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Issue 5.10 - January 2003
ISSN 1480-6975

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This issue sponsored by: - Online music courses, music industry jobs, songwriters' network and more!


I n   T h i s   I s s u e :

@-- Editor's Musings
@-- Copyright & Publishing Q&A with Nancy A. Reece from Carpe Diem
    Copyright Management
@-- Music Reviews - by Ben Ohmart, David Lockeretz, Stacey Board, 
Ashley Petkovski & Gian Fiero @-- Songwriting Book Review - by James Linderman @-- Musical Notes - Songwriting Contests & Market Info. @-- Muse's Clues - Songwriting Web sites that inspire - brought to you by singer/songwriter & teacher, Irene Jackson. @-- Featured Article - MIXED EMOTIONS by Lynn Harrison @-- Columnist In Spotlight - Ricky Fitzpatrick & his SELLING OUT! @-- On Site Featured Article - An article already online for your viewing pleasure. @-- Classifieds & Useful Services @-- Contact information ================================================================= ISSN 1480-6975. Copyright 1998 - 2002, Jodi Krangle. For more
contact information, see end of issue. ================================================================= Visit for great Muse's Muse products like mugs, mousepads, shirts, and even wall clocks! Start your own store too - with no up front costs! See ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ S p o n s o r M e s s a g e : (Please support the sponsors that support this newsletter! Thanks!) ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ TAKE ONLINE SONGWRITING CLASSES AT BERKLEEMUSIC.COM Learn how to write great lyrics. Learn composition and arranging techniques. Develop the skills you need to succeed in songwriting. Master music engraving with Finale and audio editing with Pro Tools. Berkleemusic offers you online courses led by the faculty instructors from Berklee College of Music. You can take the courses online in the comfort of your home or when you are on the road, in hotels, anywhere and anytime. Get access to Berklee professors and other music professionals like you. Learn online and network anytime and anywhere. Berkleemusic offers courses and certificates in five fields of study: Writing, Performance, Music Education, Production and Business. Online Writing courses include such topics as songwriting, composition, arranging, theory and film scoring. Courses start every 8 weeks, which means there is always something of interest about to start. Registration for January classes is still open! For more information visit: ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ E d i t o r ' s M u s i n g s : ----------------------------------------------------------------- Hi everyone. I hope you've had a very merry Christmas (if you celebrate it) and that you're looking forward to a very happy and healthy New Year! I only have a few announcements this Musings, so I'll keep it pretty short. I did want to mention though, that The Muse's Muse was cited as one of the best sites of 2002 by Music Connection Magazine in their 25th anniversary issue along with some other fantastic websites that offer support and resources for indie musicians and songwriters. Congratulations to all those other sites too! Every one of them is more than deserving. If you want to have a look at the list (and you really *should* get to know all the sites listed there), it's at This is certainly an information-packed issue! Lots of great stuff, but I thought I'd mention specifically that The Muse's Muse has a new columnist. Ricky Fitzpatrick has joined us with a couple of fantastic articles about how songwriters can get more notice for their craft using the principles of sales. His new column is profiled towards the end of this newsletter and I hope you'll check it out. The raffle winners for this month are Ken Robertson from Pendleton, IN who has won a copy of Jeff Strand's, "Starting a Band Made Simple" (reviewed below), and Amberlynne Johnson from Hyde Park, NY, who has won a copy of VSS's helpful songwriting organization product (for a review of Lyricist & information on a discount offered, see ). And that's everything. Enjoy your holiday season and keep writing! All the best, --Jodi Back to Menu ================================================================= S p o n s o r M e s s a g e : (Please support the sponsors that support this newsletter! Thanks!) ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ LYRICIST! VERSION 2.2 HAS ARRIVED-INCLUDES ON-LINE COPYRIGHT LINK Virtual Studio Systems, Inc. is proud to announce Lyricist V2.2 - The Songwriter's Best Friend: the first-of-its-kind word processor designed for musicians, songwriters, and poets. The software includes a rhyming dictionary, thesaurus, album categorization, chord charting, chord generator, song arrangement, On-Line Copyright Link, and much much more - all in a user-friendly package. Check out the review at Muse's Muse visitors can take home the product for $5.00 off the regular selling price just for purchasing through the form provided off of the review! For more information, visit the review url above or call us at 888.732.1176 inside the U.S.A. and Canada or 603.726-4499 outside the U.S.A. ================================================================= C o p y r i g h t & P u b l i s h i n g Q & A : With Licensing executive Nancy A. Reece ----------------------------------------------------------------- DERIVATIVE WORKS: Q: I have written lyrics to a one minute jingle using music from a song from the 1950's. I hear jingles using old music all the time but have no idea what has to be done to actually broadcast this jingle. Is it a flat fee for the use of the music or do you have to pay a royalty every time the jingle is played? Would the cost be more if it were a very large corporation using the jingle in a nation wide campaign or a little local business using the jingle? And also, as the lyricist, what could I expect to receive for my efforts? A: Anytime you use a pre-existing copyright and adjust it, you must first seek permission form the original owner. You must first come to an agreement that your derivative work is authorized. Find the original owner and seek permission before proceeding. The performance fee for the use of a jingle happens at the broadcast level. The radio station, tv station or webcaster pays for a blanket license to cover performance fees from BMI, ASCAP and SESAC and those fees are distributed to the copyright holders when the music is played. If the work is exclusively performed for employees at a corporation as training then the corporation's performance licenses with BMI, ASCAP and SESAC covers that use. If your client hires you to create the work, you will want to be sure that you seek counsel to have appropriate paperwork created to show who owns the copyright. Your portion of ownership determines your compensation. ---------- REGISTRATION: Q: Years ago I wrote a song and had it copyrighted. Recently, I heard a song by (a band) with the same title and a similar tune. Do I have any rights? Don't big recording artists have their management check material for copyrights? A: Titles of songs can not be copyrighted. However, if you feel that the work you have registered has been infringed, you should contact counsel to review the points with you on determining theft of copyright. There are specific points that must be proven including access to your work. ---------- PERFORMING RIGHTS ORGANIZATIONS: Q: As an amateur songwriter (who knows very little about licensing/publishing), should I have a relationship with BMI, ASCAP or SESAC? It seems logical, but I like to stay out of red tape whenever possible. A: This entire business has a foundation and that foundation is called "relationships". As a songwriter in the United States, you have an option of selecting which Performing Rights Organization you want to represent you. Depending on the term of the agreement, you may have the option to change your mind on that representation about every five years. SESAC is a profit driven business and unless you can show that your current catalog is of current value or that you have great potential to develop it into value, they will probably not select you as an affiliate. They have that option. The other PRO's do not. Both BMI and ASCAP are not for profit. ASCAP runs as a membership organization and BMI as a direct affiliate base. If you were a publisher with multiple writers, then you would want to set up publishing companies with all the PROs your writers are affiliated with. If you are a self-published songwriter, you will want to affiliate not only as a writer but also as a publisher with the same PRO. If you do not do this, potential royalties may be lost. In selecting a PRO, ask for material from all 3 and read about them. Talk to other developing writers you know and get their opinions. Call the closest office of the organization and see if you can get a real person in the writer/publisher department to talk to you. (I've know people that go with the first PRO that actually talks to them.) Keep in mind that BMI has over 300,000 affiliates and that ASCAP has nearly an equal catalog of over 4.5 million titles. That is a lot of people to take care of, so if you can get any kind of relationship going with a person, keep it going. Remember: relationships are the foundation of everything you will do. ***** ABOUT