The Muse's News
||The Muse's News
Copyright 1998-2010 - Jodi Krangle.
For more contact information, see end of issue.
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(Many thanks to the sponsors that help support this newsletter!)
ONLINE SONGWRITING AND MUSIC BUSINESS COURSES AND PROGRAMS FROM BERKLEE COLLEGE OF MUSIC
The best way to learn about writing it to write - and what better way to learn than under the mentorship of Berklee College of Music songwriting instructors. Berkleemusic.com, the online extension school of Berklee College of Music, offers a number of instructor-led online songwriting courses that provide the tools, the support, and the practice environment you'll need to express yourself more effectively in words and music. You can also blend your musical ability with business savvy in forward-thinking online music business courses covering music publishing, marketing, management, and more.
Over 130 courses and programs in music production, guitar, bass, voice, music theory, arranging and orchestration are enrolling now for Berkleemusic's September 27th Term.
Take a free online sample course! Click here.
Welcome to another edition of the Muse's News - and thanks for subscribing! If you know of anyone that might find this newsletter useful, feel free to forward it along to them, though I'd appreciate it if you left the entire issue intact, including the credits at the end. Much appreciated!
Lots of great stuff to get to in this issue, but I'll start with saying that we have a new reviewer. His name is Jean-Baptiste Collinet and he hails from France - so those of you Europeans who were hesitating about sending in your works of art all the way to the States, you now have someone in your general neck of the woods that you can send your package to instead. :-)
Before we get to the meat of the issue, here are the latest raffle winners:
Karen Morand from Windsor, ON Canada, has won a beautiful
(and highly useful!) notebook from The Jotted Line.
Paul David Stanko from Plymouth, MN, has won a 6 month membership to GuitarMasterClass.net. GMC has tons of helpful videos, instructors and lessons along with a forum for chatting with teachers and students 24/7, recording collaborations, attending video chats, & content for bass, drums, singing, piano, etc.
Becky Wright, from Tahlequah, OK, has won a free 3
month membership to SongU, 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.
John Hamilton, from Boulder, CO, has won a downloadable
version of Rhyme Genie, a dynamic
rhyming dictionary featuring over 300,000 entries and 30
different rhyme types.
To put yourself in the running for a raffle prize of your very own, have a look at the various prizes offered at the top of The Muse's News webpage, decide which prizes you'd most like, and email me with your top two choices along with your mailing address so that I can get the prizes to you. Yup. It's that simple - but only those folks reading this newsletter get the opportunity. ;-)
I wish you all a very productive end of summer beginning of fall, and I'll see you again next month!
All the best,
(Many thanks to the sponsors that help support this newsletter!)
WRITE BETTER SONGS WITH MASTERWRITER 2.0 - NEW PRICE!
(And Muse's News readers *still* get a special discount!)
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MasterWriter's NEW price is now only $199 - but you'll still get
a *$20* discount (your price is just $179!) by ordering through
The Muse's Muse! Take the Tour, Download a Free Trial, and get a $20 discount! Note
that the auto-inserted discount number 3004 will apply the $20
discount when ordering online.
Great music is only a click away!
Here is a selection of the great artists and bands highlighted
the Artist Spotlight section of The Muse's Muse.
Gene Keller - Genre: FOLK & TRADITIONAL
In Every Song the Mockingbird Knows, Gene Keller cooks up a feast of folk & blues, mixing elemental rhythms, vivid lyrics, & articulated vocals. He adds the pepper of intelligence & the sage of insight, with a dash of humor & a pinch of humility. Savor the flavors.
Abeze - Genre: RAP & HIP HOP
He rose up out of the 'Hood to come up with his new album, I Die 2Nite, featuring Bignut, Walas, Gloria and Auston. Hip Hop with an international flair.
|Songwriting Book Review
By: Ed Teja
Pearls of Love: How To Write Love Letters and Love Poems
By Ara John Movsesian
The vast majority of songs written in the Western world (probably elsewhere as well) are about love. The problem with the vast majority of songs about love is their sentimentality (sentiment is good; sentimentality is bad as a nice rule of thumb). Writing on such a popular and well trodden topic makes it hard to find a fresh approach, yet, as songwriters, one of the things we strive for is a fresh way of saying time-honored things. We want to express common feelings in an uncommon way—in short, we want to avoid clichés. It is hard to remember, sometimes, that “I love you, yeah, yeah” sounded fresh and different when it came out.
