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Issue 5.7 - October 2002
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, Ashley Petkovski, Stacey Board
                    & David Lockeretz
@-- 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 - HOW THE VOICE WORKS - by Eric Frey
@-- Columnist In Spotlight - Jon Nicol and his VERTICAL SONGWRITING
@-- 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!) ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ANNOUNCING BERKLEE'S NEW ONLINE SCHOOL - BERKLEEMUSIC Berklee College of Music's new online school and musician network is giving you exclusive, first time access to the best career development tools in the music industry. Be the first to study with Berklee professors, market yourself, find jobs and gigs and network with other industry professionals. With our online instructor-led courses, each lasting 3-12 weeks, you'll get one-on-one guidance from Berklee's renowned teachers and learn with a community of like-minded musicians. Learning streams include Songwriting, Performance, Music Education, Production and Business. Berkleemusic also offers 30-90 minute Master Classes available as streaming video or to purchase on DVD. Check out our course catalog and be the first to join the Berkleemusic network. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ E d i t o r ' s M u s i n g s : ----------------------------------------------------------------- Hello again for another month, fellow songwriters. :) And here we are at the beginning of a wonderfully balmy fall. I love this time of year. Probably because it's the time of year I was born. :) But I adore the colors of the turning leaves and the slight chill in the air, the scent of woodsmoke... Ahhh. I'm told the winter is supposed to be a fairly dry one too... Well. I'll believe it when I see it. Don't get me wrong. I don't hate snow, per se. I hate the icky, gray sludge that's still seeping through my shoes and boots in mid-February. THAT, I could do without. I'm sure I'm not the only one. In any case, away from matters of the weather. We have better things to talk about. ;) There's lots of stuff packed into the newsletter this month. There's also lots of new stuff around the website (see for details, as per usual) - including a new option called the Music Auction Network - . VERY cool. If you're interested in buying or selling music-related items, I invite you to check it out. No more need for eBay! The raffle winners for this month are Richard Hoaglund from Whittier, CA, who has won a copy of Pat Pattison's, "Songwriting: Essential Guide to Lyric Form and Structure" (reviewed below), and Jennifer Rassler from Boston, MA, who has won a copy of VSS's helpful songwriting organization product (for a review of Lyricist & information on a discount offered, see ). I had also said that I would announce the winner of Carla Ulbrich's book (reviewed in the last issue), "Theory for Young Musicians". That winner is Athena Murphy of La Habra, CA. Thanks so much to everyone who wrote in. Enjoy the newsletter, folks! Happy Fall! 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 ----------------------------------------------------------------- A FEW THOUGHTS ON REGISTRATION - a gleaning from the upcoming book REAL QUESTIONS REAL ANSWERS, a songwriter publisher forum, Nancy A Reece (Limited to U.S.) 1. RE: the validity of the old "mail it to myself" trick. a. "Big vs. small money" irrelevant b. Does work, but immaterial re: actual copyright or registration--is simply evidence of date of copyright. c. Best technique is certified mail to self/other (unopened). 2. What you DON'T get if you don't register. a. Can't bring infringement suit. b. Can't collect compulsory license. c. Can't recover attorney fees or get statutory damages. d. Lose presumption that everything in your statement is correct if you don't register w/in 5 years. 3. Registration There is conflicting legal opinion about whether one can copyright a title. But it's not accurate that filing a P.A. only copyrights the title. Registration is certainly not a useless formality (see #2, above). I know equally respected publishers who 1) wait till a song is cut before registering and 2) register every song submitted. Do not be confused. Unless you are the owner of the sound recording as well as the compositions you need to consider just what version you send in for registration. A simple melody and lyric version of the compositions placed on your own sound recording can be registered so that the compositions are registered. You may seriously consider sending in 1 PA form for each of any multiple compositions if they are being released by a third party and you want them clearly indicated as being your property ASAP. Be sure to visit the U. S. Copyright Office Web page for current registration procedures. To be fully protected on each composition, you would want to register each separately, as well as each sound recording. Many publishers choose to register groupings. Review the procedures again and see what best fits your situation. It is important to make that step to have your art viewed and heard. As soon as you place your song in a "fixed format" on tape or written down, it becomes a fully protected intellectual property under the U.S. Copyright Law. Registration of that copyright is done to prove that fixed form exists on a certain day. You may choose to simply make your copyright notice on the material "(c) 2002" or © MMII" before