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Songwriting For Dummies®

Table of Contents

Introduction

About This Book

Foolish Assumptions

How This Book Is Organized

Part I: So You Want to Be a Songwriter

Part II: Unleashing the Lyricist in You

Part III: Creating Memorable Music

Part IV: Cooperation, Collaboration, and Community

Part V: Getting Down to Business

Part VI: The Part of Tens

Icons Used in This Book

Where to Go from Here

Part I: So You Want to Be a Songwriter

Chapter 1: Capturing That Solid-Gold Nugget

Ground Zero — Before You Write a Single Note

Is formal music training a must?

Being prepared when inspiration strikes

Finding you own inner voice and expression

Creating the mood

Drip, Drip, Drop: The Six-Step Process

Pay Attention: Stop, Look, and Listen

Finding the inspiration zone

Coming up with concepts for songs

Setting your antennae to listen for lyrics

Making up music “dummy” style

On-the-Go Tools of the Trade for Recording and Organizing

Using a digital recording device

Jotting down ideas in a notebook

Practice Makes Perfect

Chapter 2: Looking at the Genres: From Country to Rock and Everything in Between

Creating Your Own Style: The Singer-Songwriter

Looking for Mainstream Success: Commercial Appeal

Rock

Pop

R and B, urban, hip-hop, and rap

Country

Seeking a Road Less Travelled: Other Notable Genres

Christian

Gospel

Blues and folk

Jazz

Practice Makes Perfect

Chapter 3: Working It Out: Getting Your Song into Shape

Talking Shop about Song Form

Dealing with Verses

The single-verse form

The two-verse form

The “Standard” Form

Learning about the standard form

Taking the standard form further

The Verse-Chorus Form

The verse-chorus form using a pre-chorus

The verse-chorus form using a bridge

The verse-chorus form using both a pre-chorus and a bridge

Practice Makes Perfect

Part II: Unleashing the Lyricist in You

Chapter 4: Snagging Your Listeners with a Hook

Stocking Your Tackle Box with Hooks

The melodic hook

The lyrical hook

The musical hook

The rhythmic hook

The sound-effect hook

The use of different types of hooks in one song

Having the Right Mindset When Working with Hooks

Practice Makes Perfect

Chapter 5: Making an Impact with Lyrics

Getting to Know the Different Lyric Types

Concept-driven lyrics

Storytelling Lyrics

Love song lyrics

Lyrics that make a statement

Novelty and humorous lyrics

Parody lyrics

Inspirational lyrics

Practice Makes Perfect

Chapter 6: Finding Your Voice in the Lyrics

Writing a Great Lyric

Starting with a title

Starting with an idea or concept

Telling a story

Using a melody that suggests a lyric

Finding the Format for Your Lyrics

Verse lyrics

Pre-chorus lyrics

Chorus lyrics

Bridge lyrics

Moving Beyond Format to Sound

Paying attention to the rhythm of the words

Paying attention to the sounds of words within a lyric

Noticing a lyric’s point of view

Getting some perspective

Tuning in to the lyric’s tone and style

Using Poetic Devices in Lyrics

Using repetition

Examining poetic devices

Practice Makes Perfect

Chapter 7: Using Rhymes in Your Songs

Identifying the Rhyme

Getting the basics of rhyme structure

Starting with the alternate line method

Looking at other basic rhyming patterns

Trying out trickier forms of rhyme

Adding internal rhyme

Using Other Rhyming Techniques in Your Song

Working with perfect rhymes

Getting it close with near rhymes

Working backwards with rhyme

Changing pronunciations to help rhyme

Rhyming across verses

To Rhyme or Not to Rhyme?

Looking at songs with little rhyme

Bringing it all together

Practice Makes Perfect

Part III: Creating Memorable Music

Chapter 8: Feel the Rhythm, Feel the Ride

Looking at the Rhythm of Words

Accented and unaccented syllables

Syllable length

Looking at the Meter of Music

Placing beats in a bar

Applying notes to common time

Putting Rhythm and Meter to Use in Your Songs

Songwriting with Syncopation

Practice Makes Perfect

Chapter 9: Making Melody Magic

Exploring the Basics of Melodies in Music

Knowing the power and emotion of a melody

Understanding the basics of a melody

Finding your melody

Making a Song More Memorable

Finding a melody that fits the mood

Finding a melody to fit the genre

Finding the right melody for each section of the song

Evaluating your melody magic

Practice Makes Perfect

Chapter 10: Using Chords in Songwriting

Using Chords to Write Songs

Getting started with chords

Moving forward with chords

Choosing Your Style of Chordal Instruments

Picking the guitar

Pecking at the keyboard

Practice Makes Perfect

Chapter 11: The Cheating Side of Town: Shortcuts and Cool Technologies

Creating Songs Quicker, Better, Easier

Doing stuff quicker with gadgets

Becoming the expert . . . instantly

More tools for making life simpler

Discovering Songwriting Software

Need rhyming software?

