The Muse's News
||The Muse's News
|* Featured Article: Quick Tip: Here a bridge, there a bridge, everywhere a bridge -- bridge by Brad Dunse
Copyright 1998-2011 - Jodi Krangle.
For more contact information, see end of issue.
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(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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I sincerely hope that all my American friends had a wonderful Thanksgiving filled with fun and family and laughter, and lots of things to be thankful for. As we move further into the Holiday season, I hope you've found it inspirational, too! There's a great deal to write about in this special time of the year. I'm sure I don't need to tell you guys that, but it bears repeating. Giving back can create a lot of inspiration too - for a lot of different reasons.
The New York and New Jersey areas are still recovering from Sandy - as is Cuba, Haita and Jamaica (that wasn't reported on much, now was it. :-/ ). Giving to your local red cross could mean a LOT to a lot people. But there are a lot of other ways you can help out. Again, I'm not telling you anything you don't already know, so I'll leave it at that and get on with the newsletter.
For those of you looking for holiday gifts for the musician in your life, there are a ton of suggestions in this newsletter and on the Muse's Muse website itself. Have a look around and if you have any questions, feel free to ask.
Now, in the holiday spirit, I'm giving away stuff! :) Here are the raffle winners for this month - and there's instructions on how you can scoop up one of these prizes for yourself, after the list of raffle winners.
This month, those winners are:
Melissa Wilkins, from Lula, GA, 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.
Chris Keating from Carthage, TX, 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.
- John Bunts, from Galena, MD, has won a copy of Virtual Studio Systems' Lyricist software.
INSTRUCTIONS FOR POTENTIAL RAFFLE WINNERS:
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.)
i hope you have the most wonderful of Holidays!
All the best,
(Many thanks to the sponsors that help support this newsletter!)
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Melissa Auf der Maur - Genre: ROCK
Here is a selection of the great artists and bands highlighted
the Artist Spotlight section of The Muse's Muse.
For her second solo album “Out of Our Minds” Melissa wanted a more diverse album than her first. She made a creative promise to herself to try new things. For example: For the first time, she wrote a song for someone else’s voice and persona: “Father’s Grave” her duet with one of her teenage heroes Glenn Danzig. She pushed herself to write songs starting with different root sources: the bass, the piano, autoharp, lyrics, melody, guitar, a drum beat. She also made a commitment to herself to return to her visual and conceptual art roots, and make an accompanying “Out of Our Minds” fantasy film and comic.
Ross Douglas - Genre: SINGER/SONGWRITER
Mr. Douglas is eclectic by nature.
Variety is to be expected.
Comment on his work
"One fascinating song after another -unique perspectives, heartfelt performances superb craftsmanship and a generous dose of humour. Bravo!"
"Terrific songwriting that deserves the widest audience."
He has 3 critically acclaimed albums so check him out.
|Songwriting Book Review
By: Anastasia Karalekas
Anastasia's taking a month off so she'll have another review for us next month! Thanks for your understanding, guys!
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!)
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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!
14TH ANNUAL GREAT AMERICAN SONG CONTEST - DEADLINE EXTENDED TO DECEMBER 12TH!
The Great American Song Contest features $10,000 in Prizes and provides awards for 50 winners in 10 songwriting genres. Entrants receive written song evaluations from music-industry judges, including publishers, music producers and recording artists. This event is open to songwriters, lyricists and composers everywhere. Sponsored by Songwriters Resource Network, a trusted educational resource for songwriters everywhere. Submission deadline is December 12, 2012. For details, visit: http://www.GreatAmericanSong.com
THE TIPPERARY INTERNATIONAL SONG OF PEACE CONTEST
The Tipperary International Song of Peace Contest will take place in Tipperary Town, Ireland during 2013. The Contest is now open for the acceptance of entries. So what kind of song is Tipperary Peace Convention looking for? Well a song of Peace, Love and Harmony, about people, places or things, in fact anything that one feels constitutes a 'Sense of Peace'. The organisers are most anxious that the contest embraces all musical tastes so all genre of music is welcome. Entries must be submitted on a compact disc or cassette tape with one copy of the type-written lyric. The entry fee is €25 (euro) or equivalent amount in your own currency.
