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The Muse's News
The Muse's News
The Muse's News
An E-zine For And About Songwriters.
Issue 18.3
June 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: (None for this month!) 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 1998-2015 - 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:

Hi Folks! Welcome to another month and another issue. Thanks so much for staying with me here. Especially those of you who have been around for the long haul! (And I do mean LONG. This newsletter has been happening since 1998!)

In all this time, while I've done music projects with others, I've never had my own album to tell you about. Guess what? I now do! It's been a long time coming. My friend Chris Conway and I have been making music together for over 15 years now but it took this year for us to decide to actually do a full album project together. I'm really happy with how it turned out. Chris is hugely talented (he did all the recording and instrumentation for the backing tracks) and not only does he play a whole TON of instruments like a master, but he also has a real talent for making old songs sound new again. I do all the vocals on the project and his arrangements really inspired me. There are 14 songs in the jazz/blues/slow pop genres, some covers and some public domain, some songs we've written together coupled with songs each of us have written. It's an eclectic mix but it works. :)

The album doesn't officially debut until June 1st, but as I'm basically inviting you guys into my figurative living room here (thanks again for subscribing!) :) you're getting a sneak peek. Cover art is by my hugely talented artist friend, Beckett Gladney, by the way. She did a fantastic job!

Visit to hear for yourself. I'd love to hear what you think! If you're ok with it, please do consider writing a review on CDBaby. That would be super helpful. There's also a video on YouTube (created by Chris!) that you're welcome to listen to - the full version of Time Will Tell - for which the album is named.

And now to the raffle winners! They are:

  • Jim Moffatt, from Victoria, BC Canada, has won a copy of Virtual Studio Systems' Lyricist software.
  • Richard Schletty from Saint Paul, MN, 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..

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.)

Thanks so much for your support and I hope your month is a greatly productive one!

All the best,


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


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Music Reviews:


Cyrus Rhodes

* Alex Lopez

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.


Doug Spears - Genre: FOLK & TRADITIONAL

Thoughtful, intelligent lyrics in the style of Gordon Lightfoot and John Prine, memorable melodies, a warm, engaging acoustic guitar style and smooth, rich vocals reminiscent of John Denver. That??™s acoustic folk artist, Doug Spears. Doug's songs tell engaging stories mixing musical elements of Americana, bluegrass and acoustic folk. Turn off the TV and the cell phone and enjoy.

Songwriting Book Review By: John Thomas

The Songwriting Genius Within You
by Geoffrey Williams

Most songwriting books, and many of them are very good, give you a collection of songwriting patterns and tips for you to use to improve your current songwriting efforts.

However, if you are looking for something different in your goal to become a great songwriter, then you may wish to investigate this book. The Songwriting Genius Within You by Geoffrey Williams is an analysis of the thinking, both conscious and unconscious, that great songwriters use to create great songs.

Williams describes what he teaches as "creative songwriting" as opposed to what he terms "traditional songwriting." He describes traditional songwriting methods as "developed by simply observing what a musician was going, and then creating and defining rules that govern the process." He argues, though, that, when songwriting rules were created, it was by analyzing great music; the rules were not created by the process of creating great music. The problem is that great music was not created with the analytical mind but from the creative part of the brain.

He goes on to say that "Creative songwriting, and being creative in general, is about learning to trust the parts of your brain that are unconscious."

Williams argues that the key to accessing your unconscious mind to get great ideas is to develop the same mindset and use the same beliefs that great songwriters use to access their unconscious mind. He uses several processes and terminology, heavily borrowed from Neuro­Linguistic Programming (NLP), a "branch" of psychology, to help the reader make these changes in thinking.

He goes into detail about everything from how you think about music (what he calls Thinking Modalities), how you process and sort musical "information" that you take in (what he calls Filters), and the creative process that you use. But he does not throw out the basics that you have heard emphasized before, such as skill with your instrument and ear training, nor does he disregard the usefulness of your analytical side in creating great songs. He just tells you when your analytical side is useful or not useful in songwriting.

As Williams presents his viewpoints, he goes in to great detail so that the reader can get a thorough grasp on what he is talking about.

For example, he lists six different Thinking Modalities with which someone can “think:”:

1. Auditory (sounds)
2. Auditory Digital (self­talk)
3. Visual (pictures in your mind)
4. Kinesthetic (feelings and impressions)
5. Gustatory (taste)
6. Olfactory (smell)

And for each of these six modalities are remembered remembered modalities and constructed modalities (creating with your imagination). Williams then goes on to suggest that you can deliberately induce mild synesthesia (the mixing of modalities in thinking) to enhance your creativity and open new possibilities that you may not have considered before, and he has exercises to assist you in this process.

This is just a taste of the amount of information in this book, and, if you are open to trying new ideas to maximize your creativity, then this may be a book worth investigating. It is, all in all, an interesting different perspective on the songwriting process.


John Thomas is a songwriter, bass player, and sometimes guitarist living in Macon, Georgia with his beautiful wife and four 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!


