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The Muse's News

Issue 8.5 - August 2005
ISSN 1480-6975

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This issue sponsored by:
International Songwriting Competition - Enter today!


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

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@-- Editor's Musings
@-- Music Reviews - by Gian Fiero & Steve Allat
@-- 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 - Preparing To Record Your Music: Decisions,
                       Decisions, Decisions!-by Larry L. Sentelle
@-- On Site Featured Article - An article already online for your
    viewing pleasure.
@-- Classifieds & Useful Services
@-- Contact information
=================================================================
ISSN 1480-6975. Copyright 1998/99/00/01/02/03 - Jodi Krangle. 
For more contact information, see end of issue.
=================================================================
MUSE'S MUSE T-SHIRTS, MUGS, MOUSEPADS AND MORE

You can pick up some attractive and useful Muse's Muse items like
mugs, mousepads, t-shirts in various colors and more by visiting
http://www.cafepress.com/musesmuse .  Get yourself some classy
merchandise to remind yourself of your commitment to better
songwriting and support The Muse's Muse all at the same time.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
S p o n s o r   M e s s a g e :
 
(Many thanks to the sponsors that help support this newsletter!)
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

ENTER THE 2005 INTERNATIONAL SONGWRITING COMPETITION
- $100,000 in cash and prizes Gain exposure and have your music
heard by the music industry's top professionals.

Judges include: Monte Lipman (President, Universal Recs); Loretta
Lynn; Tom Waits; Amy Ray (Indigo Girls); Peter Hook (New Order);
LeAnn Rimes; MercyMe; Keith Wozencroft (President/A&R, EMI Records);
Michael McDonald (President, ATO Recs); Thomas Brooman
(Co-Founder/Artistic Director, WOMAD); Chris Parr (VP Music
Programming & Talent Relations, CMT); Cameron Strang
(President, New West Recs); Alexandra Patsavas (Music Supervisor,
The OC/Carnivale/Grey's Anatomy); Barbara Sedun (VP Creative, EMI
Music Publishing Canada); Emily Wittmann (Vice-President, Nick
Records, Nickelodeon /BMG); and more.

Entry Deadline Oct 14, 2005
http://www.songwritingcompetition.com/

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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

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Hello again for another month. :)  

Radio Muse is ready!  You can now hear the new show and read up
on all the very talented songwriters that are showcased in it by
visiting http://www.musesmuse.com/radiomuse-11.html .  I hope
you'll drop by and have a listen.  James and I definitely had a
lot of fun putting it together - and we're always looking for
more music to feature.  To read the guidelines for submission,
have a look at http://www.musesmuse.com/radiomuse.html .  All the
details are there.

I'm definitely getting some really fantastic music and I'd love
to showcase it. If you have a look at the previous shows, you'll
see that each artist with a song included in the show, gets a 100
word bio, a picture of their CD and a link to their website - so
it's not just song being played in the radio show.  It's actually
a promotional tool and a link from this site.  I wanted it to be
truly helpful - and I humbly think that it will be. :)

Once again, if you're sending in a package, *please* keep it
small, ok?  I don't mind folded papers.  And I don't need your
life story and every review you've ever gotten. ;)  I need what
I've asked for at the url above and that's it.  Thanks for your
consideration!  I look forward to hearing your music.

I also want to let you know about a new project put together by
the members of the Muse's Muse Message Board
(http://www.musesmuse.com/forums/index.php) called "Planet Muse:
Uncharted Talents".  This is a CD with 17 fantastic songs written
by the songwriters over on the message boards, mastered, designed
and printed solely by them.  I'm HUGELY proud of everyone that
contributed.  They've created a really wonderful piece of work
and I can honestly say I enjoy listening to every single one of
the songs included in the project.  There are lots of VERY
talented folks over there!  If you'd like to have a listen to
some 2 minute clips and possibly pick up a copy of the album for
yourself, have a look at the CDBaby page for the project here:
http://www.cdbaby.com/planetmuse .  There's also some detailed
information on each of the writers here:
http://www.musesmuse.com/planetmuse.html . 

There's certainly a possibility for a second CD at some point, so
why not drop by the message boards and check out what's happening
over there?  Get involved with your worldwide, songwriting
community.  I guarantee you'll find it a rewarding experience. :)

Here are the raffle winners for this month:

* Lynn Julian from Augusta, ME 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)

* Marty Davis from Vienna, WV has won a copy of 
"100 Miles To A Record Deal" by Bronson Herrmuth
(http://www.songrepair.com/bookforweb2.htm) 

* Anita VanSickle from Lenexa, KS has won a copy of
"Vocal Technique - Developing Your Voice for Performance /
Berklee Workshop DVD" featuring Anne Peckham (reviewed below!).

