Monday, September 4, 2017

Songwriters Notes E-News #190 SEPTEMBER 2017

Hello Songwriter,
As we step into the fall season we have some exciting things a brewin'.

DSA Annual Song Contest is closing on Sept 31. Enter on the DSA web site

Enter online at :

or on Broadjam at
Fall Fundraisers
 DSA members Bobby Montgomery, Harry Hewlett, Aaron Shook and barbe McMillen will be playing for our fall fundraiser at the First Baptist Church in Duncanville on Sept. 22nd. Come out and join us 6:30 - 9. Admission is $10 and bring a covered dish enough for 8. 

Also we have four Saturday afternoons 3-6 at the State Fair in front of the lagoon on the promenade leading to the Cotton Bowl entrance. Here is the schedule.
30    3 Barbe McMillen
        4 Bobby Montgomery
        5 Brando + 1
7      3 Gigi and Rockin Robert
        4 Aaron Shook
        5 Harry Hewlett
14    3 Paul Z
        4 Harry Hewlett
        5 James Pappas + 1
21     3 Barbe McMillen
        4 Bobby Montgomery
        5 Ireland

Also, we will have a booth at the Arlington Guitar Show, Oct 21-22 at Arlington Convention Center. This is a great place to find a new or used instrument.

Monthly Critiques close in Oct with last chance to submit.

Annual Membership Meeting and Elections in Nov.

Awards Banquet in December.

Our Monthly Meeting with guest speaker and song critiques IS NOW THE FIRST THURSDAY at Half Price Books. Attorney Rod Phelps will continue his series on the Business of Music See # 2 below.

Other regular DSA monthly events are the open mics on the 2nd Wednesday, 3rd Thursdays and 1st & 3rd Monday, and the 3rd Saturday Showcase at Angela's. The Song Swap on the 3rd Monday has been moved from Tino's to Burger Edge 6:30 - 8:30. It's now called Writers Workshop and Open Mic.

 Did you know we are live streaming on Facebook? Thanks to Harry Hewlett you can view some of our open mics and guest speakers in a live stream on Facebook? See guest our guest speakers, and latest Angela's showcase. Can't make it? Then tune into Facebook/dallassongwriters. Want to be on our facebook streams? Show up and perform.
Next Deadline for the Winter Lyric Contest is March 31st See #5 below.

Thanks to Ireland, Paul Zander, Michael Brandenberger, Bobby Montgomery, Jon Jaggers, Mimi Balkey, Suzi Morse, Rio King, Jared LoStratto and Bill Kapac for their contributions to DSA. Just a reminder that we are a non-profit and your tax deductible donations are always welcome. Follow this link to our donation spot on the website.

Spring 2017 Songwriters Notes Get a pdf version here.
Spring 2016 Songwriters Notes Get a pdf version here.
Fall 2016 Songwriters Notes Hardcopy pdf version



Enter on DSA website 

Now in its 27th year, The DSA 2017 Song Contest is one of the longest running international song contests for amateur songwriters. Over $5,000 in cash and prizes. 8 categories.

Enter online at :


GRAND PRIZE  -   A Casio Privia Piano

1st Runner Up
 wins studio time at
River Sounds Recording Resort

2nd Runner up
wins recording time at 

Grand Prize winners receive:
($199.95 Value) 
Includes Artist Website, 1 Yr. Hosting
1 Yr. Sonicbids Membership

Category winners get cash prizes


  Read the Interview with Grand Prize winner Bill Wren


2016 Winners
2016 Semifinalist
Winner of the Drawing for the IPod -  Jeffery Moore, Baton Rouge, LA  His entry, This Love, #102 was drawn.
Awards Dinner Streamed on Facebook
Photos of the Awards Dinner
Now in its 26th year, The DSA 2016 Song Contest is one of the longest running international song contests for amateur songwriters. Over $5,000 in cash and prizes.


