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The Muse's News
The Muse's News
The Muse's News
An E-zine For And About Songwriters.
Issue 18.9
December 2015

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: What my Kindergarten Teacher and Prog Rock Band Rush Have In Common 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:

Hello for another month! I hope those of you in places where the weather changes, are staying warm (or cool, as the case may be). I know we're in for our first bit of snow here where I am. I'm none too thrilled to be honest. But I'll make do.

And I hope those of you celebrating Thanksgiving, have a wonderful one - full of LOTS of things to be thankful for. :) Since I likely won't speak with you until after the holidays, I hope you have a wonderful Winter holiday too! (Whatever you happen to celebrate around that time of year.)

I'm also on the lookout for someone who knows how to develop websites and knows about Invision Power (the software the message board runs on). I have a new logo developed (yay!) - but now I need to put it to use. It *is* a paying gig, but at this point, I need help getting things off the ground. If you're interested (or know someone else who might be), let me know. Thanks!

And now, on to this month's raffle winners!

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 your month is filled with song, laughter and inspiration.

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!

Are you interested in being a reviewer for The Muse's Muse? 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.


Jodi Krangle - Genre: JAZZ

Jodi Krangle and Chris Conway have collaborated for over 15 years, and have sung together on stages in the United States, Canada and Great Britain. Time Will Tell features songs they have co‐written and those they have composed individually, as well as standards and cover songs they both love and were keen to perform together. Over those past 15 years, Jodi and Chris have often wondered if they would ever make an album together. They used to say "time will tell," and now - at last - it has.

Songwriting Book Review by John Thomas

Tour:Smart (And Break the Band)
By Martin Atkins

Martin Atkins is an interesting fellow. An early drummer for Public Image Ltd (PiL), who are Johnny (Lydon) Rotten’s band after the Sex Pistols broke up, Atkins has been touring and recording regularly since 1979 with bands such as Ministry, Nine Inch Nails, Pigface, Killing Joke and The Damage Manual. Along with that busy schedule, Atkins has also found time to run a record label and to be a college professor.

Let me start with the disclaimer: This book may offend you. Possibly due to his punk rock roots, this book contains a large amount of swearing. Let me repeat that: he swears. Quite a bit. If this offends you, then this may be a book to bypass.

However, if this issue doesn’t both you (or if you can deal with it in order to get good information) and if you want to learn how to mount and sustain a successful tour (regardless of genre), then this book will be something that you will want to investigate. Atkins pours out from his hard-won experience and also from numerous contributors to give alternate and complementary perspectives.

Atkins starts with useful principles to keep in mind when both planning and enacting your tour then transitions to practical logistics (dealing with planning the geography of the tour) including the demographics to plan around and practicalities of routing. From there he gets into deciding how to travel (vehicle of choice). He has tips for a safe ride (always wear your seatbelt and, if in a bus, make sure your feet are always facing the driver so, if the driver breaks hard, you don’t get injured), and proceeds to cover what promoters and venues are looking for in a tour coming through town.

And the information continues to cover contracts (including details like riders), budgeting for your tour, getting press for your tour, street teams, what to pack, set scenery, getting the best sound, getting paid, excesses on tour (yes, sections on drinking, drug use, and promiscuity), women touring on the road, festivals, touring internationally, and screen printing.

I’ll go so far as to say that just the concept of the “flower petal routing” technique that Atkins recommends is worth many times the price of this book for a number of reasons. Interestingly, I spoke with a crew member of a nationally touring act just two nights ago who routinely plays venues seating 12,000-18,000 people. The “flower petal routing” method is exactly what this act is using while they are touring on the East Coast and Midwest from their Nashville home base.

The above list isn’t everything covered, but I think you get the idea. The book is 562 8½” x 11” pages. It is big, and it is thorough. And, if you have a punk rock sense of humor, it can be rather funny, too.

All in all, this is a huge book with a wealth of information. If you are considering whether to tour or planning a tour, this information will address all kinds of issues that you have never considered but should to make your experience as smooth (and profitable) as possible.

Put on a full pot of coffee (it a large book, after all), and bring a pad and pen to take plenty of notes when you sit down to read Tour:Smart.


