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The Muse's News

Issue 13.2 - May 2010
ISSN 1480-6975

This issue sponsored by:

MasterWriter 2.0!

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

@-- Editor's Musings
@-- Music Reviews - Cyrus Rhodes, Don Sechelski, JJ Biener
& Chris Propfe
@-- 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 - SXSW Music Festival (2010)
- by Jon Stewart
@-- 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!)

(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
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MasterWriter's NEW price is now only $199 - but you'll still get
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E d i t o r ' s M u s i n g s :

Welcome to another Muse's News! I hope you're enjoying the
warmer weather ... I know *I* am! (And those of you who live
some place where it's warm all year round, please don't rub it
in. ;) .)

Lots of great stuff for your reading pleasure this month, but I
wanted to mention that we also have a new columnist with us!
Randy Young's column is based on his 20 plus years in many
different areas of the music business - from performance and
songwriting to production and publishing. Each article provides
practical advice on how to get your music and career on track and
keep it there. You can read his first article by visiting his
columnist menu page at . His column is
called "Living the Dream: An Artist's Survival Guide". Write to
him if you'd like, and welcome him! I'm really glad to have him
on board. :)

In case any of you are interested in some cool news from my voice
over career, my radio imaging (the voice that announces the radio
station's call letters in between the songs?) is now live (though
there's still some imaging from the previous voice mixed in there
just now ...) at . It's a great station and I
like listening to their live streaming myself (not just because
my voice is on there. *grin*). To listen in yourselves, you need
to be using Internet Explorer, unfortunately (it doesn't work
with any other browser) but is it not SUPER cool that you can
listen to a live radio station in JORDAN?? I mean, come on! I
love technology. :)

For those of you who are just joining us, I have a website at that offers information and
demos about my voice over services. So if you have a product you
want to demonstrate in a video, a commercial for your product or
service, either on TV or radio, or even a phone system that needs
a professional voice, feel free to contact me. There. The
obligatory "plug". :)

Now, in the interest of getting to the good stuff, here are the
raffle winners for this month:

* Lionel Valdellon from San Leandro, CA, has won a beautiful (and
highly useful!) notebook from The Jotted Line

* Mick Byrd, from Vienna, MO, has won a copy of
Virtual Studio Systems' Lyricist software

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

* Karen Rainey, New York, NY has won a downloadable version of
Rhyme Genie (, a dynamic rhyming
dictionary featuring over 300,000 entries and 30 different rhyme

* Matt Gray, from Normal, IL, has won a copy of's Musician's Toolkit CD

As per usual, if you're interested in one of the raffle prizes
listed at the top of ,
please write to me with your first and second choice, and your
mailing address so I know where to send the prize. :)

Happy writing!


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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!)


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M u s i c R e v i e w s : Cyrus Rhodes, Don Sechelski,
JJ Biener & Chris Propfe


Cyrus Rhodes:

* Gabrielle Roth & The Mirrors
* Steve Palmer Band
* Abhoora
* The Honey V's

Don Sechelski:

* Beth Schafer
* Queen Esther
* Kevin Higgins

JJ Biener:

* Pruitt Igoe

Chris Propfe:

* Bud Buckley



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

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

Music Career Masters

Among the growing number of online courses about almost
everything, here is one that is tailored for the working musician
(or musician who wants to be working) or band. It might be rash
to call it a complete course, but it is certainly an incredibly
thorough introduction to the business side of being a performer.
The approach to the task is contemporary with the way musicians
are earning a living today. If you are a performer, understanding
this material is essential. If you are a songwriter (or anyone
working with singers and bands), you can benefit from a close
look at how the music world operates today.

The theme of this course is found in an oft repeated phrase at
the site: Making music a sustainable career. What do you do, and
how do you do it?

The course consists primarily of a series of videos and PDF
workbooks that step through what the company calls its music
success blueprint. This blueprint involves 12 specific modules:
brand creation, look assessment and styling, fund creation, fan
base creation, media training, web skills, fliers and press
packs, digital distribution, copyright and professional bodies,
touring and festivals. Each video is substantial and just
listening through once takes a fair amount of time. The upside is
that there is no topic "hit and run" where the presenter says:
"build a fan base" and then rushes off to tell you to distribute
digitally. Instead, there are step by step directions for each
topic, such as how you can begin building a fan base, what the
nature of it should be, and how this effort fits in with the
other 12 steps, in particular the brand creation.

