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#334720 - 02/03/16 03:56 AM [User Showcase] FAWM 2016
Registered: 05/12/12
Posts: 2636
Loc: South Africa
JoanneCooper Offline
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Registered: 05/12/12
Posts: 2636
Loc: South Africa
Hello all

I have decided to participate in FAWM this year. I want to release an album of original songs sometime towards the middle of the year and I reckon this may be a good chance to get at least some of the songs written for that album.

In order to try and not clog up the forum with all these songs I will put all the demos in this thread. Some of them may be a bit raw due to time constraints!

Any candid feedback on the songwriting or production would be most appreciated as the good ones will most certainly be rerecorded and reproduced in the middle of the year.

Edited to add:

All the tracks can be found here
ALL MY FAWM TRACKS


Edited by JosieC (02/03/16 05:45 AM)

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#334721 - 02/03/16 04:00 AM [User Showcase] Re: FAWM 2016 [Re: JoanneCooper]
Registered: 05/12/12
Posts: 2636
Loc: South Africa
JoanneCooper Offline
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Registered: 05/12/12
Posts: 2636
Loc: South Africa
Song number 1
Little Suzie Johnson (Co-write with Rachael Scherf)


LITTLE SUZIE JOHNSON

Little Suzie Johnson
wouldn't hurt a fly
when the bullies hurt her
she would never cry
At lunch they'd throw their food at her
She slowly ate her roll
At break they'd try to trip her
She'd crawl up in her hole

Little Suzie Johnson
Come and stand by every door
Look beyond the cold and grey
find the dance you're looking for

Little Suzie Johnson
dreamt of life elsewhere
looked out of the window
at the coming fair
she'd run away with them you see
From this small grey town
She'd paint her face all white and red
make herself a clown

Little Suzie Johnson
Come and stand by every door
Look beyond the cold and grey
find the dance you're looking for

Little Suzie Johnson
They're laughing at your tricks
You've finally found where you belong
In this strange eclectic mix
You left the bullies far behind
with their small town lives
they'll marry young and then one day
start bulling their wives

Little Suzie Johnson
Come and stand by every door
Look beyond the cold and grey
find the dance you're looking for

Realtracks
RealTracks in style: ~1394:Bass, Acoustic, Jazz Sw 110 (Very Simple)
RealTracks in style: ~2192:Piano, Acoustic, Rhythm EZListening Sw 085
RealTracks in style: ~1984:Guitar, Acoustic, Rhythm EZListening Sw 085
RealTracks in style: 2456:Cello, Background PopSwing Sw 110 (1TrackStringQuartet)
RealDrums in style: JazzBrushes#1: a: JazzBrushes#1b: JazzBrushes#1
RealDrums-TambourinePopSw

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#334725 - 02/03/16 04:27 AM [User Showcase] Re: FAWM 2016 [Re: JoanneCooper]
Registered: 04/07/13
Posts: 6085
Loc: South Carolina
Charlie Fogle Offline
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Registered: 04/07/13
Posts: 6085
Loc: South Carolina
Well first, congratulations on tackling fawm 2016. You're certainly capable and it will be fun to tag along on your journey.

Nice first song. My musings about it are mostly observational and the tiniest of nits.

I liked the music and choice of instruments.

Lyrically, I liked that you changed the lyric of "small grey town" to "small dark town" when you sang it. I'd keep that change.

I'll note that the lyrics "At break they'd try to trip her She'd crawl up in her hole" is the only line in the song where Suzy breaks, retreats or shows a chink in her armor. I'm unsure if it's intentional, but the line stood out to me. It came across as a line written to match rhyming.

This is going to be a fun project for you and I'm looking forward to hearing the fruits of your labors.
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#334737 - 02/03/16 05:15 AM [User Showcase] Re: FAWM 2016 [Re: JoanneCooper]
Registered: 05/02/14
Posts: 3180
Loc: The Netherlands
RnAM Offline
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Loc: The Netherlands
Hi Joanne,

This certainly is a beautiful song and you sing it very well!
One (tiny, tinyn, tiny) nit as far as we're concerned:
The music doesn't completely agree with the dramatic words of the first verse.
Then the music is too cheerful for such a sad story. frown
When she starts dreaming of life elsewhere music and lyrics fit very well.

