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The Muse's News

Issue 7.8 - November 2004
ISSN 1480-6975

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This issue sponsored by:
Study Online with BerkleeMusic.com!


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

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@-- Editor's Musings
@-- Copyright & Publishing Q&A with Nancy VanReece from Carpe
    Diem Copyright Management
@-- Music Reviews - by Steve Allat, Stacey Board & Gian Fiero
@-- New Artist Spotlight Additions
@-- Songwriting Book Review - by James Linderman
@-- 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 - AVOIDNG THE SCAMS - By Jason Blume
@-- On Site Featured Article - An article already online for your
    viewing pleasure.
@-- Classifieds & Useful Services
@-- Contact information
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ISSN 1480-6975. Copyright 1998/99/00/01/02/03 - Jodi Krangle. 
For more contact information, see end of issue.
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REMIND YOURSELF OF YOUR COMMITMENT TO BETTER SONGWRITING 
You can pick up some attractive and useful Muse's Muse items like
mugs, mousepads (currently on sale!), t-shirts in various colors
and more by visiting http://www.cafepress.com/musesmuse .  Get
yourself some classy merchandise to remind you of your commitment
to better songwriting and support The Muse's Muse all at the
same time. 

Start your own store too - with no up front costs! 
See http://tinyurl.com/cqij for more details.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
S p o n s o r   M e s s a g e : 
(Please support the sponsors that support this newsletter! Thanks!)
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

COLLEGE-CREDIT ONLINE CERTIFICATE PROGRAMS NOW AVAILABLE FROM
BERKLEE COLLEGE OF MUSIC EXTENSION SCHOOL

Financial Aid Available * Flexible Schedules * Study with Berklee
Faculty

Berkleemusic.com, the online extension school of Berklee College
of Music, is enrolling now for the winter semester's
college-credit certificate programs and courses.  Further your
music career and earn college credit in a number of different
areas including production, songwriting, arranging, theory,
harmony and ear training, and music business.

Early enrollment for the winter semester ends on November 12th.
You can reserve your seat now by calling our student advisors at
866.BERKLEE (866.237.5533) or by visiting us:

http://www.berkleemusic.com/school/courses/all?pid=677

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E d i t o r ' s   M u s i n g s :

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Hi folks.  First off, once again, if you'd like a raffle prize -
specifically one of the books reviewed, or  Bronson Herrmuth's
"100 Miles To A Record Deal" (which has been very favorably
reviewed in this newsletter before)- please contact me and let me
know.  I'm taking names again. :)  You may not get your prize
immediately, but I'll put you in queue and you will eventually
get something, I promise. :)

I have a *really* full issue for you today - including
a new article by Jason Blume that hasn't yet appeared anywhere
else! - so rather than babbling at you as I usually do (:D) I'll
just get right into the nitty gritty. :)

The raffle winners this month are:

* Delores O'Sullivan from Lancaster, CA has won a copy
of the "Musician's Toolkit" 
(for details, see http://www.musicianstoolkit.com/muse/) 

* Karen Gardner from New York, NY has won a copy of VSS's
songwriting organization product, Lyricist (for details and
information on a discount offered, see
http://www.musesmuse.com/vss-review.html)

* Avra Kouffman from New York, NY has won a copy of the book
reviewed in this issue of the newsletter (below):
"Living Your Joy - A Practical Guide to Happiness" by Suzanne
Falter-Barns (http://www.howmuchjoy.com/)

* Angela Hall from Mobile, AL  has won a 6 month subscription
to the Onlinegigs (http://www.onlinegigs.com/) service.  This
valuable service is a powerful tool for musicians, agents, record
companies and managers designed to virtually automate the
administration of booking and promoting a band or bands. 

Happy writing! 

--Jodi

Back to Menu
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S p o n s o r   M e s s a g e : 
(Please support the sponsors that support this newsletter! Thanks!)
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

LYRICIST VERSION 3: ACT NOW - INTRODUCTORY PRICING ENDS
NOV 15th!

Lyricist V3 - The Songwriter's Best Friend by Virtual Studio
Systems, Inc. does more than what the name implies.  It's the
first-of-its-kind word processor uniquely designed for musicians
and songwriters.   The software includes a Rhyming Dictionary,
Thesaurus, Album Categorization, Chord Charting, Chord Generator,
Song Arrangement charting, On-Line Copyright Link.  The new
version 3 product adds support for "Piano Style" chord symbols,
Nashville Number System, and Transposition features - all in one
user-friendly package. 

Introductory prices will be ending soon, so act now!  Check out
the review at http://www.musesmuse.com/vss-review.html .

