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Music is way, way , way bigger than minor economics/pocket change/money. To be able to freely express oneself, either indoors or out, in a park or on the street, is a blessing. Some countries you can, some you can’t. Similarly some neighbourhoods you can and as we’ve heard some it’s to dangerous. Some humans like to partake in Street Performance and some don’t. That’s all ok, isn’t it? Let each be to their own. Let the joy of music be shared and spread. Let the music go on, and on, and on, anywhere, any time. Also do please realise that anyone here, or anywhere for that matter, who gets joy administering flippant, judgmental, derogatory projections, needs to be aware that such small egoic pleasures don’t get browny points in the bigger scheme of existence. One who has the privilege to learn and play music, having the privilege to be able to perform at what ever level, sharing with others, baring an emotional state, happy or not, is truly blessed. What a privilege, what entitlement, what a prerogative. So so lucky this person is. Enjoy the musical journey, shun all negative thoughts, all negative vibes, going about sharing your musical gift with all your brothers and sisters of the planet. What a wonderful place to be in life, don’t you think?
 

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I play a YTS-23 beater horn I got of craigslist. If some street kids give me grief. I will not hesitate to bury the bow in their skull, and waste the horn on them.
A truly new take on what it means for a horn to be deemed a "beater".

To be able to freely express oneself, either indoors or out, in a park or on the street, is a blessing.
Sure it is. But as it's a public park, you should be mindful of the sensibilities of others. And of course be ready to bash their heads in...
 

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A truly new take on what it means for a horn to be deemed a "beater".


Sure it is. But as it's a public park, you should be mindful of the sensibilities of others. And of course be ready to bash their heads in...
Backing tracks for public performance?

Ask yourself: What would Sonny do?
 

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I actually talked to Sonny about playing. He said it was like a meditation. For all these years I thought he meant playing the horn a form of meditation. Last week I was playing Sonny Tunes and replayed the encounter in my mind. He meant playing the horn IS the meditation... not like it. Sonny is not playing any more, hard to wrap my head around that. I try to play something for him every day. Another thing he told me was; " I have to play every day Man."

One of the things that has continued to blow my mind and amaze me. Oh no, I used one of the dreaded A words, Awesome and Amazing. Child birth is amazing, awesome... The Grand Canyon is awesome! It ain't awesome or amazing when you hand a cashier money at the check out stand, or open a door for someone. At first I didn't think it was happening, but then I began to notice beyond any doubt. When I got in the Zone... just channeling the stuff out, people will give me money. I'm listening to what is coming out, relaxing, sitting on my air column, trying to fill the up horn. Make a beautiful sound. Trying... to make a beautiful sound. Bingo.

When I'm in that little pocket, generally, my eyes are closed to keep from being distracted. Someone will stop to give me money. It never fails. Too many times, I look down and there are bills, I never saw them. I try to acknowledge donations by playing for them a bit.... until I close my eyes to dive back in. Sometimes I get a little annoyed. I want to be in the Zone... leave me alone people!! hahaha

I'm a City kid. I came up in the Mission in San Francisco, worked all over the Bay Area. Had a construction business in the Barrio in Redwood City for 17 years. The only place in the country that has a gunshot locator system, my neighbors ware all Mexican Cartel relatives... at war with the black crack dealers, and the trailer trash meth lords. Was the murder capital in the US for a few years in the '90s. I got drafted in the Army, they trained me how to kill people and blow stuff up. Portland Orygun? Portland ain't ghetto. Yet. It's is trying really hard... huge increase in gun violence since the pandemic.

But the money thing... it's about them, not me. They don't have to give me money. Why? All my street cash is being saved an a paper shopping bag... to get my Mark VI out of the shop.

Anybody hear the Kingfish? I saw Chris when he was 16 years old. He finally put out a CD. I think he is only 22 now. My favorite line;

Just trying to fly, not die,,,

Before I’m old!

Christone Ingram

I gotta go play. I don't need money. I'm trying to live the kind of life money can't buy.
 

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Call me extreme but I personally feel that only music created right there and then is acceptable for busking.

To put it bluntly.. To me busking with backing tracks is like hijacking public space with canned noise. I wouldn't want it to become any more culturally accepted to blast music from cellphones and bluetooth speakers in public spaces. Expecting other people to enjoy whatever it is that you like to listen is somewhat arrogant, and noodling on top doesn't make it much better.

Making solo sax work as a performance for extended periods of time is hard as hell with no supporting instruments or tracks. If one sees that as an impossible challenge (perfectly understandable, and certainly yours truly feels that way), luckily there are multitude of relatively fun, cheap easy ways to create your own "support tracks" on the fly. Samplers, loopers, drum machines, drum pads, synths etc, go wild!
 