But we certainly think this is a very good contribution to FAWM.
Lots of success!
laugh

Rob and Anne-Marie
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#334738 - 02/03/16 05:30 AM [User Showcase] Re: FAWM 2016 [Re: JoanneCooper]
Registered: 05/12/12
Posts: 2636
Loc: South Africa
JoanneCooper Offline
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Registered: 05/12/12
Posts: 2636
Loc: South Africa
Originally Posted By: Charlie Fogle
Lyrically, I liked that you changed the lyric of "small grey town" to "small dark town" when you sang it. I'd keep that change.

I'll note that the lyrics "At break they'd try to trip her She'd crawl up in her hole" is the only line in the song where Suzy breaks, retreats or shows a chink in her armor. I'm unsure if it's intentional, but the line stood out to me. It came across as a line written to match rhyming.


This is why I LOVE this forum. Thank you Charlie. I would never have noticed that about that line. And yes, I think you are right it was written to rhyme. Will rethink that one.

Originally Posted By: RnAM
The music doesn't completely agree with the dramatic words of the first verse.
Then the music is too cheerful for such a sad story. frown
When she starts dreaming of life elsewhere music and lyrics fit very well.


Thanks so much Rob and Anne-Marie. (Did I say how much I love this forum). I will rethink the backing for the first verse. Thank you. Maybe just a solitary cello.

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#334740 - 02/03/16 05:35 AM [User Showcase] Re: FAWM 2016 [Re: JoanneCooper]
Registered: 08/10/12
Posts: 8933
Loc: Florida
floyd jane Offline
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Joanne - you are off to a good start. This will be fun to follow along.

There is a lot of good stuff in this one.

I would suggest that you cut your bridge to just the first 4 lines of it.
"Little Suzie Johnson
They're laughing at your tricks
You've finally found where you belong
In this strange eclectic mix "

...that puts Suzie where she fought to be - in a good place - and is the "moral of your story". The next 4 lines, bring the focus back to the bullies... they don't deserve the attention... the first 4 lines say everything the bridge needs to say...

Looking forward to the next one.

floyd

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#334742 - 02/03/16 05:47 AM [User Showcase] Re: FAWM 2016 [Re: floyd jane]
Registered: 05/12/12
Posts: 2636
Loc: South Africa
JoanneCooper Offline
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Registered: 05/12/12
Posts: 2636
Loc: South Africa
Originally Posted By: floyd jane
I would suggest that you cut your bridge to just the first 4 lines of it.
"Little Suzie Johnson
They're laughing at your tricks
You've finally found where you belong
In this strange eclectic mix "

...that puts Suzie where she fought to be - in a good place - and is the "moral of your story". The next 4 lines, bring the focus back to the bullies... they don't deserve the attention... the first 4 lines say everything the bridge needs to say...


Wonderful thank you Floyd. Will definitely do that!

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#334743 - 02/03/16 05:59 AM [User Showcase] Re: FAWM 2016 [Re: JoanneCooper]
Registered: 05/12/12
Posts: 2636
Loc: South Africa
JoanneCooper Offline
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Registered: 05/12/12
Posts: 2636
Loc: South Africa
Song Number 2
Be Brave


BE BRAVE

I have just come back from a week visiting my mum in Zimbabwe for her 81st birthday. I managed to write and record three songs while I was there so got a good start for FAWM. So this is song number 2. I often think about those tiny little tots who walk to school. Miles and miles they traipse through all sorts of weather. So this is the conversation I imagine between a parent and his 6 year old son before he sets off on this mammoth walk in the morning.