Other software and tracking tools

Recording in Your Own Home Studio

Creating commercial-sounding recordings

Finding the deals and techies

Old School vs. Home Schooled

Instrument playing: 101

Is it live or is it Memorex?

Virtual song recordings

Part IV: Cooperation, Collaboration, and Community

Chapter 12: Bringing Talent Together: Collaboration and Networking

Finding Your Strengths and Weaknesses

Seeking the Chemistry of Collaborative Songwriting

Making sure you’re in harmony with your team

Finding strength in numbers

Collaborating with a band or an artist

Collaborating with a script

Collaborating with yourself

Dividing Up the Credits

The Nashville method

The honor system

The Spinal Tap system

Looking at Famous Songwriting Collaborations

John Lennon and Paul McCartney

Burt Bacharach and Hal David

Bernie Taupin and Elton John

Networking for Songwriters

Hanging Out at Writers’ Nights

Joining Songwriting Organizations

Attending Seminars, Workshops, Conferences, and Symposiums

Practice Makes Perfect

Chapter 13: Online Marketing and Social Networking for Songwriters

Playing Internet Roulette

Creating your own website

Taking advantage of other people’s sites

Locating resource, advice, and information sites

Finding Friends and Building Your Social Networking Community

All-in-one social media networks

Specialty social media networks

Social network sites for indie artists

Online downloading music sites

Mobile device networking

Putting “Social Skills” into Networking

Connecting to your fan base and others

Expanding your reach worldwide

Chapter 14: Writing for the Stage, Screen, Television, and More

Songwriting for Film

Understanding the role of the music supervisor

Getting to the music supervisors

Understanding the creative side of songwriting for films

Songwriting for Television

Knowing what songs work well in television

Recognizing the exposure value of television

Getting to television music supervisors

Songwriting for Commercials

Writing jingles from scratch

Getting your songs placed in commercials

Songwriting for Video Games

Songwriting for Musicals

Submitting your songs for musicals

Understanding the creative side of songwriting for musicals

Practice Makes Perfect

Chapter 15: Getting Your Songs Heard: Making the Demo

Evaluating Your Options

Creating a “work tape” demo first

Defining the production components

Deciding what purpose the demo serves

Knowing the competition

Paying Attention to Details

Picking your format

Choosing the number and length of songs

Keeping it simple

Picking the Players

Deciding whether to use musicians or machines

Deciding who is going to sing

Making an Arrangement

Creating a chart

Using an arranger

Recording the Demo

Deciding where to record

Paying for the demo

Packaging the Demo

Including contact information

Requesting permission to send a demo

Making a lyric sheet

Sending that Baby Out!

Getting your demo to the right people

Following up

Part V: Getting Down to Business

Chapter 16: Creating Goals and Meeting Deadlines

Creating Goals

Getting set to write for the first time

Venturing out with your songs

Setting goals as a pro

Meeting Deadlines

Practice Makes Perfect

Chapter 17: Ka-Ching: How Your Song Makes Money

Forecasting Financials

Sources of income

Splittin’ up the pie

Joining a Performing Rights Organization

ASCAP

BMI

SESAC

Knowing What Happens When Your Songs Hit the Streets

Mechanical royalties

The compulsory license

Synchronization royalties

Using Digital Distribution to Your Advantage

Music sharing sites and services

MobileTones and ringtones

Using Your Songs to Sell Products

Making Money in the Movies

Having Video Games Pay to Play

Chapter 18: Introducing the Business Players

Putting Together Your Winning Team

First Things First: Getting an Attorney on Your Side

Seeing what a good music attorney can do for you

Hiring your music attorney

Weighing Your Publishing Options

Co-publishing deals

Being your own publisher

Working with administration deals

Dealing with foreign sub-publishing

Considering an Independent Song Plugger

Putting a song plugger to work

Considering the advantages of a song plugger

Using a Manager or an Agent

Do I need a manager?

