International Busking, You Can Do It! Just Ask Geordie Little

Geordie Little shares his advice on busking overseas.

Can you give us your background and what you do?

My name is Geordie Little and I am percussive acoustic guitarist living in Berlin, Germany. I started playing music professionally when I moved to Berlin from Adelaide about 5 years ago and now spend my time travelling around Europe playing shows and busking.

What did you learn initially that you didn’t think about before you pursued international busking?

I learnt that I could be a professional musician! I never wanted to be, but I started playing on the street and just sort of kept going. Now it’s all I want to do and I’m lucky enough that my career has evolved in a way that has made it possible.11140323_10152711250967121_1800969449364045288_n

What’s the best city to busk in and why?

That’s a hard question to answer. Every city is different and every city has it’s problems. Berlin is pretty good, but it’s getting harder and harder. I think Melbourne is really well run in terms of their permit system, but I’ve had some really bad days there. I think it depends on the time, the people, and a little luck.

If you could have known something you know now when you started what would it be?

Nothing really. I think the good thing about the street is that it helps you evolve as a musician and a person. If you knew everything going into it I don’t think it would be as much fun!

How do you decide where to play? I have my regular spots in a few cities, but if I go to a new city I look for a place that is relatively quiet but has a lot of foot traffic and that won’t disturb the local businesses or anything. I usually just ask local buskers for the good spots too. It’s not often you go to a new city and find a pitch the locals don’t know about!11401469_10152828771402121_8990987756547018710_n

What things/songs do you find work well and is there anything special you do that other buskers aren’t doing?

I developed my style of playing on the street. I play a percussive lap style of guitar which is visual as well as sounding ok. For me it works. I refuse to play covers so I had to find something interesting to make the people stop, and that style seems to do the trick.

What advise do you have for people thinking about travelling via busking?

Talk to people. Ask questions. And listen to the cops.

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