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The Muse's News

Issue 13.0 - March 2010
ISSN 1480-6975

This issue sponsored by:

The USA Songwriting Competition - Enter Today!

[ Back to The Muse's News Index ] [ Home ]


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

@-- Editor's Musings
@-- Music Reviews - Cyrus Rhodes & Don Sechelski
@-- New Artist Spotlight Additions
@-- Songwriting Book Review - by Ed Teja
@-- 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 - Hearing Your Music From the Audience's
Perspective - by Joe Hanley
@-- On Site Featured Article - An article already online for your
viewing pleasure.
@-- Classifieds & Useful Services
@-- Contact information
ISSN 1480-6975. Copyright 1998-2009 - Jodi Krangle.
For more contact information, see end of issue.

All sorts of products and services especially for songwriters,
negotiated so that you get the best price possible. You'll find
means of promotion and distribution, songwriting aids,
educational products, musical instruments and their accessories,
and lots more. Find the perfect gift for the songwriter in your
life - even if it's you!
S p o n s o r M e s s a g e :

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


The 15th Annual USA Songwriting Competition is on now. Winning
songs will receive radio airplay in United States and Canada
along with great prizes such as a Top Prize of over $50,000.

FREE BONUS: Enter by March 31 or earlier to receive a free bonus:

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

Hi folks! I'm going to keep it really short this month and just
get right to the meat of the matter. :)

Below are the raffle winners for this month. If you'd like to
join them, write to me with your first to choices and a mailing
address so that I can get them to you, and that's it!

* Otis Read, from Warren, RI, has won a copy of
Virtual Studio Systems' Lyricist software

* John Green, from Goodyear, AZ, has won a free 3
month membership to SongU (, an
Internet-based learning environment providing online coaching,
co-writing and pitching opportunities, in addition to over 70
multi-level courses developed by award-winning songwriters.

* Ms. H. Dion from Sainte-Sophie, QC, Canada has won a
downloadable version of Rhyme Genie (,
a dynamic rhyming dictionary featuring over 300,000 entries and
30 different rhyme types.

And now, on to the REST of the good stuff! :)

All the best,


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S p o n s o r M e s s a g e :

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

(And Muse's News readers *still* get a special discount!)

Looking for something really special for that songwriter in your
life? (Maybe it's you!) MasterWriter is one of the most
remarkable software programs ever developed for the songwriter.
Its unique features together with an amazing array of reference
dictionaries provide the songwriter with everything he or she
needs, in one easy to use program. Why struggle to find the right
word or phrase when you can have all the possibilities in an
instant. In a world where good is rarely good enough,
MasterWriter will be an invaluable tool in helping the songwriter
consistently create the exceptional.

If you have a high speed connection, you can download a 30-Day
demo. If not, we will send you a copy for $9.95 which will be
deducted from the purchase price if you decide to buy.

MasterWriter's NEW price is now only $199 - but you'll still get
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Endorsed by: BMI, ASCAP, NSAI, PRS and Taxi.
And you can try before you buy!


M u s i c R e v i e w s : Cyrus Rhodes & Don Sechelski


Cyrus Rhodes:

* Nathaniel Sutton
* Jeff Diamond
* Jane Eamon

Don Sechelski:

* Jeff Diamond
* Delaney Gibson



For bios on each of the reviewers, see . 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!

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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 are just some of the great CDs highlighted in the
Artist Spotlight section of The Muse's Muse at

Graham Hobson & the BRS - Genre: POP 

Award-winning piano powerpop that will have you singing at the
top of your lungs in the car. Soccer mums stopped at traffic
lights will be disturbed - you'll play air drums - you rock! If
you dig Folds, Elton and Billy you'll love Graham Hobson & the


Alicia Selby - Genre: SINGER/SONGWRITER

Alicia Selby is a musician, singer/songwriter out of Houston,
Texas. Her debut pop album, "Out of the Blue" blends the
smoothness of a Sarah McLachlan with the vocal power and sassy
attitude of Annie Lennox to create what she calls a "Bombay
Sapphire gin and tonic cocktail of music".

S o n g w r i t i n g B o o k R e v i e w : by Ed Teja

(Third Edition)
By Elizabeth C. Axford
Scarecrow Press, Inc.
Different kinds of books serve different purposes, and this book
represents a unique form, somewhere between catalogue and guide,
sourcebook and reference book. And its focus is narrow—print
music. Not just folio music itself, but the software used to
create it, the instructional software that teaches the reading of
printed music, and sources of related, yet diverse, musical
information, such as tip sheets, and web site devoted to specific
types of music.

