Songwriting: The Words, The Music, and The Money, 2nd Edition
By Dick Weissman
The updated edition of Weissman’s Songwriting does a great job of fitting a ton of valuable information into less than 200 pages. Because of the massive amount of info contained within, it has the potential to make a novice songwriter feel like a little kid being forced to decide which ice cream flavor he wants at Baskin Robbins. There are some issues: sections on technique were either too difficult for beginners or too easy for intermediate players to benefit from, and the sections on history and genre quickly became redundant and tiresome.
That being said, Songwriting does a great job of describing the ins and outs of music publishing in complete yet concise terms, a vital aspect of commercial songwriting. The tips on how to find partners to collaborate with, generating song/lyric ideas, and getting into an effective routine are extremely insightful and helpful. The book urges songwriters to ask themselves questions like, “What time of day do I write best?”, “What type of people do I work best with?” and “What environment does my creativity thrive in?” Weissman reminds the reader that songwriting is a real job and must be treated as such (with intentionality, diligence, and discernment) if you want to attain any level of success as a writer.