A Busk of Stourbridge – 4th June 2018

A day busking in Stourbridge, where I discovered the above riff! (below is the full improvised track around this riff). It’s pushing my boundaries a little with what I can do with these two instruments, but I love the challenge and trying something very new for the first time in the streets, it puts pressure on it to almost make it ‘complete’ there and then, as though I know exactly what I’m doing, when in actual fact, I have no idea! But hey, that’s the beauty of busking, you can do what you like, and people seem to like what I do.

Trying to forget what the right hand is doing with the percussive pattern and let my left hand do some more basslinr riffs. Splitting my mind as much as I can.

I bumped into two guys who have seen me in many places on my busking adventures, they said some very loving and hopeful encouraging words to me. Telling me how they really appreciate and admire my lifestyle and music choices, I feel incredibly blessed for this to have happened. A wonderful day.

Most of my walking and communting on the train has been spent listening to ‘Zhivago’ – https://open.spotify.com/album/2CLZbOCE9u7KvLM6fOXk9C?si=bkFTcwOdSZStBn0IPedYzQ

A wonderful EP done by some wonderful people, one of whom ‘Daniel Tween’ is a good friend of mine.

Have a listen and give them a follow.

Many blessings to you! Have a beautiful evening.

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Worcester River Cruise Gig – 3rd June 2018

Today was filled with many busking sets. A lovely response from the kind hearts of Worcester. The local street artist Tony, who creates beautiful chalk portraits on the streets of animals and fantasy worlds, collaborated with me today. He designed some of my homemade CDs;

Whilst playing across the street from him, he drew what the music inspired. He said he could hear alot of animals and travelling coming from my music, maybe that relates to my desires for travelling, veganism and my love for animals. Its interesting how that kind of energy comes from my music, different people imagine different things from it, the beauty of music, it can be intrepted in an infinite amount of ways.

Many new riffs and Improvisation bought many ideas to fruition. A perfect platform for practicing before a gig. My gig. Tonight was on a River Cruise down the River Severn in Worcester – http://www.worcesterboattrips.co.uk – the top link is a video from the set, my first song which was just a long version of ‘Change’.

A very fun gig it was indeed. The first gig I’ve played where the venue moves! I was unsure on what to expect and what kind of gig it was, it was more of a background music vibe, which is what I was hoping as playing a ‘real’ gig environment kind of frightens me at the moment, to have everyone’s full attention on you and the music, it’s quite a lot to take in. Especially as a solo artists, you have all eyes on you and can’t hide behind a drummer or singer!

But none the less, it was a fantastic day and I will continue to do more gigs to over come this fright and do more with my music!

Have a wonderful day!

Current Goal – Album and Videos Progress – 18th May 2018

Stationing myself back home for a bit around Worcester. A time to grow my music, by writing new songs, adapting new techniques and bringing more content to my music via album recordings and video making. I’ve known for ages that to move forward with my career in music I’d need to create some content and context to what I do, have audio and video to use as promotion for my ‘brand’. My current goal is to write a 8-10 track (or more) album, to be recorded outside in environments to reflect how my music can be enjoyed and sit in different environments and for different moods. With the homemade demo CDs I sell when busking, I’ve had some really nice feedback, “I’ve been using it to study too and it’s perfect!”, “Perfect driving music” and “This music is amazing to relax to”.
So I’m aiming to promote the album with chilling out intentions and reading/studying music, maybe even push it towards getting on films and games – the dream!
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The first busk in Worcester was yesterday, and it was beautiful! The sun was shining and there were so many friendly faces that I’ve not seen for a while. Bumping into my best buddy Carlos (who I’ve not seen for months, because he’s been flying around the world drumming), he out of nowhere set up a mini portable recording studio around my busking setup and recorded me for a while. Him and Haydn Rogers have just started up a company – ‘Nectar: Film and Audio’. They organised a very impromptu video recording out near the river in Worcester – videos of that will be up soon! But! This created conversation about my album, now they will be recording my album and doing a bunch of videos out in woodlands, near lakes and some in the streets – so a lot of exciting things are coming this way! It’s strange how I’ve been thinking about this for a while, and only days before I wrote it all out – then Carl the angel, showed up and just gave me everything. I really think the universe answers to your call, you’ve just gotta shout out and let the universe know what you are needing/wanting.
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So now I’m in the writing process for this album, spending a lot of time pushing my techniques to create new sounds with the set-up. Still I’ve only been doing the guitarbass 5 months, today! Started on December 18th 2017! It’s my 5 month guitarbass anniversary, celebratory something! Well I’m sat in a Vegan Cafe just ordered a mighty big burger, so that’s the celebration (Be the Change Foods – Worcester UK).
So yes! Expect more updates on this album, for the meantime if you want a homemade demo CD sent your way, please email me – basschatfield@gmail.com
I wish you a great day! May the sun shine on your warm heart!
Keep giving your all to the world, stay awesome, follow your heart and run towards your dreams!
You have one life, so live it the way you wish to, you are a miracle!
Love,
James

