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The Muse's News
The Muse's News
The Muse's News
An E-zine For And About Songwriters.
Issue 17.8
November 2014

In This Issue:
* Editor's Musings
* Music Reviews - None this month
* 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 adventurer and songwriter, Richard Miller.
* Featured Article: Quick Tip: Story Time 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!)

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MasterWriter gives you Rhymes, Close Rhymes, Phrases, Synonyms, Word Families, Pop-Culture, Alliterations, the Definition and more. Also included is an audio recorder and tools that will give you everything you'll need to organize your songs. The new version 3.0 is web–based, so you can leave the house empty–handed and access MasterWriter on any computer, tablet or smart phone, wherever you are.
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“MasterWriter will not only help you write great songs, it will make you a better songwriter in the process.”
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“Producers have Pro Tools. Writers have Word. Songwriters have MasterWriter.”
–Rob Thomas

Editor's Musings:

Hi folks! I'm going to keep this short and sweet since I'm trying to get over a cold (bleh). However, I got it by attending a wonderful music convention ... so in the end, it was worth it. ;) Thought I'd include a link to a song that's somewhat appropriate for the season. I've spoken about SingSnap before here and I really do love it. So here's Autumn Leaves for your listening pleasure. :) We'll be into the far colder weather before I know it ... so I'm enjoying the beautiful colors and somewhat mild weather while I can. I know it won't last ...

Lots to get you thinking and to help you on your journey as a songwriter and musician in this issue so I'll just announce the raffle winners here and get right to the newsletter:

  • Christina T, from North Fort Myers, FL, has won a copy of Virtual Studio Systems' Lyricist software.
  • Jessica Mendez, from Baldwin Park, 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.

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.)

Have a great month, guys!

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.

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

Music Reviews:


Things were a bit quiet this month, but we'll have more for you next month.

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.



Creating a unique sound, the super hot &  exciting new neo soul duo Mello Mello is destined to touch hearts and minds everywhere with their debut album An Abstract Love Story.The vocals vacillate between a smooth, Usher-like sound and a more intelligent and complex Outkast sound says Neufutur Magazine.

Songwriting Book Review By: John Thomas

The Music Marketing System

by Jamie Leger

Many musicians are trapped in “starving artist” syndrome. They want to make an income, maybe even
a living from their creative work, but they don't know how. So, they follow the “tried and true” path of
playing the bar scene and praying for a lucky break, a savior to come in and bring them copious
amounts of money for their work.

Jamie Leger wants more for you. And he wants you to generate the financial success from your music
that you want to achieve.

Now, let's be up front about this: if you're only interested in songwriting and playing music as a hobby
or, if you're not willing to put in the time thinking and putting ideas into practice, that's fine, but this
book isn't for you. This book is for the person who wants to make an income from their music and is
willing to both think and take action.

The first thing to mention here is this: Leger isn't going to tell you that a savior will come bring you a
lucky break. It's on you. If you want success, however you define it, with your music, it is up to you to
achieve that.

What Leger does do is provide you a different way of thinking about what you do and a framework to
generate income from what you do. To put it in Leger's terms, you are not (only) a songwriter and/or
performer, you are a content creator. You create content / information / extra “data” that adds to
peoples' lives. That content includes your songs and, yes, will be primarily surrounding your songs and
performances, but it can (and probably should) contain a broader view of giving your fans an
experience with you through your performances, through your product offerings, through interaction
with you.

So, the question then becomes, if it's not just about the “song” but about the overall output of what I do,
then how to I financially capitalize on that?

Leger gives you a method for generating fans, creating revenue from that process, and increasing your
overall financial profit by providing opportunities to interact with you and by creating experiences in
which fans can choose to take part. What these options are will depend on what you're open to doing in
terms of interacting with fans, so Leger doesn't give definite this-is-specifically-what-you-do-now type
of steps. He does, however, provide examples to get your creative juices flowing so that you can
develop a music business that works for you.

Overall, this is a solid book that covers the basics of a marketing plan and generating revenue. If you
haven't had the financial success that you want, I recommend that you grab a cup of coffee, a pen, and a
notepad, and block off some time to think while you read The Music Marketing System. You'll find it's
time well spent if you put in the work.


John Thomas is a singer, songwriter, and bass player in Macon, Georgia who loves good songs, good coffee, and the company of his beautiful wife and children.

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


We are currently giving away a limited number of full band demos including vocals for the price of $150 (normally $500).

Before you do anything, you have to make sure that your demo of your song is as strong as the song itself. Competition is very high among songwriters.

