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The Muse's News

Issue 5.1 - April 2002
ISSN 1480-6975

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This issue sponsored by: Enter the USA Songwriting Competition now! Radio Exposure


I n   T h i s   I s s u e :

@-- Editor's Musings
@-- Copyright & Publishing Q&A with Nancy A. Reece from Carpe Diem
    Copyright Management
@-- Music Reviews - by Ben Ohmart & Eliot Popkin
@-- Songwriting Book Review - by James Linderman
                       Relationships Between Independent and Major
                       Labels: Types Of Deals - by Charles Katz
@-- Musical Notes - Songwriting Contests & Market Info.
@-- Muse's Clues - Songwriting Web sites that inspire - brought
    to you by singer/songwriter & teacher, Irene Jackson.
@-- Featured Article - FINDING THE TIME TO WRITE By Steve Moss
@-- Columnist In Spotlight - Brian Marine's HOME RECORDING FOR
@-- On Site Featured Article - An article already online for your
    viewing pleasure.
@-- Classifieds & Useful Services
@-- Contact information
ISSN 1480-6975.  Copyright 1998 - 2002, Jodi Krangle.  For more 
contact information, see end of issue. ================================================================= S p o n s o r M e s s a g e : (Please support the sponsors that support this newsletter! Thanks!) ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ THE USA SONGWRITING COMPETITION IS NOW OPEN: Enter the 2002 USA Songwriting Competition now! Win a grand prize of over US$50,000 in cash and merchandise and exposure, making this the largest prize package in any annual songwriting competition! Winning songs get radio airplay. Judges include record labels such as Warner/Reprise Records, SONY Music, Epic Records, etc. EARLY ENTRY BONUS: First 1,000 entries will receive a free gift. Info: ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ E d i t o r ' s M u s i n g s : ----------------------------------------------------------------- Hello once again. I hope you all have a wonderful Passover/Easter (or whatever else you might celebrate) with friends and family. I'm going to begin this issue by mentioning that I've been thinking about getting a bunch of us Muse's Muse folk together in one place. I'm thinking of a weekend at a hotel somewhere here in Toronto (so that I can actually attend) in July. This city is really gorgeous in the summer. It would start on Friday and end on Sunday. We just go. We come with our instruments. And we play together. :) Maybe a few concerts, maybe a few panels, eventually, possibly some guests (in future years)... but for the most part, just a FUN, relaxing weekend for us to get together and stay up into the wee hours of the morning jamming. No one is forced to write while we're there. The inspiration happens as it happens. Would people be interested in this? If so, write to me and let me know what you think - what you might like to see at a weekend like this - and if you might have some time to help put it together. I'll look forward to hearing from you! --> In other news, we have a new columnist! Brian Marine will be tackling the issues surrounding home recording for songwriters and his column is explained in more details in the "Columnist In Spotlight" section below. Please help me welcome him to our crew! The Entertainment Cyberscope has also overgone a complete overhaul and update. If you haven't seen this, you REALLY should take the time to do so. If you have, you already know how wonderful it is. Jerry Flattum has really outdone himself this time. The EC is at and you can check out Jerry's new article at . I also wanted to mention that I've started a new announcement list called the Muse's News Special Announcements E-list. The idea behind this new newsletter is to have a place where I can make those special, timely announcements that I typically included in here as "newsflashes". This newsletter only comes out once per month and often, things are brought to my attention that can't wait. It will also tell you about various special offers and discounts on helpful products and services that can help you in your songwriting - and that are frequently only offered to Muse's News subscribers. Each newsletter will be *really* short. You may get one every two weeks. It may only be once a month. It'll depend on what crosses my desk in any given month. I promise to keep it as unobtrusive as possible. And hopefully, you'll find it useful. To get more info or to sign up, see And lastly, I'd like to congratulate our newest winners in this month's prize raffle. David Lynn O'Connor from Nashville, TN has won himself a copy of BEHIND THE MUSE by Bill DeMain, which is also reviewed later on in this newsletter. Darin Donovan from San Mateo, CA has won himself a copy of VSS's fantastic Lyricist product. For a review of Lyricist, see Have a wonderful month, everyone. I hope you enjoy this issue. All the best, --Jodi Editor's note: It doesn't look like it's going to happen this year, folks. The response was pretty limited. But that's ok. I fully intend to make this a reality and maybe next year will give me more time to plan... If you have suggestions, let me know!

