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The Muse's News
The Muse's News
The Muse's News
An E-zine For And About Songwriters.
Issue 17.10
January 2015

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 - by adventurer and songwriter, Richard Miller.
* Featured Article: Quick Tip: Are Your Phrases Universal? 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!)

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MasterWriter gives you Rhymes, Close Rhymes, Phrases, Synonyms, Word Families, Pop-Culture, Alliterations, the Definition and more. Also included is an audio recorder and tools that will give you everything you'll need to organize your songs. The new version 3.0 is web–based, so you can leave the house empty–handed and access MasterWriter on any computer, tablet or smart phone, wherever you are.
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“MasterWriter will not only help you write great songs, it will make you a better songwriter in the process.”
–David Foster
“Producers have Pro Tools. Writers have Word. Songwriters have MasterWriter.”
–Rob Thomas

Editor's Musings:

Wow. How time flies, huh? We're about to see another new year! I hope your holidays (if you celebrate at this time of the year) were completely awesome and that 2015 holds all things wonderful for you.

For now, because I'm not quite done celebrating (and my home studio is going through a make-over. Yay! :) ) I'll get right to the raffle winners this month and then the juicy bits of info that you're subscribing to this newsletter for. ;)

Tthe raffle winners for this month are:

  • Patrick Dodge, from Saugerties, NY, has won a copy of Virtual Studio Systems' Lyricist software.
  • Phyllis DeKok, from Kurtistown, HI, 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.
  • Ann Meadows from Roanoke Rapids, NC, has won a copy of the wonderfully useful book, "100 Miles To A Record Deal" by author and publisher, Bronson Herrmuth.
  • Peter Gaines from Co. Tipperary, Ireland, 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.)

I hope your holidays were all you hoped for and that your 2015 is the best one yet!

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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The package includes 12 audio CDs (packed with 17 repeatable lessons, including both technique--the simple, yet powerful exercises, and style lessons for building vocal licks and trills); a workbook for illustration; and a DVD for visual reference and demonstration. It's a complete course - and it has a money-back guarantee!

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

Music Reviews:


Cyrus Rhodes

* Kari Tieger
* Dave Bailin & The Bailouts
* Polar Bear Referendum
* The Sweetlips
* Paddy Mills

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.


Jane Joyce - Genre: POP

Jane Joyce explodes onto the 2014 music scene with her debut hit single “Kill This Beat”! Co-written and produced by Gardner Cole who wrote “Open Your Heart” by Madonna. Bringing fun, excitement, and sass, Jane is shaking up the pop world, one banging track at a time.

Songwriting Book Review By: John Thomas


Unfortunately, John caught that nasty flu that was going around, so wasn't able to get anything in for this month (I TOTALLY sympathize!). He'll be back next month with a great one though. Thanks for your patience and please wish John a speedy recovery!


John Thomas is a singer, songwriter, and bass player in Macon, Georgia who loves good songs, good coffee, and the company of his beautiful wife and children.

Sponsor Message:
(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 &
Please check there regularly for updates!

UK SONGWRITING CONTEST - Future Music launches new Songwriting Competition!

UK Songwriting Contest: New for 2015, Future Music is launching a UK songwriting contest to find the best songwriters in the UK. The UK songwriting contest will provide the opportunity for both aspiring and established songwriters to get their music heard and potentially get signed. There is also the opportunity to perform in a Grand Final showcase in London in front of A&R who work for the three major record labels.
So, if you think you’ve got what it takes and want your songwriting heard by music industry professionals, enter the songwriting contest here:


Two teenage songwriting sister team Justine Dorsey and Kerris Dorsey from Los Angeles win Overall Grand Prize at the 19th Annual USA Songwriting Competition. Kerris Dorsey breaks the previous record of the Youngest Overall Grand Prize winner at just 16 years old. The previous record was held by Sarah Lonsert, also from Los Angeles, 17 years old at that time in 2010.The song has just been signed to Walt Disney Music and appeared in the box office hit movie "Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day" starring Steve Carell and Jennifer Garner. In it’s landmark 20th year, the 20th Annual USA Songwriting Competition is currently accepting entries from now till May 29, 2015. For more information, visit:


Women of Substance Radio is an Internet Radio Station (with our own Mobile App) that has been on the air for 7 years. Our review board hand-picks the BEST music by female artists in all genres from both label artists and Indies. New music is added weekly and promoted on Social Media. We also feature videos on our blog daily. WOSRadio is a unique platform for Female Indie Artists to showcase and promote their music to targeted listeners and music buyers.

