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The Craft and Business of Songwriting [Paperback]

John Braheny
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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The Craft & Business of Songwriting The Craft & Business of Songwriting
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Book Description

Oct. 21 2001 Craft & Business of Songwriting
This updated edition of John Braheny's classic book is essential reading for anyone contemplating a career as a professional songwriter. He shares the insider secrets that help songwriters make their work competitive in an overcrowded marketplace. Readers will learn how to: * Develop a "songwriter's consciousness" in picking out original ideas * Overcome barriers in the creative process * Discover what subjects work best for them, from novelty to message songs * Know what their audience wants * Focus on one idea when writing lyrics, ensuring the greatest impact * Handle the business of demos and contracts Readers will also find anecdotes, exercises and examples from dozens of successful songwriters.

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About the Author

John Braheny is the co-founder/director for the Los Angeles Songwriters Showcase, a national non-profit service organization for songwriters. He conducts seminars throughout the U.S. and offers one-on-one consultations with writers, writer/artists and businesses. He lives in North Hollywood, California.

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Customer Reviews

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4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
Format:Paperback
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to write a hit song? Perhaps you have asked yourself why do some songs become commercial successes while others end up in the dustbin?
Journalist, talk show host, teacher and consultant, John Braheny, provides us with the answers to these queries as well as many other topics in his blue-ribbon manual The Craft and Business of Songwriting-Second Edition.
Braheny was one of the founders, along with Len Chandler, of the Los Angles Songwriters Showcase. For 15 years he was intimately involved with this national non-profit organization that was dedicated to creating opportunities for discovering aspiring songwriters. As a result of this relationship, he accumulated an exceptional amount of knowledge pertaining to the business and craft of song writing. The reader is fortunate to have all of this information neatly wrapped up in a compact manual that is split into two main sections, the craft of writing songs and the business of selling and marketing songs.
Within the section dealing with the craft the author delves into such topics as creativity, inspiration, subject matter, media, listeners, lyric writing, song construction and possible collaboration with other writers. Naturally we would probably be sceptical of a book that purports to teach us how to write a song. Some would say you are born to write a song, others would disagree and say it is possible to be taught the craft. Braheny believes that you can't be taught inspiration or imagination. However, you can be taught ways to get in touch with what you have to say and how to communicate it effectively. Using this premise as a base, the book provides us with the tools that will perhaps uncover our hidden talents.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Bumpy Ride---Great Guide Jan. 9 2003
Format:Paperback
So what if words and music come natural? We write the stuff down, add a tune and sing it to the world. Then what? This book, The Craft and Business of Songwriting, is a very affordable reference; and probably all you need.I'm happy it contains material that will make me wiser.Buy this or you'll miss out.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Must Read Book for All Songwriters! May 2 2002
Format:Paperback
The first Edition of the book, was a must read, now this 2nd Edition, updated with new information and current song references, is also a must read for everyone that writes songs. The most complete songwriting book, for beginning songwriters to the aspiring, to even pro writers will learn from the book. I often refer to it as "The Songwriters Bible", just full of information that we need in the world of songwriting.
I have been a Nashville Songwriters Association International coordinator in Charlotte for (6) years, and do at least one activity or read a quote from a hit writer or music professional in the book at every meeting. This book is years of songwriting seminars and workshops all in one. The reader will learn just like the title says, the craft and business from someone who knows what they are talking about, and has led workshops for some of the best songwriters of all time, including the awesome Diane Warren and several other hit writers. John Braheny made a difference with hit writers, with myself, and other songwriters that I have recommended the book to in the past 14+ years of reading the first edition, and now the 2nd edition. I recomend this as the very first book for every songwriter to read and study. If you know someone who writes songs, buy the book for them, and a copy for yourself. Buy a highlighter or two, to use when reading the book. ...Doak Turner
...
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.8 out of 5 stars  15 reviews
28 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Must Read Book for All Songwriters! May 2 2002
By Doak Turner - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
The first Edition of the book, was a must read, now this 2nd Edition, updated with new information and current song references, is also a must read for everyone that writes songs. The most complete songwriting book, for beginning songwriters to the aspiring, to even pro writers will learn from the book. I often refer to it as "The Songwriters Bible", just full of information that we need in the world of songwriting.
