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The Muse's News

Issue 12.0 - March 2009
ISSN 1480-6975

This issue sponsored by:


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I n T h i s I s s u e :

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@-- Editor's Musings
@-- Music Reviews - Alex Jasperse, Dan Cohen, Don Sechelski
& Ben Ohmart
@-- New Artist Spotlight Additions
@-- New Artist Spotlight Additions
@-- Songwriting Book Review - by Ed Teja
@-- Musical Notes - Songwriting Contests & Market Info.
@-- Muse's Clues - Songwriting Web sites that inspire - brought
to you by singer/songwriter & teacher, Irene Jackson.
@-- Featured Article - Killing Stage Fright - by Morgan Cryar
@-- On Site Featured Article - An article already online for your
viewing pleasure.
@-- Classifieds & Useful Services
@-- Contact information
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ISSN 1480-6975. Copyright 1998-2008 - Jodi Krangle.
For more contact information, see end of issue.
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FIND THE PERFECT GIFT FOR THE SONGWRITING IN YOUR LIFE!

All sorts of products and services especially for songwriters,
negotiated so that you get the best price possible. You'll find
means of promotion and distribution, songwriting aids,
educational products, musical instruments and their accessories,
and lots more. Find the perfect gift for the songwriter in your
life - even if it's you!

http://www.musesmuse.com/songwriting-store.html
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S p o n s o r M e s s a g e :

(Many thanks to the sponsors that help support this newsletter!)
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

ENTER YOUR SONGS - 14th ANNUAL USA SONGWRITING COMPETITION

Win $50,000 Grand Prize worth of cash, cool music gear from Sony,
Ibanez Guitars, D'Addario Strings, Audio-Techica, Cakewalk and
more! Not to mention radio airplay for winning songs. Judges
include A&R from Universal, SONY/BMG, Capitol Records and Warner.

FREE EARLY BONUS: Hurry, enter now and get a FREE gift! Get entry
from here: http://www.songwriting.net
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E d i t o r ' s M u s i n g s :

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Hello again, folks. Thanks for joining us for another month. I
hope you've all had a very productive and successful month of
February.

I'm going to keep my Musings really short this time around -
though I will mention that for those of you who are at all
interested in my voice over progress, there's a new website
online now at http://www.voiceoversandvocals.com . I'd love to
hear what you think of it, if you get a chance to check it out.
(The cakes make me hungry every time I look at them. That'll
make sense when you visit the website. ;))

And now, on to the raffle winners!

* Larry Lesser, from El Paso, TX, has won a copy of
Virtual Studio Systems' Lyricist software
(http://www.musesmuse.com/vss-review.html).

* Scott Galyon from Slidell, LA, has won a free 3
month membership to SongU (http://www.SongU.com), an
Internet-based learning environment providing online coaching,
co-writing and pitching opportunities, in addition to over 70
multi-level courses developed by award-winning songwriters.

* David Trout, from Scottdale, PA, has won a copy of
Indie-Music.com's Musician's Toolkit CD
(http://www.musicianstoolkit.com/muse/)

* Mike Dees from Bartlett, TN, has won a 6 month subscription to
the Onlinegigs (http://www.onlinegigs.com/) service. This
valuable service is a powerful tool for musicians, agents, record
companies and managers designed to virtually automate the
administration of booking and promoting a band or bands.

* Allison Lynn from Nashville, TN, has won a copy of
Bronson Herrmuth's "100 Miles To A Record Deal"
(http://www.songrepair.com/bookforweb2.htm).

If you'd like one of these great raffle prizes, all you need to
do is write to me with your first two choices for your prize and
your address info (this is important!) so that I can get it to
you. The prizes are all listed at the top of
http://www.musesmuse.com/musenews.html .

Have a wonderful March and enjoy the newsletter!

--Jodi

Back to Menu
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S p o n s o r M e s s a g e :

(Many thanks to the sponsors that help support this newsletter!)
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

BRETT MANNING'S SINGING SUCCESS SYSTEMATIC VOCAL TRAINING SYSTEM:

It's the "secret weapon" used by some of the winners of the
world's most prestigious vocal awards, including the Doves, the
CMA Awards, and yes, the Grammies.