Back to Menu ================================================================= C o p y r i g h t & P u b l i s h i n g Q & A : With Licensing executive Nancy A. Reece ----------------------------------------------------------------- Q: If one person owns the Record Company, the Publishing Company, and the Recording Label, what is the best way to split the Publishing monies correctly (percentages), between the business side and the artist? -------- A: Who wrote the song? The songwriter owns the copyright to the composition until it is assigned elsewhere. If the songwriter has her own publishing company then she may tuck it safely in that pocket and will own 100%. If she assigns the copyright to another publisher, then that deal may have several negotiated elements concerning percentage and term. The recording company is the studio? They are not players here (unless you make them so by legal document). The Record Label must secure a mechanical license to even place the composition on a project. The publisher presents that agreement to them for the current statutory rate or rate otherwise negotiated. The artist has no ownership in the song unless they happen to also be the songwriter. ----------------------------------------------------------------- Q: Nearly a year ago, my songwriting partner and I submitted four songs to a demo studio. This studio had previously demo'd two songs of mine very well, for a reasonable price, so when it came time for myself and my songwriting partner to record some of our joint material, they seemed a natural choice. Now, over a year later, I and my partner are $1,000 out of pocket, and the demo service has done nothing. We have repeatedly phoned and emailed them, as well as having a colleague from the Nashville Musician's Union contact them on our behalf, and although they vowed to our colleague from the Nashville Musician's Union that they would repay us what's owing by mid-January 2002, they have not done so. It is our understanding that there is little that we can do with regard to recompense from this demo service, aside from protracted legal negotiations which would cost a great deal. However, if you have any suggestions for actions that we might take, either now or with regard to future contracts with demo studios, we would welcome any relevant feedback and suggestions. Kind regards, --Virginia P. & Ian R., New Zealand -------- A: When I was managing a producer, we had clients pay in thirds. You paid one third at signing the agreement, another third when you recorded and the final third upon delivery. You must ALWAYS have a written agreement for any service being provided. Samples can be found in many of the books recommended at Muse's Muse (, however, I always suggest you have a competent music attorney draft, negotiate and execute any agreement. ----------------------------------------------------------------- Q: If you have lyrical work without music, who would you contact to have it reviewed? Are there publishers who team up lyric writers with musical writers? This is something I truly have a passion for and was wondering if there was a career opportunity here. So my question is, does this type of career exist? -- Michele -------- A: Many publishers with staff writers will know first hand the strengths of their workers. Some are better at melody, others at language. Once you develop a relationship with a publisher, they may point you toward people to collaborate with. Until that time, the best thing you can do is to go directly to other writers and begin working on ideas. Keep in mind that an average American songwriter earns $5000 per year. ----------------------------------------------------------------- Q: I've always loved to write but for some reason could never summon up the courage to really test my talent. My life has recently had a strange turn of events, and sometimes that's the motivation a writer needs to spring into action! I have recently written a few songs that I think might have some potential. Where do I begin having them looked at to see if they would be of interest to a music company? If you could just give me a brief outline of where to start, I'd really appreciate it! -- Jennie Sue C. -------- A: Start in your own back yard. Play the songs for family, they'll always perk you up. But also, go to any writing sessions or listening sessions with other writers. If you can't find one, start one. The best way to get better at a craft is to learn from those who have been at it for a while. ----------------------------------------------------------------- TO VIEW OTHER QUESTIONS AND RESPONSES, SEE NANCY'S "COPYRIGHT & PUBLISHING Q&A" ONLINE AT Please note: She receives a *lot* of e-mail in a month. If you sent in a question but have not heard a reply, it's very likely it already *has* an answer online. It's always a good idea to thoroughly look through the Q&A's online to see if your question has already been asked before you send in a request. Thanks! ----------------------------------------------------------------- ***** ABOUT NANCY A. REECE: Carpe Diem Copyright Management's owner and president, Nancy A. Reece has been involved in the music business since 1983. She was the president of an independent advertising agency for eight years as well as a successful personal artist manager for nine years. She represented the careers of several recording artists and songwriters including those with EMI, Zomba and Liberty Records as well as Benson, Starsong, WoodBridge, Temple Hall and N'Soul Records. She also represented, for a number of years, a Grammy and Dove nominated record producer. Reece has won awards of excellence in print magazine advertising and has been named as one of 2,000 Notable American Women (1995) as well as being listed in the International Who's Who of Professional and Business Women (1993). She was also named Cashbox Magazine's Promoter of the Year (1989). In addition to her work at Carpe Diem Copyright Management, Reece works at a performing rights organization in the United States and is an accomplished contemporary artist working in abstract and multimedia on canvas and wood. **If you would like to ask Nancy a question, you can send your e-mail to Nancy at . She can't guarantee she'll get to all of the questions, but she'll certainly try.