The Muse's News
||The Muse's News
Copyright 1998-2011 - Jodi Krangle.
For more contact information, see end of issue.
FIND THE PERFECT GIFT FOR THE SONGWRITER IN YOUR LIFE!
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. Any of these items would make a fantastic present for a songwriter in your life (even if it's you! :-) ) Check it out!
(Many thanks to the sponsors that help support this newsletter!)
ORGANIZE YOUR WORK AND ENHANCE YOUR CREATIVITY
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Hi folks! Welcome back to The Muse's News and another issue packed with a whole bunch of things to help your songwriting. :) Please do check out our new top sponsor this month, SongCraft Station . They make *gorgeous* workstations for US - the musician/songwriter/audio engineer - designed to fit into homes with limited space. And they make it in any hardwood you'd like! So it can match any home. Wow! Would really love one of them myself. :) What's really cool about this though, is that they're giving us here at The Muse's Muse, a 5% discount! So not only can you get a gorgeous desk tailor made just for you - you can get it at a discount, too! Not bad at all.
I also want to send out a special thank you to those of you who reached out when I mentioned my lifestyle/eating changes and offered help and suggestions. I really appreciate it - and continue to take your advice. The juicing goes well! I'm enjoying about 1 or 2 juices a day (along with regular but vegan foods - mostly raw), have developed a taste for kale chips (yum!) and have lost about ... oh ... five pounds or so at this point (that's since I started the change about three weeks ago, so it's a slow loss and I'm fine with that). I'm feeling really good and am still experimenting with the juices I like best. Boy - this can be expensive as you experiment, let me tell you! But I'm narrowing it down a bit - and that will mean the grocery bill will drop gradually too. :)
I'd still love to hear from you if you have thoughts or advice on this. I'm always open to ideas. :) Or if you have a favorite vegan food (that isn't a desert since I don't really need the sweets at this point. ;) ), feel free to share! Thanks so much.
Now, without further delay, I'll get to the stuff you're actually waiting for. :) Here are the raffle winners this month:
Rachelle Nones from Nashville, TN, has won a 6 month membership to GuitarMasterClass.net. GMC has tons of helpful videos, instructors and lessons along with a forum for chatting with teachers and students 24/7, recording collaborations, attending video chats, & content for bass, drums, singing, piano, etc.
Jerry Coker, from Poultney, VT, 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.
Kelly Moore, from Albuquerque, NM, has won a copy of Virtual Studio Systems' Lyricist software.
Brad Conner from Lake Mary, FL, has won a 6 month subscription to the Onlinegigs service. This valuable service is a powerful tool for musiciains, agents, record companies and managers designed to virtually automate the administration of booking and promoting a band or bands.
James Fair from North Lauderdale, FL, has won a copy of the book "Song Ideas - 3000 Titles, Phrases and Hooklines To Inspire Songwriters and Lyricists" by Rick Wicker, reviewed in the August issue.
As I've mentioned many times before (you guys should have this memorized by now :D) if you'd like to be considered for a raffle prize yourself, have a look at the various prizes offered at the top of The Muse's News webpage, decide which prizes you'd most like, and email me with your top two choices along with your mailing address so that I can get the prizes to you. Yes, it's really that simple. :) (And yes, the mailing address is kinda important. I promise it won't be used for any other reason than to send you your raffle prize - and to mention your approximate location in the notice of raffle winners you see above here.)
Happy writing, folks! And stay healthy!
All the best,
(Many thanks to the sponsors that help support this newsletter!)
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MasterWriter's NEW price is now only $199 - but you'll still get
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The Muse's Muse! Take the Tour, Download a Free Trial, and get a $20 discount! Note
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Great music is only a click away!
Here is a selection of the great artists and bands highlighted
the Artist Spotlight section of The Muse's Muse.
