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Thread: Busking surprise

  1. #1
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    Default Busking surprise

    Hey guys/girls...

    So I've been playing for some 20 years or so with varying levels of commitment in that time. In the first ten years performed with some bands as a firstly rhythm guitarist then onto also adding some soloing in. The town I live in is a live music 'desert' so kept playing by myself but really only to keep up some level of competency.

    Fast forward to 5 years ago and the marriage, house then kids projects started and I had more at home time to play, firstly updating my multi fx unit to a boss ME50, soon after purchasing a Boss looper RC-2. Started playing everyday again and noticed the old practice amp is not cutting the mustard with the drum/bass I was then adding with the looper. So back down to the shop and reasons that will become evident, chose a Marshall stack MGHDFX. considering I'm playing blues with a jazz coloring probably not the best choice BUT seemed to be the only unit capable of handling the drums/bass without distorting even at very low volumes. Fast forward another few years and the dream of performing again is still alive so had been trying to jam with ppl to form something....again the 'desert' is still hot and dry so that hasn't been going so well.

    Somewhere along the line recently I wondered about busking but how, since I mostly play electric thru my looper....a week later i found a place willing to let me plug into the grid and was keen to have me play as it turns out he is a (ex) jazz pianist himself so it forced me to pull my finger out and found myself in front of a book shop in a local dining/drinking hotspot, legs shaking and all as I setup. Expecting to be heckled and have prbs to my complete surprise I received many favorable comments about my music! I'd only organized to play for 2 hours thinking I might make 1.5 hours & 4 hours later when the shop had to close I packed up and found I'd made close to $100! I work 2 jobs already and my 2nd one is a bottle shop around the corner from where i played and a 5 hour shift only nets me about $50-60 (after tax). Hmmmm I wonder which I'd prefer to do. I will say at this point I placed a notice saying I was busking for the recent flood victims across Oz and would donate all proceeds as making $$ from busking wasn't my intention....anyhow last night decided to give it another crack, without any pleas of donations for anyone and just played. While it was light and warm we had a massive storm ourselves (20mm in 15mins) so it wasn't looking good but it blows over and I start at 630 only 1.5 hrs late. Played again right thru til shop close at 9 and this time I made OVER $100....! I just can't believe it! Not only is it more than the 2nd Job but it's about what I made per 3-4 hour gig with the bands back in the day 2
    Without the prbs that come along with rehearsing, difficult ppl or simply no ppl!

    So I've popped the busking cherry so to speak and looking at my gear once more, thankfully I had a loaner amp (peavey delta blues tube amp so also popping my tube amp cherry hahaha) as a stack isn't really a good option BUT the Peavey also suffers from the same distortion my old SS peavey amp did! I was told any amp with an open back would distort with drums even at low levels plugging the Marshall in immediately drums are tight and bass crisp no distortion even at HIGH volumes so perhaps the shop was right!

    So this post was about describing my first time busking experience but the follow up question is about amps and possible options....

    Trying g to wrap it up, the delta blues amp is up for sale cheap and near new. It sounds ALOT better than the Marshall, (most of u would be laughing at my ignorance) but therein lies the issue - I am self taught over a long time (& still learning so much) but have little experience with gear. I bought a very exp ibanez some 15 yrs ago and i still love it even tho I play the 'wrong' music on which is was intended by the factory for but bought it cause I loved the look/colour of it so much rather than a decision based on knowledge. Same goes for the amp really other than it was in my budget and didn't distort, since I didn't ever think I'd go busking, it's now the wrong amp. I can get the tube peavey half what it is new and for busking levels the distortion from drums is barely here with only bass tracks not sounding quite as clear/crisp VS Marshall....

    So that was all typed using tapatalk, stoked that the forum has added this great work btw!!!

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    That's such a great story. Way to go. I would have been shaking too, and I play out a lot. I've just never gone solo. You got cajones.

    Some of the solo guys I've seen over here use a small PA and modelers. 2 1x12 or 1x15 cabinets with horns on stands and an all in one PA head. You can probably score all that for what you can get out of the Delta. Don't sell it cheap. Those are worthy amphs. All you'd need is a 'character' pedal or your ME50 along with your looper and you should be good to go. Better fidelity. You could even go compact with the PA head and one cabinet, or better yet a keyboard amp. Those will handle the wide frequency range you need.

    Good on ya mate.

    "No Tele For you." - The Tele Nazi

    Ha! Tele-ish now inbound.

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    Yeah, awesome story man. Nice Job.

    You make we want to use my Jackson for Blues and Motown!

