Busker Central

"Hat" height
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Author:  BC [ Jul 21, 2005 ]
Title:  "Hat" height

Let's talk about hat height...

Seems that several buskers are noticing when their hat (case, etc) was up on a pedestal of sorts, they received more tips and transactions.

Next time out, try placing your case or whatever they put $ in up on a camping stool and see if it makes a difference.

See what interesting tidbits of info you can find at Busker Central? Like money in the bank... :lol:

Author:  busker4freedom [ Dec 26, 2005 ]
Title:  the height of the hat...

Makes sense to me...as soon as it gets warm here, I'll try it out...I like dressing up and making a presentation out of setting up the "hat" - which in my case would be a star shaped wicker basket, tinted gold...

could be a whole lot of fun... :lol:

Author:  Peter [ Dec 27, 2005 ]

I like the star basket, but why the hell are there coins in it? I take out coins as soon as they go in and leave the bills in. People put in what they see others doing, i.e. coins bring in other coins, bills bring in other bills.

Author:  busker4freedom [ Dec 27, 2005 ]
Title:  Quite simple, Peter

:lol: those are mostly foreign (not american...LOL!!!) coins...including an Australian Peace dollar from 1986...a pound sterling, et cetera...I do have various non-US currency too, including a 1 ruble note (talk about worthless?)

I've heard the angle about pitching and I'm not in it for that...as the label says, I'm http://www.busking4freedom.net (IT is still quite small, I CAN host subdomains for those who are interested...and this offer is NOT limited to musicians...)

YET, more power to those who wish to "pitch" in their own style! As it is/was for me, I've had stoney-lonesome hoosiers look at my collection of several dozen coins and say, "What's that shit?"

Somehow, I never thought such folk would find bills any more attractive...IF, I have currency, I usually "seed" the box a bit...some passersby will insist on very ceremoniously "setting me up" with a fiver or so...funny how many people want to "manage your act" I am polite with them as I can be...because I never approached busking as a job, I don't constantly think in terms of maximizing my "intake" - although if others do, that is their BUSINESS and they/you are welcome to it...

Further funny thing, I know Stacey Samuels, the banjoman in the SF Bay Area...and he is my host when I am on the coast...Stacey plays the cable car turnaround near the end of Hyde street by the Bay...2 hours in the early evening once a week...HE puts the bills in his pocket and doesn't take the coins out of his banjo case until the next morning...I have counted the coinage for him and in coins alone, he'd walk away with $110 American...HE is the beany-cap guy...

Simply put, when people ask me "You make a living at this?" I reply, "No, it is a way of life...consider the lillies of the..."

I've been put on planes, trains, buses and had new cases bought for me by folks who never gave me one thin dime...SO, as far as I am concerned, what you see in the basket is the 1/1,000,000,000th of the OTHER world that is visible to the naked eye... :lol:

Speaking of another world, here is how it sounds sometimes: http://www.garageband.com/artist/Busker4FREEDOM

BTW, I just got another camera, and live in a house with a great porch, where there is a hanging swing...I will be attempting to get close ups of those coins, and the currency I've kept for dozens of years - many moons, I say, MANY moons...at least two Jupiter returns...

Author:  BC [ Dec 28, 2005 ]

I've noticed people like to put $ into expensive tall tophats. I think I saw a collapsible one for only $65 somewhere on the web which is 1/4th the usual price. May do in a pinch. Another thing is, a tophat is obvious and traditional. Putting a tophat up on a pedestal would probably be about the best you could do depending on the type of busker.

Author:  busker4freedom [ Dec 28, 2005 ]

TOP HAT IS a good idea...I have found that suit "sports" (like tweed?) coats on cooler weather with VISIBLE pockets also has this effect...I was busking in front of the Bluebird Tavern the weekend of IU's Little 500 bike race one year...(CRAZY! It's like 6th street in Austin, TeXas on weekend nights when the UT campus has 50,000 longhorns lookin' fer some LONESTAR brewskie...)

A late twenty/early thirty something feller with short hair takes a stand directly in front of me as I'm singing Dylan's Subterranean Homesick Blues
(...if ya wanna be a yuppie,
swim like a guppie...)

and developes this CROSS look on his face...I begin to feel crowded by him, but instead of stepping BACK, I lean forward slightly, up the tempo a tad, and keep singing...by this time the two of us are eyeball to eyeball (and there's NO TIME TO thin...er, um...FLINCH!)

