How to achieve success as a musician in Nashville

Even before the Queen of England called it Music City, in the 1800s, Nashville had been steadily growing into a songwriting capital of the world.



Today, it is rightfully the national center for music recording and publishing. Nashville is a home for over 180 music venues and a hub for various genres. This empire of music-related businesses continually attracts musicians and ignites careers. So, what does it take to achieve success as a musician in Nashville? What turns an aspiring musician into a star? Rob Klerkx, a songwriter and frontman of Rob Klerkx & The Secret is frank: "There's no formula." According to him, all you need is to "work hard and a bit of luck".


Planning, playing, and passion

Don't rush to Nashville. It has been magnetically drawing musicians for over 200 years and will continue to do so. However, you are the one who needs to be ready for its pull. Until then, take lessons from a vocal coach, master playing a new instrument or two, or learn to write songs. And yes, the craft of songwriting can be taught and learned and is a significant advantage. Aside from being a songwriter, Rob is also a drummer, involved in drum coaching, gigs, studio recording, sound engineering, physical coaching, session work, studio work, producing, and so much more. "(A) musician must have a wide talent and ability to do different things in the field", advises Rob, "that's the only way to survive". 

To improve your talent you need to perform constantly. Do it on your locale. Make public appearances, build your stage presence, and get experience. Moreover, take time to make connections, get involved in music organizations and associations, and build your network. Once you become buzzworthy in your hometown, you are more likely to silence the competition in Nashville.

Note that it is not enough to only wish or want to become a successful musician. Your passion and hunger must be unequaled by any other's. Every artist has a fuel that feeds their art; for Rob, it is "To say something about the beautiful and dark things of life." With that spark of motivation, hopefully, you will light a fire strong enough to influence your music genre the way Dolly Parton has broken stereotypes in country music. A certain mindset and specific lifestyle are accompanying a successful musician. This healthy desire to reach your music goals will make the necessary sacrifices bearable.


Practice, patience, and perseverance

As it goes with every profession in the world, practice makes it perfect. Procrastination or relying solely on talent leads to bitter failure. You need practice regularly, every day, 'till you drop. To hone and improve your artistic and technical skills you need to challenge yourself. Hence, it is perfectly alright to feel exhausted and frustrated. However, commitment and determination to complete what taxes you build character. You will also need it to survive and thrive in the music industry.

Firstly, you need to establish yourself locally. Don't go to Music City as an anonymous wanna-be musician. It will take you a few years or even decades to get skilled and distinctive enough. Rise to stardom rarely happens overnight. Before contracting Verified Movers to move your stuff to Nashville, make sure you get yourself a contract first.

Persistence doesn't involve only hard work. It means getting up every time you stumble over rejection, and there'll be plenty of them. Keep adding facets and don't take rejections personally; at some point, you'll shine like a diamond. Setbacks like that don't suggest you're not good enough. It may simply be that your moment has not come yet. The more you invest in yourself, the harder it will be for the Nashville music industry to ignore you. 


What you need to achieve success as a musician in Nashville

You will find out that successful musicians have a lot in common with other successful professionals in the world. It is more than just talent or personal values, you need to invest. According to Rob Klerkx, the biggest factor that makes a difference between a talented, hardworking musician and a successful one is "Budget, platform, and money."

To secure a path to success in Nashville, you need to become the best that you can be. To achieve your music goals, you would also require 

  • A mentor

  • Realistic self-evaluation

  • Fan base



Professional and personal mentors are people who advise you, guide you and help you. You trust their experience, objective perception and honesty. While a professional mentor will assist you in making decisions related to the music industry, personal mentors are there to keep you focused on ethics and values. Above all, they inspire you to overcome all the trials and tribulations. "You always need a mentor", Rob was decisive, explaining his connection to Joe Doyle and Dan Hodges.



There can't be any progress without an honest self-assessment. Being aware of own values and faults is a basis for self-improvement. Those who have succeeded, have identified qualities to nurture and use for promotion. They've also distinguished which flaws to correct or mitigate. 

Fan base

Fans have a significant support role throughout a musician's career. To build your fan base, especially in the early stage of your career you should use all available tools, like social media for example. "Social media is just one of the factors that helps your career", Rob says, and while he doesn't deny its importance, he is convinced that it is not the biggest factor in finding fans. 


Through hardships to the stars

Both friendly and intimidating, Nashville's music community shapes a musician, too. It pushes on the artist's boundaries, sharpens his instincts and kicks him out of his comfort zone. It takes a lot to continue the legacy of Nashville stars but it puts you into a company of legends. "Nashville scene is very ambitious, very high level", Rob says, "if you can handle that, it's great". However, if you ask him what's the one thing that all successful musicians in Nashville share, he'll tell you "The love for music."





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