The Muse's Muse  
Muses MailMuses Newsmuse chatsongwriting resource home
The Muse's News
The Muse's News
The Muse's News
An E-zine For And About Songwriters.
Issue 18.11
February 2016

In This Issue:
* Editor's Musings
* Music Reviews - More coming soon!
* 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: 4 Easy Steps Anyone Can Take To Get A Song Started 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 1998-2016 - 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 3.0!
(And Muse's News readers *still* get a special discount!)

There’s a reason why hit songwriters Gwen Stefani, Rob Thomas, Trent Reznor, David Foster, Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds and many more all use MasterWriter, it is simply the most powerful suite of songwriting tools ever assembled in one program. Why struggle to find the right word when you can have all the possibilities in an instant?

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.
90 Day Gurantee - MasterWriter 3.0
Visit to learn more and to receive $15 off a 1-year license or $20 off a 2-year license. You may also sign up for a free 10-day trial. If for any reason you are not satisfied with MasterWriter 3.0, you can get a full refund within 90 days.

“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:

Here we go for another month! We're actually coming to the end of year number eighteen. Can you believe it? Not sure how long you've personally been a subscriber - and frankly, I have no idea if there's anyone left from the early days (feel free to say hello if you've been with this newsletter for more than fifteen years. I'd love to hear from you!) but wow. Just WOW. It's been a long haul, huh? And things sure have changed from those early days. Songwriting can be as high tech as you want it to be now - or you can just use a pen and paper like it's always been done. Nice to have choice though.

Beyond that momentary trip down memory lane ;) , the search continues for more reviewers. :) If that's something you think you might enjoy, please do get in touch with me, ok?

And of course, we have a raffle winner for this month listed below (and if you'd like to win a prize of your own, follow the instructions beneath that, ok? It's not at all hard. :) ) :

  • Denise Dimin, from Los Angeles, CA, has won a free 3 month membership to SongU, an Internet-based learning environment providing online coaching, co-writing and pitching opportunities, in addition to over 70 multi-level courses developed by award-winning songwriters.

DO YOU WANT TO WIN A RAFFLE PRIZE? You don't get if you don't ask!
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 our February is Fantastic!

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.

Learn the one mistake even professional singers make, that drains away 3 times more vocal energy and yields only half the needed vocal power. Find out about the 3 simple exercises that allow even a "beginner" to make rapid increases in range (this also eliminates vocal strain). Learn Brett's secret for "dissolving" your break, so you'll never have to flip into falsetto again, but you'll still sing as high as you want--in full voice - and LOTS more.

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:


More coming next month!

I know I've been saying this for a couple of months now - but next month there really WILL be some reviews. :D Anastasia has been hard at work! I'm still looking for new reviewers though, if you're interested. Feel free to write to me and let me know. I'm looking for folks who can commit to 3 reviews per month. 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.


Raina Krangle - Genre: SINGER/SONGWRITER

A singer-songwriter for over 20 years, Raina is a self-taught musician with a fresh folk-rock vibe. Her CD is a compilation of her songs over the last 20 years. Raina has heartfelt lyrics and a soulful voice that soothes your ears and makes you want to keep listening. Stay tuned for her new release- Solstice.

Songwriting Book Review by John Thomas

So You Want To Be A Rock N Roll Star: Why Songwriting Matters ... You Can Do It
By Marc Platt

So You Want To Be A Rock N Roll Star. The name may sound trite to you, but let’s admit how many of us saw a rock star on TV or heard someone on the radio and said to ourselves, “I want to do that!” (I’ll admit it.)
I picked up the audiobook version at audible, admittedly, because I was intrigued by the title and because I figured I could pony up the inexpensive price for the audio and spare a little time while driving to investigate it.

I was pleasantly surprised.

Now, at just under two hours, you are not going to get an all-inclusive tome on every aspect of every type of songwriting. However, what Platt manages to do is to quickly go over the basics of pop music songwriting touching over a wide range of artists from Carl Perkins to U2 to Elton John to Bob Dylan to Carol King to Dr. Luke to point out the commonalities in pop songs that have stood the test of time.

Over the course of this short book, you’ll get advice on the rhythm in lyric lines, the emotional impetus behind great songs, song structures, and how many verses and chorus repeats great songs often have. Platt also discusses why long intros worked in the 1970s and why you may want to consider leading with something else instead.

Platt covers what to look for to know the value of the feedback that you receive and where to get honest feedback about whether your song works. You’ll get advice about when your song is ready to be recorded and advice on what to start with to get the best recording along with his thoughts on music shopping services such as Taxi.

So, my overall impression of this book is: If you’re comfortable with DIY recording quality (the recording of the audiobook is perfectly legible but don’t expect the crystal-clear silence of a professional studio recording), this audiobook (and, I presume, the Kindle book, as well) provides a good refresher overview for the seasoned songwriter and a good introduction to songwriting and how to develop your craft for those new to songwriting.

