The Muse's News
||The Muse's News
|* Featured Article: Quick Tip: To and fro, up and down, twist and turn all around - by Brad Dunse
Copyright 1998-2011 - Jodi Krangle.
For more contact information, see end of issue.
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(Many thanks to the sponsors that help support this newsletter!)
WRITE BETTER SONGS WITH MASTERWRITER 2.0 - NEW PRICE!
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MasterWriter's NEW price is now only $199 - but you'll still get
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Hello again for another month! As per usual, I'll start with weather service announcements. ;-) It's raining. A lot. That is all. :-)
Moving write along (pun intended :D) - Please help me welcome Dan Rivers, our newest columnist here at The Muse's Muse! Dan is going to help you get your songs heard in his new column, Dan's Tin Pan Alley. And his first article is all about How to Get a Song in Front of a Publisher. Not one you want to miss! Stay tuned for his monthly articles and gain valuable tips from his many years in the business. You can also ask him questions, if you have them. He'll be happy to hear from you.
In voice over news, in case any of you are interested (and feel free to skip this if you aren't), I've just had a friend of mine put together a video demo for me. Pretty cool stuff. Jason LeBlanc at Audio Art Cafe does some really great work. Check it out on my YouTube site when you have a chance. It gives a pretty good overview of some of my latest work - including my national US Gold Bond commercial, which some of you might already have been seeing on your TV. :)
There's LOTS of great stuff for you in this issue - and on the website too! So I'm going to just get to the raffle winners so we can move along. :)
Chaplain Jerry Vance
from La Grange, KY, has won a 6 month subscription to the Onlinegigs
service. This valuable service is a powerful tool for musiciains, agents, record companies and managers designed to virtually automate the administration of booking and promoting a band or bands.
John Brhel from Binghamton, NY, has won a beautiful
(and highly useful!) notebook from The Jotted Line.
Lizzie Cepeda from Lathrop, CA, 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.
Greg Bernard, from La Mirada, CA, has won a downloadable
version of Rhyme Genie, a dynamic
rhyming dictionary featuring over 300,000 entries and 30
different rhyme types.
If you'd like to be considered for a raffle prize yourself, 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. Yes, it's really that simple. :) (And yes, the mailing address is kinda important. I promise it won't be used for any other reason than to send you your raffle prize - and to mention your approximate location in the notice of raffle winners you see above here.)
Thanks, guys! I wish you every success and a wonderful coming month. Until next time,
All the best,
(Many thanks to the sponsors that help support this newsletter!)
BRETT MANNING'S SINGING SUCCESS SYSTEMATIC VOCAL TRAINING SYSTEM:
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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.
Dan Rivers - Genre: SINGER/SONGWRITER
Dan has been spinning his haunting story songs in clubs and coffee houses from his home town of New Orleans all the way to Nashville. Often compared to Harry Chapin, Dan’s heartfelt tales will stay with you as the truth of his compelling lyrics take a hold of you. His unique blend of Americana/folk/soft rock will keep you coming back for more.
Little Miss Higgins - Genre: BLUES
Across The Plains, is the 4th full length album she's recorded. It was recorded in Winnipeg, Manitoba at Bedside Studio. She co-produced this album with fellow musician and producer Jaxon Haldane. The album is filled with all original songs. Lots of horns, muck-bucket bass, upright bass, wonderful percussion, guitar, mandolin, banjo, and even one song that is a acapella vocals accompanied by stompin' and clappin' and a sandalwood fan. She won the 10th Annual Independent Music Award for Blues Album.
|Songwriting Book Review
By: Anastasia Karalekas
“How To Write Songs In Altered Guitar Tuning”
by Rikky Rooksby
Last month’s book review was “How to Write Songs On Guitar” by Rikky Rooksby. Consider this month’s book review, also by Rooksby, an essential Part 2 for the seasoned guitar-playing songwriter.
In “How to Write Songs in Altered Guitar Tuning”, Rooksby shows you how to write an interesting song by stepping out of standard tuning (EADGBE), and introducing your guitar to altered tunings.
The history and overview of altered tunings is a great place to start if you’re anything like me and only touch your tuning pegs to tune your guitar. (To standard tuning, of course.) And we all come up blank sometimes, don’t we? You sit down to write a song, with a great idea in your head, or a melody in your mind, or both. You strum a few chords to see what will happen, and… nothing. I know I find myself using the same chords over and over again, and getting nowhere sometimes. Rooksby lists the advantages (many) and disadvantages (few and far outweighed) of using altered tunings, and after reading this part (well, it’s just a page, really) I was not only ready, but inspired to try something… different! So, the last time I sat down to write a song, I tried the first, most simple alternate tuning. I detuned just one string, and Wow! I have now added altered tunings to my songwriter’s toolbox!