The closing date for entries is February 1st, 2013.
From the entries received, 10 songs will be chosen to compete 'live' in the Grand Final in Tipperary Town, Ireland at a date to be announced in 2012. The winning song will receive a cheque for €1,500 (euro) and a specially commissioned Tipperary Crystal Trophy. Entry Forms are now available and can be downloaded from the organisers website: www.tipperarypeace.ie or from the Contest Secretary, Martin Quinn at firstname.lastname@example.org Telephone inquiries to: 00353 62 33990.
QUINTE SUMMER MUSIC FESTIVAL SERIES!
Shipwreck Productions will be producing 4 music festivals in the Summer of 2013. Each of our 4 summer long weekends will be a 4 day festival in Belleville Ontario!
With 3 stage areas we will bring you Rock, Country and Hip-hop/pop performances – from battle of the bands to the headliners YOU want to see. There will be hundreds of vendors, lots of camping areas, farmers market, activity areas and our Kids Kabana child care area. Be sure to visit our website for more information. Summermusicfest.getshipwrecked.ca or call 416.846.7684!
NSAI NEW YORK CITY JASON BLUME SONGWRITING WORKSHOP
The New York City Chapter of NSAI is hosting a 1 day Jason Blume Songwriting Workshop on Dec. 2nd. Topics will include Lyric Techniques to Communicate What’s In Your Heart, Crafting Melodies That Listeners Can’t Forget, and selected participants’ song critiques. Muse's Muse members receive the members discount. Sign up before 11/10 and receive an additional discount. For full details, go to: www.jasonblume.com/new_york_city_workshop.html
NSAI SAN FRANCISCO JASON BLUME SONGWRITING WORKSHOP
The San Francisco Chapter of the Nashville Songwriters Association International (NSAI) will present a two-day songwriting workshop with hit songwriter/publisher/best-selling author Jason Blume at the Musician’s Union on November 3rd and 4th. Muse's Muse members receive the members discount. For full details, go to: www.jasonblume.com/san_francisco_workshop.html
BOOKING & TOURING SUCCESS STRATEGIES & SECRETS ONLINE COURSE
Getting great gigs, building your audience and selling more merchandise is exactly what your career is all about. This online course is jam-packed with 12 hours of downloadable audio mp3s and PDF Action Guides. There are 5 modules: Module 1: Tour Goals & Planning Strategies, Module 2: Routing Your Tours, Module 3: Negotiation Techniques & Contracts, Module 4: Working with Presenters, Bookers, Promoters/Advancing the Date, Module 5: Targeting Your Markets for Maximum Audiences. Plus 2 hours of bonus classes, BONUS #1: Website Maximizer-Is you’re your Website Selling You? Learn how. BONUS #2: Copy Writing: How to write fan emails, press releases and other promo copy that get responses. Bonus # 3: Three free Industry Biz Booster Monthly Mentor Interviews. And finally, weekly call-in office hours to talk with former agent, manager, author, creator, Jeri Goldstein directly, about the course and your career. Booking & Touring Success Strategies & Secrets gives you artist-tested, step-by-step strategies to help you reach your career goals and make all of your tours profitable. http://performingbiz.com.
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.
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!
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
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,
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mics. There are also 1,500 festivals listed as well as over
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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
“I don't want a lot for Christmas
There is just one thing I need
I don't care about the presents
underneath the Christmas tree”
--“All I Want for Christmas is You,” Mariah Carey
Sing it, Mimi. Who needs an iPad, Kindle, or nasty sausage gift basket anyway? You know what I want this year? A hit song. While I don’t think I’ll make the Hot 100 before the ball drops (unless I become some sort of Rebecca Black-esque viral sensation), I’ve at least found a website that could lead me in the right direction. Oh, and you guys might like it too.
Did you know that Miley Cyrus and The Rolling Stones actually have something in common beyond being insanely rich and famous? If you’re wondering, the Stones aren’t doing a Nickelodeon show and Miley won’t be releasing a Muddy Waters cover album anytime soon, at least I don’t think. No, both artists songs’ share similar elements. For example, Miley Cyrus’ “The Climb” and The Rolling Stones’ “The Last Time” are both in the key of E! Okay, it’s not much of an overlap, but it goes to show that even songs from vastly different genres can have something in common.
