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The Muse's News
The Muse's News
The Muse's News
An E-zine For And About Songwriters.
Issue 16.11
February 2014

In This Issue:
* Editor's Musings
* Music Reviews - Cyrus Rhodes
* New Artist Spotlight Additions
* Songwriting Book Review - by John Thomas
* Musical Notes - Songwriting Contests & Market Info.
* Muse's Clues - Songwriting Web sites that inspire - Looking for a new Muse's Clues writer!  Could it be you?
* Featured Article: Quick Tip: One Side To A Story by Brad Dunse
* On Site Featured Article - An article (or articles) already online for your viewing pleasure.
* Classifieds & Useful Services
* Contact information
ISSN 1480-6975. Copyright 1998-2014 - 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. Any of these items would make a fantastic present for a songwriter in your life (even if it's you! :-) ) Have a Look!


I personally use HostDime - and LOVE them. Really. Their service is superb and prompt, they really know what they're doing, you can chat with them 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and their pricing (The Muse's Muse uses a dedicated server) is very reasonable. Check them out!

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

Write Better Songs with MasterWriter 2.0 - at a New Price!WRITE BETTER SONGS WITH MASTERWRITER 2.0 - NEW PRICE!
(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 2.0 is the most powerful suite of songwriting tools ever assembled in one program. MasterWriter is endorsed by ASCAP, BMI, SESAC, NSAI and is used by some of the world's leading songwriters including Gwen Stefani, Rob Thomas, Kenneth "Babyface" Edmonds, Jimmy Webb, Kenny Loggins, Trent Reznor, Clint Black, and many more.

In addition to giving you Rhymes, Close Rhymes, Phrases, Pop-Culture, Synonyms, and the Definition, new features include Word Families and Parts Of Speech, two unique and revolutionary reference dictionaries that will open up a new world of possibilities for descriptive words and ideas. There have been updates and improvements to the existing features, including greatly expanded Sound-Alikes (close rhymes), and a completely redesigned Interface. These are serious tools for the serious songwriter.

MasterWriter's NEW price is now only $199 - but you'll still get a *$20* discount (your price is just $179!) by ordering through The Muse's Muse! Take the Tour, Download a Free Trial, and get a $20 discount! Note that the auto-inserted discount number 3004 will apply the $20 discount when ordering online. Windows and Mac compatible.

Editor's Musings:

Well, we're well into the winter months now. Even those of you in usually warmer climates are experiencing some cool downs you may not have been expecting. But WOW is it cold where I am. Talk about a deep freeze! It's not even the end of January and I'm SO ready for winter to be over. (sigh) We have another couple of months to go, really. Where I am, it doesn't really start warming up until the end of March. So I guess I better get used to it. Wherever you are, I hope you're staying warm! :)

As I mentioned in the last newsletter, John Brhel has had to move on from writing our Muse's Clues.  These are big shoes to fill, but I'm still looking for someone willing to take on the challenge. if you're interested and would like to talk about it, I'd love to hear from you!

There's lots of great stuff for you in this issue - and on the website, too! So moving on to the raffle winners for this month, they are:

  • Alex Grose, from Gabon, Africa, has won a copy of Virtual Studio Systems' Lyricist software.

  • Radha Sahar, from Horowhenua, New Zealand, 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.

  • John Henley from Cromwell, CT, has won a 6 month membership to 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.

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.)

Stay warm and inspired, my friends. :)

All the best,


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


It's the "secret weapon" used by some of the winners of the world's most prestigious vocal awards, including the Doves, the CMA Awards, and yes, the Grammies.

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Drop by for more details and start yourself on the road to improving your vocal chops today.

Music Reviews: Cyrus Rhodes


Cyrus Rhodes:

* Andrea Desmond
* Rob Larkin and the Wayward Ones
* Echo Arcadia
* Jumpship Astronaut

Click here for bios on each of the reviewers. 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!

Artist Spotlights:

Great music is only a click away!
Here is a selection of the great artists and bands highlighted
in the Artist Spotlight section of The Muse's Muse.