pitching. If you feel that after you have presented a work, someone infringes on your copyright, it is easier to make a legal case concerning that infringement if you have REGISTERED the copyright. Be sure to keep good records as to when and to whom you pitched the material so that your attorney can show "access" if necessary in the future. It is because of this threat of suit due to access that several publishers, record companies, management companies, music super visors etc. will take only solicited material. On an "Assignment of Copyright" exhibit on a single Song Agreement it may call for a "registration Number". If you have previously registered the composition, then the new publisher would need that number to properly inform the copyright office of the transfer of ownership. If you have not registered the copyright then leave it blank. The new publisher will then register the composition on their behalf and get the number. If there is a reversion clause on your Agreement, be sure to remind yourself to get the registration number when the song reverts back to you, so that you, in turn can re-register ownership. As with any contract, have a competent entertainment attorney look over the agreement before signing it. ***** 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 ----------------------------------------------------------------- Taggart Smith – You're Not Alone (by Ben Ohmart) Taggart Smith is a happy man, and that's why his music sounds like it does. This is a solo piano album in the vein of George Winston, Rick Wakeman and the ever-popular Jim Brickman. Like those authorities, Smith has a master's touch that believes fully in melody and sunshine. If the entire album – all 12 tracks – isn't positive, then there is no such word. Audibly, this is music to soak your feet in. It is instrumental accompaniment to a happy life, or it scores a way of making you get one. There is an element of religiousness about the cd – perhaps because the rich acoustic tones of the piano, struck with clearness and in major chord harmony, remind one of how we are all conditioned to accept heaven. A bright, grand and glorious place filled with redemption and peace. Peace. Tranquillity. That's what's going on. From time to time you will hear the echo or full tune of a nursery rhyme or lullaby. That's because this project began as a notion for Shelby, Smith's new baby daughter. From that, you may gather that there's a spirit of wonder and innocence about the music, as if we are exploring new worlds together, listener and composer. Quite a good feeling. ------------------ OTHER NEW MUSIC REVIEWS SINCE LAST MONTH INCLUDE: John DeGrazio (by Stacey Board) Dr. Tom's Cure For Evil (by Stacey Board) Radio Junkies (by Stacey Board) Ruocco (by Ashley Petkovski) Heidi Stone (by Stacey Board) Cristina Williams Band (by Stacey Board) Simirillion (by Ben Ohmart) Imposter Syndrome (by Ashley Petkovski) Gustavo Oliveira (by David Lockeretz) Jessica Stone (by David Lockeretz) Manose (by Ben Ohmart) Superjuice (by Stacey Board) --------------- ****** 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 Songwriting: Essential Guide to Lyric Form and Structure: Tools and Techniques for Writing Better Lyrics - By Pat Pattison ----------------------------------------------------------------- I was a little apprehensive about reviewing the three songwriting books by Pat Pattison, which will be the topic of this review and the two that follow. Simply put, to know Pat's work is to revere it. He is the absolute master of the craft of lyric structure and it's consequential impact on the quality of a song. Period! Pat Pattison has been teaching lyric song writing and poetry at Berklee College of Music since 1975, and has played an integral part in developing Berklee's songwriting program, which was the first complete songwriting degree program to be offered anywhere, and is arguably the best in the world. Among the many other vast contributions Pat makes to the music industry, he also spends a lot of time writing in Nashville, works for TV and film, and does a ton of workshops and clinics all over the world. In the foreward of "Songwriting: Essential Guide to Lyric Form and Structure" Pat indicates that "This is not a general book on lyric's specific purpose is to help you handle your lyric structure more effectively." This is great because, instead of trying to deal with all aspects of lyric writing in a diluted overview, Pat instead, offers a very concentrated and detailed discourse on the aspect of song craft that seems to be most absent in most songwriters background…the deliberate use of structure. Throughout the book Pat uses an analogy, comparing lyric writing to juggling. When you juggle, you start with one ball and work on attaining that skill before adding a second, third or fourth ball, or before attempting to juggle with flaming batons or chainsaws. The first "ball" we want to try and juggle in our lyric development is the identification, study and manipulation of a lyric phrase. Pat is very skilled in providing perfect examples to show: how to match lyric phrases with the musical ones they sit on, how to write sections of a song with balanced or unbalanced sets of phrases, and how to contrast balanced and unbalanced sections to create a feeling in your listener that the song is moving forward to another section, or is resolving; coming to rest to end that collection of ideas. This is very cool to know, especially if you are like me