The Muse's Muse  
Muses MailMuses Newsmuse chatsongwriting resource home
The Muse's News
The Muse's News
The Muse's News
An E-zine For And About Songwriters.
Issue 16.9
December 2013

In This Issue:
* Editor's Musings
* Music Reviews - Dan Cohen & Cyrus Rhodes
* New Artist Spotlight Additions
* Songwriting Book Review - by John Thomas
* Musical Notes - Songwriting Contests & Market Info.
* Muse's Clues - Songwriting Web sites that inspire - brought to you by Songwriter's Hall of Fame member, John Brhel.
* Featured Article: Quick Tip: 3 Bad Words in Songwriting by Brad Dunse
* On Site Featured Article - An article (or articles) already online for your viewing pleasure.
* Classifieds & Useful Services
* Contact information
ISSN 1480-6975. Copyright 1998-2011 - Jodi Krangle.
For more contact information, see end of issue.

FIND THE PERFECT GIFT FOR THE SONGWRITER 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. Any of these items would make a fantastic present for a songwriter in your life (even if it's you! :-) ) Have a Look!

NEED A NEW WEB HOSTING SERVICE FOR YOURSELF OR YOUR BAND?

I personally use HostDime - and LOVE them. Really. Their service is superb and prompt, they really know what they're doing, you can chat with them 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and their pricing (The Muse's Muse uses a dedicated server) is very reasonable. Check them out!

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

Indie International Songwriting Contest - $5 discount for Muse's News Subscribers!

8th ANNUAL INDIE INTERNATIONAL SONGWRITING CONTEST OPEN FOR SUBMISSIONS!
(All Muse's News Subscribers receve a $5 Discount on their Entry Fee!!)

Indie International Songwriting Contest is a song competition to give recognition to some of the best emerging songwriters in the world, help develop their talent, and provide useful tools and prizes for developing the success of the artist.  What makes us different to the number of other songwriting contests you might ask?

  1. We limit our entries – Each of the 6 genres (Rock, Pop, Folk, Country/Americana, Instrumental, Christian/Gospel) are limited to 150 entries for each contest.  Submit up to 3 songs.
  2. You know exactly who scored and critiques your song – After the contest has ended, each contestant can log in to their own profile and see who actually scored or critiqued their song.  No song-screeners!
  3. You can enter online – Submitting takes only a few minutes and you can pay through Paypal, fast and secure.
  4. We don't award a large overall cash prize cross-genre – Why judge apples with oranges!  We provide a level playing field for each genre.

Choose between a Basic Entry ($30 $25)  or a Written Critique ($40 $35).  
Deadline for current contest in Jan 31st, 2014. 

Click here to receive the $5 discount and Submit Today

Editor's Musings:

Happy Thanksgiving to all my American friends, and Happy Hanukkah (I know - there are 50 million ways to spell it) to all my Jewish friends. :) I hope you all have a wonderful holiday filled with lots of joy, good food, and many things to be thankful for.

Speaking of that, I'm thankful for all of YOU. I really appreciate that you subscribe to this newsletter - and I especially appreciate those of you who have been with me for a while. (I've been putting this newsletter together since March of 1998! Can you believe it??)

Along those lines, Chad Wild Clay, a longtime subscriber, sent me an email to let me know what he's been up to. Turns out, it's some pretty hilarious stuff - and I think you'll all enjoy seeing it! He and his wife Vy are hugely talented and have put together some truly awesome videos, but this one stands out, especially for those of us who have always wondered ...http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_WuGcvfs96k

Enjoy your holidays, folks! And for those of you that are experiencing some bad weather, I hope you stay safe and warm - and that your traveling can go forward as planned. I won't be speaking with you again until after Christmas, so I'll merely wish you all the very best of the Holiday Season in general, and let you get to the meat of the issue. :)

Here are the raffle winners for this month:

  • Tim Behrens, from Prairie Village, KS, has won a copy of Virtual Studio Systems' Lyricist software.