Jane Eamon- Genre: FOLK & TRADITIONAL
Firmly grounded in her own skin, Jane Eamon writes about every day things - life and all its glory both good and bad. Her new CD, Caught in Time is a reflection of leaving her home town and heading out on the road with nothing but an idea of writing music and experiencing life.
|Songwriting Book Review
By: Anastasia Karalekas
by American Songwriter Magazine
Edited by J. Douglas Waterman
When I picked up the book "Song", by American Songwriter Magazine, it felt solid. In fact, it is a solid compilation of interviews that have appeared in the pages of this magazine since the 80’s, but it is also solid in its appearance. Not only is it packed with useful information, it also looks feels like a coffee-table book with a purpose, which is to provide inspiration whenever inspiration is sought.
This book has such a respected list of artists that I found it hard to read in a sequential order. So I figured, why should I? You can actually just look through the table of contents and pick an artist you want to read about. One thing’s for sure, you won’t stop there. You’ll continue reading, be it in a sequential manner, or by flipping through to another one of your favorites. And I’m sure there’s a favorite for everyone, young and old, rock or country, packed into these 388 pages.
What you’ll find at the beginning of every interview is the date on which the interview appeared in American Songwriter Magazine. J. Douglas Waterman, the Editor In Chief of the magazine, did a fine job of selecting articles from past issues, and bound them into this beautiful book. Most of the interviews are about whatever album the artist had last released at the time of the interview, so it’s great to read about specific albums and songs rather than just general ideas and inspirations that an artist has had.
For example, reading an interview with Sheryl Crow from 2005 about writing her album “Wildflower” was a positive experience for me. See, I’ve been a Sheryl Crow fan since the day I first heard “All I Wanna Do”. But I must admit, “Wildflower” never really grew on me. I bought it blindly, meaning just because it was Sheryl Crow. It’s not a bad album; it just never grew on me. That being said, I read this interview and guess what? I am dusting off that CD right now and planning to listen to it with a fresh pair of ears. Thanks to this book.
From Sheryl Crow, I flipped over to John Denver. Now, I have always admired him, and love his music, and to get personal insights on what inspired him to create such beautiful songs… these are priceless tips for all of us songwriters. This interview was published in 1992. He talks about how he met his publisher for the first time, and how he got lucky finding such an honest person to work with, especially since we all know how rough the music business can be. But the best tip I’ll take from the late, great John Denver is about rewrites. He says, “I’m one of those that feels the song has a life of its own, and in my songwriting, I want whatever comes through to me to be true to my song.” (p. 109) Knowing now that he wrote “Annie’s Song” in ten minutes on a ski lift… well, the song certainly conveys that airy, open feeling, doesn’t it? Just like being in love.
As songwriters, I’m sure you understand the need to have a diverse selection of books in your library. We not only need instructional books, rhyming dictionaries, or books on how to sell our songs, we also need books like this where artists talk about their craft and how their classic songs came to be. Learning about other songwriters’ experiences is a surefire way to stir creativity, and a lot of our ideas can be shaped by those stories. “Song” is not a how-to book, but rather a collection of interesting and informative stories for those times when you just want to pick the brains of some of the world’s best songwriters. I think J. Douglas Waterman did an excellent job of selecting such a wide variety of artists; this book is certain to appeal to songwriters of all genres and ages.
ABOUT THE REVIEWER:
Anastasia Karalekas is a self-taught guitarist and music absorber. When she is not learning, learning, learning, she spends her time writing fiction and poetry. After taking some private guitar lessons, her teacher encouraged her to try putting some of her poems to music, and she's been writing songs ever since.
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
(Many thanks to the sponsors that help support this newsletter!)
BRETT MANNING'S SINGING SUCCESS SYSTEMATIC VOCAL TRAINING SYSTEM:
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Drop by for more details and start
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|Musical Notes: Songwriting Contests & Market Info.
In the interest of conserving space (when I need to), I will be including only
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 &
Please check there regularly for updates!
SONGWRITERS NEEDED TO HELP KIDS IN HOSPITALS AND ORPHANAGES!