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A truly new take on what it means for a horn to be deemed a "beater".


Sure it is. But as it's a public park, you should be mindful of the sensibilities of others. And of course be ready to bash their heads in...
Yeah it’s all about being mindful in life, I’m sure every one understands this. If performing in public, be very aware of your surroundings, negatively impacting on others isn’t the way. Always endeavour in creating truth, goodness and beauty. Satyam Shivam Sundaram. Then all will be taken care of. No head bashing will be required. A situation of such negative force will by pass you by the grace of the positive vibes. How wonderful are the laws of the universe. The greatest tenor man who ever lived, Mr John Coltrane new all about these laws, he was totally aware of Truth Goodness & Beauty. That was all that emanated from his horn and I’m sure his personal affairs. Ask and you shall receive. Give out the truth, give out the good, and give out the beauty. A real life is a happy life no matter what. All the great teachers who walked the earth pointed to walking one’s journey in this fashion. Give it a go, why not? What’s there to loose brothers and sisters?
 

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Backing tracks are offensive, like those plastic bucket bangers. When walking down the street, it is wonderful to hear just the saxophone in the distance like a mating call.
 

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[QUOTE="EflatBflat,
When walking down the street, it is wonderful to hear just the saxophone in the distance like a mating call.
[/QUOTE]
“Like a mating call” this is definitely the tile of an a Capella sax album.

I agree with you completely, imagine just Trane on the street corner. How wonderful, just Trane.
 

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My partner/GF has worked up a solo set of electro backing tracks she's produced over which she plays/jams bari sax, and people are loving it; she's been doing great busking this stuff around the various city locales.
Check it:
#Synthotronica.


Is it good?
Ask the family with kids dancing along...

Cheers

B.S.
 

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Grumps said No, if you're going to essentially beg on the street, you ought to be able to do it without bringing your radio along.
😎 begging ?
Yo grumps I busk at same location the last 7 years. It’s all I do. No backing tracks ever. Just me and my tenor . 2 hours later I got 2 hundred bucks. Some times more! I’m begging? Really? I’ve worked hard at “begging “ I make more money than most of the musicians do in the clubs on the street where I play. Friday night is my gig starting about 930pm I’ll let you know later how I did begging.
 

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Last year there were riots, the downtown was boarded up. This year it was mostly deserted during the week, spooky scary. Nobody to busk for, businesses struggling, lot's of homeless people. But now that it is warm and some tourist are coming back, I have been on the streets and along the river on the Esplanade, almost every day.

About seven years ago I got beat up pretty bad at 2:30 in the afternoon. Then I was attacked by drunks and a a crazy guy with a tree branch the size of a baseball bat. A week later he buried a claw hammer in a man's head as he pumped gas two blocks away. Off his meds, now in the State Hospital in a straight jacket. Saw it on the news.

In the last few months, it seems like every musician who was sitting in their rooms for a year decided to busk on the Explanade on both side of the river. There are some insanely good players in every style and instrument. Some classical players with music stands, but mostly burning the stuff down from memory.

There was a young lady playing a Viola with a pickup. She had really wide ranging material, lots of chops, beautiful tone. She had a pick-up, small amp and a pedal board. She was looping like mad. As good playing the amp as she was an instrumentalist. But after a while I wished she would just play something straight no effects.

No, no backing tracks for me. It's just stuff to fool with, break or get stolen. I have a tune list, different keys, different forms. I play it down one way one day, and reverse the next. Over time I have arranged intros, then head, one or two choruses of solo, head and segue into the next tune. I never stop, and never look at people.

I play a YTS-23 beater horn I got of craigslist. If some street kids give me grief. I will not hesitate to bury the bow in their skull, and waste the horn on them.

Things have changed, people have changed,and it's not changing back. I got so many compliments today, and people who stop to talk with me, who become so emotional... They feel a burning desire to tell me how the image of the lone sax guy... me self-absorbed spinning out jazz standards... somehow resonates with them. I ignore them with all my might... of I will stand there all day listening to BS.

Making crazy money. Especially women. I am blown away when seriously hot girls and women, of all ages give me money with big grins on their faces, and gunuine enthusiasm. If I was standing there by myself... old white guy in T-**** and jeans, looking like a pervert... not one women would ever even look at me until the end of time. But the horn is a perfect cover for being a old perv... and getting money for it.

I love playing my Trilly-Bluesy Cannonbal lick... so nasty that if you said it in words, you would get your face slapped.

I took my neck off, unstrapped the horn and laid it in the case. I walked down the Esplanade twenty feet to fill my water bottle at a drinking fountain. Turned arund to see a guy on a bike stop and scoop the horn case up! What an idiot. Nicely dressed, nice bike... ***? He rides right up to me, so and I grab the case. It's still open the stack is sticking out. Why did you feel like you needed to touch my horn man? He goes; I was going to find the owner. Well you found him. He said; Prove its yours.