NANCY A. REECE: Since 1998, Nancy Reece has been providing a question and answer forum for Muse's Muse readers. Now all of the articles, forums and Q&A's are being compiled into a book. Nancy is wanting to be sure that you have the opportunity to receive a copy of the book as soon as it is ready. If you are interested in getting an E-mail notification to indicate that the book is ready for purchase, please send your request to . How to Ask a Question: If you have a question for Nancy about publishing or copyright administration, you can e-mail her at Please indicate in the subject of your e-mail that your submission is for The Muse's Muse guest forum, Real Answers to Real Questions. Thanks! Back to Menu ================================================================= M u s i c R e v i e w s : by Ben Ohmart, David Lockeretz, Stacey Board, Ashley Petkovski & Gian Fiero ----------------------------------------------------------------- Lani Richards – "the moment" (by Stacey Board) Lani's incredibly supple and silky voice, sophisticated arrangements, and excellent support players make this a very potent recording. She's a versatile player of acoustic guitar, mandolin and electric guitar. That mix of instruments only gives you a hint about the variety of flavors in the music you get here. The lyrics are like a brush stroke to help you through the rich landscape created by the musicians. Her voice and melody are the stars and I happily follow them through each song. Even "Ghost", one of the most pared down songs instrumentally, is simply and still richly beautiful. She knows how to put the brush to the canvas and what amount to apply. Please do NOT think I'm describing Enya territory here, but on many songs on the record there is a slightly meditative quality. They tend to create a mood and successfully suspend you there. But she also knows how to get things stirred up. "Don't go Down" is plea with a driving rhythm conveying the dark demons she is hoping to help someone ignore. On the very next rack "Homework" she gets downright bluesy and sassy. I love her voice and versatility on this song especially (It also is the only song on the CD written by someone other than Richards). Immediately following, "On the Edge" has a jazzy, even slightly latin feel to it. She successfully continues to show different facets throughout the CD. Her voice has slightly different facets also, and that intrigues me – she's part Christine McVie, part Beth Orton, part chocolate cello or something equally as smooth and satisfying. Her support players on this CD are top notch. Their ability to know when to play and when not to play is a very big plus to the overall quality of the CD. "at the moment" wonderfully showcases a versatile writer and player with a gorgeous voice. ------------------ OTHER NEW MUSIC REVIEWS SINCE LAST MONTH INCLUDE: 3d5spd (by Ben Ohmart) NanyaNa (by Ben Ohmart) OMM (by Ben Ohmart) C’est Mortel (by Ben Ohmart) Seasons of the Witch (by Ben Ohmart) Emile & Emilio (by Ben Ohmart) John Franceschina (by Ben Ohmart) Frida (soundtrack) (By Ben Ohmart) The Rules Of Attraction (soundtrack) (by Ben Ohmart) Sherry K (by Ben Ohmart) Stacey Board (by David Lockeretz) PC Munoz and the Amen Corner (by David Lockeretz) George E. Manosis (by Stacey Board) Dan Craig (by Stacey Board) Henri Ferguson (by Stacey Board) Joanne Stacey (by Stacey Board) Barbara Harley (by Stacey Board) Amanda Marshall (by Gian Feiro) Marty Namaro (by Gian Feiro) Dinah Chapman (by Gian Feiro) Kenny Camacho (by Gian Feiro) Juliette Esper (by Gian Feiro) Stereotype (by Gian Feiro) G O Twice (by Gian Feiro) Steven Johnson (by Gian Feiro) Amanda Lazar (by Gian Feiro) Winter (by Ben Ohmart) Gian's Top 10 Demos of 2002 (by Gian Feiro) Nanyana (by Gian Feiro) Gabriel Rene/Aquanote (by Gian Feiro) Kyle Vincent (by Ben Ohmart) Whiskey Zulu (by Ashley Petkovski) The Kuffs (by Ashley Petkovski) DJ Impetus (by Ashley Petkovski) Allen Shadow (by David Lockeretz) The Beers (by David Lockeretz) The Prime Time Sublime (by David Lockeretz) --------------- ****** For bios on each of the reviewers, see . If you're considering sending in your own CD for review, you can also view that page to find out which reviewer reviews your genre. Thanks! Back to Menu ================================================================= S o n g w r i t i n g B o o k R e v i e w : by James Linderman Starting a Band Made Simple - By Jeff Strand ----------------------------------------------------------------- Even before you start up a band, you start getting all the advice from everybody and their brother; "You gotta have a positive attitude", "It's 10% inspiration and 90% perspiration", "Don't even start unless you're