Coffeeshop Musicians

Nashville is littered with musicians. Your barista is a songwriter. Your Uber driver is on the radio. Your waitress probably won The Voice three years ago. There is certainly no shortage of skinny jean-wearing, essential oil-sniffing, kombucha-drinking musicians in this city.

Something that was staggering to me when I first moved here is just how many of them there are hanging out in coffee shops all day. It can be hard at 10:40am to find a seat in some of these places. My first thought was "why are all these people here?" and then it hit me that I was there for the same reason: e-mails and coffee.

The coffee shop is the millennial office space. Wifi? Caffeine? Semi-clean bathrooms? It's a perfect environment to think up Instagram posts to look busier than you actually are. "It's my 5th latte this week, so I'm obviously pretty well off... right?"

I released an eBook last Friday called "100 Tips For Session & Touring Musicians" that was basically aimed at the 2011 version of myself because I was a little intimidated by the coffee shop musicians. Everyone seemed to be doing something, everyone seemed to know everyone else, and everyone seemed to have enough money to buy crazy expensive drinks. I realize now that many of those people felt the same way I did and didn't have a clue of how to start off their music careers. The eBook is kind of a way for me to help out fellow musicians who might feel the same way now that I did then.

Here are 3 of the 100 tips in the book:

Tip 58: Download the Right Apps To Get Paid - When you do get a gig, make it easy for people to pay you. Cash App, Venmo, and PayPal are 3 quick apps that many people use to pay their players.

Tip 77: E-mails & Coffee -  E-mailing can be extremely frustrating, but it’s something to develop as a skill. Find people you want to work with and contact them. See if they’re available for coffee or to hang out and then BUY THEM COFFEE. 

Tip 28: Learn from the Producers & Engineers - This was one of the hardest things for me to get used to. Producers and engineers have a wealth of knowledge that they can share with you to make you better at your craft so take notes!

For those of you who make the coffee shop your office, I do have one tip that wasn't in the book. This is super practical and may hurt a little, but: get a Starbucks gift card and start working towards a gold membership. If you schedule your meetings at Starbucks, they have free refills for gold members (maybe even green members) so you can stay and just refill your coffee before your next meeting. I used to line up 3-4 different meetings on a $2.50 cup of coffee (+ tips...). "Meetings" can be expensive and this can be a great way to save some money and still be able to buy coffee for those you're asking to meet with.

If you're at a coffee shop right now and want to read the eBook click here. Or you could just text me and we could meet in person like people used to do in the 90's (or so I hear).


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