How To Make It In Nashville:

June 9, 2013

Success In Music City’s Music Industry

There is no one entity in Nashville that accepts applications for a job in the music industry – no matter how good you are at what you do.  And you can’t just sell a song.  Therefore, one excels in the music industry based very much on the friends they make, the hours they sweat, and the chances they take.  Be patient, curb any excessive zeal, and try to listen for what you should be doing rather than talking about what you are doing – everyone is also doing something else just like you and maybe they’re doing it better.  Here’s a great list of things NOT to do when you move to Nashville.

Success always comes when preparation meets opportunity, luck is the inexplicable variable, and talent is practicing something you love until you become an expert.  You’ll probably have to work a regular job for a while but I’ve noticed that most of the successful people in Nashville devoted their life to becoming a master at one or more of the following skills:

  • Creating – writing and co-writing popular songs that sell.  I love what Mitch Ballard says about this.
  • Performing – being highly proficient on one or more instruments, on stage or in the studio.  I love Tim Aker’s advice on this.
  • Engineering – providing world-class sound production
  • Business – fostering exclusive connections, management, and community involvement

Additionally, you do need to be in Nashville on a regular basis.  Opens Mics are a great place to start networking as you’ll continuously develop your skills, make friends, and learn about the community.

Join whichever guild it is that serves your segment of the music industry, for me that’s NSAI and BMI, but there are groups strictly for musicians, engineers, producers, and other professionals.  Pay attention to your industry.

The music and art scenes are very active in Nashville and the city is steadily growing stronger each year.  While its foundation is inherently Country Music – as portrayed in ABC’s TV series Nashville – the city proudly welcomes all other genres and offers its unconditional support to all styles with countless annual events like Musicians Corner and Live on the Green.

If you are thinking of moving to Nashville to make it in music – good luck – the city will wish you the very same.

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  • About Andrew McGee

    I am from a small town in northwest Florida where I spent my formative years studying music and eventually attending college for Integrated Marketing and Communication Studies. In 2008 after moving to Nashville to be closer to the music industry, I realized I liked working in web communications. Always having a knack for storytelling, I began seeking opportunities to help small business owners with their online goals, and developed skills to communicate comfortably with clients while executing technically advanced tasks. I earnestly connect with people and enjoy taking the time to patiently explain complex, technical solutions to people who are justifiably more focused on running their whole business and less focused on the tedious details of digital.