You’re an Actual Miracle – Quick Busking Documents – 11th May 2018

Whilst I was playing a man came over and asked;
“How old are you?”
“24”
“I just lost my boy at 25, he would of absolutely loved this music, this is from him”
I was lost for words, his loss hit me really hard, and throughout that busk and still now I can’t stop thinking about that. To lose your own child at such a young age, must be a pain unimaginable. It hit me hard as well because I turn 25 this year, making me realise how soon a life can end. Such a young age, there was so much more his son still had to give and explore.
This makes me think about life way more, and the fact it can end unexpectedly and death is unfortunately inevitable.
To live it to the full and live it the way you want to, there is only one chance at this life, one chance to make your own legend. The odds of being alive are – 4 Trillion to 1, which technically makes each individual is a miracle – you, yes you are a walking miracle. So take all the light within you and shine it bright so the world can see, give this world everything you have, go all the way with your dreams and goals, take every moment as a chance to enjoy this life you have. Enjoy each moment, cherish everything you have and be grateful for all the tiny details of your life, for this moment right now could be one of your last.
Don’t stop shining your light!
Take fucking control of your own path and do everything you ever dreamed of!
You’re a miracle, an actual miracle, so live life to the complete full!
I wish you all the best!
Love,
James.

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The Pros and Cons of Busking, I’ve Discovered So Far.

I wanted to make an informational blog post to share with fellow artists who have considered busking and want to get a better understanding of what the pros and cons are for busking. So below are,
5 Reasons why Busking can be Hard and 5 Reasons to go and Busk Now!

Cons

Weather Dependency – the most obvious. Rain, wind, snow, hail, thunderstorms, frost etc. can negatively affect your busking sessions, and prevent you from busking. It’s not fun playing when your donation box gets flipped by the wind and the coins scatter rolling away in all directions (“my lunch money! nooooo!”). Or walking to a great spot, beautiful rays from the sun and then 20 minutes into playing, SPLASH a waterfall emerges and soaks your gear, frantically packing away, the moment you find someplace warm to dry off, the rain stops -.-
So to prevent this, prepare;
– Check the forecast on multiple websites/apps.
– Bring a cover for your gear, something which can wrap around it whilst you’re moving from A to B i.e. a coat to tie around your busking trolley or tarpaulin to throw over quickly.
– Find spots with shelters overhead,
– Fingerless Gloves! For cold winter days! – Thinsulate Insulation Fingerless Gloves these are what I use and highly recommend them, super warm and super cosy.
Always be prepared as weather forecasts and rain radars are not always accurate and bad weather can easily come from nowhere.

Facing Rejection and Negativity. Being out their in the public, exposes you to everyone’s opinion of yourself, your music and busking. So there may be occasions where someone will feel the necessity to tell you; ‘busking is begging‘ or ‘you’re ruining my day, you noisy bugger!’ or ‘you’re terrible, get a real job!’, that’s not the worst of what I’ve had spat at me, but it is a rarity. It can also be disheartening when you’re trying to pass around smiles and people just look down at you.
Generally if there’s negativity in a place you’re busking you may feel it, but just remember to stay positive and smile to yourself, because you’re out their performing something you’ve worked hard at creating and have passion for.
Some people may not like it, but who cares! You’re out their trying to connect with those who do like it.

Lonesomeness. If you’re a solo artist like me, it can be a lonely journey at times. Standing there playing all day without a co-worker to push your motivation when you feel low or lost. Which also means if you’re busting for a whizz or need a drink, you’ve got to pack down and set-up again – always toilet break before you set-up, and bring a drink.
But this is where the beauty of strangers come in and keep your motivation high, ‘don’t stop doing what you do’, ‘keep it up buddy!’. People will occasionally start up conversations, which can really make your day.

