Nashville Ear Blog

It's fantastic that you have a passion for music and are interested in pursuing a career in songwriting and performing. Nashville is indeed a hub for aspiring musicians and songwriters, and there's a wealth of knowledge and experience to tap into. Here are some pieces of advice from music industry experts that might help you on your journey:

Network and Collaborate:

Building relationships within the music community is crucial. Attend local events, open mic nights, and industry mixers to meet fellow musicians, songwriters, and industry professionals.
Consider co-writing with other songwriters. Nashville is known for its collaborative songwriting culture, and working with others can bring fresh perspectives to your music.
Attend Workshops and Songwriting Sessions:

Take advantage of workshops and songwriting sessions offered in Nashville. Many experienced songwriters and industry professionals host events to share their insights and provide guidance. These can be invaluable for honing your skills.
Utilize Online Platforms:

In addition to local networking, leverage online platforms to connect with musicians and songwriters globally. Websites like SoundCloud, Bandcamp, and social media platforms can help you reach a wider audience and connect with potential collaborators.
Develop Your Unique Style:

While it's great to be inspired by successful artists, focus on developing your unique style and voice. Authenticity is key in the music industry, and it will set you apart from the crowd.
Take Advantage of Open Mic Nights:

Open mic nights provide a platform for you to showcase your talent and receive feedback. Use these opportunities to gauge audience reactions, refine your performance skills, and make connections with venue owners or talent scouts who may be present.
Invest in Your Craft:

Continuous improvement is vital. Invest time in improving your songwriting skills, vocal abilities, and instrument proficiency. Consider taking lessons or attending workshops to enhance your musical abilities.
Understand the Business Side:

Learn about the business aspects of the music industry, such as contracts, royalties, and marketing. Understanding the business side of things will empower you to make informed decisions and protect your interests.
Persistence and Resilience:

The music industry can be challenging, and success often comes with persistence and resilience. Be prepared for setbacks, and view them as opportunities for growth. Keep refining your craft and pushing forward.
Create a Strong Online Presence:

Build a professional and engaging online presence through a website and social media. Share your music, behind-the-scenes content, and engage with your audience. A strong online presence can attract industry attention and fan support.
Seek Professional Guidance:

Consider seeking advice from music industry professionals, such as managers, producers, and experienced songwriters. Their insights can provide valuable guidance on your career path.
Remember, success in the music industry often involves a combination of talent, hard work, and strategic networking. Stay true to your passion, be open to learning, and enjoy the creative process. Best of luck on your musical journey!

List of Nashville Ear Blog Post


I come to provide a little perspective and experience of my years in Nashville and aim it at a very distinct group of people. Those that are currently interested in making a trip, multiple trips or actually moving to Nashville, and things they will encounter on their musical journeys here.


Everything I write on these pages, come from a question or comment someone makes on other posts that I know something about and feel it has some relavence to these dialogues.

Marc-Alan Barnette


Probably the biggest question or comment I, or anyone else that is trying to do this hear is “How do I get booked on these writers nights/festivals/ THE BLUEBIRD?

Marc Allen Barnette


One of the things that pretty much consistently I get is "I've been writing songs, now what do I do with them?" Many people "think" they are writing songs, only to find out they have only poetry (lyrics only) or have songs that totally don't fit a format, don't have any allies within the industry


A lot of time I have a difficult time explaining what one of my "tours" are all about. It is a "TOUR" through the participants, past, present and future, and while most come to Nashville, I do it in other places, primarily, the Frank Brown festival in Nov. in Perdido Key Fla.

What to do..What to do? by Marc Allen Barnette

Okay, so I've given you some of the reasons you can;t just waltz into TWANGTOWN and start getting cuts. And there are a TON OF THEM. I should put them into a book. Oh wait, I DID!

 Marc Allen Barnette

How does a songwriter get hit songs recorded by Marc Allen Barnette

Most of the modern day hit writers, and artists, started out years before as a home town hero. Playing all the bars, and clubs in their area. Some might have local record deals, step up to regional artists, in bands, etc. Sooner or later, they make forays into LA, New York.

 Mark Cawley

Investing in your songwriting

I get lots of my inspiration for articles and blogs from things my songwriting coaching clients bring up in our sessions. Last week I had a writer say they couldn’t afford to pursue their songwriting because they simply didn’t have the funds. He let me know he was giving up . Period.

Five Myths about Achieving Success as a Songwriter

Five Myths about Achieving Success as a Songwriter

I’ve come to believe in my 20-plus years in music that by setting reasonable expectations and doing the work, it becomes much harder to be fooled or discouraged by some of the pervasive myths that exist around songwriting success.

 Marc Alan Barnette

Freshman year in Nashville

My buddy Robert Daniels, did a post yesterday on the saying that Nashville is a "ten year town." Well, that is a well worn phase and while some people do go a little faster, if you investigate the history of the town and the people in it, you find it holds true more times than not.

Songwriter Showcase

"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. They're words built from experience: over the course of her life, McBryde's been finding her own way to fill those seats and sway those hearts since the very first time her teacher told her that her dreams of writing songs in Nashville would never see the light of day. Every time she was brought down, she persevered; trusting her timeless tone and keen, unwavering eye for the truth. It paid off.

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.

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. It was an after school gig, a couple hours every day for quite awhile. I was 17 when I started my 1st band. Didn't have drummer, I did have a lead guitar, a bass, a girl singer, and myself singing and playing guitar, and a guy that "Rattled Elk Ribs, and other Bones" for a beat. Different but real cool back then.