Muse's Muse visitors can take home the product for $5.00 off the
V3 introductory sale price of $39.95 (After Nov 15th $49.95)
just for purchasing through the purchase button 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. and Canada or 603.726-4499 outside
the U.S.A.

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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 VanReece
        http://www.musesmuse.com/realarealq.html
		
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TOPIC: MECHANICAL & SYNCHRONIZATION LICENSING
 
Q:
I have a dilemma that I could use your advice on. My group
recently finished recording our first album in our home studio,
but we used audio samples from movies in two of the songs. What
should we do about this? I know that we need clearance if we
intend to sell the cds but the album is more of a promo than a
retail thing. I just want your advice on what action we should
take. 
 
A:
Anytime you use someone else's property it is important to have
express written permission to do so. If you use a sample of the
dialog from the film you should contact the producers of that
film for permission.  If you want to use audio samples of music
from the film, you will need to get permission not only from the
copyright holders of the underlying work (song), but also the
permission from the owners of the copyright of the actual sound
recording. You are securing value from the use in a promotional
sense as well as a potentially retail sense.  Once you  contact
the owners of the property for permission they will let you know
the terms and conditions of use.  You should then be able to
gather whether the value of the use of the property is in line
with the fee to do so.
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TOPIC: MANAGEMENT AGREEMENTS
 
Q: How can I get information on how to set up a contract between
an artist/group and someone who wants to manage them?
 
A: There are several good templates for artist management
agreements available in several sources such as books like "All
You Need To Know About The Music Business" by Donald Passman.
When I was in management, I used a simple agreement that was
drafted by a good attorney that was familiar not only with the
entertainment business in whole but also with a good
understanding of the market in which the artist would be working.
If you'd like a copy of an agreement as a template please let me
know directly.  With purchase of the Digital Web Book, I will
attach a Word file for you of a Personal Artist Manager
Agreement.

*****

ABOUT NANCY VANREECE:
Since 1998, Nancy VanReece has been providing a question and
answer forum for Muse's Muse readers. Now all of the articles,
forums and Q&A's are compiled into an e-book called REAL ANSWERS
TO REAL QUESTIONS: THE SONGWRITER-PUBLISHER FORUM .  

For information on how to pick up your copy today, visit:
http://www.musesmuse.com/realarealq.html 

How to Ask a Question:
If you have a question for Nancy about publishing or copyright
administration, you can e-mail her at nvanreece@musesmuse.com.
Please indicate in the subject of your e-mail that your
submission is for The Muse's Muse guest forum, Real Answers to
Real Questions. Thanks!	
						
Back to Menu
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M u s i c   R e v i e w s :  

by Brett Thompson, Stacey Board & Kathy Brackley 

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NEW MUSIC REVIEWS SINCE LAST MONTH INCLUDE:

Reviews by Steve Allat

* Basement 3
http://musesmuse.com/columnistsgreylogs/archives/00000753.html
* Vanessa Boyd
http://musesmuse.com/columnistsgreylogs/archives/00000754.html
* David Smith
http://musesmuse.com/columnistsgreylogs/archives/00000755.html
* Half a Halo
http://musesmuse.com/columnistsgreylogs/archives/00000756.html
* Fade 2 Black
http://musesmuse.com/columnistsgreylogs/archives/00000758.html
* Scott Varney
http://musesmuse.com/columnistsgreylogs/archives/00000759.html
* Model A
http://musesmuse.com/columnistsgreylogs/archives/00000760.html


Reviews by Stacey Board:

* Jake Melnyk
http://musesmuse.com/columnistsgreylogs/archives/00000746.html


Reviews by Gian Fiero:

* Outshun Entertainment Presents
http://musesmuse.com/columnistsgreylogs/archives/00000748.html
* Katie Jay
http://musesmuse.com/columnistsgreylogs/archives/00000752.html

---------------
                         ******

For bios on each of the reviewers, see
http://www.musesmuse.com/musicreviews.html . 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!