Learn the one mistake even professional singers make, that drains
away 3 times more vocal energy and yields only half the needed
vocal power. Find out about the 3 simple exercises that allow
even a "beginner" to make rapid increases in range (this also
eliminates vocal strain). Learn Brett's secret for "dissolving"
your break, so you'll never have to flip into falsetto again, but
you'll still sing as high as you want--in full voice - and LOTS
more.

The package includes 12 audio CDs (packed with 17 repeatable
lessons, including both technique--the simple, yet powerful
exercises, and style lessons for building vocal licks and
trills); a workbook for illustration; and a DVD for visual
reference and demonstration. It's a complete course - and it has
a money-back guarantee!

Visit http://tinyurl.com/35t3lz for more details and start
yourself on the road to improving your vocal chops today!

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M u s i c R e v i e w s : Alex Jasperse, Dan Cohen,
Don Sechelski & Ben Ohmart

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NEW MUSIC REVIEWS SINCE LAST MONTH INCLUDE:

Alex Jasperse:
--------------

* Ron Ziai
http://www.musesmuse.com/mrev-ronziai.html


Dan Cohen:
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* Court Mast
http://www.musesmuse.com/mrev-courtmast-sausalitosummer.html


Ben Ohmart:
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* Billet-Deux
http://www.musesmuse.com/mrev-billetdeux-deux.html
* Rick Frank
http://www.musesmuse.com/mrev-rickfrank-yellowmountain.html


Don Sechelski:
--------------

* Ken Koenig
http://www.musesmuse.com/mrev-kenkoenig-bringithome.html
* Moh Alileche
http://www.musesmuse.com/mrev-mohalileche-inmemory.html
---------------

******

For bios on each of the reviewers, see
http://www.musesmuse.com/musicreviews.html . If you're
considering sending in your own CD for review, you can also view
that page to find out which reviewer reviews your genre. Thanks!

Back to Menu

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N e w A r t i s t S p o t l i g h t A d d i t i o n s :

Great music is only a click away!
Here are just some of the great CDs highlighted in the
Artist Spotlight section of The Muse's Muse at
http://www.musesmuse.com/artistspotlights.html

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Andy Michaels - Genre: EASY LISTENING

Andy Michaels is a Australian singer/songwriter and performer
with a passionate and heart felt voice who combines beautiful
music and melodies with lyrics in the genre of Bob Dylan and
Neil Young. He believes a song should be a whole story spelling
experience.

http://www.andymichaels.com/

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Joe Campbell - Genre: ROCK

Joe Campbell, singer/songwriter from the Mid-Atlantic region of
the United States, finally releases his highly awaited adult
alternative rock debut album. His self-titled CD contains fifteen
songs about Sex, Love and the human condition and is so highly
addictive, you won't be able to turn him off.

http://joecampbell.net/
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S o n g w r i t i n g B o o k R e v i e w : by Ed Teja
Start & Run Your Own Record Label
by Daylle Deanne Schwartz
http://www.watsonguptill.com
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We all know that the times are changing for the music business.
Business strategies are a hot topic on forums, and more than one
person has tried to establish the "new way" of selling music. But
the goal of selling music, or at least distributing it, has not
changed. It is more how it is done, and this book address a broad
spectrum of state of the art techniques for doing that.

If you produce and sell your CDs at gigs, or online, or in
stores, or sell downloads, you are effectively working as a
record label (although "record" is an anachronistic term in the
digital age, when even "albums" are suspicious and singles are
looking stronger). That makes you the target reader for this
book. It doesn't matter whether your catalog is your own songs or
those of a number of artists. In this age, no one knows anyway.
In that respect, one of the interesting themes of this book is
that the playing field has leveled somewhat. If you have passion
and enthusiasm, and are willing to work hard, you can compete in
this confused marketplace. A little creativity in marketing and
innovation in presentation can go a long way to offset the big
marketing dollars (that are rapidly dwindling) of the major
labels. Some of the strategies Schwartz suggests you undoubtedly
have heard. Others could be new. Because she augments her own
experience in running a small label with the insights of people
running a mix of labels (different sizes, genres of music, and
different marketing strategies) you get a broad brush of ideas.
They range from online marketing approaches (and places) to
touring strategies, merchandising, retail promotion... the entire
gambit of music marketing activities that falls to the label to
execute. By trying out some that you haven't already tried, or
fine tuning strategies you have tried, learning from the
experience of others, you can improve your market share.