I don’t know about you, but I don’t spend my time figuring out what keys songs are in unless I plan on covering them. While I do listen to both Miley Cyrus (on occasion) and the Stones (more so), I found out which keys both songs are in at SongChemistry.com.
If you’re curious as to what makes hit songs tick, SongChemistry is your pop professor, melodic mad scientist, chart chemist, etc. According to its FAQ, the site provides in-depth information about hit songs to help future hitmakers craft their own:
“Making a potential hit record these days is 10% talent, 40% marketing, and 50% song chemistry. With an adequate evaluation of today's top songs, you can identify viable patterns applied to hit songs. With our tool, you're taking the DNA from hit songs and planting the seed for your next masterpiece.”
With a database of over 1,700 songs and growing, SongChemistry is making good on its goal to provide songwriters with both tried and true and cutting-edge songwriting elements. The site offers insight on an eclectic mix of songs spanning genres as diverse as reggae, classical, and jazz. Curious about the KISS hit “Flaming Youth”? Want to know what makes Flo Rida’s “Wild Ones” sound so flipping good? Search through the database and get your fill.
Or maybe you’re interested in finding out what KISS and Flo Rida’s hits have in common. Thanks to the Song Forensics feature, you can easily compare up to five songs in SongChemistry’s database. I plugged in Carly Rae Jepsen’s “Call Me Maybe” and John Lennon’s “Imagine.” Want to know what I found out? Well, both songs are pop, in 4/4 time signature, and were released in September! I always knew these two chart-toppers had something in common other than an inspirational message.
Speaking of the charts, every week SongChemistry offers insight on the top 10 songs in the country, including info on instrumentation, song keys, arrangements, samples, and lyrics. It also breaks down hits by genre in charts like Top 5 Country Songs or Top 5 Rock Songs. With this info, you’ll have what it takes to write your very own hit (or at least cop Bruno Mars’ arrangements and/or lyrical themes.)
If words turn you on (I’m more of a melody junkie), SongChemistry also offers a convenient lyric search. To test it out, I searched for that most common of lyrical tropes: “baby.” Of the more than 1,700 songs in its database, 300 included the word baby. I then searched for “spaghetti,” which only turned up one song: T.I.’s “Undertaker.” You’re a groundbreaker, Clifford.
Think SongChemistry would be cooler if it had more songs with pasta references in its database? Well, you could always sign up for a profile and make requests. Interested in Three Dog Night’s favorite keys or Bon Iver’s go-to instruments? Create a profile and you make all the song requests you want. Not only that, but you can also create top 10 lists for other members to discuss and butt heads over.
For all you smartphone-carrying troubadours, SongChemistry is also available in app form. So, if you’re waiting for a bus and suddenly feel the need to know more about a Ke$ha or Curtis Mayfield song, you’ll have all the info at your fingertips.
Take a break from singing songs about snowmen and roasting chestnuts this month and check out SongChemistry. It might not be super in-depth at the moment, but it does offer some interesting information for the studious and hit-hungry songwriter.
With that, I’m off. Enjoy your holiday. Here’s to scoring a hit in 2013 (or at least an appearance in a laundry detergent commercial.)
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: Here a bridge, there a bridge, everywhere a bridge -- bridge
How many different bridges are there? To name a few: dental bridge, bridge on a guitar, draw bridge, even the old card game at the Blue Hair Invitational.
A song’s bridge has many similarities to those listed above. What do I mean?
• The Dental Bridge. Like a dental bridge, a song only needs one when a whole needs to be filled. Putting one in where there isn’t a need doesn't accomplish anything. In fact, a needless bridge causes your song to lose its bite.
For example, if you’ve got a song where both music and lyric stand up fine on their own, why would you feel it needs a bridge?
Over the years I’ve seen writers put in bridges because they thought it was cool, or that every song was supposed to have one. Sometimes though, there just isn’t a need for it and it only adds length to a song, bores a listener, and leads to nowhere. Boredom is a leading cause for listener decay!