Read interview with 2015 winner T Edwin Doss and learn about out other Grand Prize Winners❤ 
Did you miss the Awards Dinner? Here's a blow by blow courtesy of Dan Roark

1. Jessie Brown by T. Edwin Doss, Silver Spring, MD
2. Real Love Next Time by Bonnie Warren, Philadelphia, PA
3. Aina Hanu by John Keawe, Kapaau, Hawaii


MC and GRAND PRIZE JUDGE,  ROY ELKINS, left us with extensive comments on the grand prize winners and more.

Hard Copy of Songwriters Notes Spring 2016 issue with 2015 winners 


 WINNER OF THE IPOD – Samuel Miller, Chico, CA


Click here for more info about this contest, and for more information about joining DSA (membership not required to enter contest). Click here to view a list of frequently asked questions. 

2001 - 2007 Winners Compilation CDs available at the DSA store

All winning songs are on a CD Compilation that was given out at the Awards Ceremony. To get any 3 double CD's simply make a quarter note donation to DSA through our online store and send us an email to request which 3 years of Cd's you want us to mail you.


2. DSA MEETINGS - Guest Speaker, Rod Phelps and Song CritiquesTHURSDAY, SEPT 7
Self Publishing Your Songs: How to Start Your Own Publishing Company
Rod discovered Garth Brooks and Maranda Lambert
 The July monthly meeting will be ThursdayJuly 6 at Half Price Books Community Room in back, just east of Central Expressway in Dallas.
We are pleased to have an attorney and Music VIP as guest speaker.
When Rod was at Baylor he started booking acts like Bob Hope and Brother Dave Gardner. Bob Hope you've heard of, and Bro. Dave had a comedy act that gave rise to the Blue Collar Comedy Tour.
      It was this activity that induced his cousin, Sheri Helt, a student at Oklahoma State University, to call him about a singer who was playing the "Strip" in Stillwater, OK. She said that all of the students at OSU really liked this new guy, and suggested that he go hear him.
   He went to a place called Wild Willie's on a Friday night and, walking in, he had some immediate concerns. One, the air was blue from cigarette smoke, and  he's a non-smoker. Two, Wild Willie's didn't take credit cards, so he had no idea how he was going to pay for an evening's tab just to listen to some dude who probably wouldn't be any good anyway. Three, the men's room didn't have a commode, it had a bathtub that served as a urinal.
  He listened to the guy and introduced himself afterwards and told him that he was pretty good and he would like to do a demo on him. He found an 8-track facility and the next Friday they did four live sets, two cover and two original. They mixed them on Saturday, and on Sunday he came by the house and he gave him the reel-to-reel demo we had done, a list of his contacts in Nashville, the confirmation number of the hotel he had set up for him to stay in, and a handful of his credit cards.
   He said, "Rod, I'm going to have to use these credit cards because I don't have any money". Rod told him that he had given them to him to use, and all Rod asked was that he (1) go to Nashville, (2) become a star, (3) pay him back when he could, and to (4)  thank him when he won his first Grammy.
   Well sir, Garth Brooks went to Nashville, became a star, paid Rod back when he could, but never thanked him when he won his first Grammy. You can read about this in "Chicken Soup for the Country Soul".
   Rod's nephew, Tye Phelps, who owns the Love and War in Texas restaurants, asked him to listen to a female act playing at the Plano L&W. Rod went to listen to her, and she wasn't all that good. The other act on the bill who did impress me was a young blond from Lindale, Texas. Rod got a couple of demos from her dad, Rick Lambert, and sent them to his contacts in Nashville, mostly label heads. The rest is history.
   Other folks Rod has helped over the years include Chris Cagle (whom Rod hired as nanny because he said he had no money, no job, and no place to live) and Rory Lee Feek (former DSA member of Joey and Rory fame), whom Rod moved to Nashville, along with his two daughters. He had two daughters the same age, and Rod gave Rory the downstairs master bedroom suite. Rory signed with Harlan Howard soon thereafter (one of the most prolific songwriters in Nashville history) and Rory went on to become one of the best known Christian songwriters and performers of all time, especially when he joined forces with, and married, Joey.
   Rod also has had the good fortune to work with Larry Weiss ("Rhinestone Cowboy", "Bend Me, Shape Me"); Richard Leigh ("Don't you Make My Brown Eyes Blue", "Greatest Man I Never Knew"); Don Schlitz ("The Gambler"); Tommy Barnes ("Cherokee Outlaw"); Randy Boudreaux ("Goodnight Sweetheart", ""Brokenheartsville", "Alibis", "Who Needs You Baby").
   Rod has helped these local folks you might recognize as DSA writers include David Banning, Dickie Kaiser and Steve Hood.
   By simply hanging around individuals in broadcasting, Rod worked with Howard Cosell, Verne Lundquist (Rod got him his divorce from his first wife and introduced him to his second wife) and Roger Staubach, whom Rod got on the speaking tour.