Pearls of Love is not a new book; its first printing was in 1983. But newness is not the point of the book and freshness is. The point is to look at the structure, the intent of writing about love and see how it can be lifted from the mundane; the meanings made clear, and the correct message transmitted (that phrase might not sound romantic, but if the sentiment is not communicated correctly, romance might not ensue.). Although it was originally intended, as the subtitle says, to help people write love letters and love poems, what works for poetry can inform lyrics as well. So it is worth a look.
Two main sections of the book deal with love letters and poems. The letters section provides a number of famous examples, such as a letter from Napoleon Bonaparte to Josephine (it is fascinating to imagine Napoleon writing “what a strange effect you have on my heart”—and it isn’t a bad phrase either), before launching into a discussion of the basics of love letter writing—structure, form and other considerations. There are some interesting observations on word forms, such as using a noun phrase as a subject (much more evocative than a straightforward noun-as-subject sentence), creating variety with word choice, and so on.
Then there are some techniques for organizing the writing, including determining the order that thoughts are presented in. There is also an interesting section on the intent of the love letters, such as attraction, first encounter, love letters to parents, anniversary letters and so on.
The section on poems really shows how to use the various poetic elements effectively. The context may be love, but the awareness it offers should help any aspiring poet develop their craft. There are discussions of the use of, for example, understatement, hyperbole, symbolism, and paradox—all important tools.
The appendix includes a variety of useful things, ranging from punctuation and parts of speech to imagery terms, rhyming words and love terms (basically, the love-related meanings of various words, which proves interesting).
This isn’t a book a songwriter might put on the “must have” list, yet it might provide triggers that take your lyric writing up a notch. Why settle for hackneyed or struggling lines when your lyric lines might soar along with the music?.
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
(Many thanks to the sponsors that help support this newsletter!)
BRETT MANNING'S SINGING SUCCESS SYSTEMATIC VOCAL TRAINING SYSTEM:
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The package includes 12 audio CDs (packed with 17 repeatable
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Drop by for more details and start
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|Musical Notes: Songwriting Contests & Market Info.
In the interest of conserving space, I will be including only
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 &
Please check there regularly for updates!
12th ANNUAL GREAT AMERICAN SONG CONTEST NOW ACCEPTING SUBMISSIONS
The highly recommended Great American Song Contest is open to amateur songwriters everywhere. This international event features prestigious awards for 45 winners in 9 style categories and provides over $10,000 in Prizes. Entrants receive written evaluations of their songs. GASC music-industry judges include prominent publishers, music producers and recording artists. Songwriters, lyricists and composers are welcome. Sponsored by Songwriters Resource Network, a trusted educational resource for songwriters everywhere.
Submission deadline is October 15, 2010.
For details, visit: http://www.GreatAmericanSong.com
YOU WRITE THE LYRICS, THE SHOW!
You Write The Lyrics, The Show is coming! You Write The Lyrics! is the only show, where on a weekly basis an opportunity to write lyrics to a melody recorded by a major recording artist is granted to lyricists online and visa vie T.V. One lucky lyricist will win a chance of a lifetime. Each week, a new melody written by a prominent songwriter/producer is uploaded onto our server. We call it “The Tune of the Week.” The artist who’ll be recording this song appears on the TV show as well. Songwriters will be able to go online at Yahoo, YouTube, reverbnation.com, Facebook & MySpace and download it. They’ll have 24 hours to write lyrics to the melody and email them back to us.
