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What do you recommend for a good lyric writing book?

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  • What do you recommend for a good lyric writing book?

    I'm searching for a good lyric writing book and I just wanted to get some recommendations from more experienced lyric writers. Currently I have Writing Better Lyrics and 6 Steps to Songwriting Success but I think I need something different. I will admit to not looking at 6 Steps to songwriting success all that much but I'm about half way through Writing Better Lyrics and it's moving too slow.

    All I really need right now is a book showing me various song forms and what to do and not to do with each. I don't need to learn anything else. I just need to learn how to structure my lyrics.

  • #2
    Sheila Davis, "The Craft of Lyric Writing" is very good. But it's not short and sweet. Nor is it snappy. But for each (sometimes mundane) concept it discusses there are many good and bad examples. (Including a lyric in the middle of the book [somewhere] written by her that is VERY good and revealing about herself. Quite on par with the well known other examples she sites.)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dGxDwt26FZc
    http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/marshallsongs
    http://www.reverbnation.com/#!/marshallsongs

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    • #3
      "Songwriters on Songwriting" is pretty good. I read an earlier edition some years ago. I think there's a newer edition out there. You get a sense of how the famous people go about writing. Some you'll agree with. Some you'll think are crazy.

      There's a book that a lot of people like by Jim Webb; "Tunesmith." Personally I didn't like it and put it down before getting about half way through it.
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dGxDwt26FZc
      http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/marshallsongs
      http://www.reverbnation.com/#!/marshallsongs

      Comment


      • #4
        I loved Pat Pattison's books. I see you're reading one. Other than that, I found transcribing worked for me. Back before all the access on the internet to lyrics, I'd be picking up the needle and writing out lyrics. But the same thing, different angle, could be achieved be copy/pasting lyrics off of one of the many lyric site, then charting out the song. Listen to it a hundred time while taking notes on how many bars the verse lasts, what chords the prechorus goes too...

        ...and what the rhyme scheme is. How tight the rhymes are. How dense or expansive are the lyrics. How rhythmic, how flowing, how in your face, how nebulous.

        All this analysis is far more powerful than any book. Or rather, those books become a lot more powerful after you've done some of this type of self study.
        __________
        Your god doesn't exist but my god does and he is all loving. If you disagree with me I'll kill you. - Prince Ea

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        • #5
          I loved Pat Pattison's books. I see you're reading one. Other than that, I found transcribing worked for me. Back before all the access on the internet to lyrics, I'd be picking up the needle and writing out lyrics. But the same thing, different angle, could be achieved be copy/pasting lyrics off of one of the many lyric site, then charting out the song. Listen to it a hundred time while taking notes on how many bars the verse lasts, what chords the prechorus goes too...

          ...and what the rhyme scheme is. How tight the rhymes are. How dense or expansive are the lyrics. How rhythmic, how flowing, how in your face, how nebulous.

          All this analysis is far more powerful than any book. Or rather, those books become a lot more powerful after you've done some of this type of self study.


          Sorry this reply took so long. I used to have two more books by Pat Pattison, Essential Guide to Lyric Form and Structure and Essential Guide to Rhyming but I lost them when I moved. I really liked the book on lyric form and structure. I should buy that again.

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          • #6
            written by her that is VERY good and revealing about herself. Quite on par with the well known other examples she sites.)


            I've heard of that but I've never managed to actual buy it. I'll have to when I get a chance.

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            • #7
              Get a book if you must, but after reading it, just relax, play around on your chosen instrument and see what comes out.

              I think when first in the inspiration phase, you should just say what you want to say. I would avoid any guidelines or instruction, like from books. But later if the song is good enough to tweak and polish up, then consult the books. But I know nothing so don't listen to me. lol
              All things must pass...

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