View Full Version : I'm more determined then ever...

04-23-2011, 02:34 PM
I WILL get good at ukulele. That is my goal. And I will achieve it.

I've faced a few big disappointments this past week, but its just made me more determined then ever to get good at what I love.

I'm learning Pianoforte by Jake, struggling through the intro lead ukulele part to bodysurfing, learning more and more songs every day, and getting better at the ones I already no.

I emailed our city managers office to ask about local busking laws, turns out I just need a business license and permission from a property owner. As soon as I get 15 spare bucks I'm applying for a business license, and I know a man who owns a popular hot dog store downtown with an overhang and tables I can ask if I can play there. I would love to do it for the experience mostly, money aside ;P It'll motivate me to diversify my repertoire, and make me want to be more prepared with the songs I already know. I'm psyched.

Thanks to all of you for following along this uke-filled journey with me :)

Uncle Leroy
04-23-2011, 02:50 PM
GO Philpot! I think that is a great idea. Busking is great experience.

mm stan
04-23-2011, 03:10 PM
Aloha Phil,
You should be able to pay off your kamaka in no time..and have fun doing it...Happy Strummings..MM Stan..

04-23-2011, 05:13 PM
Find you a "happy hour" gig. Some really laid-back place. I think that would be great.

04-23-2011, 05:15 PM
Great idea. Let us know how it goes.

04-23-2011, 07:30 PM
Be sure to make a video of your busking adventure. Good luck!

04-24-2011, 12:14 AM
Sounds great! Good luck. :) It would be a cool feat to busk and save all the money you earn from busking to put towards a new uke. That way you can say your skills 100% paid for your instrument!

04-24-2011, 03:15 AM
That is a great idea! I work in the Old Town/tourist area of the town I live it and I love the musicians that play in our little town square. In the summer with windows open it is lovely. I have been known to run downstairs and tip the really good musicians. Good luck to you!

04-24-2011, 09:23 AM

I have busking plans of my own! Right now, I'm working on Uncle Rod's Ukulele Boot Camp program, well-known by people here and free, download it and get chordin'!

For income, I have a wild plan to become my town's only gringo ice cream street vendor. There's a small company where you can show up with your bicycle, you pay for the ice cream up front or something, and you tow this HEAVY little trailer full of Mexican ice creams around and sell them. I guess it's OK, but I'd rather have something lighter to pedal around, and provide some flavors those cart guys don't have. So, I borrowed $400 from a friend, got an Electra 7D bike with the biggest handlebar basket Wald makes, got a cooler from Wal-Mart yesterday, and the plan is on a typical day, to get a chunk or two of dry ice from Wal-Mart, then over to CostCo across the street and stock up on ice cream bars, most of them work out to 50c or less, the "elite" ones are 70c or so, my plan is to sell them much cheaper than the Mexican stuff, $1 or if I'm asking $2, it's a Haagen-Dazs or a Dove Bar etc. So .... if I sell 100 ice creams in a day I make like $50, that's generally what I make in a WEEK right now.

The only problems I see are, if it turns out to be really hard to sell ice cream, and the licensing. I'm just going to go out and try it first, to see if this is something I want to do. If so, I'll try to get through the licensing maze. I think I need a $40 city license and some kind of health dept. approval, and I might need a business license/resale number.

If the ice cream thing doesn't work out, then c'est la vie! This bicycle I have has already proven itself to be a PRIMO recycle-hauler and grocery-getter, and I'll just start in busking. I like the idea of hanging my uke on my back, riding into town, busking it up for a few hours, then buying my groceries etc., stickin' 'em in the basket, and riding home. I don't need a license etc to be a busker here, we have the First Amendment in California. I just have to exercise common courtesy.

04-24-2011, 09:38 AM
What you are doing sounds great, right on. Keep that uke handy wherever you go. You just gave me more motivation to reach out, thanks

04-24-2011, 09:40 AM
awesome :D I'm going to start busking too when I go up North and I have a few more songs in my repertoire, I can't wait!
Good luck :)

04-24-2011, 01:02 PM
Cute girls have a HUGE advantage in busking, I say go for it, if you don't know all the words just put in "rawr" as needed, Bunny!

04-24-2011, 02:23 PM
Thats he spirit! keep practicing. I had some less than enthusiastic reactions from people reguardgn my uke interest, I guess its an instrument a lot of people dont take seriously (until they play) and its a little discouraging, but thats ok, they are missing the fun ;) I'm staying determined too. This website and forum, and the nice folks on it are very inspiring and encouraging. good luck all.

busking and gigs with my uke si something I have been wanting to due too for a while, my health has just not permiting, but if things improve I'd like to go to the shore and play.
but as has been said there is the matter of permits, here it is a big deal , playing music in public is considered pan-handling. There are very few places you cna get a permit to play. I still have hopes for local cafes thouh. I just started teaching my daughter uke too so we are planning on a duet thing as I also play guitar, bass and percussion.

Hopfuly some of us in my area can get a scene going and increase the awareness and popularity of this special little instrument.

04-24-2011, 03:18 PM
The local busking laws are fairly lenient actually. All you need is a business license (15 bucks at city hall), and permission. Now, the permission part is tricky. If its on public property I need specific written permission for the SPECIFIC date of the event from the city managers office. Private property is another story. I just need a letter of permission from the property owner. Lucky for me, I semi-know an owner of a shop downtown with a nice little overhang and some sweet little tables nobody ever sits in outside! now INSIDE its a dang popular little diner. Outside, I could play and not interfere with anything, and get both the people passing by AND all the lunch/weekend crowd to hear me. I think its a great spot, I just need to get permission. I'm looking forward to it! That, plus a coffeehouse nearby has open mic nights. SO going when I have time.

04-24-2011, 05:20 PM
I have a huge bunch of "outlet stores" near me, a mere 5 miles away (where I live, that's considered really close) with a busy In-N-Out burger and a Starbucks, I could end up with one or another of the stores letting me play near 'em to bring people in, as for the In-N-Out it's more of a matter of being tolerated, but a situation I've seen with some stores here in California, like Whole Foods is, they like buskers because it's that or beggars. Yep, I've seen a guy panhandling in front of the In-N-Out and he was making "bank" too.

The way the US economy is going, beggars are a fact of life, you see them everywhere. If you are a busker, actually playing music and decent appearing, you'll tend to out-compete the beggars and store owners kinda like that.

Places I've seen buskers do *really* well:

In front of busy post offices - turns out it's OK to play, and it cheers grumpy patrons up.
Near farmers markets
*IN* farmers markets if you don't mind paying for a space.
In front of Whole Foods but not Trader Joe's, they'll run you off.
In front of markets in general, if they let you, if they don't go to another market
In front of "ethnic" markets and 99c stores.

The way I see it, instead of becoming a fixture at one place, where people will get tired of you even if you're really good, mix it up. Go all kinds of places and find a large number of good ones. Give yourself breaks too, and play no more than an hour at a time. I see it as more of an endurance game than a sprint, you have to put in hours. I've made $6 an hour playing really not too good trumpet on a rainy weekend in Mountain View. $6 an hour is a living wage these days.