You will find some basic rules and tips for songwriting, but if you’re reading *this* book, it’s really a section that you can just glance over. It’s just a few basics to refresh your memory, because the real songwriting tips are the ones that are interspersed throughout the book, the tips are relative to whatever tuning or sound is being discussed. You’ll recognize classic Rooksby style here, where he puts into words what kind of sound, mood, or tone you’ll get from each and every alternate tuning. And he does this as he transitions you through the one-string altered tuning, to two-string or open tunings, major and minor, and more.
And, additionally in classic Rooksby fashion, you’ll find some famous songwriters’ comments and opinions on altered tunings. PLUS, a complete chord dictionary for these new tunings, all here at your fingertips.
There aren’t many books out there dedicated to writing songs in altered tuning on guitar. Along with the short FAQ section, which is sure to answer any questions you may have, you also get a CD with this book. This is always a great idea; in this case, it saves you from having to retune your guitar in order to hear the different sounds you could be playing with. You get a visual chord dictionary AND an audio one, too. What a great combination!
Bottom line: If you’re writing songs on guitar, this book is a must-have for your library.
ABOUT THE REVIEWER:
Anastasia Karalekas is a self-taught guitarist and music absorber. When she is not learning, learning, learning, she spends her time writing fiction and poetry. After taking some private guitar lessons, her teacher encouraged her to try putting some of her poems to music, and she's been writing songs ever since.
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!)
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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!
USA Songwriting Competition Launches "Songwriters For Japan", A Japan Relief Bid
The USA Songwriting Competition on Saturday launched a campaign to support relief in Japan as top names in the entertainment world offered condolences after the mega earthquake of a magnitude 9.0 and tsunami. Over 20 countries in the Pacific Rim were put on high alert on Friday, March 11, after a massive earthquake caused a tidal wave which devastated Japan.
SMASHTUNE.COM SONGWRITER COMPETITION: FOR THE KAUAI MUSIC FESTIVAL!
The winner of our Kauai Music Festival prize will receive FREE attendance to the festival, a special PERFORMANCE SPOT on one of the concert nights, and HOTEL ACCOMMODATIONS during the festival. The very best Film & TV music supervisors, songwriters, producers, publishers, A&R Executives, and other music industry professionals will be there to hear your song! To enter our contest, Go To: http://www.smashtune.com and submit your song, it's 100% FREE! Fans will vote on your song and the songwriter with the most votes, wins the prize! The Smashtune competition will run from April 24th - June 30th.
ECOTUNES CONTET: SONGS IN THE KEY OF SUSTAINABILITY
The EcoTunes Contest, which runs from April 18-May 18, 2011 in Greater Victoria, BC Canada, offers a chance for local, professional and amateur songwriters of all ages to celebrate the Capital Region’s landscapes and natural areas through music. Entrants should submit an original song via a YouTube link for a chance to win a $500 gift certificate with Larsen Music. The first prize winner will be invited to perform their song at the 2011 EcoStar Awards Ceremony on June 1, 2011. Contest details and entry form can be found at SustainableU.ca/ecotunes. Contest deadline: May 18, 2011.
2011 SONGWRITERS RETREAT - REO RAFTING RESORT, NAHATLATCH RIVER, BC
Qualify for the Songwriters Retreat Travel Grant! We are giving away 4 grants ($250.00 each) to assist in your travels to our Retreat! REO understands that people are coming to this retreat from around the world and may need assistance with increasing fuel prices and travel expenses. If you are a Muse's Muse subscriber, you will then receive an additional $50.00 off your tuition package. Don't miss an opportunity to learn from Pat Pattison, Bonnie Hayes, Steve Seskin & Don Osborn! Sign up for the 2011 Songwriters Retreat, July 17 to 22, 2011 at REO Rafting Resort (located 2.5 hours from Vancouver in the beautiful Fraser Canyon)! All-inclusive packages start at $949.
Grant Requirements and Process
1. Send one original song that showcases your talents as a songwriter to REO Rafting.
2. Write two paragraphs. One paragraph summarizing your musical and songwriting interests and goals. The other indicating why you would like to attend the retreat.
3. We will let songwriters know within 1 week of submission if they qualify for the travel grant.
Please email your song and paragraphs to firstname.lastname@example.org or email us for more information. There is more information on our website. Check it out.http://www.reorafting.com/site/retreats/songwriter_retreat.html.
