I’ve often thought it would be good to give busking a try. I enjoy street entertainment – as long as it’s good, of course – and I do reckon that though I’m not really that good, I good probably hold a tune enough to give people some enjoyment. And who knows, it might even earn a few pennies…
Yesterday, I put that theory to the test. Though none of it was planned…
In my home town at the moment there are a number of pianos dotted about the centre. They are available for anyone to play on at any time, and if people like you so much that they’ll put money in, well, you get to keep it.
I just happened to be passing through town yesterday afternoon. It was late, the shops were closing, but people were still drifting past. And one of the pianos was empty. I couldn’t resist.
Now, playing the piano is not one of my musical fortes. I am better on the guitar. I would probably even say my voice is better than my piano playing abilities. But it didn’t stop me. In fact, I felt I had nothing to lose. I love playing the piano, and the chance to play on a real one, even an upright, was worth it in of itself to make any kind of embarrassment from making mistakes worth it.
I just looked at the keys. I didn’t look up. That would put me off. So I tinkled and whipped out one of my favourites: a piano rendition of the Sigur Ros song Hoppipolla. To me, it sounds great, but stunted by my lack of abilities. If only I could do a bit more with my hands. More harmonies and trills on the right hand. More flowing movement, instead of the left hand being stuck, glued, to the bass notes.
But I always forget that to an outsider, a non-piano player, it sounds good all the same.
My busking earnings were a mere £4 for 15 minutes work. People came over, stopped and watched. I couldn’t look at them. I sometimes glanced up to check, but I had to look at the keys. It stopped me from being put off, and thus kept mistakes and public performance stress to a minimum. I still made mistakes, of course, but I laughed them off. This was amateur busking, but considering I haven’t played a real piano for a good couple of years, it wasn’t bad!
Most of all, I enjoyed it. I would do it again in a heartbeat. If I go to town today, and the piano is free, I will have a go.
In my rather tedious life, with dull social engagement, it might just provide me with an outlet! Reckon I could do a better job with a guitar too…