and really struggle with lyrics and usually find that, after a lot of frustration, a structural oversight or flaw is often the problem. Enough about me... back to the book. The remaining chapters in the book break your lyric into syllables, rhyme schemes, song parts such as verses, choruses and those dreaded bridges. It then takes a concentrated look at song form and where to place the hook (you know, the part that makes your listener remember that you have a song). The thing that Pat Pattison's books do better than any other books out there, is make people write purposefully objective rather than aimlessly subjective. He does it in a way that channels creativity rather than controlling it and he does it with a sense of style and humour that is very engaging. I can now see why the publisher decided to name this book, Songwriting: Essential Guide to Lyric Form and Structure because "essential" is just how I would describe it. You can find out more about Pat and order his terrific book at and... Coming soon: Berklee College of Music will launch an online lyric writing course written by Pat Pattison. The course will launch in January. For information, go to Pat's website, ****** James Linderman lives and works at theharmonyhouse, a music lesson, songwriting and music pre-production facility in Newmarket, Ontario, Canada. He has worked as a collaborating songwriter and consultant for The Toronto Office of Catholic Youth 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! ----------------------------------------------------------------- LOOKING FOR A JOB IN THE INDUSTRY? LAMN CAN HELP! The Los Angeles Music Network promotes career advancement, continued education and communication among music industry professionals. They sponsor industry gatherings, workshops, private dinners and seminars with top executives; publish The Network News which features interviews and business coverage of the music industry; and provide professional development opportunities and career services, such as job listings and a Mentor Program, to our members. Visit for more details. ----------------------------------------------------------------- SOUTHERN GOSPEL SONGWRITING CONTEST - DEADLINE OCT. 15 The International Southern Gospel Music Network is hosting their 3rd annual songwriting contest. The 1st place prize package is valued at over $2200, which includes a recording package from “The Loft Recording Studio” (which is Tim Greene’s recording studio) in Boone, NC as well as several other prizes and benefits. For complete details, go to our brand new website at . Don’t delay, because the deadline is October 15th! ----------------------------------------------------------------- PLATINUM EUROPEAN ARTIST WANTS POP/DANCE/LATIN SONGS Tonos hosts many songwriting contests and Industry Opportunities specifically for songwriters every month. September/October contests include: - European Artist Wants Pop/Dance/Latin Songs - A European female artist, who is the lead in a platinum-selling euro-dance act, is embarking on a solo project and wants to move into a Pop/Dance/Latin style. They are looking for up-tempo songs only, with English lyrics (or possibly Latin in the chorus only). - Canadian Label Seeks Country Acts for Airplay - Country artists are you looking for airplay? Hillcrest Records can help. The label is looking for country artists for its next CD. Hillcrest has been servicing the record industry and country radio for the past 25 years and has teamed up with Tonos to offer this special Industry Opportunity to tonosPRO members. - LA Label Looking For Tracks For New Female Artist! - A former senior Columbia Records marketing executive is launching a label. The Los Angeles-based label, soon to be named, is looking for tracks for their first signing. The female artist is still being kept under wraps, but she is a cross between Jill Scott and Nelly Furtado. 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. ----------------------------------------------------------------- GREAT AMERICAN SONG CONTEST NOW ACCEPTING ENTRIES! This annual songwriting event is open to songwriters and lyricists everywhere. Features top music-industry judges, including publishers, producers, recording artists and hit songwriters. Offers multiple awards and prizes for 40 winners in 8 different categories. Every songwriter receives a written evaluation of their work from the judges. This event is sponsored each year by Songwriters Resource Network, a free online news and education resource for songwriters and lyricists everywhere. Postmark deadline is November 7, 2002. Information is available at: or by visiting Songwriters Resource Network at: (or click on the banner above). Contest brochures are also available by email at: ----------------------------------------------------------------- ATTENTION, GUITARISTS: NEED TO IMPROVE YOUR CHOPS? The Guitar Study Newsletter shows you how to turn your practicing into playing, and where to find the best free guitar info. Subscribe at ----------------------------------------------------------------- WIN AN APPERANCE ON CMT! WINNERS GET THEIR FOOT IN THE DOOR OF THE MUSIC INDUSTRY! Enter the 3rd Annual CMT/ NSAI Song Contest The CMT/ NSAI Song Contest provides the best avenue for aspiring songwriters to open doors to industry contacts and have their song pitched to record labels and top publishing executives. CMT will again provide the Grand Prize Winner with a network appearance on CMT. Many more great prizes... Entrants