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Recommended Songwriting Literature
Old 30th July 2018
  #1
Recommended Songwriting Literature

Hi fellow slutz,

how about discussing some books, which are inspiring or even changing our work and thinking as songwriters? :-)

My personal favorite is "The Addiction Formula" by Friedemann Findeisen (see Amazon).
(btw: The Kindle Unlimited edition is for free at the moment)

Findeisen is mainly looking at pop music from an arrangement and production standpoint in his book.

I really like how he is featuring concepts like "momentum", "hype", "payoffs" and similar. Love that.

Can highly recommend "The Addiction Formula" to everyone who is into writing/producing commercial pop.


What are your hidden gems in terms of songwriting literature?

=====

The list so far:

Books:
- Friedemann Findeisen "The Addiction Formula" (Amazon)
- Pat Pattison [several titles] (Amazon)

Podcasts:
- Switched on Pop (Link)

Blogs:
- Top 40 Theory (Link)
- Morgan Page Quick Tips (Link)

Last edited by Carsten Kaiser; 4th August 2018 at 03:13 PM.. Reason: actualization
Old 1st August 2018
  #2
Gear Nut
 
stiba's Avatar
 

Anything Pat Pattison is really really good..
Old 1st August 2018
  #3
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bgood's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Carsten Kaiser View Post
Hi fellow slutz,

how about discussing some books, which are inspiring or even changing our work and thinking as songwriters? :-)

My personal favorite is "The Addiction Formula" by Friedemann Findeisen (see Amazon).
(btw: The Kindle Unlimited edition is for free at the moment)

Findeisen is mainly looking at pop music from an arrangement and production standpoint in his book.

I really like how he is featuring concepts like "momentum", "hype", "payoffs" and similar. Love that.

Can highly recommend "The Addiction Formula" to everyone who is into writing/producing commercial pop.


What are your hidden gems in terms of songwriting literature?
Good to hear... I quite like his YouTube vids
Old 1st August 2018
  #4
Quote:
Originally Posted by stiba View Post
Anything Pat Pattison is really really good..
Hi Stiba,

for starters, I will have a look at his lyric tips online.
Looks good.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bgood View Post
Good to hear... I quite like his YouTube vids
Yep, he's talking a bit too fast sometimes, :-) but his vids are really useful.
Old 20th August 2018
  #5
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I've gone through most of what I could find at Barnes and Noble and my local library. Berklee press has alot of good stuff. I liked the book on John Lennon's songs. Some of their stuff on rhyme structure isn't bad. Jimmy Webb's book is good. I'm surprised there isn't more decent material on this subject. Any autobiographical or biographical material on your favorite songwriters probably has some decent information; at the very least it might shed some light on the creative process.
Old 12th September 2018
  #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anetick View Post
I've gone through most of what I could find at Barnes and Noble and my local library. Berklee press has alot of good stuff. I liked the book on John Lennon's songs. Some of their stuff on rhyme structure isn't bad. Jimmy Webb's book is good. I'm surprised there isn't more decent material on this subject. Any autobiographical or biographical material on your favorite songwriters probably has some decent information; at the very least it might shed some light on the creative process.
i've bought quite a lot of music books. but the one i've just bought on amazon is worth more than all of them put together. its about how to create instant hit melodies. I know your thinking, yeah right' i was thinking the same as well. but i bought it anyway. i think its a new release i'm not a 100% sure but i think its the only bought ever written on how to instantly create a vocal melody with the backing chords at the same time.
As a songwriter, this is the book i've been looking for all my life. I don't know why the writer has'nt told us just how good it is in the book description on amazon. All he has put on the description is, this book ends songwriters block in melody & a few other bits.
But its actually a hundred times better than the description. In the video tutorial that comes with the book he teaches a pupil how these methods work and how to compose in less than 20 minutes. its called.

The shortcut to melody creation
The songwriting magic formula.

if your looking a proper book check it out. Its truly amazing.
Old 13th September 2018
  #7
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Herr Weiss's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ted1642 View Post
[...] As a songwriter, this is the book I've been looking for all my life. [...]
I do not believe for a second that this book is such a great find.

There are no 'secret formulas' that will help anybody to come up with hits like you and the book claim it does.
Can you share with us one or two 'tips' you learned from this book, something so unique that is not found anywhere else, thus making it the ultimate source to learn how to write irresistible melodies.

The advertisement for the book is full of grammatical errors and that should make you stop and think; something is fishy here.