THE INDEPENDENT MUSIC AWARDS (THE IMAs)
For more than a decade, self-released and independent label talent from around the globe have found new audiences and revenue opportunities through The Independent Music Awards (The IMAs) - currently accepting submissions.
Known for supporting artists who follow their own muse, the program receives submissions from artists previously on major labels as well as self-released and indie label talent from more than 70 countries on 6 continents. Honors in more than 70 Album, Song, Music Video and Design categories are awarded annually!
Earning an Independent Music Award is more than a badge of distinction. The influential IMA program actively promotes winners and nominees to millions of music fans, talent buyers, film, TV & gaming music supervisors and media outlets.
HELP STARS UNCHARTED FEATURE THE BEST ORIGINAL MUSIC OUT THERE AND WIN GREAT PRIZES
Stars Uncharted is a new website that was created in order to feature the best music out there and encourage originality, creativity, imagination and authenticity. If you know a great solo artist / songwriter / band or want your music featured, Stars Uncharted offers prizes to whoever helps it feature extraordinary music. At the moment SU offers Sony PCMM10 Portable Linear PCM Recorders (List Price: $399.99) to anyone who introduces them to great music. Blow their virtual socks off and the music you suggest will be featured and you'll win a digital recorder.
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
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Muse's Clues - By Irene Jackson
©1998-2011 Moonstone Productions All Rights Reserved.
Used By Permission
Lately I've started a video series on my website devoted to a song that I've started writing. I decided to create a kind of video log of my process just to show its progress, and that inspired me to look through some YouTube videos just to see what's out there in terms of video songwriting tips.
There are plenty of them, many from people doing the same thing I'm doing. Some are pitching books or software, others are finding unique ways of showcasing their own songs, and then there are a few real gems hidden amongst the pages and pages of results.
So this month I'm sending you a collection of five short YouTube videos featuring some well-established songwriters. Some names you might recognize and others you won't, but the point is that these songwriters have been there and done that many, many times and they certainly have something to say about the songwriting process.
The first is from an interview of Ralph Murphy who has a great book called Murphy's Laws of Songwriting and a website of the same name (http://www.murphyslawsofsongwriting.com) and who presents "Three Things Every Writer Feels They Have a Mandate To Do". He talks about it right here:
Another video interview is with Gary Osborne who is a successful British songwriter, having written hit songs for artists as diverse as Alice Cooper, Cliff Richard, Jennifer Warnes and Wilson Pickett. The question is, given just one minute, what would your one good piece of advice for a songwriter be? Here is his answer:
John Foreman is an Australian composer, and the following video was recorded at the Song Summit Mentors in Australia where John offers up a couple of ideas on how to start the songwriting process:
For a different perspective, famed guitarist Paul Nelson talks about how he comes up with songs on his guitar. His approach looks at the idea of song form and how, if you study them and come up with 12 of your own, you've already got a whole album! Here it is:
And lastly, former STYX songwriter and lead singer Dennis DeYoung gives us a little insight into his songwriting philosophy:
When you watch these videos from successful writers you realize that they are not much different from the rest of us in terms of how they think and create. And that's a very good thing!
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 Brad Dunse
QUICK TIP: Bewitched and Bewildered
In the 60s and 70s, back in the day, long before my time… yeah right… there was a TV show called Bewitched. Each episode showed how the supernatural powers of a modern witch named Samantha, thin, dishwater blonde, blue eyes, minus the broom and crooked warted nose I'll have you know, helped in a crisis and conversely got both her and her husband in a bit of trouble.
"Brad? Has the marshmallow slipped off your s'more? What does that have to do with songwriting?" Nope my marshmallow is still dead center of the graham cracker. Dude. Hang in a sec.
You see Samantha had several powers, one of "which" (no pun intended) was to wriggle her little button nose and twinkle twinkle poof she'd be in a different place instantly. In our songs many times we tell a story which obviously requires a chronological order of events. As we write, and more the truth, re-write our songs, we make various changes as we go along.
For example one very common suggestion you'll hear people give writers in an evaluation session for any number of reasons is to either switch verse 2 with verse 1, or similarly swap chunks of verses with others.
As we do our writing and make our changes we need to keep mindful of the logical series of events and not suddenly pull Samantha into our writing session. We need to make sure that we haven't magically moved our character somewhere that hasn't been known to our listeners.