Back to Menu
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N e w   A r t i s t   S p o t l i g h t   A d d i t i o n s :  

Great music is only a click away!  
Here is the latest addition to the Artist Spotlight section of
The Muse's Muse at http://www.musesmuse.com/artistspotlights.html 

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Kori Linae Carothers - Genre: NEW AGE

If you like Yanni, Vangelis, Enya or Chris Spheeris, you'll love
Kori's music. Her music proves to the world that Independent
Musicians are a force to be reckoned with. Kori's songs are all
original compositions. Listen to her tracks on her website and
you will be transported to her world.

http://www.korilinaecarothers.com/

----

Tim's Myth - Genre: ROCK

Tim's Myth is an indie roots/rock band based out of Ottawa,
Canada. They released their first EP in May 2004, produced by
Mark S.Berry (I Mother Earth, Burton Cummings, Head Stones).
These creative musicians have embarked on a musical journey that
will take them on the ride of their lives.

http://www.tims-myth.com/

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S o n g w r i t i n g   B o o k   R e v i e w : by James Linderman

Living Your Joy A Practical Guide to Happiness 
by Suzanne Falter-Barns
http://www.howmuchjoy.com/ 
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I get to review lots of great music books for The Muse's News but
every so often a book comes along that speaks directly to a
specific core issue related to my art, (which is not actually
journalism but songwriting itself).

For a musician, one such book is Chord Progressions for
Songwriters by Richard Scott. 

As a lyric writer, I have worn out two copies of Writing Better
Lyrics by Pat Pattison, and John Braheny's book The Craft and
Business of Songwriting has literally become my own personal
instruction manual for becoming a better laborer and merchant of
my creativity.

Suzanne Falter-Barns' book, Living Your Joy, is the newest
edition to this list of "art altering" books, not because it has
anything to teach me about the inner workings of my craft but
because it has so much to teach me about the inner workings of
me.

The introduction of the book expresses how important it is to
take ownership of your own time and energy so that you have the
greatest opportunity to live out your creative destiny.  Although
I do this pretty well, I still occasionally get swept away on the
current of someone else's agenda for my life. 

There is some very empowering stuff here about finding the true
purpose of your life and tapping into your passion for that
purpose.

I do have to state that the title, Living Your Joy, did not
exactly sit well with the super hip, brooding and cynical artist
type that I sometimes portray myself as being.  However, deep
down, I live within a personal concept that a life lived without
joy is not worth the art that is produced from it.

As I read through Living Your Joy, I was dividing the concepts in
the book into three basic categories: stuff about time, stuff
about people and stuff about stuff - but it's all really stuff
about you.

I love books with lists (as you may already know if you are a
regular reader) and one of the many lists in the book is Thirty
Guaranteed Time Savers, with some awesome suggestions like,
getting a cordless headset phone for your home, direct depositing
your paycheck and setting up automated bill paying. If this also
keeps you out of that super annoying Friday afternoon lineup at
the bank, you might be already grateful for this little book.

There are tons of great hints on how to set up an efficient and
inspiring work environment and clear away the clutter in your
life, literally and metaphorically. Check out this section for
sure if you are like me and occasionally get called a
scatterbrained pack rat by your closest "so called" friends.

The sections on how to deal with people have advice on saving
time, like telling telemarketers, "I can't talk right now because
I'm fulfilling my sole purpose in life." That should work!

Unlike books that tell you what you should be doing and then
offer no actual assistance in finding out how you would go about
putting it into practice, this book ends many of its chapter with
its own resource section of books you can investigate and
websites you can visit to instantly multiply the effectiveness of
its message. 

Close to the end of the book is another list called "Ten
Important Questions To Ask Yourself When You Feel Like Quitting"
and although I am not a quitter I surely feel like it often
enough… so I ripped that page out of the book (sorry Suzanne) and
stuck it on the bulletin board in my studio. This list of ten
simple questions is simply breathtaking.

As artists we cannot discover the true potential of what we are
creating until we establish a time, space and dedication to help
make our efforts purposeful, productive and inspiring and
literally live what brings us joy.

You can find Living Your Joy, A Practical Guide to Happiness by
Suzanne Falter-Barns at the author's website at
http://www.howmuchjoy.com/ 

                           ******
ABOUT THE REVIEWER:
James Linderman lives and works at theharmonyhouse, a music lesson,
songwriting and music pre-production facility in Newmarket,
Ontario, Canada. He is the Songwriters Association of Canada
regional coordinator for Newmarket 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:  theharmonyhouse@rogers.com

Back to Menu

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S p o n s o r   M e s s a g e : 
(Please support the sponsors that support this newsletter! Thanks!)
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

SPOTLIGHT YOUR MUSIC ON THE MUSE'S MUSE!

The Muse's Muse Songwriting Resource (online since 1995) now has
a section of Artist Spotlights at
http://www.musesmuse.com/artistspotlights.html where musicians
and songwriters of all genres can strut their stuff.  Newly
spotlighted artists are also mentioned in this newsletter (see
above). Check out http://www.musesmuse.com/spotlightinfo.html for
more details!