But all is not marketing, and Schwartz addresses potentially
thorny issues like choosing artists for your label, along with
thoughts on drugs and its iconic role in the music business. She
also discusses some of the nuts and bolts of manufacturing,
accounting (taxes!) and copyrights. These are approached as
things you need to know, which is true, but the author doesn't
quite generate the same enthusiasm for these topics. Probably
because they are not things most people dream of doing when they
start a label. They are, unfortunately, high on the list of
things that can make you fail if you aren't paying attention to
them. So read these sections anyway. It won't hurt that much.

If you are serious about marketing your music, whether you want
to formally start a label or not, there is a lot of information
in this book. It is a very serious introduction to the music
business from that perspective. Even though other books offer
some of the same thoughts, it is the perspective of this one that
makes it valuable. It focuses you on the business end of things,
and its extremely pragmatic nature. So, if you are serious, pay
attention, but serious doesn't mean it can't be fun!

******

ABOUT THE REVIEWER:

Ed Teja writes a broad range of music. His songs and
instrumentals have appeared in television shows (Court TV and
Discover Channel) and in a variety of videos. He has had two CDs
released by Morrhythm Records (www.outstandingmusic.com) and is
currently cowriting songs with an exciting singer who is working
on her second CD. As a performer, Ed has appeared at strange
venues in Hong Kong, Canada, St. Martin, Bequia, Venezuela,
Grenada and Trinidad, as well as the Silver City (New Mexico)
Blues festival, Pickamania, and the Tucson (Arizona) Folk
Festival.

You can hear some of Ed's music at: http://www.myspace.com/edteja

If you'd like *your* book reviewed (as long as it has something
to do with songwriting, of course!), please do email us and let
us know!

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S p o n s o r M e s s a g e :

(Many thanks to the sponsors that help support this newsletter!)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

LEARN HOW TO PLAY GUITAR - QUICKLY AND EASILY!

You Can Play Guitar author and publisher Scott Morris now offers
7 Free email guitar lessons that include easy to learn guitar
tablature, a sound file and free guitar lesson videos of his easy
to learn Billboard top rated guitar method that includes learning
guitar scales and theory used by professional songwriters. The
Free Guitar Lesson Videos - teach samples of learning the names
of the notes, sharps and flats, easy to play guitar chords and
more great information for beginner to professional level
guitarist.

http://tinyurl.com/6o27j7

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M u s i c a l N o t e s : Songwriting Contests & Market Info.

In the interest of conserving space, I will only be including
changes to this listing in this newsletter. All other contests
and market information that have already been listed here, are
displayed at http://www.musesmuse.com/contests.html &
http://www.musesmuse.com/markets.html . Please check there
regularly for updates!
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2009 SANDRA JAMES MUSIC FOUNDATION 2ND ANNUAL SONGWRITING CONTEST

We’re excited to repeat the Sandra James Music Foundation
Songwriting Contest for the 2nd year. Our contest in 2008 was a
great success! We are a non-profit organization committed to
supporting the causes that were important to Sandra: positive
changes involving children, music, peace, and the protection of
the environment. First place prize is $1,000, recognition of the
win on the Sandra James Music Foundation website, and an
opportunity to include the winning song on a CD. The contest will
run from January 1st 2009 to March 31st 2009. The winner will be
announced May 1st. Please visit our website for more information
and send us your songs!

Fee: $25.00
Rules and application form may be found at
http://www.sandrajames.com
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2009 INDIESHOWS ONLINE BATTLE OF THE BANDS

Every year IndieShows.net hosts an online battle of the bands
contest. If you haven't heard of this contest before that's
because this is only our 2nd year running this contest and our
site for that matter. This is a free contest that any band or
artist can enter and it is judged by the most important music
critics out there... the general population. From January to
September/October we have 'regular' battles... 5 bands at a time
go up and we let our site visitors and your fans vote for one
full week. The band that ends up on top wins and moves on to our
finals at the end of the year. From October to December we hold
our finals and it all comes down to just two bands who battle it
out for the Championship until January 1st 2010. The winner is
announced New Years Day! There are prizes for 1st and 2nd place
(the prize list will grow and get better as we get more support)
and you can view a list of the prizes along with other contest
details at battle.indieshows.net.
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THE 2009 WORLD OF MUSIC AWARDS