No Guaranteed Paycheck. Unlike most jobs, with busking there is no guarantee that you’ll be getting money for your performance. You could be playing for 2 hours and receive nothing, no acknowledgement, not a drop. No-one has to give you money, they choose to because they want to support music in the streets and your journey, or because they enjoy your music and have had a positive experience from your presence. So if everyone who walks past your act isn’t interested, then chances are low you’ll be having a profitable day.
I’m not saying busking makes no money, because most of the time it’s very profitable, but you can’t go out expecting to make lots of money as you have no control on who will donate.

It’s hard work. Busking is a very under looked way of performing and making money, and it can be a lot of hard work. Depending on your act, your lifestyle and your financial circumstances, you’ll have to perform as many hours as a day as you can. Which is both awesome, but tiring. You’ve got to keep your head up, stay positive and know why you’re busking, once you realise you’re reason to busk, you’ll always be motivated to keep on playing.

Even though with each ‘con’, I’ve included a positive outlook on it, these 5 reasons are what makes busking difficult and why you may be unsure if you want to take up busking yourself. But below are all the ‘pros’ from busking, all of which make the difficulties worth going through.

Pros

Connection with People. Being out in the midst of towns and cities, where people spend their days shopping, seeing friends/family, working, commuting and living. You’ll meet people from all walks of life, and you get to connect with them in a very personal and intimate way. A place where new friendships and connections will spark.
The people you meet may be following your art and your journey for a very long time afterwards, so being able to personally meet your new fans gives you a stronger connection with/understanding of, who your fans are and why they like what you do.

Travel! Busking gives you the opportunity to take your art anywhere you’d like to go (within reason). You can busk in most countries, so if you wanted to go check out New Zealand for a few months, get on over their and busk your way around! It’s a platform for any artist to jump on board and go travel. The income from it will allow you to book flights, accommodation and get yourself some grub (food is occasionally donated! Whilst busking Europe with the Wishing Well, there were plenty of times when we’d play outside a restaurant and they’d welcome us to a meal and drinks on the house!).

Practice. With being out performing for so long, you’ll be getting yourself a lot of practice in! You’ll be able to test new material and really improve your instrument capability. With busking someplace cold during the winter, if you’re a musician it’ll really strengthens your fingers (I’ve pushed myself during cold nights to play long and difficult stuff – it’s really improved the strength of my fingers, I can hold bigger chord shapes for longer and tap very hard with both hands). But be warned it is hard when temperatures get as low as 2°C, that’s where the thermal fingerless gloves, I linked earlier, help out loads.
Not only will you get practice at your act, you’ll also get better at performing and communicating. You’ll build the confidence to perform longer, in various locations and in front of very different audiences, you’re basically playing a show where everyone’s invited and some people may really not like the show – but you learn to face this negativity and build a thick skin. Also meeting new people everyday, you’ll get better at communicating with people interested in your music, you’ll hear stories from people who are artists themselves or know an artist and artists they’ve met and what your kind of art means to them.
The best! You get paid to practice!!

Broaden Your Audience. Your art is shown to every kind of person there is, which attracts new groups of fans and vastly increases your audience. You’ll be surprised with who likes what you do, solo Doom Metal Guitarist? an elder lady may really enjoy Doom Metal and appreciate you being out busking and start headbanging like shes at a festival! – something you wouldn’t expect!
This may change your view on how to market your art, it’ll help define what kind of audience you attract. So if anything even a few busking sessions will be useful market research. It may also open doors to performing in venues, events and places you wouldn’t otherwise think of.

Get Paid to do What You Love! If you’ve got dreams and goals set for your art, and the long game you want to make a living from it! This platform – BUSKING, will give you a very good head start into that and excel your path. Just being out there among people, this is me, this is what I do, this is what I want to give to the world, will bring you opportunities and give you the results to feed your belief.
Whilst you’re busking, the money people donate is given to you because you’re doing what you love! I can’t think of any better reason than this to go and busk!

– you have the potential to go out there and connect with people –
– take action and do it –
– the results will open many doors –
– leading to more belief about your potential –
– repeat and see yourself develop –

I would love to hear your stories on busking, what you see as pros and cons for it and if this blog post has inspired you to busk – I’d love to hear more about your experience!

If you enjoy this blog post and if it’s benefited you in anyway, you can help support my journey
by directly donating to – paypal.me/jameschatfield
(any donation will receive a musical download!)
or
by purchasing music from my BandCamp page.

Feel free to contact me about anything – basschatfield@gmail.com

Have a positive week!
Think healthy happy thoughts and live a healthy happy life! 

All the best,

James x