* Becky Wright from Tahlequah, OK has won a copy of the
"Musician's Toolkit" (for details, see
http://www.musicianstoolkit.com/muse/) 

I hope you're all enjoying summer and not broiling too much. :)
Have a great month and keep writing!

All the best,

--Jodi

Back to Menu
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S p o n s o r   M e s s a g e : 

(Purchasing this great product will help support both the
newsletter and the sponsor who helps keep this newsletter free!
Plus, you also get a great discount! :-) 
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

STUDY SONGWRITING WITH BERKLEE COLLEGE OF MUSIC FROM ANYWHERE IN
THE WORLD

The best way to learn about writing is to write - and what better
way to write than under the mentorship of a Berklee College of
Music songwriting instructor. Berkleemusic.com, the online
extension school of Berklee College of Music, offers a number of
instructor-led, online songwriting courses and certificate
programs that provide the tools, the support, and the practice
environment you'll need to express yourself more effectively in
words and music.

In addition to online courses and certificate programs designed
for songwriters, enrollment is also now open for our September 15
fall semester in many other disciplines including Guitar, Music
Production, Performance, Music Business, Arranging, and Music
Education.

For more information visit: 
http://www.berkleemusic.com/?pid=1002

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M u s i c   R e v i e w s :  

by Gian Fiero, Brian Rutherford & Brett Thompson 

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NEW MUSIC REVIEWS SINCE LAST MONTH INCLUDE:

Gian Fiero:

* Jennifer Greer
http://musesmuse.com/columnistsgreylogs/archives/00000944.html
* Eliot Popkin
http://musesmuse.com/columnistsgreylogs/archives/00000945.html
* Shaan Sharma
http://musesmuse.com/columnistsgreylogs/archives/00000946.html
* Hilsyde
http://musesmuse.com/columnistsgreylogs/archives/00000947.html
* Mista Johnson
http://musesmuse.com/columnistsgreylogs/archives/00000948.html
* Aria
http://musesmuse.com/columnistsgreylogs/archives/00000949.html
* Rebekah Jordan
http://musesmuse.com/columnistsgreylogs/archives/00000950.html
* Anders Holst
http://musesmuse.com/columnistsgreylogs/archives/00000951.html
* Sumitra
http://musesmuse.com/columnistsgreylogs/archives/00000952.html
* Sara Bareilles
http://musesmuse.com/columnistsgreylogs/archives/00000953.html


Reviews by Steve Allat:

* Cafebar 401
http://musesmuse.com/columnistsgreylogs/archives/00000936.html
* Patrice Moerman
http://musesmuse.com/columnistsgreylogs/archives/00000937.html
* Seven 13
http://musesmuse.com/columnistsgreylogs/archives/00000938.html
* The Pozers
http://musesmuse.com/columnistsgreylogs/archives/00000939.html
* Jon Fritz
http://musesmuse.com/columnistsgreylogs/archives/00000940.html
* Million Dollar Mouth
http://musesmuse.com/columnistsgreylogs/archives/00000941.html
* Yael Meyer
http://musesmuse.com/columnistsgreylogs/archives/00000942.html

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                         ******

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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Joe Campbell - Genre: ROCK

Joe Campbell, singer/songwriter from the Mid-Atlantic region of
the United States, finally releases his highly awaited adult
alternative rock debut album. His self-titled CD contains fifteen
songs about Sex, Love and the human condition and is so highly
addictive, you won't be able to turn him off.

http://joecampbell.net/

--------

J-Henry - Genre: ROCK

J-Henry grew up in a working class family of 5 boys in Central
New Jersey. He & his 8-piece band are sponsored by NASCAR and
will be touring this fall to support the release of "Another Long
Day" on the independent label, RockView Records (distributed by
Fontana/Universal).

http://www.j-henry.com/

--------

Scott Turchin - Genre: REGGAE

Southern Boy with Rasta attitude SCOTT TURCHIN sounds like John
Hiatt meets Ziggy Marley, and his newly released album RIVER CAN
CRY features real instruments and a great live sound! With
soulful voice and irie intent, half American roots rock and half
positive Reggae, Scott's music has won national recognition and
fans worldwide.