The Sing Me a Story Foundation™ is a registered 501(c)3 nonprofit that combines the imaginations of children with the talents of songwriters to create stories and songs that bring joy to all those involved. The premise behind the organization is that we give children in children's hospitals, orphanages and youth organizations around the world the chance to write and illustrate stories about anything they want. We then give those stories to songwriters who turn them into songs, record them and send them back to the kids via our program. It all takes place online on our website which is www.SingMeAStory.org and it's simply a matter of reading the stories, writing and recording a tune, and uploading it back to the story.
We would love to have you participate by going to www.SingMeAStory.org and clicking on the "Join Us" tab. We hope to hear from you soon!
MUSIC CLOUT: CREATING NEW MUSIC INDUSTRY RELATED OPPORTUNITIES FOR MUSICIANS EVERY DAY
We are music based promotion experts with the solutions, services and support to help you optimize the success of your promotion strategies. Our services capitalize on intelligent and proven forms of promotion to achieve maximum awareness building for your music. Within our first year of business, Music Clout has placed artists in over 1,000 different music industry opportunities including deals with record labels, publishing and licensing, radio stations, blogs, and many more.
2012 SHOW ME THE MUSIC SONGWRITING CONTEST .... WIN $10,000 US CASH!!
Why enter our contest? We are currently looking for our 5th Grand Prize Winner, to award them a $10,000 Grand Prize or $3,000 and a trip to Music City, USA to record the winning song with today's A-list musicians and producers! If you win, you choose the prize. Check out last years Winner!
Last year we had a little over 1000 songs entered. Some of the other contests with similar prizes have up to 15,000-25,000 entries!!!! As a newer contest we have less competition and more time to listen to each entry. Many more prizes as well. Enter Now @ www.showmethemusiccontest.com Early entry prizes and awards. You can't win, if you don't enter! We look forward to hearing your original tunes!
AWARD WINNING SONGWRITER OFFERING SONGWRITING TIPS AND CRITIQUING SERVICES
Award winning songwriter Jane Eamon is offering songwriting one on one classes via Skype. These sessions are one hour in length and can cover any topic you'd like to address. From writing, to critique, to ideas and games. Or just to share your thoughts and get feedback. If you're interested in a session contact email@example.com to schedule a class.
HAVE YOU EVER STRUGGLED TO FIND THE RIGHT CHORD OR NOTE TO FIT SOMEWHERE IN YOUR SONG?
Hooktheory is a free resource that can show you how to integrate basic music theory into your songwriting process, making it easier to write catchy chord progressions and melody. Hooktheory currently consists of three main areas:
1. The Hookbook demonstrates basic principles of music theory and how they relate to popular music. It's filled with multimedia-rich content explaining musical concepts synchronized to real songs so you can hear what you are learning and make connections easier.
2. The Music Editor lets you write chord progressions in Roman Numeral notation and listen to them in any key. Add a melody, save your work, share it with friends, or export it to Garageband, sheet music, or guitar tab.
3. The Analysis Wiki is a user-generated collection of analyses of popular songs. Look up the chord progression and melody of a song, or use the music editor to create your own analyses.
Check it out now!
SELL YOUR MUSIC FOR FREE & KEEP 100% OF YOUR SALES
VibeDeck is a free direct-to-fan music sales solution that's easy to use and quick to set up. All you need is your digital tracks, some album artwork and a PayPal account. When a fan buys your music, the money goes directly into your PayPal account so you can access it immediately. VibeDeck does not take a cut or charge a service subscription fee. It's truly free, easy and invaluable for any artist with music to share with the world.
Sign-up in seconds!
