Open Mics & Writers Nights in Nashville
ThereoOI=k Writers nights and open mics are a great place for songwriters to be heard and meet people. It isn’t likely there will be publishers, producers or record labels there, but if you’re good people will notice and you may get some referrals.
The term “open mic” refers to a show you do not have to audition for. The term “writers night” refers to a show that has a line-up of multiple writers who are scheduled in advance.
4104 Hillsboro Rd, 37215, 615-383-1461
Mondays 6 to 7:45 pm. Sign up is done online at 11 am Central the day of the show. Go to the Bluebird Cafe show calendar and visit the “Open Mic Night Performer Sign-ups” show page. The sign up link will not be live until 11 am Central. There are usually more people trying to sign up than there are places on the list so not everyone will be successful securing a spot.
Each participating writer will get the chance to play one original song (solo or accompanied by no more than two others). Drums and backing tracks are not allowed. This is a family friendly show–no profanity. Writers who are on the list must be at the club and have checked in with the host by 5:15pm on that Monday evening in order to perform. Each writer may bring one guest with them.
Holiday Inn, 2613 West End Ave, 615-327-4707
Tuesdays 7 to 10:30 pm. Just show up to sign up. If there are still spots open you will play two songs.
Sunday, Monday, Wednesday &Thursday Host Debi Champion offers an open mic following the scheduled writers night. Sign up by 8 pm to play one song.
Pucketts, Leipers Fork
4142 Old Hillsboro Rd, Franklin, TN 615-194.308
Thursdays, 6 pm. Sign up starts at 5:30 pm. This is a popular night so writers often arrive early to be first in line to choose which number in the line-up they want. Each person performs two songs. Cover songs are permitted. Lieper’s Fork is about 40 minutes southwest of Nashville.
When approaching hosts about booking it is important to remember that clubs are in the business of selling food and drinks, and they rely on the performers to draw an audience. Be prepared that you may have to play open mics or just visit the writers nights and get to know some people before you get booked to play.
If you are pursuing a career, attending scheduled writers nights is as important as playing your own songs. To have success in Nashville you have to connect with the songwriting community. That is how you will learn where the bar is set and how you will begin to build your network. Here is a list of some places to hear original songs and meet other songwriters.
4104 Hillsboro Pike, 615-38-1461
Sundays Writers Night, 8 pm – 6 writers who have passed a quarterly live audition play a three-song set.
Tues through Sat Early shows 6 to 8 pm, feature some of the best up-and-coming writers who have played on Sunday nights.
Monday through Saturday Late shows, 9 pm – feature hit writers and established bands.
Read about how the shows are booked on their website.
The Commodore Grille
Holiday Inn, 2613 West End Ave, 615-327-4707
Wednesday through Monday, 6:30 pm. In addition to the open mics, the Commodore features songwriters every night. You’ll find lots of out-of-towners and writers new to Nashville so it’s a great place to meet people who are also looking to meet people.
At Winners, 1913 Division, 37203, (615) 327-8001
Monday and Thursdays, 8 pm. This is a musical & social mainstay of the local music scene. Many of the regular writers and performers on the show have gone on to commercial success and you never know when one of them will drop by.
Tin Roof, 1516 Demonbreun, 615-313-7103
Tuesdays, 8 pm. For years this show has been known for presenting a highest-quality lineup. It has been home to many of today’s hit-makers on their way up and it attracts a crowd full of songwriters who are serious about success.
The Listening Room, 618 4th Ave S, 615-259-3600
Mondays, 6 pm. A weekly showcase of country music’s newest and brightest female singer/songwriters. $5 cover. They feature hit writers, staff writers, talented newcomers and even an occasional signed artist, but they always save a chair or two for newcomers.
Ynot Wednesdays Songwriters Spotlight
Live Oak, 1530 Demonbreun St
Two Wednesdays per month. This show features a line-up of top-quality singers and songwriters. The are often staff writers and it’s not uncommon to see someone from their publishing company there to take in the show. Click the link to see their schedule.
Music Row Freakshow
The Local 110 28th Ave N, 615-320-4339
Wednesdays at 7:30. Host Terri Jo Box draws a lively crowd of local regulars. She knows lots of hit writers and finds the best newcomers.
The Overall Attraction
DawgHouse Saloon, 1522 Demonbreun, 615-864-7393
Tuesdays, 7 pm. Hosted by Big Vinny of Trailer Choir and The Biggest Loser fame, this is a regular stop for many of Nashville’s most dedicated up-and-comers.
Lee Rasconne Writers Nights
Millenium Maxwell House, 2025 Rosa L Parks Blvd
Wednesdays and Thursdays, 7 pm – Host Lee Rasconne has been delighting Nashville for many years with his great line-up of writers and humorous hosting style.