** Back to Menu ================================================================= M u s i c R e v i e w s : by Ben Ohmart & Eliot Popkin ----------------------------------------------------------------- Belinda Scroggins - Mystical Madness (by Eliot Popkin) This 11 song CD from Cincinnatian (can I say that?) Belinda Scroggins begins with the slow rocker "I Sleep With The Light On." Probably the first thing that you feel something for is Belinda's voice. It's a colorful, dark, bluesy, emotive vehicle for her contemplative lyrics and songs. She reminds me of Sheryl Crow, but a deeper voice, and a bit darker of a sound. While I feel Belinda's voice is most at home rocking through great pop songs like the opener, it doesn't stop her from bringing the tempo down in the second song, delivering a haunting piano ballad called "The Wanting Never Fades."Apparently, she has a few tricks up her sleeve. I was surprised again at the quiet, simple "I Go To Extremes." Belinda softly sings "I can disappear without a trace, and go dancing with the devil in hell." Her lyrics are a bit cryptic, and I'm not really sure exactly what she is saying or perhaps who she is talking about. That's part of the fun here; with each listen you hear something different and learn something new about this woman and her voice. As she sings "What does it mean, what does it mean, when I go to extremes?" - the listener can wonder, and enjoy, and follow her as she questions. It will be interesting to hear her questions and answers the next time around. Perhaps the future of her muse is found in her lyric from "Prophets" - "I'm speaking to the prophets, that linger in my head, they give me bad advice, the fear on which I fed." Overall, a truly original voice and one that will only get deeper, sweeter and truer with time. A fine debut Ms. Scroggins. Contact: Website: ------------------ OTHER NEW MUSIC REVIEWS SINCE LAST MONTH INCLUDE: Jeffrey Michael - (by Ben Ohmart) Colonel Knowledge - (by Eliot Popkin) Garden of Dreams - (by Eliot Popkin) James Velvet - (by Eliot Popkin) Tiger Pop - (by Eliot Popkin) Hossam Ramzy (by Ben Ohmart) Moz Taylor - (by Ben Ohmart) --------------- ****** Ben lives in Boalsburg, PA where greedy people want to put up condos in place of a nature preserve. He spends his off hours listening to radio comedy - especially British - loves reading and watching horror, and hates trying to make ends meet. Send him money and gifts. While waiting for bribes, he's currently writing the official biographies of The Bickersons, Paul Frees and Daws Butler. His latest bit of immortality? The text for Contact him at: Eliot is a Boston born singer/songwriter who saw his debut album "Down Along This Road" have 3 songs find their way into movies, radio airplay on more than 100 stations across the country as well as countless wonderful reviews and feature stories. He currently is writing songs for various major label and film projects, and is in the studio working on his follow up album. He lives in Los Angeles, enjoying a nice view of the Hollywood sign. To hear his music, drop by his web site at . Contact him at: If you're considering sending in your own CD for review, please drop by to find out which reviewer reviews which genre. Thanks! Back to Menu ================================================================= S o n g w r i t i n g B o o k R e v i e w : by James Linderman Behind The Muse - By Bill DeMain ----------------------------------------------------------------- Occasionally, I have this dream of hosting a terrific party with the greatest songwriters of our time as the guests. We would sit around at my country estate (since I'm dreaming, I figure I may as well go all out) and I would chat with each one about what it is to write great songs and they would be open and candid and friendly and sincere; suddenly I wake up from this dream and I am in front of my computer in my boxers inhaling a can of Pringles and picking the crumbs out of my navel... all alone, no great songwriter friends, no country estate... Bill Demain, however, has interviewed over 300 of the worlds greatest songwriters during his 10 years as a writer for the magazine "Performing Songwriter" and has compiled some of these interviews in his new book "Behind the muse" and it's the next best thing to my dream coming true. Behind The Muse hits on almost every pop sub-style of the last 40 years in the 40 interviews featured here. There are some "old school" writers, some "no school" writers, many trend setters and lots of "breakers of convention", many of whom are writing way ahead of their time to this day. What you will discover between the covers of "Behind The Muse" is that all songwriters share a lot of common ground that can make details like style, age and era seem to virtually disappear. DeMain has a real ability to show writers as being real people and then also showing the brilliance of their work. In this way he is able to focus on the beauty of the human as an artist without all the hype of the celebrity. In his book, success is often framed in quality, not necessarily only in commercial success. One of the memorable sections for me was when Burton Lane was talking about Yip Harlbergs great title "When I'm Not Near The Girl I Love, I Love the Girl I'm Near" making me wonder if this old title inspired Steven Stills "Love The One You're With" which I originally thought was quite unique. Disney songwriters Richard and Robert Sherman also share their great motto "the harder you try, the luckier you'll get". I also left this book believing that Don McLean who wrote "Vincent" and "American Pie" was even smarter and cooler than I had originally thought, and I already held him in pretty high esteem. Todd Rundgren was also very impressive. DeMains knows to revere Neil Finn, and he knows that Finn's song "Into Temptation" should be referred to as being "spine tingling" which, if you have ever heard the song, would be considered a fact, not an opinion. The underlying theme here seems to be that luck comes and goes but genius, coupled with some elbow grease, is a constant and reliable and enduring formula for a songwriting career that bears some immortal features. This book is so so so cool... did I mention how cool this book is? You will want to pick up a copy of Bill Demain's "Behind The Muse" if you want to relate to some of our greatest songwriters and have their words resonate profoundly in your art and ultimately, in your life. ****** James Linderman lives and works at theharmonyhouse, a music lesson, songwriting and music pre-production facility in Newmarket, Ontario, Canada. He has worked as a collaborating songwriter and consultant for The Toronto Office of Catholic Youth and leads a music workshop program for Life 100.3 Christian radio. James writes songwriting articles for The Muse's News web magazine, Canadian Musician Magazine and Professional Musician Magazine. Contact James at: Back to Menu ================================================================= S p o n s o r M e s s a g e : (Please support the sponsors that support this newsletter! Thanks!) ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ THINK YOU HAVE WHAT IT TAKES TO SIGN A MUSIC PUBLISHING DEAL? Brought to you by Universal Music Group, Songwriting and Publishing is an instructional video that teaches you everything you need to know to write a successful song and sign a lucrative publishing deal. Purchase the video and we GUARANTEE a Universal A&R executive will review your lyrics and send you WRITTEN FEEDBACK. We'll even give you the chance to win a $1,000 publishing deal with Universal Music Publishing Group. ================================================================= F e a t u r e d A r t i c l e : This is the last in a series of articles Charles is providing us discussing common problems performing songwriters might face within the music business. THE BUSINESS OF MUSIC: RECORDING: Relationships Between Independent and Major Labels: Types Of Deals 2002, Charles Katz. All Rights Reserved. Used By Permission. ----------------------------------------------------------------- "One Moment in Time" - Words and Music by Albert Hammond and John Bettis - was a classic hit in 1987 The lyrics "I want one moment in time // When I'm more than I thought I could be//When all my dreams are a heart beat away//And the answers are all up to me//" Dream on and have I got a deal for you!!!! This is what the Major Label is going to offer performing artists with their own independent record label. Their dreams are a heart beat away and the answers are up to the performing artist. The type of deals to consider are: PRESSING & DISTRIBUTION (P&D) Here, the Indie Label (performing artist) produces the recordings and the graphics and delivers the master to the Major Label. At Windrift Music, this is exactly the deal we negotiated with a popular performing artist who wanted to retain artistic control. Very important. We will then press and arrange for distribution. DISTRIBUTION ONLY Here, the Indie Label presses the CDs and the Major Label is responsible only for distribution. FULFILLMENT The Major Label will press the records and then arrange distribution. This is excellent for performing artists who spent all their cash in the recording studio. PRODUCTION Here, a production company will find and sign talent and produce records. Then they will deliver the results to a Major Label. This kind of deal is offered a lot in A & R companies such as TAXI. JOINT VENTURES Here, the Major Label fronts all operating cost, and the Indie artist and Major Label share the profits. Watch out for this one. You may end up with accountants that used to work for Enron and there are no profits!! EQUITY Here, the Major Label buys out the Indie. Nice deal if you can find one. LICENSING Windrift Music has done a few deals in this area. This is where the Indie Label will license the recordings of its artists for a specific royalty. Generally, as a manager/owner of a small record label, I prefer P & D deals. I will always request, before finalizing any deals, for the following from the Indie Label - Performing Artist. Sound Scan Reports Retail Sales Self Generated Where the Indie Label currently has distribution set up. The dreams of a performing artist can come through but I recommend a specialized music attorney to navigate those muddy waters. ****** Charles Katz owns a high-tech company, Printerm, established for 20 years, and manages a Record Label, Windrift Music Inc. He currently has a CD "Night Driving Music" installed at Internet sites in the US, UK, and Asia collecting royalties. Charles is presently working on his second CD with a female recording artist and has established a virtual band, Spencer K for that project. As a business leader, musician, publisher, and promoter, he is now providing his expertise for fellow artists. Contact: Back to Menu ================================================================= M u s i c a l N o t e s : Songwriting Contests & Market Info. In the interest of conserving space, I will only be including 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! ----------------------------------------------------------------- 'RADIO MUSE' WEBCAST FOR INDEPENDENT SONGWRITERS - SEEKING MUSIC! The Muse's Muse & Host, Jan Best of Independent Songwriter Web-Magazine, are putting together a series of shows, one every month, featuring the songs of independent songwriters just like you! See for details on how you can send in your own music for consideration. ----------------------------------------------------------------- BYRON GALLIMORE ACCEPTING SONGS FOR FAITH HILL ! Tonos hosts many songwriting contests and Industry Opportunities specifically for songwriters every month. March contests include: * Byron Gallimore Accepting Songs for Faith Hill - Byron is getting ready to go into the studio again with Faith Hill and they are looking for some fresh country/pop songs. Byron will listen to the top submissions and see if they work for Faith's new project. So submit your best original country/pop song now and it could end up on Faith Hill's new album. * Alternative Bands Submit Your Song to Depeche Mode - Submit your best alternative song and the members of Depeche Mode and their manager will personally listen to ten "alternative songs" from talented tonosPRO members. Who knows if the band loves you and your material, you could end up working with them or being picked up by their manager. * David Foster Accepting Songs For Grammy Winner Yolanda Adams! - Submit your best gospel/inspirational song (although in David's words, these songs really need to be "great, not just good"). The best submissions will be sent to David himself, who will listen to those top picks and then send along any entries that he feels are of the caliber that Yolanda is looking for.
