Resources, Music, & Events
When you come to Nashville, if you want to make connections in the music industry, it isn’t effective to just go around handing out CDs of your music. There is an overload of singers and writers and people in the music business are too busy to listen to something from a total stranger. It won’t be easy to get heard, but it will be a little less difficult if you use the right approach.
How to Submit
1. Have your presentation ready.
The first thing you need is good demos (short for demonstration recordings). If you are pitching your songs to publishers as a songwriter, simple guitar/vocal or piano/vocal recordings are fine. Publishers are used to listening to phone recordings from their staff writers and they are judging the writing, not the recording. If you can’t afford a studio recording with a professional vocalist and musician, a home recording is okay. The minimum requirement is that it be in tune, in time and the vocal and chords can be heard easily. If you can’t achieve that on your own, get someone to help you or wait till you are good enough. Don’t add any instruments or harmony unless it sounds professional. Bad tracks are way worse than no tracks.
Have typed lyric sheets available with names of any co-writers and be sure your contact info is on them. Fit them onto one page and lay them out so that the song form is immediately apparent.
If you are pitching yourself as an artist to a label, manager or booking agent, you will do better with professionally produced recordings that show what your sound is like. Top people rarely work with beginners and great recordings will show them that you are serious and working hard on your career. If you aren’t that far along and are looking for co-writers or people to help you progress, use simple recordings that follow the guidelines described above.
Artists should also have at least one great photo and a Facebook artist page and/or a website. A website does not need to be elaborate but it should have your picture, a bio, a way to contact you, some music to listen to or a link your music online, a schedule of any gigs you have and links to your social media. Strong social media engagement can be impressive to industry professionals.
Put your music online. Some people are reluctant to because they worry about their songs being stolen, but the benefit of being heard far outweighs any chance of that. In all her years in Nashville Barbara has never seen it happen and the upload can be evidence that it’s your song in a lawsuit. And if you write songs so good that someone can make money from them, you’ll get a deal quickly. Having music online gives anyone interested in you immediate access to your songs and the easier you make it for them, the better.
Identify your strongest songs. Get some outside opinions on this. We never have an objective view of our own work. If you get an appointment or are asked to send some music, don’t overwhelm the person with a ton of songs. Pick three (five at the most) that represent you at your best. If you have a full length artist CD, suggest the songs you most want them to hear. Don’t try to guess what they like, show them who you are. Artists who aren’t genuine rarely succeed. But bear in mind that uptempo songs are much more in demand than ballads, so if some of your best songs are are uptempos be sure to include them.
2. Obtain permission first.
Few businesses in Nashville accept unsolicited material. There are too many songwriters and singers trying to get heard and there isn’t enough time to listen to them all. Also, it leaves businesses open to potential lawsuits from writers who believe they have been plagiarized. It’s not impossible to get permission by cold-calling, but most of the time you will need to be referred by someone.
Where to Submit
1. Record labels listen to artists and to songs for the artists they have signed. The department at the label that does this is called A&R, which stands for artist and repertoire.
2. Artists listen to material to find songs to record. Unless you have a personal connection to the artist you should go through their record label or management company.
3. Producers listen to potential artists and to songs for the artists they produce.
4. Artist managers listen to artists seeking representation and sometimes screen songs for the artists they represent.
5. Publishers represent songwriters and pitch their songs for them. Record labels, producers and artists prefer to have songs pitched to them by publishers rather than by the writers directly because publishers screen songs to be sure they are well written and appropriate for the artist.
How to get a referral?
If you are unknown in Nashville you must get heard first in order to get a referral to someone in the business. Some of the ways to do this are:
1. Writers nights – there are many open mic and pre-scheduled writers nights in Nashville where writers play their original music. The people in the music industry with the power to sign artists and get songs cut rarely attend these nights, but they are an excellent place to meet other writers and to start getting to know people who might be able to refer you to someone in the industry. Check the “Writers Nights” page on this website for a partial listing. Call the club or go to the writers night and talk to the host to find out the sign-up procedure or how to get scheduled.
2. Workshops – there are many workshops, both in Nashville and across the country, that are taught by people with connections to the music industry. They will help you learn about the craft and business will help you meet people who might eventually refer you to people in the business. Check the Play for Publishers page of this site for ones hosted by Barbara Cloyd.
