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Writing Better Lyrics Paperback – Jan 8 2010

4.7 out of 5 stars 15 customer reviews

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  • Writing Better Lyrics
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  • Songwriting Without Boundaries: Lyric Writing Exercises for Finding Your Voice
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Writer's Digest Books; 2 edition (Jan. 8 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1582975779
  • ISBN-13: 978-1582975771
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 2.5 x 21.4 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 463 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars 15 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #51,825 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

About the Author

Pat Pattison is a professor at Berklee College of Music, where he teaches lyric writing and poetry. His books include Writing Better Lyrics, The Essential Guide to Lyric Form and Structure, and The Essential Guide to Rhyming. In addition, Pat has developed three online lyric writing courses for Berklee’s online school, and has written articles for a variety of industry publications. His internationally successful students include multiple Grammy winners John Mayer and Gillian Welch. He lives in Boston, Massachusetts.


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I would definitely recommend this book to serious lyricists and songwriters who feel ready to tackle the challenge of revisiting their lyrics and rewriting them to be of a more professional quality. I'm grateful that the book was honestly titled "Writing Better Lyrics" and not "Writing Better Songs", as the sole focus here is on lyrics. Not all songwriting books admit this and I myself have bought a few such books only to be very disappointed. With this book, you know what to expect.

The author is an instructor at the Berklee College of Music. You can tell by the way the book reads and how it's laid out that the author is an instructor. Each chapter is like a lesson being presented by the teacher. In that sense, this analytical approach can be very dry and would most likely be more engaging in a live presentation than it is when reading it.

The chapters are concise and well thought out and gives me a LOT to think about, but I find the writing itself tires me out. It's hard to explain what I mean by this - the book is not overly wordy, the words are not too "big/scholarly", and the author does not talk down to the reader. However, I've read through only a third of this book so far, in an amount of time that I would normally finish two complete books! I sometimes force myself to continue reading (rather than wanting to) because I'm convinced the author is right in the points he's making and I find the lessons valuable.

The author is knowledgeable and provides good examples of lyrics to demonstrate the points being made. He gives many "assignments", like course homework, and I admit that I haven't been doing my homework!
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That's the first compliment I recieve when people hear my songs. "Great lyrics" "you have such a way with words" ect.. This book breaks down the basics and uses examples to get you writing better lyrics almost instantly. The excersizes are a little tedious and I skipped a lot of them, but still noticed an improvement. This book won't help you come up with song ideas but gives you the tools to take advantage of when the creativity bug bites. Also useful for any creative writer or poet. Not for catchy pop songs, wonderful for folk music! Don't believe me? Check out Nate of Earth on YouTube, Soundcloud or Reverbnation & hear the songs this book helped me write
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This is a gift for an amateur songwriter but I found myself reading it and thinking about the exercises that were included. I thought they were creative and helpful. I can't love it because I am not a songwriter but I hope my daughter finds it sparks her creativity.
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Pattison's advice can be found in a number of sources. This, for me, is the best. It's well organized and takes you along a path that leads to lyrics you'll be even more proud of. I have learned so much from it, and use its lessons regularly.
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I would highly recommend this book to anyone who wishes to improve their lyric writing. It is easy to read and interpret with exercises that get your brain working. Lots of great suggestions to help you adjust your lyrics to make them more interesting. This book could also be used as a launch pad into more specific areas of lyric writing, rhyming and song structure. Great read and great reference book.
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I bought this book after taking Pat Pattison's online songwriting course through Coursera. Writing songs seems like a skill reserved for people who are naturally talented in songwriting before I read this book. Now I have a great collection of tools that helps me get my ideas on the page and recursively improve those ideas into a great lyrics. I would suggest this book to every and any aspiring​ songwriter. Even experienced musicians will unquestionably benefit from this book.
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Format: Paperback
I love the broadened perspective I have since reading this book. It is very practical, has lots of tools that I have found incredibly useful. Demystifies the songwriting process. Wish I had found this years ago!
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Excellent book. It's a must read for those interested in creating and ''writing better lyrics''. The tips and suggested exercises are a great jump start to get the juices rolling.
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