http://www.songmon.com/

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Planet Muse - Genre: SINGER/SONGWRITER

A unique project put together by the close-knit community of the
Muse's Muse Message Boards. There are 17 tracks, each from very
talented songwriters, each with their own unique style. The
project was brought together with lots of teamwork, and digitally
mastered to produce a work of art that truly demonstrates the
creative spirit of our community. These are some great tunes in a
variety of different genres including rock, pop, folk and
country.

http://www.cdbaby.com/planetmuse
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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

Vocal Technique - Developing Your Voice for Performance / 
Berklee Workshop DVD featuring Anne Peckham
www.berkleemusic.com/store/product?product_id=1442638&pid=298
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I have mentioned that I am not a singer so often in my journalism
that my lack of ability as a vocalist has almost become legend. I
had an artist I was interviewing once remark that she wished her
ability to sing would one day be as well documented as my
inability has been.

When it came to reviewing this DVD on vocal technique, I decided
to assess it as a student of the voice with much to learn and
lots and lots of room for improvement.

The DVD is a vocal technique overview taught by Anne Peckham who
is a professor of voice at Berklee College of Music in Boston and
is a specialist in musical theater, a style and discipline of
singing where good vocal technique is an essential element to
vocal survival.

The DVD begins with Anne guiding a student through the 4
essential parts of a vocal practice session; warming up, working
on vocal techniques, song study and the cool down. I took my
place in the centre of our living room and prepared myself for
the vocal workout ahead. 

Anne starts the DVD with the physical and vocal warm ups that
prepare the body for singing. They include some specific physical
stretches of the muscles that surround the vocal chords, some
full body stretches, and some upper body rotation exercises. 

The result of this was a real feeling of relaxation and better
oxygen flow. I could actually feel that it was easier to take
deep breaths. Oxygen is of course the fuel that drives your voice
and the more control and access you have to it, the more likely
it is that you will be able to sing with control and dynamics.

The vocal technique section starts with some lip trills and vocal
sliding which I have seen singers do in the studio. As I followed
Anne's instructions for each exercise I felt my jaw start to
relax and my shoulders begin to drop - not usual for me whenever
I have been singing in the past. I started to get a much more
open and less nasal sound to my vowels. Cool!

Anne also covers proper body positioning for singing that
combines good posture with what is naturally comfortable for you.
The DVD really shows how to establish and work on your personal
liabilities as a singer based on level of need, whether that
involves air flow, pitch, tone, vowel pronunciation or posture.

In the section on song practice, Anne works with a student on
pitch control on a particular descending phrase in the song, "The
Water is Wide". You can hear the improvement in the singer's
performance as Anne walks her through the section. 

Anne's skill as a vocal coach and expertise in the discipline of
vocal technique is obvious throughout this lesson and she teaches
with a confidence and sincerity that is really engaging.

I would recommend this DVD to anyone who is interested in
improving their vocal ability, whether they are a legendary
unskilled vocalist like myself or a great singer with an interest
in taking that skill to another level. 

You can find a copy of Vocal Technique - Developing Your Voice
for Performance DVD featuring Anne Peckham at
www.berkleemusic.com/store/product?product_id=1442638&pid=298. 

                           ******
ABOUT THE REVIEWER:
James Linderman lives and works at theharmonyhouse, a music
lesson, songwriting and recording pre-production facility in
Newmarket, Ontario.  James writes songwriting articles and music
book reviews for The Muse's News, Canadian Musician Magazine,
Songwriters Magazine, and Professional Musician Magazine. His
writing is also featured in the James Linderman Wing of the
library at www.songu.com.  James has a Canadian University and
American College education in music theory and composition and is
also pretty good at making up songs and playing the guitar. 

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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THE BOSAs SONGWRITING AWARDS:
The BOSAs Songwriting Awards is a twice yearly global competition
where the best songs and artists are showcased to Music
Publishers and other Industry Professionals for review in
addition to category prizes.

Site URL: http://www.thebosas.com/
Current Deadline to Enter: October and April of each year
Contact: info@thebosas.com 
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THE NORTH CAROLINA SONGWRITER'S CO-OP SONG CONTEST IS NOW IN ITS
EIGHTH YEAR.