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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 http://www.musesmuse.com/contests.html &
http://www.musesmuse.com/markets.html . Please check there
regularly for updates!
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INTERNATIONAL ACOUSTIC MUSIC AWARDS KICKS OFF 
IAMA (International Acoustic Music Awards) gives
singer-songwriters, bands and music acts in various genres radio
and web exposure through their competition. Participating
sponsors include Acoustic Cafe and XM Satellite Radio. Win prizes
in 8 different categories: Folk, Americana/Roots/AAA,
Instrumental, Open, Bluegrass/Country, Best Male Artist, Best
Female Artist, Best Group/Duo. There will also be an Overall
Grand Prize winner awarded to the top winner worth $5,000, which
includes radio promotion to over 250 radio stations in US and
Canada! http://www.inacoustic.com/ 
Deadline: November 9, 2004  
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2004 GREAT AMERICAN SONG CONTEST - Deadline: November 5, 2004 
The 6th annual Great American Song Contest features Awards &
Prizes for 45 winners in 9 categories. Judges include
Grammy-nominated songwriters, music publishers and recording
artists. ALL ENTRANTS receive a written evaluation of their
songs. Categories are: Pop, Rock, Acoustic/Folk, Country,
Christian/Gospel, Instrumental, R&B/Hip-Hop and a "Lyrics Only"
category for lyricists. There's also a Special Music category for
Patriotic, Novelty, Christmas & Children's songs. Sponsored by
Songwriters Resource Network, a trusted education resource for
songwriters everywhere. Visit http://www.greatamericansong.com/ for more
details. 
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2004 UNISONG INTERNATIONAL SONG CONTEST OPEN FOR ENTRIES!

Offering cash, prizes and real opportunities to new and
developing songwriters around the world. Selected winners will
appear on a special limited edition CD and one Grand Prize winner
will win a trip to write new songs with established professional
songwriters.

Enter by MP3, CD or Cassette! Entry deadline is November 30, 2004
Visit http://www.unisong.com/ for more details.
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MUSE'S NEWS READERS -- TAKE a FREE SongU.com COURSE!

SongU.com is pleased to make this special offer of a free
SongU.com course available to all Muse's News Readers (a $40
value).  Come see for yourself why ASCAP says that the courses
offered by SongU.com "will undoubtedly help prepare songwriters
for any market no matter their place of residence" and NSAI says
we're the "next important evolution for serious songwriters."
To take your FREE SONGWRITING COURSE, simply go to the following
link:  http://www.songu.com/suSponsor/musesmuse/ .  

You can learn more about SongU.com courses, co-writing hookups,
industry connections and pitching by going to
http://www.songu.com/?sa=3 . 
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TAKE YOUR SONGWRITING CAREER TO THE NEXT LEVEL 
Ellen Silverstein Violette, Grammy-nominated Songwriter & CEO of
Create A Splash! e-marketing & writing strategies 4 success is
offering 15% discounts to Muse's Muse visitors on selected
services including all courses, web reviews, and some coaching
programs. Visit http://tinyurl.com/39yxa for information! 
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DOWNLOAD YOUR FREE COPYRIGHT KIT

Download Indie-Music.com's free and easy Copyright Kit. Print
Copyright forms, Copyright submission process, handy tips &
tricks, choosing the right form, and more.

http://www.indie-music.com/freemuse.php
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SONGWRITING CONSULTATION SPECIAL OFFER: 
Pete & Pat Luboff will pay for the phone call for Muse's Muse
songwriters who use the Luboffs' songwriting consultation
service. The service provides detailed, constructive song
analysis, answers to all your creative and business questions and
references to contacts when appropriate. Visit
http://www.writesongs.com/consults.htm for more information.  
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LEARN ABOUT MUSIC FROM THE SCHOOL THAT KNOWS - ONLINE! 

Berklee College of Music has launched its Berkleemusic.com web
site after nearly two years in development. This ambitious 
offering provides songwriters opportunities to take online music
writing courses and explore new music career directions. Users
can create a personal or band web page containing bios, MP3s,
images, reviews, news, and links that are useful resources to
potential employers, collaborators, and students.

For more information visit: 
http://www.berkleemusic.com/school/?affiliate_promotion_id=338 
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INTRODUCING A SPECIAL WEBSITE PROMOTION PACKAGE ESPECIALLY FOR
MUSICIANS/SONGWRITERS
It's important for your website to be found once it's created. We
all know this. But who can afford the promotion a website needs
to truly make its mark on the web? Now YOU can. This package is
offered exclusively to Muse's Muse visitors only. Do you have a
website that no one knows about? Do you want it to stand out from
the crowd? Now you can get it promoted for a fraction of the
price most search engine optimization packages would cost you. 
Visit http://www.internet-marketing-mm.com/musicianpackage.html
for more details.  