  • Carlyn Paschall, from Greenbelt, MD, 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.

  • Mel Roddie from Auckland, New Zealand, 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.

  • Peggy Tramble from Cheticamp, Nova Scotia Canada, has won a ZEEDIS, pocket-sized, circular slide rule for finding the notes of chords, scales, modes and also for finding diatonic triads of scales/modes, instantly and easily. Thanks, GuitarScalesAndChords.com! What a great tool!

DO YOU WANT TO WIN A RAFFLE PRIZE?
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.)

Revel in this inspirational time of year, my friends. Enjoy!

All the best,

--Jodi

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

GET AN ONLINE DEGREE FROM BERKLEE COLLEGE OF MUSIC

Berklee Online, Berklee College of Music's extension school, is the world's first accredited non-profit music institution to offer Bachelor's degrees online. We are now accepting applications for our two new programs: Bachelor of Professional Studies degrees in Music Production and Bachelor of Professional Studies degrees in Music Business. Applications are now open. Degree programs begin in 2014.

Music Reviews: Dan Cohen

NEW MUSIC REVIEWS SINCE LAST MONTH INCLUDE:

Cyrus Rhodes:

* The Cut/Up
* Paul Meadow

Dan Cohen:

* Patricia Julien Project

Click here for bios on each of the reviewers. 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!

Artist Spotlights:

Great music is only a click away!
Here is a selection of the great artists and bands highlighted
in the Artist Spotlight section of The Muse's Muse.

-----------------------------------------------------------------

Fred Frees - Genre: NOVELTY

Comedy songs of Christmas, from the mouth of voice actor, Fred (son of Paul) Frees. There aren’t enough comedy songs for Christmas. Certainly not enough involving slapping, farting, waiting hours for your wife, giving your son the present he doesn’t want, thieving Santas, and zombies. And much, much less.

Songwriting Book Review By: John Thomas


This Business of Songwriting, Revised 2nd Edition

by Jason Blume

http://www.jasonblume.com/

Let’s start with the obvious: This isn’t a book about how to write a song.

Now, make no mistake: Jason Blume knows how to write a hit song. In fact he’s had 50,000,000 (yes, million) in album sales and singles on the pop, country and R&B charts. He obviously knows how to write songs that make it in the traditional music industry.

But this book isn’t focusing on how to write a hit song (I would recommend Blume’s monthly BMI Songwriters Workshops in Nashville or his other books or instructional cds to learn that from him). This book is about to how to make and keep money as a songwriter. Because, to paraphrase the old saying, it ain’t (just) what you sell, it’s how much you keep.

If you’re looking for songwriting success in the mainstream music industry with publishers and record labels and music licensing and (hopefully) major stars recording and making hits of your songs, then this book is chock full of information on how to move your career forward and how to keep your part of the money that your songs help generate.

Blume starts from the basic of “This is a publisher, and this is what they do” and moves through contracts and marketing all the way to “This is how to have the best chance of making it in this industry as a songwriter.”

Along the way he covers such topics as:

  • What selling your song to a publisher really means (as opposed to a work for hire)

  • How to best present you and your song to a publisher to get results

  • Staff writers: how to become one, how they get paid, and the pros and cons of being one

  • Understanding publishing agreements in detail

  • Exclusive songwriting agreements, what are they?

  • Self-publishing your work

  • How to get paid as a performing songwriter

  • Licenses and royalties: what is the difference?

  • Different kinds of royalties: Mechanical, Digital, and Performance

  • Marketing your songs for films, niche markets and commercials

  • Why it often really is who you know and how you can make those connections

  • Contracts and what all that “legal-ese” really means

  • How the music charts work

  • Protecting your songs (copyrights)

  • Songpluggers

  • Working with other songwriters… and why you should (one reason is borrowing credibility from their reputation)

  • Keeping your business organized

This book is a thorough exploration of the business side of marketing your songs and getting paid in the entertainment industry. And, while Blume’s writing is not difficult to follow, this is not light reading (unless you read about contract law for fun). This is a serious, thorough work.