   Rod was the first attorney Buddy Magazine turned to some 44 years ago.
   This is only a few of many stories Rod has about the music business. His contacts are endless. Rod is an educator and loves to help careers. Come meet Rod Phelps who is doing a series of talks at DSA every other month. He started with PROs in March and has covered Compulsory License and Fair Use in May. Rod will be staying to hear your songs.

The monthly meeting will continue to have the song critique session but the format will be a little different.  Instead of judging a "winning" song each month that is eligible for the "Song of the Year", all songs submitted at the meeting will be entered in the DSA Member Best Songs of the Meeting at the end of the year for Song of the Year and Songwriter of the year. We are considering adding a peoples choice awards.

Each song entry will receive friendly feedback from two music industry professionals, Joe Milton and Barbe McMillen.  Joe has been an LA touring musician, studio musician and songwriter and currently owns Jo Musik, a Dallas area music production company and studio that has done music for film and TV, voiceover and dialogue, plays, live shows, jingles, industrials and videos. Barbe is currently Associate Professor of Songwriting at Collin College and President Emeritus of the DSA.  She is also a voting member of the Recording Academy that votes for the Grammy Awards.  As a recording artist she has recorded five albums. She has written songs in all genres, including a musical called "Give Me Break".

Songs can be on a CD, or emailed to Harry Hewlett at, or performed live, or even mailed in (you don't have to be present) or members can enter online at  Just let him know if you want to get a spot at the meeting because we are limited on time and you must be a member to submit your song(s).  The song entry/critique fee is $10 for each song.  Preferred entry is online, so we can know how much time to allot to critiques, however, don't let that stop you, you can bring a recorded song to the meeting or just sing it at the meeting. Be sure to provide copies of lyrics for the group so they can give friendly feedback too. Good thing is that you can bring your song in for a pro critique and submit your rewritten or updated song at anytime during the year before the cut-off date. This is to encourage members to use the critique sessions during the editing phase of your song. You can have plenty of time for a re-write and re-submit.
Facebook Event page:[%7B%22surface%22%3A%22page%22%2C%22mechanism%22%3A%22main_list%22%2C%22extra_data%22%3A%22%7B%5C%22page_id%5C%22%3A104739376244963%2C%5C%22tour_id%5C%22%3Anull%7D%22%7D]%2C%22has_source%22%3Atrue%7D

Sign in and Networking begins at 6:30
Announcements at 7PM
Program about 7:30

Future Meetings
OCT 5- This will be your last chance to submit a song to be in the running for the Song of the Year. There is a fall deadline for your final recordings of any submitted songs this year.
NOV 6 - Rod Phelps -+ ANNUAL MEMBERSHIP MEETING AND ELECTIONS This meeting is on the 1st Monday at Half Price Books. They are having a book signing on our regular 1st Thurssday.

Recordings of past DSA Second Tuesday guest speakers  

June 2017 - Speaker Kathy Baldwin - Publishing

May 4, 2017 - Speaker Rod Phelps - Compulsory License and Fair Use: How to include a cover song on your album

April 6, 2017 - Speaker Rod Phelps - Performance Rights Organizations Collect Money for Songwriters

March 21 · How to Market Your Songwriting Career with Booking Agent
Richard Pollack

February 3 · All About Publishing with Publisher Gus Wolman
Oct 2016 Barbara McMillen - Polishing Your Final Draft by Applying the Secrets of the Popular Song.

