'One Minute With Dec' 13 Dec 2009

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“3 Minutes on the Radio With Dec” –

"My Emails Are Written With Good Humour And Should Be Read With A Smile"

[-The views of any contributor to 'One Minute with Dec' are not necessarily the views of Dec Cluskey-]

"It is the promise of spring that as we sow, so shall we also reap.
Faith further provides to us an irrevocable law decreed in heaven which assures
that for every disciplined human effort we will receive a multiple reward.
For each cup planted, a bushel reaped, for every good idea given to another, many shall be given to us in return.
For every demonstrated act of faith, a multiplicity of rewards;
and for every act of love given, a life of love in return." Jim Rohn [at his most profound]


    Jimmy Clark RIP [we lose a lot at this time of year]
    Introducing the Gibson Dusk Tiger [I would love one of these]
    Attention Getter [is your web page selling?]
    Subscriber's Section [What strategy, what Dec method, would you devise? ]
    The gags: ..... [very funny … sorry to the Blondes ]

Jimmy Clark RIP [we lose a lot at this time of year]

We lost another legend in the past weeks … Jimmy Clark … I feel like the ‘Prophet of Doom’ with all these great names falling around us [grin!] But life goes on.

Jimmy was the ‘Jimmy’ part of the legendary Clark Brothers … survived now by his younger brother Steve Clark …

I am proud that they were my dear friends and I have often advised songwriters to imagine their lyrics can talk like the taps in Clark Brothers routines. Emminem can, Kanye West can, LL Cool Jay can.

Phil Collins actually went back to his mother’s Stage School to learn tap dancing … so he could improve his song writing.

Just watch the sheer genius of the two brothers and imagine what their rhythms can do for your music. They talked to me, easily, about hanging out with Al Capone [yes!] … being as one with Sinatra, Sammy Davis and the rest of the Rat Pack … true legends …. And one of the genuine secrets in the meter of ‘today’ music.

Check out http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vcFbdjPSjJ4

One of the ‘secrets’ in “57 Secrets of a Hit Record” … our biggest seller this Christmas

“If you think nobody cares whether you're alive or dead,
try missing a couple of mortgage payments.”

Introducing the Gibson Dusk Tiger [I would love one of these]

Is this the most advanced guitar ever? Truly a leap forward with the latest automatic tuning tricks and tonal defining.

Dusk Tiger represents the state of the art in electric guitars, redefining what the guitar can do with the integration of pioneering technology with the most advanced design in the industry, all in a Limited Edition package with only 1,000 sold worldwide.

Read on:

"Before you criticize someone, you should walk a mile in their shoes.
That way, when you criticize them, you're a mile away and you have their shoes.”

Attention Getter [is your web page selling?]

On your music website or in an ad, an image should be used as an attention getter. It should draw people in to read the words used in the ad. But remember, it is words that sell - not pictures. Each word used in the ad should lead the person to the desired outcome. In the case of a classified ad, the desired outcome should be to have them request more information.

Sales are seldom made from the first ad someone sees describing your product, service or music. If you can get someone to ask for more information, your ad is working and has done the first part of the job.

An effective presentation will provide a synopsis of what you want to cover. It should also have a "link" where a person can go for in depth information. This is definitely a case where more is better. But you should not use words simply to fill space - they should all be carefully crafted to bring the person to your order page.

Studies have shown that one web page with internal links to additional information will usually do better. Think of these internal links as bookmarks within your page, which will quickly advance someone to the desired spot.

An image will make your page more attractive, but don't include one unless it has a purpose, and will help close the sale. A large image that takes a long time to load will many times have the reverse effect of what is desired. If the visitor simply "clicks away" from your web page because the image loads slowly, it is defeating its purpose.

You must learn how to write persuasive words targeted specifically to your potential customer. If your target market is professionals, write your message geared to them. Remember however that the vocabulary of many potential customers may be limited, so don't use words that will not be understood by the average person. Avoid the use of terms that will not be known by your prospects.

Your text should be written in a black, legible font with a light background, preferably white. While yellow text on a black background is "cute" you should avoid using fancy fonts or backgrounds that are difficult to read - people will simply "click away".