What does an agent do for a songwriter?

You’re in the Money: Hiring an Accountant or a Business Manager

Knowing what a good music accountant or business manager can do for you

Hiring a music accountant or business manager

Chapter 19: Looking at the Legal End: Dealing with Paperwork

Legal Deals: Creating Win-Win Contracts

Understanding different kinds of contracts

Knowing when to put the pen to the paper

Finding resources in a hurry

Protecting Your Songs with Copyrights

Rounding up the right forms

Filling out Form PA

Using the copyright notice

Filling in the Blanks and Being Organized

Using a prospects-and-contacts form

Creating a song-history tracking sheet

Keeping track of your copyright registrations

Part VI: The Part of Tens

Chapter 20: Ten Songs You Should Know

“Hey Jude”

“Bohemian Rhapsody”

“What’s Going On”

“Yesterday”

“God Only Knows”

“Imagine”

“Satisfaction”

“I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For”

“Like a Rolling Stone”

“Somewhere Over the Rainbow”

Chapter 21: Ten Common Song-Related Contracts You Should Know

Single-Song Agreement

Exclusive Songwriting Agreement (ESA)

Copyright Assignment

Co-Publishing Agreement

Administration Agreement

Sub-Publishing Agreement

Performing Rights Society Affiliation Agreement

Mechanical License

Synchronization License

Digital Licenses

Songwriting For Dummies,® 2nd Edition

by Jim Peterik, Dave Austin, and Cathy Lynn

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About the Authors

Jim Peterik has enjoyed a 45-year love affair with music, and it seems as though his journey is just beginning. He has written or co-written a memorable array of top-40 hits such as “Hold On Loosely,” “Caught Up In You,” and “Rocking Into The Night” with Southern-rock legends, 38 Special, and “Heavy Metal” (theme to the award-winning animation of the same name), with Sammy Hagar. With group co-founder Frankie Sullivan, he wrote the entire catalogue for the band Survivor (of which Jim was a founding member). He also co-wrote the timeless ode to the fighting spirit — the triple-platinum, Grammy-winning, Oscar-nominated theme from Rocky III — “Eye of the Tiger.” Today, when not spending time with his wife of more than 38 years, Karen, and son, Colin, Jim is busy discovering and producing new talent and collaborating with a vast array of some of the world’s best songwriters, including his “Jazz That Rocks” projects and innovative smooth remakes and duets with Lisa McClowry plus a super-funky reimaging of his smash hit, “Vehicle.” He still plays regularly with The Ides Of March and performs with his World Stage superstar lineup for special events. In his solo “Storytellers” style concerts, he gets to tell the stories behind the songs he’s written throughout the years.

Dave Austin has been in and out of the music industry his entire adult life. Even so, he never strays too far for too long. Over the past 30 years, Dave, along with his good friend Phil Ehart (founding member of Kansas) and his wife, Cathy, have produced and promoted a series of all-star concerts with some of the greatest talent in the industry including: Carlos Santana, Melissa Etheridge, David Foster, The Commodores, Rush, REO Speedwagon, Kansas, Alan Parsons Project, Mr. Big, Survivor, Eddie Money, Queen, Loverboy, Peabo Bryson, Michael McDonald, James Ingram, Pablo Cruise, Ambrosia, Danger Danger, Micky Dolenz, Stephen Bishop, Paul Davis, Lou Graham, Micky Thomas, and America.

Cathy Lynn has always had a deep love of music. From being a huge fan to then “rubbing elbows with the best” during multiple years of event producing the more than a half dozen Music & Tennis Festivals and raising over $1 million dollars for their charities in doing so, Cathy blended her ear for great music with her never-ending love and affinity for writing when she merged the two together in a dynamic way and began to write “music inspired” screenplays for the big screen.

Dedication

We dedicate this book to the legacy of great songwriters through the years who have shared their inspirations and continue to enrich our lives, and to the songwriters of the future — may they inspire and motivate us all to make this world a better place.

This book is also dedicated to the late, great Cub Koda — rocker extraordinaire and co-writer of Blues For Dummies. You were taken from us much too soon, but your spirit and music will always live on. We know you’re still smokin’ in the boy’s room.

