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The Muse's News
The Muse's News
The Muse's News
An E-zine For And About Songwriters.
Issue 17.1
April 2014

In This Issue:
* Editor's Musings
* Music Reviews - None this month - Send in your music! :)
* New Artist Spotlight Additions
* Songwriting Book Review - by John Thomas
* Musical Notes - Songwriting Contests & Market Info.
* Muse's Clues - Songwriting Web sites that inspire - by songwriter, producer, author and playwright, David M. Taylor II.
* Featured Article: Quick Tip: 3 Benefits of Songwriting Imperfection 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 1998-2014 - Jodi Krangle.
For more contact information, see end of issue.


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!


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!)

Write Better Songs with MasterWriter 2.0 - at a New Price!WRITE BETTER SONGS WITH MASTERWRITER 2.0 - NEW PRICE!
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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.

Editor's Musings:

Hey there! I hope it's starting to warm up where you guys are (or that it never got cold. I don't wish this on anyone!). Where I am, we're still getting snow. Ugh. Hard to believe, this far into March. It's like the winter that will never end. And now that I've made my obligatory complaint about the weather (though I feel it's highly justified, myself ;) ) - I have some news!

We have a new Muse's Clues writer. Thanks so much to David M Taylor II for stepping up and providing a great article for us. While this one does actually have to do with a course you have to pay for, he's not an affiliate of the course and neither am I. He's just relating info on a course that he found highly useful in his own career. There will certainly be future Muse's Clues that involve resources you don't have to pay a dime for. Stay tuned!

All sorts of helpful info both in this newsletter and new on the site, so I'll get right to it - after I announce the raffle winners. :) If you'd like to be considered for a prize, please read the instructions below the raffle announcements and write to me.

  • Donna Bottomley, from West Yorkshire, England, has won a copy of Virtual Studio Systems' Lyricist software.

  • Roger Roseborough, from Freeport, NY, 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.

  • Jackie Rainey from Northern Ireland, has won a 6 month membership to 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.

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 for subscribing, folks! Have a wonderful April. :)

All the best,


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


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.

Music Reviews:


It's been a slow month, so no new reviews at this point ...

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.


Jamie Green - Genre: SINGER/SONGWRITER

With the lyrical honesty of Alanis Morissette, the soulful vocals and intricate harmonies of Jonatha Brooke and Paula Cole, and a production style that is at once contemporary and classic, Los Angeles-based singer-songwriter, Jamie Green, forges her own brand of alternative pop that leaves your heart moved and your body moving. She is two-for-two, winning L.A. Music Awards for her debut and sophomore albums, and is currently working on her third which, production-wise, is heavily influenced by Dido and Seal.

Songwriting Book Review By: John Thomas

The Music Lesson: A Spiritual Search for Growth Throuth Music
by Victor L. Wooten

Some will know who Victor Wooten is. For those who are unfamiliar with Wooten and his work, he is a
member Bella Fleck and the Flecktones, a jazz / bluegrass fusion group and a solo player and composer
in his own right. Wooten has a reputation as a virtuoso bass player and improviser extraordinaire.

I originally approached this book seeking to broaden my pallet in music writing and arrangement. And,
to be clear, this book is not focused on lyric-writing. However, if you want to expand your repertoire of
musical ideas and maybe come across some different ways of thinking about music, you may be able to
cross-apply them to your lyrical work, as well.

So, what is this book about? The book is written as a story. Not an allegory, mind you, but as a story
discussing the concepts that Wooten wishes to pass on. This method of communicating his ideas is both
a strength and a weakness of the book.

The story is an odd one, of how Wooten’s “teacher,” Michael, appears to him and reveals ideas about
music and life to him. The unusualness of the story and the quirkiness of Michael’s personality give the
story an interest that a straight-forward laying out of these ideas may not have possessed. However, as
I read the story, I also became aware that the written story is not the first mode of communication that
Wooten tends to work with and the flow of the story and the language of descriptions sometimes
suffered from a “clunkiness” of language. The wording didn’t always flow conversationally.

Also, Wooten isn’t afraid to allow his metaphysical thinking shine through in this story, and, because his
thinking leans towards what some would consider “New Age” thinking, some readers will not allow
themselves to continue to read to pick up the gems that are in this book.

With those caveats said, I found that I liked this book. Michael’s quirkiness was amusing, and the
musical insights sometimes put into words ideas about music and aspects of music that I had thought
but had not seen expressed elsewhere.