Enter two songs for your chance to win a share of over $3500 in
prizes. Everyone who enters wins something. All genres are
welcome. Finalists must be able to perform at our finals event
November 12 in Carrboro, NC. You do not have to be a NC resident
to enter.
Our sponsors: Singer&Musician, OasisCD, Indie-Music.com,
www.SongU.com, The Music Loft, GigLight, Indie Bible,
Songwriter's Hook Book, SingOut!, Dirty Linen and GHS Strings.
Deadline September 30, 2005. www.ncsongwriters.org/contest.
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PACIFIC SONGWRITING COMPETITION

Pacific Songwriting competition is an annual competition now in
its second year offering $40 000 in cash prizes. All genres, all
nations and all songwriters are eligible. Pacific Songwriting
Competition seeks to support and encourage songwriters with cash
prizes of $40 000, Live chat, Podcast Shows and streaming of
feature artists on site . Songwriter Spotlight interviews
exceptional songwriters and looks at the entire body of their
work. Competition is privately sponsored by New Zealand opera
singer Deborah Wai Kapohe. Pacific Songwriting Competition
received under 1000 entries in 2005.
Deadline: March 31, 2006 -
http://www.pacificsongwritingcompetition.com/  
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CHRISTIAN SONGWRITING COMPETITION

Christian Songwriting Competition is an annual competition with
$25,000 in cash prizes. All genres, all nations and all
songwriters are eligible. Christian Songwriting Competition
supports Songwriters with cash prizes (no product or advertising
on website,) Live Chat, Podcasting Show and The Stage Area.
Songwriter Spotlight interviews exceptional songwriters and looks
at the entire body of their work. Enter by post or upload to
site. Competition is privately sponsored by New Zealand opera
singer Deborah Wai Kapohe.
Deadline: September 20, 2006 -
http://www.christiansongwritingcompetition.com/ 
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2005 3RD ANNUAL SONGPRIZE.COM INTERNATIONAL SONGWRITING
COMPETITION

If you're looking for a springboard to get your music exposed on
a global scale, you've found it. Compete for your chance to win
your share of over $100,000.00 in promotional prizes, gain global
exposure and the opportunity to have your songs/act presented to
Major & Independent Record Labels such as Sony, Virgin, MCA,
Arista, RCA, Universal, Capitol Records and more. Labels such as
these not only maintain high-profile acts but also are constantly
on the lookout for top quality artists and songs to add to their
roster. Enter your songs today for the opportunity to expose your
music to the industry and to the world. Entry Deadlines are
posted at the website. Please visit http://www.songprize.com/ and
remember "Put Your Best Songs Forward".
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2005 JOHN LENNONG SONGWRITING CONTEST GOES YEAR-ROUND in 9TH
YEAR, OFFERING $240,000 IN PRIZES

John Legend, Fergie of Black Eyed Peas and Bacon Brothers judge
session I of the 2005 John Lennon Songwriting Contest. For the
first time in its nine year history, the John Lennon Songwriting
Contest is accepting entries year round. The contest, which will
continue to honor songs in twelve musical categories, will have
two sessions, the first from April 15 to August 15, 2005, and the
second from September 1 through December 15, 2005. Because of the
expansion of the internationally acclaimed competition, the prize
package is the biggest ever, totaling over $240,000 in cash and
prizes. For more information please go to http://www.jlsc.com/ .
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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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THE QUICKLAUNCH SONG CONTEST SPONSORED BY FLIGHTSAFE MUSIC

Submit one or more of your original songs in any genre to the
FlightSafe Music QuickLaunch song contest for a chance to win up
to $1000, a featured position on flightsafemusic.com, and an
inside track to the film and television music business. All song
styles accepted, i.e. Rock, Modern Rock, Pop, Hip-Hop,
Electronic, Alternative, Country, Reggae, Latin, Jazz, R&B,
Island Music, etc.
 $1000 Cash Prize, 1st Place
 $250 Cash Prize, Runner Up
 Entry Deadline September 15, 2005.
Winners will be announced October 15, 2005 on the FlightSafe
website.
Winners will also be personally notified. For more info and entry
forms please go to http://www.flightsafemusic.com/contest 
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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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2005 FLAT ROCK MUSIC FESTIVAL SONGWRITER'S CONTEST AND SHOWCASE