Authors’ Acknowledgments

The authors would like to give their heartfelt thanks to the many, many people who made this book possible. First and foremost, a special thank you goes to Mary Ellen Bickford and her husband, Don Robertson, who gave their unending love and support to this project and who spent countless hours and incredible dedication helping to take the First Edition book to a higher note. Right up there at the top of our gratitude list is a special thank you to our friend, Kenny Loggins, for his incredible music throughout the years. A special thank you goes to Kara DioGuardi, who has written the new Foreword to this 2nd Edition. Kara has a heart of gold and her passion is evident in everything she does, from her songwriting to her judging on American Idol, and to the message she wishes to impart upon readers. Thank you, Kara, for your tenacity and to jumping in to make this book even better than it was before. With warm gratitude, we’d also like to acknowledge the special efforts of our acquisitions editor, Tracy Boggier, and our project editor, Natalie Harris. Appreciation and gratitude also goes out to all of the songwriters and industry people who lent their words and wisdom to this project — we’re especially glad to have you as a part of this team effort. Lastly, but certainly not least of all, we’d like to give a big thank you to Bill Gladstone and everyone at Waterside Productions for bringing this project to life in the first place and to keeping it fresh and current with this Second Edition.

Publisher’s Acknowledgments

We’re proud of this book; please send us your comments through our online registration form located at http://dummies.custhelp.com. For other comments, please contact our Customer Care Department within the U.S. at 877-762-2974, outside the U.S. at 317-572-3993, or fax 317-572-4002.

Some of the people who helped bring this book to market include the following:

Acquisitions, Editorial, and Media Development

Project Editor: Natalie F. Harris

Acquisitions Editor: Tracy Boggier

Copy Editors: Susan Hobbs, Krista Hansing

Editorial Program Coordinators: David Lutton, Joe Niesen

General Reviewer: Stephen “Skillet” Killen

Editorial Manager: Christine Meloy Beck

Editorial Assistants: Jennette ElNaggar, Rachelle Amick

Art Coordinator: Alicia B. South

Cover Photos: © Rmackay | Dreamstime.com

Cartoons: Rich Tennant (www.the5thwave.com)

Composition Services

Project Coordinator: Katherine Crocker

Layout and Graphics: Ashley Chamberlain, Joyce Haughey

Proofreader: Laura Bowman

Indexer: Glassman Indexing Services

Publishing and Editorial for Consumer Dummies

Diane Graves Steele, Vice President and Publisher, Consumer Dummies

Kristin Ferguson-Wagstaffe, Product Development Director, Consumer Dummies

Ensley Eikenburg, Associate Publisher, Travel

Kelly Regan, Editorial Director, Travel

Publishing for Technology Dummies

Andy Cummings, Vice President and Publisher, Dummies Technology/General User

Composition Services

Debbie Stailey, Director of Composition Services

Foreword

People ask me all the time, “How did you become a successful writer?” If I were to answer that in the most simple way possible, I’d have to say that it comes down to three things — WORK, honesty and feeling.

I put the word WORK in capital letters to show you just how important this part of the equation is. Every successful songwriter knows that sometimes you write hundreds of songs before you stumble upon anything great, and because of that, WORK in some cases is more important than talent. I wrote for seven years before I made a dollar. And I learned that every bad song you write gets you closer to a good one. As my famous songwriter friend Marti Fredrickson says, “It took me 47 years to write that song.” (By the way, he’s 47; and he co-wrote “Jaded” for Aerosmith, “Sorry” for Buck Cherry, and “Love Remains the Same” for Gavin Rossdale.)

WORK can mean many different things — from the actual creation of the song, to finding the right person to produce or sing it, to networking so that someone in a position to promote it can actually hear it. You may have the best song in your pocket, but if you don’t hit the ground running, it will always just be that — a song in your pocket.

If you want to be a professional songwriter, you should write every day and spend every waking moment finding others who inspire you and are dedicated to a life of music. Every good songwriter I know lives, eats, and breathes music. When they are not engaged in the important task of experiencing life to have something to draw upon, they are honing their craft. A great song is where inspiration meets craft, and craft can be developed only through hard WORK.

If you like a lot vacations, professional songwriting is not for you. If you’re feelings are hurt easily, co-writing is not for you. And if you can’t stand rejection, don’t even think of songwriting as a career. If you think this foreword is harsh, the music business is harsher. It’s my intention to steer you away from this profession now and save you the heartache. I’d rather see you admit to yourself that songwriting is more of a hobby than what you want to do for work.

