Nashville Ear Blog

Songwriting and Music Career advice from Music Industry Experts. Do you love music and dream of writing songs or performing on Nashville stages? The top songwriters in the world call Nashville home! Tourist flock to our city to see the next big artist or hear the next hit song. Co-writing, Open Mic Nights and Paid Music Gigs are the dream of many and the reality of a lucky few. We hope you can use the information in these stories to make all of your music dreams come true.

List of Nashville Ear Blog Post

Marc-Alan Barnette

Why do we do what we do?

There is a point in every writer/artist’s career that you say “What am I doing this for?” Everything you do.

The Dreamed

We are Dreamed, everything you see, feel, experience, every song, season, each moment, falling in love, children, etc, is the glorious dream of the creator.

Barbara Cloyd

If you Twist your Hook too Hard, You Might Break your Song

A clever twist on the hook is a mainstay of country music and a common form of that is using a phrase or cliché as a metaphor such as the Garth Brooks hit “Two of a Kind Working on a Full House.” Another way is to change the expression slightly such as Brad Paisley’s “Laughing All The Way to the

Getting Booked to Perform

Getting Booked to Perform

Before you approach a venue, find out what kind of music they book. This may sound painfully obvious, but The Bluebird is a folk/acoustic songwriters’ club that features only original music, yet I regularly get press kits from jazz bands, country cover bands, show bands – you name it.

by Marc Alan Barnette

Getting Started The Open Mic Nights.

Since there are more and more people coming into all this writing, performing, getting out of their living rooms,
much of it is becoming like that old conundrum:,

Cowrite a Better Song

Cowrite a Better Song

The landscape of the music industry, though constantly changing, remains steady on several key ingredients that consistently produce the songs we hear every day. Reversing the steps from songwriting to radio-ready, one element we tend to see commonly is the collaboration of several songwriters.

 Jamie Anderson

Songwriting mistakes – your mama may still love you but you’ll lose your audience

When I teach songwriting classes, I tell students that if they’re rhyming “fire” with “desire” that they should leave. That joke always gets a giggle. As someone who’s taught songwriting and also judged song contests, I’ve heard this rhyme too many times.

 Marc Alan Barnette

A Trip to Nashville, What to Do? What to Do?

A lot of songwriter’s, artists, interested parties (parents, friends, etc.) are making almost daily pilgrimages to Nashville, much because we are an “IT” CITY, growing and a very vibrant scene.

“Supporting your Local Songwriting Group.”

Since Songwriting is so much of an introverted experience, often it is hard to get out of our own way. But as we are developing that is JUST what we have to do.

Chris Gantry


Songwriting has nothing to do with winning awards for songwriting; songwriting is a sacred art, and yes , we want to be praised in private and in public for our works, but any songwriter worth their salt knows the acts of men are temporal while the acts of God are eternal..

Songwriter Showcase

Ashley McBryde

"I hear the crowd, I look around, and I can't find one empty chair. Not bad for a girl going nowhere" sings Ashley McBryde on "Girl Goin' Nowhere," the seminal title track from her forthcoming LP.

Doc Holladay

Voted as one of the top three singer/songwriters in Nashville 4 years running in the 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015 Nashville Scene "Best Of Nashville" readers poll, Doc Holladay has become one of the most in-demand talents around, while also managing to work as a full time Optometrist.

Mike Shipley

My first paying gig was when I was 15. Sitting outside of a pawn shop, on a stool playing a guitar. Drawing people inside, back in 1967. I got 5 bucks an hour, a pack of Winston cigaretts, and could play any of the guitars he had in the shop.