Sept 2016 Joe Milton on Preparing for a Recording Session

1 of 2
2 of 2

Reviews of past DSA Second Tuesday guest speakers  

Oct 2015  Tirk Wilder
Monthly 7:30-10 PM

MONTLHY 6:30 - 8:30
Free, Visitors Welcome
Where songwriters perform their songs for peer review. Bring your guitar and a few lyric sheets. This is like an old fashioned guitar pull with comments between songs.


3. BEST SONGS of the Month -

Love Without Money by Bobby Montgomery and Barbe McMillen
Oklahoma Grit by Rio King
Your The Best by Michael Brandenberger

Caribbean Holiday by David Alan Claer
Johnny's Place by Bill Kapac
Mean Woman Grill by Morri Hartgrave
Oklahoma Grit by Rio King
Six Gun Sally by Bill Kapac
Stay (Until The Sunrise) by Steve Valenzuela
Storm (instrumental) by Yulia Petrova
The Days by Ireland Casteel
When There Is Nothing (instrumental) by Yulia Petrova
You Made My Day by Michael Brandenberger

Goodbye by Yulia Petrova
Gypsy (Girl) King by James Pappas
House On The Hill by Bill Kapac
I Found Myself In Austin by Morri Hartgraves
Island Red by Ricky Gene Wright
Never by Ireland Casteel

DADDY GET YOUR GUN by James Pappas
MY MOM by Craig Langford
I Don't Need To But I Do by Craig Langford
EL PASO VFW by Morri Hartgraves
WAITING ON MY TIME by Rickey Gene Wright

GOING BACK TO TEXAS by Rickey Gene Wright
DREAMING WITH YOU by Ireland (Casteel)
OUTTA TOUCH by Ron Young

SANDBOX by Charles Leftwich
THAT GIRL by Ireland (Casteel)
ONE MORE OUTCAST by Morri Hartgraves
HOW COULD I by Ron Young
MAN IN THE MOON by Carol Shaw
BIG THICKET by Ricky Gene Wright

If I Fell In Love With You by James Pappas
Where I am by Randy Overton
Santa Claus Old St Nick by Mike Mullins
When An Angel She Should Be by Ron Young
Six Eggs by Harry Hewlett
Hands Of Time by Craig Langford
Yellow Rose by Charlie Sheldon (Charles Leftwitch)
Wedding Song by Alexi Tapp 
Here is the list of 2016  winners of the meeting critiques from which the top three were chosen thanks to Judge, Mr. Troll, Poor Davids Pub.
2016 Winners & Finalists

Q&A With Winner, Dori Weaver, Song of the Year 2015 

Songwriter of the Year 2015 - 2016
is Rio King with the most wins at the meeting critiques
To view past winners go to the Best Songs blog.
To hear the winners go to our Soundcloud page



(Each month DSA hosts 3 workshops at our monthly meetings on the 1st Monday, 3rd Monday and 1ST Thursday these are ongoing. see item 2 above.) 

Want to study songwriting but don't want to get out of your PJ's?

* Take a class online through a songwriting workshop yahoo group with Barbara McMillen, associate professor of Songwriting and Music Business at Collin College.

* Check out the songwriter learning community.




HALF PRICE BOOKS OPEN MIC - NORTHWEST HIGHWAY - Rotating guest host featured artist
EVERY 1ST MONDAY - 7:00pm to 9:00pm
Sign up begins at 6:30
If you want peer feedback on a song bring a few lyric sheets

EVERY 3RD THURSDAY - 7:00pm to 9:00pm
Hosted by  Harry Hewlett
In November 2017, DSA will celebrate 13 years at Dunn Brothers
see review of

BURGER EDGE - North Dallas
EVERY 2ND WEDNESDAY - 6:30pm to 8:30pm
Hosted by Michael Brandenberger and rotating guest host.
BURGER"S EDGE inRichardson
3rd Saturday 6:30 -8:30
7529 Campbell Rd. at Coit
This a perfect venue for an open mic because it has a nice stage with a complete sound system. It also has a great food menu if you want to come early to eat or invite friends who can enjoy a very tasty burger or chicken sandwich while they listen to you perform.  
Rotating host. Interested in hosting an open mic? email Michael.

