To be the best busker, you must have the best busking equipment. Whether it’s state of the art microphones, the best PA systems, mixers or even a compact all in one system, we’re here to help you buy the best.
We’ve listed the top equipment for buskers in the UK in this handy list and even added links to show you where to buy them for the best prices. Plus, if you keep reading you’ll find our handy buyers guide to help you find exactly what you require.
Best Microphones for Busking
Best Amps for Busking
Best Guitars for Busking
Other Handy Equipment for Busking
The Best Microphones For Busking
The best microphone for busking depends totally on your performance and set-up. Will you be just singing or playing an instrument too? Do you want a wired headpiece or a standard mic on a stand? These are things to consider when picking the best microphone for busking. Is a cheap microphone going to give you just as good a vocal sound as a more expensive? Of course not – but we all have to start somewhere, so here I’ve listed a few of the best microphones for busking beginners right through to experts.
The Shure SM58 is possibly one of the most well known microphones in the business and for someone who wants to get the best vocal sound, this is one of the best microphone you can get your hands on. It’s a sturdy, well made dynamic microphone and has been used by professionals for years.
Similar to the Shure, this Behringer XM8500 Dynamic Microphone is a high quality piece of kit, perfect for beginner buskers looking for a great microphone within a budget price range. Unlike the Shure, the Behringer doesn’t come with a mic stand – so don’t forget to add one to your basket.
For buskers looking for the best lightweight microphone, then look no further than this 2.4g Wireless Microphone Headset from EasJoy. It’s great value and can be easily used alongside any amp or PA. Sure, it doesn’t look as rock and roll as a big mic on a stand, but when it comes to convenience – why would you want to carry round the extra equipment?
The Best PA System/Amp For Busking
Choosing the right speakers to project your busking sounds can be a tough call. Do you need just an amp, a whole PA system – how are you going to power them? In order to make you the best busker on the street we’ve round up the best 3 amps for busking in 2019.
Roland Street Cube – this is the standard busking amp. It’s light, it’s slim and it takes batteries. It’s definitely, if not the best, the most well known busking amp in today’s market. Not only is it great for musicians but it’s perfect for vocalists too.
It’s a battery driven speaker so make sure you’ve got rechargeable batteries (and a charger) because this powerful machine takes 6xAA’s and lasts a maximum of 15 hours continuous use.
With dual input (and an aux input) you can have not only guitar but vocals and even backing tracks running through the speakers all at once. This is the perfect entry level busking amp.
The S1 Pro Bose speaker is a battery powered amp which runs for around 11 hours on a full charge. If you’re wanting to up your busking game then this is one of the best professional busking amps on the market.
The S1 Pro has inputs for both microphones and vocals and has an easy to use control panel. You can also add an aux lead for any other inputs such as backing tracks.
The bluetooth functionality means you can hook up instruments wirelessly and the multiple aiming positions give optimal sound in any nearly position.
These Bose speakers also have an Auto EQ function which adjusts the systems tone automatically to make sure your performance always sounds its best.
This amp is not the cheapest, but it’s quality, portability and functions make it one of the best busking amps to invest in.
This is the big brother of the Roland street cube and it’s definitely got some improvements. With up to 20 hours battery life from 8xAA batteries, this amp contains four independent channels for connecting a variety of mics, instruments, and audio devices. There’s a magnitude of settings, which for beginners may be a lot to get their head round but professionals should get on with the Roland Street cube EX with ease.
Weighing just 9.25kg the Roland Street Cube EX is just as portable as the other amps recommended and is hugely popular with street musicians as well as those performing to large indoor crowds.
The Best Guitar for Busking
The best guitar for busking is one that’s easily transportable, easy to play and one you actually like. Many buskers and travelling musicians find that using a 3/4sized guitar a great way to ensure maximum portability. Here’re 3 of our favourite electro-acoustic guitars for busking with and 3 electrics.
This is a great beginner electro acoustic guitar to start with. It’s a budget guitar but it has all the necessaries to make it great for busking. It’s ¾ size so perfect for travelling with, it has a classic finish so looks sexy and sleek and it has a 4 Band Preamp EQ.
This spruce top, rosewood fingerboard and bridge Yamaha guitar is a beautiful ¾ size acoustic electric guitar. Not only is it super stylish but it makes a great sound too. With quality sound from a huge known brand this guitar is a smaller version of one of Yamaha’s all-time best-selling instruments. Based on the super-popular APX500, this ¾ size is perfect for busking and travelling musicians. It has a 68 contact pickup and active preamp (it even includes a handy onboard tuner).
If you’ve been playing guitar for a long time then you’ll know that Fender is one of the most popular makes in the industry. This guitar is unlike the other 2 in that it’s a full size guitar, but don’t let that put you off. This guitar is beautiful with it’s Fishman Isys-T pickup system, Painted maple bridge with compensated saddle, Back and sides: Laminated nato and Die-cast tuners.
This guitar is a Squier and part of Fenders budget range of guitars, which makes it perfect for transport and travel – nobody wants to lose/break a hugely expensive piece of kit.
A great budget ¾ Electric guitar by Gear4Music this guitar will set you back just pennies and has similar perks to the more expensive electric guitars. It comes with a free lead and gig bag and is the ultimate plug and play guitars. Choose from a variety of colours however wine red is definitely one of our favs and will help you stand out on the streets. The ¾ size makes it the perfect travel companion.