He stood there, for what seemed like an eternal moment, occupying what I can only call THIS LURCH before he stepped back and relaxed as I finished the notoriously SHORT Dylan classic...

As soon as I did, He goes...(excitedly, as if he's just been on a roundtrip rocket to Sirius B... :lol: ) THAT'S IT, THAT'S IT...KEEP SINGING, KEEP ON SINGING - Don't EVER stop! as he reached into his pocket, and proceeds to place rectangular green into my tweed jacket's left side pocket...then turns on his heel and disappears...

A few hours later, when I was stuffing my pockets with the change and the bills in the guitar box...I remembered the green the guy gave me. so I pulled what I thought would be a portrait of Hamilton out of my pocket...THEN, I quickly noticed the extra ZERO...my eyes zeroed in on the oval portrait...it was the KITE FLYER - BENJAMIN himself...a "c" note...HOLY SH.. I shouted...

GREAT GOOGLYMOOGLY smitherbetimbers :!:

Me, myself, if I employed the HAT trick, I'd get that two piece old-fashioned TUXEDO I saw in a local vintage clothing store recently, and do a repetoire of classic thirties HOKUM, Cab Calloway - IF he traaaaaaaades you dimes for nickels, and calls waaaaaaaaaaaaatermelons pickles, you KNOW you talkin' 2 dat Re...RE... :lol: :wink: ROOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOFA MAAAAAAAAAAAN! + plus debut my own compositions in this vein...might even do the SPATS thing for me dancing shoes... :mrgreen:

Author:  BC [ Dec 28, 2005 ]

some cheap top hats that may do in a pinch including a collapsible one here

more at ebay here

Author:  busker4freedom [ Dec 31, 2005 ]
Title:  what a variety!

thanks...quite a few stylistic choices...

Author:  musicgrrl [ Jun 23, 2009 ]
Title:  musician "Hat" height

i'm a musician and have found that having both your 'hat' (i personally use a clear glass vase) AND your cd display off the ground makes a huge difference- i won't go so far as to say double, but not far from. people don't want to bend down, are more likely to make their own change (as opposed to asking you to stop or just walking by) and there is a psychological aspect about value- we don't put things of value on the ground. i resisted adding another item to lug around, then decided to try it at one point when a friend left a folding stool in my car. whew! huge leap on the day's take!

Author:  MrFudge [ Nov 14, 2010 ]
Title:  Re: "Hat" height

I've personally found that when I have people hand the money directly to me, I tend to make more than when I have a hat, tip jar, or other method. It seems that people will throw small ammounts into a hat on the ground or on a table, but they will give more when handing it directly to the performer.

Author:  guitarman [ Nov 20, 2010 ]
Title:  Re: "Hat" height

MrFudge wrote:
I've personally found that when I have people hand the money directly to me, I tend to make more than when I have a hat, tip jar, or other method. It seems that people will throw small ammounts into a hat on the ground or on a table, but they will give more when handing it directly to the performer.

It seems counter-intuitive and against the research above - but if it works for you, great. Do you happen to have a dog sitting next to you?

Author:  Howie Doodat [ Feb 17, 2011 ]
Title:  Re: "Hat" height

All depends on what you do. I played music (sax) on the street with my guitar buddy for many years and we always did the trickle method of letting people drop money in the case on the ground. Never really cared how much we made... we were doing it totally for fun and if we got enough to buy a burger and a beer later, then that was just gravy for us. BUT, doing street MAGIC, it's always a hat pitch. I don't leave the hat out - I don't want a trickle because that lets people walk away whenever they want and people have the herd mentality - I do a pitch at the end of the show, but build up to it during the show. I don't deceive them, I let them know during the show that I would like to be tipped at the end. Those that stay around usually do tip, and I don't insult them by leaving the hat on the ground; I hold it in my hand - they are tipping ME, not my hat. I look them in the eye and thank them. Others see that I am thankful and they are less reluctant to dig into their own pocket.
Different than music busking though. Having the hat up higher is definitely better - people feel funny about throwing money on the ground, even if it is into a case on the ground. PUT IT UP ON A STOOL OR SOMETHING - Makes it more visible and psychologically more appealing to drop money into. Don't leave change in the thing... only seed with bills... put in a twenty or at least a ten and a five - psychology again - makes people think that others are tipping large.

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