Little Miss Higgins - Genre: BLUES

Across The Plains, is the 4th full length album she's recorded. It was recorded in Winnipeg, Manitoba at Bedside Studio. She co-produced this album with fellow musician and producer Jaxon Haldane. The album is filled with all original songs. Lots of horns, muck-bucket bass, upright bass, wonderful percussion, guitar, mandolin, banjo, and even one song that is a acapella vocals accompanied by stompin' and clappin' and a sandalwood fan.  She won the 10th Annual Independent Music Award for Blues Album.

Songwriting Book Review By: John Thomas

-Figure Musician
by David Hooper

Have you set your resolutions, your goals for 2014? If you’re like me and probably everyone reading
this, among those goals is a desire to generate significant real income from your music. If this
applies to you: stop what you’re doing and read this entire review. The book I’m going to tell you
about could make the difference for you this year.

The Disclaimer: This book is oriented towards those who perform their music, whether as solo
artists or in bands. If you are a closet songwriter who wants other people to perform your songs
while you are paid, this may not be written primarily for you. You will gain useful insights,
principles and tactics and techniques to use to generate income. You just may not find as much
benefit as someone who records their own music and/or plays their own shows.

Who is David Hooper? David has been in the music business professionally since 1995. He’s worked
with major national acts like Marci Playground. He’s worked with big label artists and indie
artists. He’s worked on everything from street and radio promotion, to live event production, to
film and television licensing. He has been in the business long-term and is still working in the
business. He has a variety of experience few of us have and insight to go with it.

Three things I especially liked about this book:

1. While the title of the book may seem like hyperbole and exaggeration (Really? I can make six
figures as a musician?!?), the tone of the book was very level-headed. Yes, six figures can be made
by you as a musician, however, it’s not overnight, you have to work at it, and there are certain
skills that you need to cultivate and that you need to do to make that kind of money (and “selling
out” and playing music you hate isn’t one of them).

2. The emphasis on the inner game of being a profitable musician. Many books are out there that
can tell you useful tactics that can work, however, they rarely address the issue of your thinking
and how that affects the action you take and your profitability. David addresses this issue right
up front.

3. Consistent references back to direct marketing principles. In case you aren’t familiar with
direct marketing, it’s the fastest, least expensive way to figure out what works in terms of
pulling in income in a business and maintains a way of thinking to make smart business decisions
to get and stay profitable. And David has definite roots there (so do I, which is probably why I
recognized it everywhere), and this is to your advantage. Because you don’t want to waste time and
money that you may not have on ideas and activities that don’t work (i.e. make you money). Find
what works as quickly and inexpensively as possible, and then put all of your attention on what

Now, these ideas and concepts permeate the book. But David doesn’t leave you wishing for tactics
or the “what-to-do.” You’ll find plenty of those in the book, too. Everything from social media to
how often you should record and release new material to ways to connect with fans in and with your

David delves deep into the psychology of why people buy music and why certain songs stay evergreen
and keep making money year after year after year. He talks about the most important factor in
creating a career for yourself in music (it isn’t necessarily signing with the big record label and
writing music that is all over the charts. Though, if that interests you, he tells you how to get a
label’s attention). And he also gives practical ways to develop skills to connect with your fans in
ways that move them.

And he’s giving it away for free. That’s not a typo. You really can get a free pdf copy of the
book of this book for free by going to Why? Great question. He says,
“My goal is to provide you with so much value that, even though you can keep the entire book for
free, you’ll still want to pay for it.” Does he provide enough value to make it worth it? I
bought a Kindle copy and the audible audiobook copy. So, yes, I’m of the opinion that he does. I
suspect you will, too.

Grab yourself a nice bold cup of Kona coffee and a notebook. You’ll want to make the time to go
through this book.



John Thomas is a singer, songwriter, bass player, and occasional guitarist living in Macon, Georgia.
You can see him thinking on paper about his passion for songwriting, bass playing, singing, coffee, and seeing people live their personal revolutions online at

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


Berklee Online, Berklee College of Music's extension school, is the world's first accredited non-profit music institution to offer Bachelor's degrees online. We are now accepting applications for our two new programs: Bachelor of Professional Studies degrees in Music Production and Bachelor of Professional Studies degrees in Music Business. Applications are now open. Degree programs begin in 2014.

