Event Info

We’re looking forward to hearing your song at Nashville Rising Song! We’ve been holding this event for the past 10 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 important you know how this event works before you arrive.

Host venue for Nashville Rising Song Series 7:
The Dogwood
1907 Division St
Nashville, TN 37203

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Series 7 Schedule

Prelim 1- Monday, January 6, 2020
Prelim 2- Monday, January 13, 2020
Prelim 3- Monday, January 20, 2020
Prelim 4- Monday, January 27, 2020
Prelim 5- Monday, February 3, 2020
Prelim 6- Monday, February 10, 2020
Prelim 7- Monday, February 17, 2020
Prelim 8- Monday, February 24, 2020
Prelim 9- Monday, March 2, 2020
Prelim 10- Monday, March 9, 2020
Semifinal- Monday, March 16, 2020
Final- Monday, March 23, 2020

We 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.

Here’s a sample post for your social media:

I’m competing at Nashville Rising Song Songwriter Open-Mic contest! Watch me live at nrslive.com and then vote for me at the end of the round! Check it out at: nashvillerisingsong.com


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- The events this series start at 7:00PM SHARP! Plan on giving yourself enough time to arrive at THE DOGWOOD located in Midtown on Division Street between 5:30 – 6:30pm. There are lots nearby and we’ve heard some find free parking on side streets). We cut off signup/check-in at 6:30PM. If there are more than 21 checked in at 6:30PM (both guaranteed performance paid slots 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 6:30PM, ALL who checked in will share their song.

2- When you arrive at THE DOGWOOD, go up the stairs located by the front door to the right and head to the 2nd floor bar area. Check in with us online via our check-in form at nrscheckin.com. 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 as we go round by round. Be sure to have your guitar with you at your table and get it ready when your name is called. 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- For keyboardists, we have an 88 key weighted action Casio Privia PX-S3000 digital piano that sounds great! So, no need to bring your keyboard. All keyboardists must use our keyboard to keep setup time to a minimum.

7- When your round is called, please come promptly to the stage and take your position. We do rounds of 3 songwriters each.

8- Plug your guitar in, and set the level at about 90% and flatten out your EQ (if your guitar has one)

9- 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.

10- 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 (germaphobe alert), 1/2 to 1″ off the mic is the sweet spot.

11- 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.

12- 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.

13- When performing your song, sing clearly and strongly into the mic. We do not have lyric sheets until the semi-final and 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.

14- 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.

15- 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.

16- If you need to reach me the day of the event, my text is 931-674-1799. I’ll do my best to get back to you ASAP. TEXT ME ONLY

We hope this info will help you get the most value out of your Nashville Rising Song experience! Do good, have fun, make friends, and we’ll see you there!

Keith Mohr
Nashville Rising Song Creator/Director