Print music seems to get less attention these days in the popular
fields, although in classical and jazz music, it holds it place
(along with the introduction of TAB for guitarists). The first
two chapters in this book provide interesting and well written
introductions to subjects at the heart of printed music. Chapter
one gives a history of printed music from its first incarnation
to today’s PDF file formats and those with MIDI playback
capability. Along the way, Axford gives insights into the role
that sheet music played in the culture, some of the prominent
songwriters, a quick look at Tin Pan Alley (you even get to learn
the most popular feminine name used by the songwriters),
collecting sheet music, and other intriguing asides. Suffice it
to say that you will get a short but comprehensive view of the
evolution of the music culture.

In Chapter Two, the emphasis shifts to the legal aspects of
music: royalties and copyright rules, the differences in print
music formats for various markets, such as classical, educational
and popular music, the correct terminology of print music (do you
know what "abridgement of music" or "head arrangement" really
mean?) , and a comprehensive list of sources for information on
copyright and other legal aspects of music.

The remainder of the book gives exhaustive listings of source
materials for a variety of music specialties. A bonus is the
included CD. First, and incredibly useful for poor typists like
myself, it provides live links for the sites listed in the book,
chapter by chapter. Thus, you have a point and shoot way of
accessing the referenced information. The descriptions are
repeated, making this a wonderful standalone PDF module. Next, it
has a technical glossary for internet and recording terminology.
Last there is a broad selection of scores for jazz band, choir,
lute, lead sheet, brass band, and so on, that show you exactly
the right formats to use for any occasion or group.

Overall, if you have any interaction with printed music, or want
to, this is a good place to start learning.



Ed Teja writes a broad range of music. His songs and
instrumentals have appeared in television shows (Court TV and
Discover Channel) and in a variety of videos. He has had two CDs
released by Morrhythm Records ( and is
currently cowriting songs with an exciting singer who is working
on her second CD. As a performer, Ed has appeared at strange
venues in Hong Kong, Canada, St. Martin, Bequia, Venezuela,
Grenada and Trinidad, as well as the Silver City (New Mexico)
Blues festival, Pickamania, and the Tucson (Arizona) Folk

You can hear some of Ed's music at:

If you'd like *your* book reviewed (as long as it has something
to do with songwriting, of course!), please do email us and let
us know!


S p o n s o r M e s s a g e :

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



It's the "secret weapon" used by some of the winners of the
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Learn the one mistake even professional singers make, that drains
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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 & . Please check there
regularly for updates!

We’re excited to repeat the Sandra James Music Foundation
Songwriting Contest for the 3rd year. Our contest in 2009 was a
great success! We are a non-profit organization committed to
supporting the causes that were important to Sandra; positive
changes involving children, music, peace, and the protection of
the environment. First prize is $1,000 and recognition of the win
on the Sandra James Music Foundation website. The contest will
run from January 1st 2010 to March 31st 2010. The winner will be
announced May 1st. Please visit our website for more information
and send us your songs!

Fee: $25.00
Rules and application from may be found at:

Song submissions now open for Songwriters and now Lyricists for
the 2010 Worlds Best Songs Competition. All Genres Accepted and
strongly recommended for newcomers and veterans alike. Visit the
website for a full list of prizes
and contest rules. Sign up for the monthly newsletter to receive
a FREE COPY of "The Top 5 Sites All Songwriters Should Know"

One Song Challenge seeks submissions for new contest. The One
Song Challenge is a unique online competition where the
participants (musicians) are given the same song to perform. You
are free to interpret and perform the song as you wish (choose
any genre/instrument/tempo, transpose, and make additions such as
bridges and solos). All entries are posted at where the public selects a winner. First
place contestant receives a free web site setup.

No entry fee. Deadline for entries is 11pm PST March 1, 2010.

This year we are proud to announce that our 2010 Winners will
earn local, regional and national performances opportunities at
the following venues… The Kimmel Center Summer Solstice -
Bethlehem Musik Fest - The Philadelphia Folk Festival - Rose Tree
Media Summer Concerts- Sellersville Theater- BRE Presents:
Independent live music presenter - National Radio Appearance.
2010 There: It’s All About Love. Contest ends April 1, 2010.
Finalists announced May 1.