submitting songs to the contest before Sept. 30, 2002 will receive $5 off the entry fee, and will be entered into a raffle for a Big Baby Taylor Guitar and an AKG C 900 microphone. All entrants will receive a judging report for every song submitted for the contest. The final deadline for contest submissions is November 30, 2002. For more information on the Nashville Songwriters Association International or the 3rd Annual CMT/ NSAI Song Contest, visit or call 800-321-6008. ----------------------------------------------------------------- "PLAY FOR PUBLISHERS" WORKSHOP - GET YOUR SONGS HEARD! Barbara Cloyd is hosting a "Play for Publishers" workshop in Nashville Oct 18 - 20. Fifteen applicants will have a chance to play songs for and learn from six different publishers. Complete details at ----------------------------------------------------------------- GREAT ARTICLES TO CHECK OUT COURTESY OF GALARIS INDEPENDENT MUSIC: * Copyright Registration Is Not A Pre-Condition To Protection * Natural Talent * Great Drum Sounds From Your Home Studio * What's Fair In A Record Deal * Ruthless Self-promotion in the Music Industry * The Mentality Behind Practicing 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. ----------------------------------------------------------------- TWO DAY WORKSHOP WITH MOSES AVALON Los Angeles, CA. On NOVEMBER 9TH & 10TH, 2002, multi platinum record producer, music industry insider and artists' rights activist, Moses Avalon, will speak candidly at the American Federation of Musicians in a coveted two-day workshop. Avalon, author of the runaway hit book, Confessions of a Record Producer will reveal tricks of the trade and techniques to help musician's protect their hard earned money. Registration is limited to 100 attendees. For registration, go to ----------------------------------------------------------------- WANT TO LEARN SONGWRITING FROM THE BEST? Then join us in Breckenridge, Colorado October 16-19, 2002 for The Three Couples Songwriting Seminar High up in the Rocky Mountains… Six of the best songwriting teachers in the country, will mentor YOU, in an intimate group of 30, with their songwriting wisdom, constructive critiquing and networking knowledge. Featuring: Pat and Pete Luboff – Nashville, JoAnn and John Braheny – Los Angeles, Sara Light and Danny Arena – Nashville, Songwriters and teachers extraordinaire! For more information see ----------------------------------------------------------------- SHOWCASE AT "WINTERFOLK" IN TORONTO! Toronto's newest folk, roots and blues festival is now accepting showcase submissions from emerging artists. "Winterfolk" takes place January 31 ­ February 2, 2003 at four prime downtown TO venues. The event will feature both new and established artists. Successful showcase applicants will receive a 45 minute performance, free passes to the festival, promotion and a chance at the Convocation Hall finale! Applications and festival details are now online at ----------------------------------------------------------------- USA SONGWRITING COMPETITION'S MONTHLY "SOUTH FLORIDA UNPLUGGED" SHOWCASE AT "BAMBOO ROOM" SEEKING MUSIC ACTS In order to help promote various talent in the music community, USA Songwriting Competition is proud to announce that they will present: "South Florida Unplugged," a Monthly Showcase & Networking Event in Lake Worth, FL every second Tuesday of the month, first showcase starting January 14, 2003 at Bamboo Room in the South Florida area. Past acts that have performed there include Ellis Paul, Dion and Bob Malone. We are currently selecting artists for the monthly showcase. If you're interested in applying and being considered for future showcases, please e-mail: Details: Time: Every 2nd Tuesday of the month, next show - 8.00 to 10pm, Tuesday, January 14, 2003 Location: Bamboo Room, 25 South J St., Lake Worth, FL 33460 Admission: Free ----------------------------------------------------------------- NSAI Open Mics at Mars Music all over the U.S. - Get your performance recorded for just $5, win great prizes, enter the CMT/ NSAI Song Contest! NSAI and Mars Music will host 22 "open mic" nights all over the U.S. on October 23rd (and 24th). Each "open mic" will have judges from the local music community. Three winners will receive free entry into the 3rd Annual CMT/ NSAI Song Contest and a Mars Music $25 gift certificate. All winners from the "open mic" nights will also be entered into a raffle for a trip to Nashville including airfare for two on American Airlines, three hotel room-nights, and free admission to the Tin Pan South songwriter's festival. Enter CMT/ NSAI Song Contest the night of the "open mic" and save postage by dropping off entries at the NSAI information table. Mars Music will record individual "open mic" performances and burn a CD for just $5 so you can enter the CMT/ NSAI Song Contest that night! Locate the "open mic" night near you and learn more about NSAI and the CMT/ NSAI Song Contest by visiting or call 1-800-321-6008. Back to Menu ================================================================= M u s e ' s C l u e s : by Irene Jackson ©1998-2002 Moonstone Productions All Rights Reserved. Used By Permission ----------------------------------------------------------------- These days, more and more songwriters are learning to use increasingly user-friendly technology to record their songs. This ease of use is wonderful, but the fact is that we often don't understand much of what we're actually doing! Do