In short, if you have an interest in pursuing going through mainstream entertainment industry outlets for your songs, including singers or movies or commercials, it would be to your benefit to put on a couple of pots of coffee (this is not a short book), grab a pad and pen for notes, and sit down and study Jason Blume’s “This Business of Songwriting.”

******

ABOUT THE REVIEWER:

John Thomas is a singer, songwriter, bass player, and occasional guitarist living in Macon, Georgia.

You can see him thinking on paper about his passion for songwriting, along with thoughts on bass playing, coffee, and seeing people live their personal revolutions online at johnthomascafe.com.

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

THE INDIE BIBLE PRESENTS THE ULTIMATE INDIE BUNDLE!

This is incredible offer that allows artists to gain access to $340 worth of music directories for only $59.95.

The ULTIMATE Indie Bundle consists of this year's edition of The Indie Bible, The Indie Venue Bible and Indie Bible ONLINE as well as a copy of next year's Indie Bible ... all for only $59.95! Over 50,000 music listings in all including Radio Stations, Music Magazines, Venues, Labels, Distributors and much more!

Click here for details and to order online.

Musical Notes: Songwriting Contests & Market Info.

In the interest of conserving space (when I need to), 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 & http://www.musesmuse.com/markets.html.
Please check there regularly for updates!


15th ANNUAL GREAT AMERICAN SONG CONTEST NOW ACCEPTING ENTRIES!

Are you an aspiring songwriter ready to have your songs heard by established music-industry pros? The Great American Song Contest features awards for 50 winners in 10 categories, plus $10,000 in Prizes. All entrants receive a detailed evaluation of their songs from music-industry judges -- song publishers, music producers and recording artists. This highly recommended International event is open to Songwriters, Lyricists and Composers, and sponsored annually by Songwriters Resource Network, a trusted educational resource for songwriters everywhere. Submission deadline is extended to December 12, 2013.
For details, visit: http://www.GreatAmericanSong.com


PERFORMERS ANNOUCED FOR "A SONG IS BORN", THE 16TH ANNUAL GRAMMY FOUNDATION LEGACY CONCERT

The GRAMMY Foundation(r) will host "A Song Is Born," the 16th Annual GRAMMY Foundation Legacy Concert featuring live musical performances on Jan. 23 in Los Angeles. Performers include GRAMMY(r) winning songwriters Steve Cropper, Kris Kristofferson, Joy Williams of the Civil Wars, Paul Williams, and Dan Wilson; and GRAMMY-nominated songwriters Skylar Grey, John Rzeznik of The Goo Goo Dolls, Allen Shamblin, and J.D. Souther, as well as other artists to be announced shortly.

"A Song Is Born"- presented by Seagate(r) - will explore the history and evolution of songwriting and celebrate the various and invaluable contributions of key players behind the music and their impact on the American cultural landscape. This official GRAMMY Week concert promotes the GRAMMY Foundation's mission of recognizing and preserving our musical past, so that future generations can continue to benefit from an appreciation and understanding of those contributions. Admission tickets are $45 per person and this event is all ages. All guests are invited to attend a complimentary reception following the concert. For tickets and information, visit http://wl.flavorus.com/gf/asongisborn, or contact 855.235.2867.

This is an official GRAMMY(r) Week event leading up to the 56th GRAMMY(r) Awards.