In a sense, the course could be called music brand creation,
because once you've embarked on following the lengthy process of
defining and creating your brand, everything else is in support
of that, whether it is look assessment or the way you distribute
your music, or the merchandise you sell and give away at gigs.
The idea is one of a consistent and sustained effort, which you
would assume would be necessary for a sustainable career. And
this is a lesson for songwriters. Want a band to record your
tunes? Get to understand their brand, and then write songs that
move them further in that direction.

The material presented is almost overwhelming, and you might find
yourself wondering: "if I do everything they say, when will I
have time for an actual gig, not to mention rehearsal?" The
answer is that building a team goes with creating a brand, and
that is all explained. You don't do it all yourself. You probably
can't and certainly shouldn't. Not that building a team is easy.
Nothing here is a silver bullet guaranteeing success; but it is a
clear path that will produce rewards. You have to do the hard
work, but this course provides the direction and an understanding
of why you are doing what you are doing—in some ways, the most
intriguing part of the course.

To help, the course includes video tutorials on how to
effectively use some of the more important (to a music marketer)
web sites, including twitter, facebook, myspace, youtube, and
wordpress blogs. And to aid your marketing efforts in a
fragmented music market, specific aspects of myspace and facebook
are explained. There are sample music contracts, and even an
Indie Bible, which provides a lot of valuable booking leads. In
fact, there is a ton of additional material on how to do things
that you can explore once you've digested the module that talks
about what to do.

In the final analysis, this is about running a band as a
business, learning the tools, from accounting to showmanship, and
dealing with the reality that bands no longer are just musicians.
A sustainable living means learning to exploit all the revenue
streams available.

The music business has changed - not for the better or worse,
just to something new. And it is still changing. This course
provides a valuable assessment of where it is now, and what it
is, and explains what you need to do to compete.



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!)



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:

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!

The music licensing business is the most lucrative and accessible
business for independent artists. Songwriters make more money by
licensing their songs than performing live, signing a record deal
and getting commercial radio airplay combined. When you enter a
We Are Listening song contest, you're getting your words and
music in front of decision makers at EMI, Universal, Sony/BMG,
Live Nation, The Agency Group, Paramount, Nettwerk, CBS, Yahoo
and more. And as a winner, you can be sure that we will place
your songs on prime time shows on MTV, E!, Lifetime, Oxygen and
more. Learn more about what a We Are Listening contest can do
for your career at

City Love Music gives unsigned songwriters the opportunity to
write a new song about any city, for the chance to win $10,000 US
dollars. There is no entry fee and there are no restrictions on
how many songs a writer can enter. Members of the public will be
able to listen and vote for their favorite song on the website.
The song with the most votes will receive the $10,000 cash prize.
The top songs from each country/city could be released for sale
as digital compilations, with the songwriters and singers sharing
in all future revenue that is generated from their recordings or
songs -- via CD sales, downloads or licensing of the works for
any commercial purposes. CityLove could be an ideal platform to
launch your career, so what are you waiting for? Go to and start writing!
Deadline: September 30, 2010

Whether you’ve written your very first song or you’re a seasoned
songwriter pounding the streets, “Your First Cut, a Step-by-Step
Guide to Getting You There” will help you set your goals, keep
you focused, and help you track your own progress toward
realizing your dream of someone recording your song. Authored by
Jerry Vandiver ("For a Little While" Tim McGraw) and Gracie
Hollombe Vandiver (2-time PRISM Award winner), this 224-page
workbook is designed to guide, encourage and enable the aspiring,
serious songwriter toward achieving the goal of acquiring his or
her first cut.

For more info or to read a sample chapter, visit

Georgia Music Industry Association,, is a non-profit
network of and for all music industry personnel, especially
songwriters, helping each other reach our goals and creating a
self-sustaining world-class music scene along with community and
business development in Georgia. GMIA holds monthly workshops,
showcases, and the first GMIA Compilation CD Release June 2010!

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"

Every songwriter is looking for REAL opportunities to have your
songs heard and REAL opportunities to further your career. You
have a lot of great choices to choose from. Unfortunately, some
of the choices you have aren't run by reputable people and prey
on sincere songwriters just like yourself. And though the
websites run by reputable people do offer opportunity, they
aren't always a FUN and EXCITING place to be a part of.