Fee: $12
Details, Rules and Entry on-line at

Pete and Pat Luboff are offering a special rate to Muse's Muse
readers on a single song consultation: MM readers get a $5
discount by sending $15 via PayPal to
instead of using the $20 single-song button on the site. Please
email the songs to the same address (mp3 attachment with the
lyrics in the body of the email - lyrics only are fine).
Response will be by email. Offer is good until 12/1/09.

ARE YOU an unsigned act, songwriter or producer?? Looking for a
Record, Publishing, Management and Licensing deal worldwide,
especially in the UK and USA? Each month the BANDIT A&R
NEWSLETTER publishes features on Labels, Publishers, Managements
etc looking to sign acts, songs or masters. Get yourself a FREE

Feed The Muse presents a simple model for creators and audiences
to join together and keep the arts flourishing and is a simple
yet effective vehicle for musicians to fund their creative
projects and connect to their audience in a meaningful way. It
provides a means for artists to ask their fans, families and
friends to contribute financially in the artists’ evolution.

If an artist has 5,000 MySpace "friends" and each contribute
even $2 that totes up to $10,000 for the next tour or recording
project. This process allows fans who are passionate about their
artists and want to see them continue creating, the opportunity
to do so without having to make a large contribution. Feed The
Muse runs on the concept of microdonations. Every dollar, every
donation no matter how small is a statement of faith in the
project and moves it closer to completion.

Visit to see how easy it can be to get the
support you need.

My PR Music Wire offers press release writing and direct email
distribution to thousands of music journalists, radio stations,
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on our website by emailing it to
Receive 10% off your entire order when you enter the coupon code
muse10 at checkout!
STUDIOTRAXX.COM: BREAKING NEW GROUND - FOR YOU! provides an e-commerce platform that allows
artists/bands to purchase and book time with musicians,
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studio collaboration purposes. They facilitate the entire music
production process from beginning to end — from finding and
booking the right talent to managing all resulting collaboration

StudioTraxx is actively building its talent network and is
encouraging both those who offer services and those who need
services to sign up and register. There are no costs to join the
site. Creating an account is FREE.

32,000 live music venues of all sizes are featured including
clubs, bars, restaurants, lounges, coffee shops, theaters, halls,
churches, book stores, community centers, house concerts and open
mics. There are also 1,500 festivals listed as well as over
1,000 colleges for any artist that wants to plan a college tour.

Jumpstart your tour today!
for more information!

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M u s e ' s C l u e s : by Irene Jackson

©1998-2010 Moonstone Productions All Rights Reserved.
Used By Permission


My job every month is to point you in the direction of websites
that may inspire you creatively, and as many of you know, there
are plenty of websites out there around the topic of songwriting
and music and everything related. But a really important aspect
of being a songwriter is interacting with other writers and
creating a support system for yourself when you are putting your
songs out there.

Many of you are not performers and don't intend to be, but you
understand the value of feedback. How else can you evaluate
whether or not your songs are having the impact that you are
working towards? Some of you have been to song circles and open
mics, but others haven't gotten that far yet, so I'm going to
show you a couple of sites that give you an idea of what it might
be like.

The first one is called Song Pull (, a
community I ran across recently that apparently got its start
because of the generations-old "guitar pull", a tradition which
began long ago when not many people owned guitars. When someone
got a guitar, a group would gather and pass or "pull" it around
the circle so everyone would have a chance to play.

A song pull is very similar to a song circle, where songwriters
sit around and take turns performing a song in a supportive
environment. This website features videos from some of these
song pulls, where songwriters often give short interviews about
themselves and their songs, the inspiration and creative process
behind it, followed by a performance of the song.

You can watch the videos and comment on them, you can embed them
if you like, and find upcoming songpulls or create one of your
own. There are not many running at the moment and all are based
in the U.S. so far, but I can see a lot of potential in this
community, so why not join up and get involved?

By doing a quick Google search you can also find other songwriter
circles, including a big one in New York where a lot of
well-known songwriters show up like Marc Cohen or Phoebe Snow.
You can check them out on their YouTube channel
( or join up with them on
Facebook if you're a member
). I found several others including a MySpace page for
the Pittsburgh Songwriters Circle
( and
many, many others.

At some point or another, you've got to get your songs out of the
bedroom (or the kitchen, or wherever you write!) and out there
for others to hear. If you've never done that, check these
websites out and see how it's done!


