM

I would suggest that I`d like to be clear on what is meant by amplified. If ya mean `can be heard three blocks away`, then I think that sucks. Much the way I deplore those stupid shits who have a pounding bass and inane lyrics and the whole fuckin` city can hear `em. Usually they are driving vehicles.


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Subject: RE: amplified buskers
From: Bobert
Date: 30 Jul 10 - 07:51 PM

Hey, like the real sound guys say, "Fill up the space and no more..."... Busking isn't like some exhibitionist thing... So, hey, if yer space is only 20 to 30 feet deep and you need a little amplification to fill it then do it... Nice little 7 watt battery operated Pevey do just fine... Don't need no Marshall stack...

Music and martial arts is similar that way... Minimum force to get the job done...

B~


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Subject: RE: amplified buskers
From: GUEST,Robz J
Date: 30 Jul 10 - 07:39 PM

To Oggie: know the work of Ed Alleyne Johnson well & can honestly say that he is the NO.1 inspiration for me to not only take up busking to help support my relocation to Toulouse (also plan to teach spoken English out there) but also Ed's work inspired me to use LOOPING of phrases ... which ultimately would not be possible without some kind of (small) amplifier.
.
I'm an electric violin player like Ed by the way. Can understand that things can get TOO LOUD sometimes with some acts >> but then i know acoustic musicians who are loud to the point of SHOUTING almost.
.
Interesting point about the selling of CDs Oggie ... good potential in that if allowed to do so >>> & like any other aspect of busking life it requires the public ultimately to "buy" the entertainment value of your act; so maybe it's time to get our act together then ? But we shouldn't forget that we live in modern /or technological times i feel ...


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Subject: RE: amplified buskers
From: oggie
Date: 24 Aug 08 - 05:42 PM

"In Chester there are many Buskers, a few are amplified, Andy Martin, which I'm sure a couple of you know is one of them and so is Ed Alleyne Johnson, if you don't know Ed Alleyne, he used to be in the band New Model Army, a folk rock band that used violin instead of lead guitar in their songs, he performs full accompaniments and concertos on just one violin with the aid of footpedals to change the style of the strings and to record and playback playloops which he then plays over, it's amazing to watch and totally captulating to listen to, if you don't like Amplified Busking may I offer you to come to Chester and listen to Ed Alleyne Johnson, you may change you perpective after listening to him."

Ed no longer plays in Chester as they wouldn't grant him a Street Trading Licence to sell his CDs (his main source of income). Very few places will so he now plays in York. He is brilliant, he is also a considerate musician who follows the local code of practice which is don't play so loud that you can be heard more than fifty yards away, don't set up when someone else is playng and don't hog a pitch for more than two hours if someone else wishes to play there.

York splits between amp allowed pitches (Parliament Street and St Sampsons) and acoustic only (the Minster and the rest of the pedestrian areas).

Steve


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Subject: RE: amplified buskers
From: GUEST,Luke Fictitious
Date: 24 Aug 08 - 04:40 PM

although it has been awhile since i've done any busking. {although i might just go out and do a bit more sometime} I need to enlighten many of you. Often a muscian can simply not be heard without amplification. And if you cannot be heard no one will give you any money. The times I did play without amplification {becaause it was not allowed where i was playing seattle}I would sometimes talk to people and say hey listen to this and stand a couple of inches away from them so they could hear. This was solo acoustic guitar without strumming. If I sang my voice was too loud for the guitar.Backing tracks look the way of now and future people are way spoiled on big budget music. My own thoughts on rock lead guitar cranked up in New York city was wow this sounds better than all those cars and buses driving by.London? well you mean I really have to get a lincense for spare change?


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Subject: RE: amplified buskers
From: GUEST,johnny boy
Date: 06 Jan 08 - 04:01 PM

my god-ive yet to come across a more narrow minded bunch than the many 'artists' bemoaning amplified buskers as if they were the devils spawn itself.pathetic.when ive busked its been acoustic-next time might take an amp-big bloody deal.get over yourselves!


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Subject: RE: amplified buskers
From: alanabit
Date: 01 Jul 07 - 12:02 PM

I suppose we are back to semantics. If I am an anarchist, libertarian or whatever, I hope I am not a very strident one. I am not a fan of complete chaos, but I do have an instinctive trust in most people to reach sensible compromises. I see powerful authority as being a necessary evil, but only for those situations in which people are unable to achieve that.
At any rate Peter, your final statement is one, which I thoroughly endorse. It is all part of the fast buck, quick profit mentality, which I see as the curse of our age. I have been a busker for over a quarter of a century now. Although the greedy buskers and the bullies have left devastation in their wake, they have profited very little from it. They have few friends among the buskers and they can not return anywhere. They rarely stay in business for more than a couple of years.