serious", "Have something to fall back on when you bomb", blah, blah, blah... In reality, most people starting a band, even an air band, know this stuff and more. The trouble is in the organization and implementation of a plan, any plan, that can take you from bar band to star band in a single lifetime. Starting a Band Made Simple by Jeff Strand is a book that's all about planning your work and then working your plan in the business of being a band. The book begins with the initial stuff you will need to know when first conceptualizing and forming your band; the sound, the musicians, the name, the look and of course, the songs. Jeff has developed an awesome check list for auditioning players and also has web links to check out things like; rights to the band's name (bet you didn't think of that), setting up a trademark for your logo (man, I never thought of that) and tons of cool stuff about the indie band scene, (assuming that you are not starting your band, already signed to a major label deal, these will be important things to know about.) Jeff then runs us through how to hold a rehearsal; professionally, systematically and methodically, yet still fun (so we don't lose sight of why we wanted to be in a band in the first place, right). This section alone is worth a thousand times more than the price of the whole book. There is a road trip checklist and even a section on promo packs that is the most comprehensive I've ever seen. There's lots of good stuff here. If you have a band to build, or one in need of rebuilding, this would be an essential book to resource from. Agents, managers, band members, club owners and just about anyone else connected with the art form known as "a band" could also use this book to set a marker for how good a band needs to be, as an organization, to be good, as a band. Jeff did not title his book "Starting a Band Made Easy" because then, of course, it would be a work of fiction, or perhaps even fantasy, but Jeff Strand's accurately titled book "Starting a Band Made Simple" will certainly help make the experience of starting a band, and keeping that band, a whole lot simpler. To find out more about this book, and perhaps even get your hands on a copy, go to: ****** ABOUT THE REVIEWER: James Linderman lives and works at theharmonyhouse, a music lesson, songwriting and music pre-production facility in Newmarket, Ontario, Canada. He is the Songwriters Association of Canada regional coordinator for Newmarket and leads a music workshop program for Life 100.3 Christian radio. James writes songwriting articles for The Muse's News web magazine, Canadian Musician Magazine and Professional Musician Magazine. Contact James at: Back to Menu ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ S p o n s o r M e s s a g e : (Please support the sponsors that support this newsletter! Thanks!) ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ UNLEASH THE FULL POTENTIAL OF THE INTERNET WITH SONGSCOPE.COM! SongScope is a valuable tool enabling you to build an on-line song catalog, accessible only by proven industry professionals. Receive FREE email informing you every time record producers and industry professionals make requests. Song listings are only $29.95 per year. An ecommerce enabled marketing/promotion page and tour calendar are also available for performing songwriters to get further artist exposure. And more services are coming soon! See for details or contact: ~ Tel: 770.754.4543 ================================================================= M u s i c a l N o t e s : Songwriting Contests & Market Info. In the interest of conserving space, I will only be including 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 THIRD WHITEFEATHER'S SONG CONTEST IS NOW UNDERWAY: We permanently connect to your website, put your song on our compilation CD and pay cash awards of $500, $200 and $100 for every 80 song entries, so your songs are not lost by competing against thousands of other songs. Gloria Loring, singer-songwriter-actress from "Days of Our Lives" fame is our judge. Send your labeled CD or cassette along with the $10 entry fee to: SongRider Studios, 1587 E. Prince Road Tucson, Arizona 85719 For other details regarding copyright, the methods of selection, recording contracts, the lists of entries and winners, click onto our website at For any questions, e-mail us at ----------------------------------------------------------------- THE 4th EDITION OF THE INDIE BIBLE IS NOW AVAILABLE! The Indie Bible shows you where to get your music reviewed, your songs played, and your CDs sold. Now in its fourth edition, The Indie Bible has 310 pages of valuable contacts and music-related articles. The 4th Edition of the Indie Bible contains: 3500 publications from around the world that will REVIEW your CD! 2900 radio stations from around the world will PLAY your songs! 