Its time to rise
on this september morning
it is 6 am
the day is nearly dawning

The sun is poised
The cockeral crows
The early light is careless

Be brave my little man, be brave
bE brave my little man

You'll walk the road
a blanket spread before you
Trees keeping guard
Like sentries there beside you

Your shadow thrown
like scars behind
To trace your every footstep

Be brave my little man, be brave
bE brave my little man

Through hail and wind
Through 'nclement weather struggling
Just walk right on
like a drum your feet are marching

if you should fall
Rise up with grace
and walk like nothing happened

Be brave my little man, be brave
bE brave my little man

hot cold
dark light
to its end
just like life

Be brave my little man, be brave
Be brave my little man

Real Tracks
RealTracks in style: ~537:Bass, Acoustic, Pop Sw 165
RealTracks in style: 616:Mandolin, Rhythm Bouncy Sw 165
RealTracks in style: ~812:Guitar, Electric, Rhythm Western Swing Sw 165
RealTracks in style: ~373:Guitar, Acoustic, Strumming Hank Sw 165
RealDrums in Song: Nashville2BeatSw8^01-a:Sidestick , b:Snare, Ride
RealDrums-TambourineSwing8ths

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#334748 - 02/03/16 06:48 AM [User Showcase] Re: FAWM 2016 [Re: JoanneCooper]
Registered: 06/22/12
Posts: 2873
Loc: Karlsruhe, Germany
boehm Offline
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Registered: 06/22/12
Posts: 2873
Loc: Karlsruhe, Germany
Hi Josie,

now you've finally started your quest.
It's a good start.
Like both songs and enjoyed listening.

Guenter
_________________________
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Latest Song: What You Desire

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#334752 - 02/03/16 07:06 AM [User Showcase] Re: FAWM 2016 [Re: JoanneCooper]
Registered: 04/07/13
Posts: 6085
Loc: South Carolina
Charlie Fogle Offline
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Registered: 04/07/13
Posts: 6085
Loc: South Carolina
Be Brave: This is a nice upbeat tune. I like the repetition of the chorus emphasizing for the youngster to know there is nothing to fear.

The song: Once again my nits are toward the lyrics.

1. I didn't connect with "You'll walk the road
a blanket spread before you." I've never seen a blanket down a road. It was difficult for me to image.

2. I didn't find "scars" to be a good word choice. Not from the view of a father talking to his son or the be brave theme of the song.

3. "Through hail and wind - Through 'nclement weather struggling" is what Floyd Jane has taught me to be stumble words. You should be able to hear how you stumble a bit in your phrasing. Besides, " 'nclimate weather struggling" is just rephrasing "through hail & wind." I'd suggest rewriting this verse for better phrasing.

This was a nice listen. I could relate to most of the images you made.



I had the experience of walking to school in the first grade. I recall running into all sorts of 'imagined' obstacles my first day and actually leaving school without permission that first day, returning home to tell my mother I didn't want to have anything to do with school.

We moved the summer between first and second grade and from that point on, I rode the school bus except for the occasions I was suspended from riding the bus for misbehavior.
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#334757 - 02/03/16 07:29 AM [User Showcase] Re: FAWM 2016 [Re: JoanneCooper]
Registered: 02/27/07
Posts: 1815
Kemmrich Offline
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Registered: 02/27/07
Posts: 1815
Josie: You will notice a difference in comments from FAWM in here. The vast majority of comments at FAWM will be "pat on the back", "rah-rah", "keep it going". The reason is obvious, there needs to be no second guessiing or worry about perfection as you try and get to 14 songs in a month.

That is why it is also good to post here, so you can get some of the excellent constructive critiques that have been offered above. My first song I am going to post (hopefully today) is pretty crappy (ha, ha). But it is my first of 14 so I celebrate its crappiness!
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#334758 - 02/03/16 07:43 AM [User Showcase] Re: FAWM 2016 [Re: JoanneCooper]
Registered: 12/08/11
Posts: 5462
Loc: Edmonton, Ab, Canada
Scott C Offline
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Registered: 12/08/11
Posts: 5462
Loc: Edmonton, Ab, Canada
Little Suzie Johnson
I really liked this song. Reminded me of a folk song from the 60 like Joan Baez style.