Remember - every word you use should have one specific purpose, and that is to lead your prospect to buy what you are selling.
When writing sales copy, use words like "you" and "your" - write as if you are speaking with just one person -- one on one.

Finally, be aware that many Internet users are apprehensive about making a purchase on the Internet. You must put your potential customers mind at ease by displaying your full name, company name and contact information. This will put their mind at ease by building their confidence in you and your product. While your picture may be an attention getter, it is the words that will sell.

"Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day.
Teach him how to fish, and he will sit in a boat and drink beer all day.”


“Hi Dec,

You deserve the praise, seriously, to stick at it as long as you have done and still be churning out success stories, amazing, really!
The deeper I get into this game the more I recognise the truth in your words, flashbacks from the original 'make a million' course come to mind all the time.

Sean Clarke


“ If you lend someone £20 and never see that person again, it was probably worth it.”

Subscriber's Section [ Any music theory books you recommend? ]

“Hi Dec,

Are there any music theory books you recommend for this, maybe
one book or two that I could come away from, knowing what I need to do
to get the choir sound I want?

One more question...

There seems to be a huge difference between a bands demo before they were signed
and their Debut album.

I'm assuming this has a lot to do with the producer, my question here is what exactly
does a producer do in regards to songwriting, and arranging, and is this all learned
or is it a talent they have?

(I know, not every producer gets into the songwriting, I am just asking about those that
do, and just for reference, I am talking about Staind, Rage Against the Machine,
My Chemical Romance, and Eminem, among others)

Thank you so much for your time,


P.S. I can’t thank you enough for that simple, yet amazingly effective piece of advice about
listening to and recording the charts.



My Reply:

Our rules are "one short reply to ONE question on music FOR NON-MEMBERS, Members of 'The Serious Writers Guild' have unlimited personal access to Dec by direct telephone, Fax and Email, apply at https://secure.mistral.co.uk/makehits/swgappsecure.htm ".

[Any advice given here shall not be deemed as financial or legal advice under any existing or future laws of any country]


<<<<<music theory books you recommend for this, maybe one book or two that I could come away from, knowing what I need to do to get the choir sound I want?>>>>>

Music is a life time study. That is why I recommend that any aspiring artist/producer have acoustic piano lessons...that way you learn the theory .. from books such as Czerny's Studies and The Rudiments of Music by Stewart McPhearson.

It cannot be learned from a quick read....sorry!

<<<<<<a huge difference between a bands demo before they were signed and their Debut album.>>>>>>>

Again all in 'How to Make A $Million From Your Music' programme

"Never go near a studio without the best producer you can afford..."

"Self production is no production"

The skill of commercial production, again, is not merely using all the latest gismos ... it is a lifetime of gathering the skills and the knowledge ... a huge amount of the information is in 'How to make a $Million' ... also in the articles at http://www.makehits.co.uk/artintro.htm ... then the questions and answers at http://www.makehits.co.uk/qanda.htm and then at the archive 'One Minute with Dec' at http://www.makehits.co.uk/archive5.htm.

The knowledge has then got to be translated into theory and then into practice. Knowing the 'secrets of a hit record' is the single most important piece of knowledge ... check out “57 Secrets of a Hit Record

The very best way to study production skills [once you have the theoretical knowledge] is to pick a track randomly from the Top Three irrespective of genre and make an exact copy of it in your home studio....and I mean 'exact'.

We can achieve the same results with ancient equipment as we can with the latest all singing all dancing equipment. Production techniques remain virtually the same...we aim for the best performance delivered in the most exciting and leanest sounding way .

The art of the producer is to extract the most exciting, emotional, performance from a well crafted, commercial, sellable song .... then framing that song, first with the most exciting and great sounding drums ... then adding the gloss with the final frame of the orchestration.

So, technical, musical music theory is essential, technical theoretical knowledge of how the equipment works to its maximum potential and finally knowing what a great performance should be is also absolutely essential....

A lot of knowledge, experience and polishing?

Yep! But we all started somewhere.

