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The Muse's News
The Muse's News
The Muse's News
An E-zine For And About Songwriters.
Issue 19.1
April 2016

In This Issue:
* Editor's Musings
* Music Reviews - Anastasia K.
* 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: 3 Twists to Freshen Up Your New Songs 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!)

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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.”
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“Producers have Pro Tools. Writers have Word. Songwriters have MasterWriter.”
–Rob Thomas

Editor's Musings:

Hello again for another month! A couple of things to mention. First is that Richard Miller, our wonderful Muse's Clues writer, has written his last article for The Muse's News in this issue. He's done a FANTASTIC job and I can't thank him enough for all he's contributed. :) If you'd like to pick up his mantle and discover new and interesting online, mobile and cutting edge technologies for songwriting in order to share it with this readership, I'd love to hear from you! Please do email me so we can talk about it.

Secondly, the book review this month is also a raffle prize! So if you're interested in that, follow the instructions below in this Musings under "Do You Want To Win A Raffle Prize?" and you'll be put in the running.

I'm also still looking for columnists that can contribute three or more album/song reviews per month. If you're interested, let me know!

And last but certainly not least, here are the raffle winners for this month:

  • Jack Louden, from Little Torch Key, FL, 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.
  • Laini Colman from Tasmania, Australia, has won a copy of the wonderfully useful book, "100 Miles To A Record Deal" by author and publisher, Bronson Herrmuth.
  • Lynne Raske, from Sioux City, IA, has won a copy of Virtual Studio Systems' Lyricist software.

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.)

Have a fantastic month, everyone!


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:


Anastasia K.

*Jud Block
* The American Union
* Mike Armando
* Seth Davis
* Andrew Adkins

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.


Allister Bradley - Genre: SINGER/SONGWRITER

A collection of stories from inside the soul of a Canadian singer/songwriter/pianist, delivering on the promise of heartfelt emotion, social commentary, and a shy sense of humour, lifted by melodies that stick in your head and satisfy like warm soup on a cold day…

Songwriting Book Review by John Thomas

The Practice of Practice
- By Jonathan Harnum
To purchase the

(Jon Harnum has very kindly consented to give us 2 autographed copies of this book as a raffle prize! So if you're interested, feel free to email me using the method mentioned in the Musings above, ok?)

The Practice of Practice, by Jonathan Harnum, is a book about, as you may have guessed, practicing.

And, yes, this book is specifically oriented to musical practice. As songwriters, this may be enough motivation for you to take a closer look at this book, but what Harnum has done is actually much deeper than that: He has used a study of practicing to master a musical instrument as a method to show the reader the steps of how to master anything, musical and nonmusical.

Harnum, himself a professional trumpeter, used his own experience and that of a variety of other musicians from many different genres, both Western and non-Western in musical style, to build a basic framework of what practice is, what it does to the practicer, and how to make the best use of practice.

Along the way, he manages to redefine and broaden the idea of what practice is and how it can be
accomplished in a variety of situations, such as how to best practice when time is abundantly
available versus when time is severely limited. How useful is that when learning a new song that
you just wrote so that you can play it at your gig the day after tomorrow?

In his breakdown of the aspects of practice, Harnum works to address the six types of questions as applied to practice: the what, why, who, when, where, and how, and I’m happy to report that he does this in a very thorough (but readable) fashion. To clarify:

What: What is practice? It is much more and much more varied than just sitting down and practicing your scales to the point of boredom. You might be surprised what actually qualifies as practice.

Why: Why do you practice? Motivation is a key to mastery of anything.

Who: Who affects your practice? Do you have to practice alone (no)? How else do those around you affect your practice routine?

When: When is the best time to practice? How long is the best length of time to practice? How long should you wait between practices and why?

Where: Is there an optimal location to practice? Is there an optimal way to set up your practice space, if you have one?

How: What is the best way to go about practicing?

Along the way, Harnum covers the usefulness of listening in practice, of non-practice, of solo practice, of group practice, of technology in practice, of intentional limitations in practice, of variety in practice, of how to keep your practice interesting, of how to maintain motivation to practice, of how to squeeze the most effective practice out of a limited time schedule, of the importance of sleep to practice and the best sleep patterns to work within, and quite a bit more.

