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The Muse's News

Issue 12.8 - November 2009
ISSN 1480-6975

This issue sponsored by:

The International Songwriting Competition - Enter Today!

[ Back to The Muse's News Index ] [ Home ]


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

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@-- Editor's Musings
@-- Music Reviews - Don Sechelski & Cyrus Rhodes
@-- 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 - TARGET A CONTEMPORARY SONG GENRE - PART 2
- by Robin Frederick
@-- 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!)
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INTERNATIONAL SONGWRITING COMPETITION (ISC) ACCEPTING ENTRIES NOW
DEADLINE APPROACHING SOON

Called "the songwriting competition to take note of" by the New
York Times, the International Songwriting Competition (ISC) gives
away over $150,000 in cash and prizes including a $25,000 cash
Grand Prize, the largest cash Grand Prize of any songwriting
competition in the world! ISC's prestigious judges include Kings
of Leon; Rob Thomas (Matchbox 20); Tom Waits; Adele; Wynonna;
Jeff Beck; Alejandro Sanz; Loretta Lynn; Snow Patrol; Steve
Winwood; McCoy Tyner; The Shins; Michael W. Smith; Robbie
Williams; Jeremy Camp; and many more. Judges also include
high-profile record label executives including Seymour Stein
(Chairman/CEO, Sire Records); Monte Lipman (President, Universal
Republic Records); Amanda Ghost (President, Epic Records); and
many more. Go to http://www.songwritingcompetition.com for more
info and an entry form.
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E d i t o r ' s M u s i n g s :

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Here we are again. :) For those of you that dropped by the
Webinar with MasterWriter on Saturday last, I hope you enjoyed
it! Those of you that missed it, I'm hoping we'll have another
one of those at some point soon and I'll keep you posted when it
happens.

Though there's are new columnists waiting in the wings, I'm not
*quite* ready to introduce them just yet. Probably for next
month - though keep a watch on
http://www.musesmuse.com/menu-columnists.html and you might just
see them up there before they're announced here. :)

Lots of new articles on the website, lots of great new stuff in
this newsletter - including the second part of Robin's article
from last month, a review of Rhyme Genie (I highly recommend you
check it out!) and some information from Irene about her latest
online find - the American Songwriter website!

Oh - and there are two new monthly raffle prizes offered now
also. Peter Wier of Rhyme Genie has generously donated a copy a
month to us for the next year (thanks, Peter!) - and Pete & Pat
Luboff are donating an hour of their coaching time, too! Check
out the page at http://www.musesmuse.com/musenews.html for all
the listed raffle prizes and if any of them catch your fancy,
write to me to let me know. Include your first and second
choices for a prize, along with your mailing address and I'll let
you know when a prize is on its way!

In the meantime, here are the raffle winners for this month:

* Paul Scull, Mohnton, PA, has won a copy of
Virtual Studio Systems' Lyricist software
(http://www.musesmuse.com/vss-review.html).

* Don Micallef, from Clifton, VA, 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.

* Gina Dial from Lampasas, TX, has won a copy of
"100 Miles To A Record Deal" by author and publisher Bronson
Herrmuth. (http://www.songrepair.com/bookforweb2.htm)

Wishing you the very best and productive of months,

--Jodi

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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!)
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6th ANNUAL IAMA (International Acoustic Music Awards)

Last chance to enter the 6th Annual IAMA (International Acoustic
Music Awards), this is judged based on songwriting, performance &
artistry. Win prizes in 8 different categories: Best Male
Artist, Best Female Artist, Best Group/Duo, Folk/Americana/Roots,
AAA/Alternative, Instrumental, Open, Bluegrass/Country. There
will also be an Overall Grand Prize winner awarded to the top
winner worth US$11,000, which includes radio promotion to over
250 radio stations in US and Canada!

