How to Become a Street Musician Busker

Having been a professional street musician for over 6 years, and having travelled all over the UK, Ireland and Europe doing it, I’ve been asked many times how to become a street musician or busker. So here’s some advice.

1. You need to come up with a good act

You need to come up with either a new and original act (which is very hard but will go down well if you can) or a different spin on an existing act. Busking is very competitive so you need to stand out from the crowd. Busking isn’t always about being the best, it’s about putting on the best show.

2. You need to think of your pitch

A pitch doesn’t have to be a corner in the street, it could be inside a shopping centre or outside your local supermarket – anywhere that people walk past regularly and have time to stop and watch (and hopefully listen). If you are going to do it on the streets then try not to do the same pitch as everyone else – find somewhere that works for you.

Welcome to! This web site is dedicated to buskers, street musicians, and other people interested in performance art on the streets. The site contains a lot of information about street music in the form of articles and blog posts. Do you have something you’d like to contribute? Send an e-mail with your article or post. We’ll be happy to publish it here at

If you want to start busking as a street musician and want to know how to get started, this article will give you some tips. I’ll tell you what it takes to become a busker, how and where to get started, and how much money you can expect to make by playing music on the street.

First of all, let me tell you the good news: it’s never been easier to start making money as a street musician! Playing music on the street has probably been around for thousands of years but only during the last decade have we seen a real increase in the number of locations where busking is allowed in public spaces. And it’s not only about money; it’s also about freedom and creativity. Expressing yourself as a busker can be an incredibly satisfying experience that helps you develop as an artist (or a

A Beginner’s Guide to the street music business.

To the general public the world of street music is something of a closed book. The average person on the street may cross paths with a busker in action or pass one practising in a doorway, but rarely does anyone get a chance to meet someone who has chosen this way of life and find out what it is all about.

This blog is intended to let you take a peek inside this “secret society”. I will tell you how I started, what it takes to run a successful busking act and what challenges lie ahead if you choose to follow this path. In addition to my own experience I will also interview some of my fellow street musicians.

We are not your everyday jobbing musicians, some of us have been involved with the business for decades, others have only just started out. We all share a love of music and performance and have dedicated our lives to it. This may mean that we do not have the luxuries that many others might take for granted: cars, big houses or nice holidays abroad, but we make up for this by being able to produce smiles on people’s faces wherever we go which makes every day an adventure.

I’m starting this blog as a series of articles about busking and street performing. It will be a collection of my thoughts and experiences on the subject and hopefully some helpful hints for anyone thinking of starting up.

I’ve been playing guitar for about six years now, and have been busking for about three or four years. I built up a repertoire of over 200 songs from all sorts of musical genres (rock, pop, folk, blues, jazz, country etc) and I feel like I can play pretty much anything by ear. I’ve played in bands and have gigged before but never really made any money at it.

Busking is easier than you think. The first time I went out to play on the street with my guitar I was very nervous and thought that everyone would hate me and throw things at me! In fact quite the opposite happened – people were very kind. They gave me lots of money (well they gave me two pounds forty five pence!) but in the first half an hour I had made more money than I had ever done playing in a band!

Want to be a street musician? It’s more than just playing a few songs. Learn the tips and tricks that will help you make the most money.

1. Choose your spot wisely

You can expect to make $200 in one hour during a weekend day, or $100 during a weekday in a good location. Try to find a place that’s got high foot traffic but is low on competition. You want to be near other buskers, but not so close that you’re competing for listeners. If there are four other guitarists on the same block, try to find someplace else to play.

2. Be friendly and polite

You’ve got to do more than just play music if you want people to throw their money in the hat. Smile, engage with passersby and wish them a good day. Remember, people have the option of ignoring you or giving you money – if they choose the latter, don’t be shy about thanking them!

3. Don’t play covers all day long

If you’re playing covers all day long, people are going to ignore you because they think they know what you’re going to play next. Instead, mix it up with your own compositions as well as cover songs so that passersby have no idea what’s

There is a lot of money changing hands in the location that you are thinking about. If the area is busy, then there will be a lot of cash for buskers to make. The best places for busking are normally where there people are moving around rather than stationary.

A good example of this would be Camden Town in London; it is very busy and touristy, and has lots of great locations to busk at. There are also lots of restaurants with outdoor seating areas where you can play, which means that people will have time to listen to you.

If you find a good location, then try to go there early and get it before someone else does! Busking locations can be taken over by other buskers, so it’s best to get there early and keep going back to your usual spot.

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