On Songwriting | Musings On How To Write a Song

Songwriting Books

Songwriting Books


A bookshelf

full of

good reading

on the art of



Read, learn, and

be merry!

Songwriters On Songwriting: Revised And Expanded features a bunch of songwriter interviews — 62 in total — with the likes of Alanis Morissette, Lenny Kravitz, Lou Reed, and others. Paperback only.
Writing Better Lyrics provides tools for generating song ideas, matching lyrics with music, fine-tuning lyrics, advice for working with a co-writer and more. Kindle edition available.
Everything you’ve come to expect from a Dummies book. Although predictably thin in parts, Songwriting For Dummies provides decent tips and techniques and discusses the use of social networking sites to get your music out to the public as it attempts to tackle the new face of the recording industry. Kindle edition available.
Author Barbara Jordan has taught songwriting at Berklee College of Music and at her popular Songwriters Playground workshops at the National Academy of Songwriters in LA. Her book Songwriters Playground: Innovative Exercises in Creative Songwriting is designed to “tickle and challenge your Inner Songwriter.”Kindle edition available. 
Shortcuts to Hit Songwriting: 126 Proven Techniques for Writing Songs That Sell includes strategies for creating powerful lyrics, simple ways to write fresh and memorable melodies, and how to use hit songs as “ghost songs” to get quick results.
Melody in Songwriting: Tools and Techniques for Writing Hit Songs (Berklee Guide) explores how to write interesting melodies, how melodic rhythm influences rhyme, what makes harmony progress, and the many dynamic relationships between melody and harmony. Kindle edition available.
Songwriting Without Boundaries: Lyric Writing Exercises for Finding Your Voice features four different 14-day challenges with timed writing exercises, along with examples from songwriters, poets, and prose writers. Kindle edition available.
Six Steps to Songwriting Success, Revised Edition: The Comprehensive Guide to Writing and Marketing Hit Songs presents a step-by-step approach to mastering the elements consistently found in hit songs. Paperback only.
Author Sheila Davis explores the relationship between language style, personality type and the brain in The Songwriters Idea Book: 40 Strategies to Excite Your Imagination, Help You Design Distinctive Songs, and Keep Your Creative Flow Kindle edition available.
How To Write Songs On Guitar – Revised takes you through the four main elements of a song – rhythm, melody, lyrics, and harmony – and inspires you to combine them in exciting new ways with the goal of producing better, more memorable songs. Kindle edition available.
Through a combination of anecdotes, meditation, and advice, Jimmy Webb’s Tunesmith: Inside the Art of Songwriting,  breaks down the creative process from beginning to end from coping with writers block, to song construction, chords, and even self-promotion. Kindle edition available.
In 14 Qualities of Successful Musicians, Songwriters, and Music Business Professionals, author and music marketing guy David Hooper discusses time-saving tactics, biggest mistakes to avoid, and how to use competition to sell more music. Available as an audio CD and a Kindle edition.
The Songwriter’s Journal: 52 Weeks of Songwriting Ideas and Inspiration includes songwriting exercises, chord progressions for new songs, word association exercises, ideas to write new songs about, note sequences for new songs, and more.
The Art of Writing Great Lyrics features hundreds of songwriting hints and tips for communicating through song, defining styles, collaborating with a songwriting partner, making a great demo, and getting started on a career. Kindle edition available.
Logic Pro is a digital audio workstation and MIDI sequencer software application for the Mac OS X platform. The Power in Logic Pro: Songwriting, Composing, Remixing, and Making Beats – Quick Pro Guides helps users move beyond the basics to a professional-level Logic workflow, taught through examples that expose Logic’s essential features and powerful production tools. Kindle edition available.
Songwriters Pat and Pete Luboff have been teaching songwriting workshops through the National Academy of Songwriters since 1979. In 101 Songwriting Wrongs and How to Right Them: How to Craft and Sell Your Songs, they unpack the stumbling blocks songwriters inevitably encounter on the road to songwriting success.
The Complete Idiot’s Guide to the Art of Songwriting covers songwriting basics, including how to create melodies and harmonies, how to enable one’s songwriting to grow and evolve, and how to deal with songwriter’s block. Kindle edition available.
In I’ll Be Here in the Morning: The Songwriting Legacy of Townes Van Zandt (John and Robin Dickson Series in Texas Music, sponsored by the Center for Texas), author Brian T. Atkinson interviews both well-known musicians and up-and-coming artists to reveal, in the performers’ own words, how their creative careers have been shaped by the life and work of the writer of “Pancho and Lefty.” Kindle edition available.
Murphy’s Laws of Songwriting (Murphy’s Laws of Songwriting “The Book!”) is a practical guide for achieving commercial success as a songwriter. Author and songwriter Ralph Murphy presents a template based on his analysis of successful songs that helps to demystify the professional songwriting process.
In The Craft and Business of Songwriting (2nd Edition), author and cofounder of the LA Songwriters Showcase John Braheny teaches the craft of songwriting while going behind the scenes of the music business to reveal useful insider knowledge.
Hal Leonard Songwriting and The Creative Process Book contains instructional sections on melody, harmony, song structure, rhythm, lyrics, titles, and hooks. The book also includes hints and tips from pros like Graham Nash, Tom Paxton, and others.

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