Articles, Blog

Jim Bruce Blues Guitar – So You Want To Play On The Street? Walk This Way …

September 20, 2019

i’m just getting ready to go into the
city and play on the streets so i thought i’d put a little video
together showing some of the gear and uh… maybe give a few tips to people
that who want to try this thing i get many questions about the kind of
equipment i use like the amplifier, the guitar the songs I sing, the techniques and do you have to be insane to do this? Well of course you do – let’s take a look at the equipment. on the left here you can see my amplifier and my bag of tricks which we’ll look
at later on and then of course you need something to
sit on … and the blues man’s tool – the dark
glasses! this is my street guitar – I normally take
a stand so that it keeps nice and secure and a trolley to put everything
on excuse me? the stick? oh yes the stick is for beating the women off let’s take a look at some of the gear you’re
going to need to help you to to play on the street first of all never forget you’re a blues man so you have to have the essential
ingredient always where you are dark glasses were
playing the blues it’s not if the blues police catch you you may be
drummed out of the uh… of the guild available busing use this his head mike it was uh… quite inexpensive maybe
fifty dollars your stuff it took center way out the
fire which has got to channels and that is pretty good if it’s tough is not too expensive so it
is quite windy you can hear the wind noise a lot but he works for me i carried to cables two cables for the guitar what do i used to well just in case or breaks there’s nothing worse than going out to play anywhere on the street oral onto a geek we just have one cableone mike and uh… you have a problem and
suddenly become playing the rules of carriage and trade walls might hearing is certain of what it used
to be the latest pedal instrument institute one cable plugged into one’s life to the
cable comes out the other side into amplified solar precedent i can’t chew the sound doesn’t come through the
amplifier he’s pretty good particular mystery if
this traffic is very or in the leasing because always hear the good solid
without amplified supporters down now this is my bag of tricks in the years ste also carry my cds which are still on the streets this c_d_ is called blue silk aptly called because normally quickly the big square
in the center of the city to call the capital square so people notably is the blues man of
capital now they have to fire up got cst is a thirty one amplifier there’s a lead us itself rechargeable
insight on charges of six hours and after that so i can play for maybe
eight hours com maybe the way that i play maybe just
four or five hours because there are two channels for the louder voice still out
the top at the back there’s a very simple
channel with the children of all you just for the uh… the voice and the rest of it all these strains
things which i never tell us because i don’t understand pledges uses digital media which makes
you laugh this is thirty watts dust i could make myself anywhere with this in the center of town in the middle of
traffic now this is my life current street itself it’s martin triple x_ long which is a very basic model the top his troops but the back insights and the next
several artificial lancelot with disney but is there a good sound mba susan amplifies well there’s a book inside and
the control of the hidden inside the sample ones of all you warns that film local so medium gauge strings on this
because certain play hard anyway and on the street
played a really hard and sometimes i use steel cakes so that he did the strings conducted
really stand it except that they’re a little bit hard on
the left hand when he tried to ban them around we’ve become accustomed to it and it’s nice to play hard sometimes that’s a fact all this stuff together you need to carry it around tonight is a
trolley with wheels packet altogether into warned hospital package that locking wheel around it’s not too
happy you may get some strange looks okay what the heck ex-wife yeah all packed up ready to go that children this durable jim don’t try this at home however professional and don’t forget to stick so off we go to town and we look for a place to play now this was quite good there’s a place
here last night in open people of Deep River Blues Lesson
Jim Bruce Channel but there are four oh five policemen
they’re with their motorbikes so uh… i’ll pretend desoto re-used and i’ll scope along with the camera well we’ll move on and look for
something else this is capital square in the center of to lose well complain they’re often large markets here
sometimes unfortunately there are other professional musicians that so make a lot of noise and it’s not
possible to play today looks ok maybe i’ll give it a try i’ll go around to the front of the
building facing the market and look for a place to play there are people passing its nice and
quiet relatively quiet so often quill will start here let’s go uh… salisbury stay out all development shields snuggle another his wake up in the hold it all you need to sit on center malady in this world estranged went out and and that nobody wants you to leave now with details time now and old buddy one when dylan now have now and then you’re talking about what you
have got it any this whole those friends of youngstown
you ain’t got any known on the left and the airbag when convenient and everybody wants to be young lungs
loves six five israeli went out and it down nobody wants to do cell where he is coming in pulse the living statute because he’s so quiet here we go to you from tobacco john
ford’s makes people are a little bit more noisier one of them seems to be squeezing the
life out of the day i think but there’s no competing with these guys and here’s an old judge friend of mine
that appears now again texts let’s have some robert johnson yeah will walk inside bus free and fair but walking side by side not good morning this is it we can resend disciplines me grave premature delivery i love my baby i believe in delivering food that one out xxx brings me to be his own reji you’ll meet a man u and different people as you well play on
the street and get to know the city life will make our way in life and so make it
in a different way of the whole there’s a way of we moved to a slightly
different beat but this is good never been phased by what you meets no
matter how strange it may be you’ll see some sites that would
interest you and you’ll meet are real sumit than usual people on the street always smile always be kind because later on whatever happens you’ll find it funny some of my personal favorite sardinia the lady walked past and threw it she’s for apartment that on the guitar case with a little town explaining which he lived building it was about seventy three
seventy four i guess colonial america for a man all the world forum became to be the senator musician professors uh… yes i’m sitting there playing the guitar
bottling is that uh… i’ve been an asylum for three months i said hello when did they let you out they didn’t that was quite inspiring sometimes you’ll meet people on the
streets that don’t have any money they made money they’ll beg for it just give them a little money it doesn’t matter if they’re grateful or
not just give them something so they can eat this is a friend of mine her name is
maria she’s a romanian she doesn’t have a pot to piss him but she’s always smiling remember their book for fourteen go your eye let’s play some bob dylan mohawk somewhere around and biased field they are doing picking them up walking down the road well i want slower growth hormone mandates not apples well i hate fucked but she wanted seems like that’s alright