John Thomas is a bass player, songwriter, and occasional guitarist in Macon, Georgia who loves a wide variety of music, his wife and kids, and strong coffee.

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


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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!


The Great American Song Contest features awards for 50 winners in 10 categories and provides $10,000 in Prizes. Entrants receive written song evaluations from music-industry judges, including publishers, music producers and recording artists. This international event is open to songwriters, lyricists and composers around the world and sponsored by Songwriters Resource Network, a trusted educational resource for songwriters everywhere. Submission deadline has been extended to December 17, 2015.
For details, visit:


Kevin Beadles won top honors for his original song "This Might Get Loud." First-Place category winners were Jodee Lewis for "In the End" (Americana/Folk); Ryan Gelber for "Dangerous Mix Of Chemicals" (Adult Contemporary); Paul Pelc for "Magnolia Mae" (Singer-Songwriter); Lauren Brombert for "Once Bitten (Never Enough)" (Rock); Justin Froese & Nancy Montgomery for "Finally Here" (Christian/Gospel); Jason Afable & Paul Stephens for "Just Pretty" (Country); Lou DeAdder & Leo Sullivan for "Aftermath" (Instrumental); Denyse Tontz for "Mr. Hipster" (Pop); Debra Gussin & Don Grady for "Don't React" (Special Category Music); Cody Qualls for "Focus On Your Rap Game" (HipHop/R&B) and Martin Robley for "Ships" (Lyric Writing).

You can hear these winning songs on the Great American Song Hall Of Fame at:


The Indie International Songwriting Contest is an annual song competition to give recognition to some of the best emerging songwriters in the world, help develop their talent, and provide useful tools for developing the success of the artist. Pop, Rock, Folk, Americana/Country, Instrumental, and Christian/Gospel genres are open! Accepting the first 150 entries in each genre. Deadline Feb 19th, 2016. $30 for a basic entry (numerical score) or $40 for a Written Critique by our pro judges!


Welcome to The Global Songwriting Contest, an annual international competition for musicians of all ages. Unlike other songwriting competitions, GSC is limited to only 1,000 entries, allowing you better odds of winning than any other contest. With an entry fee of only $25.00 per song, it is also the most affordable of its kind. GSC is open to amateur and professional songwriters of all ages around the globe. Realizing that the music business is very difficult to break into, our prizes are cash awards. The First prize is $10,000.00.

Our song contest will be ongoing; as soon as one ends we start another. Because entries are limited per contest, we expect to have several rounds of competitions per year, therefore awarding thousands of dollars to winners. Entries will be judged on originality, composition, melody, and lyrics (when applicable). Your songs may be entered in 12 of our categories.

Please visit us at:


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

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

Into the Lab

Last month’s exploration into apps to assist songwriters successfully spawned a fizzle of creativity.  Suddenly a half dozen ideas were quietly simmering away but they still needed to be teased out, developed and matured.  It was time to step into the lab and, returning home on the train the other night, the weary mind stumbled around the idea of the ideal working place.  So this month it seemed reasonable to go off piste a bit and explore ideas for the creative working environment.

Of course the first thing that comes to mind is that the ideal creative working environment is highly personal.  It’s bound to be defined by one’s personality, biological clock, view of an ideal setting, need for order (or disorder), need for solitude (or cooperation) and, undoubtedly, dozens of other factors large and small that comprise the individual psyche.

And naturally, in this instance, there wasn’t a lot specific to the art of songwriting.  A large number of hits were dedicated to the world of business and not really relevant to our purpose.  However, there were a few and the first one, Creating an Environment That Nurtures Your Creativity, is a gentle three minute read from  with insights on how some people approach working creatively.  It ends with a link to In The Make where further exploration of artists’ studios and creative processes are possible.

Moving on from that I found The World of Wanderlust which had images on 7 or 8 themes from which inspiration could be gleaned although, personally, I didn’t find the pictures of antlers on the wall too inspiring.  Feel free to disagree but I prefer to see antlers on the animal.

Anyway, moving on directly there is another site by Design Shack with an article on Creating Environments That Optimize Creativity and Inspiration.  Here the discussion broadens from the physical to the metaphysical and ends with a number of images that may offer further stimulation.