3. Performance rights organizations – there are three organizations that help writers collect royalty money from radio and TV stations, concert halls and nightclubs. They are ASCAP (American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers,) BMI (Broadcast Music Incorporated) and SESAC. A songwriter can join only one of these organizations, but they each have member representatives who will explain the function of their organization and listen to songs by their members and potential members. They will also refer writers to publishers if they think they are ready. Call to find out how to get an appointment, but be patient because they too are very busy.
4. Personal connections – most people in the industry only listen to new writers or artists because someone whose judgment they trust has recommended them. If you “know people who know people” you might ask if they can make a referral for you. Use every opportunity to be around people in the music business. Go to writers nights, performances by hit songwriters, workshops, seminars, classes, parties and other industry functions. The way you interact with the music community is at least as important as your music, so be friendly and spend time getting to know people.
5. Attending original music shows in Nashville or shows in other towns by artists who have ties to Nashville. You can learn so much from watching hit writers and younger writers who are signed to publishers. And they usually have friends in the industry who come to their shows.
6. Keep showing up – if people in the industry are going to invest their time and money in you, they want to know you are serious about pursuing a career. They might meet you once and really like you. Then they might hear you at a writers night and think, “That person has some talent.” Then they could see you at a workshop where they’re on the panel and they think, “This person is working at their craft.” Then they might hear someone else mention how good you are. And maybe the fifth or tenth or fifteenth time they see you they finally say, “Why don’t you come play me some songs?” Don’t push too hard or you risk pushing people away, but keep showing up.
Etiquette & Helpful Tips
1. Don’t be too timid – Your career success will largely depend on your ability to develop strong relationships with people in the music business. If you meet someone, they will never get to know you if you are too timid to talk to them. Nashville is a remarkably friendly town and almost anyone is open to a sincere compliment or a polite question. If a person you’d like to get to know has a series of brief, pleasant encounters with you, that just might plant seeds that grow into a helpful relationship down the line.
2. Don’t be too pushy – When you meet people in the industry, be aware of how many aspiring artists and songwriters want their time and attention. If you want to make a good impression, take an interest in them and don’t monopolize the conversation talking about yourself or trying to impress them. Don’t ask someone to listen to your music or help you until you have built a relationship that makes that appropriate – industry pros are very busy and they may avoid you in the future if you are too pushy and try to impose on them.
3. Don’t ignore people who aren’t successful yet – Make friends with other aspiring singers and writers who impress you with their talent, work ethic and positive attitude. In Nashville it is often said that “you move up with your class.” Build close relationships with success-minded peers. Then you can help each other grow and advance. Success is more about building a career than “being discovered,” and it takes longer than you ever imagine. You’ll need those friends to lean on. And by the time you’re ready for success, they may have advanced enough in their careers to be in a position to help you.
4. Always follow through promptly. If someone makes a referral for you and you don’t call the person they referred you to, that shows that you are not serious about your career. The same is true if someone says “Call me next week” and you wait a month.
5. Have a positive attitude. No one enjoys a person who is negative, resentful, desperate or self-pitying. Take criticism gracefully. If someone is generous enough with their time to give you feedback or advice, thank them politely even if it stings. There are not enough openings for all the talented writers and artists. The ones who succeed are the ones who work the hardest and are open to improvement. A little talent with a lot of hustle will out-perform great talent every time.
6. Don’t get ahead of yourself. A bad first impression can damage your chances. Before you try to approach record labels, producers or publishers be sure you are ready. Get some feedback from people who know the market and will be honest with you about whether or not your music is strong enough to get a positive response. If you don’t know people who can give you this advice for free use a professional vocal coach or song critique service. You can use Barbara’s consultation service or find recommendations of these on the eResources” page of this website. When professionals agree that you are ready, then invest in a more elaborate demo and use all your networking skills to get it heard by anyone in the you can.
7.Educate yourself. Knowledge is power. The more you know about the business the easier it is for people in the business to work with you.
8.Always present yourself at your best. You only get one chance to make a first impression. You never know who’s watching. You can do a lot of damage with an out of tune guitar or a sloppy recording.
Dont’ get ripped off
One thing that beginning writers worry most about is copyrighting their songs so they don’t get stolen. This is truly the least of your worries. It takes a long time and a lot of work to become a great commercial songwriter. The sad truth is that those perfect gems your friends and family swear are better than anything on the radio probably don’t meet the standards or requirements for a radio hit. If you do write songs so good that someone else could steal them and make money from them, you will have no trouble finding legitimate people in the industry to work with. Legally, you own the song as soon as you complete it.
