I always like seeing buskers on the street, a city or town is missing so much if they don’t allow busking. Buskers add a pulse to a town. They are often raw, but you’ll find an honesty in the rawness, and we are getting it in real-time, it’s not overproduced; and yes maybe a little off the mark with its musicality at times but guitar players need a platform that is in a public place to express themselves while they are developing their craft.
What you’ll notice if you look carefully at street musicians if they are soloists, they may or may not have the ability to keep time. As a rule, I prefer music to be in time, but as a soloist it is possible to take liberties with the beat; you can’t do this when playing with other musicians, it’s the glue that holds it together. What I have also noticed is that if a guitarist is self taught and rarely played with other musicians they could easily fall into the trap of not knowing how to play in time at all. This in the long term will work against them. As you mature as a musician, you find yourself wanting to work with other musicians that will enhance your sound.
What I recommend is if you have been working alone for a long time, it’s a good idea to get hold of some sort of drum machine, ‘musical sounding’ audio files for the computer, assuming you are computer literate or some type of backing tracks and work with them for a while, these can help you develop a natural rhythm.
Every now and then, I get the opportunity to work with different people, some have tremendous voices or with other great skills but often it’s their timing that lets them down. Your timing should get to the point where you can stop playing for a few bars and then automatically come in on time at the precise place.
Guitarists often doodle around a bit and waste time. Be focused, set your self a plan of what to work on and then do t.
Don’t hesitate to leave a comment if you are having a few difficulties with timing and we can look at a way of sorting it.