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The Newbie's Nook

Michael Askounes By Michael Askounes

© 2004, Michael Askounes. All Rights Reserved. Used By Permission

I was 35 years old before I finally decided to get the music that lay dormant in my head out. So I built myself a little home studio, complete with software I didn't know how to use, hardware I couldn't hook up, and instruments I couldn't really play. And while it was now finally possible to bring the music in my head to life, I was also finding out that with every minor victory there were more challenges and questions.

How could I make my mixes better? Should I hire an engineer? Where can I find a better singer? What types of songs should I write? How can I find collaborators? Am I good enough? What will people think of my music?

We may play different music, and we may have different talent levels… but I'd wager that we've all spent some time in The Newbie's Nook, with similar question and concerns. With this column, I hope to share some of my experiences as a stranger in the strange land of novice songwriting, and I hope you'll hang out here once in a while and share your stories with me.

Please note: Mike is no longer writing for The Muse's Muse but I certainly wish him all the very best in anything he chooses to tackle in the future. His contributions were greatly appreciated.

A short bio


  • Where's My Orchestra? - We all have songs in our heads, and they visit us from time to time - sometimes when we're near an instrument. Sometimes when we're in our cars. To all of us, the music sounds great; but sometimes, transferring from brain to guitar or from idea to reality can be a frustrating experience...
  • No Talent Necessary, No Experience Required - In our second edition of "The Newbie's Nook", we take a look at the lost art of lyrics, modern day pop stars, and an aging hack who still is trying to be a rock and roll star. Oh, and we're adding a new "Nook Tunes" feature where we'll suggest some new tunes for the readers to check out, and solicit our readers to send in their suggestions as well. Thanks for stopping by!
  • Women are From Venus, Men are From Stupid - Join Michael Askounes in his first edition of The Newbie's Nook where he takes a look at conventions in songwriting, performing art for art's sake, and evading the evil eye of one's spouse when sneaking new expensive musical equipment into the house...

A short bio:
Michael Askounes is a self-taught guitarist from Maryland who also loves to dabble in songwriting, and other instruments of all sorts. He is currently working on a CD about his various experiences with panic attacks (it's a real pick-me-up!) where he plays all the instruments and sings. He enjoys playing many different styles of music, but mainly considers himself a fan of progressive rock.

You can check out his "band" Reversed at

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