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    Very cool. I can't imagine what I'd play if I was by myself with an electric guitar and looper. I think it would be noodle city, which would get rotten tomatoes thrown at me.

    The fact that you made some decent coin while busking says a lot for you. Nice work!
    Quote Originally Posted by Spudman
    Does anyone read the original post?
    Guitars: Gibson LP Studio, MIA Fender Precision, Carvin C350
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spudman View Post
    That's such a great story. Way to go. I would have been shaking too, and I play out a lot. I've just never gone solo. You got cajones.

    Some of the solo guys I've seen over here use a small PA and modelers. 2 1x12 or 1x15 cabinets with horns on stands and an all in one PA head. You can probably score all that for what you can get out of the Delta. Don't sell it cheap. Those are worthy amphs. All you'd need is a 'character' pedal or your ME50 along with your looper and you should be good to go. Better fidelity. You could even go compact with the PA head and one cabinet, or better yet a keyboard amp. Those will handle the wide frequency range you need.

    Good on ya mate.
    THANKYOU HEAPS for that info - E X A C T L Y what I was hoping ....! It was meant to be just a thread about my experience busking for the first time, I wanted to wait until I'd busked for the 2nd time to make sure it wasn't a fluke so I guess earning more than the first time answered that! I probably mentioned it my OP but it's not a money making excercise for me, more that I lose some of my magic somehow playing in front of ppl so I figured busking would hopefully cure me of that but posting up made me think of the question about amps....

    If anyone has any recommendations about amps/PA/modelers etc etc I'm all ears I have very little experience with the gear side of things even though I now own some pretty decent gear.....still learning so much about such a wide variety of all things musical!

    I'll look to purchase some kind of new amp/mini PA over the next week or so or as soon as I can learn more about it to make the decision..! The Delta isn't my amp, just a loaner which I could've bought but since it sounds worse than the Marshall when using my looper (with drums and bass it distorts badly otherwise a great little 2x10 I am too used to the 4x12s in the Marshall such a great tone from a cheap SS amp again a big surprise ti should be used for the Metal guys I guess.....) but the Marshall is obviously WAY to big for use on a footpath LOL........back to the drawing board ! I may or may not sell the Marshall, I'm not fond of selling gear these days.....

    Quote Originally Posted by Commodore 64 View Post
    Yeah, awesome story man. Nice Job.

    You make we want to use my Jackson for Blues and Motown!
    Hahahaha thnx mate...!! Although I was using my Yamaha SA2200 (not the Ibanez) for the busking gigs so these days my guitar is closely aligned to the music I now play....|The Ibanez was great for the music I used to play and even when the music changed I still found it a great sounding guitar, esp with the ME50 which isn't the best but good enough.
    The Yamaha now really sets it off, however I was and still am very nervous about using a $3000 guitar in public! Shhhhh better not tell anyone what it's worth!

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric View Post
    Very cool. I can't imagine what I'd play if I was by myself with an electric guitar and looper.
    I think it would be noodle city, which would get rotten tomatoes thrown at me.

    The fact that you made some decent coin while busking says a lot for you. Nice work!
    Thanks again, appreciate the comments esp when I haven't posted any of my music for ppl here to make their own minds up.....one day it will come and should be easier than it has been so far, if ONLY I could export my drums beats of my RC-50 looper! Not even the Boss rep could answer me that....

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    OK so a quick google search and I'm looking at a range of mini/portable Amphs/PAs....

    The Roland Cube Street looks ideal, then I saw the Soundart 450R - which makes specific reference to having an Fx loop which to date I've found quite important...
    The CubeStreet does not seem to have this so general question is having the Fx loop on one of these things important? It seems so with normal guitar amps (distortion generated by drums aside for a moment) as I had issues with 'clipping' when using the ME-50 + open backed amphs. Guitar would go into ME-50 THEN into amp and once volume was turned up a little would cause all sorts of nasty's.....

    Now the guitar goes straight into amph, out the Fx channel to the Tuner, ME-50 and looper and back to the amph again.....

    So.....again LOL is it important to have Fx loop on these PAs?

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    Quote Originally Posted by FusedGrooves View Post
    OK so a quick google search and I'm looking at a range of mini/portable Amphs/PAs....

    The Roland Cube Street looks ideal, then I saw the Soundart 450R - which makes specific reference to having an Fx loop which to date I've found quite important...
    The CubeStreet does not seem to have this so general question is having the Fx loop on one of these things important? It seems so with normal guitar amps (distortion generated by drums aside for a moment) as I had issues with 'clipping' when using the ME-50 + open backed amphs. Guitar would go into ME-50 THEN into amp and once volume was turned up a little would cause all sorts of nasty's.....