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Subject: RE: amplified buskers
From: Midchuck
Date: 01 Jul 07 - 10:23 AM

Alan, with respect, I think you're a libertarian, not an anarchist, at heart.

Anarchists oppose government because they think chaos is somehow desireable. Libertarians oppose government because it doesn't work very well, due to the inevitable corruption of power, and because people ought to be able to achieve an orderly society simply by everyone acting intelligently - quite selfishly, but in their own long term self-interest.

I think the loud, amplified, buskers are the anarchists. They're at risk of creating a noise war that will drive away the audience, or get all buskers banned, or both. Acting contrary to their own long term self interest.

Or so it seems to me, from the outside.

Peter


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Subject: RE: amplified buskers
From: alanabit
Date: 01 Jul 07 - 07:10 AM

I can quite understand you fighting back Breezy. My only concern is that when the loud, amplified buskers establish their presence in town, what tends to happen, is that all buskers get banned.
It is one of the downsides of being a busker. We are anarchists at heart. This is fine up to a point, because as long as we are seen as benign, public and authorities alike tend to regard us as harmless eccentrics. The down side is that as anarchists, there is no body to negotiate with for the town/city fathers, even if they are so minded. The blanket bans on buskers are often partly a result of this. I believe that those who use excessive amplification do not really care at all about the long term future of busking. In that respect, their mentality is very little different to that of the beggars, who simply regard it as an easy way of getting money.


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Subject: RE: amplified buskers
From: breezy
Date: 01 Jul 07 - 06:14 AM

Hello Alan, good points.

I can empathise with sore cheeks, when I experienced the same situation I just chatted to him for a long time ! He never reappeared.

to combat the Pan pipers I have opted to strum in B minor , smile and

Yes i have joined the ranks of the 'reinforced sound' brigade using portable Vox DA5 amp with input for mike runs on 6 batts but I dont use the voice head mike unless I have to and I keep the volume down so as not to be intrusive and theres lots of toys on it £120, highly recommended

however, if I need reinforcements, well I can call on a sofisticated buddy to assist on Sax, and we point it at any other intruders, naughty , but useful

Generally its no amps until required


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Subject: RE: amplified buskers
From: alanabit
Date: 01 Jul 07 - 05:38 AM

Woodsie: Please go back and read the previous posts on this and other busking threads. I do not like amplified busking either, but you seem to be falling into the redundant cliche´ identifying busking as a fast buck for beggars. Had you ever seen good buskers, you would know that to be nonsense.


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Subject: RE: amplified buskers
From: GUEST,woodsie
Date: 01 Jul 07 - 03:55 AM

Why should I give money to some bloke playing a fender through some expensive electro gadget? I thought busking was what poor unfortunate souls did to earn a crust.


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Subject: RE: amplified buskers
From: GUEST,sore cheeks
Date: 01 Jul 07 - 02:54 AM

I've had my fill of being out-volumed by those who've decided they are in the right to tromp on other folks playing acoustically simply because they can do so via their amplified volume. Today it was some guy with, not one, but two 50 watt amps pointed in my direction. I approached the individual to make my concerns known and as always was greeted by the indifference that seems to go hand in hand with those who engage in such activities. What is it with these guys?! They use the volume of their instruments as a weapon to oppress those with instruments of lesser acoustic volume. It's a very gang-like method of bullying other musicians.

This has happened to me on many occasions. When I've approached these bullies to express my lack of appreciation for the way they were treating me and what I was trying to do acoustically nearby, I was lectured by those listening to these usurpers of the available listening environment and treated as if I was the one creating the trouble. In each case the person drawing too near to where I was trying to perform acoustically and creating the louder sound, either via amplification or simply with a much louder instrument, like a drum, a horn, pipes etc. refused to recognize that I was in the area first and that what they were doing was actually intruding on what I was there doing. They selfishly and stubbornly refused to quit playing or move to another location where their volume would be less intrusive and expressed a rude and smarmy attitude about what they were doing. Never has any one of them admitted their insensitivity or lack of judgement in the matter.

