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Topics - vanbrettakov

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General Discussion / My first busking experience
« on: November 11, 2008, 01:46:47 PM »
Busking. Street performing. Putting yourself out there for the world to see. What a strange career choice, if you can even call it that.

 I've been playing guitar for years. Been singing even longer. Only recently have I figured out that I can do both at the same time. Is it hard? Well, at first, yes. Very hard in fact. Your hands are doing one thing, and your mouth is doing another. My brain felt like it was being pulled in two different directions. Trying like hell to get them right and make it sound good. People that are good at it make it look so easy. Kids do it for cryin' out loud. It's tough for me cause I just started doing it in my early 30's!

 Something happened just before the summer. Michelle (my wife) and I went to see The Cure at Red Rocks here in Colorado. It'd been a while since I'd seen them (12 years) so naturally I was really stoked. A couple days after the show, I decided to learn the chords for a song called 'Catch'. I figured out the solo about three years ago, but couldn't sing the song cause I didn't know the chords. The internet is a great tool for learning music and I used it to get what I needed. I couldn't believe how easy the rest of the song was. I could've been playing this for years. The flood gates were now open and there was nothing to stop its momentum. Things really picked up when my psychiatrist put me on Adderall for ADD. My concentration went through the roof and I learned 20 songs in just 2 months! I'm even starting to figure out whole songs without the help of the internet. One day, Michelle suggested that I go downtown and play on the street for tips. What? Do what I love for money? Get paid for playing music? I couldn't. I shouldn't. I...I...why yes, I can.

 Using the internet once more, I started doing research on street performing. Turns out it's called busking and it's one of the oldest proffessions around. There's all kinds of busking acts: magic, music (solo or groups, intrumental or vocal), acrobats, comedy, pantomime, contortionists. Even those 'human statue' people that don't budge are street performance artists. A little more net research turned up a location in LoDo (lower downtown) Denver where It's perfectly legal for me to do this. All I have to do is follow some simple rules (don't sell anything, don't get in the way of foot or vehicle traffic) and I'm good to go. I've been perfecting my act and adding good songs to my repertoire for the last month and a half. Finally, yesterday I was ready to try it. It went a lot smoother than I'd imagined it would. I just picked a corner away from other buskers and started playing. Almost immediately someone put money in my tipjar. Cool! That was easy. I continued on, playing for about an hour and 15 minutes. I was a little nervous. My voice didn't sound as good as it does at home and I had trouble hitting some of the chords but no one seemed to notice or care. I even ad-libbed parts that I messed up. It was great. I never got a captive audience. People were just walking by the whole time and yet they still put money in my jar. I ended my set with 'Boys don't Cry' and started packing up. I could've found another corner to busk on but I want to get into this slowly. Yesterday was just an ice-breaker for me. Hopefully it was the start of a lenghthy self-employed career [:D]

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Welcome to the Southwest US Washburn Jam Group. / Anyone in Denver?
« on: November 02, 2008, 07:13:46 PM »
Hey all you mile-high hippies. Let me know you're there! [:D]

Brett

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Acoustic Guitar Players Post Comments & Questions / I need your help Pike
« on: November 02, 2008, 12:27:24 PM »
Hey, I was wondering if you could help me get more info on the 12 string my grandfather gave me. Back in New Orleans I had a home studio made of cheap gear. I started writing down all the serial numbers in case anything went missing. Last night I was cleaning out a closet when I happened upon the notebook with all the serial numbers.

The guitar was an FG-312. It had two sets of numbers on it, one on the neck and one inside the body. The number on the neck is 1031378. The number in the body is 7040902.

I know you're the 'guitar detective' on this forum and I thought you'd have fun with this one. Plus, I don't really know anything about it (year it was made, listing price, etc.)

Let me know if you find anything.

Thanks,
Brett

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Good Morning All!

I can't believe we made it through Oct without any snow.
So what are some of your favorite artists that go heavy on the acoustic guitar? Or some of your favorite music that mainly uses acoustic? I'm curious to know what makes people unplug.

Brett

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