And, of course, he addresses songwriting as practice.

As I mentioned earlier, Harnum gives the principles for how to master anything using the specific
activity of musical instrument practice. Learning how to practice to master our instrument is, in itself, very useful for us as songwriters, but, then, you can take the principles taught in this book and apply them to become an even better songwriter.

In short, this is an excellent read that I will be going back through several more times because
there is so much good information.

So, put on a pot of coffee, grab this book, and get busy with The Practice of Practice.


John Thomas is a songwriter, bass player, sometimes guitarist and singer in Macon, Georgia with an affection for his family and good coffee.

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!


Welcome to the VocalMatch Contest for Singers and Songwriters of all ages. This contest is a golden chance for aspiring musicians to get recognition around the globe. The entries are limited to only 100 contestants in both the categories; singing and songwriting. Application Entry is free with the deadline of July1, 2016 !! Visit: for more information.


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

So Long, It's Been Good to Know Ya

Musically 2016 started slow and is now threatening to fizzle out altogether. The catalyst for this has been the new job, leading a team of budding programmers in the mysteries of statistical analysis, which was intended to bring financial security and time to pursue musical interests indefinitely. While financial security arrived in abundance; time has all but disappeared. The day job is so intense that in the evening the mind, exhausted, can cope with nothing more than comedy repeats on YouTube and pointless games of solitaire on the computer while it winds down towards sleep. Sleep is fitful at best as the problems from the daily grind invade the tranquility of the bedroom and each day begins with the soul more tired than the day before. Weekends are lost in the run around to catch up on daily chores that used to be done during the week but now stack into unbalanced columns threatening to topple at any minute. Admittedly it doesn’t take any time to scan the news and come to the conclusion that these sort of problems are pretty trivial within the scheme of things but they are enough, if not managed properly, to invite depression and life is far too short for that. So something needed to be done about it.

One of the benefits of the daily grind is that the commute is possible by bicycle and one of the benefits of living in Flanders in Belgium is that 95% of this commute can be done on dedicated cycle paths. In the morning the 25 kilometre trip is punctuated by bird song. In the evening the air is laden with the smells of newly turned soil as farmers prepare their fields for the coming warmth. There’s a timelessness in the journey, it takes as long as it takes and deadlines are ignored. The senses re-awaken and an appreciation of the richness of life in the simplest circumstances develops and…. there are no flaming** computers, the telephone is stashed out of earshot in the cycle bag and there is nothing to disturb the observation of life in the great outdoors.

Therein lay the seed for the ideas to make 2016 artistically productive. The contract for the daily grind runs through the end of August. It pays well enough to mean it is not necessary to garner a wage for the rest of the year. September onwards will be exclusively dedicated to creating music and writing. The need to prepare for this period of dedication to music and art led to the creation of the ’Cruising Leisurely Towards Music’ project. To keep a balanced mind between now and September and prepare for the work to come the best thing to do, outside the limits of the grind, is to forsake computers and the internet, get outdoors, get some exercise and re-capture the wonder of life. From now until the end of August it will be just me, my notebook (the kind you write in with a pencil) and my guitar.

All of which makes it rather difficult to continue to write articles about interesting sites on the internet and therefore, with your kind understanding, I wish to bid you adieu. It’s been good fun writing these articles and the research has certainly been informative. At one stage, while drafting this article, I thought about reprising the best sites but things change so quickly nowadays there didn’t seem to be much point. Instead it seemed sensible to focus more on the generic than the specific. Personally the most interesting sites I found were the ones that gave inspiration. Stories of musicians, or anyone else, that paved their own path rather than follow that of another were the best. Technical sites on music, playing instruments and recording were next and these were followed by sites that helped guide one towards making some kind of connection towards making music a profession. To be honest I found the social sites mostly disappointing. That, however, may say more about me than the quality of the social sites. After all I’m nothing more than an ageing pirate who loves the feel of the warm soil in his hands, the fragrance of spring, the rustle in the hedgerows marking the search for food and rain on his face.*** See you around…

** Another adjective could have been used here but this is a family newsletter.

*** Well, living in Belgium if you can’t enjoy rain on your face then you seriously need to think about moving.


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 Twists to Freshen Up Your New Songs

Recently, I was fixing my snow blower.

