To Move to Nashville or Not (Advice Welcomed)

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by JBPTele07, Jan 18, 2014.

  1. christhee68

    christhee68 Friend of Leo's

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    Let me say I have no experience but I know a few folks who have "made it" in Nashville and a bunch who make a living staying home and playing in NC, SC, Virginia, and Georgia.

    One young guy left here after playing at one of the local theaters and is now playing in Kellie Picker's band. I've seen him on "Ellen" and "Dancing With The Stars."

    Another young guy left here and he plays drums for Craig Morgan. I've seen him on Conan O'Brien.

    I know another guy who is the star performer at one of our local entertainment venues. He's as good a singer as I have ever heard. He's made several trips to Nashville for showcases, etc. but nothing ever happens.

    I have another friend who plays in a country band that plays all over the state and other states in the southeast. They play some big shows, just bought a big tour bus, and sell CDs and t-shirts at their shows. He has a house and family and takes care of his kids at home during the week.

    I know lots of other guys who play in "beach bands" that play all over the Carolinas. They make $200+ per gig and play 2-3 nights a week in the winter and almost every day in the summer.
     
  2. JBPTele07

    JBPTele07 TDPRI Member

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    Wow, I can't believe all of the great advice that has been given on here. You guys are awesome! I am still reading everything through and just mulling it all over before I post again with some more specifics but this has given me a LOT to think about and I really appreciate every single one of the responses!
     
  3. JBPTele07

    JBPTele07 TDPRI Member

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    I agree about the writing. I am not much of a lyricist but I write a lot of hooks and the music to songs which has helped me get into co-writing. I've hard that it's much harder to get a deal in Nashville without being there but maybe not in this day and age with the internet. Thanks for the input!
     
  4. JBPTele07

    JBPTele07 TDPRI Member

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    Funny you mention Seldom Scene, I grew up on a lot of that stuff. I agree with you on having other skills though, I started off with a degree in music but switched over to PR/Advertising and Comm so that field opens up a good bit of jobs. It may help to have a full-time lined up before moving if that is what I decide to do.
     
  5. JBPTele07

    JBPTele07 TDPRI Member

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    not to sound arrogant or anything but I am good looking. 6'1, muscular and in shape. It's a shame looks have to play such a big part in the industry.
     
  6. JBPTele07

    JBPTele07 TDPRI Member

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    This is great advice and I really appreciate it. I have never been on a 150-200 date tour before. I played about 45 shows in a 3 month period before but that is the most I have done. Right now I work as an admin assistant in an office 20 hours a week and I teach guitar at guitar center on weeknights and a good tour sounds like the best thing in the world right now but I could be wrong. The tour I was on was very rough. We scrambled, slept in crap hotels, wondered where our next meals would come from etc. If I were to tour 150-200 dates I would hope it would be better than that or with a more established act. I definitely don't want to limit myself to the commercial sound that you mentioned. I know that I am capable of much more. It's just difficult because at this point in my life, I am very unsatisfied with my day jobs and I am just trying to figure out where the music fits in. It is no hobby for me, I put everything into it and I put so many hours into it every single week and most importantly, I enjoy it more than anything else in the world but I guess the question we face is... is it worth it to struggle and almost live in poverty to make your passion become your job? Thanks again for the input
     
  7. JBPTele07

    JBPTele07 TDPRI Member

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    I used to think about it that way but then again I may be kicking myself 20 years from now if I left behind my friends and family, made my fiancé leave her job and friends and wasted 5-7 years struggling trying to make a break. As much as I want to make my passion my full-time job, I also don't want to waste my young years struggling with my fiance' for something that seems like a huge gamble. I want to be smart about what I do. I certainly am trying as hard as I can to advance my career here and I hope that it leads to a full-time opportunity.

    As far as what I want, I just want to make my living from playing the guitar or writing songs or being involved with music somehow. As much as I would love it, it doesn't have to be on a national level. There are just a lot of choices and it is difficult to know which one is right. Thanks for the advice and I'll definitely keep up the songwriting!
     
  8. JBPTele07

    JBPTele07 TDPRI Member

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    Awesome to hear from one of my guitar heroes! Great advice, I agree with you and I don't want to regret not trying. At this point, I am giving it all I got with the practice I put in daily, the networking I am trying to do, the gigs, the songwriting, reaching out to local studios etc. The big question is whether my chances are better staying where I am at or if I should just jump ship and move to Nashville where there seems to already be way too much supply and not enough demand. If Nashville is really the only way then I'll go but if I feel like I may have an advantage because I am not there... it's hard to say. If you don't mind me asking, how did you get your start?
     