SUPPORT SONGWRITERS FOR TYPHOON HAIYAN SURVIVORS

USA Songwriting Competition has launched a campaign "Songwriters For Super Typhoon Haiyan" to aid relief In the wake of super storm. Millions of people in the Philippines and Vietnam need our help. The massive storm has caused catastrophic damage throughout the two countries.Hundreds of thousands of people have been displaced and are in urgent need of food, water and shelter. Immediate relief efforts to help meet these critical humanitarian needs of survivors is needed and is accepting donations to help survivors.

http://www.mercycorps.org/people/usasong/philippines


SPEAKS LOUDER THAN WORDS SONGWRITING PODCAST

Speaks Louder Than Words is a podcast that comes out every other week, with songwriters touching on their musical influences and upbringing, what's important to them in a song and often revealing the ideas behind their singles and albums. Since starting, Michael Kiwanuka, Nicky Graham, True Tiger and Ed Drewett have all appeared as have many more, sharing their thoughts on the craft. Click here to find previous episodes on iTunes... You can subscribe to get instant access to future releases.


INDIE INTERNATIONAL SONGWRITING CONTEST IS OPEN FOR SUBMISSIONS!

IISC is an annual song competition to give recognition to some of the best emerging songwriters in the world, help develop their talent, and provide useful tools for developing the success of the artist. Contest are limited to 150 entries per genre so you don't get lost in the crowd! Choose between a Basic Entry (numerical score) or for $10 more, a Written Critique on your song. IISC is in its 8th competition and has given away more than $54,000 in useful prizes. Rock, Pop, Folk, Americana/Country, Instrumental, and Gospel/Christian genres are open! Visit our website for more details. Deadline is January 31, 2014.


TUNII.COM:
A REVOLUTIONARY NEW WAY TO SHARE AND PROMOTE MUSIC

Tunii.com pays Fans to Follow and Promote Songs and is 100% FREE to join for both recording artists and music fans. Join us in our mission of making Tunii the future of the music industry where together we can all share in the success for connecting artists and fans around the world. Sign up today through this special Muse's Muse link and please check out our short “How Tunii works video” It's Easy, it's FREE and it's Fun!


BOOKING & TOURING SUCCESS STRATEGIES & SECRETS ONLINE COURSE

Getting great gigs, building your audience and selling more merchandise is exactly what your career is all about. This online course is jam-packed with 12 hours of downloadable audio mp3s and PDF Action Guides. There are 5 modules: Module 1: Tour Goals & Planning Strategies, Module 2: Routing Your Tours, Module 3: Negotiation Techniques & Contracts, Module 4: Working with Presenters, Bookers, Promoters/Advancing the Date, Module 5: Targeting Your Markets for Maximum Audiences. Plus 2 hours of bonus classes, BONUS #1: Website Maximizer-Is you’re your Website Selling You? Learn how. BONUS #2: Copy Writing: How to write fan emails, press releases and other promo copy that get responses. Bonus # 3: Three free Industry Biz Booster Monthly Mentor Interviews. And finally, weekly call-in office hours to talk with former agent, manager, author, creator, Jeri Goldstein directly, about the course and your career. Booking & Touring Success Strategies & Secrets gives you artist-tested, step-by-step strategies to help you reach your career goals and make all of your tours profitable. http://performingbiz.com


AWARD WINNING SONGWRITER OFFERING SONGWRITING TIPS AND CRITIQUING SERVICES

Award winning songwriter Jane Eamon is offering songwriting one on one classes via Skype. These sessions are one hour in length and can cover any topic you'd like to address. From writing, to critique, to ideas and games. Or just to share your thoughts and get feedback. If you're interested in a session contact janeeamon@shaw.ca to schedule a class.


HAVE YOU EVER STRUGGLED TO FIND THE RIGHT CHORD OR NOTE TO FIT SOMEWHERE IN YOUR SONG?

Hooktheory is a free resource that can show you how to integrate basic music theory into your songwriting process, making it easier to write catchy chord progressions and melody. Hooktheory currently consists of three main areas:
1. The Hookbook demonstrates basic principles of music theory and how they relate to popular music. It's filled with multimedia-rich content explaining musical concepts synchronized to real songs so you can hear what you are learning and make connections easier.
2. The Music Editor lets you write chord progressions in Roman Numeral notation and listen to them in any key. Add a melody, save your work, share it with friends, or export it to Garageband, sheet music, or guitar tab.
3. The Analysis Wiki is a user-generated collection of analyses of popular songs. Look up the chord progression and melody of a song, or use the music editor to create your own analyses.
Check it out now!

