Platinum Member
Im going to be busking with my band soon :) ive been wanting to for ages

Share some stories, tips, advice, anything would be helpful. And how much money you usually get ;)


Senior Member
Umm 1 question, how do u busk with drums lol? u'd have to keep movin ur set around, unless ur stayin in one place? and i guess the amount of money u get would depend on how many people are around and u prob shuld get a few friends to like jump around in front of u's and start a kinda mini-mosh pit :), lol just a thought

king fail

Senior Member
Never done it, but I agree with the last guy;

I suggest you just take a small bass, snare, hats and a rideable crash.
have fun! :)


Silver Member
I haven't done it yet, but a couple of mates took a jazz quartet to the streets of Melbourne. As far as I can remember the drummer had hi-hats, a snare and a milk crate to sit on.

They've done it a couple times, each time making a decent amount of money, until they went out on AFL Grand Final Night, at which point I believe they each made about $150 over a 2 hour period.

(keep in mind this is one of the busiest nights of the year, with some 20,000 people walking the same direction).

It seems like you can make ok money, but it's very touch and go, some days you won't make anything. If you're willing to put on a SHOW, people will give you money.

Whereabouts are you busking, and whereabouts is Noosa anyway?


Platinum Member
Yeah, not going to be moving around every 10 minutes. The law where i live is a max of two 40 minute sets with a 20 minute break. also going to busk at a local saturday/wednesday markets, which is four 45 minute sets with 15 minutes in between.

markets ill use the full kit, but for busking around town im thinking bass (only have one, cant take the option of a small one), snare, hats and ride (same again, dont have the option of a crashable one.) also brushes, and my birthday's coming up so i might ask for some rods.

yeah, im not expecting much money. my sax player busks by herself, one time she got a hundred bucks in 2 hours at the markets. Im doing it with a jazz quartet too.

Noosa is on the sunshine coast in QLD. touristy sort of place, nice beaches. music scene...nothing like melbourne.


Silver Member
I once was out and about with my gf (now wife), and we came across a couple of guys playing guitar and bass with a mic, all running through a battery powered PA amp. Just so happened that I had my small kit out in the car, so after visiting with the guys, I grabbed my kick, snare, and hats, and we had a great outdoor jam session.

Of course, none of us had a busking license, so we couldn't put out a hat, but it was a blast.


Platinum Member
You have to be ready to charm the socks off of the people around you. Engage them. Make them not want to leave. Entertain them, and that means much more than playing good music well. MUCH more. Watch other successful buskers and take some notes about what they do. Look for things like, "When does the crowd all start walking away." and "When does half of the crowd start reaching into their pockets at the same time?"...stuff like that.


Platinum Member
Ive done this two times now and its great fun, i love it. the first time we made (total) 160 bucks for four hours, second time 225 bucks for four hours. plus we got a few gig opportunities out of it :)

Disco Stu

Senior Member
Umm 1 question, how do u busk with drums lol? u'd have to keep movin ur set around, unless ur stayin in one place?
I've seen drummers busking lots of times. You just need a bare minimum kit, maybe as little as a snare and hats. A cocktail set would probably work well too. If you need it to be mobile, just rig up one of these:



Gusty, I'm glad your busking forays were fun and successful.


Platinum Member
This is a great opportunity to try some hand percussion like djembe, doumbek, etc. If you're playing a style that is suitable for busking, then hand percussion will be a good fit if you develop enough skill. I have busked many times with hand percussion.


I play on the street a lot and use what I call my Indigenous Roots Kit. I get a good response. I haul it around, taken down, in a garden type cart with bicycle wheels. I use 5 foot pedals, 3 congas, suspended seed pod shakers, didgeridoo, djun djun, cowbell, Nigerian log drum, and goat toe nail shakers.

Here a hip hop type rhythm where I use goat toe nail shakers to smack the conga for a snare type sound.

Here is a trio of beats that show off the kit.

Here is a more traditional 6/8 african rhythm.

This primitive drum kit is great for world beat and can adapt to blues, rock, or whatever really. There is a full discription of the kit on the youtube site in case you are interested, and a total of 19 videos of solo compositions from samba to guaguanco. When I play on the street I'll sometimes go for 45 minutes or so non-stop.