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Nashville vs NYC scene

Discussion in 'Ask Adam Nitti' started by Snarf, Oct 10, 2010.


  1. Snarf

    Snarf

    Jan 23, 2005
    Tri-state
    Hi Adam! This is actually a repost, I have the same thing up in Janek's forum since he is the NYC guy on this board. I would love to get your input on my dilemma!

    For the last few months I had been planning on moving to NYC to play and attend grad school, studying at City College. I recently spent a couple days in the city to check out the school and to go to an audition for Cirque du Soleil, which I passed and I'm now in their pool of musicians to be called up.

    Now I'm at a crossroads. After graduating Berklee I figured NYC would be the place for me. But I just realized that I HATE New York. I can no longer really envision living there. The lifestyle is so completely counter to my personality. The whole town seems totally wired, all the time, yet depressed at the same time. I would have to live in abject poverty in a bad neighborhood to even come remotely close to being able to afford to live there. Plus, carrying all my gear around the city (2 electrics and an electric DB, with clothes in the pockets), even using cabs sometimes, screwed up my knee and my back. I'm now recovering back at home.

    So I've pretty much scratched one of the "Big Three" off my list. And I already am totally disinterested in LA because of the plasticity of it.

    This leaves Nashville. I hear it's much more laid back, which suits me great. I grew up in a very, very small town and like the small-town vibe of Boston. Nashville's even smaller population wise, which I like! It's also in the south, which I'm finding I have more in common with the south's approach to life and culture than my native northeast. Plus, it's supposed to be more driveable, the cost of living is lower, and I'd be able to drive around with my gear to gigs. I really like bluegrass, and I appreciate pop country as well. You really can't find better sounding records than the ones made in Nashville. And I feel like being a more northeast-style bassist would be a useful and interesting asset in Nashville.

    I was thinking, if I can get a good scholarship to study jazz/commercial music at Belmont, Nashville should be a damn good fit for me. I'm thinking it's a good thing to do and a good place to do it while I'm waiting for Cirque to come through. And the masters degree gives me the flexibility to teach at the college level, which is of great interest to me.

    So Adam, and anyone else in Nashville made it this far into my little novel here, what do you think? Is there work in Nashville? Playing is my priority, but I LOVE teaching as well. Do you think Nashville would be a good fit?

    Thanks!
     
  2. SevenReasons

    SevenReasons

    Nov 18, 2005
    Alberta
    Endorsing Artist: Dingwall Guitars, Ashdown Amps
    Well put. A question I am definately curious about as well.
     
  3. adamnitti

    adamnitti

    Nov 29, 2001
    hi snarf!

    well, i think you've already answered your own questions. :D

    you've obviously done your homework on the city, and have already identified a compatibility with it, while at the same time knowing quite specifically will _not_ jive with you with respect to NY or LA... none of the points you've made about nashville i would disagree with. it does possess each of those traits, and if you are a fan of the music that comes out of here, then that makes it an even better fit for you. although i am not hugely involved with country or bluegrass, i still feel like i have found my place here, and my wife and i love the quality of life.

    is there work here? well, the town is struggling as much as any other music city is, from what i see and hear... the undeniable economic transition that we are currently undergoing works its way down the entire structural ladder. budgets are smaller, sessions are somewhat fewer, touring gigs are competitive, record companies are shrinking and disappearing, etc, etc... i tell people all the time don't expect to come to nashville and flourish from day 1. you have to work at things here just like anywhere else. because it's a smaller community, it's even more competitive in many ways, to cultivating and nurturing relationships here is a must. purely opportunistic and pretentious folks seem to get weeded out of the scene here pretty quickly it seems. my key to making things work here has been centered around diversity. my income is balanced between my artist projects, cd sales, sessions both local and remote, bass clinics, and touring. honestly i prefer it that way, as i'm not the kind of person that likes doing just one thing. if you come here with a masters or end up getting your masters here, you are in an even stronger position if you want to teach. schools like belmont and mtsu won't even speak to you unless you have a master's degree. i would think that if you play your cards right, you could balance a cool living between formal teaching environments and gigging locally. nashville is also obviously a hub for country and ccm tours, so if that was an interest you could pursue auditions, as well. based on what you've shared with me, it sounds like it might be a great fit for you.

    best of luck, and let me know if you end up moving to town!

    adam
     
  4. Adam put it well.

    Country and CCM is the anchor in Nashville, but there is a thriving jazz and rock scene. I've seen some of the best jazz and funk in the world here (including Mr. Nitti's solo band).

    If you move down, hit me up. It's always good to have good bassist to refer work I can't do.
     
  5. kudzoorude

    kudzoorude

    Oct 31, 2007
    Jackson, MS
    Agree with what's been said before. Here in Nashville, it's all about relationships. It's really about getting here and getting to know people and developing your career from there naturally. Though Country and CCM are the strongest genres here, I agree with Peter that the Funk/Soul scene is growing here.
     
  6. Staccato

    Staccato Low End Advocate

    Aug 14, 2009
    Alabama
    We found a wide variety of scenes in Nashville on our visit last weekend & early this week. One surprising aspect was bands playing for an hour or less, then the next group takes the stage.
     
  7. J. Crawford

    J. Crawford Supporting Member

    Feb 15, 2008
    PA
    This is why my master goal as of now is:
    - Go to school to major in music technology/sound engineering
    - Move to Nashville
    - Play bass with as many bands as possible
    - Make a life

    Which means Ill probably live in the slums..
     
  8. Snarf

    Snarf

    Jan 23, 2005
    Tri-state
    Thanks all for the responses. I would have been moving to Nashville in September, but I guess it's too late to take the GRE, and the merit scholarship deadline is passed . . . . . so it looks like it'll be 2 WHOLE YEARS before I can make the move down south. :bawl:

    I suppose this will give me time to save up more money and get a semi-usable car.
     
  9. adamnitti

    adamnitti

    Nov 29, 2001
    we'll be waitin' for ya, snarf! 2 years goes by very quickly... :)
     
  10. Snarf

    Snarf

    Jan 23, 2005
    Tri-state
    Good news! It's only going to be 1 year because Belmont takes MAT scores too. woot!
     

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