(It's a bit long, I know - but if it doesn't work as a clickable link in your email, just copy and past the link into your browser.) ----------------------------------------------------------------- AUSTIN SONGWRITERS GROUP (ASG) 2002 AUSTIN SONG CONTEST Austin, Texas is "the live music capital of the world" and home to SXSW. ASG is launching their yearly songwriting contest. (You don't have to live in Austin to enter.) We're giving songwriters from all over the world the opportunity to earn recognition and some wonderful prizes. Deadline: April 20, 2002 Drop by or ----------------------------------------------------------------- Country Songwriter Showcase deadline for entry : April 10th, 2002. CLICK THE GMIA WEBSITE LINK < > TO DOWNLOAD THE ENTRY FORM via Adobe pdf. GMIA's "Best of Country" Showcase, Thursday,April 25th , 2002 at the "Swallow at the Hollow" Club in Roswell, Georgia, Moby of Kicks 101.5 FM Atlanta will emcee,the live performance of 15 Songwriter finalists judged by Top Country Music Industry Executives.Accepting GMIA's Award of Excellence that evening will be Buddie Buie and J.R. Cobb, writers of songs such as "Stormy," "Spooky," and "Rock Bottom". GRAND PRIZE WINNER performs at the BlueBird Cafe in Nashville, gets $500 Cash and wins 10 hours studio time at VisionMusicGroup Digital RecordingStudio. 2nd & 3rd Place awarded prizes.Sponsors include : ASCAP,BMI,SESAC,SGA,MARS Music, Vision Music Group,Kicks 105.5 FM Atlanta,Lowery Music Group and many more. GMIA is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, dedicated to providing avenues of networking in the music community and indust ----------------------------------------------------------------- A NEW NEWSLETTER FOR SONGWRITERS Chicago area songwriter Steve Moss has started Tunesmith Monthly: The Nuts & Bolts Resource for Songwriters. Each 6-page issue is full of interviews, exercises, how-to, and inspiration -- everything you need to write more and better songs. Check it out online at ----------------------------------------------------------------- PANTENE PRO-VOICE MUSIC COMPETITION: Pantene Pro-V created Pro-Voice to get you heard, seen, signed and rewarded with career-making prizes. It's a competition for 14 to 24 year-old females and female-fronted bands. You'll find everything you need to enter right here on the site. Well, except star power; you provide that. WHY WE'RE DOING IT Pantene Pro-Voice was established to celebrate what women have to say and support them on their journey of self-discovery. WHAT WE'RE LOOKING FOR Your entry should showcase your talent as a lyricist and performer. The judges will be looking for lyrical composition, musical composition and originality in your music. THE JUDGING 20 semi-finalists ( will be selected by an independent panel of judges. Then 3-5 finalists will be selected by the Pantene Pro-Voice Entertainment Judges, and those finalists will come to Toronto, Ontario to play at Harbourfront Centre on August 15th. Based on that performance, the grand prize winner will be selected by the entire judging panel. See for details! Deadline is May 31, 2002 ----------------------------------------------------------------- ATTENTION SONGWRITERS, VISUAL ARTISTS AND FINE CRAFTSMEN: The 2002 MOVA Arts Festival - A Celebration of Creative Arts -- will be taking place September 20 - 22 in beautiful Lake Guntersville, Alabama. Over $4,000 in cash awards for the songwriters' competition and the juried visual arts marketplace. Deadline for songwriters' submissions ($10 per song) is June 29, 2002. Deadline for visual and craft artists is July 15 (10 X 10 ft space is $60 for the entire weekend). To request entry forms, please contact the Mountain Valley Arts Council: Phone: 256-582-1454; email:; FAX: 256-582-1418 or send an SASE to MOVA Arts Festival, 300 Gunter Avenue, Guntersville, AL 35976. Please specify which application you wish to have sent to you. ----------------------------------------------------------------- SONGWRITING UP CLOSE AND PERSONAL!! Give your songwriting career the boost you have been wanting and needing. Join 7 of the biggest current hitmakers in Nashville, Cesar Lemos, Will Robinson, Jason Deere, Jim Photoglo, Wayne Kirkpatrick, Angela Kaset and Greg Barnhill and a limited group of 20 participants for an intensive, one-of-a-kind workshop. The Breckenridge Educational And Music Seminar (BEAMS) will be held April 18-21 high in the Colorado Rockies. You can't afford to miss this opportunity to work with these pros in a setting conducive to creativity. For more information and reservations, contact: June McHugh, CEO Ash Street Publishing 25 Ash Street Denver, CO 80220 (720)-364-3853 email: or bgallup@aol.comBack to Menu ================================================================= M u s e ' s C l u e s : by Irene Jackson 1998-2002 Moonstone Productions All Rights Reserved. Used By Permission ----------------------------------------------------------------- The music buisness. You've been writing songs for awhile and now you're thinking maybe it's time to put some of them "out there" to see if they can stand up to the rest. But how do you go about it? There are lots of books on the subject, many places on the internet where you can discuss your successes (or failures!) with other songwriters, forums, newsgroups, and all the rest of it. But how do you know if you really have what it takes? Recently in the newsgroup, someone posted a link to a site where you can take a simple test, to see if you are really doing everything you can to get that first cut. Even the name of the site is "" :-) Jerry Vandiver and Gracie Hollombe have written a book on that very subject. But the most interesting part of their website, at least to me, is this questionnaire: Basically you answer the questionnaire and score points for each question. At the