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Dec 10, 2023 - 1:08:07 PM
1221 posts since 6/22/2016
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I seem to recall some mention of this sort of thing awhile back on here - I just came across this video on youtube re: fake fiddle buskers (spoiler: no sign of Lee on here!). I'm just surprised that they figure they can make more money busking than begging:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r13UY-j6DCk

Btw, I don't have any strong feelings about this; I'm just posting it as a curiosity more than anything else.  And, yes, as a matter of fact I DO have too much time on my hands ... !

Dec 10, 2023 - 1:28:52 PM
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11374 posts since 3/19/2009

Recently here in Bloomington, Indiana there was such a fiddler in a supermarket parking lot. Someone asked my friend ''what is the deal?".. My friend replied, " Probably a scam.. unless it is that guy with the rabbit.".. Made me laugh.
In a way these people are giving buskers a bad name but in another way....well, they are panhandlers disguised as buskers.. I see panhandlers all over out town corners with signs telling of their woes.. I can't judge the sincerity/true-need of those people and am NOT passing judgment on them here.. I don't care if the people are pretending to play a violin ( Many probably CAN play the instrument)..I just think that the signage sends the wrong message to Me.. It is all a little difficult for me to get my little brain around. Comments from others will be fun to read.......(PS.. These buskers are EXACTLY why I don't use signage except the word "tips appreciated" on my tip jar....

Edited by - TuneWeaver on 12/10/2023 13:40:26

Dec 10, 2023 - 1:33:44 PM
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Old Scratch

Canada

1221 posts since 6/22/2016
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Best sign I ever saw - young guy with a guitar: "No talent, tone deaf, can't sing - please help!"

Dec 10, 2023 - 1:34:50 PM
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11374 posts since 3/19/2009

....another one... I had the pleasure of traveling to Leon, Nicaragua several times. On year, outside a cathedral there was an old woman holding a baby and she had a medical prescription and wanted us to give her money to get the prescription filled... One person grabbed (politely) the prescription and before the lady could potest, took the prescription to a nearby pharmacy. There, they were told that it wasn't 'legit'. One would think that the story ended there.. The NEXT YEAR in front of the same cathedral, holding a different baby, was the SAME lady holding out a prescription. ....apparently the plan worked for her..

Dec 10, 2023 - 1:39:13 PM

11374 posts since 3/19/2009

quote:
Originally posted by Old Scratch

Best sign I ever saw - young guy with a guitar: "No talent, tone deaf, can't sing - please help!"


One guy around hear plays a accordion.. or should I say pretends to play.. He Can't play the accordion...just makes rhythmic noises...and smiles....He is one of my favorite buskers. Honest, friendly and entertaining even though Everybody knows he is  not playing a tune!!!

Edited by - TuneWeaver on 12/10/2023 13:40:59

Dec 10, 2023 - 1:55:41 PM
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Old Scratch

Canada

1221 posts since 6/22/2016
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Actually, now that I think about it, the sign read, "Tone deaf, can't sing, no talent - please help!" The order is important - seriously - because when it's at the top, the word "deaf" jumps out at you for a split second, and for that split second, you think this could be a legitimate plea ....

Dec 10, 2023 - 2:02:20 PM
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11374 posts since 3/19/2009

quote:
Originally posted by Old Scratch

Actually, now that I think about it, the sign read, "Tone deaf, can't sing, no talent - please help!" The order is important - seriously - because when it's at the top, the word "deaf" jumps out at you for a split second, and for that split second, you think this could be a legitimate plea ....


Good point.  Proper signage language is important...I'm thinking now.. if I had a sign that read, "Don't like my fiddle playing? Ok, but Please don't make me bring out my banjo!!!"... That would make me a fortune don't cha tink?  

Just thought of another, "Please walk by faster.. I only know this one tune."

Edited by - TuneWeaver on 12/10/2023 14:04:22

Dec 10, 2023 - 2:31:38 PM

wilford

USA

497 posts since 6/26/2007

I had occasion to hear a lone violinist performing outside of a Mexican eatery in Johnson City, Tennessee once and I was very impressed. She had pre-recorded music (like backing tracks) and performed the melody on her violin. Then she would press a foot switch and other instruments would play along. By using the pre-recordings and playing along with them, she was able to demonstrate a huge amount of talent. I gladly threw her $5.00 on my way back to the car from an excellent dinner. This style of busking I find enjoyable. There was nothing fake that I could see.

Also, there was no signage begging for anything. She simply had her violin case open. I'll bet she was a violin major at ETSU. 

Edited by - wilford on 12/10/2023 14:36:13

Dec 10, 2023 - 2:39:50 PM
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87 posts since 4/17/2023

I've had friends get really angry about this, but most music these days is synthetic in some way...