It is easy to produce music ... but exceptionally hard to produce HIT music. At the end of the day, even with all the technical knowledge it is still about 'fairy dust'.

Howard Massey's 'Behind the Glass' is the greatest book on the real world of the top producers ... the real guys talking about their craft.


Dec [Cluskey] dec@makehits.com

2 Gold discs in 2008! Decca have relaunched their ‘World Of’ series on the back of those hits. Readers Digest are now promoting a triple album set …. Do you think I can help your music career succeed?

Check out 'How to Make A £Million From your Music' at http://www.makehits.co.uk. Secure purchase at https://secure.mistral.co.uk/makehits/swgappsecure.htm or fast cred*it card line: +44 1323.728005 or UK 01323.728005

“3 Minutes on the Radio with Dec” …. Available immediately at http://www.myspace.com/makehits

" If you tell the truth, you don't have to remember anything.”

The gags: ..... [The Snowploughs … from Willie ]

On a bitterly cold winters morning a husband and wife in Dublin were listening to the radio during breakfast.

They heard the announcer Say...
"We are going to have 8 to 10 inches of snow today. You must park your car on the even-numbered side of the street, so the Snowploughs can get through."

So the good wife went out and moved her car.

A week later while they are eating breakfast again, the radio announcer said...
"We are expecting 10 to 12 inches of snow today. You must park your car on the odd-numbered side of the street, so the snowploughs can get through."

The good wife went out and moved her car again.

The next week they are again having breakfast, when the radio announcer says...
"We are expecting 12 to 14 inches of snow today. You must park...."

Then the electric power went out...

The good wife was very upset, and with a worried look on her face she said...
"Honey, I don't know what to do? Which side of the street do I need to park on so the snowploughs can get through?"

Then with the love and understanding in his voice that all men who are married to blondes exhibit, the husband replied...
"Why don't you just leave the car in the garage this time."


Now Click here to Join 'One Minute With Dec' Mailing List.... FREE!

  • “Hi Dec £170,000 I've made in the past six months ... so many projects I haven't a minute. Number 4 in Music Week chart ... can't wait for next year ... they are predicting huge chart success for my productions. Unbelievable.
    D**** E****”

  • Enjoy video for a song I co-wrote with extraordinary Dutch singer Jenny Lane.
    I have 2 co-written songs on her great new album Monsters.
    Thanks for all the continued support & advice... Mick Lee.

  • In 2010 film, just budgeted in LA, for full theatrical in the US for $8.7mill with Paul Kay attached.
    Two Liverpool 08 commissions. First with 200 choir Second a major CD Brass Band album with Fairey Brass Band ... Phil Lawrence [UK]

  • I had my first Top Ten Hit in Germany as a songwriter, great things are happening ... I'm on tour all over Europe with the band that I'm producing. We're the official support act for 50 Cent. 15 shows in the greatest countries of Europe. Marcell Brell [Germany]

  • We played The Cavern Club in Liverpool
    Patchwork Grace were the best thing they'd ever seen!!
    Ian - Thanks again Dec! [UK]

  • I was asked to play at the Pepsi Music festival in Buenos Aires. The most important festival held on the whole South American continent. it lasts 10 days every major local star, as well as many international acts like Megadeath, The Wailers, Die Toten Hose, etc. Thanks again Dec ... Emiliano Canal [Argentina]

  • Recently I have finished a score for an independent movie called “Treehouse”. I am now composing tracks for various music libraries for licencing and am also discussing publishing the MUNKIE catalogue with various publishers. Jason Clarke. [N. Ireland]

  • This is Yosi & Ofir Nafkar from Israel member of The Serious Writer Guild Membership No NET0778030W. We wrote music for an Australian Movie By Kerry Bowden. She is a great woman who helps children in need. The movie and the music had a great success. Together we gathered 1million$. [Israel]

  • Hi Dec, some good news regarding my girlfriend Erin's songs, 3 are being used on a new American TV show. Anyway thanks again for your invaluable support, knowing your there makes this leap into the publishing world feel a lot safer ... Roger O'Donnell [The Cure]

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