There are lots of ways to verify that you wrote it without going to the expense of paying to register the copyright with the Library of Congress. Publishers don’t even bother to register the copyright on songs they pitch until they get cut. But if you’re still worried about it, you can register a collection for the same cost as one song, and it can be done online.
Don’t bother mailing them to yourself by registered mail (commonly called a “poor man’s copyright”). That does not hold up in court.
Many people make a living providing products, services and education to developing songwriters and artists. These can be helpful and important – things like demos, photos, classes, workshops, consultation, publicity and advertising, music lessons, image consultation, social media management and website development. Shop around for the best quality and the best price.
1. Paying someone to get you a deal
Legitimate people in the industry who have enough skill, knowledge and clout to get you a deal do not have to advertise for their services – they have secretaries fending off the hordes of talented people trying to get to them. They get paid by taking a percentage of your future income. They make their money off your success and if you don’t succeed, they don’t get paid.
There are services that help writers and artists develop their skills and package their music in the best way to appeal to Music Row. If someone can help you get better at what you do and improve the presentation, it may be wise to pay for their guidance and expertise in this regard. But some people sell you high priced services based on the possibility that they can get you signed by a major label or publishing company. If someone will sell their referrals for a price, people in the industry will know that they do and will not give much weight to their recommendations. These services make their money from clients who pay them. Says Barbara, “In all my years in Nashville I have never known someone to get a writing or publishing deal by paying someone up-front to represent them.”
2. “Publishers” charging for demos
It’s important to understand that getting a song “published” only means giving someone the right to pitch your song in exchange for a portion of any royalties it might earn. A song does not earn any royalties until it is “cut” (recorded for release). Publishers who can spot songs with hit potential and get them to the right people at the right time do not need to advertise their services or solicit songs from unsigned writers. They are bombarded daily with songs from hopeful songwriters. If they want to pitch a song and they believe it needs a demo, they will tell you. They may even pay for half the cost of the demo and advance the other half to the writer.
Sometimes a legitimate publisher may be willing to pitch a song if the songwriter gets a good demo made at his/her own expense, but that money goes to the studio and musicians – not to the publisher.
There are companies who call themselves publishers who advertise for song submissions and then send the same reply to everyone, They rave about how good the song is and what a good chance it has of getting cut. They want to publish it for you but it needs a proper demo which they will provide for a fee. These companies make their money charging writers for demos. It is likely that very few of the songs they “publish” ever get pitched. Sometimes they offer to include your demo on a compilation CD that will be mailed to a long list of people in the industry. Of course, that costs extra. They may very well mail the CDs to everyone they say they will, but it is doubtful they are ever listened to.
3 Unscrupulous independent songpluggers.
A songplugger is someone who pitches songs and tries to get them cut. Publishers employ songpluggers and pay them a salary. There are also independent pluggers who work directly for the writers they represent. Generally they charge a monthly retainer and receive bonuses for songs they get cut but do not get any percentage of the royalties.
There are, without a doubt, honest, hardworking independent pluggers. The most successful ones only represent writers with a track record of success, or who have songs equal to those of established hit writers. They are very hard to get to and they limit the number of clients they represent in order to give each one the amount of attention they need.
There are also independent songpluggers who prey on people’s hopes and dreams and who will offer a contract to writers with songs that have little or no chance of success in the commercial market. Sometimes these independent pluggers have a genuine track record of success in the industry and they may have more legitimate projects they are working on. But they need funding so they sell false hope for anywhere from $100 to $1000 a month to as many writers as they can.
Says Barbara, “I have heard some pretty bad songs that were under contract to an independent plugger. In allo my years of living and working in the Nashville music community I have never known an unsigned writer who got a cut on a major label by paying an independent songplugger – even an honest one who works hard for his/her clients. I talked about this once with Jason Blume who has worked with a lot more developing writers than even I have, and he also had never know an unsigned writer to get a cut on a major label by paying a plugger.”
If you are determined to hire a plugger, wait ’til people in the industry are telling you your songs are good enough to get cut. If you’re at that point, the people advising you will be able to tell you who the good ones are. Until that time your money is probably better spent on workshops, classes, and trips to Nashville.