350 vendors and services that will help you to SELL your music! 400 helpful resources and sites where you can PROMOTE your band! 500 sites where you can UPLOAD your band's MP3 files! 39 articles that will help your career to MOVE forward rapidly! Authors include Tim Sweeney, Daylle Deanna Schwartz, Jeri Goldstein, Brian Austin Whitney, Derek Sivers, Diane Rapaport, Janet Fisher, Jodi Krangle, Lord Litter and many more! For details and to order online visit: You can also find the Indie Bible in these stores: BORDERS, BARNES & NOBLE, SAM ASH, VIRGIN RECORDS, TOWERS and MARS MUSIC (In Canada at CHAPTERS and STEVE'S MUSIC) ----------------------------------------------------------------- NEO-SOUL SINGER SONGWRITERS WANTED Tonos hosts many songwriting contests and Industry Opportunities specifically for songwriters every month. The newest contests include: - Neo-Soul Singer/Songwriters Wanted - In the third Industry Opportunity from this new label with major distribution, they are looking for outstanding, young neo-soul, self-contained singer/songwriters who write material with meaningful lyrics, innovative harmonies, and perform it with distinctive vocals, in the vein of India.Arie, Alicia Keys and Musiq. - Latin Pop/Rock Artist Looking For Songs! - California-born Latin pop artist signed to Los Angeles management firm is looking for songs. He is being considered for major label deal. The management company is requesting ballads or uptempo pop/rock songs with "Latin rhythms", Spanish or English lyrics accepted. This artist does play the guitar, so songs with guitar-driven music or guitar solos are a plus - TV Promo Music Needed Immediately! - Picture Plant, a leading television marketing, advertising and production company, based in Los Angeles, is looking for theme songs. They are not accepting unsolicited material, but they will listen to and consider the music of our tonosPRO members. The music directors are looking for catchy pop songs, as well as instrumental compositions of all genres. The songs will be considered for network promos, show themes, film trailers and commercials. TONOS MAKES HISTORIC AGREEMENT WITH 5 MAJOR MUSIC PUBLISHERS In order to help all the various talent in the global Tonos Community, we are thrilled to announce that we have made historic agreements with 5 major music publishing companies (Warner/Chappell Music, EMI Music, DreamWorks Publishing, Chrysalis Music and Famous Music). These top publishing firms have "guaranteed" that they will EACH sign two tonosPRO songwriters and/or singer-songwriters to publishing deals over the next 12 months. To be considered for all these deals, we'll be looking for the artists and songwriters who have at least 3 very strong songs posted in their Tonos Profiles. Sign up today to be considered! See for more details. ----------------------------------------------------------------- BERKLEEMUSIC.COM WEBSITE LAUNCHED After nearly two years in development, Berklee College of Music has launched its web site. This ambitious new offering provides songwriters opportunities to take online music writing courses and explore new music career directions. Users can create a personal or band web page containing bios, MP3s, images, reviews, news, and links that are useful resources to potential employers, collaborators, and students. For more information visit: ----------------------------------------------------------------- CALLING ALL SONGWRITERS FOR GROOVY MONDAYS OPEN STAGE Groovy Mondays Open Stage at Holy Joe's in Downtown Toronto wants you! Bring your songs every Monday and share your music with other musicians and music-lovers alike. Sign-up, free pizza and prizes start at 8pm. For more information, contact Jennifer Claveau at or visit . ----------------------------------------------------------------- PETER WHITTINGHAM AWARD FOR SONG CREATION 2003 The Peter Whittingham Award for Song Creation is a new award for 2003, administered by the Musicians Benevolent Fund in collaboration with the University of Westminster. The award of £4,000 is intended to promote young popular music artists, who are especially talented in the craft of songwriting. It will be made to the applicant whose songwriting ability and proposed project most impress the judging panel. In its pilot year, the following organisations will be asked to nominate up to three undergraduate students for consideration: Universities of Westminster, Leeds, Salford, Newcastle, Paisley; Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts; and Bath Spa University College. For further