>>It's a great way to learn about musical communication.<<
I think that's broadly true of all live performance- I'm always lecturing people to the effect that one gig is worth a hundred rehearsal sessions- but busking by it's very nature requires of the performer an enhanced ability to react to the immediate environment. in london now, they have a panel a bit like "x-factor" or "pop idol" to decide who gets busking rights in the busiest tube stations. I wish I knew how they decided- for my money (no pun intended), there are far too many "karaoke" buskers now... I don't care if they spend hours making their own backing tapes or if they just download them from someplace.... backing tapes seem dishonest somehow.
does anyone (london-based) recall the stanley jordan type who used to play outside the EMI publishing offices on charing-cross road? only time I've seen a busker with a DL4... I'm sure there are others, but this guy was something special. don't know what became of him- perhaps he's been signed.