MUSIKPITCH: NEW ONLINE MARKETPLACE FOR SONGWRITING OPPORTUNITIES
MusikPitch is a brand new website where songwriters can find the
latest opportunities from companies, studios, and individuals
looking for custom songs. It's a straightforward marketplace,
where you can get your music heard and win contracts, regardless
of your experience and location. New projects are posted daily —
from big name movie studios and company brands to non-profits and
schools. Start browsing for great new opportunities today! http://www.musikpitch.com
EVOLUTION GARDEN MUSIC AWARD 2012
Website Address: www.egmaward.com
Dates: its on now! deadline for entry 31/03/2012
Registration fee: £10 per song
Description: Evolution Garden and Tom Newman (Mike Oldfield's Tubular Bells producer / Virgin Records co founder) are looking for original global talent! Entrants must submit their original song/composition on mp3 format. Prize worth £100,000.
SONGWRITING CONSULTATION SPECIAL OFFER:
Pete and Pat Luboff are offering a special rate to Muse's Muse
readers on a single song consultation: http://www.writesongs.com/consults.html MM readers get a $5
discount by sending $15 via PayPal to firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
THE INDIE VENUE BIBLE - A GROUNDBREAKING VENUE DIRECTORY FOR ANY
ARTIST PLANNING TO TOUR IN THE US OR CANADA!
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! Click here for more information!
Muse's Clues - By John Brhel
©2011-2012 John Brhel. All Rights Reserved.
Used By Permission
“And I’ve been takin’ care of business every day
Takin’ care of business every way
I’ve been takin’ care of business, it’s all mine
Takin’ care of business and working overtime.”
“Takin’ Care of Business,” Bachman–Turner Overdrive
BTO’s song “Takin’ Care of Business” may be about living the do-nothing/play all day lifestyle of a spoiled rock star, but it exemplifies this month’s look at inspiring websites. That and I happened to hum it the other day to my girlfriend.
As a songwriter, you have the gift of working on your craft each and every day. While astronauts have to wait years to go to measly outer space, you get to live in the thrill of the moment any day you want, that is, if you’re so inspired (and devoted).
If you’re like me (29, bald and prone to moonwalking), you probably know what it’s like to fall behind on songwriting pursuits when life strums a proverbial bum chord. In my case, it’s the feast or famine nature of freelance writing. Some weeks I have enough time on my hands to pen an “Exile on Main Street” or “Synchronicity” (just like, you know, less awesome.) Other weeks I’ll have a hard time writing as much as a 30 second jingle for a fake toothpaste ad. Or I’ll show up to a co-write without a drum track I had promised to record (sorry, Joe!)
Along with “American Songwriter” and various pop music blogs, I find myself reading coffee table books like H. Jackson Brown, Jr.’s “Life's Little Instruction Book.” Okay, maybe I’ve read through the whole thing. But there’s a quote in the book that struck a chord (pun intended) with me and fits nicely with the man I’m about to introduce:
“Don't say you don't have enough time. You have exactly the same number of hours per day that were given to Helen Keller, Pasteur, Michelangelo, Mother Teresa, Leonardo da Vinci, Thomas Jefferson, and Albert Einstein.”
Songwriting may not be as important as the theory of relativity or running the United States, but it means a lot to those of us with a propensity for Billy Idol, P.M. Dawn, etc. It’s true; every one of us has the same amount of hours in a day, whether we work as full-time musicians or spend our time writing lyrics while the hash browns bubble in the fryer. There’s no reason why we can’t pursue our songwriting to its fullest, no matter where we are or what we do.
If you find yourself struggling to eke out a pre-chorus over a six-month period, head over to The Mighty Mr. Bill’s blog for some inspiration. Billy Grisack is an award-winning professional children’s songwriter who plays more than 200 gigs a year. With 15 albums under his belt in 10 years’ time, Grisack knows a thing or two about productive songwriting.
Rather than stew over songs like they’re bound for the Great American Songbook, Grisack writes, records and moves on to the next project sooner than you can say “I Guess That’s Why They Call It the Blues.” He’s known to write a song in an hour, including his popular single “Angry Birds.” While you’re waiting weeks for the perfect hook to hit you, Grisack’s recorded an album. Yes, an album. This proactive songwriter is currently in the midst of a project to release 12 new albums in 12 months. This includes writing, recording, and artwork – the whole package. In the time it might take you to find a proper way back to the chorus from some pesky bridge, Grisack’s chosen a theme, written songs, mixed and mastered, designed the cover, and made the album available digitally and on CD. Too bad Tin Pan Alley has gone by the wayside: Grisack’s drive-thru songwriting approach would fit in just nicely.