DEADLINE APPROACHING: All entries must be entered by November 9
or earlier. So Hurry - enter now at:
http://www.inacoustic.com/mm.html

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M u s i c R e v i e w s : Don Sechelski & Cyrus Rhodes

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NEW MUSIC REVIEWS SINCE LAST MONTH INCLUDE:

Don Sechelski:
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* Jolly Roger
http://www.musesmuse.com/mrev-jollyroger-virus.html
* Scufflegrit
http://www.musesmuse.com/mrev-scufflegrit-lsl.html
* Ricko Donovan
http://www.musesmuse.com/mrev-rickodonovan-luckysevens.html
* Ryan Tennis
http://www.musesmuse.com/mrev-ryantennis-ryantennis.html


Cyrus Rhodes:
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* Backnbloom
http://www.musesmuse.com/mrev-backnbloom.html
* Sintetico Ministerio
http://www.musesmuse.com/mrev-sinteticoministerio.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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Mark DuBerry - Genre: ELECTRONIC

The music on 'Head Room' is rich and complex and is mostly
instrumental, with some atmospheric vocals. Acoustic and electric
guitars feature throughout along with electronic instruments and
strong rhythms. World flavours come together with dance,
progressive rock, jazz and ambient influences to produce a lush,
vibrant and powerful sound.

http://www.markduberry.com/

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Shannon Chase - Genre: POP

With a voice that's been compared to 'golden pipes' Shannon Chase
breathes new life into todays pop music. Combining her interests
in adult contemporary, Top 40, and rock this debut album appeals
to a large number of people with its catchy hooks and haunting
melodies.

http://www.shannonchase.com/

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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

Rhyme Genie
http://www.rhymegenie.com/
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Rhyming is so important to most popular music that, along with
poetry, it has spawned an entire niche industry. After all, as
songwriters we are aware of two major points: 1) most top selling
songs rhyme, and 2) rhyming ain't easy.

Long ago, back when computers didn't exist in homes and saber
toothed tigers walked the earth, book publishers discovered the
value in putting out various rhyming dictionaries to meet this
need. And new ones continue to appear regularly (we have reviewed
some of the more current versions here). Each of these books
offers a different approach to rhyming—that is, how to find
rhymes. Many songwriters swear by one method or another. I have
three rhyming dictionaries and use them all. Call me more fickle
than some.

It is natural, then, to find rhyming software growing as well.
Many popular software programs aimed at songwriters have
incorporated some sort of rhyming function. The advantage of the
software approach is mainly speed—point your mouse at a word and
a list of rhymes pops up. Makes life simple. The downside is that
the algorithm might not incorporate the kind of approach that you
favor for rhyming. There might be too many or not enough slant
rhymes, or proper nouns.

Rhyme Genie is an attempt to bridge the two--a single purpose,
comprehensive rhyming dictionary that gives you control over the
kinds of rhymes you favor and how they are presented. It doesn't
offer word processing or any other features, but it focuses on
doing one thing well — helping you find the perfect rhyme and
approaching it as you would.

To that end, Rhyme Genie puts 300,000 entries exceeding 170,000
phrases, 35,000 proper nouns and 48,000 titles of charted songs
at your fingertips. I didn't find the interface quite as
intuitive as the company suggests it is, but the help button at
the button right of the screen quickly answers any questions
about how to navigate this robust and entertaining (assuming you
like wordplay) program. You bring up the help menu and point at a
button to get a clear description of what it does. (Frankly, I
would still prefer a written manual, dinosaur that I am.) Once
you figure it out, easy clicks take you through over 9 million
phonetic references, as you choose from among 30 different types
of rhymes, including perfect rhyme, masculine and feminine
rhymes, assonance, alliteration, and so on.

The display gives you columns of rhymes, sorted by the number of
syllables, with one column for phrases and song titles. For
instance, if I search on intelligent rhyming and type in the word
"smoke," the program instantly lists a variety of one syllable
rhymes, such as "bloke" or "yolk", a list of two syllable rhymes,
including "awoke" and "stone broke," three syllable rhymes, such
as "as a joke" and "have a stroke," and onward. The real fun
comes with phrases. Who but a computer would think of rhyming
"smoke" with "buy a pig in a poke" or "don't fix what ain't
broke"?

The best part of seeing all these potential rhymes at once is
that you quickly get a handle on the richness of the rhyming
words that you are working with. If you've struggled with
rhyming, filling pages of paper with rhymes that didn't work out,
the joy of seeing long lists of possibilities will be clear.
Having such a large number of entries means that Rhyme Genie can
take your thinking in new directions. Sure some of the rhymes
will be stinkers or cliched, but that is true of all research —
all results are not what you want. But with this program, if
there aren't many rhymes you can choose other word sets and try
them out and not beat yourself up because you are stuck having to
rhyme "orange". You can copy your favorites to the clipboard and
copy them to your word processor.

