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Writing Better Lyrics: The Essential Guide to Powerful Songwriting
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Writing Better Lyrics: The Essential Guide to Powerful Songwriting

4.12  ·  Rating Details ·  348 Ratings  ·  21 Reviews
The Must-Have Guide for Songwriters

Writing Better Lyrics has been a staple for songwriters for nearly two decades. Now this revised and updated 2nd Edition provides effective tools for everything from generating ideas, to understanding the form and function of a song, to fine-tuning lyrics.

Perfect for new and experienced songwriters alike, this time-tested classic covers t
Paperback, 298 pages
Published January 8th 2010 by Writer's Digest Books (first published September 15th 1995)
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Jul 21, 2013 Mike rated it liked it
Shelves: music
Writing Better Lyrics is just fine. But for a more condensed experience of the book, I would say just follow these rules:

(1) Freewrite at the same time everyday for 10 minutes. Pattison believes it ought to be anchored to an object, but I think this can come with time. Stay engaged in your senses, of course, but just let the total nonsense write itself on the page.

(2) Form and content must be in sync. In other words, prosody. If the song's about someone who is nervous and uncertain, make the str
Lee Sinclair
This book focuses on writing lyrics which was exactly what I needed to write some song lyrics for my book. It covers topics such as verse development, perspective, dialogue, meter, & song form. Songwriters may prefer more comprehensive books but this is great for anyone wanting to write stronger lyrics.
It's been years since I read this cover to cover, but it was helpful then. I've since given sections to friends in need of a little push.

Over time, I've realized that, for me, this book (and many other 'self-help' pieces) pushes me to simply be active. It's often less about what exactly I am doing and more important that I am just doing something.

Or it could be said like this, when I'm unsure of what to do, sometimes I just want to be told what to do. In that regard, this book offers a prescri
Sabne Raznik
Jan 27, 2014 Sabne Raznik rated it it was amazing
This is Pat Pattison's best of the various books he has written on songwriting. (It is also the most expensive, so I rented it rather than buy it. I rather regret that now because it would be a great resource to own.)It covers a little of everything having to do with that art. Much of it can also applied to any kind of writing one does. If you are looking for one handbook for songwriting or to improve the technicalities of your poetry, this is it. It also has many ideas for your writer's group.
Garrett Cash
Does a fine job with exercises to improve lyrics writing, but a lot of it appears counter-productive to originality. I can't say I agree with everything he says, especially concerning what he thinks to be cliche. Plenty of the greatest songs of all time from The Beatles to The Beach Boys and Led Zeppelin use the "cliches" that he points out, and I think nothing of them.
Oct 30, 2012 Luigi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: music, own, education
From one of Berklee Music's finest. Not just a read, but a workbook that not only inspires you to write songs, but to write good songs. Having studied with Pat and planning to do so again, I recommend his books and if you get a chance to do one of his papers or seminars, you won't regret it.
Katie Hilton
Mar 04, 2013 Katie Hilton rated it really liked it
This is an excellent resource I will be referring to for years to come. It will soon take the shape of a 'well-loved book'--worn pages and dogged ears and such.

I would highly recommend this as a resource for any wannabe songwriter.
Priscilla White
Dec 28, 2014 Priscilla White rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Will read again

Good book for reminding yourself about the technical side of writing and shows great examples of how editing can work and improve a song. I'll probably try and grab a paper copy sometime!
Jul 18, 2011 Scott rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Songwriters will enjoy this book to perfect their craft. No business aspects, just a good look at rhyme structures, and creativity advise for songwriters.
Aug 25, 2010 Russell is currently reading it
Newest edition of a great book from my lyric writing teacher at Berklee. Has a lot of great insights for any kind of writer.
Jan 04, 2014 Christina rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a pretty good book for writing exercises, but I'm not really sure how good it is for writing songs.
Feb 14, 2013 Duane rated it it was amazing
The Bible for Writing the best lyrics you can. Formulaic approach, while still maintaining individuality.
Mar 10, 2012 Bliss rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This and Jimmy Webb's Tunesmith offer the most useful information that I've come across in any books about songwriting.
Jenny (Reading Envy)
Aug 25, 2013 Jenny (Reading Envy) marked it as on-hold
Shelves: music, writing
"Here I want to focus on the most important part of all creative writing, and therefore surely of lyric writing: the art of deep diving - finding your own unique voice and vision."
Laura de la Peña Orozco
Changed my (artistic) life.
Dec 01, 2010 Aryn rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The most helpful book on songwriting that I've ever read!
Betty Dingus
Lured in due to the foreword being by Gillian Welch, I think this was her teacher or something.
Riot Matthews
Riot Matthews rated it liked it
Feb 22, 2013
Jul 11, 2012 Robin is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
Mine is the second edition... FWIW... just got it today.
Scott Judson
Scott Judson rated it it was amazing
Jan 22, 2017
Rajeev Singh
Rajeev Singh rated it it was amazing
Dec 11, 2014
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“Remember this fundamental fact: You are absolutely unique. There never was, is not now, nor ever can be anyone exactly like you. The proof lies in the vaults of your senses, where you have been storing your sense memories all your life. They have come cascading in through your senses, randomly and mostly unnoticed, sinking to the bottom. Learn to dive for them. When you recover one, when you rise with it to the surface and hold it aloft, you will not only surprise your onlookers, you will surprise yourself.” 1 likes
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