  • Reply Boyd Rivers October 13, 2010 at 1:24 am

    excellent stuff, Jim

  • Reply IdahoLeLe October 13, 2010 at 1:50 am

    That was a lot of fun to watch, Jim. I loved your insight into the "street people" and our tolerance and approach to humans. Now tell me, do you think the dark glasses would be good for the blues-women too? And do you think blues-women would need the stick?

  • Reply bobdeuel October 13, 2010 at 2:19 am

    This is great – thanks for taking the time to put it together. I think I could get by without the stick until I get a little better…

  • Reply SIRONEDRAGON October 13, 2010 at 4:46 am

    Cool video

  • Reply kirbySfan October 13, 2010 at 7:09 am

    Jim, very interesting video. Could you offer please lessons for the first two songs you played?

  • Reply Yishai Halutz October 13, 2010 at 9:39 am

    Hi Jim!,

    Very entertaining video with a lot of educational info, specially the stick ;), are the hell hounds (the police) on your trail?, now seriously, good on ya for going and playing on the street…sometimes it can get tough with all sorts of people you meet and like you said the homeless folk…


  • Reply Pete's Guitar Lessons TV October 13, 2010 at 11:19 am

    I busked years ago as part of a band in Glasgow for a couple of years and at first it was a culture shocker but its a great way to practice and get used to playing to an audience.Ive also giged in the past but theres a freedom busking that you dont get playing gigs.Blues was made to be played at street level so good on u 4 keeping that tradition alive

  • Reply Jack Schofield October 13, 2010 at 12:02 pm

    Hey what kind of blues man turns down a 70 year old groupie shame on you ! Great video like your style of playing thanks for putting it on,

  • Reply Clinton Wayne Sturgeon, Clint Sturgeon Music October 13, 2010 at 12:17 pm

    lol I have the same trolly as you say

  • Reply Clinton Wayne Sturgeon, Clint Sturgeon Music October 13, 2010 at 12:22 pm

    lol I have the same trolly as you say….your pickin is great sir

  • Reply kb1056 October 13, 2010 at 12:23 pm

    Just love your storytelling … part of the bluesman tradition as well i suppose. You are a true and honest soul of man. Keep on truckin'.

