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Popular Lyric Writing: 10 Steps to Effective Storytelling Paperback – August 1, 2007

4.7 out of 5 stars 38 customer reviews

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  • Popular Lyric Writing: 10 Steps to Effective Storytelling
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  • Writing Better Lyrics
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Berklee Press (August 1, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0876390874
  • ISBN-13: 978-0876390870
  • Product Dimensions: 5.9 x 0.4 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (38 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #236,915 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A. Balmat on April 27, 2010
Format: Paperback
I bought this book somewhat on a whim. The bookstore didn't have the title I was looking for (a Pat Pattison title) but this one looked mildly interesting, so I took a chance.

As it turns out, this author was a student of the author I was seeking, so that was a nice surprise that it was related to the book I was seeking in the first place. As I read further I found this book to be much more helpful and interesting than I'd suspected initially.

She has a very interesting take on the songwriting process. I don't know if her method is original, but it was new to me. It's somewhat backwards or technical in how it breaks down the process. Beginning from prose drafts, the methods of extracting rhymes & patterns from that initial prose was something I'd never thought of. Her notes on internal & external detail were also new to me.

These songwriting books often seem to encourage cheesy top 10 style songs, but the techniques can be applied (and ignored if necessary) in all genres. It is like playing a weird scale--you might not use it but it exercises the muscles & increases fliexibility, at least. And even weird songs often follow conventional patterns, so that does not discourage me at all.

I paid $15 for this book, and it seemed a bit slight for that, but it definitely gave me a different perspective, a much more technical and yet somehow freeing way to look at lyric writing than any other book on the subject I've yet read.
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Format: Paperback
This is a wonderful book. Mrs. Stolpe goes in-depth on her step-by-step process of crafting lyrics. This is by far the best part about this book. It is a system of working that I really enjoyed and am thankful that Mrs. Stolpe has shared. My only critique is that the book only really covers verse/chorus songs. I'd like to see her process for other types of songs like 'AAA' or 'AABA'. Although, this is a minor criticism because the book is clearly about writing pop songs and most of them are definitely verse/chorus songs. Again, thank you for giving me a good system to use!
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Format: Paperback
I've read a lot of books about songwriting and this is one of the best. It's an easy read and Andrea is to the point. It's not a get rich by writing songs by any means, but more of taking yourself to the next level. A must read for whatever level you are at in your songwriting.
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I feel obligated to leave a review.
I've acquired all the songwriting books that Amazon sells, more or less, and I can confidently say that this one is the best. It really is. The author gives you a process that produces lyrics that are organized organized and powerful. This is the way to write a popular lyric.
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Format: Paperback
I am blown away by this book. But it comes with one caveat, you really have to practice and know how to do object writing.

I had bought Pat Pattison's book about Object Writing and really felt like my creative writing skills advanced significantly, well actually from no creative writing to actual creative writing. But, I never went any further with it, didn't figure out how to turn my new creative writing into an actual song. I haven't done anything for about 6 months, then came across Andrea's book. This book takes you to the next level. It introduces another type of Object writing, called destination writing, then gives you an excellent process for dissecting your writing and turning it into a song.

I'm really impressed and excited to get writing.
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I like this book a lot. Andrea Stolpe takes Pat Pattison's technique of "object writing" (from Writing Better Lyrics, tweaks it a little bit to call it "destination writing", which is object writing about a person, place, or time, and comes up with a set of steps that you can use to practice your writing.

I've found the method she suggests to be useful in my own songwriting. Keep in mind, I'm not famous and I haven't sold any songs, but I have read a lot of other songwriting books* and I found this useful.

The basis of the technique is to categorize your destination writing into external details and internal details. Using the maxim of show, don't tell, you generally want to structure your verses with a mix of external details, to ground the narrative, and then use some internal details to give the listener a sense of the inner life of the characters of the song. She use a few commercial songs in her analysis, among them "Breakaway" from Kelly Clarkson and "Why Georgia" from John Mayer.

*Of course, reading books about songwriting is not the same as just sitting at your desk every day and practicing your craft. I'd suggest that you find one or two books that work for you, but spend the majority of your time actually writing, as opposed to reading about writing!
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This is the perfect book for a beginning song writer who has absolutely no experience or success writing songs! I want to start a band (in the long run) and this book has really helped focus my song writing. Now I am listing to pop songs on the radio and find myself examining their basic rhyming, toggling and lyric structures-- that's a far cry from one month ago. This helped me break down song writing into easy, digestible parts so I can slowly grasp the big picture! Thanks!
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