I have been a Nashville Songwriters Association International coordinator in Charlotte for (6) years, and do at least one activity or read a quote from a hit writer or music professional in the book at every meeting. This book is years of songwriting seminars and workshops all in one. The reader will learn just like the title says, the craft and business from someone who knows what they are talking about, and has led workshops for some of the best songwriters of all time, including the awesome Diane Warren and several other hit writers. John Braheny made a difference with hit writers, with myself, and other songwriters that I have recommended the book to in the past 14+ years of reading the first edition, and now the 2nd edition. I recomend this as the very first book for every songwriter to read and study. If you know someone who writes songs, buy the book for them, and a copy for yourself. Buy a highlighter or two, to use when reading the book. ...Doak Turner
...
21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Strategy and structure andlots more Jan. 11 2001
By Johan Vorster - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
One of my most basic problems when starting off as a songwriter, was the lack of background and knowledge on how to approach a new song. I am talking about your basic strategies and how to structure them into a final product. Where does one begin, what do you need to take into account, what to do first, how to approach rhyme, basic tips about melody, chords etc. I found this book to answer these type of questions in a simple and interesting way.
The author is obviously a specialist with a very good track record. He taught me how to analyse existing songs to expand my knowledge. No more do I just listen to music, I learnt the skill to expand my songwriting knowledge whilst listening to other songs on the radio or on CD.
I have learnt how to decide on a basic structure, how to approach the most important issue of finding a "hook" for your song and refining it to something useful. I have discovered that it is O.K. to rewrite songs, but I have learnt how to approach it. This book has taught me how to make songs more interesting and it has made songwriting a more interesting hobby for me.
I think the most important lesson from this book is how to grow from a songwriter that tries to express his/her own feelings to himself/herself and a few close friends, to someone who can express his deepest feelings in such a way that his song could be loved by millions and could become a commercial success. It also contain an abundace of valuable information on the industry and how to promote your music.
If I did not read this book I would have missed something for sure. If you are serious about songwriting you cannot go without this book.
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Definitely a Keeper! Dec 20 1998
By The Muse's Muse - www.musesmuse.com - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
The book, whether he's talking about the creative process or the nature of the business, is filled with snippets of humour that made me chuckle. John starts out with exercises and suggestions about how to get your creative juices flowing. He speaks of using his guidelines as "principles" rather than as "rules". After all, rules are made to be broken, right? Principles leave one much less constricted and guide rather than hem in. The book is designed with that in mind. There are examples and explanations about types of rhyme, different types of formatting for verses and choruses and even discussion about song dynamics such as changes in meter and density of lyrics. I'm only touching on a few of the *many* fine points raised. He even goes into details on different methods of writing music and talks about how to make the most of a collaboration along with the legalities involved. Mostly, the first section of the book dealing with the creation of the song itself, gets the reader *thinking*. I know from personal experience that I need exactly that when I'm sitting down to write. Where does one look for inspiration and what does one do with it once it's found? The second part of the book deals with the business - and that's where John's true mastery comes out in impressive detail. Having been involved in various parts of the business over a length of several years, he's very well suited to know what will work and what won't (though he's quick to admit there are exceptions to every rule). The business section deals with such gems as royalty questions, publishing issues, when and why to self-publish, how to choose a studio when making a demo and what you can get away with doing at home, and how to go about marketing your music. The bibliography even makes a very handy reference guide to trade magazines, songwriting organizations and other resources as well as many other books on the subject of songwriting. John addresses every point with his humorous, no-nonsense narrative and quite apart from being an extremely handy resource, it's a pleasure to read. I still don't believe he got all that information into one place. Talk about "bang for your buck"! This is a keeper I'll be going back to on a regular basis.
--Jodi Krangle ~ The Muse's Muse ~
18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Terrific book for basics of songwriting & the business Jan. 29 2000
By Michael - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Although this book isn't as comprehensive as others in the songwriting department, it presents information in a very concise and interesting format. It also has a comprehensive section (half the book) on the BUSINESS. It's a quick, easy read and definitely worth the price. But if you want to get serious about songwriting, you'll also need a book with more theory such as WRITING MUSIC FOR HIT SONGS.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The one book every serious songwriter should OWN. Oct. 8 1998
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This is the most comprehensive, well rounded book on the subject of songwriting by a man who is considered the formost authority by many. As founder of the Los Angeles Songwriters Showcase, John Braheny has earned the respect and admiration of the songwritng community at large.
What makes this book so powerful is John's unique ability to cover the craft of songwriting equally as in depth as the business end. Therefore, having this much information on both aspects of songwriting makes this my number 1 choice as a point of reference for all related topics. Think of this book as a very good investment if you wish to pursue songwriting as a career.
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