Be Brave
Another nice tune. Excellent listen. Love the tempo of it. Cute pup sitting beside you as well.

I am not able to critique anyone's music from a songwriting pointing view or give mixing or recording advice as I am very much new at that area of music. But I do love to listen :-). There are some very skillful people in this forum that do provide excellent advice..

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#334761 - 02/03/16 07:56 AM [User Showcase] Re: FAWM 2016 [Re: JoanneCooper]
Registered: 08/10/12
Posts: 8933
Loc: Florida
floyd jane Offline
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Registered: 08/10/12
Posts: 8933
Loc: Florida
Re: Song Number 2 - Be Brave

Nice sound on this - good mix, nicely recorded vocals, good instrumentation. Nice lead.

I agree with Charlie on each of his points. If you come back to these later, easy fixes....

for instance, you might try "the world" instead of "a blanket"

"Your shadow thrown... like scars behind" is a cool phrase (line) but seems "out of place" for a small boy (scars)" - you can likely find another word or image that would work as well..

"The early light is careless" - also a cool image, but I am not sure it fits with the other parts there - try... "The early light, relentless"

Just ideas, of course... you did ask for "feedback on the songwriting"...

(that being said, there are times when a writer should say "I like 'scars' there!" and go with your gut. Rules are never absolute - regardless of what some would have you believe...)

I like the song - it is a very interesting write - you're doing great...

fj

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#334857 - 02/03/16 07:53 PM [User Showcase] Re: FAWM 2016 [Re: JoanneCooper]
Registered: 12/18/06
Posts: 1495
Loc: Hong Kong
lambada Offline
Expert

Registered: 12/18/06
Posts: 1495
Loc: Hong Kong
Well done Josie and Floyd and anyone else I've missed. I've written/updated 3 or 4 lyrics so far but no songs. Better get a wriggle on.... It's hard when your working full-time with a family, but that's why it's helpful.
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#334879 - 02/03/16 11:57 PM [User Showcase] Re: FAWM 2016 [Re: JoanneCooper]
Registered: 05/12/12
Posts: 2636
Loc: South Africa
JoanneCooper Offline
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Registered: 05/12/12
Posts: 2636
Loc: South Africa
Originally Posted By: Kemmrich
Josie: You will notice a difference in comments from FAWM in here. The vast majority of comments at FAWM will be "pat on the back", "rah-rah", "keep it going". The reason is obvious, there needs to be no second guessiing or worry about perfection as you try and get to 14 songs in a month.

That is why it is also good to post here, so you can get some of the excellent constructive critiques that have been offered above. My first song I am going to post (hopefully today) is pretty crappy (ha, ha). But it is my first of 14 so I celebrate its crappiness!


Hi Kevin. Yes indeed I can see that. I am definitely going to post all the songs here and take notes of all the comments. Will come back and redo them all later. I will take Feb as a month to "get it all out". Hence the recording and production may not be up to scratch. My first three songs were recorded on my laptop in Zimbabwe. No mic stand and no pop filter. Just holding the USB mic up "towards" my mouth (Noticed some rather prevalent plosives!).

PS LOVED your first song. Wish I could write cr*p like that.

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#334880 - 02/04/16 12:04 AM [User Showcase] Re: FAWM 2016 [Re: floyd jane]
Registered: 05/12/12
Posts: 2636
Loc: South Africa
JoanneCooper Offline
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Registered: 05/12/12
Posts: 2636
Loc: South Africa
Floyd, Charlie and Rob and Anne-Marie. Thanks so much for the comments and "nits". I am really after that on this project. AS mentioned I am going to just get all the songs out as best I can during Feb (I hope my jobs don't get in the way too much). I will then go back and redo the best ones for an album, taking note of all the feedback I have received.