  9. JBPTele07

    JBPTele07 TDPRI Member

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    So who all in this forum currently lives in Nashville? Any broadway players on here? If so, what is the pay like for a typical shift? I have been to Nashville a few times but not enough to know the ins and outs of the business. I would love to hear about experiences that all of you have had with Nashville.
     
  10. Lunchie

    Lunchie Poster Extraordinaire

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    I say work your butt off over the next year or so and save every penny you can. Go out there with money in the bank that way you can focus on your goals without worrying about eating that night. If you make it great, if you don't you don't have to sell your tele to get home. You never know, even if you don't become the next big studio musician, maybe you can still find something that pays the bills and still do what you love on the weekends.
     
  11. MandyMarie

    MandyMarie Friend of Leo's

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    I'm not in Nashville now, but I was. My Lower Broadway numbers are about four years out of date - I'll let someone that's there currently answer. I think it's a bit easier in Gnashville than it is in Austin, but I fell in love with Texas and decided I never wanted to leave.

    I made $25 a track in Nashville doing vocal demos out of Omni on Music Row. That's good work if you can get it IMO - it's really tough getting studio work as a guitar player (that stuff can be overdubbed so easily that your competition is no longer just Nashville....it's every good player in the world), but it's pretty easy if you've got a good voice and a super good ear. I never wanted to do it (I never wanted to be a singer at all!), but fell into it. Try that if you get desperate.

    Redd's bio :

    http://www.reddvolkaert.net/bio.html
     
  12. Redd Volkaert

    Redd Volkaert Tele-Holic

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    Uhm . . .

    I'm from Canada and played 6 nights a week there traveling, practicing 10 hrs a day and playing 5 hrs each night etc before I thought I had to move south
    ( I thought thats where all the best players were and where it all happened . . . oops, well to a point)
    My goal was Nashville, but I thought I'd stop in Vancouver (the west coast) say bye to my Mom maybe for the last time ( if I got killed in a strange country)
    and headed straight south, working, learning, asking and doing til' I wound up in Nashville where to me HAD to be THE place.

    Luckily I had been several places prior, and in several situations uncomfortable and not,
    to be able to learn a bit about snakes and bullship artists and conn-men etc before I got to the Country Music Capitol of the world.

    All of that helped to separate the wheat from the chaff so to speak.

    However, lots of guys stay home and get ALL the work in their area and do some traveling etc as well as be in their own bed most nights,
    and enjoy life outside of their job. Scotty Anderson is the first that comes to mind, I do know there are plenty more.

    Lots of fellas won't admit it but, many get consumed by the music business in that they feel they have to hustle ALL the time and every little contact and meeting may mean a gig hopefully.
    Then, spin ahead several years and they're still scraping by, but haven't gone fishing or played with their kids, wives, cars or had any time for a hobby.

    Just something else to ponder with all the other sage advice on this great forum
    Best if luck to you Sir!

    Redd
     
  13. DblStop

    DblStop Tele-Holic

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    My wife and I made the move to Nashville back in April last year and we really Love it here it's such a great town.I've been very fortunate since i've been here to have a lot of work,I have a lot of buddys here in Nashville that have been here for years that have helped me get gigs.I'm not gonna lie or sugar coat it yes it is rough playin' down on Broadway for tips, in the spring and summer you can do pretty well becase it's tourist season and everybodys in town doin' the tourist thing.I've done a few road gigs just goin' out for the weekend since i've been here and have made pretty decent $$$$ playin' casinos,fairs and such.

    If you do decide to make the jump here mind you there are some killer players here and they are great folks but make sure you humble yourself and not try to be some Hot Shot
    who thinks he's gonna take over the town.Just be yourself and make sure you show up on time for the gig,know the material,be a team player most of all don't complain.I networked really hard the first couple of weeks I was here and made a lot of connections so be prepared to hit the pavement and start meeting people and and get up and play a few tunes.