Muse's Clues - By John Brhel

©2011-2013 John Brhel. All Rights Reserved.
Used By Permission

How many songs have you written in the past year? Be honest. Ten? One hundred? Zip?

 According to bestselling author Malcolm Gladwell, it takes about 10,000 hours to achieve mastery in any field. Whether or not this is true or complete BS, it’s safe to say that in order to become skilled at the art of songwriting, you need to do lots of it. You don’t think Billy Joel became the songwriter he did by simply watching TV all the time, do you? No, the Piano Man wrote a lot of songs! That’s what songwriters do. We aren’t sit-around-and-watch-the-paint-dry-writers, are we? Nor are we say-I’m-going-to-write-songs-but-really-spend-half-my-day-on-Facebook-writers. We earn the awesome distinction that is SONGWRITER by writing songs! Who’d a thunk it?

You might have heard about crazy Internet people taking on “write a song every day” projects. These are great in theory, but I think these particular projects are a bit too lofty and extreme. Most of the time, these songwriters end up with a bunch of half-baked – heck, more like one-tenth-baked – things that kind of sort of resemble songs. There just isn’t enough time in one day to eat, sleep, work, walk your dog/cat, churn butter, clean gerbil cages and write a completely awesome song from scratch, unless you’re some kind of super-songwriter (or Bob Dylan).

One song a week, however, seems doable. One week is enough time to take care of important stuff and write a halfway decent song. I can imagine Steve Winwood writing “Higher Love” in a week, can’t you?
I think you owe it to yourself to check out a songwriter (not a tell-people-I-write-songs-but-totally-don’t-ever-writer, but a songwriter) who is tackling his very own “write a lot of songs” project. Will Fancher, professional playwright, has recently launched a website by the name of My Songwriting Year. His plan: to write one song a week for the next year.

While you might expect such a project to spring from someone who already writes tons of tunes, Fancher is actually a songwriting noob. Intimidated by songwriting for a long time, he has made it his goal to “spend the next year in immersion therapy.” Now, if a fledgling songwriter can take on such a hefty project, surely all you seasoned songwriting vets should be able to write at least half that many songs a year, right?

Fancher’s rules are simple: Every Tuesday, he will upload a new song, whether it’s “ready” or not. As he puts it “The song doesn’t drop because it’s ready. It drops because it’s Tuesday.” He prefaces the project with the warning that some of his songs will be pure, well, doo-doo. As a creative person, he understands that songwriting is a process, and that not all of his stuff will sound Pet Sounds-amazing the first time around. His other rules/ideas: some songs might be built from prior existing fragments, each month will include a song based on a certain day of event in that month, and rhymes like “school/cool/rule/fool” are off-limits. Good.

Want Fancher to write a song about pancakes, Zimbabwe, or teenage zombies falling in love? He’s totally open to song requests and challenges, so hit him up with your awesome (or awesomely bad) suggestion. Personally, I’m wondering if he can write a song from the perspective of an overfed llama. We’ll see.

So far, My Songwriting Year is chugging along, and nicely at that. Will’s first three songs – “Jacqueline 25 Forever,” “Mamphis,” and “Firebrand,” are well-developed, at least melodically. If you’re into twangy, blues-influenced tunes, it’ll be right up your alley. “Firebrand” reminds me of something off of Elton John’s Tumbleweed Connection album, to be honest. With a background as a playwright, he’s certainly got a knack for emotionally tinged, dramatic songs. According to the questionnaire section on the site, he likes to nick Randy Newman, so he’s cool in my book.

I’m looking forward to seeing how Fancher does over the next 11 months. While it’s pretty implausible that he’ll write 52 chart-topping hits that go down in musical history, I bet he cranks out at least a handful of good songs. He’ll certainly get a lot more done than all those procrastinating dreamers out there.