So, before you just slam a bridge over the teeth of your song, make sure there is a missing tooth that needs filling first to help your song get a full healthy bite, otherwise don’t use one.
• The Guitar Bridge. Without a guitar’s bridge to lift strings up off the fretboard, strings would lay directly on the frets making a horrible racket.
To make music, strings need space to sing out for the ear’s pleasure. A song that needs space between choruses, or verses if an AABA format, is similar.
Eventually it becomes musically intuitive, but there is a point in writing where you just know, “Okay, the listener has had enough of the verse and chorus of this song. I’m not finished making my point, they need something different musically… they’re getting bored, and attentions are drifting.”
Songs are all about grabbing and holding a listener’s attention. Sometimes boredom is musically driven.
People can even get irritated when listening to a boring or pounding song when simultaneous negative external stimulus is experienced, like rush hour traffic woes. You don’t want that emotion attached to your song.
Experiment with that intuition. Too thick of a guitar bridge gives too much space. Your fingers and hand will fatigue trying to push the strings to the frets, not unlike the listener’s ear in too long a bridge.
Too thin of a bridge, and strings buzz on the frets, again not unlike a listener’s experience with a bridge that doesn’t fulfill its job, it’s just noise.
• The Draw Bridge. Imagine your verse and chorus are on the mainland, and your interesting perspective or primer to give your song new life is the castle. The problem is there’s a moat separating the castle from the mainland. So, down comes the castle’s draw bridge to draw you in.
That’s the job of a bridge, to draw a listener in to your song deeper, giving your chorus or verse new life or meaning.
Face it, after a couple minutes of listening folks think they’ve gotten yours song figured out, until they get to the bridge that is, where musically and lyrically you’ve given them a treat they didn’t expect. Suddenly they’ve been drawn back into your song, right into your castle.
• The Blue Hair Invitational. Just like the old card game, a bridge is strategic and skillful. You don’t randomly toss cards out, strategy is involved.
What skilled strategies might you use in a song’s bridge?
A different rhyme pattern than other parts of your song? Maybe different vowel sounds in those rhymes as well.
Switch from major to minor chords? Use a different chord progression? Maybe a different key all together?
If your song makes a statement you might ask a question in the bridge to toss in a soft wrench; or conversely, a bridge statement if your song asks a question.
Perhaps your bridge can bring a listener closer to a scene with more detail? Or the opposite using a bird’s eye view giving a broader perspective.
You don’t want lyrics and music so different they seem out of place, but different enough to breathe new song interest, or a new meaning for the old chorus or upcoming verse.
Pay attention to the songs you hear this month. Do they differ musically and lyrically from the rest of the song? If so, how?
Were they really needed to help the song?
Until next time…
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)
How To Gain The Power To Create Intense Musical Emotion - by Tom Hess
Have you ever wondered how your favorite musicians make such great music? The answer is this: They fully understand how musical emotion works, and how to use this to create intense emotions in YOU while you listen to them. Understanding musical expression is key to becoming a great guitar player and musician. When you control emotion in music, you will gain the power to greatly affect the listener’s experience...
Making Your Listeners Want To Hear Your Song Again, as Done by Queen
- by Anthony Ceseri
One thing we all songwriters want is for people to want to hear our music. And not just hear our music, but we want them to be listening to it over and over again. The best way to have that happen is to have a really catchy hook. But there are other little things you can do, to maximize the impact your song has on your fans. We'll look at one of them, in this article.
|Classifieds & Useful Services
THE 11th EDITION OF THE INDIE BIBLE IS NOW AVAILABLE!
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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
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The new version 3 release adds support for "Piano Style" chord
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This tool will revolutionize the way you write and organize your
Be the best songwriter you can be and purchase Lyricist
THE SUCCESSFUL SONGWRITER MOTIVATION & MEDITATION AUDIO
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Limited Introductory Offer of $12.95 for Digital Download
Discounts for CD, and CD/Digital Download Combo shown on ordering
For Classifieds: US$50 Max. 7 lines (though I
do make exceptions), where a line = 65 characters including
spaces and punctuation. All contracts must be prepaid. Write to: email@example.com.
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