Not what you expected? No problem. Ed takes the craft of songwriting to a different level — allowing the reader and writer to remember why songwriting matters, and why it matters to do it well. An invaluable resource for songwriters of all levels of experience. It manages to cover some pretty complex subjects in a really accessible way — lots of relevant examples from well-known songs. The concepts covered apply to everything from musical theatre to hip hop.
Tunesmith: Inside the Art of Songwriting
The Art of Songwriting — Download the eBook instantly! Peter, Amazon UK Reviewer. Ian, Amazon UK Reviewer. Great for both novice and experienced songwriters alike. Daffyd, Amazon US Reviewer. Barbara, Amazon US Reviewer. Sam, Amazon UK Reviewer. The Art of Songwriting is also available in paperback online and in bookstores. Details if other :. Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. Preview — Tunesmith by Jimmy Webb. Webb brings his insider's knowledge, experience, and star power to the ultimate guide for aspiring songwriters.
With a combination of anecdotes, meditation, and advice, he breaks down the creative process from beginning to end--from coping with writer's block, to song construction, chords, and even self-promotion. Webb also gives readers a glimpse into the professional mus Webb brings his insider's knowledge, experience, and star power to the ultimate guide for aspiring songwriters.
Webb also gives readers a glimpse into the professional music world.
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Get A Copy. Paperback , pages. Published September 22nd by Hachette Books first published More Details Original Title. Other Editions 6. Friend Reviews. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about Tunesmith , please sign up. Lists with This Book. Community Reviews. Showing Rating details. More filters. Sort order. I finally managed to finish this book on my second, or maybe even third attempt.
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It's not an easy read. I wouldn't recommend this book for everyone. Yet, I finally managed to finish this book on my second, or maybe even third attempt. Yet, a few chapters later and Jimmy's explained triads, inversions, sus chords, So, there's certainly inspiration to be found within the pages of this book.
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Also be prepared to be peppered with a million songs, artists, and songwriters that you've never heard of before. Thank God Spotify exists! The Internet is discussed every so often, but as this was really the dawn of the World Wide Web , there's no foreboding of the negative impact it was to have on future music sales. Finally, one of the most touching finishes to the book was a page dedicated to all the songwriters that had passed away during the time he'd written the book: Kurt Cobain, Tupac, Jeff Buckley, Jerry Garcia, John Denver, Henry Mancini, Frank Sinatra and many more.
At times you get the feeling the Jimmy is dismissive of certain types of music, but this final list pays respect to songwriters of all genres and different generations. Thanks for a great read Jimmy, and the inspiration to go write more songs! Mar 30, Jenn rated it did not like it Shelves: started-but-didnt-really-like. This was an excruciating read. Self-importance, some sexism, and his songs while hits here and there aren't that good when compared to the greats. The lyrics he suggests mostly his own as brilliant are cheesy. And writing songs as he suggests note I did not get past the middle of he book would be boring and formulaic.
Despite being written in , the only artist I recall that wrote after the 70s was Nirvana. And evidently there are only two female songwriters, Mitchell and King.
There are n This was an excruciating read. There are now better books on songwriting especially if you love rock as roll and breaking the "rules".
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According to this book recent artists like Jason Isbell or Sturgill Simpson would be breaking his rhyming rules, thus stinking up the joint. Also unnecessary, blaming rap for the downfall of songwriting. If all you've heard are a few hits, perhaps, but rap is brilliantly done if you care to look. Apr 25, Ben rated it it was ok. This book is full of self-centered advice, an ignorance of common-practice classical music and theory though Webb still references it often enough , and an apparent contempt for most music written after After writing an incredibly mediocre song through the first ten chapters, the book ends with or so rambling pages about the nature of the music business and the state of music today.
That's not to say there isn't anything to be gained from the knowledge Webb shares - he's certainly had This book is full of self-centered advice, an ignorance of common-practice classical music and theory though Webb still references it often enough , and an apparent contempt for most music written after That's not to say there isn't anything to be gained from the knowledge Webb shares - he's certainly had his successes and written some great songs - but the good bits are so buried in long-winded personal stories and cheeseball songwriting that the book isn't really worth reading.
How To Write A Song: The Ultimate Step-By-Step Guide To Songwriting
I've read a number of music theory, production, and songwriting books that I just couldn't put down. It's a topic of significant personal interest and this was a title that has really high average reviews. How could I go wrong? In practice, this is was a book I kept finding reasons to avoid coming back to. At less than a third of the way through it's time to admit that it just isn't for me. It's not that it's badly written, as the author's written style is moderately engaging.
It isn't that the a I've read a number of music theory, production, and songwriting books that I just couldn't put down. It isn't that the author doesn't know what he's talking about, because he's clearly an accomplished professional with an impressive resume. It came down to the forceful presentation of personal opinion as if it were objective fact, a tendency to rely heavily on his own material to draw examples from that I didn't find especially inspiring, and some serious pacing issues.