Back to Menu
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M u s e ' s    C l u e s :  by Irene Jackson

©1998-2004 Moonstone Productions All Rights Reserved. Used By
Permission

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Melody, melody, melody...your songs can't live without 'em.  Just
about every songwriter  at one time or another has come up
against a wall trying to create interesting and memorable
melodies.  It often feels like there's a kind of mystery to
them...where do they come from and how do we find them? 

Well, Paul Radelat has taken on the task of trying to explain the
mystery of melodies on his website 123WriteMelody.com
(http://www.123writemelody.com/). Without drowning the reader TOO
much in the theory of it all, Paul breaks it all down into small,
digestible, self-paced courses...and for free too!  You can't
beat that.

Using flash animations, Paul takes you carefully through the
process of scales, chords and where melodies fit into the mix.
You can even hear examples of how familiar songs use similar
scales in everything from pop to classical music.  And, as he
notes, reading music is not necessary on this site.  The flash
examples show a small keyboard, highlighting the notes and chords
as they are played...simple and effective.  You'll need Flash 5
or 6 in order to view the examples. 

There are 16 lessons in all, ending with one titled "Writing
Songs Using This System".  You might consider a lot of what Paul
discusses as the math behind melodies, which is technically what
music is, but it may also get you thinking about how you can pump
up your own melodic masterpieces. 123WriteMelody.com is certainly
worth a look, a listen and a little of your time.

                         ******
						 
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: http://www.irenejackson.com/tips.html
Homepage:         http://www.irenejackson.com/
Songs on MP3:
http://www.mp3.com/artists/20/irene_jackson.html
Back to Menu
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F e a t u r e d   A r t i c l e : 

AVOIDNG THE SCAMS
By Jason Blume © 2004 - All Rights Reserved

-----
Jason has very generously allowed The Muse's News to be the first
to print his new article.  I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!
-----------------------------------------------------------------
It seems that lately, the most common question I'm asked is: "Is
such-and-such company legitimate - or are they a scam?"   I'd
love to name names, however, to protect myself from being sued, I
never answer that any given company is a scam.  But there are
clear signs you can look for and very specific questions you can
ask that will allow you to draw your own conclusion.

What credits does this company have?  I don't care who you're
next door to, or down the hall from (which believe it or not,
several companies boast about on their websites).  You may be
down the hall from Capitol Records - but so is the dumpster.

If a company has had one of the songs they demoed and/or pitched
recorded by a known artist, believe me, this would be all over
their website in giant letters.  Many of the companies I'd call
shady earn their living by producing semi-adequate, overpriced
demos for amateur writers.  

Don't get me wrong -- producing demos of our songs is a necessary
expense and a legitimate part of pursuing a career as a
songwriter.  There are many terrific, reasonably priced services
that will do a good job for you.  (Some of the ones I have had
personal experience with are listed on my website.)  The
difference between these legitimate services and those that take
advantage of aspiring writers and artists is that those that fall
into the latter category imply that they will publish and pitch
your songs; that the only thing standing between you and
superstardom is the demo - that they will gladly produce for a
fee.  These companies have ZERO expectation of any of these songs
ever achieving success.  They earn their living by selling dreams
(and demos, and "artist development" packages).  

Do they present themselves as offering a co-writing service?
("We'll have professional writers set your lyrics and song poems
to music") If so, this should send up a bright red flag.  Why?
Because there has NEVER been even one instance of a song becoming
successful as a result of being written in this way.  Why?
Because a hit melody is CRUCIAL - it's not an afterthought.  If
this company's writers were capable of writing a HIT melody they
wouldn't be cranking out generic melodies to amateur lyrics all
day and being paid $25 a song - with no part of any future
royalties.  Think about it - if a writer believed he or she had
written a smash hit melody would they really give up rights to
any future income?  

It's perfectly fine to have a service set your lyric to music -
IF your sole intention is to share it with friends and family and
to enjoy it for yourself.  But if you think the resulting song
will edge out the competition and actually get recorded by a
successful artist . . . the facts show that you'll have a much
better chance of success if you buy a lottery ticket.  And I'd be
very leery of any company that implies otherwise.  Show me the
names of the lyrics that your "professional" writers set to music
that went on to earn money for the writers.