The World of Music Awards from We Are Listening is the first
international and multi-lingual contest for World music artists
and songwriters. Armed with an expert panel of judges and a prize
package that includes an all-inclusive trip to WOMEX in Denmark,
We Are Listening delivers an unparalleled opportunity to be seen,
heard and signed!
Deadline: July 15th 2009
Fee: $30
Details: http://www.wearelistening.org/about_woma.php
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2009 FIRST INTERNATIONAL PEACE SONG CONTEST

The Peace Music Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated
to promoting peace through music, is organizing an international
peace songwriting contest. Total prize money is $6,000 and
participants may have their winning songs performed live at the
Peace Song Festival. The winning songs will also be included on a
Commemorative CD. Entries must be received by March 15, 2009. For
more details, rules and applications, please visit
http://www.peacemusicfoundation.org and click on the "Projects"
tab. We look forward to hearing from you!
Application Fee: $10.00
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AFFORDABLE PRESS RELEASE DISTRIBUTION

My PR Music Wire offers press release writing and direct email
distribution to thousands of music journalists, radio stations,
and managers. You can also post your music press release for free
on our website by emailing it to freewire@myprmusicwire.com.
Receive 10% off your entire order when you enter the coupon code
muse10 at checkout!

http://www.myprmusicwire.com/
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2009 ERIE CANAL SONG CONTEST

This is our second contest sponsored by the Erie Canal Discovery
Center, part of the Niagara County Historical Society in Lockport
New York. The entries should be about the Canal, the Locks or
Lockport. The deadline for entry is April 1st 2009. The award
will be made May 9th, 2009 at the annual "Key to the Locks"
ceremony in Lockport. It is the ceremonial opening of the Canal
season. You can listen to last years contest winner as well as
obtain all the necessary information to enter at:
www.niagarahistory.org.

This is a free contest.
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STACK THE ODDS IN YOUR FAVOR WITH THE ULTIMATE PROMOTION AND FREE
CONSULTATIONS


Do you have a dream of having your music heard, being on the
radio, or writing songs for other artists? You're not alone. And
now, there's a faster and better way than ever before to get
there. Song Warrior Music will promote your music professionally,
to only publishers, producers, and record labels who specialize
in your style of music and are actively seeking new songs. From
the design and production of presentation materials to follow up
calls/letters/mailings, and unlimited consultation before,
during, and after the promotion, everything is custom designed to
fit your music and your specific goals. Song Warrior Music is
committed to putting the music first and giving you the absolute
best possible chance for achieving your dream, because it's not
just a career, it's your music. So, if you are ready to go for
that dream, to schedule your free consultation, just go to
http://www.songwarriormusic.com/musesmuse or call (573) 814-2169.
You can talk with the owner, Jason Cannata, directly, ask him any
questions you have, and find out more about The Song Warrior
Music Promotion. If you believe in yourself and your dreams, and
never give up, anything is possible, so contact Song Warrior
Music today and
Go For It!
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HOW CAN MUSOWIKI HELP YOU?

Musowiki.net is a FREE global directory of music-industry
services. It helps Musos who want to grow their music to connect
with people offering help. Whether you need to write better
songs, learn to play or to book your next tour of Europe,
Musowiki contains services that bring your goals within reach.

People offering services that help Musos can LIST THEMSELVES FREE
(instructions are here:
http://musowiki.net/index.php/Category:Listing). Just copy, paste
and fill in the blanks.

If someone has done a great job for you, give them a boost by
saying so on their discussion page. There are many ways you can
support the project - feel free to explore the community.
www.musowiki.net
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A PRESTIGIOUS JURY WILL ASSIST TALENT SEEKERS TO FIND THE 1000
MOST CREATIVE PEOPLE OF 2009


Talent Seekers has organized an international contest to discover
and promote the most outstanding people in their respective
creative fields, one of them being music. The jury includes top
professionals, such as Rafael Revert, founder of the two most
important Spanish music radio stations (40 Principales and Cadena
100), Jimmy Destri, founder member of the legendary American band
Blondie or the distinguished Canadian producer John Dimon, winner
of an Emmy and producer of well known television programmes, such
as "Stars of Tomorrow".

