Where To Go Your First Time In Nashville…

 
       
 
Apr 23, 2016, 04:04 PM

Because Songwriting 101 is a songwriters site, I would only assume most of us wonder where to go on our first trip to Nashville.  First allow me to explain I’m not an expert by any means; but I’ve made many trips to the music city and have visited the tourist sights to include shows at the Ryman, the Grand Ole Opry, and the famous bars downtown on Broadway like Tootsie’s, the Stage, Wild Horse Saloon, and every bar in between.  However; I personally enjoy the clubs that feature writers rounds featuring singer/songwriters performing their own original music.

Now when I say that, please don’t think every singer/songwriter that moved to Nashville and is performing in these clubs are as good as the artists you hear on the radio.  Some are but the fact is; the majority of singer/songwriters performing in writers rounds are only average performers singing average songs they have written.  If you are lucky enough to catch a performance by a former hit songwriter; or even a pro writer that never had the luck to have a hit song, there are some really good performers if you are fortunate enough to catch them.

Even so, whether we attend a writers round with hit writers or average writers there is a lesson for us all.  First would be how our songs would stand up to theirs.  Would our songs be considered average as most of those being sung in a round; or way above average as most of us would hope our songs are (but chances are they are not).  Don’t get discouraged;  knowing the difference will only make us work harder and try to become better songwriters and performers; if we have the ability to be objective and know the difference from an average song compared to a really well written song.

Know also a newer songwriter just doesn’t show up in town with a CD and hope to visit every publishing company on music row to pass it off as something they have to hear.  Neither do they offer their CD to artist’s performing on stage; either before or after their performance.  There is a term called “Gherming” that means publishers and artist’s almost consider that a virus and avoid anyone trying to do that.

So realize your first trip to Nashville should be to take in the sights and have a good time.  If you are serious about music and want to become an artist or songwriter; realize you have to make friends and build relationships first.  Realize the folks in Nashville are really nice people and they welcome anyone from out of town.  However; when it comes to their profession and livlihood, you’re asking them to consider your songs over theirs and the songs of their friends.  That would be like you hiring a babysitter over the internet to watch your kids; would you trust your kids with a stranger over the internet or with a trusted family member and dear friend.  If you were a pro writer, publisher; or label person, would you expect them to consider your song (as a stranger out of town) for an artist to record, over the well written songs from their trusted friends they have been friends with for many years??? 

It can be done but building relationships in Nashville can also be a long process, starting with learning the songwriting craft followed by making frequent trips, supporting other artists, and slowly building the friendly relationships with other songwriters that may lead into co-writing a song with them and moving forward in the trade.  Oh sure, some of us unknown songwriters will advance quicker than others; but it all starts with making friends first.

Now there is also the fact not all of us are trying to become a hit songwriter or famous artist.  Personally, I think those of us that have come to those terms we can be satisfied by the songs we have in our catalogue are the most happy with our small achiements and happy to praise the work of others.  So, if your planning to visit Nashville for the first time, enjoy yourselves and don’t worry about all of the other crap.

By the way, if you want to catch the best act in town, go to the MAB website and see where he is performing.  That’s the best show in town in this old guys opinion.

OD

[ Edited: 23 April 2016 04:16 PM by OD-OldDog]
 
     
OD-OldDog Joined Feb 14, 2016
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May 29, 2016, 02:40 AM

Hey this is really good information.  I have heard another songwriter friend talk about how it’s important not to go around trying to make as many contacts as you can, but focus on taking your time to make friends with a few people.  What you say makes a lot of sense.  This gives me a good idea of what to focus on when I start making the journey, thanks for posting.

 
     
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Teresa Anderson-Comer Joined May 29, 2016
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May 29, 2016, 02:48 PM

Teresa,

Nice to have you post, and it’s nice to meet you.  Before I go any further, I must disclose I have no credibility in Nashville; nor am I a pro songwriter.  I just posted my comments from the view of someone that has made many trips to Nashville over the years as a songwriter, and learned from a few pro writers what is considered appropriate and what is not.

Since you sound interested to visit Nashville someday, allow me to share some of my experiences and maybe help you along with your future journey.  I would like to begin by introducing you to someone on the SongWriters 101 site that has made a business out of helping newer singer/songwriters like you; before you visit Nashville.  His name is Marc Alan Barnette (MAB) and you can read his many suggestions to help all songwriters, by going to the top of the page and click on “Forums”.  Then find a Forum called “The Business Side” and click on that. Scroll down to the Thread “MAB questions” and click on that.  At this point you have the option to read along with several pages or go to “last” and be able read the last page of comments or contact him directly at the bottom of the page.

This is my advise to you.  Before you ever make a trip to Nashville use MAB’s thread to ask him any questions you would like.  He is a wealth of information and he loves to share it with all of us, if we’d just take the time to post and ask. You can learn so much about Nashville and the business side of music before you ever leave your home for your first trip; if you contact MAB.

I only suggest this to you since you seem to be an inspiring singer/songwriter.  You need to know both sides of the coin and learn how difficult the music industry truly is.  Not that it can’t be done; but it’s much more difficult than most of us think.  I hope you will contact him.

Now for those who could care less about the music industry and plan a trip to Nashville.  I still offer my suggestions to take in the popular sites and enjoy a good time and some good music.

OD

 
     
OD-OldDog Joined Feb 14, 2016
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May 30, 2016, 01:27 PM

Thank you for the advice.  I will definitely look up the post you suggested.  I appreciate your candor.

 
     
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Teresa Anderson-Comer Joined May 29, 2016
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May 30, 2016, 02:20 PM

Teresa,

I’d like to give you my honest opinion and allow you to make your own career choice.  Personally, I would prefer you would invest your time in a career like; nursing, teaching, law, medical doctor, CEO of a large corporation; or flipping hamburgers at McDonalds.  S.O.B. at least with one of those jobs you will bring home a pay check to pay the rent; well with a McDonald’s job you may have to live in a trailor park; but at least you’d have a home.

Income in the music industry has become so hard to come by and very, very few enjoy a decent living these days; yet alone the reducing number of artist’s that become rich and famous, as back in the 60’s, 70’s, 80’s, and even into the 90’s before the internet entered the picture and allowed sharing of music and theft that robbed the artist’s and music industry of their income.  However all of this information is out of my so called “pay grade” and best left for a professional like MAB to explain to you.

Just know there are those that do occasionally beat the odds; but they are never an “over night success” as we may assume because one day we heard them on the radio.  Most of their stories begin with them explaining the years of hard work it took them to get there, and realize also; most of those that tried will NEVER get there.

If you are determined to pursue your desire to make a living in music, please know there is a formula that will help you improve your odds to get there; but it won’t be easy.  When I say “improve your odds” that doesn’t mean anything is guaranteed; just that with a good plan your odds may be better than someone that shows up in Nashville with some songs and no clue what to do with them.

Once again, I’m going to ask you to visit MAB’s Thread and speak to him on your own. MAB will never guarantee he can get you there; but he can give you the advise you need to help your skills and odds to allow you to get there; if you so insist.

Once again, I’d suggest you go to school and learn a profession to make a living, and use your music skills as a hobby to enjoy for your lifetime.  But that is only me.  I didn’t have performing talents like you and others, so I had no choice but to seek another profession.  Sometimes I view talent as being a curse when it comes to music.  Ha!!!

OD

[ Edited: 30 May 2016 02:26 PM by OD-OldDog]
 
     
OD-OldDog Joined Feb 14, 2016
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