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:

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F e a t u r e d A r t i c l e : by Joe Hanley

Hearing Your Music From the Audience's Perspective:
How to Keep Your Ears Fresh During the Creative Process

Thanks to today's technology, musicians now have the capability
to write, play, record and mix their own music. An endless supply
of samples, software and affordable gear has empowered musicians
and given them complete control over the entire creative process.
And while this can seem appealing to both control freaks and
musicians on a budget, there is one major drawback. After
spending 40 hours writing a song, laying down parts, recording
vocals, arranging sections, re-arranging sections, and tweaking
the mix, your mind can become so deeply entrenched into every
miniscule detail that you begin to hear your song from a unique
perspective that no one else shares. Your overexposed ears hear
it differently than your audience's fresh ears will, and you lose
the ability to gauge the effectiveness of your music. You have no
idea if your song's going to be a hit, or if the director is
going to like your cue, or if the client will feel your music is
right for their commercial.

So, how do the solo songwriters, composers and recording artists
of the world maintain or regain this "fresh ear" listening

1. Listen back on different systems and in different
environments. Go for a drive while playing your song on the car
stereo. Transfer it to your iPod, put on headphones and go for a
walk. Go play it on your living room stereo. Listen to it on your
crappy computer speakers. Anywhere you can think of. The quality
doesn't matter. You'd be amazed at the things you'll hear when
you're in a different space. "Wow, that nose trumpet doesn't
sound good at all! What in the hell was I smoking?"

2. Don't listen for fun. I know the satisfaction that goes along
with finishing a section or recording a great take, and all you
want to do is listen to it over and over, basking in your
talented glory. The problem is, every time you hear your song
your ears become a little less fresh. So your goal should be to
limit your listens to as few as possible. Once your instincts are
satisfied with the section you're working on, or the latest take
you recorded, move on. You should revisit it tomorrow or the next
day, because you may find it needs changes then. But for now,
trust your instincts, resist the urge to listen purely for
enjoyment purposes, and push forward.

3. Pretend your audience is listening. While playing the song,
close your eyes, and imagine that you're sitting in front of a
major label executive, or a big-shot client, or a fan. If at any
point you cringe, or can't wait until a certain part is over, you
know that needs to change.

4. Out of sight, out of mind. When you're done for the day, let
go of your music. Don't hum it and don't play it in your head.
Forget about it. Every time you play through the song in your
head, you're cementing it's current state deeper into your mind.
And if you've been humming your song all night, then tomorrow you
won't notice any of the changes that need to be made, because
you'll be so used to the way it is. Those precious hours between
today and tomorrow are going to refresh your ears, but only if
you quiet your mind.

5. Get an outside opinion. Play your song for friends, family,
fellow musicians, etc. Getting someone else's opinion is the only
way to get a truly fresh perspective. Specifically request that
they be brutally honest. Don't give them any details and just
play it for them. However, be sure to choose your listener
wisely. Your Grandma may not be the best candidate for your Hip
Hop track. And your Miley-Cyrus-loving little sister will
probably hate your 15 minute avant-garde electronic masterpiece.

6. Use references. If you're making a Contemporary R&B track,
listen to Beyonce's latest single once in a while. I'm not saying
you should try to imitate your reference in any way. But it might
make you aware of the fact that your bass is way too loud, or
your vocals sound really amateur.

7. Take a break. If you're not on a deadline, take a few days or
a week off, and don't listen to your song AT ALL. Not even once.
When you do finally listen to your song, you'll immediately
notice anything that needs to change.

8. Intuition knows best. If in the end, none of these suggestions
help, trust your first instinct. It's practically ALWAYS right.


Joe Hanley is a composer and songwriter in NYC and has spent 29
long, A.D.D.-ridden years on this big, beautiful Earth, jumping
frenetically from one part of the music world to the next. He's
toured with Universal-Motown recording artist Tina Parol,
released a CMJ chart-ranking jazz album, and written and composed
music for advertising, websites, artists and TV. Joe writes for
the blog which publishes articles about
the challenges musicians face bringing their music to reality.
His original compositions and songs can be heard on his website

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

GIG AND BEYOND - Contacting club owners
- by Cyrus Rhodes

Here's what you need to know in order to interest club owners in
hiring you for a gig.