It's only natural to look for easy solutions.  But the reality is
that if you write only lyrics, your job (besides making those
lyrics exceptional) is to network through songwriting
organizations, online, and by attending events (for example, song
camps, classes, or Taxi's Road Rally) where you will meet
potential collaborators who want to write music to your lyrics
because they believe it is a hit waiting to happen - not because
they need to pay the rent.

Do they offer to include your song on a compilation album (for a
fee)?

What could be more flattering - or more exciting?  "Your song has
been chosen . . ." These sharks offer an impressive, official
contract promising to send the album to hundreds of record labels
and radio stations - and to pay you the current royalty rates.  

They will do everything they promise; they will record your demo.
(Someone I know who worked on these sessions told me that the
songs were recorded in one take, leaving in any mistakes and
recording problems - after all, they have thirty or even forty
songs to get through in one day as cheaply as possible.)  They'll
send the indescribably poor-quality albums to radio stations and
record labels (who will laugh at them and throw them in the trash
where they belong;) and they will pay the promised royalty rate
for every album sold.  That all sounds good, but the problem is
that the only albums that will ever be sold are those purchased
by the amateur writers whose songs are on the albums.  Although
they will make it seem as though it is a great honor that your
song has been selected for inclusion on these albums, the truth
is that the only thing you need to be able to write is a check.

Just today, I received an e-mail from a former student saying
that he received his royalty statement from being included on one
of these compilation albums.  Is he going to buy the Mercedes?
Not yet.  His song had earned ¾ of one cent.  He apologized for
not following my advice to steer clear.  But I understand how
frustrating this business can be - and it's hard to turn away
from what seems like a validation of our hard work - and a
promise - or at least a chance, to break through.

You'll be safe if you remember that legitimate companies NEVER
solicit songs from unpublished writers to include on compilation
albums.  Nor do they EVER charge even one cent for including a
song on an album.  By the way, they got your name when you
registered your song with the copyright office.  They have staff
whose full-time job is to get those names (which are part of the
public record) so they can get a fresh supply of unsuspecting
writers to prey upon.  

Ask for references from other writers who are satisfied
customers.  Ask to see sales records that show how many albums
previous compilations sold.  Ask how much money their previous
albums earned for the writers.  And ask to listen to a copy of
their previous albums.  You'll be amazed how quickly your song is
no longer being considered.  

Conclusion:  It's true that you do need a professional demo to
showcase your songs and there are plenty of companies that will
fuel your dreams with implied promises of becoming rich and
famous - if you pay them to produce your demo.  And if you are an
aspiring recording artist, they will also put together your press
kit, bio, photos, and anything else they can get you to pay for.
But this is a very tough business - and the cold hard reality is
that legitimate companies are not out actively soliciting
unpublished writers.  Does this mean that you should give up?
NO.  Every successful writer started out somewhere - and students
who have attended my workshops, studied my materials, and used my
critique service have signed staff writing deals, publishing
agreements, won the grand prize in major competitions, and had
their FIRST songs recorded by superstar artists including Reba
McEntire, Martina McBride, Kenny Chesney, and Randy Travis - all
in the past year.  So it's not impossible.

Keep your eyes wide open - and your ego (and your cash) tucked
away into your back pocket --  before you spend money on demos.
If you have never published with a legitimate publisher and have
never had a hit, BEFORE spending your hard-earned money on
expensive demos have your songs PROFESSIONALLY critiqued by a
teacher with credentials.  The fee for this should not be more
than $25 - $35 per song - far less than throwing your money away
on a demo of a song that is not ready to be demoed.  For example,
the critique service I run offers an in-depth analysis of the
concept, lyric, structure, melody, and commercial viability with
specific suggestions.  This is NOT a checklist approach, but a
Grammy-winning songwriter/producer who is a caring teacher,
pointing out your strengths and making suggestions to have your
songs be the very best they can possibly be - BEFORE  spending
money on demos.  

I didn't mean this to become a sales pitch for my critique
service.  Use ANY professional, credentialed critiquing service.
You can also receive critiques from NSAI (Nashville Songwriters
Association), Taxi, and from peers at songwriter organizations.

But DON'T get swept away by the promise of fame and fortune from
companies that make their living by preying on the dreams of
amateurs.  When your songs are deemed "ready," have a demo made
by a legitimate, successful, reasonably priced demo service.  (As
mentioned earlier, my website includes a list of companies that
my students have had great success with.  I have no affiliation
with these companies and list them only because my students have
played me excellent demos that these companies produced for
reasonable prices.  In some instances I've worked with these
services to produce my own demos.  But by no means are these the
only good demo services.)

