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Saturday, May 31, 2014

The Rain in Spain Falls Mainly on the...Plane? DeDe's May/June News!

DeDe's May/June News!
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The Rain in Spain...

...falls mainly on the plane! As in every time I travel it's been raining.  So please have safe (& fun) travels now that school's almost out!

Aren't you happy to finally see some good rain here in Houston after the last few summers of drought? Everything's blooming, the lake's high, and spring has finally sprung!
Just a few dates to keep you posted with what's happening here & around Houston for me:

Thurs. May 29, 6-9pm DeDe Live @ Cafe du Bois in Town Center-Kingwood! Hit covers, hot originals & haute cuisine served up 6-9pm!  New management. No reservations required, bring yourself, family & friends out to relax and enjoy your Thursday night-you deserve a break!  www.CafeduBois.com

Sunday June 1st,  2-4pm  DeDe @ Town Center Park, Kingwood Market Days
Okay so it's time to bring the whole family for some serious FREE fun: shopping, booths, vendors, handmade & other crafts/goodies/gifts.  Bouncy houses for the kids, food, shopping & music for everyone, and as Mama always says, "the looking's free". Doors open at 10 and close at 6 (well, there aren't any doors, but if there were this's when they'd be open!)

Sunday July 6th,  2-4pm  DeDe @ Town Center Park, Kingwood, TX.
(Ditto as above)....Please come out & support your LOCAL vendors, businesses, musicians & neighbors: this's a fun, free event and plenty of parking-plus central to most of us right in Town Center Park.  Kid & Pet-Friendly: www.kingwoodmarket.com

Saturday July 12th, 7pm  DeDe @ Liberty Opry's Annual Patriotic & Country Hits Show!
Bring the whole family for some good clean fun and great hit music! This's a Texas legend only 25 minutes from Humble/N. Houston: Liberty Opry (w/ full Band!) on the Square is an air-conditioned auditorium where many music legends in Texas have gotten their start. Tickets are $12 at the door or advance discount: www.libertyopry.com

Well, that's about it for now. Been traveling to LA, Nashville, etc, and have a few label things cooking.  I've also been busy writing for an acoustic album hoping to release this year.  Would love to hear from you, or even better -see you at a show!  And I would love to play at your home, company or church: for a party, fundraiser, gathering, wedding or any other event- and my rates are great. (Really!) Christmas & New Year's dates still available!

Blessings & Peace to you this Spring!
DeDe :)
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Tuesday, May 13, 2014

How to Write Really Great Songs...by DeDe

Okay, now that I have your attention, my name is DeDe, and I'm a singer songwriter from Texas.  However, (as you may have guessed!) I 'm certainly NOT going to be able to tell you how to write great songs in one blog, no matter how experienced a songwriter I am!  However, I can give you some basics, so here they are:

First of all, you have to write songs that other people can relate to, and that will move people. They also should be about things you've experienced yourself.  For example, real life experiences like:  love, breaking up, having fun, friendship, a certain relationship, learning lessons, etc.  You should be carrying and jotting down ideas daily in a notepad, notebook PC, or phone for this very purpose.  For example, I went to a class on relationships and they said that love is really about giving.  So I jotted down "It's All About Giving" as a potential song title/idea.  Here are 5 questions to ask yourself:  Do people or can people relate to this song idea/title?  Do people want to hear about this song idea/title?  Can I write enough interesting things about this song idea to make it into a complete song?  Am I able to use this song idea/title to tell a story?  Will it illicit emotions in the listener?  If you answered "YES" to all the above, congratulations, you have the start of a great song!

For example, "I lost my Jimmy Choo shoe, and now I'm hoppin' mad"-Get it? Hoppin!...Well.  Sadly, that's not really an interesting story to most people, sorry!  We just don't care about your shoe, (even if it was really gorgeous and/or overpriced)! You also just can't write that much about an inanimate object, I'm sorry to say, unless it's like the moon or something really poetic. So stick to emotions and experiences that you can tell a great story about.  It is okay to talk about the girl or guy you lost- or even your mother or father...but again, keep it interesting and relatable as to why you are talking about something like that.  And please, please DON'T be depressing! (a BIG pitfall of teen songwriters in angst!)  Also try to find unique ways of saying things and avoid cliches like: "she was like the sun"or "he was the love of my life", etc.  Saying "she had a smile that could outshine the sun", or "I belonged to him, from the moment our eyes met" is much more interesting for example...(These are some actual examples from some of my songs, so please don't steal my stuff!)

Also, you have to have a story that builds on itself. You can't write one line about that great girl you lost last year, and the next line about what you love about your new job.  It has to make sense, and also needs to tell the listener a story that makes them want to stick around to hear what happened next! Also, keep it as simple as possible (stick to one short story that you can tell in 1 song!).  A bad topic for a song story idea would be World War II or something, it's just too broad!  And I have a favor to ask: please also use words that rhyme- whatever scheme you use.  I like them to rhyme, most of the time- at least every other line (okay so that was an example of a rhyme!), but also so true.  Your song should rhyme, and tell a story, stay simple, and what else?  It should also be in matching meter.