As much as your miserable like is in danger right now... I'm not going to hurt you. He wasn't a complete fool.

Lucky guy. I was so enraged, so adreniline pumped... he would have had a Yamaha logo pressed into his forehead backwards. Maybe I should rethink this. How much does a busking amp weigh? I could waste an amp and not fee bad about it.
Great stories. You are a writer as well as a musician. Blessing to you from the UK.
 

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My partner/GF has worked up a solo set of electro backing tracks she's produced over which she plays/jams bari sax, and people are loving it; she's been doing great busking this stuff around the various city locales.
Check it:
#Synthotronica.


Is it good?
Ask the family with kids dancing along...

Cheers

B.S.
How wonderful. Your a lucky partner BF to have such girl with great talent and great energy. She’s doin the GIVE Out The Music
Soooo good brother. Thank you my friend.
 

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Call me extreme but I personally feel that only music created right there and then is acceptable for busking.
I have noticed that musicians who busk to backing tracks just don't thrill me or others who stop and listen. Most stop for a few seconds and move on. There's a street in Galway where buskers seem to be in the middle of every block. The few who play to backing tracks don't get the attention as those who play "naked". The same in Dublin (at least that's the case in front of the H&S department store in the same walking mall where the statue of The Tart with the Cart is located. (Molly Malone),

In Grand Central Station (New York), musicians are allowed fifteen minutes to play, then they have to move on. Nobody plays with backing tracks. They don't need to use them because only the really good musicians set up to play. (They may be required to be licensed or be granted permission to set up and probably aren't allowed to use tracks). Though people are rushing through the station to catch subways, people do stop for a few seconds and (surprisingly) do throw money in the musicians' cases.

In my hometown of New Orleans, we called them "street musicians" (though the term "busker" seems to have caught on in the states in recent years). When I visit home, I notice that the few who busk on Royal Street and other areas where they're allowed don't get the same amount of attention as the musicians who play naked.

Several years ago,I attended a rather large charity event where I live now. It cost something like $150.00 per plate for guests . There were also corporate sponsors, so with ~800 people in attendance (black tie, evening dresses), there was a fair amount of money sunk into the event. I couldn't believe it when the "band" turned out to be a lone saxophonist playing to backing tracks. He received scant attention and very little applause at the end of each tune.

There are a couple of people where I live now who are hired to play steel drums with backing tracks. Interestingly, despite the novelty, they draw almost no applause. The two or three times that I've attended functions where they played, I stood close by to watch them play. I wasn't convinced that they were actually playing.

I think that the reason why backing tracks detract from street performance is because the audiences either aren't convinced that they're actually playing or they regard them as they would canned music.
 

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It take some guts to do basking.
Some people sound good on their own, some are not at that level, so they need some backing. I don't see a problem.
Either way, it help to build confidence in performing in front of people.
They are not beggars, they offered services for money.
One day I may gather some courage and do it myself. The only thing stepping me from doing it are these "beggars" comments.
 

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It take some guts to do basking.
Some people sound good on their own, some are not at that level, so they need some backing. I don't see a problem.
Either way, it help to build confidence in performing in front of people.
They are not beggars, they offered services for money.
One day I may gather some courage and do it myself. The only thing stepping me from doing it are these "beggars" comments.
Here’s an idea that might work for you brother. Get outdoors and play, an open space, any open space where there are no buildings. No sound bouncing back. Play 1 tune, say “All the things you are”. Play the Head, Chord Arpeggios, chord scales etc. Keep drilling it for the whole hour. Turn up to that place as often as you can for just one hour each time. Just work on that one tune. It might take days, weeks or months or a year or two. Once you know it back to front, inside out, up side down, ya ready. Go find a spot down town that has buildings to have your sax bounce off and play that one tune for one hour. You’ll love it, so will others. Hint, don’t stand where you can be over powering right in front of a shop. The shop keeper might not appreciate it. I find obscure quieter traffic areas best. Locations that normally don’t have any strew performers. Good luck brother.
 

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I see no problem with using an amp or whatever while busking.
I always leave a tip for a busker - no matter how good or bad the music. I figure they deserve to be rewarded for their effort.
 

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Grumps, "beg for money" ?
What a sad, cheap comment...
You're in the street looking for handouts doing a job no one hired you for. Having an instrument in your hands doesn't make it art. It just distinguishes you from those more honest in their intentions. Taking offense at such reality is your choice.
 

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Well qualified:
The buskers are dishonest in their intentions
If they are basking, they are not artists
Artists are only the ones who are hired by someone.

Looking forward to more of your wisdom.
 
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