So, grab a good cup of coffee and a notepad, and dig into this short listen to be reminded (or learn) how to begin writing classic pop songs.


John Thomas is a songwriter, bass player, and occasional guitarist in Macon, Georgia, who, when he’s not writing, listening to, or playing music, is drinking coffee and spending time with his family.

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


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.

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!


Get ready to experience a new and exciting songwriting competition that is totally different from all the rest! We’re launching our new site with nine limited seating contests and four of them are FREE to enter. Entry fees are only $25.00 and if your song is a winner, you get to choose your prize from 10’s of thousands of dollars’ worth of cash and fabulous gear, just look at our prize pages! Our contests are open to songwriters of all ages, from around the world.

That's a Catchy Tune has many unique features: like small limited seating contests that increase your chances of winning(200-500), like genre specific contests (all Rock - all Country etc), like random free entries generated by our automated system (enter your song and check your email often), like our innovative “choose your prize” awards program for the winners (the prizes are really incredible), like a judging system second to none (each song is reviewed at least 3 times by 3 independent judges), and now you can experience the competition and all the features of our site from wherever you are, just download our app…it’s easy…and it’s Free!

Experience all of this and more at:


The Podunk Bluegrass Festival has announced its 2016 songwriting contest. Winners receive cash prizes and other amenities, including the opportunity to appear on stage during the August 11-14 festival held in Hebron, CT. Entry deadline is May 1, 2016. Rules located at

Each year the festival also sponsors a band competition and these two events are entwined, providing some intangible perks to songwriters.

The top four competing bands in 2016 will each perform the winning song from the 2015 songwriting contest. Plus all semi-finalist songs are provided to all of the artists performing at the four day festival.


The 2016 Wildflower! Performing Songwriter Contest, featuring four $500 cash awards and 6 $100 awards, hotel accommodations for 10 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 21, 2016, if chosen as a finalist. Submission deadline is March 1, 2016 and only 300 entries are accepted. For details, visit:


If you want to know the exact songwriting components used in songs people actually want to download and own, this free 4 Part Songwriting Video Series will teach you just that. The videos even come with cheat sheets for you to use as an easy reference next time you’re writing a song. Start watching the FREE songwriting videos (and download your cheat sheets) by clicking here.


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

©2014-2016 Richard Miller. All Rights Reserved.
Used By Permission

On to the Lab? No, turn left here...

Towards the end of 2015 the research focussed on songwriting tools that could be carried around and incorporated into a busy life.  The intention was to follow that up with an exploration into recording at home and tools to make anything from passable demos to full scale releases, should one be that way inclined, from the ideas collected while constantly on the move.  As I say, that was the intention, up until about 15 minutes ago.

It’s always been a habit of mine to check the email inbox first just in case some contest or lottery has transformed me into a millionaire overnight.  I have never, I hasten to add, entered a contest or lottery that promised to transform me into a millionaire largely because I’ve always thought it was a mugs game and not worth the effort.  Nevertheless I always check the inbox just in case my life has been transformed by an administrative error.   This morning as I confirmed there was, once again, no reason not to go to work tomorrow I found an interesting bit of self-promotion from one of the Facebook groups I follow.

It’s a “free” 30 Day Co-Writing Challenge starting on February 1st.  The primary objective is to have completed a demo of a new song in 30 days through collaboration.  The challenge is organised by the founder of Songwriter Link.  You can follow this path if you haven’t joined and this path if you have.  The site is in beta test at the moment and is accessible by invitation only.  Don’t let that concern you.  If I can get in anyone can.

The 30 Day Co-Writing Challenge is hosted on Eventbrite which appears to be a platform for publicising just about anything and everything and may, in it’s own right, be worthy of an extended browse.

The challenge may come to nothing, as have several other connections discovered in the course of song writing research, but it seems to be worth a try and it provides a subject for next months article to let you know how I get on.  So, having woken up this morning with one idea, the agenda has changed.  I have four very good ideas:

  1. Recharge the coffee pot
  2. Begin the search for a collaborator for the challenge
  3. Get into the studio and spruce up the rudimentary ideas for a song that sprung up during the long train journeys of 2015
  4. Get ready for work tomorrow

Well, three out of four ain’t bad…


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: 4 Easy Steps Anyone Can Take To Get A Song Started

If you don’t have these already, you will.Everything from a ketchup blotted napkin to a properly spaced word document on your computer with half-written songs on it.

I see you nodding your head in agreement.

Many of those songs are written when inspiration hits, and we just have to write it down… like NOW!

What if inspiration vanishes and we are at a loss for words?

Here’s four easy steps anyone can take to get the wheels rolling.

1.Kill the “perfect” start.

There are times we all stare at a blank piece of paper or word document without a clue how to write that first line.

Beginners feel whatever is written isn’t right or can be better.Experienced writers struggle coming up with something that’s not cliché.Both struggle with feeling whatever is written might ruin it from the get-go.

