Open Mics & Writers Nights in Nashville

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.

OPEN MICS

Bluebird Cafe
open mic at the bluebird cafe in Nashville
4104 Hillsboro Rd, 37215, 615-383-1461

Mondays 6 to 8:45 pm. Sign up is done by phone and begins at 11 am on the Monday you want to play.  Twenty-five writers will get a spot to play. The number to call is 615-943-8168. There is no voice mail so you have to keep calling til you get through. If you don’t get through in 30 minutes, the list is probably full and they have stopped taking calls.

Douglas Corner
2106 8th Ave, (615) 298-1688douglas corner nashville tennessee open mics

Tuesdays 8 pm to close. To sign up call 615-292-2530 between 2:00 and 6:00 PM on the day  you want to play. Writers perform in the order in which the messages are received and play two songs each in rounds of four. Those who show up without calling will play late. The show continues until everyone has played.

Commodore Grillenashville open mic at commodore grille
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.

Cafe CocoNashville open mic at Cafe Coco
210 Louise Ave, 615-321-2626
Tuesday and Thursday,  8 pm. This is an eclectic acoustic singer/songwriter open-mic. Sign-up starts at 7 pm but it is suggested you get here before 6:30 because the list fills up fast.

Pucketts, Leipers Forkopen mic at Puckett's near Nashville
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.

WRITERS NIGHTS

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.

Bluebird Cafeopen mic at the bluebird cafe in Nashville
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.

Belcourt Tapssongwriter venue in Nashville
2117 Belcourt Ave, 615-915-3622
Monday through Sunday. This small venue has songwriters performing seven nights a week. It has a relaxed, friendly vibe and the crowd is usually made up of songwriters.

The Commodore Grillenashville open mic at 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.

Whiskey Jam whiskey jam songwriters showcase in Nashville
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. 

Revival 615revival 615 songwriters showcase in nashville
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.

Song Suffragettessong suffragettes songwriter showcase at the listening room in nashville
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 Spotlightsongwriter showcase in Nashville
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 Freakshowsongwriter showcase in Nashville
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 Attractionsongwriter showcase in Nashville
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 Nightssongwriter showcases in Nashville
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.

Demonbreun Street

This street, adjacent to Music Row, has become home to several clubs that have writers nights most nights of the week. Bar hopping between places like Live Oak, Dawghouse Saloon and Tin Roof can be a way to meet lots of young, up-and-coming songwriters.

OTHER ORIGINAL MUSIC VENUES
Here is a selection of clubs that regularly feature original music. Check their websites for upcoming shows.

The Local
The Listening Room
Douglas Corner
3rd and Lindsley
Mercy Lounge
Alley Taps
The Basement and The Basement East
Station Inn
The Five Spot