As for the Jesus part... we have presidential political candidates doing photo ops with swindler preachers who have major influence on the support of bombs being dropped on innocent people that we're all funding.

so i don't care too much about panhandlers working their acts. i kind of get a kick out of it. life's a stage

Dec 10, 2023 - 2:43:31 PM
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11374 posts since 3/19/2009

quote:
Originally posted by wilford

I had occasion to hear a lone violinist performing outside of a Mexican eatery in Johnson City, Tennessee once and I was very impressed. She had pre-recorded music (like backing tracks) and performed the melody on her violin. Then she would press a foot switch and other instruments would play along. By using the pre-recordings and playing along with them, she was able to demonstrate a huge amount of talent. I gladly threw her $5.00 on my way back to the car from an excellent dinner. This style of busking I find enjoyable. There was nothing fake that I could see.

Also, there was no signage begging for anything. She simply had her violin case open. I'll bet she was a violin major at ETSU. 


I could go along with that.. !!..

Dec 10, 2023 - 2:45:05 PM
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11374 posts since 3/19/2009

quote:
Originally posted by AlleghenyFront

I've had friends get really angry about this, but most music these days is synthetic in some way...

As for the Jesus part... we have presidential political candidates doing photo ops with swindler preachers who have major influence on the support of bombs being dropped on innocent people that we're all funding.

so i don't care too much about panhandlers working their acts. i kind of get a kick out of it. life's a stage


When busking I actually DO play a fiddle, but my puppet is faking it.. so I could be accused of being in Two camps on this subject.smiley

Dec 10, 2023 - 3:37 PM
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11374 posts since 3/19/2009

quote:
Originally posted by Old Scratch

I seem to recall some mention of this sort of thing awhile back on here - I just came across this video on youtube re: fake fiddle buskers (spoiler: no sign of Lee on here!). I'm just surprised that they figure they can make more money busking than begging:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r13UY-j6DCk

Btw, I don't have any strong feelings about this; I'm just posting it as a curiosity more than anything else.  And, yes, as a matter of fact I DO have too much time on my hands ... !


Back to the Original Post.. Now that I've had time to think about it, there seems to be a copycat issue here.. These probably aren't local people busking for a few bucks and for FUN.. These people are ''workin' da system'' and probably are going from town to town playing on people's heartstrings.. I find that aspect offensive to me. ..

Dec 10, 2023 - 3:38 PM
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3554 posts since 9/13/2009

A musician playing music, simply using backing tracks is different... not the issue. Not trying to fool anyone they making drum kit and bass sounds.

they figure they can make more money busking than begging: 

They are certainly NOT busking.

Not sure these even qualifies as begging. Rather just the "art" of a hustle, con, grifter; calculating what lies and props they need. Another popular one could also figure to make more money if they spent money on things like a wheelchair, military fatigues, American flag... and play the disabled veteran scam. The fake pregnant wife is good too. Some others got really good with lost limb tricks.

Dec 10, 2023 - 3:57:08 PM

3261 posts since 10/22/2007

The comments on this article mostly say outrage. I've read comments on other vids where they side with the faker/beggar.
Just don't go panhandling with a little dog in the beating sun.

Dec 10, 2023 - 3:58:44 PM
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3554 posts since 9/13/2009

quote:
Originally posted by TuneWeaver
quote:
Originally posted by Old Scratch

I seem to recall some mention of this sort of thing awhile back on here - I just came across this video on youtube re: fake fiddle buskers (spoiler: no sign of Lee on here!). I'm just surprised that they figure they can make more money busking than begging:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r13UY-j6DCk

Btw, I don't have any strong feelings about this; I'm just posting it as a curiosity more than anything else.  And, yes, as a matter of fact I DO have too much time on my hands ... !


Back to the Original Post.. Now that I've had time to think about it, there seems to be a copycat issue here.. These probably aren't local people busking for a few bucks and for FUN.. These people are ''workin' da system'' and probably are going from town to town playing on people's heartstrings.. I find that aspect offensive to me. ..


Most of these are not locals independently coming up with this hustle. A bit more of an larger organization, that have worked out the con... and provide the equipment. What needy person would go out and buy an electric violin, and battery powered PA (the one setup I noticed, by my estimate is about $600 layout). Notice that they find town,and are where this novel, work the place for what it's worth, then move on. When you notice they no longer there, it isn't because your "donations" actually went to or helped for whatever lies they told... them thru to rough patch, they the got job, made rent...  they moved on to next town to run the same hustle; fresh marks and gulls.

