Busking 101 - A No-nonsense Guide on How to Profit from your Skills

Published 30 Sep, 2019


If you want to make money you must choose your location wisely - the traffic must be relatively busy. Hopefully you want to be comfortable and sound good right? Then the location you pick must be preferably undercover (for reverb) and have some kind of wind block (for lack of interference with sound). Obviously this is dependant on whether you play an acoustic instrument and what the weather is like that day- having a wind block is unimportant on a fine and still day. 


A lot of people will tell you to play familiar tunes that everyone knows. I try to do this to an extent but mostly just play the music I enjoy because the sad fact is most people don’t really listen and will tell you it’s amazing no matter what you do.. and maybe even tell you about how they used to play the recorder in grade prep. It’s definitely important to take note of what pieces/songs get the big cash money so you can whip them out when things are slow. Bohemian Rhapsody anyone?


I have seen some people who would get dressed up in very formal attire for the spectacle. For me I always kept it as casual as possible. I think it’s important to look 50% more impoverished than you actually are to increase your chances of income. 


If you are busking Monday-Friday, it’s good to go during the office lunch break (12-1ish) or after 5pm when they clock off. However if you are busking in the afternoon, going anytime after 10am is generally good. Taking school holidays into consideration is also important, because every day becomes a weekend!


By Hank Williamson