lever harpists’ experience with busking?

Posted In: Performing

  • Participant
    randal on #185896

    Great recommendation Biago – the harp is an instrument that so many find both visually and sonically alluring – and beckoning for physical contact (don’t we all know!). I like to be able to provide that tactile experience as well with a small, portable harp: I perform with other instruments too, so I can turn the little harp over to an interested party and break out something else – and play violin or mandolin along to the strums of the listener. This type of musical interaction is very rewarding as well!

    Evolène on #227952


    I know this is an old post, dating back to 2015. But I’m really interested to know if other people have taken their harp out busking, and what was their experience!
    Any of the posters still around to tell us if they’ve tried it? What did you think?

    Since this weekend is the “Random Acts of Harping” weekend (or so I’ve heard), maybe people have tried something new.
    Playing outside doesn’t have to be for money, but if it was, how did that change the experience?

    On a related note, are there members that play at Renaissance Faires or other medieval settings? How does that go? Do you specifically play medieval music or other things?

    Biagio on #228004

    Hi Evolene!

    I’m surprised that no one has remarked on this but what the hey, I will haha.

    I’m a very shy person when it comes to “performance” but on the other hand when it comes to just going out and playing for the heck of it – that has been more fun than I would have ever expected!

    In some places you can find a guitarist on every street corner and people just shrug and keep walking. But bring out a harp and no matter how small or how well they play (or not!) people are fascinated. Little kids come up and stare with huge eyes, their parents ask loads of question (“Gosh I’ve never seen but as pedal harp! How much would one like that cost, how hard is it to learn?” etc. etc.)

    And from this shy person’s stand point, it is just wonderful to get out of the daily practice and have fun without worrying how the music will be perceived, and to be honest it’s pretty nice to not have that internal critic whispering over my shoulder (grin).

    So… plan on just having a lot of fun, bring along a small inexpensive harp if you can for people to enjoy for themselves.

    Most of all – have fun!! That’s why it is called “playing” LOL.

    Harp Pusher Biagio

    Evolène on #228055

    Thank you for that input Biagio!

    I know that some teachers recommend busking in order to get over shyness and stage fright. It’s great to know that people are fascinated and don’t care about the level of playing! 😉
    (But as a shy person, isn’t it hard to have to speak to so many people?)

    Allison Stevick on #228056

    Hi Evolene (and Biagio! Gosh it’s been a long time since I’ve been over here!)

    I still haven’t been busking, since I do not live in/near an area where that would work (not touristy, not city, not enough foot traffic anywhere). BUT— I have done several background music gigs, and I think there is a little similarity between the two. People mill around and stop by to listen/say “beautiful music!”/ask questions while I play, and while that was distracting at first, it was good practice to learn to smile and say “thank you” in the middle of a tune without stopping. Don’t worry about being too shy— as long as you’re happy to say “thank you!” a bunch of times, and then talk about the harp and harping between tunes (or during one for a little bit while you drop out the left hand or something to save on concentration). I’m pretty introverted, and while I know that doesn’t always mean “shy,” I find that I can talk about harp to anyone, even when I certainly would NOT know what to say to them about anything else. 🙂
    I hope you get a chance to try it, and have fun!

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