Whether you write children’s songs about ice cream or post-punk ditties about the idiosyncrasies of romance in the digital age, the process is all the same. The difference lies in commitment and approach. Grisack structures his time to and meets deadlines, much like a business. He’s like a CEO (just one that writes songs like “Read a Book and Dream” and “Cricket Love Song.”)
If you’re curious what an album written and recorded in 30 days sounds like, head over to Grisack’s CD Baby page and take a listen. Well-recorded and full of catchy melodies, “Rock and Roll All Night” is proof that songwriting doesn’t have to be laborious. It might be just the inspiration you need to pick up the guitar and bang out that verse-to-chorus transition once and for all.
Take care of your songwriting business and use the hours you have to get work done. While it may be cool to put out New Wave-sounding music now, you don’t want to be that guy that’s just now releasing songs you started writing in 1985. Get the songs out of your head and into the collective MP3 player. At the very least finish that grunge era track you’ve been dying to release.
John Brhel is a songwriter from upstate New York who wrote his first batch of pop songs before graduating from elementary school. A lover of all music, John writes country songs, plays in a punk band and spends a good deal of his free time listening to Diane Warren ballads. John regularly attends industry events in New York and Los Angeles and is a member of ASCAP and the Songwriter’s Hall of Fame. A lover of melody and the left-field chord change, John lives and breathes songs. He is always on the lookout for Skype cowriters.
Featured Article - By Brad Dunse
QUICK TIP: Put That Flipper Down
You’re watchin’ TV at your buddy’s place, a brewski or Dew in your paw, a bowl of corn lap-side, and your tired dogs hangin’ over the recliner; you’re just getting into a show and you happen to blink. When you’re eyes open there’s a different show on the tube. You flinch your buddy a WTH look, but he’s starin’ at the TV and doesn’t see you.
Eventually though, you need to blink again. Dang it, when you open your eyes, another flipin’ show is on the screen. Now you just feel like not watching at all because it’s a waste of time to get into any one show. He’s just going to whack the channel on you again.
Kind of sucks doesn’t it? What is it with the permanently affixed TV flipper anyway? I mean, put the damn thing down and watch the show will ya? That’s what you’d like to say.
Hopefully that’s not what people are thinking about your songs.
Yeah buddy, you sure can do that same thing with your lyrics. How? By not sticking to one main point to the song.
As you know, songs are all about emotion, and hey, we’re complicated people, so we’ve got lots of emotions. Love your sweetie? Great. Hate your job? That happens too. Do they belong in the same song? No, not as a main course.
Let’s look at a half-baked lyric as an example:
Punch out that clock with a tight closed fist
When you get this text
Leave the boss slack jawed and starin’
Don’t take your time,
Walk off that line
You’ll get a little something extra,
If you’re home by nine
I’m gonna love you past you’re limit
Find some brand new ground
Love you past your limit
Speed up then slow down
I know… I know… I know you’ll get in it
Way past your limit
Your job you said ain’t nothing great
Stealin’ all your time
Real big talk and white hat gossip
All those jerks
Just drive you berserk
The daily grind just keeps on grindin’
And when that battleground’s all you can weather
I’m gonna love you past you’re limit
Find some brand new ground
Love you past your limit
Speed up then slow down
I know… I know… I know you’ll get in it
Way past your limit
Okay not your deep meaning lyric, but it shows a point. What do we have here? We’ve got two different lyrics living in one song that’s what.
We’ve got a love theme chorus, which is a universal identifiable emotion for a chorus, so that’s fine. Verse one is even okay for a topic leading into the chorus. Nothing wrong with texting someone and saying “Hey, comeback here and I’ll show ya something that’ll torch your time card.”
