We're looking forward to hearing your song at Nashville Rising Star! We've been holding this event for the past 8 years, hosting literally 1000+ rounds, and we have some tips to help you in your performance. Before reading this info, please read our RULES HERE. It is imperative you know how this event works before you arrive.
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Some of the following may seem basic, however we see a wide variety of songwriters who participate and all have different levels of experience.
1- Plan on giving yourself enough time to arrive at the venue between 6:00 - 7:30pm. We cut off signup/check-in at 7:30PM sharp. If there are more than 21 checked in at 7:30PM (both guaranteed performance paid shots and non), we will do a random drawing (iPhone app) to select who will share their song at the round. If 21 or less are checked in at 7:30PM, ALL who checked in will share their song.
2- When you arrive at the venue, check in with us online via our check-in form at nrscheckin.com. Then, find some other songwriters and sit with them. This is a networking event. Make friends with other songwriters, you never know when a McCartney will meet a Lennon!
3- Before you get to the venue, make sure your guitar is in working order. Make sure your battery is fresh (if your guitar takes one) and that your strings are new(ish).
4- We'll announce the order of the rounds when the event starts at 8PM. Be sure to have your guitar with you at your table and get it ready before your turn to perform. We run our rounds pretty fast.
5- Keep your guitar case with you, and put a strip of white tape across it with your name on it. Many cases look the same, and it would be a shame if a Martin D-28 was swapped out for a low end Walmart beginner guitar:) We are not responsible for lost or stolen guitars.
6- When your round is called, please come promptly to the stage and take your position. We do rounds of 3 songwriters each.
7- Plug your guitar in, and set the level at about 80% and flatten out your EQ (if your guitar has one)
8- We'll do a quick line check for your guitar. No need to check your vocal mic, as we will know it is working and the level is good. If you need your guitar mic'ed let us know when you check in. If you need a keyboard, let us know when you check in so we can have that ready for you.
9- When it is your turn to perform your song, state your name and your song name clearly, slowly and strongly into the microphone. Do not put your mouth right on the microphone, 1/2 to 1" off the mic is the sweet spot.
10- Make sure the song you perform is an original song, written entirely by yourself or with a non-professional songwriter (No charting hits, less than 51% of annual income from publishing). We want a level playing field for all songwriters. If we discover that a winning song has been co-written with a hit/professional songwriter, it will be disqualified from the competition.
11- Since this event is not a vocal, artist or talent contest, songs that win rounds are generally songs that are commercial in nature, follow the rules of smart songwriting, and can be pitched and cut with a minimal amount of work. Our music industry judges are looking for songs that are commercially viable. Keep that in mind as you decide which song to perform.
12- When performing your song, sing clearly and strongly into the mic. We do not have lyric sheets until the final round, and the judges want to hear the lyrics. If you mumble or sing with a cotton mouth, it will make your chances of winning the round lower. A good song delivered great has a better chance of winning, than a good song delivered poorly. This is not a talent contest, but we have seen that a strong song is usually delivered in a strong manner.
13- This event is all about the song, so keep your intro's short, do not do long instrumental breaks for solos, and do not repeat the chorus over and over again in the ending of your song, unless it is an important part of your song. Keep your song to 4 minutes or under. Shorter songs win more rounds. It does not matter what genre the song is, we've had country songs, Christian songs, pop songs, R&B songs, even a song sung with a cajon win rounds.
14- Faster, catchy songs seem to win rounds more often than longer, slower, drawn out ballads. That is not 100%, but in our experience, that is what we have seen.
15- Invite your friends and fans to come to the venue to watch you and vote for you! There is a great vibe at The Whiskey Room Live, and they have lots of great food and drink on their menu. We also stream the event live online, and people can vote live online at the end of the round. So, let your friends, fans, family and others who are out of town know to watch the event live at: nrslive.com and cast their vote at nrsvote.com
16- If you need to reach us the day of the event, my text is 931-674-1799. I'll do my best to get back to you ASAP.
We hope this info will help you get the most value out of your Nashville Rising Star experience! Do good, have fun, make friends, and we'll see you there!
Nashville Rising Star Creator/Director