REO Songwriters Retreat (July 12-17, 2015): Join songwriters from around the world for a truly amazing week! Nashville #1 hit writers Clay Mills and Marty Dodson lead this years retreat.

Rhymecology: The Art of Hip Hop, Rap & Spoken Word (July 24-26, 2015): First-ever REO exclusive retreat for hip hop, rap and spoken word! Join Rhymecology and hip hop master writer, Jeff Walker for an amazing 3-day retreat.

Songwriting Techniques of the Masters (July 22-26, 2015): Interested in learning how to write genuinely great songs—not just “pretty good” songs? Join Wayne Chase, author of How Music Really Works, for an eye-opening song crafting retreat.

Retreats Organizer: Bryan Fogelman 604-307-3122


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.

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:


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

Springing Forward

Our spring mini-break was brilliant.  After an all too short visit with some friends in Gloucester we hopped in our car for a drive through North Wales and caught the Dublin ferry.  Once we got to Dublin the busses were on strike so we walked.  As we wandered through the port looking for the exit a friendly security guard pointed out we were going the wrong way,  heading towards a dead end and a long walk back.  He asked where we were going and, noticing my travel guitar case, asked what instrument I played.  It turned out that he was a fiddle player preparing for a gig in Blackpool the following weekend.  He told us to hop in and took us right to the door of our hotel.

That evening we went to a surprise birthday party on a ship moored on the Liffey.  The following morning we stumbled around Dublin in a self induced fog, hopped the ferry at noon and resumed our drive through Wales reaching Dolgellau (pronounced:  dol geth li) in the evening.  We spent the next day following the aptly named Precipice Walk and the day after that took a 10 mile hike over a disused rail line that ran alongside the estuary.  Weary legged we hobbled into the local supermarket to seek refreshment where, once again, my travel guitar stimulated a conversation.  The gentleman stacking shelves turned out to be a guitar player.  We wound up chatting for about 20 minutes and it ended with an invitation to an open mic the following evening.  Sadly we were off in the morning and couldn’t join.  The drive back to England was breathtaking.  For three days the mantra in my head was ‘Why hadn’t I come here sooner?’ followed by ‘Well, at least you have now.’ and without a doubt we will be going back sooner rather than later.

What’s all that got to do with songwriting?  Not very much I’m afraid.  But reflecting back on a few of the interviews from last month’s Songwriters on Process and the importance of finding balance maybe it has.  Anyway I thought I’d throw Walking in Snowdonia in as a sort of wild card.  You don’t have to go all the way to Wales.  There may be something right outside your door.

Walking all day offered the chance for extended meditation which, in turn, brought clarity to my musical direction.  With that I went back to BoardReader (see last month) and this time typed in ‘musical inspiration’.  This led me to Mudcat.  It’ a site dedicated to traditional music and folklore and it’s a site with a difference.  In order to join you have to write a letter.  It’s not a case of clicking on a few buttons and responding to an email.  You have to write.  That in itself was intriguing.  You don’t have to join to exploit the links and those, based on a short test, look very good.

Even though Mudcat focusses on traditional music it may well have something to offer for everyone.  I don’t pretend to be an expert of any form of music or even music in general but what studying I’ve done has revealed crossovers between genres that I never knew existed.  There are II-V-I progressions in classical music,  jazz incorporates counterpoint while blues and traditional music, in some shape or form, pops up just about everywhere.  Musicians have been borrowing, and occasionally stealing, from each other for centuries.  Long may it continue.


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: Sorry - Not This Month!

Sorry, guys. Brad's emergency has taken a little longer than he intended - but he assures me he'll be back with a great Quick Tip next month. REALLY appreciate your patience!


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.


3 Reasons Why You Struggle To Play Guitar Both Fast And Clean - by Tom Hess

In Part 1 of this article, you learned that mastering your 2 hand synchronization is absolutely crucial to your ability to play guitar both fast and clean. The next logical step is learning why many guitar players struggle to perfectly synchronize their picking and fretting hands.

Here are the 3 biggest reasons why most guitar players don’t improve their 2 hand synchronization and how you can overcome these problems in your own guitar playing.


Making an Emotional Connection + Your Song's Big Idea - by Anthony Ceseri

This video takes a look at the component of your song which makes an emotional connection with your listeners, which is so crucial if you want a song that's more than just a fly-by catchy melody. It also discusses the overall idea for your song, which is what holds your song together. This video is the first of a four part series.


How To Dramatically Improve Your Guitar Playing And Reach Your Musical Goals Fast - by Tom Hess

Are you absolutely positive, beyond any doubt, that the guitar exercises you practice are actually making you a better guitarist? If you aren’t 100% certain you are using the most effective guitar exercises in your practice routine, then you need to take these 5 essential steps to get you back on track towards reaching your musical goals.


How To Quickly Become A Highly Creative Guitarist - by Tom Hess

Do you believe that becoming a creative musician is a matter of being born naturally talented? That is what I used to think. When I was a young guitarist, negative beliefs like this nearly destroyed my dream of becoming a great musician.

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 !!!

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!

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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