The ultimate protection is to remember that there are no quick,
easy solutions to becoming successful in this highly competitive
field where "good" songs are a dime a dozen - and only the very
BEST songs ever stand a chance of rising to the top of the
charts.  That's a bitter pill - but remember that it's NOT
impossible IF you:

·	Write melodies and lyrics that are so fresh that they COMPEL
your listeners to choose yours over the competition;

·	Rewrite, rewrite, and rewrite (as detailed in my book INSIDE
SONGWRITING, my entire career is based on rewriting and
re-demoing the same song SEVEN times!);

·	Write from your heart.  If you're attempting to chase the
radio - you'll always be behind;

·	Then, take care of business - and enjoy the ride!

*****

Jason Blume teaches the BMI Nashville Songwriters Workshops
(which are free - and available to all writers, regardless of
affiliation).  He is the author of Billboard's best-selling 6
STEPS TO SONGWRITING SUCCESS (New and Expanded 2nd Edition) and
INSIDE SONGWRITING.  One of only a few writers to ever have
singles on Billboard's Pop, Country, and R&B charts at the same
time, his songs are on albums that have sold more than 45 million
copies.  His instructional CDs and books, as well as a list of
his upcoming seminars are available at his website:
http://www.jasonblume.com/.

Back to Menu

=================================================================

    " O N   S I T E "   F E A T U R E D   A R T I C L E :

-----------------------------------------------------------------
There are several new articles on The Muse's Muse this month, so
I thought I'd take a moment to mention each of them:
-----
Meditation, Self-Acceptance and the Muse 
By Linda Dessau 
http://musesmuse.com/columnistsgreylogs/archives/00000757.html

How do we get from the point of damaging low self-esteem, where
we're beating ourselves up for our "bad ideas", or where we've
completely given up trying, to the point of genuine humility,
meditation, self-acceptance and creative bounty? This article
explores these ideas and offers tool and suggestions for
practice. 
-----
Love, Sex and Marriage in Pop Music 
By Jerry Flattum 
http://musesmuse.com/columnistsgreylogs/archives/00000750.html

Britney got married...for real this time. So, is she out of the
game? And what does Britney's marriage have to do with song
lyrics? 
-----
The Power of Principles: Part 4 / Jacobson's Integrity Principle 
By Mary Dawson 
http://musesmuse.com/columnistsgreylogs/archives/00000749.html

There are so many things in the Music Business that are out of
our control as songwriters and musicians. We may not have the
right industry "connections." We may not be able to re-locate to
a major music capitol. We may not be the "right age" or have a
knockout appearance. But we do have control over the reputation
that we create every day by the way we live our lives and do our
music. To learn more of the important "integrity principle"
passed on through attorney, Jeffrey Jacobson, please read on.... 
-----
Tenacity 
By Jon Nicol 
http://musesmuse.com/columnistsgreylogs/archives/00000747.html

Learning from my old band... 
-----
When Confrontation Arises 
By Mike Roberts
http://musesmuse.com/columnistsgreylogs/archives/00000761.html