Dec 10, 2023 - 5:16:03 PM

doryman

USA

558 posts since 2/10/2020

I've seen these operators working the parking lot at one of our local grocery stores. If someone wants to pretend to play an instrument in hope for tips, I don't see anything fundamentally wrong with that. What I did NOT like about it was that they were way too annoying and agressive for my tastes. Running around the parking lot with their sign, in your face, the music too loud...they were less about busking and more about begging. If the violin "player" in questions was just sitting at a corner, like a regular busker, but fake playing, I might have laughed out loud when I discoverd his "act" and maybe throw him a dollar or two for making me laugh.

Dec 10, 2023 - 10:07:09 PM

6431 posts since 8/7/2009

quote:
Originally posted by AlleghenyFront

I've had friends get really angry about this, but most music these days is synthetic in some way...

As for the Jesus part... we have presidential political candidates doing photo ops with swindler preachers who have major influence on the support of bombs being dropped on innocent people that we're all funding.

so i don't care too much about panhandlers working their acts. i kind of get a kick out of it. life's a stage


Oh yeah. You're right, Putin did say he was running again.

Dec 11, 2023 - 3:59:53 AM
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Erockin

USA

839 posts since 9/3/2022

I give a little bit to any street musician. The days of cash aren't really here anymore and recently I passed a gentleman playing a Harp in a wheel chair. To the point I almost sought an ATM because this guy was ripping. I've been blessed by others generosity over the years, I never hesitate to pay it forward! Now one day, I hope to see a violin busker....that person will be my friend! lol

Dec 11, 2023 - 8:39:18 AM
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2377 posts since 4/6/2014

I am totally outraged !!!!angry

Thanks Old Scratch i needed that....Ahhh...smiley

Dec 11, 2023 - 10:32:56 AM
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2377 posts since 4/6/2014

To improve the performance i would suggest...A dry ice machine ....A big Fan....Fake snow....one foot on the monitor ....A dramatic back drop of a storm at sea...Leather pants...A troop of dancers entering stage (parking space)  left, dressed in spooky rags....And a horned villian twirling his mustaches.... i can see it all !... wonderful!!

like miming to André Rieu!!!... i reckon they would have earned every penny....laugh

Dec 11, 2023 - 1:44:53 PM
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1348 posts since 3/1/2020

This topic came up here a while back. I’ve seen a couple of these fake violin buskers, and there are lots of clips of them on YouTube. It became so common that it even made the mainstream news for a while. Some people even made videos of themselves exposing the fakery, including TwoSet.

It’s a shame to see it because the people who do this are just looking for a way to panhandle without actually providing anything to the passersby. Even more disappointing is that it’s also common for children to be put to work doing this—there’s always shady-looking guy sitting nearby in a van or car who seems to be the handler.

They tend to set up in parking lots, not near the doors where buskers are most often found, and they will turn the speakers up to an uncomfortable level so that everyone in the parking lot hears them.

It really makes the actual buskers look bad because it’s so obnoxious and exploitative, not unlike the panhandler I used to see at the Pentagon City metro station, who had a sign asking for help to feed her children; the only problem was that the number of children fluctuated and sometimes she didn’t have as many as the day before. It’s also exploiting the protection of busking as a first amendment right to get away with panhandling.

I have a good friend who does a lot of busking and has spent a serious amount of time and money to put together a sound board for playing everywhere that allows him to put together a one-man show. If people see him and avoid giving him money because they worry that he might be one of the fakers, it’s taking money out of his pocket when he hasn’t done anything to deserve it.

I enjoyed busking when I did it and I am always happy when I see someone playing the violin, viola, or cello out. When done well it really adds something to the day and to the general spirit of the crowd. I’d hate to see it being treated even more punitively than it is already if abuse causes those who are not particularly encouraging of it in the first place to attempt to shut it down.

Dec 11, 2023 - 2:25:24 PM

2399 posts since 12/11/2008

Have I actually seen a street busker since I moved to Hilo, a few years ago? I honestly can't remember. I don't even think I've seen a ukulele player plinking away in public. Even live music at bars is rare...though the smattering of hotels in the tourist quarter do have live Hawaiian music.

Dec 11, 2023 - 7:24:37 PM

3554 posts since 9/13/2009

quote:
Originally posted by doryman

If someone wants to pretend to play an instrument in hope for tips, I don't see anything fundamentally wrong with that.

...they were less about busking and more about begging.

Ifh. the violin "player" in questions was just sitting at a corner, like a regular busker, but fake playing,...


Pretending to play music, as "busking" for "tips"... is just not really a thing... thus would really just be begging, using a prop to tell a lie.

But touch on a point that many folks have fuzzy idea of busking, not much differentiating it from begging.

Busking, street performing... They are looking to EARN tips from providing a bit of entertainment; is meant to engage people in the performance; folk to stop and listen, bring bit joy. Where they set up is conducive for that.