Visit:  / Listen:


Songwriter Connect will connect you to established artists near you. We are creating a new platform for songwriters and composers. The main feature will be that we will connect you to established artists near you. We also cater for local, unrecognized singers and bands who are on the lookout for talented and screened songwriters to collaborate on their next project. Register now to be one of the first songwriters on this innovative platform!

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 - Richard Miller

©2014-2015 Richard Miller. All Rights Reserved.
Used By Permission

Friendship Makes Us Fresh

It has been a year of change.  Twelve months ago I was a moderately successful computer programmer in the Pharmaceutical Industry with a good income and a reasonably secure financial future but no outlet for music and not particularly happy.  My only connections with music were either the stereo or the guitar.  However, after an exhausting day in front of a computer screen if I sat down to listen I was usually asleep in less than 10 minutes while if I picked up the guitar I fumbled mindlessly through the same set chords I’d been repeating over the last millennia, getting nowhere, giving up in frustration and going to bed.

To break out of this rut the best thing to do seemed to be to chuck the job, buy a wreck of a house, fix it up and drive the cost of living down to a point where, at best, a modest career as musician would keep body and soul together or, at worst, a part-time job at the local cafe would be enough for the basics allowing both of us to concentrate on art (mine’s aural and hers is visual).  We thought about applying for a government bail out if things went wrong but that, it would appear, is limited to wealthy bankers and major corporations.  Anyway, I digress.

The basics are done on the house and we are at the the point where attention can start to turn towards art.  Therein lies the dilemma.  Where to start?  Well, it seemed logical to follow on from last month, Meet and Greet, and this is the time of year when the thoughts of many turn towards home so I picked up on a helpful suggestion and looked into Message Boards related to songwriting.

There are lots and lots to say the least but there are a couple that look more interesting than most.  The first is very close to home:  The Muse’s Muse Message Board is a rich source of information and interaction.  There are now over 10,500 members (Is it time to update the introduction on the front page of the website?) and the members, in my experience, are scrupulously polite and constructive.

Another site that was brought to my attention is Just Plain Folks.  Wander around the site and you can’t help but get enthusiastic for the philosophy.  I can’t say too much about the Message Board yet because the confirmation email seems to have disappeared into the ether.  I will chase that up and provide more detail later.   Their Facebook page is pretty active so it should be fairly easy to sort things out.

Finally I came across this site:  MeetUp quite by accident.  It really belongs in last months post as it is more inclined towards like minded people meeting up but it looks interesting.  There are two groups local to Leuven dedicated to music and songwriting.  I’ve joined both and will let you know if and when there is any progress.

With the holiday season in full swing commitments are numerous and time is precious so it is time to dash.  We wish you all a happy and heart warming holiday season, good times with friends and family, the chance to reflect on the year past, re-invigorate for the year to come.  Spread a little peace and happiness.


Richard Miller is a caterpillar who has begun his chrysalis phase. Originally from Maine, Richard has, via a series of mis-adventures and accidents, worked as an accountant in the English Midlands, a systems programmer on the South Coast of England (where he also pursued an illustrious career in rugby) and a statistical programmer in Belgium. Now he has put all that aside, bought a house, stripped it back to the brick and started to renovate it from top to bottom while simultaneously transforming himself from a results oriented automaton into a winged song writer. You can peak inside the chrysalis at:

Featured Article - By Brad Dunse

QUICK TIP: Are Your Phrases Universal?