I encourage you all to embark on your very own Songwriting Year. You don’t have to start a blog or post iPhone videos every week like Fancher, but you can work to better your songwriting skills and actually do all of that creating you said you’d do.

52 songs a year; if you think about it, that’s not that much. That’s like The Beatles “A Hard Day’s Night” times four. Not saying you need to write four I Should Have Known Betters (but that’d be really awesome if you did!), just that it’d be really neat if you could write 52 somewhat okay combinations of lyrics and music in 365 days. Heck, I’ll let you get away with just one song this year if it’s as good as “In My Life.”

******

John Brhel is a songwriter from upstate New York who wrote his first batch of pop songs before graduating from elementary school. A lover of all music, John writes country songs, plays in a punk band and spends a good deal of his free time listening to Diane Warren ballads. John regularly attends industry events in New York and Los Angeles and is a member of ASCAP. A lover of melody and the left-field chord change, John lives and breathes songs. Write a song with him via Skype (berealmusic) and follow him on Twitter (@johnbrhel).

Featured Article - By Brad Dunse

QUICK TIP: 3 Bad Words in Songwriting

If you’re over 12-years old, no doubt you’ve heard a parent stare you down and jab four-words at you with their pointer finger…

“YOU WATCH YOUR MOUTH!”

Oops, I bet just before you heard that, you crossed the line with language or tone with them.

And you knew you were doing it before you hurled those words, didn’t you? Ah, come on we’ve all done it.

Well, the same can happen in songwriting. In fact, there are three bad words you instinctively know you shouldn’t put in your songs; you just need to listen to your songwriting conscience.

More accurately, there are three bad word types you shouldn’t put in your songs.

• Wrong words

• Long words

• Don’t-belong words

For those of us in the upper reaches of the Northern Hemisphere, here’s a seasonal sample lyric, see if you can find one or more of those naughty words.

Amber and Mike gonna go outside,

Hop on their LUGES and catch ‘em a ride

Make an IMMENSE snowball or angels too

Maybe CONSTRUCT a giant igloo

When they get a little chilly--just a little HYPO THERMIC

They’ll head for their CRIB-- Frosty’s nose needs a carrot

With their coats back on, MITTENS PULLED TIGHT, and hot chocolate done

THE LITTLE HOMIES’LL go back out and have a little more fun

Okay, so I helped you big time with some exaggeration and screamed at you with the caps there, but hey, when illustrating a point, why use a cap gun when a cannon will do, right?

Here’s why the words are wrong, long, or don’t belong.

• Luge? No kid rides a luge. That’s just wrong language, kids ride sleds. This ain’t an Olympic competition; it’s a kid song for crying out loud, so let’s keep it kid-like and identifiable.

• Immense? Yeah, a little overkill in the long word or “big” word category for this kind of tune. How about just the word ‘big’? It’s important to keep it conversational and simple. Even if you are an educated person with a lofty vocabulary, writing for your audience is where it’s at.

• Construct, again, a little too much “mechanical engineer” rather than good-time kid language, how about using the phrase, “try to make” instead?

•Hypo thermic? Sorry, I think I pulled out the big cannons on this one. Yeah, we’ll just simply say, ‘chilly’. Notice the string of inner rhyming there too when we change it, that’s a great little technique to put in songs when you can.

• Crib? Yo dog, we’re not gangster thuggin’ around this rap bro, we’ll choose ‘house’. Be sure to use the language style that supports the style of the song.

Does this help? In the softest, almost whispering, lullaby voice, just try singing,

“Hush little homie don’t say a word, big daddy’s gonna score you a Mockingbird.”

Kind of hard to do without smiling, isn’t it?

• Mitten’s pulled tight, is just unnecessary to make the point, we don’t need to dress them head to foot to give the idea they’re headed back outside. Added words will throw off the meter, makes it sound rushed, and just doesn’t need to be in there at all.