Should I lower myself to their level and do exactly the same thing to them? Perhaps I should stand too close to them and disrupt their ability to play by playing my stuff too close to where they are trying to perform. I really hate to get into a turf war with these dimwits but it seems that's the only way to get through to them. There's simply no sense of the concept of compassion for others in their tiny minds. Turning the other cheek by walking away and allowing these bullies to continue to win via their unjust actions is getting a little old. What are my options? I'm running out of cheeks to turn and my cheeks are getting sore.

sore cheeks


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Subject: RE: amplified buskers
From: GUEST,Harry Merkin
Date: 17 Mar 07 - 10:24 AM

How many bluegrass musicians does it take to change a lightbulb?

Seven, One to change it and six to complain that it's electric.


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Subject: RE: amplified buskers
From: Paco Rabanne
Date: 23 Feb 07 - 04:49 AM

Hi Dave and Scrump,
                   ! I have quite a few flamenco things next month where the rooms are just the teensiest too big for an un-amplified guitar, and I can't be arsed to haul a normal sized amp around with me. I might busk a bit in Whitby next friday with it though.


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Subject: RE: amplified buskers
From: The Sandman
Date: 23 Feb 07 - 04:48 AM

WhenI busk I never use amplification,it is imperative to have the goodwill of local shopkeepers.
Inever busk for more than an hour without a break[it gives the shopkeepers a break too]
my voice is loud enough, that like Margaret Barry I dont need amplification.
when busking a very good trick is to stand in an alleyway with wooden doors the wood,and the closed walls act like a microphone .


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Subject: RE: amplified buskers
From: Scrump
Date: 23 Feb 07 - 03:51 AM

But is is folk?

... I'll get me coat, and me cap, and me guitar, and me amp...


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Subject: RE: amplified buskers
From: Sttaw Legend
Date: 23 Feb 07 - 03:48 AM

Will you be busking in the local village Paco?


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Subject: RE: amplified buskers
From: Paco Rabanne
Date: 23 Feb 07 - 03:43 AM

What a small world! Only yesterday I ordered a Fender amp can.


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Subject: RE: amplified buskers
From: Alec
Date: 23 Feb 07 - 03:32 AM

I like that story Ruth.Indeed in many respects I think I prefer his lyrics.
Addressing the issue raised by this thread,though I can see why some Buskers would see some amplification as being a requirement on some occasions at some locations, I think the objective ought to be "as little as possible" with the optimum amount being considered as none.


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Subject: RE: amplified buskers
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 23 Feb 07 - 03:20 AM

We had a busker outside in the marketplace on market day the other week. He was on guitar, amplified, and we could hear him clear as day inside the foyer of the town hall.

It quickly became clear that English was not his first language, and I'm afraid that the amplification made his mangling of the lyrics even more evident.

The box office staff and I were nearly wetting ourselves, particularly as he crucified Dire Straits' Romeo and Juliet:

"SHOOOliet, nedise was olded frommesssart
Bummibet, an you essoded immiheart..."

Ooooh, but we were entertained! And at least it wasn't flippin' pan pipes...


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Subject: RE: amplified buskers
From: Muttley
Date: 23 Feb 07 - 02:01 AM

There was a busker here in Boronia (outer eastern Melbourne) who used to busk with guitar and amp. I have a feeling he thought of himself as a latter-day Carlos Santana the way he used to over-emphasise his sibilants: Trouble was, for someone who owned the quality of instrument and accoutrements - he was REALLY average and frequently out of tune with what he was playing. Didn't make a lot - and I make it a point NOT to give to a busker I can hear pretty clearly from 150 yards away.

He left after about 6 - 8 months. Another turned up even louder, made even less amd left even quicker.

I tend to agree with Alanabit - a busker who works hard does deserve what he or she receives in gratuity from listeners. However - Marion says . . . who works hard to do their jobs well . . . I'm not sure about "well" but at least the best they CAN do. As a disabled musician who cannot recall chord progressions due to head injury and occasional chording or strumming or timing obscenities due to the hands not listening to the brain on that day; I simply try my best.
I do advertise I have an ABI - but not to arouse sympathy - I do so because I also have a pile of pamphlets nearby explaining what ABI is and the fact that 10% of what I get goes to the Brain Foundation.

I work a bloody sight harder than a lot of buskers I've seen - and many of them without disabilities and a lot better than me. However - do i "deserve" what I'm paid ........ DON'T KNOW. Am I appreciative of what I receive? Abso-bloody-lutely.

And one thing that makes my entertaining SO much harder is some bastard 50 yards away who can be heard more clearly than ME by people watching/passing ME!

Muttley


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