Each year, the Flat Rock Music Festival Governing Board selects
10 songwriter finalists to showcase at the Festival where they
are judged by a panel of industry pros, and awarded prizes,
critical acclaim and a chance to compete on the Festival Main
Stage on September 24th, 2005! Last year's Flat Rock Songwriter's
Showcase included 10 outstanding finalists selected from
songwriters from across the US. And last year's winner, Michael
Flynn, was just signed to a record deal with J Records (Alicia
Keys, Fantasia, Rod Stewart - www.jrecords.com ). All entries
must be postmarked by August 29th, 2005 to be considered. No
exceptions. The Flat Rock Music Festival is held each year in
Flat Rock, NC at Camp Tonawanda in the beautiful North Carolina
Mountains. It is one of the premier music festivals on the east
coast.
Visit http://www.flatrockmusicfestival.com/ for more details.
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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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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! 
-----------------------------------------------------------------
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 - and now
includes an Artist Spotlight listing! 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

1998-2005 Moonstone Productions All Rights Reserved. Used By
Permission

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Buried deep in a Google search for "songwriting", I found some
light reading for your songwriting summer :-)  The main website
is called Anecdotage.com, and the section I first came to was
anecdotes about songwriting
(http://www.anecdotage.com/browse.php?term=Songwriting).  I loved
Joni Mitchell's story about her cat, Nietzsche, and how a
disagreement between them inspired a long departure, and
ultimately, a song.  Most of the anecdotes are relatively short
and funny...  Some are a little odd, but the best anecdotes
usually are!  Why did John Mayer write his first album in a
bathroom?  Were the Beatles actually guilty of plagiarism?  Why
did Cole Porter have a fear of commercial success?  You'll have
to surf over there to find out :-)

Beyond the subject of songwriting, why not use Anecdotage to
inspire your own songwriting?  Most of the stories and anecdotes
are from famous people, but just about any subject can be
searched.  For instance, a simple search for the word "love"
brought 2,305 results!  If you are focusing on a particular
subject, you just might find some extra inspiration by reading
some of these stories.

In fact, any reading at all, whether it's books, stories,
anecdotes, poetry, newspapers or magazines, can help to inspire
you and Anecdotage is a good way to begin.  Hope you are all
having a great summer! 

                         ******
						 
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 a songwriter's messageboard.

Songwriting Tips: http://www.irenejackson.com/tips.html
Homepage:         http://www.irenejackson.com/
Songs:            http://www.soundclick.com/irenejackson
Back to Menu
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F e a t u r e d   A r t i c l e : 

Preparing To Record Your Music: Decisions, Decisions, Decisions!
-  2005 by Larry L. Sentelle
All Rights Reserved.  Used By Permission

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Today's song writers have options available to them in regard to
recording. Many have opted for the 'record at home' scenario.
Still others prefer the more traditional approach of going into a
professional studio to capture their music.

While each approach is a valid one, there are arguments which
favor one over the other.

In fact, many valid arguments exist for both approaches. The
major one for doing it yourself is cost related. Recording at
home does, however, throw major obstacles in your path. A major
one is acoustics. The art of recording is not rocket science.  It
is an art based upon capturing the sound of instruments and
voices so that they may be manipulated later during the mix down
stage.

While it is true that one can use modeled guitar sounds and
samples to get around the acoustic issue, the problem then arises
that the source sound was not captured within an acoustic space.
Each sound within a mix needs its own special place if the mix is
to truly shine.

Reverb is often used for this. Placing the same reverb across the
whole board though is a poor usage of this effect.

Ask yourself the honest question:
What do I intend for this recording to do for me?
If your answer is to attract professional industry types to you
and your music, then my advice would be to go and find a
reputable studio. The reason for this is a simple one.

The gear they have will more than likely sound much better than
that which you can afford.

Another reason to go this route is that the engineer will have
much more knowledge of the recording process than someone who has
only recently begun to learn the arts of recording.  His/her
resources are stronger. How serious are you about attaining your
goals?

Learning as much as you can on your own equipment is a very good
thing to do.

Give the professional engineer your recordings to use as maps. By
all means always give them lyric sheets as well. You can go spend
a thousand dollars to upgrade your set up and still not even get
close to what a truly professional project studio can do for your
music. A thousand dollars spent recording in a professional
studio would in my opinion be money much better spent. 

Be prepared.  Write down your creative ideas for your music
before you record it.

Familiarize the engineer with your music. Play a song live for
him when you go to visit and book the time. Allow him/her to hear
what your voice and instrument sound like. This will help him/her
to make microphone choices beforehand and will save you precious
time. The initial meeting here is a crucial one. Is this the
right person to work with? Explain on the phone that you'd like
to hear his previous recordings made in similar styles to your
own. Ask if it would be OK to play something live for him/her.
Maybe they'll even come to your rehearsal. You won't get what you
don't ask for!