Planning a Trip
Most first-time visitors are amazed at how friendly and helpful people in the Nashville songwriting community are. If you’re a stranger in town wanting to connect to the songwriting scene it’s not that hard. There will be lots of newcomers like yourself who are eager to meet people and lots of people happy to answer questions and talk about songwriting in Nashville.
Before You Arrive
1. If possible, don’t come on the weekend. There are very few writers nights Friday through Sunday and offices aren’t open. A good strategy is to arrive Sunday so you can hot the ground running on Monday. Stay as long as you can – it can take a few days to get oriented and figure out the best places to meet people and it’s nice to have enough time to follow through on plans to play songs for someone or go to lunch.
2. Reach out to all the contacts you have in town (if any) to let them know you’re coming. People are busy, especially people in the music business. If you want to write with, play songs for, or have lunch with someone, book it with them well in advance so you don’t miss the chance. If any of your friends, family or fans know people in town they are willing to contact on your behalf, let them know the dates you will be there so they can try to help you get appointments.
3. If you want to play out at writers nights, contact the hosts as soon as you know when you will be here to schedule times to play. If the hosts are not familiar with you, some will listen to your music and give you a spot if they like it, but don’t expect a prime-time slot. It may be very early or very late, but it will still be a chance to impress the host and whatever audience is there. Others allot part of their show as an open mic they will ask you to play before giving you a scheduled spot. to Visit the Open mics & writers nights page for a list of local songwriter nights and open mics.
4. If you are already a member of ASCAP, BMI or SEASAC, call to make an appointment with a member representative. (If you don’t know what they are, click here) Call to find out how you can make an appointment, but don’t be surprised if they are booked up. If you are lucky enough to get in front of a member representative, they can listen to a few songs, help you assess if and where you fit in the market, and can get you in to see publishers if they think you’re ready. If you are not already affiliated with one of them, call all three, let them know you want to find out about their organization, and try to get appointments.
5. Get your songs ready to present. Get feedback on them from people whose judgment you trust, not just the ones who feed your ego and tell you they’re perfect. Polish the writing as much as possible. If you can afford it, use a professional critique service such as Barbara’s, or one of the others listed on the Resources page of this website. Unless you already have studio demos, keep it simple. For someone still learning the craft a good guitar/vocal or piano/vocal with the vocal out front is sufficient. Make sure the singer is in tune and enunciates well enough to understand the lyrics. Be sure the guitar is in tune and keeps a steady rhythm. Provide a link to your music online or have it on a flash drive. Some industry people still have CD players but some don’t. Have one-page lyric sheets available. Be sure your name and contact information is on everything.
6. Check the calendars of the local original music venues (click for a list) and check out the people who will be performing while you’re here. Look for shows that feature people who are having some success in the genre of music you write. You can learn from watching them, plus they may have friends in the industry who come out to see them. For shows at the Bluebird Cafe reservations are a good idea. However, if Bluebird show is sold out, there are usually last minute cancellations and a few standing-room-only spots, so you can often still get in if you arrive 30 to 45 minutes before it starts.
While in Nashville
These are some general guidelines for making the most of your trip. For a list of specific suggestions of places to go and things to do, click here.
1. Public transportation is minimal and a car is the best way to get around. Lyft and Uber bother have a strong presence. If you are driving yourself, use a GPS or get detailed instructions before you try to drive anywhere. Nashville streets are not laid out logically.
2. Have realistic goals and expectations – if you think you can “be discovered” in a few short days you will probably end up very disappointed. If you’re too desperate to make connections that will help your career it might make people uncomfortable with you. If you relax and adopt the attitude that you’re there to learn and meet people you will find endless opportunities for both and you might end up making some great connections after all. (click here for tips on networking.)
3. Stay organized – put all your appointments in your calendar and check it frequently – it’s easy to get overwhelmed.. If you end up with a collection of business cards at the end of the day, write notes on the back about where you met the person, what they do and your impressions of them. If you saw or met people in the industry, write down who they were and what they do. If you stay busy you won’t remember it all.
After Your Trip
1. Promptly send a brief thank you to anyone who was helpful to you. Some people still appreciate a hand-written note but if your style isn’t that formal a short email is fine. Gratitude shows class and helps keep the door open. It also reminds them of your existence so they don’t forget who you are. Don’t expect a reply. People are busy.
