1. Music City is a relationship town. Sitting in your apartment alone won't do you any good. Get out and go meet people! This sounds so elementary but 50% of the people that move here will move back JUST because they didn't make any friends.
2. Instead of trying to de-thrown the top musicians and other crew (so you can become Taylor Swift's guitar player or a top session player), that will most likely not happen. It's more about creating the new thing and joining the new generation, and that happens when you build relationships with people that are also new to town. In a few years, those new people will be running the town, so get in while it's early!
3. Nashville is a 10 year town. DO NOT come in with expectations that you are going to get a big job within a year. You MAY. But probably not. And that's ok!
4. Get a job while you are figuring out Nashville. Your first 3 months should be spent meeting people and finding real work. You need to survive. If you just focus on music, your bank account will run dry and you will be moving back home.
5. Full-time session musicians are ALMOST a thing of the past except for the top 1% in Nashville. If you have a desire to be in the studio, become a producer. It will pay dividends to just playing bass sessions. But IF you really want to become a session musician, be known for something unique.
6. Learn a craft that is beyond your instrument. You probably went to school and spent a ton of time learning your instrument. But that is not enough to become full-time now. Use your instrument knowledge to learn other skills like producing, writing, etc, etc.
7. BE HUMBLE. You will not be the best musician in town. In fact, your barista and waiter is probably better. This is Nashville and you are no longer in the small pond. You won't be able to out play some people BUT you could out nice them!
8. Be a good hang. Most musicians that get hired on the road are most of all, good hangs. Look, you will spend 20 hours a day with these people on a cramped up bus for months. If you are difficult, you won't last. There are many FANTASTIC musicians that are not working because of this.
9. Once you get a good touring job, have fun but also start thinking about the day it will end. Because even the best gigs will end. You are now a self employed business person.
10. Enjoy yourself. These are some of the greatest, most interesting, most adventurous times of your life. Even if your stint is 5 or 6 years, you will never forget your time here.
Bonus: 11: Whatever you think you are moving to Nashville for, it will turn out different.