The Rhyme Genie won't write your songs for you, but it certainly
can make finding fresh rhymes more fun and can expand your ideas
on word usage. What could be better for a songwriter than that?
If you are the least concerned with rhyme, you should try the
program — there is a 30 day money back guarantee if you don't
find it does the job, and, if you do, it is an inexpensive tool
that will be useful and 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!)

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WRITE BETTER SONGS WITH MASTERWRITER 2.0 - JUST RELEASED!
(Muse's News readers get a special discount!)

MasterWriter is one of the most remarkable software programs ever
developed for the songwriter. Its unique features together with
an amazing array of reference dictionaries provide the songwriter
with everything he or she needs, in one easy to use program. Why
struggle to find the right word or phrase when you can have all
the possibilities in an instant. In a world where good is rarely
good enough, MasterWriter will be an invaluable tool in helping
the songwriter consistently create the exceptional.

If you have a high speed connection, you can download a 30-Day
demo. If not, we will send you a copy for $9.95 which will be
deducted from the purchase price if you decide to buy.

Receive a special *$50* discount just by ordering through The
Muse's Muse! Please use discount coupon # 3004.

Endorsed by: BMI, ASCAP, NSAI, PRS and Taxi.
And you can try before you buy!

http://www.musesmuse.com/masterwriter-songwriting-software.html

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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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11th ANNUAL GREAT AMERICAN SONG CONTEST NOW ACCEPTING ENTRIES!

The highly recommended Great American Song Contest is open to
amateur songwriters everywhere. This annual international event
features prestigious awards to 45 winners in 9 categories and
provides $10,000 in Prizes. Music-industry judges include
prominent publishers, music producers and recording artists.
Entrants receive written evaluations of their songs. Songwriters,
lyricists and composers are invited. Sponsored by Songwriters
Resource Network, a trusted educational resource for songwriters
everywhere. Submission deadline is October 30, 2009. For details,
visit: For details, visit: http://www.GreatAmericanSong.com
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TIPPERARY INTERNATIONAL SONG OF PEACE 2010

The Tipperary (Ireland) International Song of Peace Contest for
2010 is now open for entries. The Song Contest originated as part
of the activities of Tipperary Peace Convention and over the
years it has attracted entries from all over the world. The 2009
winner was a singer/songwriter from Argentina with his
composition titled 'Song of the Brotherhood'. You can hear this
song and other previous winners here on MySpace.

So what kind of song is Tipperary Peace Convention looking for?
The organisers are most anxious that the contest embrace all
musical tastes. Compositions should be of peace, love and
harmony; about people, places or things; in fact anything that
one feels constitutes a 'Sense of Peace'. Entries must be
submitted on a CD with the appropriate fee and the closing date
for entries is 1st day of February 2010. A provisional
adjudication will be carried out from which 10 songs will be
chosen to compete 'live' in the Grand Final of the Tipperary Song
of Peace Contest. The Final will take place in the Excel Theatre,
Tipperary Town, Ireland on Saturday May 1st, 2010. The winning
composer will receive a cheque for 1,500 euro along with a
specially commissioned Tipperary Crystal Trophy. Entry forms are
now available from the Contest Secretary in Tipperary Town,
Ireland on 00353 (0)62 33990 or through E-Mail from
martinquinns@eircom.net . Forms can also be downloaded from the
Tipperary Peace Convention website www.tipperarypeace.ie or from
www.myspace.com/tipperarysongofpeace
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SONGWRITING CONSULTATION SPECIAL OFFER:

Pete and Pat Luboff are offering a special rate to Muse's Muse
readers on a single song consultation:
http://www.writesongs.com/consults.html MM readers get a $5
discount by sending $15 via PayPal to peteandpat@comcast.net
instead of using the $20 single-song button on the site. Please
email the songs to the same address (mp3 attachment with the
lyrics in the body of the email - lyrics only are fine).
Response will be by email. Offer is good until 12/1/09.
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MUSIC AID 2009