Now for honesty. Your parents had good reasons for telling you to always be honest. If I had been honest with myself 20 years ago, I probably would not have gone to Duke University to be a lawyer. I got a late start writing songs, and that was only because no one believed in me enough to allow me to record their songs to showcase my voice. At 22, in the middle of the Bronx, in a crappy apartment, against the sound of two barking pit bulls, I penned my first song with Dave Citron called “Show Me.”

It was horrid.

My verses described what I thought some guy was feeling. (I was into him, but he was not into me, by the way.) It was easier to fabricate someone else’s truth than to deal with my own.  

I did not have a handle on my own emotions and, therefore, could not write anything true. It took me years to develop an internal dialogue with myself that I could trust. Hit songwriting is about putting your real personal experiences into melodies and words that are universal and easily digested. You can embellish on your experiences, but there should always be truth at the core. How else would you be able to convey feelings or emotions in a way that the listener could relate? Put your passion for songwriting into exploring your emotions and thoughts. It will be the best therapy you never paid for.

Here comes the part you can’t teach — feeling. When a particular subject or piece of music moves you, makes you cry, and brings you to your knees, open your heart — or the channel, as I call it — and listen. That’s your soul talking to you. And when that happens in combination with your craft, you are on your way to a BIG song. The more feeling you put into a song, the more the listener gets out of it.

My hope for each and every one of you reading this book is that you, too, will experience the joy and healing that songwriting has given to me. And remember, it’s not the money or the hits that should be motivating you — it’s the music!!!!!

GOD SAVE THE MUSIC!!! ROCK ON!

Kara DioGuardi

Grammy-nominated hit songwriter.
Executive VP of Talent/Office of the Chairman, Warner Brothers Records.
Her songs have appeared on over 150 million records.
Over 40 charting radio/retail singles.
Fifteen BMI Pop Awards;
Pop Writer Of The Year in 2007.
Three hundred songs released on major labels; 171 of them on platinum albums.

Introduction

Welcome to Songwriting For Dummies, 2nd Edition. If you’re merely flipping through the pages of this book right now at the local bookstore (looking for the fast track to writing a sure-fire hit), do yourself a favor and buy it. You can thank us later! There’s simply too much information packed into this baby to get a hold of in one sitting. If you’ve already purchased this book and are sitting down ready to discover the ins and outs of songwriting, congratulations! It’s going to be a great adventure. We’re riding the wave of a great songwriting revolution. What better time to be a part of this business? The record labels are still looking for memorable, meaningful, and long-lasting songs for their artists — songs that make a difference — not disposable ditties (at least this is our reverent prayer), and now there is a whole new world to explore since the digital revolution has firmly planted its feet on the ground. What you’ll find in this book is a practical and lighthearted look at that impractical and unnecessarily serious subject of writing a song. We hope you get some encouragement and inspiration from our labor of love. We know that with a little work and dedication you can unleash the creativity inside you. Feel free to share it with a friend — who knows, he may be your own Bernie Taupin!

About This Book

This book was written to give you a hands-on, behind-the-scenes look at the noble pursuit of songwriting. It offers basic songwriting concepts, as well as shortcuts and slightly unconventional methods not necessarily found in other books. It’s coming from authors who have “been there” and “done that” in all areas of the music business. This isn’t for people who dream about writing a song, this is for those who are ready to dig in and try it. The book is also meant to be useful to the already up-and-running or successful writer who’d like to refocus his creativity or gain a little validation on what he’s been doing right all along. The text of the book covers all aspects of the business and the pleasure of songwriting from the collection of ideas to the creation of a song, from creating a demo of your song to assembling a team for its marketing. It includes not only the nuts and bolts of constructing a song, but the spiritual or mystical side that gives it wings. It includes a Practice Makes Perfect section at the ends of Chapters 2 through 11 geared toward honing your songwriting skills with methods of practicing your newfound skills. It includes the latest resources to go beyond the bindings of this book and explore the outer reaches of cyberspace and the inner reaches of your limitless imagination. Above all, it debunks the idea that you have to be a virtuoso on a particular instrument or that you need years of music theory and schoolin’ to write a song. All you really need are ears, a good imagination, a lot of determination, and a (reasonably) organized procedure in order to make your bid at enhancing the world through music.