2. If you made arrangements with anyone to send them some music, book a future appointment, call a contact they gave you, or anything else, FOLLOW THROUGH PROMPTLY. If you don’t, or if you let too much time pass, you not only fail to get the value from whatever was set up, but you create the impression that you are unprofessional and not serious about your career.
3. Contact all your songwriting friends and tell them about your trip. You will better remember what you learned by repeating it and you will get better insights into the experience as you answer their questions and hear their comments. This also opens the door for them to call you every time they make a trip so that you can learn from them. Songwriters who move to Nashville tend to bond with other talented writers. They share information and connections and grow together. It’s often said, that songwriters “move up with their class.” For those of you from out-of-town, you still need to create a community of songwriters to grow with, so find others who make trips to Nashville and help each other get better at the craft and business of songwriting.
4. Reflect on your experience and use it to assess whether or not to pursue a professional songwriting career. It’s a tough business and it may be harder than you thought. Be realistic about your chances and don’t waste time and energy deluding yourself. Maybe it’s not what you want after all, and that’s okay. But if it is, then use what you learned and start planning your next trip.
Things to Do
Here’s a list of suggestions to help you get started. Anywhere you go and anyone you talk to will give you more ideas.
Visit NSAI (Nashville Songwriters Association International) If you are a member, stop by to say hello, book a writing room, schedule a mentoring session for while you’re in town, learn about the industry in the well-stocked resource room, use the computers or just hang out in the lounge. If you’re not a member, drop by to find out why you should be. The staff is friendly and supportive and it’s their job to help songwriters. Plus, a major goal of any trip to Nashville should be to meet people, and if you go to the NSAI office it will be filled with songwriters who want to meet other songwriters.
NSAI Thursday night workshops Every Thursday from 6 to 9 pm there is a workshop at the NSAI office (1710 Roy Acuff Place, 37203) designed to help you learn about the music business and become a better songwriter. Some weeks feature song critiques by pro writers, sometimes there’s a speaker from the industry and once a month there is a “pitch to publisher” night. There is no charge for NSAI members. If you are not a member you can go to one or two before joining.
Go to a writers night Click the link for information on where they are and how to sign up. Even if you don’t perform, this is one of the best places to start connecting with the songwriting community.
ASCAP Straight Talk – every Wednesday, 10 AM This is an informal meeting with one the member representatives who will give you a general introduction to what performing rights organizations do and what ASCAP is like along with some general information about the music industry in Nashville. It is free and open to the public but it is recommended that you call ahead to register, 615-742-5000. ASCAP Song Source – every Wednesday, 4 pm Open only to ASCAP members, this is a chance to play a song for a publisher and one of the ASCAP member representatives. You will learn from the feedback they give you on your own writing, and you may learn even more listening to the feedback they give the other writers who attend. Attendance is free but limited to once every 3 months. Call 615-742-5000 to register in advance.
Country Music Hall of Fame Learn from the past! You can spend a whole day there and not take it all in. One favorit exhibits is voice recordings of various artists answering questions about their music and their lives.
If you head downtown to Broadway between 1st and 5th Avenues you can hear music pretty much any time of day. Clubs like Tootsies Orchid Lounge, The Stage, Legends Corner and Roberts Western Wear feature singers and bands playing cover tunes for tourists and Country music fans. The musicians might be members of road bands for some of the top Country stars . The singers may be the stars of tomorrow. From time to time you might spot a celebrity in the crowd. If you’re a singer you might get invited to sit in. In any case, it will be Country music and there will be a lot of it.
Go to Original Music Shows
Click here for a a partial list of clubs that feature original music. Watching what is being played in the clubs is a great way to learn about where the industry is heading. A little research will help you find the shows featuring the kind of music you are interested in. Google the performers and look for ones who have had some success and/or who have ties to the music industry. They are more likely to attract an audience that will include people in the music business or other hopefuls to network with. (click here for networking tips.)
RESEARCHING YOUR OWN LODGING
If you are adventurous and want to look for a deal on line you might want to avoid anything in the Trinity Lane/I 65 area or across the river from downtown such as on Woodland, Main, Gallatin road or Dickerson Pike. There are many hotels downtown and in the Music Row area which are safe areas with lots of restaurants and clubs nearby. Brentwood is a very safe suburban area about 20 minutes from Music Row with lots of shopping and restaurants and there seem to be a lot of good deals there. Around the airport is where you are likely to find the best deals. It is less than 20 minutes from Music Row, downtown or the Grand Old Opry and the area is generally safe.