For more information go to: www.facebook.com/youwritethelyricstheshow or www.partners.youwritethelyrics.com
LYRIC CHECK SONGWRITING CONTEST WITH AMAZING PRIZES
The Lyric Check Contest and all affiliate contests are open to
both amateur and professional songwriters. All genres and song
categories are included. If entrant is under 18 years old, the
signature of a parent or guardian is required. All entries
submitted must be original songs and shall not infringe any
copyrights or any other rights of any third parties. Songs may
have multiple co-writers, but only one name should be designated
on the entry form. Entrant shall, by entering, indemnify and hold
Lyric Check harmless from and against any claims inconsistent
with the foregoing. Contestants may enter as many songs as they
wish in contest. A panel of Music Business Professionals will
select the winners. Songs will be judged based on composition,
lyrics, melody, and originality. The quality of performance and
production will not be a consideration. Winners will be announced
February 14, 2011. Click here to enter and view prize lists!
Entry Deadline is Dec 31, 2010
THE 7TH ANNUAL IAMA (INTERNATIONAL ACOUSTIC MUSIC AWARDS) KICKS OFF
The 7th Annual IAMA (International Acoustic Music Awards) is currently accepting entries, this awards competition 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, featured on Acoustic Cafe, a syndicated radio program. You may also obtain the entry form at: http://www.inacoustic.com
MUSIKPITCH: NEW ONLINE MARKETPLACE FOR SONGWRITING OPPORTUNITIES
MusikPitch is a brand new website where songwriters can find the
latest opportunities from companies, studios, and individuals
looking for custom songs. It's a straightforward marketplace,
where you can get your music heard and win contracts, regardless
of your experience and location. New projects are posted daily —
from big name movie studios and company brands to non-profits and
schools. Start browsing for great new opportunities today! http://www.musikpitch.com
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 email@example.com 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.
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!
Click here for more information!
Muse's Clues - By Irene Jackson
©1998-2010 Moonstone Productions All Rights Reserved.
Used By Permission
Continuing along the same lines as last month's clues, this month I decided to focus specifically on creative writing. One thing you'll hear over and over again in regards to getting your lyrical juices flowing is to keep a journal. But actually, any kind of writing, whether it's short stories or blogging (which I suppose could be considered a "journal" of sorts), or writing exercises, can help you to find some kind of inspiration for your songwriting.
I used the search term "creative writing" in Google to come up with some of these sites, and can do the same to explore many sites that dedicate themselves to some type of creative writing. One of the first sites I came upon is called Creative Writing Prompts (http://www.creativewritingprompts.com/), which is simply a series of 346 different writing "prompts" for stories or short writing exercises. You could even apply these directly to your lyric writing, but do yourself a favour and get away from lyrics just for a little while so that you're not hampered by phrasing or rhyming and can simply write your stream of consciousness. Many times when we're stuck for ideas, we actually need to take ourselves away from the "familiar" and try something new or different. In Creative Writing Prompts, I found examples like "List the 7 worst things to say to a person who just got dumped" and one that simply says "My old room was...". Sometimes the prompts suggest writing a poem about something, and sometimes a news headline. The idea is to get out of your writing rut and try something different.
Another site called Language Is A Virus (http://www.languageisavirus.com/) not only has writing prompts similar to the website above in the form of a writing prompt generator, but you can also generate character names or Haiku (a type of poetry), or even a random line. But there are many other creative writing tips, such as "66 Experiments by Charles Bernstein". Among the tips are individual experiments, like translating something from a foreign language word for word, or group exercises like having everyone write a word or phrase and putting it in a hat and then each picking one and writing something with it. Tip #7 is "Write a poem and cut it somewhere in the middle, then recombine with the beginning part following the ending part." You might take a song lyric that you're already working on to play with that one :-) . Some of the writing exercises really make your head spin, like Bernadette Myers tip "Write what cannot be written...".
There are many more creative writing tips on the Language is a Virus website, enough to spend hours there!