Besides not telling a story at all, (or maybe a boring and not real cohesive story) with their songs, this is where a lot of new songwriters totally jump ship- thereby sending their songs permanently to a deep salty ocean grave.  Meter is something you need to use, and if you don't know what it is, you have to learn it correctly and apply it, or frankly, your songs will stink. All it requires is the discipline to put the same number of syllables in line 1 that you have in line 2, or line 3, or whatever your meter is.  For example: "She sells sea shells by the sea shore" has 8 syllables.  So your next line would have 8 syllables (or you can do every other line with 8 and the other 2 lines with another meter scheme, like 9 which I used below for example):

She sells sea shells by the sea shore (8 syllable meter)
Is she a saint or is she a bore?  (9 syllable meter) And wasn't I nice to use the word "bore"?! :)
I've only seen her once before  (8 syllable meter)
But I sure wish she'd knock on my door.  (9 syllable meter)

It can be whatever meter length you have in mind, but all the verses and lines, should at least "match", and not be random in length.  Plus as an experienced songwriter, a shorter meter is less complex and easier to use, and usually sounds better.

Lastly, song structure is another important feature of songwriting. You should have the same (or very similar) meter between all of your verses, and also for each chorus that comes around (the chorus can be in a different meter from the verses, but all chorus's should probably be the same!)  Likewise, you should also have the same (or very similar) melody too each time a verse (or chorus) rolls around, otherwise you risk losing the listener.  This is because with music it's all about the repetition. Our minds like repetition and are drawn towards it -think "It's a Small World After All"...I rest my case. However, as a general rule, the chorus should also have a different melody from the verses; this is just good songwriting and creates some variety for the listener. The typical structure of songs has changed a lot during the years, but today there's one structure (and a few variations of this structure) that like 90% of all pop & country songs you hear on the radio use:
Intro
Verse 1
Chorus
Verse 2
Chorus
Verse 3
Bridge
Chorus
(Tag) Optional

There are variations of course, like omitting the first chorus and doing verses 1 and 2 in a row, but this is the basic way to write today's popular music.  There also needs to be a hook which is at home in and anchors the chorus. The average time the hook repeats should be around 5-7 times minimum throughout the song. For example, if my hook is: "I'm so glad he's mine", I'd repeat this hook 7 times or more throughout the song, mainly in the chorus, and at the end of each chorus to get listeners "hooked" on what I'm trying to say. You can also repeat the hook in the tag at the very end:
Chorus: He's got a smile like a ray of sun
Reminds me of when we'd just begun
And I'm so glad he's mine.  (Hook)
His sparkling eyes so full of sunshine
His heart of gold and his skin so fine
And I'm so glad he's mine, (Hook)
Yeah, I'm so glad he's mine. (Tag/Hook)

So, in review: first you need a good story, keep it simple, avoid cliches, use a consistent rhyme scheme and meter scheme, use proper song structure with a verse, chorus and bridge, and a be sure you have a great "hook" in your chorus.  Now that you have all the basics, let's get out there and write some really great new songs, okay??  And, please feel free to send me a sample of your writing in the "comments" below, and I'll help you with any areas that may need attention, okay?

Also, I would appreciate it if you would Subscribe /go to to my Music Stuff Blog, scroll down, and hit the "Join this Site" button on the lower left hand side of the page so you can get updates, okay?
Take care and all the best music to you!
DeDe :)
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Friday, May 2, 2014

How TWEET It Is to Be #TAGGED by You! (News from the TWITTER Guru)!

From the Twitter Guru: 3 Twitter Hashtag Secrets

A Guest Post by Bobby Owsinski

Hashtag image from Bobby Owsinski's Music 3.0 blog
If you've been reading this blog for a while you know that I'm a big proponent using Twitter as a promotional tool. The key to using Twitter that way is by including hashtags in your tweets, or the # symbol before a keyword (like "#musicmarketing" which I'll be using when I tweet about this blog). This is one of the ways that people can find your tweet when they do a such for a particular topic.

If you're using them already and you don't find your followers increasing, check out the following "secrets:"

1. Don't be ironic. I know that it's the cheeky thing to post something like #badcupofcoffee or #rudepeople, but that doesn't help you reach the people that you want to reach. To find the right keyword, go to search.twitter.com, plug in the keyword that you think will work, then check out how popular it is and what some of the other keywords that people are using.

2. Limit the number. It's been proven that using more than 2 hashtags in a tweet is counterproductive. It just confuses people reading the tweet. Stick to only 1 or 2.

3. Target your audience. Once again, do a search to find which hashtags fit for the audience that you're trying to reach. I have a list of about 20 that I can mix and match depending upon the nature of the tweet and which audience might like it more. For instance, the list is different for the tweets from this blog, which is about the music business, than for my Big Picture blog, which is about music production. To narrow it down further on that blog, I have a list that's targeted to musicians (#drums, #drummers, #guitars, etc.) or recording (#recording, #producers, etc.).

Using hashtags isn't hard and they can bring results beyond anything you might expect. All you have to do is use them correctly.
_____________________________________________________________________________________________

DeDe is a Singer/Songwriter from Texas who uses TWITTER daily to connect with her #fans and the #music industry, check her out at: https://twitter.com/DeDeWMusic and http://www.DeDe-Music.com.  Thanks for the guest post Bobby!