Did we really need a visual aid with descriptions of what the axes represent to get across the idea that emotional intensity grows throughout a 2-verse song? I certainly didn't. Did I need another graph a page or two later illustrating how this exact same thing applies to a 5-verse song? This is the point where I just couldn't find the will to continue. I should have known when the author ranted about the evils of "false" rhymes and how nobody who uses them will ever amount to anything that he and I would find little common ground. So, if you're a huge fan of the author's songs and have a high tolerance for self-importance, this might be the perfect work for you.
Maybe there's even a ton of redeeming content later in the book that I'm going to miss out on, but I will sleep well without ever needing to find out. Apr 26, Kit Warren rated it really liked it. Very informative but laborious read. Some very solid and useful advice ranging from the practical to spiritual if you're willing to wade through a huge amount of information for the parts pertinent to you. It's worth noting that, since the music industry has changed so dramatically since it was written, there are or so pages that discuss the music industry that are now historically informative rather than relevant.
Obviously not a real complaint about the book, just something to be aware of. An excellent book for the songwriter and musician for the most part. Mar 26, Connor rated it did not like it. His writing: smugly wordy; his ideas: those of an artsy simpleton. Sep 21, Julian rated it did not like it Shelves: biographical , music , apologia. I have a hard time believing someone called this "perhaps the finest book about songwriting of our time".
To be fair, I got what I wanted out of this book: to watch Jimmy Webb go through his own process for writing a song; and those parts of the book are pretty good. But there were way too many times I put down this book saying, "Jimmy Webb is a hack". Part of the problem is that he tries to do too much, poorly. I wonder if the book was rewritten several times with different intents. Also, clearl I have a hard time believing someone called this "perhaps the finest book about songwriting of our time". Also, clearly no one bothered to fact check this book.
Jan 30, Cameron rated it it was ok. Some of it was interesting, much of it wasn't. Much of what he cites as "good"--in terms of both music and lyrics--is really cheesy in my opinion. Jan 01, Bett Correa-Bollhoefer rated it did not like it. I could write an essay about this book. This is not a book on how to write music. This is a portrait of a person whose industry is going through digital transformation.
He is right dab in the middle of it. Dec 29, NickES rated it it was amazing. Its message would probably be lost on musicians who emphasize head-banging, dance routines, costumes, emo-ting, and posing. Webb writes about another era, when melody, harmony, rhythm, and lyrics were woven into unforgettable works, their separate parts often being developed by more than one person. Imagine for example, a tune whose lyrics are created by a lyricist, whose music is created by a professional composer, and which is sung by a professional singer - and then compare that to a 'singer-songwriter' who often but their are notable exceptions isn't a professional lyricist, isn't a professional singer, and isn't a professional instrumentalist.
The discussions in Tunesmith are detailed and therefore very useful for analysis. One of the take-aways for me came when Jimmy discussed chord substitution and reharmonization - specifically, on page he mentions that " a chord can always be substituted for another if it contains at least one tone that is shared with that other. Talk about opening up a world of possibilities for chord substitutions! If you are satisfied with fitting some licks over a 3-chord song, then I think you would be disappointed with the content of this book.
Feb 22, Gavin Lakin rated it it was amazing Shelves: music-related , favorites. Jimmy Webb is America's finest songwriter. Here, he provides his master class in the nearly impossible art of writing hit songs. I listened.
Feb 12, Kevin Hodgson rated it really liked it. He sure is cranky, but knowledgeable about the art and craft of songwriting. Feb 06, Stephen Hull rated it liked it. A fascinating book -- if you're interested in songwriting, that is. Jimmy Webb has written so many famous, wonderful songs including the greatest song ever to share its title with a Robert Heinlein novel that for curiosity value alone this would be worth reading.
It's got much more value than that, however. There's a lot of fascinating memoir in it and, particularly towards the end, a lot of practical and at times pretty discouraging stuff about the business end of the music industry. The boo A fascinating book -- if you're interested in songwriting, that is.
The book is almost 20 years old, so the business talk should be digested cautiously, although I see no reason why things should have changed so radically that none if it is relevant. He also does a heroic job of taking on the thankless task of trying to discuss the theory and practice of actual song creation and, though my musical training and background made me a bit impatient with some of his homegrown theories, I'm sure that there are many who will benefit tremendously from his approaches to melody, harmony, lyric writing and structure. Apr 05, Melody rated it it was amazing.
This is one of those books that will be on my shelves forever as a definitive volume on the subject it sets out to cover. I aspire to write songs and I've written a few but I'll admit I've been slow if not stale for a few years but this and I was inspired to read it by the Sodajerker podcast which really deserves a shout-out for inspiring me as much really got me in the mood to put a lot more time into the process again. There are a couple of chapters on music theory which I'll have to read a This is one of those books that will be on my shelves forever as a definitive volume on the subject it sets out to cover.
Feb 19, Charles Eliot rated it really liked it. Jimmy Webb is one of the greatest songwriters of the last 40 years, and he's a pretty good book author too.