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Diversify Your Bad Self! ~ Guest Post by Doug Ross

Posted in A Day in the Life, Guest Bloggers, Recession Proof Musician | No Comments »


Strolling through the blogosphere this morning, I ran across a cool blog, Sound Music, Sound Money, by Doug Ross. Doug “has managed to make a living as a full time musician for over 20 years without getting famous or going broke”, and he has a lot to say about musicians wanting to manage their money. I wish I had found his blog last week when I was blogging about money beliefs, but what he says still fits well with HUSTLE, our focus for Week 3 of The Recession Proof Musician.

From Diversify Your Bad Self, Sound Music Sound Money Blog by Doug Ross.

One popular misconception about the music business is that most musicians make their living exclusively from live performances, or exclusively from studio session work. I’m not sure why people tend to make that assumption, but I suppose it may stem from the fact that most people only see and interact with us on stage. In spite of this romantic myth, the reality is that virtually all full time musicians these days earn their income through multiple activities. In fact, I can’t think of any players who limit themselves to gigs only, and I know hundreds of successful musicians all over the world!

There certainly must be exceptions to this generalization, but I would argue that even if you can make a good living through gigs alone, you will still be limiting the potential extra income and job security that greater diversification could offer you. Think about it. If you are playing a 4-hour steady gig 5 nights per week, that is still only a 20-hour work week — why waste your daytime hours?

Read Doug’s list of less commonly considered money making ideas for musicians and diversify your bad self!


Doug Ross

Doug Ross has managed to make a living as a full time musician for over 20 years without getting famous or going broke. He has a business degree from the University of Maryland, but didn’t learn any money-saving secrets in college. Most of the best advice he’s gotten has come from reading up on basic personal finance columns and books (hint, hint). For more info, please visit and consider purchasing a copy of his cool new album. It all goes to support Doug’s artsy-fartsy endeavors, including this blog!

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