3rd Saturday 7:30 - 11:00 Check out our facebook page where Harry is posting live streaming.
Hosted by Dan Roark
Other area open mics OPEN MICS

6. DSA LYRIC CONTEST - Next deadline postmarked September 30

or by mail   

Thanks to Lyric Contest Director, Gene Schillaci


Close Your Eyes by Michelle Gonzalez, N. Hollywood, CA
Heartbreaker’s Waltz by John Friday, Bonita Springs, FL
Second or Two by Michelle Gonzalez, N. Hollywood, CA
Its Gonna Be by Kimila Lewis, Evansville, IN
Heading Home by John Friday, Bonita Springs, FL
Love Doctor  Jae Oates, McKinney, TX



See Summer winners on the website:

2016 Spring Winners on the website: :

See winners from 2016 and 2015 listed in the DSA 2016 Fall Hardcopy of Songwriters Notes featuring winner, Bill Kapac on front page. This issue was handed out at the Arlington Guitar Show in October.

See Winter 2016 on website:


Next Lyric Contest Deadline is June 30th for Spring Lyric Contest
Entry fee is $10
Please see lyric contest webpage for details.



Wanna get involved? Become a committee member. It's fun! Be apart of the inner workings of the DSA. We have committee positions open. Let us know if you'd like to be on the board. Just show up a our membership meeting.

Directors elected at our Nov 8th Annual Membership Meeting were:
Michael BrandenbergerBobby MontgomeryDicky JohnsonRachel WilhelmDan RoarkBarbe McMillenJoe Milton, Marcus Belmore, Steve Sullivan, Ken Duren, James Pappas, Jessica Ewy, Rod Phelps, Milani Shaw and Harry Hewlett. New officers were elected at the planning meeting on Jan 7th. 

Newly Elected Officers 2017
Michael Brandenberger -  Prez
Bobby Montgomery - VP Programs
Dicky Johnson - Treasurer
Secretary - Jessica Ewy
Dan Roark - Director of showcases, workshops
Barbe McMillen - Administration, Newsletter
Harry Hewlett - A/R
Gene Schillaci - Lyric Contest Director
Steve Sullivan and James Pappas - SongSwap Coordinators
Joe Milton, Ken Duren - At Large
Rachel Wilheim - Technology
Marcus Belmore - Executive VP, Webmaster

So long to Ginger Stanoiwho has moved to California and thanks for her service. We'll miss her.

If you are not a DSA Member, you missed these tips sent out through our yahoo group:

* Publisher looking for Childrens songs
* Artists/Producers looking for original material for recording artists
* Major Brand X (To be disclosed at a later time) Seeks Independent artist for music campaign.
* Where to get your cd reviewed
* Music related job listing
* Film Licensing Co. seeking instrumental music
* Cheap and free tickets - Free tickets to selected Winspear Opera House events.

Lyricists are invited to co-write with music writers by submitting your lyric through the member yahoo group.
NEW MEMBERS: Have you joined our member only yahoo group where you can talk with the group and get special offers and last minute updates on events? subscribe:

Patron Sponsor L3: Michael Brandenberger, Bill Honker, John Stone
Patron Sponsor L1: Cliff MonroeSuzi MorseJon JaggersRio King
Patron Sponsor: Mimi Balkey

WELCOME NEW MEMBERS: Wayne Willingham, Michael Mullins, Bob Sullivan, Rockin Robert Tomerlin, Bradley Banning, Ricky E Wright, Bianca Rodreguez, Stephen Valenzuela, Yulia PetrovaJeff Stachowski, Charles Barrale, Jessica Ewy, Claude Webb, Kevin Brennan, Matt brent, Stephanie Sammons, Charles Leftwich, John Nelson, Rob Case
THANK YOU FOR RENEWING YOUR MEMBERSHIP: Dori Weaver, Allen Larsen, Mary Guthrie, Gigi Gostas, John Mason, David Banning, Alexis Tapp, Ginger Stanoiu, Gene Schlacci, Jackie Schwartz, Aaron Shook, Ron Young, Rachel Wilheim, Julia Pauletti, Terry Bloss, Jeff Stachowshi, Raquel Linderman, Victoria Bouton, David Claerr, Jon Jaggers, Don Wall, Joe Milton, Harry Hewlett, Rio King, Morri Hartgraves, Barbara McMillen, Bobby Montgomery, Randy Wallace, Ken Golden, Bill Honker, Carol Shaw, Cat McGee, Ian Dickson, Don Wall, Ken Duran, Malini Shah, Bill Sibley