Yeah, I've seen and heard all of the new Chinese made
microphones. These are good enough if you just want to make a
quick sketch type demo, but trust me.  As the microphone is the
first thing that touches your music, it is a very important piece
of the puzzle. Many home recordists have but one or two
microphones. This is another limitation that may not appear to be
so obvious but, if you use the same microphone on every source,
your recording will lack depth of field and space and more than
likely be hyped in the higher registers. A microphone is an
instrument and each has its own special flavor. Microphone
placement is also an art in and of itself. Moving a mic just a
half-inch can make all the difference in the world. 

Above all, allow the engineer to do his/her work. One common
thing I've seen happen many times is an engineer working
critically on a specific part while the musicians present are
rambling on about the tone of this, or some effect they "hear."
Write down your ideas and copy down the time which your idea
would be implemented in a notebook. When I take on a project I
first make certain that the musicians who are involved are very
well rehearsed. I make certain every source sound is at its
absolute best. Using a tube amp? Change your tubes. Make certain
the intonation of your instruments is correct and the tuning is
stable. Live drums? Prep the kit well. Get out all of the rattles
and little noises that can and will affect imaging. New heads and
tuning are extremely important! You may want to tune your drums
for each specific song. 

Steer clear of editing. I cannot stand to hear a cut/copy/paste
recording, it just does not sound real. Any of the truly great
producers will tell you this simple formula and it works!

Write a great song. Rehearse the song until it has become a part
of you, until you can play it without thinking about playing it.
Nail a take (this goes for all instrumentation as well as
vocals.)

Then and only then does the quality of sound come into play! A
great song and a great performance cannot be denied! Even a cheap
dictaphone recording will show this!

A poorly written song, no matter how good the performances on the
record are, is still a weak song and the best of the best
engineers cannot wave a magic wand across the song and make it
into anything that it is not already. 

Another viable argument for recording in a professional studio is
perspective. The old saying "Two heads are better than one" comes
to mind. Record companies routinely use more than one person on a
recording project for this very reason. It is common now to see
one engineer listed as "Tracking Engineer", another as the
"Mix Engineer" and yet a third who has mastered the disc.

Perspective, perspective, perspective! 

The most important thing you can do is to realize your
limitations and find ways to overcome them. If your home
recordings are just not getting the job done, then it is time to
take a new direction! If one walks into a wall, what does he/she
do next? Walk right back into the same wall? No!

You can dig a tunnel under the wall, turn right, turn left, or
climb over the wall! 

Never fight an opponent that you know you cannot defeat. I
learned this through the martial arts and believe it applies
directly to this situation. You don't fight.  You find another
way to win. 

One final note:
Once the mix is finished, whether you do the project at home or
in a professional studio, send the disc out to be mastered by a
reputable mastering engineer. Do not fall into the trap of trying
to get your mix to compete with commercial releases because it
will not! Mastering is an art in and of itself and I do not care
how well equipped you feel your home studio is, there is NO WAY
that it can compete with product mastered at a dedicated
mastering facility.

*****

Larry L. Sentelle has worn many hats. From guitarist, vocalist
and principal song writer to personal manager for the regional
act, Level, and on to assistant engineer and co-producer. He's
now a guitarist in the heavy/rock act, Life Denied, based in
Gaitersburg, Maryland, and a partner in a brand new, unnamed
production entity.  Now engrossed in the life long study of
equalization and microphone placement, his aim is to realize the
goal of becoming a professional producer. He learns best by doing
and has been co-producing material for local artists since 1997.
A writer of many styles, he uses this as his foundation.

Back to Menu

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

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

-----------------------------------------------------------------
From Gian Fiero and Jon Duman's "Music Industry Q&A" section at
http://www.musesmuse.com/col-musicqa.html

How Does Demo Shopping Work? 

http://musesmuse.com/columnistsgreylogs/archives/00000943.html

Do I need to retain an entertainment lawyer first, or seek out a
manager? Also, what is a ballpark figure for selling songs?

http://musesmuse.com/columnistsgreylogs/archives/00000954.html

-----

10 Tools for Dealing with Criticism and Rejection
By Linda Dessau 
http://musesmuse.com/columnistsgreylogs/archives/00000955.html

Ouch! Whether it's feedback we've asked for, an unsolicited
remark called out from the audience or a simple "no" result of an
audition or submission process, criticism and rejection are a
huge part of our lives as creative artists. 
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================================================================= 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
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