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Want To Make a Living With Music? Be Useful

Gabriel Mann, musician/composer put it the best to me. If you want to make money you have to be useful. Yeah, it’s probably the statement that had the most impact on me.

Now how can musicians be useful? It’s hard to imagine touring, writing original songs, and recording as particularly useful to anyone else. The benefit is mainly you -the artist- getting to create music.

For Gabriel though, being useful merely boils down into learning a little bit of everything in the process of music. From my point of view, in today’s economy, being specialized is a bigger risk than being fluid and dynamic with your skillset.

I think any musician should have one skill that they are kick-ass at, but don’t leave your other skills on the table.

Here’s what we cover in this interview:

  • Gabriel’s primary source of income – composing for TV
  • What being useful really means and how you can leverage it to make more money, connections, etc.
  • His strategy for learning many skills
  • Why he never says no
  • Which was more important to him, school or his mentor

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How are you going to make yourself useful? What extra skills do you have? Leave a comment below!

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