Begging is about charity, giving because of hard times narrative. Beggars that just want to tap into that, set up with lots of folks in hurry, most folks that might quickly pass by. Not really intending for providing any entertainment value, or for folks to engage, stop, actually listen/watch, at all.

Not to say, some folks are legitimately in need, looking for help, helping hand; and can play an instrument to some degree, though not really street performance, entertainment, might use that to help getting attention and/or help quick narrative; or inviting to engage with their honest down on luck story, needs and how folks can help.  Not trying to lie/fool others.

-----------------

That said... While most folks are focusing on the fake music...  might ignoring other aspect that want to direct their outrage what's going on with these parking lot violinists... that they are simply fraudulent Professional Beggars, con men running a organized scam. They are not who they lead you believe they are. Everything about the narrative they create fake, and calculated, to exploit.

This is just bit of latest twist on old scams schemes. The goal of professional beggars is to gain sympathy, exploit peoples desire to help. As most folks are sensitive want to sincerely help, lift folks out of temporary dire... and these professional beggars know this, and can exploit it.

Calculated demographic, who to target, what reactionary triggers, emotions weakness they can exploit; (laid off, job, rent, mom, medical, religion, military, patriotism, age)... and thus ways how to exploit those.  Where to set up, how to set up; what props, components, conspirators (wife, kids), scripted words, spoken and on signage... all calculated to enhance narrative, give legitimacy to the scam.

Many different versions in past. Why this music, esp violin, twist?

As above,they understand the that target demographic fuzzy concept to differentiate busking and begging;  know that demographic in that parking lot.... mostly isn't folks likely going to actually stop/listen to a violinist performance, less likely to question.... are more likely viewing it as charity. The scam relies on being brief encounters, quick reactionary responses; the brief beautiful violin music they hear as walk by is just to tap into quick emotion. The electric violin and speaker, helps that quick/brief and illusion, set up at distance or place to discourage audience; not much allow folks get close or spend time observing, perhaps question. They know charitable folks tend to feel more sympathy and generous to general idea caricature of artist; idea helping a "musician" or "artist"; As well the musician caricature seems sign of sophisticated, sensitive, emotion, sincere,  and hard works/discipline; values of decent human they can relate; less intimidating and scary than other caricature they might portray...  (homeless, hunger, destitute, unwashed, seedy, deformed, addiction). The piped music, is just enough to give legitimacy to quick image to quick passer-by, as to musician aspect; importantly also serves to detract, less likely questions about the rest of the narrative, such as on the sign.

I notice most comments, or videos, the detraction works... folks don't look at other clues, ask/question if the person is who they are; actually is looking  to work, assistance finding work, job; actual help with housing; or even question the religious, and want help from local churches, religious organizations can offer; nor interest in being part of community, working class, and contribute something productive, of value to society; and this is simply to give them cash so they can live the free lifestyle and travel, without having to do those things.

In many ways it's like other fake charity and fundraising scams, some see on internet, social media... GoFundMe or KickStarter, or just TikTok, Instagram... such as help with some medical issue, esp if child. Or the old Nigerian Prince... They can suck folks in.

Dec 12, 2023 - 6:24:37 AM

139 posts since 9/4/2007

Don't make assumptions - That is the message I got after taking a group of youth to Chicago to participate in the DOOR project (doing some volunteer work and learning about urban issues of homelessness and drug abuse through a church agency). The main thing I learned was the first line of this post. We don't know what brought these people to pan-handling. (or possibly fake-busking), what their mental health status is, what major medical debt took away their home and put them on the streets, etc. The persons that spoke to us said that until you actually know the person's story you can't determine their need. Sure there are probably fake's out there, the prescription scam above is possibly a good example, but then why does that women need to pull the scam; mental health, no training or ability to get a job, family abuse? People hustling from me have asked for help with food. When I offered to buy them a meal, they refused; so I'm assuming they were just lazy hustlers. Maybe the woman with the fake prescription was lazy, but until you know her full story it's only your guess.

Edited by - pmiller510 on 12/12/2023 06:27:57

Dec 12, 2023 - 11:39:42 AM
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35 posts since 5/17/2013

In reply to pmiller510.

What a kind post. A minister that helped feed needy families and hungry children once told me that he didn't think God would have him burn in hell for feeding the wrong person a meal. Thank you for your post.

Edited by - TimeTension on 12/12/2023 11:43:07

Dec 12, 2023 - 12:02:55 PM

doryman

USA

558 posts since 2/10/2020

quote:
Originally posted by TimeTension

In reply to pmiller510.

What a kind post. A minister that helped feed needy families and hungry children once told me that he didn't think God would have him burn in hell for feeding the wrong person a meal. 


Don't be too sure about that.  Raised a Catholic, I was assured that I would burn in hell for eating a hot dog on Friday. 

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