Musicians and music lovers alike might score the globe in search of the most inspirational sounds they’ve ever heard. There are countless music festivals every year in a number of countries that seek this same goal by inviting popular and rising musicians to display their talents on stage. There are some places, however, where you’re more likely to find inspiration for your next string of chords or group of lyrics. Some of these places are known for the beauty that can inspire your heart, others for their reputation of releasing the next greatest hits, and still others for giving upcoming musicians a shot at the big leagues.
One way many artists draw their inspiration is by observing or immersing themselves in nature. You could take an Iceland cruise, go camping in a national forest, or spend a day at the lake—whatever gets your juices flowing. If you’re looking for famous places to stir your creative juices, though, then there are a few you can focus on visiting.
Red Rocks Amphitheater in Morrison, Colorado, is a famous venue that has seen a number of world renowned artists. Bands such as The Avett Brothers and even U2 have taken the stage and used the namesake mountains to amplify their sound for thousands. This space is particularly incredible because it’s carved out of the mountain itself, giving you a view of the night sky and surrounding hills as you listen to your favorite artist.
When you’re searching for a diverse natural soundscape, look no further than the Grand Canyon. Not many people would think of this as a spot for musical inspiration, but just like Red Rocks Amphitheater the surrounding cliffs can do magical things to sound. Whether it’s playing music within the canyon or listening to how it changes bird calls, warbles the sound of running water, or echoes the hoofbeats of traversing donkeys, there’s no shortage of inspiration in the national landmark.
To find a new culture in music, you could even travel to Oahu, Hawaii. The Hawaiian culture is deeply seated in music and folklore, which often intermingle into songs of great warriors or goddesses. Sitting on the beach and listening to the waves can help to relax you and open your senses so you’re more receptive to the music that might waft through the air from a nearby dance hall or someone’s front porch.
Some cities stick out in the world as the top producers of new music and developing artists. The first that comes to your mind if you live in the U.S. might be New York City. This mega metropolis is known for its music clubs throughout time, hosting beatnik bars, jazz joints, hip-hop halls as each fad passed through. It’s also a popular place for established artists to record their music and meet new agents. If you’re hoping to hear something fresh, odds are you’ll find it in New York.
Another city synonymous with great music is Nashville, Tennessee. Coined the music city for its significant investment in country artists, Nashville is a powerhouse for turning out new artists and striking record deals. Plenty of aspiring musicians will flock to the streets of downtown and find gigs along the way to their big break. So if you want to get a jump on the next big trend in country, wander the streets of Nashville and keep your ears open.
It’s not all in the U.S., however. One of the major music hubs of the world is London. Bands like The Beatles and The Rollings Stones put London on the map, and it’s been a cultural hub of melodies ever since. There are a wide variety of genres and techniques, perfect for exercising your creative muscles and inspiring new sounds.
Finding musical inspiration can be as simple as being in the right place with your ears open, so check out these inspirational cities and see what you find.