details please contact , website ----------------------------------------------------------------- KEEP AUSTIN WEIRD SONG CONTEST $250.00 grand prize ~ For details drop by: or email Deadline Jan 13, 2003 ----------------------------------------------------------------- HEY MUSICIANS! WANT TO OPEN FOR JEWEL? Enter the Soul City Café Music Quest! Soul City Café will be taking submissions for a music competition from November 4, 2002 - January 15, 2003. Submit your 3-song demo to be judged by industry experts. Enter as a band or solo artist and you could win the opportunity to open for Jewel! Go to for details on how to enter. ----------------------------------------------------------------- MY IRISH HOMELAND SONG CONTEST To take place in Newry, Co.Down on March 16th, 2003. All entries, in any genre, but with an "Irish 'feel'" to be sent on cassette or CD by January 17 to: My Irish Homeland, Unit 8A. Riverside , Newry Rd. Camlough, Newry. BT35 7JP. 12 Finalists will be selected to perform their songs at the gala final in the 'Bank Vault'. All 12 will be recorded professionally and released and marketed via the My Irish Homeland site and distribution network. For entry forms and further details, check out the My Irish Homeland website: ----------------------------------------------------------------- AMERICAN SONGWRITER MAGAZINE'S LYRIC WRITING CONTEST IS ON NOW! Established 1984. 6 contests per year. Requirements: Send lyrics only. Lyrics must be typed and a check for $10 (per entry) must be enclosed. 3 entries maximum per contest. Include an entry form with each lyric sheet submitted. Call for required official form (615-321-6096) or print it from our website. ~ Lyrics only, no cassettes. Awards: A Martin guitar with case and certificate to each contest winner. Top 5 winning lyrics for each contest reprinted in American Songwriter Magazine. One overall winner per year receives airfare to Nashville and a demo session. Deadlines for 2003 Are: January 24, March 21, May 23, July 25, September 19, and November 21. ----------------------------------------------------------------- GREAT ARTICLES TO CHECK OUT COURTESY OF GALARIS INDEPENDENT MUSIC: * Explanation, Treatment, and Prevention of Trigger Finger * Baby Steps And The Road To Success * The First Question You Must Answer When Promoting Your Music * The Importance of Music Theory Sign up for the Galaris Independent Musicians Newsletter. Simply send a blank email to and Twice monthly you will receive FREE, direct to your email box, articles containing: Promotion tips, Career advice, Recording tips, Practicing tips, Legal advice, Musician's health, Radio promotion, Songwriters tips and much more. Learn more about the Galaris Musicians Directory - 2003 Edition here: ----------------------------------------------------------------- 2002 WINNERS ANNOUNCED & 2003 USA SONGWRITING COMPETITION BEGINS The 2002 USA Songwriting Competition winners have been annouced. Sarah Lewis of Knoxville, TN won the Overall Grand Prize at the 2002 USA Songwriting Competition with her song “Mouth”. Bill Colgate of Toronto, Canada wins Overall 2nd Prize. Dan Pelletier of Lake Peekskill, NY Wins Overall Third. Congratulations to Muse's Muse subscriber - Johnsmith who won an honorable mention award for his song "From His Window". Winners list can be viewed: Entries for the 2003 USA Songwriting Competition are currently being accepted. Winning songs of the 2003 USA Songwriting Competition will receive airplay. Get a chance be featured at USA Songwriting Competition showcases throughout the country. Venues include Bluebird Café (Nashville), Eddie’s Attic (Atlanta), Dorscia (Los Angeles), Red Lion (New York City), Bamboo Room (South Florida) as well as Borders Books and Music stores in 10 cities such as Seattle, Minneapolis, Chicago, Austin, San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York, Nashville and more. For more information visit: to Menu ================================================================= M u s e ' s C l u e s : by Irene Jackson ©1998-2003 Moonstone Productions All Rights Reserved. Used By Permission ----------------------------------------------------------------- I found a neat little gem of a website lately called (, a downloadable software program for guitar players. Chord Coach is free and the only requirement is for you to have javascript enabled on your browser. With it, you can look up chords, actually hear how a chord is supposed to sound and organize chords into "sets" for use in your songwriting. But that's not all! The website itself has several other interesting sections. "Song Analysis" takes a number of popular songs and dissects them, "Music Styles" does the same dissection