Originally Posted By: floyd jane

"The early light is careless" - also a cool image, but I am not sure it fits with the other parts there - try... "The early light, relentless"

Just ideas, of course... you did ask for "feedback on the songwriting"...


Floyd, yes DEFINATELY want the feedback. Please! Lying in bed last night I had the word to use instead of "careless" but of course I didn't get up and write it down so this morning it is "gone".

Lambada, thanks for chiming in. Looking forward to hearing your FAWM contributions (I generally don't take the time to read the ones with lyrics only as I do my listening on my phone while doing some stuff around the house)

Scott, thanks for commenting. I appreciate it.

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#334896 - 02/04/16 04:21 AM [User Showcase] Re: FAWM 2016 [Re: JoanneCooper]
Registered: 05/12/12
Posts: 2636
Loc: South Africa
JoanneCooper Offline
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Registered: 05/12/12
Posts: 2636
Loc: South Africa
Song number 3
The Time to Look


THE TIME TO LOOK

A bit of a "weedy" title on this one. I guess that means that I haven't written a very good hook! Oh well, there's always the next one.

This one was another co-write with John C Gull (who wrote Cecil the Beautiful with me). I have quite a few sets of lyrics that people have given me over the last few months so some of those will definitely come out in FAWM.

Though you've seen her body
You've never seen her bare
Never seen through to her soul
You just didnt care

her victories her losses
You just dont recall
All her hopes and dreams
Never bothered you at all

Her heart is still
an unread book
You never had the time
You never found the time
You never took the time to look

when you'd wake at night
You'd notice that she'd cry
You never lost out on your sleep
You never asked her why

Her heart is still
an unread book
You never had the time
You never found the time
You never took the time to look

Is time to go now and
leave her as she was
time to let another man
try lead her to the stars

Her heart is still
an unread book
You never had the time
You never found the time
You never took the time to look

You never had the time
You never found the time
You never took the time to look

Realtracks (I didn't do much with the style that BIAB gave me on this one)

RealTracks in style: ~1843:Bass, Electric, CountryBoogieRootFive Sw 110
RealTracks in style: ~1141:Guitar, Electric, Rhythm CountrySwingCleanPicked Sw 110
RealTracks in style: 2452:String Quartet, Rhythm PopSwingHall Sw 110
RealDrums in style: TambourineSwing8ths: a: TambourineSwing8thsb: TambourineSwing8ths
*******************

Candid feedback much appreciated!





Edited by JosieC (02/04/16 04:23 AM)

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#334902 - 02/04/16 05:41 AM [User Showcase] Re: FAWM 2016 [Re: JoanneCooper]
Registered: 08/10/12
Posts: 8933
Loc: Florida
floyd jane Offline
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Registered: 08/10/12
Posts: 8933
Loc: Florida
Re: Song number 3
The Time to Look

This is another good recording and a good mix.
Also a good write. Good subject/idea for a write.

A few things to "take a look at"...

"You just dont recall" does not need the "just" - it gives you a slight "bump" (what Charlie was referring to on an earlier one) and would "sing better" without it. A little thing, but "how it falls on your listener's ear" is of ultimate importance. Elsewhere throughout the song you have done a good job of dropping the "unnecessary" words..

"All her hopes and dreams...Never bothered you at all" - again, you do not need the "All" (at the beginning) - it is stronger without and will "sing better"

"You never lost out on your sleep
You never asked her why"
Here, you did drop the "you" from the front of both of these when you sang it. Perfect.

"time to let another man
try lead her to the stars"
This gets a little "bumpy". You can drop "man" and you can drop "try" to become...
"time to let another
lead her to the stars" - - "another" implies a person. and dropping "try" tells a better story... you could not do it, but another will..

This is a very good write.