Like many people in the busking industry, this was my first ever electric guitar. With a laminated hardwood body and a black gloss finish, this beautiful ¾ size electric guitar is another brilliant busking option. The three single-coil pickups, a fixed non-tremolo hardtail bridge and five-way switching make the Mini sound as cool as it looks. You can even pick this up in pink colour to really stand out from the crowd.
Here’s our full size choice, the Yamaha Pacifica 012. Constructed using Rosewood, maple, and Agathis/Nato and finished with humidity protecting tough lacquer, this guitar is stunning. It has a five position lever for pick-up selection and the quality tuning gearing gives simple, stable and reliable tuning. This guitar comes in a wide range of beautiful colours so you can stand out whilst busking. Weighing just 3.4kg it’s easy to transport and is a brilliant budget guitar.
Other Handy Equipment for Busking
We’ve listed the main and best busking equipment’s above, but what about those handy extras and necessities like microphone stands, guitar bags, picks, etc… there’s so much more to think about when buying busking equipment than just guitar, mic and amp. Here’s our list of the best handy equipment for busking
The Best Guitar Cases For Busking
Having a good guitar case is so important for your busking game. It becomes a space to self promote, collect money and of course serve the all important purpose of carrying around your instrument.
We love this hard shelled case, perfectly sized for a ¾ travelling guitar. A hard shelled guitar case is definitely the best option for buskers – especially those commuting to locations via public transport. Keep your guitar protected and your business promoted.
If you’re not keen on this hard shelled guitar case, then you can view more here…
The Best Guitar Picks For Busking
Most busker have a ton of picks in their possession. There small, fiddly and tend to get lost easily so the best thing to do, when it comes to plectrums, is to buy in bulk
This set of 20 guitar picks is perfect for acoustic and electric guitars. They’re smooth, sturdy and durable and you really can’t go wrong with a wide range of sizes and colours
The Best Guitar Straps For Busking
Imagine having all your kit ready and heading out to the streets only to realise you’ve forgotten a guitar strap. It’s such a small thing, yet so vital to your performance.
This Tiger guitar strap comes with handy pockets perfectly sized to keep hold of your picks and is totally adjustable between 92-151 cm. It can be used for any kind of guitar and is perfect value.
The Best Guitar Tuner For Busking
Unless you’re a musical genius and you can tune by ear, you’re gonna need a tuner. The best one for busking is one that’s small, easy to carry and, of course, accurate.
This Guitarology: Clip-on Guitar Tuner comes with batteries and is super dinky. Easy to read and comes in 3 choices of colours. It can be used in noisy environments as it works based on the vibrations which means it’s perfect for a busy city centre on a Saturday.
The Best Guitar Lead for Busking
Having a guitar lead that’s strong, durable and long enough to reach your amp is another important thing to remember. The best ones out there are made with tangle free materials because no busker has time to stand around untangling cables.
This guitar lead from Amazon is tangle free, strong, durable and made with OFC Insulator Shield meaning there’s no handling noise or interference. The tweed jacket makes it super durable, flexible and tangle-free.
Best Microphone Stand For Busking
If you’re a vocalist as well as a guitar player, you obviously can’t hold a mic and sing at the same time. Grabbing an easy to carry portable mic stand couldn’t be easier.
The Tiger Boom mic stand comes with a mic clip which means it’s ready to go without the need for anything else. You can buy it with or without the bag, however if you’re travelling a lot you’re going to want the bag for ease of use.
The Best Way To Carry Your Busking Equipment
There are many ways to get around the city’s with your equipment. Whether it’s carrying big bags on trams and buses or sticking it all in a wheelbarrow and pushing where there’s a will there’s a way. However, my favourite way to get about with all my busking equipment is most definitely by bike. Getting a bike with a basket at the front and the trolley at the back makes life SO much easier and they look so nice!
What is the best equipment for Buskers in the UK?
Dependant on whether your busking includes instruments or just vocals your choice of equipment can differ. For just vocals you’re going to need something to play your backing tracks, microphones, speakers and a quality PA system, the chances are you’ll be able to buy a great compact all in one system. If you’re adding an instrument, you’ll want all of the above with or without the backing tracks, plus your instrument and maybe a good mixer.
Do I need to buy the best busking equipment?
If you’re just starting out, you may not even require the best busking equipment and may in fact find you’ll do just fine with your guitar and vocals alone. However, if you’re not using anything to amplify your sound, you’ll have to busk in quieter places and quieter places generally mean less people and less money. If you want to be heard, then it really is beneficial to buy some of the best busking equipment you can find.
How can I power my busking equipment?
All the best busking equipment listed works on battery power so there’s no need to worry about finding power. Just make sure when you leave the house you have enough charge on your system. Alternatively you can also use a generator, however these can be a pain to lug around with all the other busking equipment in your possession.
Will buying the best busking equipment be expensive?
Busking without equipment will only get you so far, of course it’s going to take a little investment to get you the top busking equipment, but it’s a worthy investment that really doesn’t have to break the bank. The busking equipment I’ve listed above should give you some idea on the sort of money you should be investing into your trade and talent. If you want to be the best busker, you need the right equipment.