I also came across ideas that I had not previously come across. For example, early in the book the idea is
presented that music is a language. This concept was not a new idea to me, however, where Wooten
takes this idea was new to me and opened up possibilities for musical growth that I had not expected.
Wooten asserts that music is a language in the same way that English is a language, however, the reason
that musicians are not as proficient in playing music as a native English speaker is in speaking English is
because we learn music in a regimented, segmented manner instead of how we learn to speak our
native tongue: by jamming. He says that as young children, we jam, we make sounds, we play with sounds, and we interact with virtuosos of the language, adults and older children, all the time. In this
way we are jamming with masters of that language. Thus, the way to accelerate growth in playing music
is to jam with masters. (Bonus tip: if you don’t have master players near you who you can sit down to
just play with, pick a master out of your cd (or mp3) library and jam with them. Don’t just play along;
interact and freeform with the recording to ingrain their way of “speaking” music into your playing.).

Personally, I immediately thought of how I could transfer this concept to lyric writing. What if I took the
starting point of some of my favorite songs, such as the kernel idea and the type of chord progression or
a rhythmic idea that I picked up from the inspiration song, would I end up at the same end point, i.e. the
same song, as my original song. I doubt it, however, I could begin to understand through this process of
“jamming” with my favorite songwriters how they work their magic and how I could get closer to that
quality of work.

This is just one idea taken from one chapter and applied towards my songwriting. Wooten has many
more concepts in the book, any one of which potentially offers a different paradigm to work from and
experiment with as he covers subjects such as Articulation, Emotion/Feel, Dynamics, Phrasing,
Space/Rest, and others.

All-in-all, I found this book to be worth the time to read and ingest (and the audio version includes
several of Wooten’s compositions in the background as accompaniment to the reading, too). Read the
book, think about it, and apply Wooten’s ideas to your writing and playing and, like me, I think you’ll find
new sounds and ideas coming through in your songwriting.

Grab a cup of black pekoe tea and dig in!



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

Most recently, when he’s not actively writing and playing bass, he’s drinking coffee and wondering how
to perfectly mold a pop vocal melody over a jazz improv bass line.

Sponsor Message:
(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 (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 &
Please check there regularly for updates!


The 2014 Johnny Mercer Foundation Songwriters Project - a partnership between the Johnny Mercer Foundation and Northwestern's American Music Theatre Project will take place June 22-28, 2014. It is a free week long intensive for emerging professional songwriters between the ages of 18–30 in all genres of the American popular song including country, musical theatre, rock, Latin, and contemporary pop.  Participants work with award–winning professional master teachers that foster the tradition of mentorship to which Johnny Mercer was so committed.  The week will culminate with a gala concert combining the talents of the program participants, master teachers, and the recipient of the Artist of Distinction award, to be announced shortly.

A REVOLUTIONARY NEW WAY TO SHARE AND PROMOTE MUSIC 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!


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.


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 to schedule a class.


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 - David M. Taylor II

©2014 David M. Taylor II. All Rights Reserved.
Used By Permission

Greetings Musers-
I’d like to turn your attention to an online class that can greatly aid you in turning your
content into cash. It’s called Making Money With Music, a class by Randy Chertkow and Jason Feehan, hosted by Creative Live:

This class gives you incredibly detailed information and instruction about how to market
directly to fans, all of the registrations that you need to do to ensure that you’re getting
paid all the money due you, how to utilize current technology to monetize your content, and much more. I myself have purchased and used the information in this class and I can testify unequivocally that it is top notch. One of the biggest challenges songwriters face, either in just writing music for others, or in becoming singer-songwriters and performing their own material, is learning how to scale their business. This class gives you clear steps in keeping your business at the proper size to maximize income potential.

Randy and Jason are the gurus of DIY for Musicians, and as a songwriter, you will quickly discover that you’re going to have to do most of your business functions yourself
until you get established. Getting established as a songwriter means getting placements,
and getting paid, and today’s market is vastly different than the pre-millennial one. Staying on top of the available income streams is integral to your success as a 21st century songwriter, as the technology has far outpaced the laws.

With a purchase price of $149, you get continual online access to the full 15 hours worth
of material, you get downloadable bonus materials, like the first chapter of their book,
The Indie Band Survival Guide, and the class is accessible through your mobile device.

Class modules include:

Mixing Your Music for Licensing
Monetizing YouTube
How to Get People to Discover Your Music
Elements of a Crowdfunding Campaign
Licenses and Royalties

….and much more.

This class will help keep you ahead of the curve in songwriter money making, and I can’t recommend it highly enough.

That’s it for this issue Musers; take care, and never stop writing!


Online, his YouTube channel entitled The Intrepid Songwriter shows songwriters how to Fast Track their careers, and get to the best deals in the music industry, using his system. He has done national commercial work for McDonald’s, Disney, written music for film and TV, and worked with musical legends like Dave Koz & Cuba Gooding Sr.

He is not only a songwriter, but a producer, author, and playwright. In 2012, two of his original songs, I Wish That Was Me and Wonderful Day broke Top 10 in the AC charts. He is also known for his children’s book, Dear God: Why Doesn’t Broccoli Taste Like Chocolate? and his original musical of the same name is currently in production.