    Now the guitar goes straight into amph, out the Fx channel to the Tuner, ME-50 and looper and back to the amph again.....

    So.....again LOL is it important to have Fx loop on these PAs?
    Perhaps I should start another thread elsewhere for advice on this > however spent my lunchbreak at local music store....

    They didn't have any of the Roland Street Cubes available, but said it would have same issues or popping noise emitted when kick drums are played.
    He demo'd a Roland Keyboard amph - KB2 however it also seemed to distort/pop with some drums not all but definately with some - it also requires power (no battery option).
    Shop also mentioned something about a 'Eneloop' Power supply, basically the size of a house brick and will play for 3-4 hours on a full tube amph am still looking into this....
    Roland Street cube and Peavey KB2 options where less than $500.

    After that, they have battery powered Roland BB something or rather, a full on battery powered PA but they believe I will have issues with drums.....and is more like $1000+.

    What's making it hard is:
    For now, I am street busking so some kind of battery power is preferable and easily opens up many more busking spots to me.

    My overall plan/hope is that one of the local pubs/clubs will see me playing and with any luck someone will ask me to play sunday arvo's in their pub, I say sunday arvo's cause my music is chilled out sunday cafe type music. . . . . so in future I MAY need something more along the lines of the full on portable PA system. . . . still size matters so am still left wondering, going to the shop probably raised more questions than it did solve any!

    Am hoping for advice here.....has anybody else even experienced the sort of thing with running drums through guitar amps? As mentioned ALL my previous amps were open backed enclosures and ALL distorted/popped with drums even at low volumes. The 4x10 (thought they were 12s I could be wrong) in the Marshall cab handle the drums AND bass even at ridiculous volumes. . . .and for future club/pub playing it'll probably do the job so finding a PA now for busking may not have to handle the future plans......

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    Crate makes the Taxi which is battery powered.


    "No Tele For you." - The Tele Nazi

    Ha! Tele-ish now inbound.

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    The TX50 looks pretty decent. Doesn't look like it has the fx loop though. I'm going to take my pedal board in and plug into a few options one of which doesn't have the fx loop so I guess I will have to wait to answer some of these questions...

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    FusedGrooves, cool stuff, that you've found this can be a fun and profitable outlet for you.

    I'm surprised you're having so much trouble with drum popping and can only guess you're running something pretty sophisticated or powerful. I use 2 different acoustic amphs, each with 2 channels, one with a 1/4" AND XLR for a variety of input options. I'll then find a drum track on my Boss RC2 looper, lay down a bass track, then an acoustic guitar progression, or electric rhythm progression. Then I usually plug my electric into an electric guitar amph and practice lead work. I have run the electric through a multi effects pedal and through the same acoustic amp, and it sounds pretty good. Occasionally, I'll get pretty loud and turn the acoustic amph with drums and all up. Popping has never been a problem. Now, it's not the greatest sound quality as far a drums go, that's for sure. The acoustic amphs are a Marshall AS50D and the Fender Acoustisonic 30. The Marshall has an effects loop, and takes pedals pretty well. No battery options however. I use them both at open mics often, run vocals as well as acoustic guitars through them, and they are plenty loud.

    HTH. I wouldn't take the sales persons word for too much (cynicism showing) bring your rig and try gear out. Good luck.
    "It's never too late to be what you might have been" - Eliot

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    cojones of steel !!! Congrats !
    “Your sound is in your hands as much as anything. It’s the way you pick, and the way you hold the guitar, more than it is the amp or the guitar you use.” Stevie Ray Vaughan

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    Thanks for all the positive comments! Esp cajones of steel hahahaha I dunno about that, my legs were shaking like a little girl on prom night! LOL

    Ok so the GAS has settled down a little bit, in wanting to make the right choice I've held off this long already whats a few more weeks. I can still loan the Delta blues for now so will continue using it to earn a few extra bucks to help pay for the gas.

    Right now, I think I've settled on the Roland BA-330. It's powered. BIG plus. Speaking with Roland direct they see no issues with clipping and or popping/distortion with ANY signal I send it's way.....not what the shop said so I tihnk he was triyng to talk me into the Peavey KB-2 KB amp which was terrible but the only option that was quick easy to check out at the time. Roland also sent me a diagram on how to hook it all up - they advise there is no need for a Fx loop but still unsure about this. They recommendation was to plug guitar into Tuner > ME50 > RC50 and then to PA. This goes against everything I thought was right in that you amplify your signal first, then add Fx etc.