Good communication isn't about the absence of confrontation, but
the healthy resolution thereof. Usually it's a matter of finding
and cutting through to the main point as quickly as possible and
then casting the most honest and sincere light you can find onto
the situation. 
================================================================= 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 : ----------------------------------------------------------------- HEY SONGWRITERS: LYRICST V3 INTRODUCTORY PRICING IS ENDS NOV 15TH! We can't keep the price down on this product much longer so now is the time to act. Along with it's built in rhyming dictionary, On-Line Copyright, album categorization, and chord charting features, Lyricist 3 now enables song key transposition and the ability to transpose chord charts from guitar to piano. Add on support for the Nashville Number System and you have the most powerful songwriter wordprocessor in it's class. Introductory prices will be ending soon, so act now! Check out the review at http://www.musesmuse.com/vss-review.html . Muse's Muse visitors can take home the product for $5.00 off the V3 introductory sale price of $39.95 (after Nov 15th $49.95) just for purchasing through the purchase button provided off of the review. For more information, visit the review url above or call Virtual Studio Systems at 888.732.1176 inside the U.S.A. and Canada or 603.726.4499 everywhere else. ----------------------------------------------------------------- ONLINE DRUM RECORDING STUDIO - PROFESSIONAL DRUM TRACKS
http://www.drumsforyou.com/ is an online drum recording studio, offer custom drum tracks for producers and song writers. Using a convenient and powerful Voice over IP (VoIP) communications software you will be able to sit in front of your computer, hear the drummer recording your drum tracks in real time and talk to him. They offer an mp3 preview of the recorded drums before payment is required so you can actually try them for free! ----------------------------------------------------------------- REAL ANSWERS TO REAL QUESTIONS, An eBook About Copyright & Publishing If you want to know how to protect yourself as a songwriter in this digital age, you need this book - EXCLUSIVELY offered through The Muse's Muse. And it's now HALF PRICE! Visit http://www.musesmuse.com/realarealq.html to learn more! ----------------------------------------------------------------- BOOK YOUR LIFE @ INDIE-MUSIC.COM Indie-Music.com is the smart DIY way to advance your music business career. We empower you with thousands of contacts - labels, radio, media, TV & Film, local music stores - including over 7000 complete venue listings all across America. Our listings will save you hours of time in Internet searches alone! In addition, you get free promotion on our Industry-Leading website, monthly tips on where & how to submit your music, and super-handy organizational tools available from any computer. For musicians and industry professionals. http://www.indie-music.com/join2.php ----------------------------------------------------------------- MUSIC BUSINESS SOFTWARE FROM PATTEN SOUND Record Company in a Box is a complete independent record company management software. Tour Manager allows the tracking of all concert and tour specifics. Music Business Contracts contains 100 of the most necessary music industry contracts available. Studio Business Forms is a collection of 43 recording studio business forms. For more details, point your browser to: http://www.musicbusinessstore.com/ ----------------------------------------------------------------- DOES THIS SOUND FAMILIAR TO YOU? You wanted to become a musician/songwriter and earn a living from music because it's CREATIVE and EXCITING. Yet here you are struggling with your CD burner, hunting through A&R directories, searching for stamps, etc ... Wouldn't life be easier if you could spend your precious creative time writing music rather than envelopes ?! Let The Music Broker Network take care of pitching & promoting your songs to Labels, Publishers, Film & TV: via both post & email. We leave you to what you do best: be creative. 10% DISCOUNT to Muse's Muse members: simply enter a discount code of MUSE when you checkout: http://tinyurl.com/3ctsn ----------------------------------------------------------------- REACH NEW FANS ON MEDIAFEAST Looking to reach new fans? MediaFeast is an online independent music retailer dedicated to helping independent artists bring new music to fans and helping listeners find great new music. Create a free account and then have the opportunity to add albums for sale on MediaFeast.com. In addition to prepackaged albums such as those sold at traditional retailers, MediaFeast offers the sale of one-off albums that are produced to order using a master artist disc and associated artwork. Artists set the selling prices for all of their albums and receive all profits above the base cost. Sign up through this ad and receive four free Pure Profit sales, where you will keep 100% of the selling price! Visit http://tinyurl.com/2me2f for details. ----------------------------------------------------------------- THE 5th EDITION OF THE INDIE BIBLE IS NOW AVAILABLE! The Indie Bible shows you where to get your music reviewed, your songs played, and your CDs sold. Now in its fifth edition, The Indie Bible has 330 pages of valuable contacts and music-related articles. The 5th Edition of the Indie Bible contains: 4000 publications from around the world that will REVIEW your CD! 3200 radio stations from around the world will PLAY your songs! 675 vendors and services that will help you to SELL your music! 500 helpful resources and sites where you can PROMOTE your band! 200 sites where you can UPLOAD your band's MP3 files! 50 articles that will help your career to MOVE forward rapidly! For details and to order online visit: http://www.bigmeteor.com/muse/ ================================================================= ADVERTISING RATES: For Classifieds: US$50 Max. 8 lines, where a line = 65 characters including spaces and punctuation. All contracts must be prepaid. Write to: editor@musesmuse.com For Newsletter Sponsorship rates and other advertising opportunities, please see http://www.musesmuse.com/media.html . 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 editor@musesmuse.com. All articles copyrighted by their authors. Back issues and other information will be available at: http://www.musesmuse.com/musenews.html The Muse's News is part of The Muse's Muse, a web resource for songwriters: http://www.musesmuse.com/ For further information, send your e-mail to: ----------------------------------------------------------------- adinfo@musesmuse.com - How to place a classified ad, pass on market information or sponsor The Muse's News. info@musesmuse.com - How to subscribe, unsubscribe, etc. editor@musesmuse.com - To submit articles,reviews,ideas,etc. SNAILMAIL: Please contact me first at editor@musesmuse.com ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Back issues of the newsletter can be read at the National
Library of Canada ecollection: http://collection.nlc-bnc.ca/100/201/300/muses_news/index.html ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Back to Menu

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