Fee: None.
Deadline: 31st December 2009.
URL: http://www.talentseekers.net/index.php
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THE DELI: A MUSIC WEBSITE FOCUSING ON LOCAL MUSIC SCENES

The Deli is the website that every A&R person and local promoter
checks out on a weekly basis. Our publication and web sites focus
on local music scenes and emerging artists (from rock to folk to
experimental, with a little bit of hip hop as well). We currently
publish a printed magazine about the NYC music scene and have
daily updated , separate web pages tackling the new emerging
music in NYC, LA, SF and Nashville. Check it out here
www.thedelimagazine.com.

You can submit your music via the web through our open blog pages
(here's the one for Nashville:
http://www.thedelimagazine.com/nashville/openblog/)
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FREE MUSIC PROMOTIONS EBOOK!

The author of The Little Black Book Of Band Profit Secrets has
come thru again! He's just published: "Co-Op Synergy Power, Your
Fast-Track To Profit, Exposure And Free Advertising..." and
musesmuse.com fans can get it for free.

Click here> http://jodimuse.ssl4000.hop.clickbank.net/

And be sure to check out The Little Black Book Of Band Profit
Secrets while your there... It's worth the look.
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STUDIOTRAXX.COM: BREAKING NEW GROUND - FOR YOU!

StudioTraxx.com provides an e-commerce platform that allows
artists/bands to purchase and book time with musicians,
engineers, producers, and other music professionals for online
studio collaboration purposes. They facilitate the entire music
production process from beginning to end — from finding and
booking the right talent to managing all resulting collaboration
activities.

StudioTraxx is actively building its talent network and is
encouraging both those who offer services and those who need
services to sign up and register. There are no costs to join the
site. Creating an account is FREE.

http://www.studiotraxx.com/?partner=837
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THE INDIE GUIDE IS ON SALE FOR $10.95 AND INCLUDES THE INDIE
CONTACT GUIDE!


For a limited time only, North Shore Records, Inc, in celebration
of tour season and music success has put The Indie Guide on sale
for $10.95 plus shipping. The normal cost is $25.95 plus
shipping. In addition to the 190-page book, The Indie Contact
Guide, which contains thousands of contact names, address, email
addresses, phone numbers and contact names will be included.
To Your Music Success! http://www.theindieguide.com
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THE INDIE VENUE BIBLE - A GROUNDBREAKING VENUE DIRECTORY FOR ANY
ARTIST PLANNING TO TOUR IN THE US OR CANADA!


26,000 live music venues of all sizes are featured including
clubs, bars, restaurants, lounges, coffee shops, theaters, halls,
churches, book stores, community centers, house concerts and open
mics. There are also 1,500 festivals listed as well as over
1,000 colleges for any artist that wants to plan a college tour.

Jumpstart your tour today!
Visit https://nt4.magma.ca/bigmeteor/ivbmuse_order.cfm
for more information!
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SONGWRITING CONSULTATION SPECIAL OFFER:

Pete & Pat Luboff will pay for the phone call for Muse's Muse
songwriters who use the Luboffs' songwriting consultation
service. The service provides detailed, constructive song
analysis, answers to all your creative and business questions and
references to contacts when appropriate. Visit
http://www.writesongs.com/consults.htm for more information.

Back to Menu
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M u s e ' s C l u e s : by Irene Jackson

©1998-2009 Moonstone Productions All Rights Reserved.
Used By Permission

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I remember a few years ago finishing up a new song and feeling
quite proud of myself for writing something very different than
my usual fare, only a day or two later to discover that I had
completely ripped off a melody and chord progression of a song I
had been listening to previously. It was disheartening and
frustrating, but of course I had to ditch the song! Plagiarism
seems to be a great fear in most of us...not just copying someone
else's song, but having our own song plagiarized.

I wonder how many times this honestly happens, not just to those
of us who are relatively anonymous, but also to big name
songwriters? And when it happens and they realize it, do they do
the same thing and just ditch the song? You would hope so! Then
again, what if they don't realize that a song they've written has
"been done" before but the song has already had a major release?