TIME TO RENEW: The following members owe dues:

EXPIRED IN JULYMichael Franceus, Tom Prasado Rao, Crystal Taylor 
EXPIRED IN AUGYanna Zovich, Minnie Murray, Warren Hanson

EXPIRED IN OCTDenise Rosier, Katie Hardyman, Charlie Hill, Darren Rozell, M'Lynn Musgrove, Stephen McKinnell, Jenni Peal, Jay Gallagher, Rick Webster
EXPIRED IN DEC:  Buck Morgan, Ross Vick, Anthony Groom, Kathryn Taylor, David Morales, Ashley Sichler, Brad Davis, Scott White
EXPIRED IN JAN: Jeff Moxcey, Robin Carr, Andrew Plan, Cousin Don Brown, Tony Ramey, Lucia Comnes, Gracie Lott, James  Bennett, Rob Cariddi, Tyler Hook, Sarah Ashley, Christopher Hart, John Keawe, Katie Riley, Marc Tilson, Mathew Stemme, Patrice Luce Chapman, Clark McAlister
EXPIRED IN FEBTrevor Dahlen, Anthony Castillo, Mark Pierce, Katrina Pitts
EXPIRED IN APRIL: Helene Cronin, Kathy Adams, Jim Collins
EXPIRED IN JUNE: Robin Dossey, Joe Austin, Wayne Talley, Loralee Pearman, Lynn McCracken
EXPIRED IN JULYJR Rosenberger, Bill Nash, Bill Cox

 EXPIRED IN AUGUSTYanna Zovich, Minnie Murray, Warren Hanson
TIME TO RENEW: Adrianna Braddon, Ken Golden, Alexander Brinkley Stephen Houpt , Scott Mindelhall, Patrick Deasey
  Renew your membership online.
You'll find the link to the store on the panel to the right
Or paste this link in your browser:


8. EVENTS Featuring local and worldwide events of the songwriting community including, seminars, conferences, and showcases.



1 - 3 FOUR CORNERS FOLK FESTIVAL, Pagosa Springs, Co
4 DSA Free Workshop and Open Mic at Half Price Books
7 DSA Monthly Meeting at Half Price Books 
13 DSA Open Mic at Burger Edge 
12 - 17 AMERICANAFEST, Nashville, Tn
16 DSA Showcase at Angelas
 21 DSA Open Mic at Dunn Brothers
26 - 30 IBMARaleigh, NC
27- Oct 1 SWARFA, Austin, TX
30 DSA Showcase at the State Fair 

2 DSA Free Workshop and Open Mic at Half Price Books
4 - 8 A3 Music Festival, Atlanta, GA
5 DSA Monthly Meeting at Half Price Books
7 DSA Showcase at the State Fair 
11 DSA Open Mic at Burger Edge 
14 DSA Showcase at the State Fair
19 DSA Open Mic at Dunn Brothers
21 DSA Showcase at Angelas
21DSA Showcase at the State Fair

6 DSA Annual Membership Meeting and Elections at Half Price Books
8 DSA Open Mic at Burger Edge
8 CMA Awards on ABC 7C 
16 DSA Open Mic at Dunn Brothers
18 DSA Showcase at Angelas

DSA Free Workshop and Open Mic at Half Price Books
8 DSA DSA SC Awards Dinner at Sons of Hermann Hall
13 DSA Open Mic at Burger Edge 
16 DSA Showcase at Angelas
21 DSA Open Mic at Dunn Brothers
See Texas Music Office events calendar
Moses Avalon's List of Top Ranked Music Conferences.
See house concerts and coffee houses here:


