Music City: home to countless songwriter nights, open mics, aspiring artists, and gifted songwriters. If you are looking to get plugged into the Nashville music scene, this list will show you where to start.
Bordering the South edge of downtown Nashville are the 40 houses of music publishers and recording studios in the small area of Berry Hill. With studios like Creative Workshop, the first studio of its kind in the town, and the renowned Blackbird Studio owned by John McBride, this area is part of making music history daily as a production powerhouse.
Comprised of music publishing houses, recording studios, and popular restaurants on Music Square East and West (16th and 17th Avenue South), Music Row is a known hotspot for musicians and tourists alike. You will find the ASCAP and BMI offices here for music publishing, licensing, and royalty collection, plus the active music producers at Curb Records and the tourable RCA Studio B where legends like Elvis Presley made history!
Downtown is full of Nashville’s vibrant history and live music! Visit 3rd & Lindsley where you can sometimes hear Eagle guitarist Vince Gill play with the Time Jumpers band, or park at the ACME lot and go to 1st Avenue for a live outdoor concert at the Ascend Amphitheater. Nearby on 4th is the The Listening Room Cafe where you can listen to songwriters play for a good cause, and the beautiful, historic Ryman Auditorium rests on 5th. Lastly, swing by the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum or the Musicians Hall of Fame and Museum on Gay Street to spend a few hours wandering through the extensive exhibits of the greatest artists in recent history.
Famous for the Grand Ole Opry’s shows and the beautiful open spaces and walkways of the Gaylord Resort, Music Valley is a wonderful area to visit, stay, and listen to some of the most talented country musicians the area has to offer. You can also catch a show in other venues here, including the General Jackson Showboat!
A visit to The Bluebird Cafe can be an excellent choice for anyone looking to dig into Nashville’s music scene. Founded in 1982, this songwriter haunt features multiple daily shows, so you can visit whenever is convenient.
Nashville’s east side is the quirky home to American Legion Post 82, a non-profit where you can not only dance the night away but can also listen to classic country music, gospel, bluegrass, songwriter’s rounds, and more. The Basement East offers you the chance to catch an energetic live performance any day. With a wide variety of performances, you may want to try coming on a few different days! You can also visit punk and indie venue Drkmttr for a rebellious, experimental atmosphere.
Although not actually a part of Nashville, if you are in the area, this charming town is worth visiting! Here you can find The Franklin Theatre, where big-name artists like Amy Grant and Switchfoot have performed, and The Mockingbird Theater, which was voted one of the best live music venues in Tennessee!
Nashville is brimming with music events, museums, and companies to learn about and visit. There is truly something for all kinds of music lovers in Nashville. So, do a bit of research to find and enjoy a music experience tailored to your interests and passions!