If you're interested in a website run by reputable people in the
Nashville music community, as well as a place that's FUN and
EXCITING to be a part of, is the place to
sign up to find out when our new songwriting website launches.

If getting published, having your song pitched to artists,
winning great prizes like guitars, studio time, and even cash -
and having FUN in the process, appeals to you, visit and fill out the simple form. We'll let you
know just as soon as we go live! That's

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,
and managers. You can also post your music press release for free
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,
engineers, producers, and other music professionals for online
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


Gary Ewer is passionate about teaching, and that's why his
songwriting website is a great place to find all kinds of
articles on varying aspects of the craft.

He's pitching an e-book too
(, but the real treat is how
many free articles he provides on his extensive website. They are
concise and well-written and you'll find everything from "7 Ways
Successful Songs Make People Listen" to "Is That Progression
Complex? (Or Does It Just Suck?)".

In the "7 Ways..." article, he introduces the reader to "melodic
shape" and melded bridges, a term I've never heard before but
recognize from having created them myself! Although there is
theory interspersed with some of the tips, it isn't enough to
make your eyes glaze over as with some other websites I've seen
out there :-) . The sign of a good teacher is one who can speak
to anyone at any stage of their learning without talking down to
them, and that's what these articles do.

Along with what I've already mentioned, there is a free online
songwriting course which consists of nine lessons starting with
"Focusing Your Lyrics" and ending with "Considering Form". Each
lesson ends with an activity section to help you practice the
ideas given.

Ewer is a "music teacher, clinician, composer and arranger",
presently instructing at Dalhousie University in Nova Scotia,
Canada. The composer aspect of his teaching is obvious in
articles like "Bored With Just One Key? Try Two", but he also
approaches topics like making money from your songwriting and
even takes a look at the Black Eyed Peas "I Gotta Feeling" from a
critical perspective. And no, he doesn't trash it :-)

Navigating the website takes a little effort in that it's not
always obvious if you're on the blog or reading individual tips,
but wherever you go, I guarantee you'll find something worth
reading. Of course, you can also follow Gary on Twitter if you
want to know about updates and new articles.


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 Jon Stewart

SXSW Music Festival (2010)

Austin, TX- SXSW and its music festival were held this year from
March 17-21, 2010 and it was my 5th year to attend this century.
The evolution of this event and its direction has been most
evident this year, so much so that I wanted to share some of the
associations that crossed my separate thresholds of thought and

The weather was beautiful and crystal-clear until Saturday
morning so there were huge crowds (over 11,000 registered, up 20%
from 2009) in the 6th Avenue section of Austin where most of the
venues were provided for bands looking to be discovered. Night
and day (day begins at noon during SXSW), the crowds of gawkers,
music-industry professionals, musicians, fashionistas and press
were overwhelming; all moving around within the sound of street
musicians, sound checks within the nightclubs and the dulcet
tones of fans talking up their favorite musicians. The number of
foreign visitors must have been at an all time high as I heard
several languages that only my friend in the diplomatic corps
could identify. England, Israel and Japan were very well

The first thing that occurred to me was so superficial that I was
at first guilt-ridden; then I resolved to simply enjoy it. New
this spring, in a mall near you, will be young women wearing the
shortest skirts since the '60's; whether they should or not, it
is a fashion trend that should last at least 4 months. I couldn’t
help but think the hippies won, at least as regards fashion, when
I add in the look of the majority of the males in attendance. How
counterintuitive is paying $300.00 for new jeans that have been
distressed to look as if you inherited them from your father, the
day-laborer? Esquire magazine calls it the "Workman" look. I
prefer to wear out my own clothes.

Observation number two; never have I seen so many beautiful
women. My investigation of this continued throughout the festival
and while time-consuming, intense and cause for interviews with
several club owners, beautiful women and other attendees, I came
up with a somewhat viable, anecdotally-researched answer: due to
the recent laxness in the requirements for attending specific
concerts (those that require badges for attendance), discretion
is left up to the front people in the clubs as to who gets in
after most badge members have been seated. So, imagine you are a
pretty girl, you haven’t paid the $695 for the badge, but you
want to go see Band of Skulls play and the venue is packed. What
do you do? Use your looks to get in the club, of course.

Based on my interviews, this occurs generally with the offer to
"flash" their two most prized possessions, if not a downright
solicitation of a sexual act. And according to one source, these
were young women who looked like they were going to church that
Sunday; somebody’s pretty sister.