9. Featured Articles:

By Chris Castle
If a music user like Amazon wants to use the song compulsory license but can't find the song owner in the public records of the Copyright Office (often the case for ex-US songwriters), a loophole from 1976 allows the user to file the required notification (often called an "NOI") with the Copyright Office instead of with the song copyright owner.  Assuming the filing was made correctly, the user can then allege that the user is entitled to all of the benefits of the compulsory license without the obligation to pay royalties until the song owner catches them. ... As of January Rightscorp estimated there were over 30 million "address unknown" NOIs.  Continue Reading f5ec743b4e5e4c2c9587db8c6ec80b4d.gif

By Evan Zwisler
DIY shows in places like people's homes can be an excellent way to provide an alternative space where community members can go to hear live music, particularly in a venue-sparse area. Here we look at the five key components of throwing a successful DIY house show. Continue Reading f5ec743b4e5e4c2c9587db8c6ec80b4d.gif

By Dave Kusek
Time is valuable, which means time management is a valuable skill – especially for indie musicians who have to manage all the facets of their music careers.  Continue Reading f5ec743b4e5e4c2c9587db8c6ec80b4d.gif

By Tom Hess
It's common for most musicians to not get signed to record deals because they make false assumptions about how this industry works. Don't make the mistakes they make. Inform yourself and build value in your music career so you can offer it to record companies in the future. Continue Reading f5ec743b4e5e4c2c9587db8c6ec80b4d.gif

By Adam K. Raymond
there are plenty of ways to game the system, be it for attention, or, if the streams pile up enough, profit. And the frauds cashing in on the latest hot single are hardly alone. A bevy of unknown artists have found ways to juice their streaming totals, whether it's covering songs from artists who don't allow their songs on Spotify, or uploading an album of silent tracks, each precisely long enough to generate a fraction of a cent for the artist. Continue Reading f5ec743b4e5e4c2c9587db8c6ec80b4d.gif

By Julia Rogers
... in the fast-paced modern, music business, glutted with talent, attention spans are shorter than they have ever been before, you have to be ready, on command, to deliver a quick elevator pitch that describes your music and mission as an artist. Continue Reading f5ec743b4e5e4c2c9587db8c6ec80b4d.gif

By John Seay
So you were offered a record deal. Congratulations! But the only problem is that now you have to read it. And there's a lot in there. Although the entire document is significant, there are a few sections that you should be paying particularly close attention to. Continue Reading f5ec743b4e5e4c2c9587db8c6ec80b4d.gif
My advice: Do not attempt DIY! Hire an experienced music industry attorney.
Franchising a rock band.

Thanks to Etan Rosenbloom for the link.
By Suzanne Paulinski
One of the suggestions is: "Embed all tracks with complete metadata." I agree. My question is: Is there a standard format for doing so?

This is a new wrinkle to me. Very interesting.
By Synchblog
From the Cutting Edge, Music.Film Website: We are the one-stop destination for licensing great film scores for secondary usage across all media types. We actively support and invest in film music, and are consequently in a unique position to revolutionize how movie soundtracks are licensed for secondary use in TV programming, advertising, games, trailers and other commercial contexts. Continue Reading f5ec743b4e5e4c2c9587db8c6ec80b4d.gif

Coldplay to Houston for Harvey victims

4 days ago ... Rascal Flatts perform a moving tribute of 'I Won't Let Go' for those affected by Harvey. More. The country music group performed its tribute live ...
By Emma
The music industry can be really tough especially until you establish your brand and create a customer base. If you have acquired some gear and skills there are some things that you can do to add to your income and not be fully dependent on your main act. Continue Reading f5ec743b4e5e4c2c9587db8c6ec80b4d.gif

By Dave Kusek
So your band is finally in the studio. You've been working hard in rehearsals to create great songs, and you know that your lyrics and melodies are strong. You finish your last rehearsal and feel like your band has a huge sound. You show up, set everything up, record your first song, listen back to it, and discover that the mix is falling flat. What do you do? Continue Reading f5ec743b4e5e4c2c9587db8c6ec80b4d.gif