"Yeah but, does that really happen?" Well yes it does in fact. Let's pick on John Denver's Leaving On a Jet Plane. Pull up your fav browser and find the tune or lyric and check it out.
The song starts out with his bags packed; standing outside his sweetie's door telling her he hates to wake her up to say tootle-do. So he's established where he is and where she is. She's sleeping in the room and he's standing outside the room on the other side of the door. We'll even ignore the fact he's talking to someone who is not conscious in the first place.
Now, a little known fact on this particular song which I think you'll find pretty interesting… suddenly Elizabeth Montgomery, the actor that played Samantha? ...Busted her way into John's writing session, twitched her nose and poof! John, much to our surprise without even turning the door knob or taking a single step, is all of the sudden along side his lover's bed asking her to kiss him, hold him, promise she'll wait for him and give him a hugaroo like no other.
Don't believe me? Hop on the net and have a listen for your self. It's either that, or John's sweetie has supernatural powers of her own as the Super Elastic Lady with arms and lips that stretch across the room, busted through the door and began hugging and kissing him while he stood there at the door. Wow… I don't know about you but that just conjured up some pretty bazaar imagery for me.
I'm not picking on John, I wish I could get huge success off a song with a major booboo like that. I'm sure he got away with it because of his other writings at the time, but I can guarantee if you wrote that and presented it for an evaluation as an unknown writer today it'd be flagged in a New York Second, which BTW is officially much faster than a second anywhere else in the world.
So as you write continually step back from your work as if you are a listener and not writer, read it for literal content, and see if there are any logical glitches in the events happening in your song. If you let Bewitched get in your song you will leave your listeners bewildered.
Brad Dunse is a performing songwriter based deep in the country's heartland reflecting sensitivity of daily living in his songs. Writing primarily in Folk, Country, Pop, or Americana, he occasionally writes CCM. Co-writer of The Wall, a tribute to Viet Vets receiving major market airplay, he's also received airplay on NPR, local public, independent, and web radio. He is a freelance writer, is board member of Minnesota Association of Songwriters, been member or involved in ASCAP, NSAI, SongU and other organizations. You can visit his web site at WWW.BRADDUNSEMUSIC.COM as well Add As Facebook Friend or Follow Him On Twitter.
|"ON SITE" FEATURED ARTICLE(S)
Interview with Hit Songwriter, Danny Wells - by Bronson Herrmuth
In this interview, Danny Wells shares his many years of songwriting experience and success with all of us and I recommend you read/listen closely to what he has to say. This one is a must and I'm proud to share it with you!
How To Get a Song In Front of a Publisher
- by Dan Rivers
Dan gives you a few easy to follow hints on how to get your music in front of publishers - and actually listened to.
How To Improve Your Guitar Playing With And Without A Metronome -
by Tom Hess
Do you think that using a metronome is important for improving your guitar playing? On this issue, guitar players tend to fall into two camps: some use the metronome all the time and others don't use it at all. The truth is that neither approach is correct. This article will show you how you should use the metronome in your guitar practicing in order to make faster progress as a musician.
Life-Long Learning In Music - by Mick Polich
Think there are no more areas to explore for you in seeking new music to write? Mick gives some observations on becoming a 'student' of music as we get older (and maybe wiser)
|Classifieds & Useful Services
THE 11th EDITION OF THE INDIE BIBLE IS NOW AVAILABLE!
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LYRICIST VERSION 3: THE SONGWRITER'S BEST FRIEND
Lyricist is the first-of-its-kind word processor designed
specifically for musicians, songwriters, and poets. The software
includes a Rhyming Dictionary, Thesaurus, Album Categorization,
Chord Charting, Chord Generator, Song Arrangement, and On-Line
The new version 3 release adds support for "Piano Style" chord
symbols, Nashville Number System, and Transposition features -
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$5.00 off to all Muse's News readers who purchase from the review
link at www.musesmuse.com/vss-review.html!)
This tool will revolutionize the way you write and organize your
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THE SUCCESSFUL SONGWRITER MOTIVATION & MEDITATION AUDIO
Inspired by the songwriter's journey, and through understanding
the principles talked about in "THE SECRET", this audio program
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create the thoughts, experiences, and circumstances to be a
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meditation that is as passionate as it is empowering!
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
One of the most respected and imitated indie music sites on the
web, Indie-Music.com has been serving the Independent Music
Community since 1996 with streaming audio, monthly CD Reviews,
huge industry search directory, success-building resources,
classifieds, and much-needed recognition. The site offers a
wealth of information to artists trying to survive & thrive in
today's competitive music industry.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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