The second verse is the problem. The topic is all about the job and how it sucks. While it might be true that it is a waste of time, there is white hat gossip, it brings someone down and all the rest, it is a topic for a whole other song. It is too much a “job sucks” focus for a love song.
Verse 2 would have been better to take on an up close perspective of what the singer intends. Maybe close the curtains, shut the cell phones off, log off your social media of choice, and … well the rest you can guess on your own.
It’s critical to convey one clear point to make your songs the strongest they can be. It doesn’t mean you can’t describe it with other scenes, situations, or items.
For instance, verse two could tell how his or her friends consume all the singee’s time at the clubs, and the singer wants him or her to call it an early night and come back for a real dance.
The idea is to keep with the same emotion, which in this case is “Whatever you’re doing? Drop it, come back, and I’ll make you forget about everything else,” without competition.
Scroll through your lyrics, look for any emotions duking it out, decide on one and see if you can bolster the main point with one clear identifiable theme or point.
Finding the QTs helpful? Got any quick tip successes? Or any topics you want covered? Feel free to Let Me Know like Richard S from St. Paul did. Thanks Richard.
Until then … happy writing everybody!
Brad Dunse is a performing songwriter based deep in the country's heartland reflecting sensitivity of daily living in his songs. Writing primarily in Folk, Country, Pop, or Americana, he occasionally writes CCM. Co-writer of The Wall, a tribute to Viet Vets receiving major market airplay, he's also received airplay on NPR, local public, independent, and web radio. He is a freelance writer, is board member of Minnesota Association of Songwriters, been member or involved in ASCAP, NSAI, SongU and other organizations. You can visit his web site at WWW.BRADDUNSEMUSIC.COM as well Add As Facebook Friend or Follow Him On Twitter.
|"ON SITE" FEATURED ARTICLE(S)
Creation to Congratulation: The Road to a Grammy - by Bill Pere
How does an Indie artist get from an idea to having a song on a Grammy-winning Album? Here is the whole story of how Bill Pere and Les Julian created a song which, 17 years later, was part of the "Best Children's Album" at the 54th Grammy Awards.
My Interview with Hit Songwriter, Dallas Frazier - by Bronson Hermuth
Dallas Frazier has had a huge career and he's still going strong! A one on one interview with a hit songwriter you can read and/or listen to.
The Importance of Being Real - by Beth Lawrence
As a performer, as a storyteller, it is our mission to reveal our authentic self when we take the stage. This is probably why many performers suffer from stage fright - they are truly terrified to open themselves to an audience who they feel may judge them negatively. The only way to get over this fear is to drop the facade and realize that we are all the same. You must know that we are all of the same tribe. And a tribe protects its own! Being real means that you understand the commonality that you share with everyone in your audience. You share a common humanity. We have all cried, laughed, loved, been rejected. If you are hiding behind a mask, only pretending to be real, not only your audience, but your own true self will be left unmoved.
|Classifieds & Useful Services
LEARN HOW TO PLAY GUITAR WITH GuitarMasterClass.net AND START COMPOSING YOUR OWN SONGS NOW!
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SUBMIT YOUR MUSIC FOR INDIE-MUSIC'S TOP 25
Indie-Music is seeking artist submissions for its prestigious annual Top 25 Awards. This exclusive competition features the best independent artists and songs in a year-long campaign which exposes their music to thousands of potential new fans and industry backers. Artists worldwide are invited to submit their music for placement on the website, which receives millions of hits every year. All genres welcome.
THE 11th EDITION OF THE INDIE BIBLE IS NOW AVAILABLE!
The Indie Bible shows you where to get your music reviewed, your
songs played, and your CDs sold. Now in its 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.
Click here for details and to order online.
LYRICIST VERSION 3: THE SONGWRITER'S BEST FRIEND
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
The new version 3 release adds support for "Piano Style" chord
symbols, Nashville Number System, and Transposition features -
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