This is what happened when The Rolling Stones were about to
release the CD Bridges to Babylon in 1997 with a song called
"Anybody Seen My Baby" that had a very similar hook to KD Lang's
song "Constant Craving", released in 1992. Instead of waiting
for a lawsuit, however, clever Mick simply offered Lang writing
credits and shared profits from the song.

I am guessing that this is also what happened to Coldplay's lead
singer and songwriter Chris Martin when he wrote Viva La Vida.
As it turns out, the melody and chord progression in parts of the
song are strikingly similar to another song released in 2005 by
Joe Satriani called "If I Could Fly". But Satriani believes that
Martin knowingly stole his melody and progression and so he is
suing Coldplay as a result. There have been a lot of arguments
between fans of both artists as to who stole what, but on a
YouTube video you can watch a two-part video from an objective
viewpoint, examining each song from a theoretical perspective.
Now the theory might be over your head, but it also might teach
you a lot about what might be viewed as plagiarism:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YJWLfpOecyE

If you are interested in other examples of similar-sounding
songs, on the Prolific Magazine blog, Joshua Kraus compares what
he calls "The 8 Most Blatantly Plagiarized Songs":
http://theprolific.com/2008/09/the-8-most-blatantly-plagiarized-s
ongs/
.

Not all of these songs involved lawsuits, but there are some
interesting comparisons, and all are worth digging around in your
CD collection to have a listen to.

Interestingly enough, another obscure band called Creaky Boards
has also claimed that Coldplay's Viva La Vida is a rip-off of
their song "The Songs I Didn't Write" (isn't that title a strange
coincidence!). Jared Morris of WGMD does a comparison of these
two songs on YouTube:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NOpZPdaw8Sw

Of course, the accusations are flying back and forth, but the
reality is that plagiarism is hard to prove, and I do think it's
quite possible for two songwriters to inadvertently come up with
very similar melodies. Most songwriters have melodies floating
around in our heads all of the time and how are we to know if
they are original or not? There are only so many notes and so
many common chords.

But as to who stole what from whom, I'll leave that up to the
courts, and you!

******

Irene Jackson is a performing songwriter from Victoria, BC in
Canada. Aside from writing, recording and performing, she also
maintains a website for songwriters that includes tips, articles
and a songwriter's messageboard.

Songwriting Tips: http://www.irenejackson.com/tips.html
Homepage: http://www.irenejackson.com
Songs: http://www.soundclick.com/irenejackson

Back to Menu
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F e a t u r e d A r t i c l e : by Morgan Cryar

Killing Stage Fright
© 2008

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With Stage Fright, it's "kill or be killed!" A little bit of
adrenaline before an appearance is actually great for you and
your audience. It means you care!

But if you've ever had a bout with really bad stage fright
(shaking hands and trembly voice, a feeling of physical weakness,
extreme anxiety, etc.), you know that it will destroy your
ability to do what you do!

Kill it or be killed! But how?

I have found that stage fright commonly comes from 2 fears: One
is the "Where am I?" (answer-"I'm on stage-vulnerable to the
opinions of other human beings.") The other fear is "Who am I?"
(answer-"I'm no good." or "I'll never be worth anything." or "I
am a creature of God, magnificently equipped to sing and serve
this audience!")


WHERE AM I?

This question refers to your consciousness of being on stage, in
front of everybody.

It can stir up the feeling of "Oh my gosh, I just noticed that
everyone in the whole place is staring at ME!" In a normal
social setting, this would automatically trigger suspicion that
they've all noticed something about you that needs to be
corrected (zipper, egg on face, spider in hair, spinach in teeth,
etc.)

This fear is usually aggravated even more by the sense of the
unfamiliar: New venue, equipment, etc. or new song, or new stage
partner, band, etc.

These "new" elements give you a feeling of unsure footing. This
kind of stage fright is certainly beatable, but it takes real
work. You cannot just expect it to subside by itself.

New venue--Go early to any venue that is new to you. You MUST
walk the stage, look at the equipment, arrange for an adequate
sound check, and ask all your tech questions ("Where will I plug
in my guitar?" "Do I turn the mike on when it gets handed to me
or should I expect it to be live?").