you know the difference between analog and digital? Do you know how a CD works? Even how your own hearing works? A website I ran across a long time ago is an excellent resource for learning all of these things! It's called "How Stuff Works" ( and it now has an excellent section devoted to Audio ( There are the occasional pop-up ads which seem to be a necessary evil these days, but if you can ignore them, you'll find all kinds of interesting information on everything from acoustic and electric guitars, amplifiers, mp3 files, how speakers work, even info on how Napster technology came to be. One of the best features of this website is its interactive activities. You can play .wav files of sounds, interact with the graphics, and each section is broken down into short, easy-to-absorb pages so that you don't get too overwhelmed. There are also links to other websites that provide even more information related to each section. Buried inside these pages are terms that you may have heard many times but never quite understood before, and facts that may fascinate you. But the most important part, I think, is simply finding out how stuff works. ****** 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 ================================================================= And speaking of "how stuff works".... :) F e a t u r e d A r t i c l e : HOW THE VOICE WORKS: From the Vocal Release Singing Manual - by Eric Frey © Eric Frey, 2002 All Rights Reserved. Used By Permission For more information on Eric's Vocal Release program, visit: ----------------------------------------------------------------- If you've never sung before or even if you have but never knew the physical mechanics behind singing, it is fundamental that you know exactly what is happening. If you're just starting out, you should be reading this first. When I took vocal lessons, it always baffled me as to why, on my first lesson, my vocal coach did not make it a point to make sure I understood what was happening in my throat. This in itself would have saved me time and aggravation. After all, you can't be asked to try to accomplish something if you don't know what it is you're trying to accomplish. If you chose to take vocal lessons, be very dubious of a coach who cannot tell you what makes the voice work correctly. Just because someone can sing well doesn't mean they can teach you to do the same. With that said, on to the mechanics of it. In an ideal circumstance, a voice has no registers. It is one smoothed out instrument from lowest pitch to highest pitch. The singer moves without flipping or breaking, without noticeable shifts to the listener. But most people do not have a smoothed out voice without breaks. The terminology of breaks and registers was brought about to describe singers who's voices had gaps in between the different tonal parts of their voice. So, as this is an accepted terminology, I'll describe the different registers for you from lowest to highest. VOCAL FRY: There is some argument among instructors as to whether or not this is an actual register as it can be used to add a raspy sound to other registers. It is commonly accepted that it is the lowest, so we'll just start here. Vocal fry is more of a style thing. By putting less amount of air on the cords than is needed for a clear tone of the pitch you are going for, the tone breaks up and becomes a rasp. Used on lower pitches, which it usually is, you can end up sounding like the cartoon character, Elmer Fudd. Stylistically, it is often used to slide into a phrase or trail off. To do the vocal fry, put very little air over your cords - just enough to make the slightest sound without going into a whisper or becoming airy. It kind of sounds like the sound most people make when they are sleeping and someone nudges them to get up when they don't want to. You put just barely enough air over the cords to make them move. When you master this, you can add it to your regular range for a great raspy sound without hurting your voice. This is great for rock and roll. But be warned - once you start down this road, it may be hard to get a clear tone if you practice like this all the time. Everyone comes down to muscle memory. Vocal fry is the only way to add a screaming sound to singing without hurting your voice and limiting your range. What someone usually does when they want to scream in a song is clench their throat and force out the broken up tone. This practice is very damaging to a singing voice. Vocal fry, used well, has a smoother sound than this, but still lends itself well to a raspy or rock and roll sound. CHEST VOICE: This is usually the voice most people talk in. When you sing in your chest voice, the cords are all the way apart. Air flows over the whole length of them. As the name would imply, this is a deep, full sound. Generally in church or choir singing, men sing in chest voice. Most of the resonance is felt below the cords in the upper chest and comes straight out of the mouth without stopping at the back of the pallet or the mask. Once you reach a point in your chest voice that you can no longer go any higher without forcing it, you should be shifting to middle voice. Although after you train your voice and learn to control resonance, you can produce a chest voice that has resonant qualities similar to middle and head voice. That is, resonance sounding up through the back palate or mask. MIDDLE VOICE: This is also known as a mixed voice. If cord adducting is done correctly, once