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 &
Please check there regularly for updates!


This is incredible offer that allows artists to gain access to $340 worth of music directories for only $59.95.

The ULTIMATE Indie Bundle consists of this year's edition of The Indie Bible, The Indie Venue Bible and Indie Bible ONLINE as well as a copy of next year's Indie Bible ... all for only $59.95! Over 50,000 music listings in all including Radio Stations, Music Magazines, Venues, Labels, Distributors and much more!

Click here for details and to order online.


Speaks Louder Than Words is a podcast that comes out every other week, with songwriters touching on their musical influences and upbringing, what's important to them in a song and often revealing the ideas behind their singles and albums. Since starting, Michael Kiwanuka, Nicky Graham, True Tiger and Ed Drewett have all appeared as have many more, sharing their thoughts on the craft. Click here to find previous episodes on iTunes... You can subscribe to get instant access to future releases.


The 2014 Wildflower! Performing Songwriter Contest, featuring four $500 cash awards, hotel accommodations for finalists, and a chance to perform on the Courtyard Stage, is now accepting entries. Genres include Acoustic, Americana, Bluegrass, Blues, Celtic, Country, and Folk.  This event is open to performing songwriters age 18 and older who must perform at the Wildflower! Festival in Richardson, Texas on May 17, 2014 if chosen as a finalist. Submission deadline is March 5, 2014 and only 300 entries are accepted. For details, visit: for information on mail-in entries or download entries at

A REVOLUTIONARY NEW WAY TO SHARE AND PROMOTE MUSIC pays Fans to Follow and Promote Songs and is 100% FREE to join for both recording artists and music fans. Join us in our mission of making Tunii the future of the music industry where together we can all share in the success for connecting artists and fans around the world. Sign up today through this special Muse's Muse link and please check out our short “How Tunii works video” It's Easy, it's FREE and it's Fun!


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.


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 to schedule a class.


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!

Muse's Clues - By You?

©2011-2014 ----. All Rights Reserved.
Used By Permission

John is unable to continue writing this column - but the search is on for someone to take up the gauntlet. Is that you? If so, email me and we can talk about it. Thanks!


Your byline would go here, with links to your latest projects. :)

Featured Article - By Brad Dunse

QUICK TIP: One Side To A Story

There are many techniques to build your lyric on. Anything from asking the listener a series of abstract questions, to telling a story filled with image and detail.

Let’s glance at a technique somewhere in the middle.

It’s the conversational lyric.

Not just any conversation though. It’s the one sided monologue.

I heard one side of a conversation recently that went something like…

“No, I’m not Robin! And dude, you aren’t Peggy, you’re a guy and that’s a chick name for crying out loud. No, I’m not interested in your stupid loan any more today than I was the last 200-times you’ve called here!”

Okay, that’s an exaggerated version of one for light comic relief, but do you recognize any of the below sample lyrics?

“Hello again, hello. Just called to say hello. I couldn’t sleep at all tonight, and I know it’s late, but I couldn’t wait.” –Hello Again-Neil Diamond/Alan Lindgren

“Operator, well, could you help me place this call? See, the number on the matchbook is old and faded. She's living in L. A. with my best old ex-friend Ray. Guy she said she knew well and sometimes hated” –Operator that’s Not the Way It Feels-Jim Croce

“Well, excuse me, but I think you've got my chair. No, that one's not taken, I don't mind if you sit here, I'll be glad to share. Yeah, it's usually packed here on Friday nights. Oh, if you don't mind, could I talk you out of a light.” –The Chair-Dean Dillon/Hank Cochran,

“Wow baby, is that you? Wow, your hair got so long. Yeah, yeah, I love it… I really do. Norma Jean ain’t that the song we would sing in the car driving through town, top down, making our rounds, checking out the bands on Doheny Avenue?” –These Days/Jeffery Steele/Steve Robson

“I heard that you're settled down, that you found a girl and you're married now. I heard that your dreams came true. Guess she gave you things I didn't give to you. Old friend, why are you so shy? Ain't like you to hold back or hide from the light.” –Someone Like You-Adele/Dan Wilson

You’d do well to check out these tunes in full bloom to see how the conversation is the centerpiece of the lyric. Some songs might run it through the entire song, some maybe just the verses, and others just the conversational chorus like the Blake Shelton country hit ‘Austin’ written by David Kent and Kirsti Manna.