    So being that these are fairly specific questions, using gear that is not entirely common, this weekend I will take my rig in and test it with known options. The BA-330 seems it will fill my needs now perhaps overkill a little (as was my RC50 when I first got it, now I can't use an RC2 cause it lacks features of the 50 but I digress), but if I happen to get other gigs as a result then this will also suit future needs should they arise and that was the *hope* plan anyhow..... It's a bit more $ than I wanted to spend, but that's ALWAYS the way with gear if you get decent stuff to begin with.

    Thanks to all for the many tips/suggestions....I will write a review once I've decided and bought in case anyone has similar questions.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FusedGrooves View Post
    Thanks for all the positive comments! Esp cajones of steel hahahaha I dunno about that, my legs were shaking like a little girl on prom night! LOL
    Depending on where you live that can be taken a couple of different ways.

    The Roland guys told you just how I would have suggested to hook it up too. Don't forget to try it all out before the next gig to make sure it works out okay.

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    Did some more busking on Friday night, it went so well and I had such a good time I had to go back on the Sunday too!
    New Roland BA330 Mini/Portable PA is not bad, much improved drums/bass VS my marshall but guitar tone is lost a little (

    At some point (like when I win the lotto) I would consider seperate guitar amp to send the signal through the PA but that's more gear than what I'd like to use busking, more $$ than I have to spend at the moment too! To be truely battery powered I need to work out a solution to run the ME50 + RC50 which is proving quite expensive!

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    I'm glad to hear that is turning out to be a consistently pleasant experience for you. Get someone to take some pictures of you next time so that we can tell that you aren't just some teenage kid pulling our leg on the internets.

    "No Tele For you." - The Tele Nazi

    Ha! Tele-ish now inbound.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Spudman View Post
    I'm glad to hear that is turning out to be a consistently pleasant experience for you. Get someone to take some pictures of you next time so that we can tell that you aren't just some teenage kid pulling our leg on the internets.
    hahahaha touche! Let me ask you this.....
    Would a teenager take the time to write such an involved OP?
    Would a teenager use my extremely eloquent (LOL) written skills?
    If you wanted to play detective you could've checked out my other posts to see the gear I'm talking about does in fact exist........

    Now, I wrote that because when I went to use photobucket it gave me an option of uploading media from my phone to their site. I clicked a button to say no, except that it was really yes, and tried to upload 521 images, it crashed saying it would only allow 500, now I can't get back into Photobucket at all!!!! So thanks heaps it's all your fault.....LMAO!!! *joking*

    Once I can get p.bucket working again I'll post up a terrible photo, actually I have 2 that a work mate took and both are terrible quality let alone the subject looking a bit dodgy! hahahahaha

    *edit * managed to get this done from my PC and have thrown phone in bin now it's crashed big time! Hope you're happy spuddy! *again just jokes but my phone really IS royally fuked now!*


    p.s if it looks like I'm asleep it's cause I am! I can't make good guitar face so I play eyes closed for the most part.........

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    Sorry about the phone and photobucket problems, but it was all worth it. That picture says so much. It's the real deal man. You be doin' it. So cool of you to share this. Maybe it will inspire someone else (with a more reliable phone ) to do the same. Keep it up street slinger.

    "No Tele For you." - The Tele Nazi

    Ha! Tele-ish now inbound.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Spudman View Post
    Sorry about the phone and photobucket problems, but it was all worth it. That picture says so much. It's the real deal man. You be doin' it. So cool of you to share this. Maybe it will inspire someone else (with a more reliable phone ) to do the same. Keep it up street slinger.
    Hahaha all good mate.....no apologies needing I was joking around too It certainly is the real deal though I really hate ppl who post/talk rubbish then can't back it up.....

    So have been playing through the PA solid now for a week or so. Yesterday before packing up the gear for todays street session I quickly plugged back into the Marshall to see the differences now I'd had time to get used to the PA. WOW, the guitar sounds SO SO much better through the Marshall even though it's only a SS/Budget unit. Same old issue with drums and bass but not really too bad, if I could I'd play through it instead of the PA! PA is very portable, can use batteries so it's a big compromise. I will probably start a new thread for what comes next as far as swapping out my ME50 for a Line 6 POD (?) unit.......

    'Street Slinger'...... that's a pretty cool forum name!

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    You could also check into the Tech 21 character series pedals. They sound like amps and are very portable.

    "No Tele For you." - The Tele Nazi

    Ha! Tele-ish now inbound.

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