Featured Article - By Brad Dunse

QUICK TIP: 3 Benefits of Songwriting Imperfection

Every so often we abandon songwriting “How Tos” to scratch around in our heads a little, and there’s some lessons from other writers we just can’t pass up.

For instance, Berklee College of Music’s Professor Pat Pattison (best-selling author of Writing Better Lyrics) and country music’s phenomenal #1 hit writer Jeffrey Steele might surprise you with their confessions.

Do you ever have songwriting doubts? Ever feel like you just said something stupid in a co-writing session? Ever written something and then later realize it stinks like the accident your puppy left on the floor?

Professor Pattison's first Nashville co-write began with doubting his ability to come up with good ideas and lyrics; feeling like his whole status as Berklee professor was on the line.

What if he couldn’t come up with something? What if they were dumb… idiotic ideas? He was getting cold feet until the door opened up and his co-writer walked in and said the same things you’ll read a few lines down the page here.

And what about Jeffrey Steele, a writer with hits littering the streets of Nashville confessing at a Nashville Songwriter’s Association International (NSAI) workshop, that he still writes crap songs. Of course, we don’t ever hear or see them, so we assume it never happens.

What is it you expect of yourself as a writer? Do you expect to be 100% perfect every time you open your mouth or put ink to paper as it were? It can’t be done my friend.

On top of that, here are three benefits of being imperfect that will help your songwriting.

1. The “I’m glad I got that out of my system” factor. When I’d gotten my first computer, I was terrified I’d somehow break it.

I’d installed a buggy program multiple times that wasn’t working right. Frustrated, I went up into the file manager, highlighted the MS Cook section, and started deleting files within the program.

Relentless confirmation dialog boxes of “Are you sure you want to delete this file” kept popping up. I got real good at angrily pressing delete with my right pointer and the “Y” key with the left. Bang-bang, bang-bang, bang-bang! I smacked those keys until I looked at the icon to the left and saw MS Cook wasn’t highlighted, but MS DOS was. I’d systematically deleted most of my operating system.

My worst fears come true in less than one-week of owning it… what an IDIOT! I’ll tell you though, my fears of wrecking it were gone. I’d already done the most stupidest thing you could do to a computer, how could it get any worse?

So when it comes to writing?  Realize you’re going to mess up, and it’s okay; everyone does from time to time. And besides getting the worst behind you, screwing up will sometimes let you…

2. Find a gem. One song I’d written years back started…

“She’s forty-four years old, jogs her daily miles
Her friends’ll tease her, she’ll look at them and smile
She’ll let ‘em eat their Snickers and their laughs
Her days of doing nothing ‘bout her dreams have past.”

When I wrote it, the idea of eating a laugh along with junk food just popped out of nowhere and I thought it a mistake, until I realized it was a great way to depict someone “eating crow,” as well gave a double meaning to Snickers, so I kept it.

I bet you’ve had similar instances in your writing or conversations. Once you see how those stupid little mistakes can be turned successful, that will…

3. Give you confidence. Once you realize everyone has doubts, has fears, has mistakes; and not only are they overcome but often times those lemons are turned to lemonade, that helps remove that doubt and frees you up to be loose and crazy with your writing. You’ll take more chances and write better stuff as a result.

I learned a lot from deleting my OS on that computer, including the telephone number of the IT guy who fixed it, but I was also more confident in the future, and more productive as a result.

So go for it, be bold, be creative and don’t be afraid to join Pat, Jeff, and any other writer out there… make your mistakes, it just might be a gem with some dust on it.

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.


Transform Your Blues Guitar Licks With Killer Double Stop Technique
- by Tom Hess

Learn how to create killer blues guitar double stop licks.


The Missing Elements Needed For Your Guitar Teaching Success
- by Tom Hess

Do you wonder why you can’t seem to achieve success in your guitar teaching business? In order to succeed in this business, you will need to do much more than the average guitar teacher. Consider the Olympics: in the Olympics, most athletes have similar physical attributes, yet only a few of them (who seem to possess ‘something extra’) are able to win medals while everyone else goes home empty-handed.

Classifieds & Useful Services


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!

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Special for Muse's Muse visitors: 
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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!)

This tool will revolutionize the way you write and organize your writing.
Be the best songwriter you can be and purchase Lyricist today!


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:

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:

Click here for Newsletter Sponsorship rates and other advertising opportunities.

Contact Info & Credits

Jodi Krangle, Editor:

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 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: - How to place a classified ad, pass on market information or sponsor The Muse's News. - How to subscribe or end your subscription. - To submit articles,reviews,ideas,etc.

SNAILMAIL: Please contact me first at

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


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