end, there is an assessment of each level of points. But beyond that, this is a really great "to do" list of the steps you need to take to achieve the ultimate goal of getting a major cut. It is an eye opener! The authors have been very involved in the business of music, having reached their own goals through their involvement with NSAI, developing workshops and teaching sessions, along with building their own careers as songwriters. Although the website is really meant as a promotional tool for their book, there are some excerpts from several chapters, and they have created a discussion forum and newsletter for songwriters as well. And then there's the questionnaire. If you are seriously persuing the business of songwriting, this will definitely give you an idea of whether or not you're on the right track. I hope your score is high...good luck! ****** Irene Jackson is a performing songwriter from Victoria, BC in Canada. Aside from writing, recording and performing, she also maintains a website for songwriters that includes tips, articles and more links of interest. Her eagerly anticipated CD "Catnip" is finally here, and her earlier recordings have had attention everywhere from Japan to South America. Songwriting Tips: Homepage: Songs on MP3: Back to Menu ================================================================= S p o n s o r M e s s a g e : (Please support the sponsors that support this newsletter! Thanks!) ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ UNLEASH THE FULL POTENTIAL OF THE INTERNET WITH SONGSCOPE.COM! SongScope is a valuable tool enabling you to build an on-line song catalog, accessible only by proven industry professionals. Receive FREE email informing you every time record producers and industry professionals make requests. Song listings are only $29.95 per year. An ecommerce enabled marketing/promotion page and tour calendar are also available for performing songwriters to get further artist exposure. See for details or contact: ~ Tel: 770.754.4543 ================================================================= F e a t u r e d A r t i c l e : FINDING THE TIME TO WRITE By Steve Moss 2002 Steve Moss. All Rights Reserved. Used By Permission ----------------------------------------------------------------- "I would write more songs if I could only find the time." How often have you said that one? For every time saving device modern technology invents for us, there are at least two new ways to waste time: reality TV, the Internet, video games. Our society is rushed, harried and running late. So how do you find the time to write? There are two keys to getting songs written in a limited amount of time. The first key is focusing on specific songwriting tasks, one at a time. The second is finding ways to reclaim a little of your time each day. Having concrete goals and specific tasks will help you use any time you do have more efficiently. When you know what to work on, you will be able to jump right into it. In addition, your mind will often work subconsciously on your song while you are busy doing other things. Divide your songwriting project into parts according to the type of song you are writing and the way you are used to working. If you want to write a song with two verses, a chorus, and a bridge, you might start with a title. Next you might build a chorus around your title. Next you might start on a verse, and so on. Whether you are just starting a song or you are in the middle of one, determine exactly what you need to work on next. If you don't have time to write right now, keep your goal in the back of your mind. As you go through your day, occasionally remind yourself that you are working on this part of your song. For instance, tell yourself, "the song is called 'She's Mine.' I have a chorus. Now I need a first verse." When you do this sometimes ideas will come to you effortlessly. If so, write them down or record them on a cassette recorder. If nothing comes spontaneously be confident that something will soon. When you do get time to work actively you are more likely to have ideas if you have been incubating your song in this fashion. Keeping your current objective clear in your mind will help you make productive use of even very brief periods of free time. Many of your ideas for lines, rhymes, melody, etc. will come to you when you are not actively working on your song. You will need time, however, to organize and polish your ideas and to try them out with your voice and instrument. Here are some ways of recapturing a little time from even the busiest schedule. ** Get up earlier or stay up later. I know. Easier said than done. Of the two choices I am a great believer in the former. Getting up earlier in the morning is hard to do at first, but I urge you to try it. Your mind is considerably less cluttered and more focused when you wake up in the morning. When your conscious mind is just waking up your subconscious mind has a chance to make itself heard. All of my best ideas have come in the morning. I find I can get much more done in the same amount of time as I could if I waited for the rest of my family to go to sleep. Normal waking life can be full of stress, distractions, and hassles. There's always some jerk who cut you off in traffic, something your boss said after the meeting that troubled you, and that stop at the convenience store you have to remember on your way home. I have found that if I stay up late, all the baggage I have collected during the day stays up with me. In the morning, however, these things tend to fade. They are now part of yesterday and therefore less pressing. I get work done before a new batch of problems crops up. Even an extra half-hour every day will make a difference. You have to work up to that though. Try getting up five minutes earlier for a few days. Then, try ten minutes earlier for