We work with top vocalists, studios and engineers to provide you the highest quality possible for your demo. If you have lyrics or even just a song idea, we are there to help! Catch the offer before anyone else at:

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 Great American Song Contest features awards for 50 winners in 10 categories and provides $10,000 in Prizes. Entrants receive written song evaluations from music-industry judges, including publishers, music producers and recording artists. The event is open to songwriters, lyricists and composers around the world. Sponsored by Songwriters Resource Network, a trusted educational resource for songwriters everywhere. Submission deadline is November 20, 2014. For details, visit:


Don Clarke & Kalla Bremer won top honors for their original song "The Long Walk Is Over." First-Place category winners were Jonas Friddle for "Man Was Make to Fly" (Americana/Folk); Ryan Gollogly for "Almost Famous" (Adult Contemporary); Dave Gunning & George Canyon for "These Hands" (Singer-Songwriter); Chase Manhattan & Night Argent for "Immortalized" (Rock); David Haley Lauver for "Mary Saw the Angels" (Christian/Gospel); Scott Stevens for "We Grow Up" (Country); Johnny Vanderlip "I Know A Secret" (Instrumental); Machine McKee "Too Damn Beautiful" (Pop); T. Edwin Doss for "Gonna Be A Blue Elvis Christmas" (Special Category Music); Jutes for "Plastic Smile" (HipHop/R&B); and Mark Stepakoff for "Memory Museum" (Lyric Writing). You can hear these winning songs on the Great American Song Hall Of Fame at:


Win one of 5 amazing prizes worth over $2000. Also don't miss the Mini-Monthly Giveaways and stay tuned for the MelodyFusion.Com jingle contest kicking off in September 2014. Enter now by simply registering on the website!

Whether you’re a music lover, promoter, musician, singer, or just want to win a smoking hot instrument, the “MelodyFusion Band Gear Give-Away” gives you more chances to win every single day! Grand prize winner selected 2/28/15 but mini winners selected monthly!


The IAP and the Best CD of the Year Awards gives recognition to outstanding innovative works of independent music from around the world. There is never a fee of any kind for any aspect of these awards. For more details, please visit our website at: , and click on Submissions.
Deadline: December 31st, 2014.


Women of Substance Radio is an Internet Radio Station (with our own Mobile App) that has been on the air for 7 years. Our review board hand-picks the BEST music by female artists in all genres from both label artists and Indies. New music is added weekly and promoted on Social Media. We also feature videos on our blog daily. WOSRadio is a unique platform for Female Indie Artists to showcase and promote their music to targeted listeners and music buyers.

Visit:  / Listen:


The 11th 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:


Songwriter Connect will connect you to established artists near you. We are creating a new platform for songwriters and composers. The main feature will be that we will connect you to established artists near you. We also cater for local, unrecognized singers and bands who are on the lookout for talented and screened songwriters to collaborate on their next project. Register now to be one of the first songwriters on this innovative platform!

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 - Richard Miller

©2014 Richard Miller. All Rights Reserved.
Used By Permission

Make It Super Sweeter

Research for last month’s entry, Trying to Dig Deeper, uncovered a number of roads offering ever deeper exploration.  For some time I stood at the junction trying to decide which road to take.  Finally, after several days of fruitless navel gazing, I decided it didn’t matter.  So, I wandered off to Trinidad & Tobago.

There I came across the story of Ras Shorty I.  He started out as a calypso musician and, apparently, indulged in the corporal and carnal delights celebrated by that form of music throughout his early career.  Then slowly, at least in part to bring marginalised ethnic groups of Trinidad together, he started fusing local musical influences.  He worked for nearly a decade before unleashing soca (or sokah – Soul of Calypso) music.  By most accounts the height was reached in the mid-70s with the release of the album Endless Vibrations.  Inside the title song a single couplet seemed to encapsulate his message.

Change the music construction.

Make it super sweeter.

In 1984 he became disenchanted with soca, suggesting it was being used for the wrong reasons and, shortly thereafter, embraced a form of Christianity.  Subsequently he moved his family to a forest in southern Trinidad, where, together, they focused on faith-based music and the development of Jamoo.  He never stopped changing the construction of his music.  He never stopped working at making it super sweeter and today his extended family continue to bear the torch.

Of course its up to each individual to decide what they want to do with their talents and skills.  There’s always the draw to either make it big or join the treadmill demanded by the giants of popular music today.  As much of the modern world continues towards globalisation, centralisation, standardisation and rationalisation there are any number of web sites to provide coaching on the formulaic constructions and  marketing gymnastics demanded by today’s mass media.

But music also provides the chance to reach out to individuals, families, and communities.  As Darrell Scott said in an interview some time ago: “… the great music and the heartfelt music never stopped.  It just kept rolling along.  Just because it didn’t become popular or didn’t become the mainstream didn’t mean it went away.”  Music can touch and it can heal.  That may well have been Ras Shorty I’s message.  Its up to the individual to decide whether or not they want to listen.