It’s a crafty way to get your listener emotionally vested in your song, because you know what they’re gonna do?

They’re going to start plugging up the holes you’ve left wide-open in your lyric with their own imagination.

It’s a proven marketing fact that when questions are asked, people can’t help but answer them in their own minds.

Similar are the holes you purposefully leave in your lyric.

For instance if I wrote…

“Yeah it’s me.

Really? You’re surprised?

Yeah, no kidding, we had a date tonight.

Well… I called Joe’s place and he said you weren’t there tonight

Who is that there with you?

I think we better have a talk.

Don’t give me that TV in the background story again… we both know that’s a line

Oh you can come over alright…

But you’re gonna do a little listening… this time.”

Even though we hear only one person talking, in our minds we can’t help but hear the other person on the other end of the phone say something like…

“Oh hey honey, is that you?

Um… yeah… how you doing?

Oh… um… did we have a date tonight??

Oh. I was at Joe’s place and guess I lost track of time.

You what? Oh well let me…

…Oh that? That’s just the TV on a little loud, that’s all.

Well, maybe we should talk. Can I come over to explain?”

You can pay attention to dialog just about anywhere to get some really good conversational lyrical flow ideas.

“Have you ever written a conversational lyric?

Well yeah, of course you can do it.

Yup, it is a lot of fun.

Good idea, malls or restaurants are good places to listen for conversational chatter, that’d help.

Awesome! Aw… you’ll do great.

And I hope you’re inspired to write a second one.

Hey, you’re welcome. You too.”

Until next time… keep writing from the heart!


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.


6 Ways to Attract Tons of New Guitar Students - by Tom Hess

You’ll never build a highly successful guitar teaching business without being able to attract tons of new guitar students on a continual basis. If you’re like most guitar teachers, you have tried the approach of ‘advertising more’ with minimal results. Truth is, there is much more you must do before you will be able to consistently attract more students.


The Secret To Playing Badass Blues Guitar Licks - by Tom Hess

Before you can create truly intense and passionate blues guitar licks you must master the ability to mute ALL unused strings while you are playing. If you are unable to do this, your licks will sound sloppy and you will struggle to play music that sounds as expressive and inspiring as you want it to.


The Lost Art Of Soldering, Part 1 - by Mick Polich

How many guitar students get to solder and build their own fuzz box project? Not too many,as it seems,but Mick explores this rapidly vanishing lost art...

Classifieds & Useful Services


GMC is a video lesson archive & community. GMC has tons of helpful videos, instructors and lessons. GMC also features forum for chatting with teachers and students 24/7, recording collaborations, attending video chats + content for bass, drums, singing, piano etc. All genres and styles are covered - Rock, metal, shred, blues, jazz, country & acoustic, funk.. We want you to have fun while learning - so get rocking NOW!

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Special for Muse's Muse visitors: 
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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 $54.95! (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 today!


Writing a great melody is the #1 component to writing a song your listeners will want to buy, and hear over and over again. If you want some easy ways to improve your melodies to start writing songs your fans will love, check out this FREE report. It'll teach you some great (and simple!) tricks for writing sophisticated and marketable melodies:

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:

Click here for Newsletter Sponsorship rates and other advertising opportunities.

Contact Info & Credits

Jodi Krangle, Editor:

The Muse's News is a free monthly newsletter for and about songwriters. Subscribers are welcome to recirculate or reprint The Muse's News for nonprofit use as long as the appropriate credit is given and the ENTIRE text of the newsletter is included (including credits and information at the end of each issue). Others should contact me at All articles copyrighted by their authors.

Back issues and other information will be available here.

The Muse's News is part of The Muse's Muse, a web resource for songwriters.

For further information, send your e-mail to: - How to place a classified ad, pass on market information or sponsor The Muse's News. - How to subscribe or end your subscription. - To submit articles,reviews,ideas,etc.

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Back issues of the newsletter can be read here or in an archive at the National Library of Canada ecollection.


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