you reach the limit of your chest voice, you shift to middle voice. Some coaches don't believe in a middle voice. These teachers generally teach choirs or church singing. Most of the ones I've run into taught that lower range notes should be sung in chest and higher ranges in head voice. While this is just fine for church or choir, if you try to join a group or become a diva type of singer, you will be laughed at. Middle voice is the commercial voice that performers are going for whether they know it or not. It has the best qualities of both chest and head voice. A very strong middle voice will resonate not only below the cords in the upper chest, but also above them into the back palate and the mask. It is very resonant and has a high output. When you watch singers and they are hitting high, full notes with apparently little strain, it is because they have smoothed out their range and when they go up, they switch to middle voice. ------------------------------------------------------------------- For the remainder of this article, please visit ------------------------------------------------------------------- ****** Eric Frey has spent fifteen years coming up with the Vocal Release system, a program specifically designed to help those who want to sing in the rock and pop style, sing better and with less wear and tear on their voices. He started singing when he was fifteen, having the usual adolescent dreams of becoming a rock star overnight. After about two years of thrashing his voice with poor vocal technique, he decided to take singing seriously. He started taking lesson with every coach he could find and bought every program and book on singing he could get his hands on. Far too many of them insisted that the classical approach was the only proper way to learn good technique and proper control. Fortunately, he had sense enough not to try and apply operatic style singing to the rock bands he was in. But he did learn every exercise that was useful. He kept those and threw out all the outdated exercises. His approach has been streamlined into his program. For more information on his unique approach to vocal training, see . Back to Menu ================================================================= C o l u m n i s t s I n S p o t l i g h t : Jon Nicol and his VERTICAL SONGWRITING Jon is one of our newest columnists here at The Muse's Muse and we're very happy to have him with us. While his column focuses on some of the unique problems facing those who write songs for worship, many of his principles also apply to other types of songwriting as well. No matter what genre of songs you write, Jon's goal is to help you achieve excellence. ------------------------------------------------------------------- DESCRIPTION OF COLUMN: Is your songwriting "set...on things above?" Join Jon Nicol as he explores the unique challenge of writing worship music for the church today. Whether you're just beginning your ascent, or you've been climbing for years, Jon will strive to give praise and worship songwriters a foothold as they strive for the peak. MESSAGE FROM JON: At least three times in the Book of Psalms, the psalmist instructs the people to "sing to the Lord a new song." So it has been the work of the songwriter for thousands of years to write the new song that God's people will sing. In the last ten to fifteen years, the world has seen an outpouring of "new songs" to the extent that even media giants like Time Warner can't ignore them. From the local Christian bookstore to Wal-Mart to TimeLife television commercials, "praise and worship music" has become a force and industry all its own. And with any genre of music, it would have no life without the songwriter. If you are endeavoring to set your craft "on things above" (Col 3: 1,2), you are a "vertical songwriter," and this column is for YOU! Together we'll explore the unique challenges of writing songs for and about the highest audience: God. There's plenty of great instruction on how to write songs (some of the best is right here on The Muse’s Muse!), so I won't try to reinvent the wheel. The focus will be to take those tried and true (as well as some of the unorthodox and unconventional) techniques in songwriting and apply them to praise and worship music. We'll also examine elements in great worship songs in order to figure out what made them "great." My hope for this column is two-fold: 1) To equip "vertical" songwriters (including myself) to move to a higher level of excellence in writing; and 2) to gather together an online community of praise and worship songwriters for collaboration, encouragement and networking. JON'S BIO: Jon Nicol is an independent artist and songwriter from the Mansfield, OH area. He is a volunteer worship leader and a guitarist at his church, North Woodbury Alliance. His first full-length CD, due out this fall, is entitled "St. Laundromat." He is married to an incredible woman named Shannon. Presently, their only dependent is a Jack Russell terrier named Tillie. Please visit Jon on the web at Back to Menu ================================================================= " O N S I T E " F E A T U R E D A R T I C L E : Kickin' Cardio For Vocalists - by Dagmar Morgan In keeping with the somewhat vocal theme of this month's newsletter, here's an article by Dagmar to help you build up your vocal strength - by building up the REST of you. It includes tons of great information on how to get started on your own exercise regiment.
