Chester Misery…But – Just be You

A complete misery of a mood overtook my mind as I walked around Chester looking for a spot. Four other buskers occupied the prime spots of Chester, three of which were vocalists singing to backing tracks, but with a phone or tablet on a stand for lyrics – I’ve never understood this, kind of seems more like street-karaoke rather than busking, I understand it when vocalists perform from memory and you can feel/see their passion for singing. More of a passion than a quick grab for cash which is what I feel when I see street-karaoke, but if it works for them and makes them/the street happy, then awesome, go do that! It can sometimes be dis-heartening, but I suppose the general public enjoy singing and hearing songs they know – that’s the X-Factor culture influence kicking in. But generally as humans we don’t like things that are different, it’s uncomfortable and uncomfortable means unsafe in our natural instinctual way of being.

But anyway, I compromised and found a quieter spot to play, but I just sat there with this misery consuming me, making me angry – I rarely get angry. My mind shouting all sorts of questions and feelings I haven’t felt in some time; what’s the point? no-one wants to listen, I’m just in the way, not doing anything of value, I should be out doing something more and giving more to the world, you’re just playing the same stuff and no-one wants to hear it, whats the actual point of it all? you suck! 

And then I said, ‘SHUT UP!’, the weird angry thoughts soon stopped, interrupting with ‘but this…and this..and….’ – ‘NO!’. I set up as quick as I could and started playing.

The truth is no-one cares, and you can see that in two ways;
‘No-one cares, whats the point?!’
or,
‘Wait… no-one cares? Then I can just be me and do what I feels is of value!’

No-one wants to hear you complain, complaining sucks. I hear people complain all the time about tiny little things, I always wonder why their mind is consumed by it, I mean I understand it to a certain degree because of having moments like it, but I realise how unproductive and negative it is on the mind.

We are so small in this world we have,
Why would you worry about little things,
Just take all and enjoy it now,
We have this one life
https://chatfield.bandcamp.com/track/the-little-things

I have to learn where that misery grew and control it better next time. But playing music sure helped, busking definitely helped. So to answer that mindsets question – ‘Whats the point?’ – the point is, it helps me stay happy and keeps my mind in a good place, which in turn helps me lead a happier more productive life – that is the point!

Find what makes you happy and use it as medicine when you feel not so good inside. 

Live stream from a portion of the set;

Over breakfast this morning I wrote in detail, this whole idea that busking helps you deal with rejection (I’ll keep adding before posting). With this constant stream of people walking past, some really don’t care, some look down on you, some throw insults at you, some pull their children away from you as they run in excitement towards the music “Ahhh, stay away, don’t catch the music big!“. I used to get upset by it, but now I’ve learnt to accept that not everyone is interested in everything. We’re all different and we all enjoy our own things, if we took notice of absolutely everything and enjoyed everything then we’d probably go crazy! No ones obliged to pay attention to you.

But busking is great in the sense that it pulls those out of the crowd that do really enjoy your music and that do find value in what you are doing. Which I feel applies to anything that you start doing, if you start doing something and exposing it to the world, documenting it online or just telling people everywhere, then you’ll soon pull out those from the crowd that really align with what you are doing. Opportunities that match your needs will come to you, when you just be you and do what you want to do.

So just be you and do what you want to do!

In the sense of it making you and others happy and bringing value to the world. Not in the sense of doing whatever you want and forgetting about the consequences that hurt others.

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An elderly couple walking the high-street, intertwined hands, a smile so sweet to each other it melts your face off – clearly their love for one another has been infinite and so true. I imagine their life to be somewhat simple, sweet and beautiful. Maybe they found love at a park bench, an accidental touch of hands as one sits down, a smile opening the heart to a whole new world, a voice tickling the ears in a soothing, addictive manner, all dancing and swirling into a story of magic and love.

Their attention from each others eyes, drew to the sound of a busker, turning and freezing still, totally absorbed and intrigued, they both felt something good. Their smiles rising simultaneously as though they were one. Walking over in unison, “We’ve never seen anything like this before! How fantastic!”, throwing in a little golden coin.

Just incredible, it raised the day to another level of joy and wiped away the negative mindset created earlier. In all their life they having seen anything like this, that’s something to smile about!