The Music Aid International Song Contest and Music Awards is now
accepting entries. This is a unique, high profile and worthy
event for songwriters, bands, solo artists, composers and music
video makers and EVERYONE is guaranteed to receive at least $100
in prizes (including free copyright registration) just for
entering and taking part. Full details at http://www.musicaid.org
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THE BANDIT A&R NEWSLETTER - FREE SAMPLE COPY

ARE YOU an unsigned act, songwriter or producer?? Looking for a
Record, Publishing, Management and Licensing deal worldwide,
especially in the UK and USA? Each month the BANDIT A&R
NEWSLETTER publishes features on Labels, Publishers, Managements
etc looking to sign acts, songs or masters. Get yourself a FREE
SAMPLE COPY from: bandit.366@aweber.com
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ARE YOUR SONGS BEING PLAYED ON THE RADIO? FIND OUT NOW!

streamSerf.com is an independent, music-auditing technology
company founded to provide the music industry with even greater
power, flexibility and functionality to audit the airplay of
music through traditional radio stations, satellite radio
stations and Internet streams. And we're delivering over 150
million pages of free reports on current radio airplay.

We listen to the radio... lots and lots of radio. Then we take
all that data we get from listening and package it up into
meaningful reports... reports that you can use. Our
patent-pending technology allows us to listen to thousands and
thousands of radio stations at the same time... Satellite,
Internet and Terrestrial Broadcast stations! As a matter of fact,
we are currently listening to over 30 MILLION HOURS of radio per
year in 65 countries across the planet. If there's a song being
played on the radio, there's a good chance we hear it.

Check out http://www.streamserf.com now. We make music count!
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TAKIN' IT TO THE STREETS: FANS SUPPORT ARTISTS DIRECTLY WITH FEED
THE MUSE..ONE DOLLAR AT A TIME


Feed The Muse presents a simple model for creators and audiences
to join together and keep the arts flourishing and is a simple
yet effective vehicle for musicians to fund their creative
projects and connect to their audience in a meaningful way. It
provides a means for artists to ask their fans, families and
friends to contribute financially in the artists’ evolution.

If an artist has 5,000 MySpace "friends" and each contribute
even $2 that totes up to $10,000 for the next tour or recording
project. This process allows fans who are passionate about their
artists and want to see them continue creating, the opportunity
to do so without having to make a large contribution. Feed The
Muse runs on the concept of microdonations. Every dollar, every
donation no matter how small is a statement of faith in the
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Visit www.feedthemuse.net to see how easy it can be to get the
support you need.
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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,
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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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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
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that dream, to schedule your free consultation, just go to
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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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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 VENUE BIBLE - A GROUNDBREAKING VENUE DIRECTORY FOR ANY
ARTIST PLANNING TO TOUR IN THE US OR CANADA!


32,000 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!

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 subscribe to Google alerts using the keyword "songwriting" so
that I can get email announcements whenever there's any new info
on that topic posted anywhere on the web. Most of the time these
turn out to be alerts for upcoming concerts, and occasionally
workshops put on by songwriters all around North America.

Recently, I received an alert about a new article in American
Songwriter (http://www.americansongwriter.com) that turned out to
be an interview with Bart Herbison, Nashville Songwriters
Association International's Executive Director, called "On The
Money". You can find the article here:
www.americansongwriter.com/2009/10/bart-herbison-on-the-money/.

It discusses how NSAI has been working to create a "uni-license"
that would cover both mechanical and performance royalties for
web-based music subscription and downloading services. It's a
long, legal process which is also being played out in other
countries with similar organizations, and it's definitely worth a
read.

As I was reading that article, out of the corner of my eye I
noticed a column called New Song Submissions, so out of curiosity
I had a listen to a couple of the songs posted there. These are
songs written by an online community of members of American
Songwriter. Looking a little further into the website, I found
that they also have an ongoing lyric contest, lyric spotlights
and "writer of the week" as part of that community. There are a
couple of blogs, including one by Paul Zollo who has written some
very popular songwriting books such as "Songwriters on
Songwriting", full of interviews with some well-known songwriters
like Paul Simon, Dylan and Townes Van Zandt.