•Homies? Yeah, let’s drop that one and again, keep the language in appropriate tone and style.

So after we’ve filtered out the wrong words, long words, and the don’t-belong words, we wind up with a verse that reads:

Amber and Mike gonna go out side

Hop on their sleds and catch ‘em a ride

Make a big snowball or angels too

Maybe try to make a giant igloo

When they get a little chilly—just a little cold

They’ll go in the house to get Frosty’s nose

Coats back on and hot chocolate done

They’ll go back out and have a little more fun

*Excerpt from Have a Little Fun ©1993 Brad Dunse

Besides the obvious long, wrong, or don’t-belong words; look for those redundant, extra small words, or unneeded phrases you can eliminate or substitute to maintain song meter and rhythmic flow.

Take a look at the song you’re currently working on, are there any words you could simplify? There’s no technical manual talk in there is there? Keep these three word types in mind when writing and you’ll come out with a stronger song!

Until next time… keep writing from the heart!

*****

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)

What to Look For in a Studio Vocalist - by Bill Pere

If you are a songwriter looking to hire a studio vocalist to record your song, that is one of the most important decisions you will make in the entire process. It is surprising how many aspiring songwriters don't know what to be looking for when they choose a vocalist. It is much more than a voice and a price tag.

-----

The Five Keys To Building A Successful Music Career - by Tom Hess

Wish you knew why some musicians become massively successful (and how you can too)? Hint: It’s not by simply copying the actions of others in the industry – it’s by developing a success-oriented mindset as the foundation of your actions. Once you have the right ‘mindset’, everything else will fall into place in your music career and you will achieve success...

-----

How To Think Of Ideas For Writing Songs By Eliminating 4 Songwriting Mistakes - by Ryan Buckner

Before you can become an excellent songwriter, you must have the ability to consistently put together great ideas for writing a song. That said, if you are like most songwriters, you sometimes have a hard time thinking of songwriting ideas and it takes you a long time before you are able to put a song together (if you ever do). Fortunately, there are four (quickly solvable) mistakes that you can fix that will drastically increase your musical creativity and help you come up with songwriting ideas much faster.

-----

How To Make Your Songwriting Sound Better And More Professional
- by Ryan Buckner

Do you want to be able to write songs that take the exact ideas you have in your head and bring them to life in your music? Would you like to understand how professional songwriters keep their listeners interested in a song for the entire piece of music? Chances are, you struggle with these things in your songwriting from time to time (or perhaps frequently).

-----

How To Create Awesome Shred Guitar Ideas Without Playing Faster
- by Tom Hess

Do you love playing shred guitar licks but struggle to come up with cool ideas on your own? Chances are, you believe the myth that good shred guitar playing is only about playing fast. This approach is the same approach that keeps thousands of other lead guitarists from playing powerful and expressive guitar licks. Truth is, you must master the ability to play with both speed and creativity in order to make your licks stand out.

-----

Empowering Youth Thru Music - by Mick Polich

The hope of our music nation lies with young people,to paraphrase a quote - in this article, Mick emotes on a recent jazz improv session he had with an area high school jazz band.Fun and informative,Mick explains how he learns as much from the kids, as they hopefully will learn from him......

Classifieds & Useful Services

WRITE BETTER SONGS WITH MASTERWRITER 2.0 - NEW PRICE!
(And Muse's News readers *still* get a special discount!)

Looking for something really special for that songwriter in your life? (Maybe it's you!) MasterWriter 2.0 is the most powerful suite of songwriting tools ever assembled in one program. MasterWriter is endorsed by ASCAP, BMI, SESAC, NSAI and is used by some of the world's leading songwriters including Gwen Stefani, Rob Thomas, Kenneth "Babyface" Edmonds, Jimmy Webb, Kenny Loggins, Trent Reznor, Clint Black, and many more.

