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Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [DB]' started by Joe Taylor, Sep 22, 2002.
Any of you ever do the streat music gig thing? I was thinking of giving it a try.
You mean dancing in the street ?
I used to play with a small combo backing up a singer-songwriter outside a sort of bistro that sold espressos, sandwiches and handmade chocolates. The shop gave us the venue and provided coffee- just plain coffee, as the owner was one cheap ****.
The usual ensemble was two guitars, bass, flute, violin and congas. I played one night a week all summer long and enjoyed the heck out of it. We always drew a big crowd and while we weren't getting rich off the tips, two of us had non-music day gigs and were just doing it for fun.
Later that fall I got a call from the singer asking me if I'd be interested in a gig at an upscale mall- Nieman Marcus and that sort of thing. I mentioned this to a friend- a guitarist- and he rolled his eyes and said "Oooo.... *indoor* gig...!"
I was thinking there was maybe a gig near me - the tiny hamlet of Streat (named after the Roman road which passes through the parish) lies just north of the South Downs and the South Downs Way in East Sussex.
Streat Lane runs north from the B2116 between Westmeston and Plumpton and is about 10 miles north of my home town of Brighton!
This may sound ridiculous but I think it would be cool to just get a couple of folks together and actually play on a street corner.
I don't think it is so far fetched at all. I would love go give it a try. Now the problem is where do I find three other crazy bass players to form a bass foursom. OH, be still my heart.
I do a solo street corner thing regularly. I have a few nice venues picked out where I know I won't get chased away by the cops or by an unenlightened shop owner. It also helps when the shop owner whose place I play in front of is not just tolerant but supportive (my line is it will attract business!)
I usually play a combination of pizzacato and arco. I do popluar songs like Danny Boy, lots of Ellington, the Prelude from the 1st Bach Cello Suite (always a good attention getter) and just walking the blues and improvising. Christmas tunes go over really big too.
Shopping venues are the best. I alternate between Princeton NJ (the college atmosphere adds to the fun) and NYC. Usually on Saturdays. These "gigs" almost always lead to other work in restaurants, stores, and small clubs. Tips range from the $5 I start the hat off with to as much as $60 one time.
When I travel, if I take my bass with me, I will always play in the town in which I am staying.
You may think this sounds a little cooky but I love to play on the street and always meet lots of cool people.
I highly recommend it. If anyone wants to get together for duets, etc. on my corners let me know.
I think the street corner gig is pretty cool. When I was in the navy I did a 2 yr tour in the Mediteranean, and I always brought my guitar with me. I hung out at a few street corners in Italy, Greece, and Spain. Once in Italy a couple of teenage Italians brought their acoustics out and joined me for a jam session doin Elvis, Buddy Holly and stuff; one guy was really good. We couldn't communicate very well, but it was alot of fun. In Spain a friend and I were playing at the beach and drew a good sized crowd of kids to listen in.
I'd like to play a duet or trio in parks and street corners for fun, but my DB chops aren't good enough for a solo act.
I've heard of something going on in my city that I found really great, it goes like this... A pretty good sized group of musicians pick a suitable street corner and work out a time. One musician shows up first and begins jamming alone. Every 3-5 minutes or so, another of the musicians wanders past with an instrument and puts a bit of an act on... pretending to just happen to be on their way somewhere, and what a coincidence that they're carrying an instrument. They'll then sheepishly throw out a few notes, keeping up the act, later getting in to full swing. By this time, another musician has meandered into the area.
The time/place is kept strictly secret so that no fan followings show up and ruin the act. What do you guys think?
We guys think you could fill up your profile page... so we know which town you're speaking about.
Also, a pretty good-sized group of musicians has usually difficulties to meet at a given time in a given location. Usually, they manage to do it because orchestra hall is packed and the paycheck is welcomed. But to perform a happening without even inviting your followers ? Maybe you've heard this but I guess you didn't witness it. You can still try it, and then tell us how beautifully it went.
About street gigging: do you bring a mat so that during breaks you don't have to lay your bass directly on the concrete ?
Laying it on its gig bag is usually good enough....
...The most important item to have however is a nice hat for your tips. I like an old black felt Boller and I'm sure to put a rock in it to keep it (and my tips) from blowing away.
It will soon be getting colder here in the New York area and I'm going to try a subway station...the sound quality should be better in that it will be a smaller space but it may be a little too echoic or harsh - like playing in the bathroom.
Here in Arizona (at least in Flagstaff), you have to pay the city a Hundred bucks to get a sort of vendors license to play on the street. Do any of you find this as ugly as me? Originally I'm from Chicago and there are street musicians all over the place.
I want to try it but I'm not sure if it's worth the $100. Maybe a play and run technique might add to the thrill of it all.
When i was in NYC for a couple of years (up until last November) i used to hear a lot of great music in the subway stations, little jam bands even, right on the platforms, as well as in the big underground walkways.
Lots of buskers here in the Moscow subway system, usualy soloists on violin or trumpet, but occasionally stuff like accordion/vocals, or even a string quartet...
speaking of fun on streetcorners, i was at broadway/49th one evening when a guy about 16 (maybe) rode up on a bike with a trailer on it.. the trailer broke out into a little stage, and he had a full drum kit on it... he played a drum solo for about 40 minutes, then rode off! The guy was GOOD