Old 13th September 2018
  #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Herr Weiss View Post
I do not believe for a second that this book is such a great find.

There are no 'secret formulas' that will help anybody to come up with hits like you and the book claim it does.
Can you share with us one or two 'tips' you learned from this book, something so unique that is not found anywhere else, thus making it the ultimate source to learn how to write irresistible melodies.

The advertisement for the book is full of grammatical errors and that should make you stop and think; something is fishy here.

OK, This is in the book and in the book's tutorial video where he shows you how to create 3 vocal melodies with the backing chords at the same time in a combined time of less than 20 seconds.
Two of the songs have a combined sales figure of over 30 million copies. how about that? for something different.
Old 13th September 2018
  #9
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Herr Weiss's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ted1642 View Post
OK, This is in the book and in the book's tutorial video where he shows you how to create 3 vocal melodies with the backing chords at the same time in a combined time of less than 20 seconds.
Two of the songs have a combined sales figure of over 30 million copies. how about that? for something different.
I guess one has to read the book and watch the video as you failed to give me any concrete examples.

Are you in anyway affiliated with them besides being such an ardent follower?

Do you have a song I can listen to and decide if it is great or not?

Why 20 seconds? What's the hurry?
Why 3 vocal melodies?

Hmmm...

Still and all, I do not have a need for books that promise a quick 'revelation' on how to write 'hits'.

My songs 'come out of the blue' and for that I am very grateful. All the theory I have learned is only useful after the fact and not necessarily a precursor in the quest to come up with 'decent' songs.

I trust my ears to let me know what to keep and what to discard. If I am not happy, nobody else will be.

Cheers,
~HW
Old 13th September 2018
  #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Herr Weiss View Post
I guess one has to read the book and watch the video as you failed to give me any concrete examples.

Are you in anyway affiliated with them besides being such an ardent follower?

Do you have a song I can listen to and decide if it is great or not?

Why 20 seconds? What's the hurry?
Why 3 vocal melodies?

Hmmm...

Still and all, I do not have a need for books that promise a quick 'revelation' on how to write 'hits'.

My songs 'come out of the blue' and for that I am very grateful. All the theory I have learned is only useful after the fact and not necessarily a precursor in the quest to come up with 'decent' songs.

I trust my ears to let me know what to keep and what to discard. If I am not happy, nobody else will be.

Cheers,
~HW
Hey mate this is a thread about songwriting books about 4 people before me gave their views on what books to buy then i gave mine. Then you come on and more or less called me a liar and asked me to give you an example from the book thats different to other books. So, i gave you one then you come on again and ask if im affiliated to the book.
and now your asking me to post you excerpts from a copyrighted book on a forum.

I don't care how you write songs or what books you buy or don't buy. but don't come on here and call me a liar.
Old 13th September 2018
  #11
Hey, let's calm down everybody.
We all share the same interest in this sub-forum.

As I understand it, Herr Weiss is not asking for specific passages from the book but for general concepts which are featured in it.

I will keep my eyes open to find some preview excerpt of this book to have a closer look.
Maybe there will be at least a table of contents available in the future.

At the moment, I am afraid, there is too little information about its content revealed to decide whether this could be a relevant candidate for our list of respected recommendations.
Old 14th September 2018
  #12
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Brent Hahn's Avatar
 

And for something completely different:

SONDHEIM.
Old 14th September 2018
  #13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brent Hahn View Post
And for something completely different:

SONDHEIM.
What a nice suggestion.
I will have a look into it ASAP.

From a review:
"Sondheim declares that his music is generated by the text of the lyric, and that the melody comes to him simultaneously with the lyric. There is no fitting a lyric to a melody later: the melodic and rhythmic shapes are inherent in the lyric itself."
Hurley, Peter (2012). Review in: Context: Journal of Music Research Issue 37.
[Source: https://cpb-ap-se2.wpmucdn.com/blogs...ew-oe8ovp.pdf]


VERY interesting to read that. This seems to be the exact opposite approach of "melodic math".
Old 17th September 2018
  #14
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Hi there

can anyone recommend a book that deals with writer's block?
Old 18th September 2018
  #15
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Though it doesn't pertain to songwriting specifically, Twyla Tharp's The Creative Habit is THE most effective book I've ever read about creativity, motivation, writer's block, etc. It changed my life in terms of songwriting.
Old 18th September 2018
  #16
Lives for gear
Melody in Songwriting by Berklee pressis excellent.