    Hope this helps you in making a decision about moving here,also meant to mention the winter is really rough here and playin' downtown can really get you down if you let it,a lot of times you'll be playin' to hardly no one it's like a ghost town here.You have to stay positive it can be rough like I said,you just have to be positive and stick it out.Someone was wondering if Sol Philcox was still here in Nashville yes he is was just hanging out with him about a week ago,he has a studio at his place and is staying super busy doin' that and he's also been doin' some road gigs too and he's still KILLING it on guitar he's such a great guy and a super talent.One last thing I have to add about being very blessed and getting gigs is my ole buddy and guitar wiz Johnny Hiland gave me one of his gigs downtown that he had been playin' for quite a while,and yes I just name dropped lol!! I don't usually like to do that but I was honored when he got me up to play and the front guy for the band called me a week later and said Johnny recommened you for the gig do you wanna come onboard and play I said HECK YES !!!!!!! Johnny is such a great guy and such a a mega talent I was blown away that he had gave me that gig,it's all traditional country gig with lots of Haggard and Jones and some Western Swing thrown in with some super players in the band what more could you ask for.
     
  14. Larry F

    Larry F Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

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    On the practical side, personal side, work on being a good/better person with all you meet. I mentioned Brad Paisley's auto-biography and how upbeat and positive it was. Whenever he had something to say about how good of musician he was, he would always downplay it, as an aw shucks, I was lucky that day kind of thing. I'll admit it seemed a little over the top, but if that's the worst anyone can say about you, you'll be in excellent shape. When my composition students apply for jobs, they usually write a cover letter summarizing their interests and abilities. If they haven't done it before, they can have a very hard time trying to set the tone just right. Instead of outright boasting at how well you did in this or that, they need to pitch that kind of stuff very gently. A really good technique is to mention something that you did that, just in the doing of it, means you are fairly accomplished. More importantly, this approach lets the reader of the letter arrive at that determination through the activities and attitude you have. And never, ever badmouth anyone. It makes you look like someone who maybe won't admit any shortcomings yourself, and worst of all, makes the reader wonder if you'll wind up badmouthing him down the road. Every bad experience should be related to others as a learning experience. All in all, this shows you to be a confident, capable person, one who can bounce back from adversity because that's the way you roll.

    When meeting someone new, try to learn something about them and prepare a few questions about specifics in their playing. Don't laugh, but read Dale Carnegie's How to Win Friends and Influence People. Feel free to jettison anything that you feel would be manipulative and phony. But read the book anyway.
     
  15. Jack FFR1846

    Jack FFR1846 Tele-Afflicted

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    I have a couple words of advice.

    When my son was around 13-14-15, he was convinced that he was going to become the next Tony Hawk skateboarding. The owner of the indoor skatepark where he goes has become a friend of ours and I talked with him a lot. He is a former pro skateboarder who nobody ever heard of because....well....besides Tony Hawk and maybe 10 other skateboarders, nobody knows who you are. I pointed out to my son that our friend.....dispite having lots of sponsors and pro tour credentials didn't have money for a car and was driving a 20 year old Neon that his aunt gave him. I then looked at him and said "you can become a pro, but to start the journey, you have to look at everyone in the skatepark. Are you by far...the best skateboarder there? (he wasn't). If you're going to be a pro and make a living, you have to be able to go to national events and be better than anyone you meet. If you're not, then you're paying to do your sport.


    Ok....more practical advice. Johnny Hiland's bass player and sidekick and band manager goes by the nickname Bear. I attended a Johnny clinic a few years ago and Bear was not shy to talk about the business and in particular the bad side of the business in Nashville. I'm sure you've heard of Johnny. Try to get in touch with Bear and tell him your story. I'm sure he'll give you candid advice. I'm sure Johnny would do so too, but he's legally blind so he won't be reading any letters or emails.

    You said you went to grad school and quit before finishing. Why not finish? That's something that can go on a resume and can help you in the future. I'm a big fan of that. Things that can't be taken away are degrees, patents and publications.
     
  16. loopy reed

    loopy reed Friend of Leo's

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    I was living there, and I'm on my way back. Had to leave for a few months.

    Never played Broadway. Had a lot of friends that did, though. Long shifts. Never heard about the money because a lot of them just did it for fun. I'm assuming that's probably because there wasn't much of the money stuff.

    I played in an original band based in East Nashville. Played some of the fests and a lot of the Nashville venues (12th and Porter, Mercy Lounge, High Watt, 5 Spot, some others I can't remember right now). Money was never discussed, as there usually wasn't any. No big deal. I was doing it for fun anyway.

    Also played in a three piece hill country blues kinda thing. That was fun. We played outside Nashville a lot, that's where the money came from. Played the Bluebird a couple of times, that was neat.

    I had a good time, but that's really all it was.

    I fought hard to have a good time. Everyone expects you to be 100% on your toes like you're supposed to impress "some scout who may be out there tonight!" I found that kind of insulting.

    Found that it limited creativity and made playing live boring.

    How many Nashville session guys have you ever seen smile while they play?

    Just something to think about.
     
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