Your goal in going in ahead of time is to become as comfortable
on this new piece of ground as you are in your living room. Make
it feel as if the audience is visiting "your territory."

Note--sound check is not "rehearsal." It's just a chance to get
the sound man used to you and you used to the venue's equipment.
Mentioning "rehearsal" brings me to the next point:

New song--You should NEVER, NEVER, NEVER get on stage with a song
that you aren't completely confident about. If it's new, I
seriously recommend you rehearse it 50 times. If there's that
one note that you aren't sure you can ALWAYS hit, DON'T sing this
song yet! (You won't have to worry about high notes if you have
worked with a course like Brett Manning's Singing Success, but
even then, the point is YOU must KNOW that you never miss! Only
then is a song ready to perform.)

New stage partners/band--You must rehearse, rehearse, rehearse
with a new band until you have no doubt. If you or some of your
band members are too lazy to do this work, you don't belong in
front of an audience yet!

That reminds me of a story about Fred Astaire. It is said that
he would rehearse a dance routine for hours a day for weeks
before it was to be performed for a real audience or the cameras.

By the time it was to be presented, it was as if he was taking a
pleasant stroll in the park (instead of attempting a killer dance
number). If you ever watch Fred Astaire dance in a movie, you
will be struck with how easy it looks--literally effortless.

THAT'S BECAUSE IT WAS EASY BY THE 475TH TIME HE DID IT! (You may
have glibly said to yourself "Boy, I wish I was that talented.")

If you're lazy, you deserve stage fright!


WHO AM I?

This fear really has almost nothing to do with performing. It
followed you here from childhood.

These fears come from inner "tape recordings" of school kids,
parents, teachers, etc. that tell you that you are inadequate.
As we grow into adulthood, we usually repeat these negative
things to ourselves (and make up new things) and therefore cut
ourselves down to size.

Eventually, we get stuck between a strong desire to be "enough"
and a feeling that we most certainly are "NOT enough."

When you take the stage and you haven't dealt with this problem,
you will experience the feeling of "if they only knew how
worthless I really am, they'd reject me for sure." Unfortunately,
this reads on your face and in your body language like an open
book.

The only things that seems to work are what I call "thinking
work" done ahead of time:

Healthy Imagination--Your imagination was designed for this very
job. You need to "work things out ahead of time" by imagining
your desired result.

Spend time imagining a very successful time on stage. "See" it
with your mind's eye. Don't use words, but just "watch the
movie" of your successful gig--over and over.

You'll need to spend TIME in a quiet place to do this
effectively.

That brings us to the second technique:

Modeling--Watch real movies of great performances and see how the
best of the best do it (Go Fred!). Then take their confidence as
your own! Here's a secret: Every star you watch did this same
thing. They looked to some "hero" that they modeled for their
own success.


THE STAGE FRIGHT SILVER BULLET

If you really want to kill stage fright you have to...

Kill your Ego--This is the hardest thing to understand. If you
want to really succeed on stage, you must NEVER ask "I wonder if
they'll like me?" Once you let yourself ask that question,
you've headed down the wrong road and it NEVER ends well.

You must ask only "I wonder how I can love these people and serve
them?"

An audience can sense selfishness without even trying. The same
goes for one-on-one conversations. If you have trouble
remembering people's names when you first meet them, you have a
selfishness problem, not a memory problem.

Think about it--you're asking "I wonder if this person likes me?"
instead of "I bet this person is a fascinating person I should
get to know..."

Also, you will never make an audience like you by being a "fake"
you!

So just be who you are and constantly lean toward being a lover
of your audience. You came with music. Serve it up FOR THEIR
SAKE and not your own ego strokes!

Your audience will sense that you are there for them and will
love you for it!

Eye Contact--Make eye contact with the most positive people in
your audience and connect with them as if with a new friend.
This will pull the rest of your audience into the "conversation."

Stage fright is usually listed in some form on the list of
people's fears just above the fear of death. Your best
investment of time in overcoming this fear is the "imagination"
exercise above.

*****

Morgan Cryar is a songwriter and singer who also consults with
younger artists. He's part owner of Singing Success, Inc. and is
involved with training singers and songwriters from around the
world. He makes his home in Nashville, TN.

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