  • Reply Jack Schofield October 13, 2010 at 4:19 pm

    Good on you hope you kept the glasses on though .

  • Reply Bluebuthappy182 October 13, 2010 at 5:27 pm

    nice vid good advice about the homeless too

  • Reply Citizen110 October 15, 2010 at 1:01 am

    Jim, you are the groovinest street musician I've ever seen on youtube or anywhere else! My hats off!!

  • Reply SiggyMe October 15, 2010 at 2:49 am

    Made my evening. Thanks for sharing

  • Reply jerichomyles October 15, 2010 at 9:03 pm

    From Canada…..Simply Amazing….Love watching your Videos, You Sir Help hold the Blues Alive 🙂

  • Reply dankoch2010 October 16, 2010 at 6:01 pm

    Good video. Thanks.

  • Reply RoyalFool October 17, 2010 at 3:52 am

    Hey Jim, I enjoyed seeing your setup. I busk eight days a week, as a pun, and a rule, too, as a transit busker in Vancouver.

    I sing and play electric ukulele, and kazoo. I do mostly Tin Pan Alley, jazz, and a few novelty numbers. I play a RISA Uke'Ellie, an electric uke and I put it through a Boss Tremolo pedal. These days, I use a Roland BA-330 Portable PA (runs on 8 AA batteries!) I have a Crate, like yours, but I replaced it with a Roland Cube Street, which the BA-330 has now replaced.

  • Reply richardcorysghost October 26, 2010 at 7:31 pm

    Hey Jim, You're a star – love the bit about the shades!
    Thanks very much for giving us the benefit of your experience.
    I'm hoping to make a start on the busking in the springtime, (Assuming I pass the Blues Guild's audition)
    By that stage I may have mastered the singing and playing mystery to the point where i can do more than one or two blues tunes.
    Thanks again Jim

  • Reply homtom2 February 1, 2011 at 2:06 pm

    you are inspirational! thank you

  • Reply Kur0y4m4 June 6, 2011 at 5:05 pm

    Easily the best video on YouTube this, or last year!! heartfelt, genuine, and I think ANYONE who's played outside actualy

  • Reply Kur0y4m4 June 6, 2011 at 5:06 pm

    Actually FELT your kind words of wisdom. Thank you for your insights!!

  • Reply richardcorysghost July 3, 2011 at 10:30 pm

    Hey Jim, been busking now for two months, with varying degrees of success, and despite my best efforts to date, I haven't had to fight 'em off- Please Uncle Jim, what am I doing wrong?I had one fall on her arse in front of my case today, while she was trying to sit down. She was pissed, and I had to tell her she was scaring the punters (only I was more polite than that).
    Short trousers? – No shirt? or maybe a Brad Pitt mask?
    Jokin aside, thanks again for the tips. (That's Ps, not Ts)Hehe!

  • Reply Curtis Thorpe July 13, 2011 at 6:49 pm


    Loved the bit about the stick!

  • Reply Federico Borluzzi August 28, 2011 at 8:36 pm

    Great video! I started playing guitar and singing in the streets four months ago and I was happy when I heard that a professional musician like you is giving tips saying something that I discovered myself, too! It means that I'm on the right way!
    I found many interesting advices that I didn't consider before, too…Thanks a lot!
    May I ask you something about selling CDs? Do you sell cover songs or original? And…Do you think that letting the customer choose the price would be a good idea?