The "Craft" section of the website includes something called
"Behind The Song", which goes into a little history behind some
more famous songs, and "Features", which is a collection of
articles and interviews with songwriters as diverse as Jack White
and Guy Clark. "Lyric of the Week" is simply a featured lyric
from songwriters such as Corb Lund and Kris Kristopherson, while
"Shutter" includes photos taken at live performances of all kinds
of songwriters and bands, mostly around the Nashville area.

There is also a Tech section which includes "How To" and "Musical
Instruments" and "Recording"...some interesting info in
there...and their "Biz" section features info on licensing, new
media and publishing, among other biz-related topics.

From one little Google alert, I ended up spending quite some time
on the American Songwriter website, and I'm sure you will too.
Oh, and they also publish a magazine :-) .

******

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 Robin Frederick, author of "Shortcuts to Hit Songwriting"

TARGET A CONTEMPORARY SONG GENRE - PART 2
Make Your Song Stand Out by Fitting In!

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Decide on a genre *before* you write
------------------------------------
Too often, aspiring songwriters think about genre at the end of
the process, after the song is written, sometimes after it's been
recorded and mixed. At that point, it's almost always too late.
The decisions that determine a song's genre have already been
made: lyrics, melody, chords, and arrangement are done. If you're
incredibly lucky and just happened to nail the characteristic
elements of a particular contemporary genre, then you can breathe
a big sigh of relief. But most of the time that's not how it
turns out.

A better idea-and one that's more likely to lead to success-is to
decide on the genre first. Are you writing a Modern Pop song for
film and TV? Or will you be pitching to a Country artist? Are you
in a Rock band looking for a record deal? What will your song be
used for? Your answer will determine the genre of your song.

Once you know the genre, then study the melody, lyric, chord, and
production style. Here's a tip: Study a genre's characteristics
by learning a few recent hits that you like. Play them several
times. Get used to how they feel when you sing them. Notice how
the chords and melody fit together. Study how the lyrics convey
the theme. (See the list of questions at the end of this
article.) As you play these songs you'll be embedding new habits,
new choices that will begin to occur to you spontaneously the
next time you write a song.


Don't rely on production to determine your song's genre
-------------------------------------------------------
Production works best when it supports what a song is already
doing. If your melody and lyric are floating between genres, a
focused production will certainly help-you may even end up with
something that sounds pretty good-but will it be a successful,
commercial song? Probably not. Listeners aren't likely to be as
moved by a lyric or melody that's fighting the production. It
would be much more effective for every element to be working
together to create a seamless whole.


Writing in crossover genres
---------------------------
Within each of the mainstream genres, there's a range of sound.
Some songs will push the limits of a style but listeners still
like them. As you get familiar with the hits in a given style by
studying the music charts over a period of time, you'll start to
hear the elements that are most often featured, including the
type of chord choices, melodic phrasing, lyric language, and
instrumental arrangement. Try staying close to these at first.
Challenge yourself to work creatively within these parameters, to
blend these elements into something that sounds authentic within
that genre.

As you study the charts, you'll hear some songs that blend
elements from more than one genre. For instance, check out
Shinedown's "Sound of Madness" to hear a Rock melody strongly
influenced by Rap rhythms. Taylor Swift's Country songs feature
Pop melodies mixed with Country lyrics. To successfully write a
song in a crossover style, first be sure you're thoroughly
familiar with both styles, otherwise your song is likely to sound
unfocused and hard to classify. Before attempting a crossover
song, try writing two or three complete songs in each of the
genres you want to use.


Explore these elements in hit songs in your genre
-------------------------------------------------
To become familiar with the characteristics of your genre, listen
to recent hit songs in the style and try to answer the following
questions. (Remember, you can find a list of current hits by
genre at Billboard.com. Click on "Charts" then choose the genre
you're interested in.)

* What to look for in the lyrics
What themes are featured?
What kind of language is used: direct, slangy, poetic?
Are there a lot of examples, concrete images, and details?
How are situations developed? Do we know a lot or a little?
What sorts of characters turn up in these songs, including the
singer?

* What to look for in the melody
How much contrast is being used between sections?
What kind of contrast: Pace? Note range?
How much repetition is used and where?
Is there a lot of syncopation or a little?
What beats do phrases start on? Is there a mix of phrase lengths?

* What to look for in the structure
What is the predominant song structure in your genre?
Are there other structures?