So once I got that important matter settled, I looked for other
anomalies that might not occur to the more casual observer of
popular culture. Then I got slap-dashed with recoil-lections.

Five years ago, I was amazed at the number of "tight" bands that
performed during the course of the festival. Buzz was everywhere
about how tight the bands were and that fact alone would
contribute to attendance at their events; even to the event of
mobs outside a few venues. Not nearly so much this year. For
those of you who need definitions, a tight band is one that is in
such a groove with their music that it is performed flawlessly in
a live venue. A band can usually be termed tight within the first
13 seconds of the song by the drumming. I heard the worst
drumming in my life during some of this year's acts. Singing
off-key is another major sign of a lack of tightness in a band.
Had we been out in the "Hill Country" west of Austin, the coyotes
might have joined in with several of the singers, to help them
harmonize, you know.

Which brings me to another anomaly: where are the harmonies?
Nobody was doing them. I don't mean the C&W practice of
harmonizing for most of the song because the good-looking singer
doesn't have enough depth and texture to last through
song-after-song. I mean strategic harmonies that add dimension to
a song, not a voice. Few of these artists view a song properly;
they see it as music and lyrics put together, occasioned to run
through a producer; I see it as a "song" and in this manner, I
can view as art and not as craft. The ultimate accomplishment is
poetry within the setting of musical enhancement, including the
vocalist's interpretation. To me, a song is the most powerful
medium for conveying human emotion in less than 4 minutes.

** The rest of this article can be found at **


About Jon Stewart:

The author has spent the last 30 years developing, managing and
observing creative people in order to gain insight into the
creative process. This background includes managing architects,
engineers, and interior designers as well as songwriters, artists
and musicians. His education includes a BBA and MBA with a focus
on psychology. Mr. Stewart managed and booked rock bands that
offer original music for several years. He attends many music
events and conferences each year. Mr. Stewart was a music
reviewer for the Muse’s Muse from December, 2005 to January,
2007. He is currently working on a novel about Texas border

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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 :

Ok - Maybe it's time we hired our own Sound Guy - by Cyrus Rhodes

If you don’t bring your own sound guy you run the risk of handing
your sound over to someone you don’t know. Having said that I
have seen many so called sound guys that didn't have a clue. All
in all it can make for a long night.


3 Tips for Music Production - by Khaliq Glover

How to get the most out of your music recording, songwriting, and
mixing. Short tips for the music producer who feels stuck


Designing an Artist Life Plan - by Randy Young

Most artists I meet remind me of this scene in Alice in
Wonderland. They have no clear idea of who they are or where they
are going. They bounce around from idea to idea, wasting time,
money, and energy without any real or measurable progress. So the
question is, how can you succeed as an artist?


Top 10 Mistakes People Make When Trying to Become Professional
- by Tom Hess

Learn about the top 10 mistakes musicians make when trying to
build a music career.


Another Word on Record Shops - by Mick Polich

April 17th,2010, is National Record Store Day - Mick takes
another look at record shops - why we need them beyond the
brick-and mortar purchase shop or music.


GIGS & BEYOND: You got the gig. Now what? - by Cyrus Rhodes

Here are some simple tips to help you avoid those awful 'oh no'
moments, especially if your band members are bad timekeepers,
lousy with directions or have short term memories!


Don Archer - a Blue Collar Tribute - by Mick Polich

Guitarist/teacher/mentor Don Archer passed away last Friday -
Mick pays tribute.


GIGS & BEYOND - Pre-Booking Advice - by Cyrus Rhodes

Here are just a few hints and reminders for anyone aiming to get
their own gigs by telephone or “cold calling.” For most newer
bands don't forget you have to start somewhere - so this article
mostly applies to you.


Ok - Maybe it's time we hired a Band Manager - by Cyrus Rhodes

Any band or artist that's either paid their dues, or spent time
on the Front Lines knows how much work is involved in becoming a
paid professional. The more serious you are about it, the more
you need an effective band manager.


PAY TO PLAY - The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly - by Cyrus Rhodes

Is this something to consider or something to avoid? Read on to
understand that pros and cons.


C l a s s i f i e d s & U s e f u l S e r v i c e s :


Lyricist 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

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Jodi Krangle ............................................. EDITOR
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