SONGWRITING > A COMPLETE GUIDE TO THE CRAFT by Stephen Citron

Videos by American Songwriter

Videos by American Songwriter

Even though this book is labeled “a complete guide to the craft,” it’s hard to believe Lennon and McCartney, the Gershwins or any of the world’s greatest songwriters distilled their art down to the lifeless formulas espoused here.

Label: LIMELIGHT/HAL LEONARD
[RATING: 2.5]

Even though this book is labeled “a complete guide to the craft,” it’s hard to believe Lennon and McCartney, the Gershwins or any of the world’s greatest songwriters distilled their art down to the lifeless formulas espoused here. As much about deconstruction as construction, this is the kind of tome that musicologists might appreciate and true songwriters might laugh at-unless they’re cranking out Broadway musicals by the week or need to know the difference between tango and mambo rhythms. There’s certainly some valid info for true neophytes, and there’s nothing wrong with studying ways to hone a craft, but you still have to have talent to start with. If you need to read a book that suggests song subjects and ways to rhyme, you probably don’t have the creative chops to pull it off. The author’s tips for writing blues and hip-hop songs are particularly amusing, considering how unlikely it is that Chuck D or an illiterate Muddy Waters would ever have needed instructions.


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