By Jem Aswad
Jimmy Webb wrote the songs that lofted Glen Campbell to stardom in the late 1960s — "By the Time I Get to Phoenix," "Wichita Lineman," "Galveston," "Where's the Playground, Susie?" — and the two remained friends for the five decades that followed. While both had bigger hits with other collaborators, in many ways Campbell's was the definitive voice for Webb's songs, and vice versa. Campbell died Tuesday afternoon (Aug. 8) after a long battle with Alzheimer's disease. A rep for Webb said he was not up to the many interviews that had been requested, but as the tribute to his friend below shows, he was not at a loss for words. Continue Reading f5ec743b4e5e4c2c9587db8c6ec80b4d.gif

By Cari Cole
Vocal freedom. It's what all singers want. But how do you get it when your voice is stuck in your throat, wears out too quickly, or doesn't respond the way you want? Are you stuck with the voice you have, or can it be improved?. .. The latter. .... Technique is the path to vocal freedom.  Continue Reading f5ec743b4e5e4c2c9587db8c6ec80b4d.gif

By Allison Johnelle Boron

While there isn’t an official songwriting rule book, there are quite a few tried and true songwriting conventions that over time have essentially become rules. In almost all instances, these “rules” are there because they tend to make songs more commercial or catchy or both. That being said, breaking these rules can be a very...

By Benjamin Samama

By Kyle Huender
There are several reasons why most songs fall within this time range as explained below.  Continue Reading f5ec743b4e5e4c2c9587db8c6ec80b4d.gif

By Anthony Ceseri
It's important to make your chorus stand out from the rest of your song since it's usually your song's central element. With that in mind, we're going to look at a few ideas for creating a successful chorus. Continue Reading f5ec743b4e5e4c2c9587db8c6ec80b4d.gif

Barbe McMillen's blog, The Craft of Songwriting

Online Thesaurus and Rhyming Dictionary

Great web tool for lyric writing
10. Song and Talent Contests

 DSA Quarterly Lyric Contest
Next deadline - September 30th
Lonestar Songcrafters is having a performing songwriter contest every Sunday at the Texas Muscians Museum in Irving. 

DSA Song Contest NOW OPEN  


Important FOLK ALLIANCE Regional Deadlines | July - Sept 2017

SWRFA | Southeast Regional Folk Alliance
Official Showcase Deadline July 15 | Apply Here
September 27 - October 1
Austin, TX | Register Here

NERFA | Northeast Regional Folk Alliance
Semi-Formal Showcase Deadline July 16 | Apply Here
November 9 - 12
Stamford, CT | Register Here

FAR-WEST | Folk Alliance Region - West
Summer Special ends August 31
October 5 - 8
Bellevue, WA | Register Here

A comprehensive list of Song Contests compliments of

11. Songwriting Resources -  Now accepting book reviews

Links to websites about songwriting, performance, music industry.

DSA Book Store - reviews, links, lists of recommended reading, and what's in the DSA Library.

12. Archives of Past Programs and Activities


Did you know???  DSA held two song contests for active military and the CDs of the winning songs, Songs From the Soul of Service Vols. 1 and 2 are available.
Tribute to our fallen soldiers from DFW at our Podomatic site:
You Know Me Tribute to Fallen
Read the latest story about this years winners

View past showcase performances and workshops on Crossroads Youtube.

DSA depends on your support.

Giving Rocks! While it never hurts to remind you that DSA is a non-profit organization (and so your contributions are tax-deductible) -  this year it means so much more. We're proud to be celebrating our 25th Anniversary as a non-profit. DSA has been an organized songwriter group since 1985 and became a non-profit in 1990.

Your gift
 enables us to meet our mission.

Our programs created to meet our mission goals are: a monthly newsletter, workshops, critique sessions, showcases, contests, networking opportunities and community service.
If you like what we do, and want to help us keep doing it, please make a contribution today. Gifts of all sizes are meaningful and appreciated.
Donations are welcome year round. 
Thanks for reading this far. If you have any suggestions for the newsletter, please let me know. Follow me on Twitter @barbemcmillen. Give me a tweet.

  Barbara McMillen, Editor
  Songwriter Notes
  Founding President Emeritus,
  Online Songwriting Workshops and Classes

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