Recommend me Books/Resources on Song Writing

Hey Everybody,

Can anyone recommend an introductory book or resource on song writing?  I jam a lot, and have a lot of ideas, but I find I have a hard time with arrangements and turning out a final product.  I really want to focus on songwriting over the next few months.

Thanks in advance.

Comments

  • mr_crowleymr_crowley Posts: 6,581
    I think it has a lot more to do with practicing writing than learning a few recipes and just pull from those. Just try to write something that resemblence a song everytime you sit down with the guitar. You know it doesn't have to be the best thing ever - just some bits and pieces that somehow seems to fit together. Sometimes it will probably be shit and you can just throw it away and sometimes you might stumble upon something really great. The more you practice the less "shit-songs" and more "great-songs" you will be able to write. It is a craft that you really has to learn and practice to be able to master it.
    Pick three or five songs or something you really like or the style you want to write. Learn them, pick them apart, analyze the parts - really get what every part of the song adds to the whole, why it is there, why it is structured the way it is, the instrumentation, the phrasing, everything. Soon you will at least understand how the music should be written. Then the fun starts - taking it and putting your own spin on that! :)
    A lot of famous songwriters and artists has that "write on song a day"-mantra, that is a lot to ask for us mere mortals that has to juggle music with everything else we have going on in our lives but trying to at least write something everytime you play is a great start. It doesn't really matter if it is everyday or once every week - at least you practice! :)

    With that said, from what I gather this is pretty much the "industry standard book" on songwriting:
    https://www.amazon.com/Steps-Songwriting-Success-Revised-Comprehensive/dp/0823084779
    I've used it on college level on songwriting courses... It has some stuff that is worthwhile, the best parts are stuff, at least to me, seems like common sense but it is always reassuring when real pros point out that it is the truth, like the more songs you write the more good ones you are likely to end up with or in order to write a good song you have to know what a good song consitutes of.
  • MAdXMAdX Posts: 1,985
    edited December 2016
    For me, learning how to write songs had more to do with forcing myself to actually finish the songs than anything else.

    The first problem is that I always think that the song I'm currently working on is THE song that will become my masterpiece so I become obsessed with making it perfect. When you don't have a deadline you can spend days or even months working on a single piece and in the end it's likely you lose the inspiration that sparked the idea of the song in the first place. 

    If you can learn how to be less sentimental about your own creations and "let go" you will be able to move on to the next song much faster and actually be able to present a finished product. Maybe won't be a perfect product but it's better to release 5 songs of which one or two are really good than working endlessly on THE song that is never quite good enough to see the light of day. 

    Also, you will be able to take all that experience to the next song and make that one better. 

    Writing with other people and jamming songs that are half finished in rehearsals really helps me resolve things quicker than when I'm sitting at home and recording myself. I don't know if you have that possibility but I'd really recommend it if you have a chance. 
    Post edited by MAdX on
  • Dinosaur David BDinosaur David B Posts: 17,486
    edited December 2016
    Off the top of my head, I don't know which books -- and I probably should.   But there are some web resources you can check out first.  Start here:

    http://sessionville.com/articles/the-structure-of-popular-songs-part1-parts-and-phrases
    http://therecordingrevolution.com/the-well-chiseled-song-and-why-it-matters/

    And google for similar things -- like song arrangement.  There's probably good YouTube videos available too. 

    And there is some useful stuff on this board:
    http://www.dinosaurrockguitar.com/forum/index.php?p=/discussion/15114/10-foolproof-ways-to-critique-your-own-songs#latest

    http://www.dinosaurrockguitar.com/forum/index.php?p=/discussion/14277/on-songwriting/p1


    Post edited by Dinosaur David B on
    I ain't falling for no banana in the tailpipe.
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