================================================================= C l a s s i f i e d s & U s e f u l S e r v i c e s : ----------------------------------------------------------------- MUSIC BOOKS PLUS The Songwriter's One Stop Resource for Books, Instructional Videos, CD-ROMs and DVDs. We feature over 5,000+ titles at - areas covered include: International Music Directories, Music Business, Song & Lyric Writing, Music Publishing, Rhyming Dictionaries, Theory & Arranging , Instrument & Vocal Technique, Recording, Internet ... and so much more. Free electronic newsletter, monthly & customer specials, new titles added weekly. Come check us out! ----------------------------------------------------------------- HEY SONGWRITERS! POP QUIZ. GIVE ME THREE RHYMES FOR "HEARTBREAK"... Locate every song's lead sheet you ever wrote, their genre, and album. What's the fingering for a G#sus4 chord at the ninth fret? Now copyright a song from where you're sitting without removing your hands from your mouse or keyboard. Your time is up! You know what you need? LYRICIST! It's the songwriter's best friend. Includes Rhyming Dictionary, Album Categorization, Chord Charting, On-Line Copyright, and more. Check out the review at . For more information, visit the review url above or call Virtual Studio Systems at 888.732.1176 inside the U.S.A. and Canada or 603.726.4499 everywhere else. ----------------------------------------------------------------- GO GLOBAL WITH CDSTREET.COM is your secure source for credit card music ordering in your own website. As a member of the CDstreet network, you will have access to the most cost-effective, secure transaction processing for global music merchandise distribution. Plus, low setup fee and no sales equals no cost! Check it out - ----------------------------------------------------------------- ATTN: SONGWRITERS / MUSICIANS This is the all new 3rd edition of "IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION - A Beginner's Guide To Starting A Record Label", only $24.99. The web's best seller for newbies is now a perfect bound paperback book!!! We now accept secure credit card orders on-line 24-hours daily! For more information and ordering options email: ----------------------------------------------------------------- GET HIGH-QUALITY PRESS KITS AND OTHER PROMOTIONAL MATERIALS AT AN AFFORDABLE PRICE. Don't have the time to do-it-yourself or looking to pay less? Tabitha Giles is dedicated to helping you break into the music industry - not your wallet. Call (989) 714-4340 or email ----------------------------------------------------------------- INDIE-MUSIC.COM ~ SAVE TIME & PROMOTE YOUR MUSIC FREE! 1000's of contacts for musicians, no cost, no hassles. Download a free College Radio E-Guide or subscribe to our free Indie News newsletter to receive free tips to advance your music career. - The Best Place For Musicians Online ----------------------------------------------------------------- GET YOUR COPY OF THE INDIE CONTACT BIBLE & START MAKING WAVES! This is an absolutely priceless resource for indie musicians. If you want your music reviewed, on the radio, *heard*, THIS is the resource you need to have. It's not going to tell you "how" but it will *certainly* tell you "who". I highly recommend you pick it up in order to compliment your other music marketing techniques. Have a look at this url and read through a few sample pages to see what I mean: (Full review at ================================================================= ADVERTISING RATES: For Classifieds: US$50 Max. 8 lines, where a line = 65 characters including spaces and punctuation. All contracts must be prepaid. Write to: For Newsletter Sponsorship rates and other advertising opportunities, please see . Back to Menu
================================================================= 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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