using different genres, "Jamming" prepares you for playing some lead guitar using phrases and scales, and "Fundamentals" teaches you some basics on keys, scales and chords. But the most applicable section on this website is the songwriting section. Here, you are given a template of chords to write your own song to! There are two templates, one for a simple pop song and the other for an enhanced pop song. Running a little low on musical ideas lately? I challenge you to sit down with these templates and see what you can come up with! Sometimes I'm amazed at what the web has to offer for little or nothing, and the folks at are pretty generous, so grab it while you can! ****** Irene Jackson is a performing songwriter from Victoria, BC in Canada. Aside from writing, recording and performing, she also maintains a website for songwriters that includes tips, articles and more links of interest. Her eagerly anticipated CD "Catnip" is finally here, and her earlier recordings have had attention everywhere from Japan to South America. Songwriting Tips: Homepage: Songs on MP3: Back to Menu ================================================================= F e a t u r e d A r t i c l e : MIXED EMOTIONS - by Lynn Harrison © Lynn Harrison, 2002 All Rights Reserved. Used By Permission ----------------------------------------------------------------- What's the point of greatest insecurity for an independent recording artist? It's not performing a song for the first time, it's not getting through the recording process. Nope, it's mixing. Mixing (and its brainier cousin mastering) is the last stage of a recording project, when all tracks are examined, processed and balanced. It's also the time when you, the indie recording artist, are most likely to become most un-balanced. Why? Because you'll be listening to every part of every song about fifty zillion times, and now you won't be able to fix anything. Oh sure, your engineer will be able to tweak the EQ and the balance…add a little warm room tone…make the drums sound "sparkly". But suddenly these things won't seem to matter. Instead, you'll suddenly be aware that your voice is so not Sheryl Crow, your guitar work isn't half as good as your hired backup guy's, and your lyrics, well, they seemed like a good idea at the time. You'll have lots of time to notice these things because you, The Artist Formerly Known as Confident, will have absolutely nothing to do but sit on a couch drinking too much coffee while watching your highly-experienced engineers look slightly bored as they "sweeten" your vocal track. The industrious among you might bring along something to do. Perhaps you will knit. After doing this for about a half-hour, you'll feel this makes you look even more wannabe-ish, so you'll put down the knitting and casually pick up a magazine lying around the studio, such as "Mojo", "Performing Songwriter" or "Genuine Full-Time Music Professional". You'll immediately realize this is a mistake and put down the magazine. This uncomfortable pattern (knitting, "Competent Songsmith", coffee, knitting…) will continue for five 12-hour days or so, punctuated only by ill-advised attempts to play an Active Role in the Production Process by asking a question such as "what does that button do?" before sinking back into the obscurity of the couch. As you remain on that couch until your fledgling cd is finished, your illusions will die: the illusion that your record will be as good as the latest from U2, Madonna, the Strokes, Diana Krall, Remy Shand or whomever, the illusion that you have any money left in your savings, and the illusion that you might actually be able to quit your job and make music for the rest of your life. As your dying illusions pile up faster than coffee mugs in the studio kitchenette, you will then go through the universal stages of grief. 1) Denial ("I am so as good as Avril Lavigne. I could too become rich and famous like The Barenaked Ladies. I really am going to sell those 1000 units I'm manufacturing.) 