a few days, and so on. Sure, you'll be a little tired some times. But I bet you'll feel better about yourself because you're writing more songs. ** Carve ten or twenty minute chunks out of your daily routine. Most people have at least a little discretionary time during the day that they can use for writing. Examples include coffee breaks and lunch periods at work. If you commute, try working in your car for a short time before driving home. At home you might write while the kids are happy watching a little TV. A ten or twenty minute writing session, once or twice a day, is really a great way to work. Again, your subconscious mind stays on the song even when you are consciously focusing your attention on something else. I'm not suggesting that you haul your guitar everywhere or ask your boss to set up a piano in the cafeteria. You can get loads of creative work done away from your instrument. You can hum under your breath or in your head. You can think up lines of lyric and jot them down. Keep paper and pen or a tape recorder handy whenever you can. Then when you do get time with your instrument, you will have lots of ideas to try out. ** Use your "mindless chore" time for creative work. We all have opportunities to do repetitive chores that occupy our bodies, but only a small fraction of our minds. Dishwashing, lawn mowing, folding laundry, and aerobic exercise are great examples. While your body works through these tasks, give your mind a task as well. Go over any parts of your song you may have written so far. Then remind yourself of what you need to work on next. Go about your chores while keeping your objective in your mind. Don't force anything. Just remain aware that you are working on a song and keep your mind free of clutter. When the body is in motion and the mind is aware but calm you can often be at your most creative. And, your family will start wondering why you have volunteered to do all the laundry. ** Turn off the TV. I was once a confirmed TV junkie. I never missed an episode of Star Trek, and there were two different series running at the time, plus reruns of a third. I think Jean-Luc Picard's life meant more to me than my own. I watched PBS non-stop. I told myself that it was okay. It was educational. Then there were the Cubs, White Sox, Bulls, and Bears. Oh My! But, once I got rolling with my writing, I started watching less TV. Before I knew it, I was hardly watching it at all. Now I rarely turn the TV on and I don't miss it one bit. I feel a little lost when everyone is talking about a commercial I haven't seen, but I know I have more time for my family and for myself. So, turn that thing off. If you're starved for entertainment, pop a CD into the player. Better yet, make some music of your own. Once you live through the withdrawal pains, you'll feel fine. I promise! As you learn to keep your mind focused on your goals and reserve small but usable windows of time for creative work, you may begin to feel, as I often do, that the songs are writing themselves and your job is merely to capture them on paper or audio. You will be surprised at how many songs you can write even when you have a million other things to do. ****** Steve Moss is the Editor of Tunesmith Monthly: The Nuts & Bolts Resource for Songwriters. He writes songs and performs with his wife Jenny. Based just outside Chicago, Illinois, the two have appeared all over the upper Midwest. Their first CD of original songs, One Foot on the Train, was released in June of 2000. A recent review in Bluegrass Unlimited Magazine praised Steve's "particularly nice lyrical gift." When not writing or making music, Steve works as a technician for the World's largest maker of pedal harps. Visit him on the World Wide Web at to Menu ================================================================= C o l u m n i s t I n S p o t l i g h t : Home Recording For Songwriters - by Brian Marine ----------------------------------------------------------------- ABOUT THE COLUMN: Brian Marine's column will offer tips and information to songwriters who want to record demos (or final product that they intend to sell on CD or online) in their home or project studio using the many inexpensive, yet high quality, digital audio hardware & software recording products now available. He will also offer suggestions on how to better use the gear you already have, and answer questions to those who are perplexed at the sometimes complex array of product choices and the inevitable technical issues that arise. ABOUT THE COLUMNIST: Brian Marine is the owner of Digital Pro Audio (, an online retailer specializing in computer-based hardware & software and pro audio equipment for musicians and studios. A long-time songwriter and home recording enthusiast, he also has a varied career in the music industry. In the 80's, Brian was a recording engineer at two NYC recording studios, and worked with artists like Aretha Franklin, KISS and Stephen Bishop. In the late 80's he worked in the Music Department of the ad agency McCann-Erickson as a music producer. Then in 1995 he started VisionWorks, a web site development company focusing mainly on music-related sites for independent record labels and pro audio retailers. In 1998, seeing the lack of decent online pro audio/music instrument web sites that catered to the home recording studio market, he started Digital Pro Audio, which has grown to the point that it is now his main business. Back to Menu ================================================================= " O N S I T E " F E A T U R E D A R T I C L E : WRITE OUT LOUD by Danny McBride Just like the title says. How to go about writing a song so it sounds good out loud, which is (duh!) the way most of us hear or perform music - unless you're Beethoven - in which case skip this and go on to something else - like a wig fitting.
