Is it worth being a busker?

June 4, 2011 9:53pm CST
If you have ever busked? Is Busking really worth it in the end? What if I am traveling, Canada? I am starting to learn how to play an acoustic flamenco guitar and live in British Columbia. I am contemplating buying a busking lisence and traveling South America. Playing the guitar is hard!
1 person likes this
3 responses
@yanzalong (10171)
• Indonesia
7 Feb 12
Many buskers became movie stars in the end, you see. They were really skilled at playing the guitar and had beautiful voice.
@CarlHalling (3629)
• United Kingdom
5 Jun 11
Yes, I have busked in London with a partner, but only once. I'm really not an expert at all: but; I think if you have a very strong act that can draw crowds, and are given a good and regular "pitch", busking can be worth it financially if the work is put in. Otherwise, I'm not sure. But it could be fun, and is surely an incredibly efficient way of overcoming nerves concerning performing in front of people. If you can busk; alone, in front of people...I'd say you can pretty well perform anywhere. It seems to me also to be a good way of building up a strong repertore of songs: you really have to know your material if you are going to busk. Also, a busker could write a few of their own songs, and slip them in. Financially, I really can't say...but in terms of practice; of getting good on the guitar; and buidling up a good body of songs: I think it can be very good experience. Good luck!
@thyst07 (2091)
• United States
5 Jun 11
Whether or not busking is worth it depends on where you go, what kinds of performance you do, and what kinds of audiences you play to. In some places, busking is outright illegal. In other places, you have to have a license or permit, and sometimes the cost isn't worth it. I think in most places, you have to have a high level of performance to make any money by busking. Your music needs to be top notch, but you also need a level of showmanship that makes your performance different or notable. Otherwise, people will just walk right past. Another issue, depending on where you go, is that a lot of people rely on their credit or debit cards and fewer people carry cash. I worked through a street performing agency for a summer in a tourist district, and while the pay through the agency was good, I made relatively few tips because people simply didn't have cash on them. In my opinion, it's a fun way to bring in a little extra money but in most places I don't think you could make a living on it.