Richard Miller is a caterpillar who has begun his chrysalis phase. Originally from Maine, Richard has, via a series of mis-adventures and accidents, worked as an accountant in the English Midlands, a systems programmer on the South Coast of England (where he also pursued an illustrious career in rugby) and a statistical programmer in Belgium. Now he has put all that aside, bought a house, stripped it back to the brick and started to renovate it from top to bottom while simultaneously transforming himself from a results oriented automaton into a winged song writer. You can peak inside the chrysalis at:

Featured Article - By Brad Dunse

QUICK TIP: Story Time

Do you know someone who tells a so-so joke and somehow makes everyone in the room laugh? You know, one of those people who could read a grocery list and make it funny?

How about story tellers. Do you know someone who has the knack for telling an average story and yet keep everyone wide-eyed through the entire story?

A family member of mine use to tell stories when she was a teenager. Unfortunately she wasn't the above storyteller. She could turn a 30-second trip to the fridge into a 20-minute drone. Conversation hostages could always tell when they were on the launch of one of these lunkers because minds would wander to the week's activities, a shopping list, or to the Gray Squirrel out the window that just chased the neighbor's German Shepherd across the yard.

What does this have to do with songwriting? One awesome type of song is a story song. Unfortunately, these types of songs seemed to have gotten run over by the drive at five or stepped on by the dance club tunes today.

I tell you what though, if you want to connect your writing to a listening audience, write a good story song and they'll eat it like candy, begging you for another one.

What kinds of stories can you tell?

Maybe an interesting first date complicated by a jealous daddy? What Was I Thinking. Maybe a taxi hack on a rainy night on the job? Taxi. Or a personal favorite, an interesting encounter at the grocery store Same Old Lang Syne.

So, what makes people want to hear more of the song once they start listening?

Equal to what is said, is what is NOT said. Let's take a look at Same Old Lang Syne. If you hadn't listened to it go ahead, and be sure to read the lyrics this time. I'll show you something later which might help you write a good one!

So what did Fogelberg not say? He didn't say he pushed a wobbly wheeled shopping cart through the store, which really could have given metaphor to the wobbly conversation to follow at the checkout line.

He didn't say anything about the old high school dance days where he and his GF made out someplace. In fact, we didn't even know it was a high school lover until the last verse.

He didn't give a brand of beer, the make of car, or if her purse was Gucci; he didn't describe the trip across town looking for open bars.

Story songs are fraught with details and images, but the art of telling them is knowing what to put in and what to leave out.

There are so many awesome things one can say about Same Old Lang Syne from a songwriting stand point, but there is one thing to walk away from this one as a great story song.

Go to Dan's Page and read the lyrics without listening to the song.

Here is a huge point to help you write a good story song.

Although it's in rhyme form, notice how it almost reads like a journal entry.

As if to say...

Dear Journal, guess what? I... Met my old lover in the grocery store, The snow was falling Christmas Eve. I stole behind her in the frozen foods and I touched her on the sleeve...

The story is so conversational without sounding like it is trying to be. It helps that Dan wrote it based off an actual event, but there could have been so much detail added which only would have distracted from the overall feeling of the song.

Notice how every detail in this song advances the story and builds the mood. I love how he even changed the snow to rain in the end to support the dreary feeling he was left with watching her car drive away.

Have you tried writing a story song? Perhaps take a life event and write it towards a particular emotion. Take care in what to add and what not to add, give just enough imagery to paint the picture and support the mood, and leave off any that do not; make the words earn their right to show up on the page.

Until next time... keep writing from the heart!


A performing songwriter, Brad Dunse is  member of ASCAP, NSAI, SongU, and Minnesota Association of Songwriters. His songs have been played on various independent, internet, and public radio stations across the country with The Wall touching a major country market station. Interested in song evaluations? Go to Brad's site for more information.


How To Make It Easy To Play Guitar Fast - by Tom Hess

To make your fast guitar playing feel easy, follow this innovative guitar practice strategy that will help you break through any guitar speed plateau.


The Best Method For Playing Tremolo Picking Guitar Technique With Unbelievable Speed - by Tom Hess

Do you strongly desire to play with lightning fast tremolo picking guitar technique? It’s actually a lot easier than you might expect. In reality, tons of guitarists have a hard time playing fast tremolo picking lines because they are under the impression that merely moving their hands faster will lead them actually play faster. However, this conventional wisdom is entirely false and I’ll tell you why...


Music Row - by Bronson Herrmuth

The worlds one and only Music Row in Nashville, Tennessee - Save Music Row!


5 Ways To Grow Your Guitar Teaching Business - by Tom Hess

Why are some guitar teachers able to easily grow highly successful guitar teaching businesses, while the majority struggle to make ends meet?. If you want to become a member of the special group of successful guitar teachers, you’d better learn what these teachers know the 5 ways about growing your teaching business.

Classifieds & Useful Services


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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.

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

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