In addition to giving you Rhymes, Close Rhymes, Phrases, Pop-Culture, Synonyms, and the Definition, new features include Word Families and Parts Of Speech, two unique and revolutionary reference dictionaries that will open up a new world of possibilities for descriptive words and ideas. There have been updates and improvements to the existing features, including greatly expanded Sound-Alikes (close rhymes), and a completely redesigned Interface. These are serious tools for the serious songwriter.

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. Windows and Mac compatible.


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!

Drop by for more details and start yourself on the road to improving your vocal chops today.


LEARN HOW TO PLAY GUITAR WITH GuitarMasterClass.net AND START COMPOSING YOUR OWN SONGS NOW!

GMC is a video lesson archive & community. GMC has tons of helpful videos, instructors and lessons. GMC also features forum for chatting with teachers and students 24/7, recording collaborations, attending video chats + content for bass, drums, singing, piano etc. All genres and styles are covered - Rock, metal, shred, blues, jazz, country & acoustic, funk.. We want you to have fun while learning - so get rocking NOW!

Get instant access to:

-14273 videos, 2262 lessons and 37 instructors.
-Register at GMC forum - join a virtual band, chat with any instructor etc
-Backing tracks at different speeds & jam loop with every lesson
-Daily updates (average of ~10 new videos per day)
 -EXTRAS: Gear-, singing-, recording-, bass-, piano- and drum lessons. GMC Theory Grimoire eBook !!!


Special for Muse's Muse visitors: 
Get a $10 discount for your first month of subscription!


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 Copyright Link.

The new version 3 release adds support for "Piano Style" chord symbols, Nashville Number System, and Transposition features - all in one easy-to-use package - and all for only $54.95! (That's $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 writing.
Be the best songwriter you can be and purchase Lyricist today!


FREE MELODY WRITING REPORT

Writing a great melody is the #1 component to writing a song your listeners will want to buy, and hear over and over again. If you want some easy ways to improve your melodies to start writing songs your fans will love, check out this FREE report. It'll teach you some great (and simple!) tricks for writing sophisticated and marketable melodies:


ADVERTISING RATES:
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: editor@musesmuse.com.

Click here for Newsletter Sponsorship rates and other advertising opportunities.

Contact Info & Credits

Jodi Krangle, Editor: editor@musesmuse.com

The Muse's News is a free monthly newsletter for and about songwriters. Subscribers are welcome to recirculate or reprint The Muse's News for nonprofit use as long as the appropriate credit is given and the ENTIRE text of the newsletter is included (including credits and information at the end of each issue). Others should contact me at editor@musesmuse.com. All articles copyrighted by their authors.

Back issues and other information will be available here.

The Muse's News is part of The Muse's Muse, a web resource for songwriters.

For further information, send your e-mail to:
adinfo@musesmuse.com - How to place a classified ad, pass on market information or sponsor The Muse's News.
info@musesmuse.com - How to subscribe or end your subscription.
editor@musesmuse.com - To submit articles,reviews,ideas,etc.

SNAILMAIL: Please contact me first at editor@musesmuse.com


Back issues of the newsletter can be read here or in an archive at the National Library of Canada ecollection.

 

Click here and go to the middle of the page to change your subscription - or click the links below.

Help For Newcomers
Help for Newcomers
Interactivities
Interactivities
Helpful Resources
Helpful Resources
Berklee Music Resources
The Muse's News
Organizations
Entertainment Cyberscope
Articles
Newer Articles
Past Columnists
Past Columnists - After March 2007
Market Information
Songwriting Contests
Chat Logs
Songwriting Books
Regular Columnists
Columnists
Spotlights
Spotlights
Services
Services Offered
About the  Muse's Muse
About Muse's Muse
Subscribe to The Muse's News, free monthly newsletter for songwriters
with exclusive articles, copyright & publishing advice, music, website & book reviews, contest & market information, a chance to win prizes & more!

Join today!



Created & Maintained
by Jodi Krangle


Design:


1995 - 2016, The Muse's Muse Songwriting Resource. All rights reserved.

Read The Muse's Muse Privacy Statement