  • Reply Federico Borluzzi August 29, 2011 at 10:26 am

    @acoustictravellersl Thank you so much for your very quick answer, Jim! I will try to follow your wise advices in the near future! At the end of this week I will perform (3 shows) in a buskers' festival in Aosta, my hometown in Italy. I always played acoustic without any amplifier in Torino, but I bought an ampli on ebay and I wish to start using it in the festival! I'd like to create some CDs with some songs (covers and original) taken from my YouTube videos…

  • Reply Federico Borluzzi August 29, 2011 at 10:26 am

    @acoustictravellersl The quality is not the best one (though they are ok on YouTube), but this is all I can do in these few days. I will try to record something better in the future. Ah, did you record your CDs in a professional studio? And…Another question: do you know anyting about italian laws? I am worried that I have to buy some stickers to pay the royalties if I sell CDs on the streets, too, but I'm not sure (and if I ask anybody in the festival tey will be aware of my "outlaw" sales"…

  • Reply Federico Borluzzi August 29, 2011 at 12:35 pm

    @acoustictravellersl I have an application called "Cool Edit Pro" which is quite good…I never tried MixPad, but I'll go and check it! Anyway…Well, I will try selling my own songs later, then. Of course, we are small fishes for them…I wonder how many CDs would I sell on the streets…I think that one CD per day would be a great result for me!

  • Reply Alan Moorhouse June 5, 2012 at 10:06 am

    A smashing video. I have been a busker since 1979 – mainly working in and around Köln, Germany as a one man band. I have been resisting amplification for a long time, but my back has sustained damage and I need amplification – and a sit down rig – to shield the voice. I don't think our paths have met, but you may well know some of my friends – including Jim Taylor and the brilliant Phil Free, who sadly left us earlier this year. Great video – full of gentle humour and common sense.

  • Reply Alan Moorhouse June 25, 2012 at 7:07 pm

    Hi Jim, I've only just seen your reply. I know the name Barry Denier somehow, but I can't quite place him. I did know Solomon, but he has not been around here to my knowledge for years. I'll check you out if I get to your city. I am sure we will know a few people in common. Hope you are picking up huge edges and big hats. Alan.

  • Reply johnmadox July 12, 2012 at 4:02 pm

    Stick is too light …

  • Reply John Willoughby July 16, 2012 at 11:44 am

    Great video my friend. You are damn good!

  • Reply Ivo Classical Guitar February 11, 2013 at 8:39 pm

    Thanks again Jim for this wonderfull video. Your playing keeps inspiring me…

  • Reply Franklin Coraizaca May 14, 2013 at 5:09 am

    Thanks for your kind words.

  • Reply Little6ster May 8, 2015 at 10:14 am

    very interesting Jim, and funny way to share your wisdom! and at the right time for me, I'm about to play on the streets soon, I'm working on an acoustic set to play everywhere… thanx for your kind advices

  • Reply Flesh Robe October 11, 2015 at 4:22 pm

    Thanks for sharing. Great info……. Some mistakes in the closed captioning. Instead of steel picks, it reads steele cakes. Heh ~heh

  • Reply MrAlsby October 21, 2015 at 11:32 pm

    "squeezing the life out of a dead fig" – I can't stop laughing!!!

  • Reply Alex December 26, 2017 at 3:06 pm

    Would the passers by put more money in your case if you were dressed down a little bit? It may not be about the money for you. I love your videos!

  • Reply Ketil Jørstad January 7, 2018 at 7:59 pm

    nice, and to fix the wind problem, make your own dead cat

  • Reply Stephen Kater May 5, 2018 at 6:55 am

    Ha ha, the stick is to beat the women off 🙂

  • Reply Diogo Bras March 23, 2019 at 11:20 pm

    GOD DAMN MAN! I liked and subscribed from the beginning because I found you funny and inspiring. Then you played Scrapper Blackwell and I went to search of both buttons again. Awesome stuff

  • Reply Dwang Critter April 11, 2019 at 8:45 pm

    Best part is the subtitles.

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