Forever grateful!


Thank you for reading my words and following this journey.

Download music here; – chatfield.bandcamp.com

Find me on Facebook and Instagram – @basschatfield

Subscribe to my YouTube – http://www.youtube.com/user/BassJamesUK

Join me on Patreon – https://www.patreon.com/chatfield

My TEDx talk – https://youtu.be/Eu-KJ1Z10Fk

Online Tips – paypal.me/jameschatfeld

Have a great day!

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The Tiny Chester Busk

In today’s account of busking around the world, not much busking was done. This comes from my habitual desire to constantly be on the move, which I realise can be a flaw at times, as that urge to move even if I really like a place i.e. Snowdonia, pushes me away from something perfectly peaceful and someplace that needs time to be fully absorbed and appreciated. To define Nomad – ‘a person that travels from place to place and has no permanent home’,  in this Podcast Episode – ‘Become Nomad – Episode 1‘, the host gives his explanation to what a ‘Nomad’ is, as he’s been travelling for five years now, living about one month at a time in places. A lesson can be learnt from this, that being a ‘Nomad’ doesn’t mean I have to move so frequently – so take things slowly, give time for attachment and be patient in the process. Part of me feels like I need to see everything all so soon, but the age of 25, means I have SO much time to explore.

I got a hostel last night instead. Differing to sleeping in a car, you’d expect to have a better night sleep, right? But a car doesn’t snore or make a bunch of racket at 3am!! haha, awoken loudly by the snoring man of room 29! – ‘dam you, you crazy man!’ – ah well! – we all snore at times, it’s part of the Hostel experience.

To unsuccessfully finding anywhere for coffee and breakfast at 9am in Conwy. Such a beautiful town with an incredible castle that sits by the water, but no cafes open at 9?!

First drive, Conwy to Bangor;

Sitting by this clock tower in Bangor, thinking of busking here, but having some weird urge to just run away. Reading – As I Walked Out One Midsummer Morning – finding lots to relate on with Laurie, the man who walked to London and pursued travel with using busking to fund it. Both inspirational and grants confirmation that I’m doing something of worth.

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Drive from Bangor to Llandudno;

Walking around Llandudno, enjoying these views, finding the perfect spot, but then a puppet show taking over with loud echoing volume. Dammit! I began feeling I wasn’t meant to be busking today, and maybe I wasn’t meant to? I feel sometimes it’s a necessity to do it every single day, which I understand, because I love it, but sometimes a break from it does help, it’s just actually hard to allow myself to just not busk.

So I moved on, again.

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From Llandudno;

Here in Chester, ah finally, a spot, a chance to busk a few hours. But after 20 minutes of playing, rain came + being the time it was, there wasn’t really anyone about, which at times doesn’t feel worthwhile busking, because you’re not affecting anyone, but in actual fact you are, because it doesn’t matter how many people walk past, it matters who walks past. That one person could be having an awful day and your music could switch their mind upside down to a positive and loving place. You just gotta do it, regardless of how many people are about.

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In that short space of 20 minute, a mother and her daughter bought a CD, as they walked away they stopped and read the CD, turning to each other and smiling, then turning to me, they knew that I knew, we shared a rather big smile!

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A rather kind soul with extremely kind words, posting up on Instagram after buying a CD from me. I was busking in Tenby and this girl was watching the entire time, a smile so wide it pushed positivity into all those around her, waving her head and feet about in such a happy manner. She disappeared and came back for this CD, “which one shall I take, left or right?” as she could decide between the two designs. It’s amazing to connect with people in such a lovely way and bring something good to their life!

Even though I need to learn to have the odd day off from busking to rest my hands and mind. I know for dam sure that I need to be making music every day, if it creates positive change like this!


Thank you for reading my words and following this journey.

Download music here; – chatfield.bandcamp.com

Find me on Facebook and Instagram – @basschatfield

Subscribe to my YouTube – http://www.youtube.com/user/BassJamesUK

Join me on Patreon – https://www.patreon.com/chatfield

My TEDx talk – https://youtu.be/Eu-KJ1Z10Fk

Online Tips – paypal.me/jameschatfeld

Have a great 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