2) Anger ("Why is the music industry run by a small but all-powerful cabal of corporate greedheads? Why didn't my parents encourage me when I was 14 and might have had a chance?"). And finally, 3) Acceptance. Yes, at a certain point in the day (around 1:30 in the morning) you'll look up at the gold record on your engineer's wall and calmly accept that your name is not on it. You'll realize that your new album as exactly as good and bad as it actually is. You'll accept that some people will like it, some people will not, and that billions of people won't know it exists. If you're lucky, and if enough coffee has worn off by now, you might realize something else: you don't have to judge it. In fact, life gets a lot easier when you stop comparing yourself to everyone in the music magazines, agonizing over the vocals you could have sung better, and worrying that maybe you shouldn't have embarked on this journey in the first place. Although you may not be able to get there from here (wherever "there" is), you can always go somewhere else. And wherever you are in your musical life, you're where you need to be. Your record, no matter what's on it, is a beautiful reflection of your life right now. And therefore it is perfect. Mixing all our feelings of ambition, over-confidence, insecurity, despair, egomania, shyness, longing and loss together, listening to them in yourself in hi-fi stereo sound and coming to accept the results is the most valuable part of the independent music game. It's a game of mixed emotions. Let the band play on. ****** Lynn Harrison has released two cds, "Lynoleum" (2001) and the newly-arrived "Learning Curve" (2003). She wrote this article while in studio with mixing engineer John Switzer and producer David Woodhead, who had no idea she was feeling so weird. You can listen to Lynn's music at http: Back to Menu ================================================================= C o l u m n i s t I n S p o t l i g h t : Ricky Fitzpatrick and his SELLING OUT! Ricky recently joined our roster of columnists with his newest column all about selling yourself as a musician, an artist, a songwriter, and how the principles of sales can be applied to just about any situation you might find yourself in. He already has two FANTASTIC articles in his columnist section and I highly recommend you read both! ------------------------------------------------------------------- DESCRIPTION OF COLUMN: As the saying goes, "Nothing happens in this world until somebody SELLS it." In his column "Selling Out!", North Georgia Singer/Songwriter (and daytime Car Salesman), Ricky Fitzpatrick, will be sharing installments that cover the basics of selling and how they relate to the business of music. MESSAGE FROM RICKY: Welcome to "Selling Out!". No, I'm not going to tell you about how to compromise your musical integrity for the sake of radio airplay, commercial success and screaming teenagers. That would be in the NSync How-To Handbook, page 136 (ha). But seriously, what we WILL do is try to touch on the basics of selling, in general, and how you can apply them to your musical career. We all know that marketing yourself as a musician and/or writer involves, among other things, creativity and social skills. You're writing great songs? Great. But they'll never see the light of day if you don't know how to "sell" your material and sell yourself. We'll be covering the basics of selling...whether it's cars, dishwashers Oh, and by the way, have I got a deal for you...! RICKY'S BIO: Ricky Fitzpatrick has been performing since the age of five. Since that time, he has written over two hundred songs, performed at hundreds of venues and earned the respect and admiration of his musical peers in the North GA area. In 1989, he joined BMI as a writer and has recently established his own publishing company, Ricksha Music, and his own label, Sonicopia Records. He is also a local and area Star Search Male Vocalist, a vocal finalist in the Amateur Night at the Apollo series and has written a song that was endorsed by the Downtown Development Authority of his hometown (Commerce, GA) as a candidate for the town's official song. Back to Menu ================================================================= " O N S I T E " F E A T U R E D A R T I C L E : Shut Up! - by Ricky Fitzpatrick Being an effective salesperson is more than knowing how to talk the pants off of your prospects. Read on about the importance of effective listening and how learning to shut your mouth can dramatically increase your chances of success whether you're pitching songs, singing, talent, live shows, demos, etc...
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================================================================= C o n t a c t I n f o & C r e d i t s : ----------------------------------------------------------------- Jodi Krangle ............................................. EDITOR Kathryn Obenshain ...........................GRACIOUS PROOFREADER ----------------------------------------------------------------- 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 at: 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, unsubscribe, etc. - To submit articles,reviews,ideas,etc. SNAILMAIL: Please contact me first at ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Back issues of the newsletter can be read at the National
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