Foolish Assumptions

We’re assuming that you are in some way curious about how a song gets written. Maybe you’re wondering if you have what it takes to write a song yourself. Perhaps you’re looking for the next step in getting your song from your hard drive to the shelves of the record stores. In any case, we don’t assume that you’re a musical genius or that you have astounding technique, or any technique for that matter, on a particular instrument. Our whole premise is that anyone can write a song with the right inspiration, methods, and collaborators. The genius in writing a song is your ability to bring all your skills into a common focus to create a verse and chorus that, in addition to yourself, the whole world wants to hear.

How This Book Is Organized

This book is organized into six parts, which cover everything from writing lyrics to selling your songs.

Part I: So You Want to Be a Songwriter

The first section of this book asks you to identify and assess your ambitions, prior experience, expectations, and preconceptions regarding songwriting. You’ll take an inventory of the talents and skills you can bring to your own songwriting experience. We will explore the vast smorgasbord of styles to choose from when writing and arranging your songs, and assess which genres suit your style of writing. This part also shows you how to capture song ideas so they can’t escape, and gives you an introduction to song structure with a discussion on song forms.

Part II: Unleashing the Lyricist in You

This part is dedicated to channeling the “word power” and expressiveness within you into the lyrics of your next song. We give you some concrete tips for writing lyrics, including the definition of a hook and where to put it and how to use rhyme in your lyrics. We also show you the successful lyrics of many popular songs, telling you exactly what the lyricist did to achieve greatness.

Part III: Creating Memorable Music

This part addresses how rhythm, chords, and melody come together to make a great song. All these ingredients are critical to a song’s success — and we make sure you don’t neglect any of them. We also explore the “cheating” side of town through the use of shortcuts and cool technological advancements.

Part IV: Cooperation, Collaboration, and Community

Our “Three C’s” of songwriting might just be the ticket that “lights your fire” and starts you on your way towards a long and successful career as a songwriter. You can collaborate to write the next pop hit or try your hand at country or R&B. You can also write for many different types of arenas, such as the stage, screen, and television. The possibilities are virtually endless as you build your community spirit — just think how awesome your demos will be once you master the art of cooperation.

Part V: Getting Down to Business

In this part, we examine how the words music and business can shake hands and be friends. From finding out just who the business players are to filling out paperwork, and from creating goals to meeting deadlines, it’s the part you must force yourself to read to assure that your song is on track and being properly looked after once it’s created.

Part VI: The Part of Tens

In this section we review some of the great songs throughout history. We also throw in some highly prudent and useful contracts for good measure.

Icons Used in This Book

For Dummies books are nothing if not user-friendly and fun. To this end, we have included various graphic icons in the left margins of the pages. These clever little cartoons give you an immediate “heads up” to nuggets of truth you need right away, plus snacks you can choose to save for later.

tip.eps This is a lesson we’ve learned in our decades of experience. It can be as crass as a shortcut to success, or as heady as a gateway to your soul.

remember.eps This icon is the mother of all icons. This is the reminder of what you should already know through reading this book. Fight the temptation to slam down the book and cry, “Give me some credit for brains, ma!”

warning_bomb.eps This needlessly ominous icon is reserved mainly for blatant no-no’s in either the creation of a song or with the business and legalities of songwriting.

technicalstuff.eps This is the icon that tells you there is more to know if you really feel the need. However, you have our permission to skip over this stuff if you’d rather stay immersed in the creative flow of an artistic mindset. For those of you who love gadgets and want more techie info, these are the areas to note.

wordsofwisdom.eps This icon indicates a “pearl of wisdom” or a quotation from one of the top experts in the various areas of the music business that we have corralled just for you.

offtherecord.eps This icon indicates the under-our-breath, down-and-dirty truth that you now have the dubious privilege of knowing. With whom you share these boardroom secrets is entirely up to you, but please, act responsibly!

Where to Go from Here

Please note that it’s okay to skip around in this book. Although we had some crazy notion about a logical unfolding of information, truth be told, it works even if you throw all the chapters into a blender and hit “frappé.”

Part I

So You Want to Be a Songwriter

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In this part . . .

We all have songs inside us just waiting to come out. The real key to songwriting is not only figuring out the combination to what unlocks that music within you, but also developing methods to capture these little gems of inspiration before they fly away. And like most gifts, there is some assembly required, so it’s vital to discover the what-goes-where of a song. Also important is knowing where your taste in music might lie? Are you heavy metal, easy listening, or one of the hundreds of shades in between? It’s easy to argue that a great song is a great song; still, every song seems to live and breathe best in a particular style, or genre. In this part, we not only look at many of the different directions your song can take, we give you everything you need to get started in your songwriting journey.