* What to look for in the chords
Do you primarily hear the basic songwriter chords?
What other kinds of chords are being played?
How much chord repetition do you hear?
How frequently are the chords changing?

The answers to these questions will open the door into your
genre. No one wants to sound exactly like everyone else, but you
do want your song to incorporate enough of a style's
characteristic sound so that it will fit comfortably into a radio
format. To see how I analyze hit songs in various genres and
answer some of the questions in the list above, visit my web site
where you can "Study the Hits" along with me.
http://www.robinfrederick.com/hits.html

*****

This article is based on Shortcut #117 in "Shortcuts to Hit
Songwriting: 126 Proven Techniques for Writing Songs That Sell."
Check it out at Amazon.com. (http://www.amazon.com/dp/0982004001)
It's filled with 125 more useful, practical song craft shortcuts
you can use to give your songs emotional impact, memorability,
and commercial appeal.

Robin Frederick has written over 500 songs for television,
records, theater, and audio products. She is a former Director of
A&R for Rhino Records and Executive Producer of more than 60
albums. Robin is the author of "Shortcuts to Hit Songwriting."
She currently oversees the A&R Team for TAXI, the world's leading
independent A&R company.

Twitter: http://twitter.com/RobinFrederick
Blog: http://www.robinfrederick.com/news.html

Discover songwriting tips, games, and exercises at
www.RobinFrederick.com.

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=================================================================

" O N S I T E " F E A T U R E D A R T I C L E :

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5 Composition Tips for the Young Composer - by Kole (Kyle Hicks)
http://www.musesmuse.com/col-kole-5tips4young.html

I've written down these 5 tips for the young composer. It doesn't
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-----

Never Let Them See You Sweat - by Khaliq Glover
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Pressure in a recording session is very high and you can easily
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-----

Faith,Hope, And.....Song Ideas ( A Blue Collar Musing)
- by Mick Polich
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Utilizing the long road trip, Mick explores how to settle into a
songwriting mode to explore and get out some ideas for your next
song or album!

-----

Singing or Straining - by Jeannie Deva
http://www.musesmuse.com/col-jeanniedeva-singstrain.html

You can hear it in the sound of your voice and feel it in your
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-----

Get Legal Representation - by Cyrus Rhodes
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The importance of Legal Representation.

-----

Press Packs - by Cyrus Rhodes
http://www.musesmuse.com/col-biztalk-presspack.html

What your press pack says about you?

-----

Barcodes - by Cyrus Rhodes
http://www.musesmuse.com/col-biztalk-barcodes.html

Think Barcodes aren't important? Guess again!

-----

Mastering - by Cyrus Rhodes
http://www.musesmuse.com/col-biztalk-mastering.html
Don't bonk during post production.


=================================================================

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THE 10th EDITION OF THE INDIE BIBLE IS NOW AVAILABLE!

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The 9th Edition of the Indie Bible contains:
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Listings include web, e-mail and physical address, as well as
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LEARN HOW TO PLAY GUITAR - QUICKLY AND EASILY! & FOR LESS!

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Free Guitar Lesson Videos - teach samples of learning the names
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But not only that - his lessons are currently $60 off their
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There's never been a better time than now to improve your guitar
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Want to know more? Visit http://tinyurl.com/6o27j7
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VOCAL RANGE & CONTROL - YOUR UNIQUE VOICE

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The new version 3 release adds support for "Piano Style" chord
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This tool will revolutionize the way you write and organize your
writing. Be the best songwriter you can be and purchase Lyricist
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INDIE-MUSIC.COM - WHERE SERIOUS MUSICIANS SURF

One of the most respected and imitated indie music sites on the
web, Indie-Music.com has been serving the Independent Music
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http://www.indie-music.com/
=================================================================
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contracts must be prepaid. Write to: editor@musesmuse.com
For Newsletter Sponsorship rates and other advertising
opportunities, please see http://www.musesmuse.com/media.html .

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C o n t a c t I n f o & C r e d i t s :

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Jodi Krangle ............................................. EDITOR
Kathryn Obenshain ...........................GRACIOUS PROOFREADER
-----------------------------------------------------------------
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Back issues and other information (how to subscribe and
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For further information, send your e-mail to:
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