Re Sondheim and the whole melody and lyric at the same time - I tend to agree with him and ultimately
at the end of the day the very best way to write is to learn to free your mind and get in front of a mic and improvise.

Sometimes you sing complete rubbish stuff but sometimes you free your mind and fantastic melody and lryical ideas flow out
at the same time and you get something original and magical.

I've been doing this for 30 years and I'm at a place I can improvise almost a complete song in one pass - it's a lot of fun
and it never fails to feel magical when a great melody and lyidcal idea come from seemingly nowhere.

Afterwards sure I've got to get out the tools and shape these ideas into something complete and finished but getting inital
ideas through improvization is my favourite approach.
Old 26th September 2018
  #17
Gear Head
 

The best book I have seen so far is How Music Really Works by Wayne Chase. I have no affiliation with him. I still haven't really absorbed this book - there's so much in it. Chase has strong opinions, and bases everything off his "gold standard song list". He also does not use musical notation at all - and I think he's right, it's a distraction in this type of book.

The first half of the book is basically music theory, and may duplicate your existing knowledge.

One of his ideas is a "Chase chart" or harmonic scale - arrange the 7 diatonic chords around a circle, with descending 5ths going clockwise. (Not the circle of fifths) This can be a useful tool in analyzing some chord progressions - but not all. Chase writes a lot about vocal rhythm and vocal-melodic phrasing. He advocates pre-selecting elements of a song, such as key, tempo and VM phrasing to force yourself out of your comfort zone.
Old 26th September 2018
  #18
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Brent Hahn's Avatar
 

What's VM phrasing?
Old 26th September 2018
  #19
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brent Hahn View Post
What's VM phrasing?
Ah, in Chase-speak, that's Vocal-Melodic phrasing, meaning where does the vocal start and end relative to the "structual phrase" - usually 8 bars.
Old 26th September 2018
  #20
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Brent Hahn's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by OliverOctave View Post
Ah, in Chase-speak, that's Vocal-Melodic phrasing, meaning where does the vocal start and end relative to the "structual phrase" - usually 8 bars.
Okay -- the "sneak-ahead" thing. Like in, say, "Natural "Woman." Relative to Beat One, the verse phrases start earlier, the prechorus phrases start exactly on, and the chorus phrases start later.

That's an oldie but a goodie. Pretty basic, though, for any serious practitioner.
Old 28th September 2018
  #21
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brent Hahn View Post
Okay -- the "sneak-ahead" thing. Like in, say, "Natural "Woman." Relative to Beat One, the verse phrases start earlier, the prechorus phrases start exactly on, and the chorus phrases start later.

That's an oldie but a goodie. Pretty basic, though, for any serious practitioner.
Great minds must think alike because Natural Woman is one of Chase's examples. But he's after more than the "anacrusis" or pickup - he wants to understand how the whole vocal phrase sits over the bars of music.

Of course the opposite of anacrusis would be coming in after the downbeat, like "ground control to Major Tom"

(Incidentally I can only think of one song that starts vocals 1/8 note after the downbeat - One Night in Bangkok. Are there more?)
Old 14th October 2018
  #22
Quote:
Originally Posted by OliverOctave View Post
Great minds must think alike because Natural Woman is one of Chase's examples. But he's after more than the "anacrusis" or pickup - he wants to understand how the whole vocal phrase sits over the bars of music.

Of course the opposite of anacrusis would be coming in after the downbeat, like "ground control to Major Tom"

(Incidentally I can only think of one song that starts vocals 1/8 note after the downbeat - One Night in Bangkok. Are there more?)
Thanks for the clarification. Interesting.
Good reminder on what anacrusis refers to also
Old 9th November 2018
  #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OliverOctave View Post
The best book I have seen so far is How Music Really Works by Wayne Chase. I have no affiliation with him. I still haven't really absorbed this book - there's so much in it. Chase has strong opinions, and bases everything off his "gold standard song list". He also does not use musical notation at all - and I think he's right, it's a distraction in this type of book.

The first half of the book is basically music theory, and may duplicate your existing knowledge.

One of his ideas is a "Chase chart" or harmonic scale - arrange the 7 diatonic chords around a circle, with descending 5ths going clockwise. (Not the circle of fifths) This can be a useful tool in analyzing some chord progressions - but not all. Chase writes a lot about vocal rhythm and vocal-melodic phrasing. He advocates pre-selecting elements of a song, such as key, tempo and VM phrasing to force yourself out of your comfort zone.
A classic book! His sequel is coming out soon: Song Matrix | SongMatrix
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