So you’re a musician in music city, experiencing all the passionate live performances and wondering how to be a part of that world. Or, you’re a touring band who’s looking to add Nashville to the stop list. Either way, performing in Nashville can be the gateway to your music career. This city has music everywhere, and playing live here can build your audience and stage presence while allowing you to make connections in the industry. We’ve created a guide of the best ways to get into the live music scene in Music City, along with a few notable venues to check out.
Go to Shows
If you’re living in Nashville, the best way to get involved in the scene is by going to different shows at different venues. This way, you get an idea of how it all works and you get to find out who hosts each show. After going to a few you’ll be able to tell that Nashville has a whole community of live musicians, and you’ll probably end up recognizing many of them as you attend more and more shows.
Network with Performers
After scoping out the different venues in Nashville and making connections with the community, it will be easier to land shows at the venues you want. However, be realistic when planning a show and considering how many tickets you’ll be able to sell, as this is a defining factor in whether you’ll get a gig or not.
If you’re new to the live scene in Nashville, start out playing writers rounds and at small show settings. This is the perfect way to build your way up to higher quality venues, and will give you a sense of what your audience in Nashville is like.
Reach Out to Venues
Once you’ve figured out where you wanna play, check out the venue’s social media to see what their live show schedule is like and who to get in contact with about being booked there. If you’ve already been to this venue, hopefully you’ve met one of their hosts or booking agents, but if you haven’t been able to, most venues have an outlet to submit a portfolio of your music for their consideration. Be sure to reach out to several different venues while you wait for a response to increase your chances of getting chosen for a gig.
Popular Nashville Venues:
True Music Room
The Back Corner
The Red Door
While it isn’t too difficult to book a show in Nashville, every new artist here has to pay their dues; and part of this is attending a lot of shows and reaching out to a lot of people to make connections. Eventually you’ll find your way around the music scene here, and in the process you’ll make some amazing and talented friends to share the journey with you. Break a leg!