Diary Of A Busker Day 551

Diary Of A Busker Day 551 Sunday April 27th 2014 Winchester (1. Opposite Pavilion, Time: 2:37-3:37pm, 2. Opposite Bellis, Time: 4:05-5:20pm).

I had exactly one hour  before it started to rain, which was long enough to get rid of a CD – a £9 one, no less – to my biggest fan: Charlie, around 10 years young. He was out with his dad and another bloke and he really loved the fingerstyle style – he even said ‘I love it!’ He’s just started on the guitar and has never heard of the stuff I play and wanted to know how I was doing it, so, first off, I told him about Chet Atkins (I should have told him about Tommy Emmanuel – after all, he’s still alive and he could go and see him!)…

…then I explained about the different things going on, using La Vie En Rose as the model. In fact, I played the whole thing, saying what each hand – and each finger – does, starting with the right thumb doing the bass and mid-range chordal stuff, and the first finger doing the melody. Then, palm-muting for the bass, staccato for the chordal stuff, legato for the top line. I did a good demonstration: I played a few bars ‘straight’ – no palm-muting, then played the same thing with all the technique stuff on. Two completely different sounds. It took about 15 minutes, which I didn’t mind, seeing as they bought a CD. Charlie loved it – like he said. He was all ‘Wow! – that’s amazing!’, which is great to hear from a kid, I have to say, although they are to be despised most times. Anyway, I made sure they remembered the name Chet Atkins before they went off.

When the rain started, I dragged the stuff under the overhanging canopy thing of the Creative Crafts shop, packed up and went off to Waterstones for half an hour…

…back out, there weren’t many about – and no buskers either, so I set up undercover in The Pentice. About halfway through, I met that little autistic boy – Ethan, he came out of the Cafe Nero place across the way with his parents. I had to apologise and ask them his name, as I’d forgotten it again, which was a bit embarrassing as they remembered mine! Anyway, I stopped playing so he could have a plonk on the guitar (the things I do). His fingers had to be forced to brush against the strings because he just rested them on top. I suppose he thought he’d just have to touch them to get the sound. To make it more…shall we say – musical, I shaped a D chord with my left hand while the mother moved Ethan’s fingers across the strings. He smiled a couple of times – something I don’t think he did before.

Earnings: £36.20p (Including 1 CD)

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