You could change the title to "An Unread Book". (It doesn't always have to be the last line).

fj








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#334924 - 02/04/16 08:38 AM [User Showcase] Re: FAWM 2016 [Re: JoanneCooper]
Registered: 04/07/13
Posts: 6085
Loc: South Carolina
Charlie Fogle Offline
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Registered: 04/07/13
Posts: 6085
Loc: South Carolina
"The Time to Look" is may favorite of the three. Great potential here. The common thread emerging so far is you are writing fast (good) but will be taking time to rewrite (better).

I hope (and expect) this one will make your album.

As time goes by, the lyric stumbles (bumps) will reveal themselves to you before you release the recording here on the forum. The fact all three were written while off visiting may be the major factor causing the bumps so far.

Looking forward to the next one.
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#334977 - 02/04/16 03:58 PM [User Showcase] Re: FAWM 2016 [Re: JoanneCooper]
Registered: 06/22/12
Posts: 2873
Loc: Karlsruhe, Germany
boehm Offline
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Registered: 06/22/12
Posts: 2873
Loc: Karlsruhe, Germany
Hi Joanne,

like #3, too.
Nice vocals and harmonies.
Floyd seems to be a great mentor on the
lyrics.
Enjoyable listen.

Guenter
_________________________
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Latest Song: What You Desire

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NEW Add-ons for Band-in-a-Box® 2020 - and we've extended our Xtra Styles PAK and MultiStyles PAK Special until January 15th!

Xtra Styles PAK 10 with 50 styles each for Country, Jazz, Rock-Pop, and Folk Celebration! These carefully crafted RealStyles include lo-fi acoustic guitar hip hop, triple-guitar garage rock, a barbeque boom-chick jam, slidin' lazy country blues, bolero and bossa nova fusion, a Gypsy and stride ballad, praise break organ jazz fusion, surfin' folk rock, barn dance old-time stomp 'n' clap, an acoustic folky blues jam, and so much more!

Introducing MultiStyles PAK 1! 30 MultiStyles containing 120 styles - that's a total of 150 Styles! We've included 10 MultiStyles each for Country, Jazz, and Rock-Pop. Our jazz greats MultiStyle allows you to switch between piano and guitar comping, or select from two different solos. Our Jamaican groove selecta allows you to switch from ska at one section to reggae, island groove, or reggae with sax solo at another. A Tex-Mex country MultiStyle allows you to switch between a regular-time and double-time feel. And that's just the beginning. There's so much more in store! Once you dive into these professionally-mixed MultiStyles, you'll wonder how you ever made due with only two substyles per song! Use one substyle for a softer intro, another one for a restrained breakdown, then throw in a different and energetic middle-eight, or change it up with a solo. The possibilities are endless!

And they're ON SALE until January 15th!

Xtra Styles PAK 10, and ALL our Xtra Styles PAKs, are on sale for $29 (reg. $49) each! Haven't purchased Xtra Styles yet, but now you want them all? The COMPLETE collection of Xtra Styles PAKs 1-10 with over 1,600 RealStyles can be yours for only $199 (reg. $349)! There's also an option to purchase the newest Xtra Styles PAKs 9 & 10 for Band-in-a-Box® 2020 for a bundle price of $49, if you missed out on our previous special! www.pgmusic.com/xtrastyles.php?os=mac

Purchase MultiStyles PAK 1 for only $19 (reg. $29)!

Windows user? Click here for your OS specific product announcement.

Update Your Band-in-a-Box® 2021 for Windows Today!

We've updated our Band-in-a-Box® 2021 Windows version to address a few user-reported program issues and requests. Band-in-a-Box® 2021 users can update for free here.

Have you been using your Band-in-a-Box® 2021 for Windows purchase and not applied any patch updates yet? Make sure you download the latest free patch update to access some great Bonus "Half-time" and "Double-time" RealStyles!

Total of new styles is:
-111 new RealStyles
-80 new RealTracks variations.
-27 new RealDrums variations.

This includes:
-variations of existing 16th-based bluegrass.
-variations of existing celtic and train beat styles.
-new styles with both 8th-based and 16th variations.
-16th-based samba variations.

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