================================================================= C l a s s i f i e d s & U s e f u l S e r v i c e s : ----------------------------------------------------------------- LYRICIST! VERSION 2.1 HAS ARRIVED - INCLUDES CHORD CHARTING/WIZARD. Virtual Studio Systems, Inc. is proud to announce Lyricist V2.1 - The Songwriter's Best Friend: the first-of-its-kind word processor designed for musicians, songwriters, and poets. The software includes a rhyming dictionary, spell checker, thesaurus, album categorization, chord charting, chord generator, song arrangement and much much more - all in a user-friendly package. Check out the review at . Muse's Muse visitors can take home the product for $5.00 off the regular selling price just for purchasing through the form provided off of the review! For more information, visit the review url above or call us at 888.732.1176 inside the U.S.A. or 603.726-4499 outside the U.S.A. ----------------------------------------------------------------- WINDRIFT MUSIC SONGWRITING COMPETITION 2002 Windrift Music and Sonic Foundry(Sound Forge/ACID), are sponsoring the 2002 Songwriting Competition. Fabulous Prizes * $1000 in cash * Sound Forge 5.0. * ACID PRO 3.0 * Vegas Video 3.0 * Five loop libraries * Make Your own demo CD * 50 CDs courtesy of Windrift Music * Web Hosting of Your Song on Windrift Music Site * Artist Home Page with download of music * 1000 promotional Flyers of CD * Free promotion of artist CD to major labels. The deadline is June 30th, 2002. $10 entry fee. Contest details are located on the Windrift Music web site: ----------------------------------------------------------------- SPECIAL OFFER FROM THE MUSICIAN'S ATLAS The Musician's Atlas is a music industry resource created exclusively for artists and the independent music community. This 368 page directory delivers over 15,000 key business contacts in more than 25 industry categories. We are pleased to offer Muse's Muse subscribers a 15% discount off the already low retail price when you order your copies directly from Or you can receive a free copy of the 2002 Atlas and still save 15% when you order a copy of the new and improved Atlas CD-Rom. Just log on to and enter MUSESMUSE into the purchase code key found on The Atlas order page. ----------------------------------------------------------------- GO GLOBAL WITH CDSTREET.COM is your secure source for credit card music ordering in your own website. As a member of the CDstreet network, you will have access to the most cost-effective, secure transaction processing for global music merchandise distribution. Plus, no setup fee and no sales equals no cost! Check it out - ----------------------------------------------------------------- GET YOUR COPY OF THE INDIE CONTACT BIBLE & START MAKING WAVES! This is an absolutely priceless resource for indie musicians. If you want your music reviewed, on the radio, *heard*, THIS is the resource you need to have. It's not going to tell you "how" but it will *certainly* tell you "who". I highly recommend you pick it up in order to compliment your other music marketing techniques. Have a look at this url and read through a few sample pages to see what I mean: (Full review at ----------------------------------------------------------------- INTERESTED IN YOUR VERY OWN MUSE'S MUSE SHIRT, MUG OR MOUSEPAD? WOULD YOU LIKE TO SELL YOUR OWN MERCHANDISE? Drop by today! And while you're at it, think about starting your *own* store. It would be pretty cool to sell your own band's logo or design on promo items, wouldn't it? And starting up a store requires no investment of money on your part at all. Details on how to do that are only a click away... ================================================================= ADVERTISING RATES: For Classifieds: US$25 Max. 8 lines, where a line = 65 characters including spaces and punctuation. All contracts must be prepaid. Write to: For Newsletter Sponsorship rates and other advertising opportunities, please see . Back to Menu
================================================================= C o n t a c t I n f o & C r e d i t s : ----------------------------------------------------------------- Jodi Krangle ............................................. EDITOR Kathryn Obenshain ...........................GRACIOUS PROOFREADER ----------------------------------------------------------------- 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 at: 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, unsubscribe, etc. - To submit articles,reviews,ideas,etc. SNAILMAIL: Please contact me first at ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Back issues of the newsletter can be read at the National
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