Blue Collar's Homebrew Studio - Microphones, Part Uno!
- by Mick Polich

Documenting the start of a recent homebrew studio project, Mick
looks at two microphones from Sennheiser and MXL, and the initial
results to record and test these products against two tricky
instruments to record - a drum set, and an electric guitar thru
an amp!


Three Quick Tips to Sing Better Fast - by Jeannie Deva

Jeannie offers a few tricks of the trade that can make singing
easier, no matter what your style. She discusses three important
tips that can assist singers, and fully explains how you can
utilize these tips for maximum effect and improvement.


Beware of Mixers that say they can Master - by Cyrus Rhodes

Despite what someone tells you - this is a very bad move!


Finding the right kind of Recording Studio - by Cyrus Rhodes

Over the last few months you have written and rehearsed about 45
minutes of good quality music. It's enough material to now make a
CD or demo, but you only have about a grand in your bank account
. Here are just some of the things a good recording studio should


BLACK SUNDAY SET LIST - by Cheryl Mullen

February 14--or as I like to call it, Black Sunday--is fast
approaching. Here's a set list for those of us who aren't feeling
the warm, fuzzy, sugar-induced high this time of year.


Under The Radar Music #2 - Chris Whitley - by Mick Polich

Mick provides a short review and retrospective of the music of
the late, great bluesman Chris Whitley.


What are the benefits (if any) of entering songwriting contests?
- by Mary Dawson

re songwriting contests a good way to gain exposure in the music
industry? How do you know which ones to enter?


Contacting the A&R Representatives - by Cyrus Rhodes

Chances are if your music is good, there is a A&R looking for it
right now. So why not put your music directly on their desk?


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 :


The Indie Bible shows you where to get your music reviewed, your
songs played, and your CDs sold. Now in its Seventh Edition, The
Indie Bible has 330 pages of valuable contacts and music-related

The 11th Edition of the Indie Bible contains:
4200 publications around the world that will REVIEW your CD!
3400 radio stations around the world that will PLAY your songs!
500 vendors and services that will help you to SELL your music!
200 sites where you can UPLOAD your band's MP3 files!
500 helpful resources and sites where you can PROMOTE your band!
52 articles that will help your career to MOVE forward rapidly!

Listings include web, e-mail and physical address, as well as
phone and fax numbers.

For details and to order online visit:

Lyricist is the first-of-its-kind word processor designed
specifically for musicians, songwriters, and poets. The software
includes a Rhyming Dictionary, Thesaurus, Album Categorization,
Chord Charting, Chord Generator, Song Arrangement, and On-Line
Copyright Link.

The new version 3 release adds support for "Piano Style" chord
symbols, Nashville Number System, and Transposition features -
all in one easy-to-use package - and all for only $44.95! (That's
$5.00 off to all Muse's News readers who purchase from the review
link at!)

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

You Can Play Guitar author and publisher Scott Morris now offers
7 Free email guitar lessons that include easy to learn guitar
tablature, a sound file and free guitar lesson videos of his easy
to learn Billboard top rated guitar method that includes learning
guitar scales and theory used by professional songwriters. The
Free Guitar Lesson Videos - teach samples of learning the names
of the notes, sharps and flats, easy to play guitar chords and
more great information for beginner to professional level

But not only that - his lessons are currently $60 off their
regular price - AND he's offering free shipping within the US!
There's never been a better time than now to improve your guitar
playing (and there's a bass guitar course there too!).

Want to know more? Visit

Inspired by the songwriter's journey, and through understanding
the principles talked about in "THE SECRET", this audio program
is specifically created for the songwriter based on those
findings. Through Power of Thought and Understanding the Law of
Attraction, you will have the tools, knowledge & ability to
create the thoughts, experiences, and circumstances to be a
phenomenally Successful Songwriter. Included is a guided
meditation that is as passionate as it is empowering!

Muse's Muse Visitors - Enter Promo Code: 42567 for Discount.

Limited Introductory Offer of $12.95 for Digital Download
Discounts for CD, and CD/Digital Download Combo shown on ordering


One of the most respected and imitated indie music sites on the
web, has been serving the Independent Music
Community since 1996 with streaming audio, monthly CD Reviews,
huge industry search directory, success-building resources,
classifieds, and much-needed recognition. The site offers a
wealth of information to artists trying to survive & thrive in
today's competitive music industry.
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:
For Newsletter Sponsorship rates and other advertising
opportunities, please see .

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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
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