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Fake Playing for Money

rauschmeier

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Has anyone else seen buskers pretending to play accordion with backing tracks pumped out of speakers?

I saw one here in NorCal outside Target and was really impressed...until the next day I saw a nearly identical set-up (different guy) outside of the grocery waiting for my wife so I had time to watch. Wasn't actually playing any notes! 😂

I guess it's quite common:

 

Dingo40

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A bit like some of our politicians: all tip and no iceberg (a Paul Keating quote, 1983) 😄
Actually having reeds would be awkward?🤔
 
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Tom

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Ugg. Haven't seen this around here yet. This is really bad for real buskers. I would be tempted to have a word..... I understand that people are desperate however.... It's a sad situation.
 

JeffJetton

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Yeah, I think someone posted a video awhile ago of someone doing the same thing (or maybe that was on a different forum?)

I've also seen videos of this same scam but with electric violin. Some of the perpetrators actually get pretty good at miming convincingly!
 

Ventura

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the unfortunate thing here in the Wash DC area is that many such
full time professional beggars are actually not

they are just normal homeless unskilled impoverished
people who are recruited daily by organized scammers
to man various types of "value added" begging stations
on countless high traffic corners around the metro area

they receive a wage of sorts but the bulk of the revenue
goes to the organization that provides the transportation, props,
materials, signs, etc.

todays begging is a type of organized crime on many levels,
and the few that actually are real are in danger from these groups
if they venture onto a gang controlled corner.. much like a freelance
hooker will risk a beating if they venture into a red-light area

i kid you not.. Wash DC is still one of the most exploitative places on the planet
 

pentaprism

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the unfortunate thing here in the Wash DC area is that many such
full time professional beggars are actually not
....
You can replace "Wash DC" with "San Francisco" or "Berkeley" and your post is still true.

Many times I "sell" items of wood working or music instruments. I ask the buyer, in lieu of paying me, donate to a charity organization of their choice, but do not give it to the people in the street asking for money. Doing so, IMHO, only makes a sad situation sadder.
 

Dingo40

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todays begging is a type of organized crime on many levels,
Actually, this reminds me of an article l read, quite a long time ago, of how the Mafia has organised many aspects of tourism in Italy to suit themselves, in particular, the sidewalk seating, drinks, snacks, souvenir trade, busking, begging as well as the guides. Allegedly the Mafia has it all sewn up and organised!
Anyone calling out a fake busker under these circumstance could get more than they bargained for from the "minders"! 🤔
 
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JeffJetton

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Found one example of a violin faker. He actually looks like he might know a thing or two about playing violin, but there are plenty of spots where what he's doing doesn't match what's coming out of the speaker.

 

Big Squeezy Accordions

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the unfortunate thing here in the Wash DC area is that many such
full time professional beggars are actually not

they are just normal homeless unskilled impoverished
people who are recruited daily by organized scammers
to man various types of "value added" begging stations
on countless high traffic corners around the metro area

they receive a wage of sorts but the bulk of the revenue
goes to the organization that provides the transportation, props,
materials, signs, etc.

todays begging is a type of organized crime on many levels,
and the few that actually are real are in danger from these groups
if they venture onto a gang controlled corner.. much like a freelance
hooker will risk a beating if they venture into a red-light area

i kid you not.. Wash DC is still one of the most exploitative places on the planet
Sounds like the plot of Threepenny Opera. Didn't realize this was a real thing.
 

Dingo40

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https://www.ziehorgel.de/produkte/harmonika?lang=en

Automatic accordions are an interesting one. They're certainly more 'real' than just having a speaker system playing mp3 files, but the music is still controlled by the instrument rather than you. I guess it's most similar to busking with a street organ, only you're tricking people into thinking you're playing the music.
 

Thomas N

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Reminds me of the time I sold my Cordovox around five years ago. I put an ad in Craigslist and to my surprise a couple people responded.

I've had this accordion since the 80's and always loved it but the electronics are outdated and the amplifier was huge. My wife had had enough of me moving it from room to room for the past 30 years.

This man comes over and asks me to demo it. I play it, show him how the organ sounds work, run through all of the registers, and basically just enjoy myself for 20 minutes. He is smiling the whole time and says he'll buy it. I say that's great but you've got to try it first. You'll love it.

He says: "Oh, I don't play. I've never had lessons. My dad played and I always loved the sound of his Cordovox. I always wanted one and when browsing Craigslist this was too good to pass up."

I asked if he intended to take lessons. Nope. Just wanted to have it.

I sold it but would be lying if I said I didn't think to myself "it's never going to be played again".
 

Mike K

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Has anyone else seen buskers pretending to play accordion with backing tracks pumped out of speakers?

I saw one here in NorCal outside Target and was really impressed...until the next day I saw a nearly identical set-up (different guy) outside of the grocery waiting for my wife so I had time to watch. Wasn't actually playing any notes! 😂

I guess it's quite common:

Common, fake accordion playing????? In North Carolina even. I am in Virginia, accordion not exactly a popular instrument in the southeast. Maybe in Florida.
 

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