A cartoonist friend started his career feeling whatever he put on paper would ruin his piece, and it stopped him from sketching that first line. You know what he did and still does these many years later?

He’ll tear off a corner of his paper, shove it in a jar, and now his piece is already damaged, so it’s impossible to ruin it for the first time anymore. Okay, it’s damaged, now let’s get busy.

He’s got a huge jar full of these babies. Crazy huh? But it blasts open the negative gateway to his creativity.

Beginners might adopt my friend’s idea. Or, perhaps put at the top of the page, “First draft of unttitled song.” Yes, I misspelled it on purpose. Crumple it up a bit?Write the worst line you can think of?

Whatever works to defuse your dreaded personal fear towards creativity, do it on purpose and get it over with. We all want perfect songs.Honestly? They don’t exist. If they did, they would likely be sterile and void of emotion.

2. Avoid first line stage fright.

With permission to be imperfect out of the way, we need that first line. It’s on stage, but what do we say?

Try this.

Stop reading and close your eyes right now and listen. Go ahead, I’ll be here.

Okay. Did you hear rain drizzling in the roof gutters?

Silence broken by 18-wheels whining the pavement a few miles away?

Kids shooting hoops across the street without a care in the world?

Maybe you winced from a woman sporting a freshly delivered bruise and the pre planned excuse to give her friends.

Now, marry an emotion to what you just heard. Maybe it’s:

“Drizzle runs the gutters and my heart feels the same since you left.”

“Is there anything lonelier than 18-wheels whining the highway?”

“My heart feels carefree as laughing children on the playground.”

“One more bruise you S.O.B.and its 911!”

You can do the same by isolating any one of your senses. Walk downtown, close your eyes, and smell the air. A bakery? Hamburger joint? Diesel exhaust? Jasmine from the community garden?

The idea is to isolate one of your five senses, feel what it means to you inside, and write one line as concisely as you can. We are mining for emotion here friend, and songs are all about emotion.

3. Hone the emotions.

At this point you could spend some time object writing about what you feel. Just let your mind wander and fingers record it, no boundaries, just write whatever comes, but keep writing.

You could just sit quiet and let your heart feel the video your mind is building based on your first line.

Perhaps it reminds you of a childhood memory, a movie you just saw, a story you heard on a commute, or talk at the water cooler at work.

The idea is to build a visual and emotional library to pick from in your lyrics.

4. Pick one emotion.

Now, out of all that, single out one emotion to focus on. This can sometimes be a challenge for new writers. You want your song to convey one emotion. The story can have many aspects and visuals to it, but they should point towards one emotion you want to bring to your listener.

I bet you now have some really good ideas what to write and can come up with some powerful,original lines and metaphors.

Let the creator go to work, and keep the editor out for now.

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.


The Best Methods For Getting Your Guitar Students To Practice More
- by Tom Hess

What is the one skill that all your guitar students need to understand in order to grow into top tier musicians fast? It’s not technical playing ability... it’s not music theory skills... Think it’s ear training? What about developing super-fast speed?


Four Errors Guitarists Make While Getting Ready For Live Performance & How To Avoid Them - by Tom Hess

Does playing live on stage make you feel anxious? Almost everyone feels this exact way! But it doesn't have to be this way. Whenever you begin to understand how to best prepare for live guitar performing situations, you will enjoy playing live much more.


HowTo Make More Progress In Your Guitar Playing By Using More Effective Practice Exercises - by Tom Hess

One of the biggest reasons why you struggle to improve your guitar playing is that you never learned which of your guitar practice exercises are helping your improve your playing and which ones are not. Take these 5 steps and get back on track towards reaching your musical goals...

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!

Get instant access to:

-14273 videos, 2262 lessons and 37 instructors.
-Register at GMC forum - join a virtual band, chat with any instructor etc
-Backing tracks at different speeds & jam loop with every lesson
-Daily updates (average of ~10 new videos per day)
 -EXTRAS: Gear-, singing-, recording-, bass-, piano- and drum lessons. GMC Theory Grimoire eBook !!!

Special for Muse's Muse visitors: 
Get a $10 discount for your first month of subscription!


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!

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.

SNAILMAIL: Please contact me first at

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


Click here and go to the middle of the page to change your subscription - or click the links below.

Help For Newcomers
Help for Newcomers
Helpful Resources
Helpful Resources
Berklee Music Resources
The Muse's News
Entertainment Cyberscope
Newer Articles
Past Columnists
Past Columnists - After March 2007
Market Information
Songwriting Contests
Chat Logs
Songwriting Books
Regular Columnists
Services Offered
About the  Muse's Muse
About Muse's Muse
Subscribe to The Muse's News, free monthly newsletter for songwriters
with exclusive articles, copyright & publishing advice, music, website & book reviews, contest & market information, a chance to win prizes & more!

Join today!

Created & Maintained
by Jodi Krangle


© 1995 - 2016, The Muse's Muse Songwriting Resource. All rights reserved.

Read The Muse's Muse Privacy Statement