Finally, going off the off piste, there is a little tool that may be worth mentioning.  It isn’t free but then it isn’t very expensive either.  It’s called Scapple.  It’s really a tool for writers that lets you build free form mind maps.  Other mind map applications I’ve tried always felt a bit restrictive in the way the maps were formatted automatically and I was always too lazy to work out how to get around the default structures.  With Scapple you can do what you like.  For example, this morning began by drawing a mind map.  Then, after the second coffee, I  split the screen and cracked on with writing which flowed quite easily as my eye dipped in and out of the map.  If you’re interested here’s the link and you can try it yourself.


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: 3 What My Kindergarten Teacher and Prog Rock Band Rush Have In Common

Life is full of interesting unlikely unions. One of those unions is my parochial school kindergarten teacher Mrs. Luckhart and progressive rock band lyricist Neil Peart.

Sounds crazy, doesn’t it?

Like you, in kindergarten we had “show and tell.” You know, stand in front of the class and talk about the Spider-Man lunch pail my aunt gave me for my birthday.

And as luck would have it, Neil Peart, lyricist from the rock band Rush, penned a song about the very same thing.

No silly, not my Spiderman lunch pail, the show and tell thing!

It was a song with Show And Tell as the title. A band always ahead of their time, you can check out the song here. If it doesn’t say everything about the below points, I don’t know what does.

Here’s a sample of its lyrics.

Show me don’t tell me.
Hey order in the court.
Show me don’t tell me.
Let’s try to keep it short.
Show me don’t tell me.
I don’t care what you say.
Show me don’t tell me.
Let’s see Exhibit A.
Show me don’t tell me.
You’ve figured out the score.
Show me don’t tell me.
I’ve heard it all before.
Show me don’t tell me.
Enough of your demands.
Show me don’t tell me.
Witness take the stand…

Okay, you get the point.

Why isn’t it “tell and show”? One might think that giving an intro to something and then walloping it with a telling show of what one meant would be better. You know, kind of a one-two punch to really drive it in.

In the Rush song, they use a court metaphor. Most court cases have an attorney telling some background of why the defendant wouldn’t commit such a crime, his character references, and that he claims he wasn’t at the crime scene. Then towards the end of the stand, the attorney displays an airline ticket showing the defendant was in California, not Detroit where the crime took place. There are digitally dated pictures of the defendant in front of the Hollywood sign, and an autographed program for a play on the only night it was performed. Indisputable evidence.

So why don’t we use that same method in our song’s lyrics?

Well, one reason is we don’t have an hour and a half movie to entertain our listeners. Plus, people just don’t have the attention span for it.

The biggest reason why it’s not “tell and show,” is…

Well, you decide. Which one of the below lyrics do you feel is stronger?

Lyric 1:

She was so afraid.
It was minutes but felt like hours
I could hear her heart break
Was she throwing in the towel?
Yanking off her ring,
She rolled it in her fingers,
Whipped it at the window,
Red eyes burned it into cinders.

Lyric 2:

Yanking off her ring,
She rolled it in her fingers,
Whipped it at the window,
Red eyes burned it into cinders.
Cupped her hands around her face,
I could hear her heart break
It was minutes but felt like hours
She was throwing in the towel.

See how the first lyric starts off very abstract and internal? As our minds search for something visual to grasp onto, our expectations grow stronger and stronger and finally, after half the verse is over, we see what was happening in the scene.

In the second lyric, when we get to the point of minutes seeming hours and she’s throwing in the towel, we already know why she’s feeling this way, and we can feel her pain much more.

Well, we don’t know exactly why, but we know her man has done something to cause her to pull off the ring.

Do you see as well how the second lyric not only leads perfectly to a song perhaps titled, “Throwing in the Towel?” It also helps us lead into the second verse of more detail of what her man did to cause her to feel this way. It makes for a much stronger song.

Make sense?


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 Play Awesome Metal Rhythm Guitar - by Tom Hess

Do you wish you knew how to play killer rhythm guitar technique? To do this, you need to stop trying to find “cool” new riffs. Instead, you need to understand how to make every single guitar riff you play sound awesome, anytime you feel like it. You need to focus on HOW you play the notes the notes themselves.

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.

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