It was one of those situations where a socket wrench wouldn’t work, because there wasn’t enough head room to fit a ratchet wrench.

But, a crescent wrench didn’t work, because I couldn’t get a full turn on it to get the wrench on the bolt again.

Hang with me, you really are in a songwriting tip article, not a Craftsman tool blog.

I needed a crescent wrench that would ratchet.

I’ll be danged… they do have them.

Someone, out of frustration, took two old tools, mixed them together with a couple new twists, and made a hybrid tool.

What if you are a new writer having trouble breaking into any sort of groove?

Or, are a seasoned writer having trouble breaking out of the same old groove.

Wouldn’t it be neat to put a couple fresh twists on your tunes?


3 Twists to Freshen Up Your New Songs

1. Cross Genre Your Idea.

Let’s say you write pop music. When you write it, you think pop and have that pop kind of thing happening in your bones.

What if you took your modern lyric, thought bluegrass, and then slapped your pop mojo on it?

You might come out with something like Andy Grammer’s Honey I’m Good.

Back some years Bon Jovi thought country, and slapped it with pop on a hit Who Says You Can’t Go Home.

Some years later pop group train did similar with Bruises.

If you write country, think a little blues. If you write bluegrass, think pop.

We’re looking for happy accidents, on purpose.

2. Play With the Tempo.

Remember Bonnie Raitt’s hit, I Can’t Make You Love Me? Mike Reed, one of the writers originally had it up-tempo in a bluegrass style. He and co-writer Allen Shamblin brought it down in tempo.

If left up-tempo, that song would have lost all its feeling.

Take some of your ballads and step them up to mid-tempo or even dance tempo. If you own audio editing software, you can play around with tempos pretty easily.

It’s a great way to put a twist to your tunes.

3. Use Song Sampling.

One technique we’ve talked about in the past is to take a hit lyric, and rewrite it with the same structure.

Same rhyme pattern, meter, number of lines in the sections… all that stuff.

But… what if you took a song’s groove and used it to write a new lyric?

Even cooler.

Leave the song groove there, and write yourself a new melody against the old groove?

What you wind up with is what is known as sampling. An old musical groove with a new lyric and new melody.

You can do this with your own songs. Or, if you had permission, you could use some old familiar hits. Check out a few originals and their respective sample songs…

Hall & Oates original: Can’t Go For That, No Can Do.

Simply Red’s sample song: Sunrise.

Warren Zevon’s original: Werewolves of London.

Kid Rock’s sample song: All Summer Long. Kid Rock also slipped in some Sweet Home Alabama in this one.

The Police original: Every Breath You Take.

Puff Daddy’s sample song: I’ll Be Missing You.

See how these songs really work? Pretty neat.

Here’s some backing tracks of a few tunes you might want to try your hand on. Granted, using them for writing practice is alright, but if you latch on to a keeper sample song, you’ll need to get permission to use them in a sound recording or performance from the publisher and/or writers.

• Toto’s Africa.

• Journey’s Don’t Stop Believing.

• Billy Squire’s The Stroke.

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 Number One Misconception Guitar Players Have About Taking Guitar Lessons With A Teacher - by Tom Hess

However, even if it was the case that you could teach yourself the same things that a mediocre guitar teacher could teach you, know that simply “learning things” is extremely limited in its ability to help you achieve your guitar playing goals.


A Simple Method for Writing Words to Music - by Anthony Ceseri

Writing your lyrics to a rhythm is important if you don't want your songs sounding wordy. In this video we'll look at how to write rhythmic lyrics effectively.


Why Using a Rhyming Dictionary Will Make You a Bettery Lyricist
- by Anthony Ceseri

A lot of songwriters consider the use of a rhyming dictionary to make them less creative, but in this video we'll look at how it can greatly benefit your lyrics.


3 Things to Know for Writing Captivating Melodies - by Anthony Ceseri

Since melodies are so important to a great song, in this video we'll look at three things to know for writing melodies that will captivate your audiences.


The Fastest Way to Create Engaging Melodies - by Anthony Ceseri

Melodies can be considered the most important aspect of your song since they're what attract listeners from the start. So in this video, we'll look at the fastest way for you to create engaging melodies.

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: 
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.

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


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