OPTIONS OTHER THAN HOTELS
Scarrit-Bennet Conference Center, (615) 340-7500 – right on Music Row on a beautiful, tree-filled campus.. They have a dormitory where each room has a twin bed and shares a bath with another room – they put like genders sharing the bathroom. Their rates usually run about $89/night.
Hit Song Casa – local real estate agent Joyce Medlock has several condos and rooms she rents out to songwriters. There are pictures at www.joycemedlock.com . They vary in price but none are very expensive and some give you access to a kitchen. You can reach Joyce at firstname.lastname@example.org , or 615-293-9500.
The Dokarosa – close to airport and 12 miles from Music Row and Downtown. Local networking guru Doak Turner offers suites on 4 acres, private entrance, private bath, flatscreen TV, futon, WI-FI, full kitchen. Plus he’ll give you the scoop on the best places to go for great music and meeting people in the industry. Email him at email@example.com for details and avails. Non smokers only and no pets.
Patio Villa – In Donelson, near the airport. 1 bedroom condo, queen and twin bed. Sleeps up to 3. Full bath & kitchen, large living area. WiFi. Private, plenty of parking. 2 night minimum. No pets, no smoking. Rates are in the $75 range. For photos, availability and booking, contact Helene Cronin at Helenecronin@hotmail.com or 469-360-8577.Whites Creek Music Studio and Writers Retreat – nestled in the woods just 10 minutes northwest of downtown Nashville, they offer the writer’s quarters at $75/weekday and $100/weekend per room. Each room has private access, a refrigerator, coffee, private bath/shower and exterior access via a code. If you’re in town to record there is also an on-site analog studio you can book for your project. For availability, contact Ben at 405-205-3642 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
SOCAN House If you are from Canada and a member of SOCAN, you can stay in this house close to downtown and Music Row for FREE!
The Big Bungalow (615) 256-8375 This beautiful bed and breakfast in hip, artsy Easy Nashville is owned by Ellen Warshaw, a songwriter and a licensed massage therapist who can offer massages on site. Prices are in the $200 range.
Prices are approximate and vary widely by the date and which nights of the week you are booking and what conventions and other events going on in Nashville. Here is a small sampling of what’s available.
Walking distance to the Bluebird Cafe:
Hampton Inn, 615-777-0001. Ask for senior discount if you’re over 50.
Music Row Area
Hilton Garden Inn, (615) 369-5900
Best Western on Division, (615) 242-1631 – Ask for the AAA discount.
West End area
Holiday Inn Express Vanderbilt – 615-327-4707 or Toll Free 877-327-4707. This is a nice hotel that houses the Commodore Lounge where you’ll find a writers night seven nights week. The Commodore is one of the best places in town to meet other songwriters and hear everything from newcomers to hitmakers. They give a special rate to members of NSAI (Nashville Songwriters Association International).
Courtyard Marriott Vanderbilt/West End – 615-327-9900 Walking distance to Music Row and lots of great restaurants.
Extended Stay America – (615) 373-4272 All rooms includes a kitchen with full sized refrigerator and 4 burner stove.
White Bridge Road at I 40
Comfort Inn on Whitebridge Rd, (a 10 or 15 minute drive from the Music Row ) 615-356-0888 Not too far, not fancy but not too expensive. Some songwriters have been able to secure discounted rates for being frequent customers.
I 65 and Rosa Parks
Maxwell House – 855-516-1090 – Lee Rasconne’s writers night in the lounge every Thursday.
Attending shows where the performers play original music is a great way to learn and network. Check out the clubs listed below to find shows that interest you and to check cover charges, minimums and reservation policies.
Click here for information on playing local writers nights. If you want to do a longer set than a writers night allows for, check out the websites of the local clubs to find one that is a good fit for your music. Be aware that the original music clubs in Nashville rarely pay. A typical arrangement is that you pay the sound person and door person, then you keep all or part of the cover charge and merchandise sales. If you don’t already have a following it will be hard to get a booking and even harder to charge a cover so “pay to play” is not uncommon.
The Bluebird Cafe
The Listening Room
Bobby’s Idle Hour
Third and Lindsley
The Five Spot
The Basement East