One clever little generator I found specifically for writer's block is the "911 Writer's Block" idea generator (http://www.webook.com/911writersblock). It's set up like a touch dial phone where each number represents a different aspect. For instance, you punch 1 and it generates "settings", such as "A quiet suburban cul-de-sac. A child's bicycle lies on its side, one wheel slowly turning." You can keep moving through different settings, or you can try "dialogue", "verbs" or "characters", among others, to find all kinds of ideas.
Of course, writing a journal is a tried and true way of inspiring all kinds of ideas...your own life can provide all kinds of inspiration! But in visiting the above websites, or by finding other creative writing websites on your own, may just give you the boost you need to write something fresh and new.
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
Featured Article - By Jay Speight
3 KEYS TO DRIVING HOME YOUR HOOK
Lyrically, the most important part of any song is the hook. I know, I know - you’re shocked, right? Of course, as songwriters we all know this. But how do you drive home the hook and get it to really payoff for the listener?
After nearly a decade in the music industry, that’s still the question I ask myself every time I sit down to write a song. Here are a few things I’ve learned:
KEY #1: K.I.S.S. (KEEP IT SIMPLE AND STRAIGHTFORWARD)
I began my college career studying music composition and theory. On the first assignment given to me by my professor, I tried to impress him by making the piece as complex and hard to play as possible. When it came time to turn in my assignment, I received my first, and perhaps best, songwriting lesson. Harder doesn’t equal better.
The same applies here. The first key to driving home your hook is to make sure you have a good hook to begin with. A great hook idea shouldn’t be complicated. Clever, creative, brilliant? Yes. But never complicated.
KET #2: MAKE EVERY LINE COUNT
A veteran songwriter once told me that a song is like a picture that’s being painted with one hand then immediately erased with the other. And when it's over, the listener should be able to sit back and see the whole picture. We only have a three and a half minute canvas to work with, so every line counts.
Ask yourself if each line moves the song forward and helps paint the picture for the listener. There have been many times I've come up with a really great line that I eventually had to set aside because it just didn't fit the song or point to the hook.
If you want to drive your hook home, you have to be willing to do what's best for the song. Even if that means scrapping a line you like. Make sure every line points to the hook.
KEY #3: FOCUS ON THE SET UP
If you've ever watched a volleyball game, you know what a thrill it is to see someone score a spike. One teammate sets up the spike for another, followed by that moment of anticipation. Then, SMACK! But who has the most important job? The player spiking the ball, or the player setting it up?
The analogy applies to setting up a hook as well. The right setup line can make all the difference between a hook that misses the mark and one that scores with the listener.
There are many different tricks and techniques you can try when working on your setup line(s). But if you have to bend over backwards trying to make it work, then you may need to revisit key #1 and ask yourself if you have the right hook to begin with.
Jay Speight is a professional songwriter, musician and the owner of AcousticVocal.com, which offers songwriters simple, and affordable demo solutions and song critiquing services.
His songs have been recorded by Trace Adkins, Travis Tritt and various indie artists. In addition, he has had numerous holds with artists such as Carrie Underwood, Rascall Flatts, Faith Hill, Tim McGraw and Celine Dion.
For more information on Jay and/or the services AcousticVocal.com offer, you can visit the website or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org
|Classifieds & Useful Services
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LYRICIST VERSION 3: THE SONGWRITER'S BEST FRIEND
Lyricist is the first-of-its-kind word processor designed
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The new version 3 release adds support for "Piano Style" chord
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THE SUCCESSFUL SONGWRITER MOTIVATION & MEDITATION AUDIO
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Muse's Muse Visitors - Enter Promo Code: 42567 for Discount.
Limited Introductory Offer of $12.95 for Digital Download
Discounts for CD, and CD/Digital Download Combo shown on ordering
INDIE-MUSIC.COM - WHERE SERIOUS MUSICIANS SURF
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huge industry search directory, success-building resources,
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wealth of information to artists trying to survive & thrive in
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For Classifieds: US$50 Max. 7 lines (though I
do make exceptions), where a line = 65 characters including
spaces and punctuation. All contracts must be prepaid. Write to: email@example.com.
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