Thanks to my wife’s recent trip to the grocery store, I have a little songwriting gotcha that can sneak up on you without even noticing it.
So my wife was picking up a few things at the store when all of the sudden a young lady from the checkout frantically popped in the isle and grabbed a bag of walnuts. I’d guess the young lady was helping a customer yet in line. The checkout gal might have even been mumbling to herself in panic flipping the package over several times in her flustered state until she asked a stock boy.
“Are these shelled walnuts?”
To which he looked at them and said, “I don’t know.”
They were in a little panic over this question of shelled walnuts. Finally, my wife helped them out and said they were shelled walnuts, because if they weren’t, you’d see the shells.
Okay, now it seems pretty obvious to me that a package of walnut halves do not have shells on them, but evidently not to these two young folks. In fact, my wife and I thought it incredible they didn’t know this.
That got me thinking can we do something similar with our songwriting and not know it? Turns out we actually can.
We’ve talked in the past about using the right language for the genre, right? I mean we wouldn’t have an old school country tune and say, “Yo, bro… I’m headed back to the crib,” because that could mean an old corn crib on a farm and not someone’s inner city home.
So we know the importance of proper language for the genre, but what happens when we have more generic terms and they still leave a listener baffled?
For instance, if I said, “They panked the snow, so I got my skis.” There is a 99.9% chance you have no idea what I just said…
…unless you are from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan where the word “panked” means to pat down, and resides almost exclusively. So, if I was a songwriter living in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, I might use this term assuming everyone knows it; oblivious most others haven’t a clue to what it means.
You think I’m being ridiculous, right? People aren’t that sheltered to think phrases and terms are not widely known. Well, there is a geeky fun radio show I listen to which deals with just such words, phrases, slang, and more. It’s kind of a writer’s pool of turn phrases and their history. It’s called A Way With Words.
I’ve been surprised to find terms I’ve used in my life that show up which others have never heard, and vice versa.
As songwriters we deal in a world of turn phrases and slang, they make our songs interesting, catchy, and fun; but we need to make sure we don’t alienate our listener or leave them in the dark either.
If I were to say, “He buckled down and wrote his term paper last night,” even though that term originated when people traveled with old wooden trunks with buckles on them instead of suit cases, you’ve probably heard it or for sure could guess what my intent was.
But, if I said I was going to take a Georgia bath, you wouldn’t know that’s what some Floridians call washing just… well, let’s just say sponge bath to keep it family friendly.
So how would you know if a phrase you like or one you grew up with is wide spread enough to use? 
Since phrases often start either in a family, an ethnic group, or in geographical areas; you’ll want to check outside those areas. 
Ask on-line friends located across the country if they’ve herd of a phrase, perhaps Google it, check the Urban Dictionary, or you could even give Martha and Grant a call at A Way With Words at WWW.WAYWORDRADIO.ORG.
As songwriters we’re always looking for a cool phrase to turn, hopefully not date our lyric with it, and keep it universal without they’re ears stumbling over a phrase; and missing the next line because their head left the song.
Take a run through some of your lyrics or the one you are working on, are those cool catch phrases universal enough? Does your listener get them?
Until next time… keep writing from the heart!


A performing songwriter, Brad Dunse is  member of ASCAP, NSAI, SongU, and Minnesota Association of Songwriters. His songs have been played on various independent, internet, and public radio stations across the country with The Wall touching a major country market station. Interested in song evaluations? Go to Brad's site for more information.


How To Practice Guitar More Effectively To Regain Your Skills After Not Playing For A Long Time - by Tom Hess

Have you been playing guitar recently after taking a long break away from playing? It doesn’t matter if you were away from guitar for several weeks, a month or more – you were surely in for an unpleasant surprise after noticing a drop in your playing skills (when compared to how you used to play).


How Mastering Sweep Picking Can Help You Become A Better Guitar Player And Overtome Your Guitar Play - by Tom Hess

Sweep picking is hard for most guitar players to master…but it doesn’t have to be that way for you. I’m about to show you exactly how easy improving your sweep picking can be and (better yet) how doing so can help ALL of your guitar playing improve.


4 Reasons Why You Haven't Done Anything Big In Your Music Career
- by Tom Hess

The biggest obstacle standing in the way of your guitar playing greatness is NOT learning complicated techniques, becoming a faster player, memorizing scale patterns or anything else musical.

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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 -EXTRAS: Gear-, singing-, recording-, bass-, piano- and drum lessons. GMC Theory Grimoire eBook !!!

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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.

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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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