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Six Steps to Songwriting Success: The Comprehensive Guide to Writing and Marketing Hit Songs Rev Exp Edition

4.5 out of 5 stars 70 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0823084128
ISBN-10: 0823084124
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Jason Blume is a staff writer for Zomba Music. He has written songs for the Backstreet Boys, Britney Spears, as well as John Berry’s Top 5 country single, “Change my Mind” and Steve Azar’s country hit “I Never Stopped Lovin’ You.” He also developed and teaches the BMI Nashville Songwriters Workshop. He lives in Nashville, TN.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 282 pages
  • Publisher: Billboard Books; Rev Exp edition (April 1, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0823084124
  • ISBN-13: 978-0823084128
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 7.3 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (70 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,008,437 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Half the book is on the craft of songwriting: song structures, lyrics and titles, and melodies. The other half of the book is on the business of songwriting. It covers how to record a demo, how songwriters make money, publishing, song pitching. The author also talks about how it took him 16 years to really feel successful and comfortable, adding in a few chapters on being persistent and having realistic expectations.

I like the quotes from professionals (writers and industry people) on all the subjects he covers, everything from the writing process, the business, melodies, hooks. The examples of lyric writing are mostly contemporary as of the early 2000s (unlike a few other books I have read) which is nice.

However, I think there are better books about lyric writing and song structure, namely: Popular Lyric Writing: 10 Steps to Effective Storytelling and Writing Better Lyrics, which is why I'm giving this 4 stars.

Finally, my advice to someone wants to write songs is that it's fine to pick up a book or two to learn the basics. But ultimately, I believe that to write good songs, you should
1) Put away the books
2) Listen to songs that you love and analyze why you like them
3) Actually write songs. It doesn't matter how good they are, it only matters that you keep finishing complete songs. That's the only way to actually get better.

I say this as someone who's read a lot of songwriting books and not written as much as I should have. Good luck!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you're keen to get into the game of songwriting, it's a good book to read. It tries to provide details about the entire process involved in songwriting - from idea generation to marketing your songs. However, like any one book that tries to cover all bases in a very large and complex undertaking like the songwriting business it ends up lacking in detail in every area. Lots of topics are summarily treated, especially areas on writing lyrics and composing melodies.

The plus to the book are that it's got lots of great insights into the music business and is very matter of fact and brutally honest about the music industry and how it works and that helps in dispelling any rosy myths one might have when thinking of getting into it. That pushes you to realistically assess your talents and work harder to step up your game or decide if this career is one you really want to get into.

My advice though is that this one book will not be enough if you really want to learn everything you need to know about songwriting, especially the musical aspects of composing and writing great lyrics.

Some other books I found very very helpful as a companion to this were:

Shortcuts to Hit songwriting - Robin Frederick
The Craft and Business of Songwriting - John Braheny
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By A Customer on February 4, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Although writing music is actually too ephemeral to break down scientifically, Jason Blume is generous in sharing what has worked and NOT worked for him - and he sets a good example for aspiring professional songwriters. I especially appreciated that HALF the book is about the BUSINESS of songwriting - what's necessary to get songs recorded and released - the networking and just plain LUCK that go into "the deal"! I remember Jason's early songs from his first years in LA, and he HAS come a long way and is living proof that his methods work!
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By A Customer on December 6, 1999
Format: Hardcover
This book is THE most comprehensive book for anyone who writes or wants to understand how the music industry works. Blume fills the book with personal insights and strong examples from industry greats. A successful writer himself, this book is full of proven step by step approaches for you to follow concerning any aspect of a writer's career in the music industry.
Highly reccommended!
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Format: Hardcover
I bought this book coming from the point of view of an aspiring musician trying to write my own songs. Some people might complain that the author's best work includes album filler on a Britney Spears and Backstreet Boys record. Well, unfortunately The Neptune's are too busy writing hits songs to find the time to write a book telling us how they do it, so Jason Blume is the best we're going to get.

Jokes aside, this book has really good advice on song structure and writing better lyrics. It contains a lot of information that can help you turn an average song into a really good one. Cynics might suggest that this book is all about writing generic radio play, but Jason Blume's advice is really about writing effective lyrics. The only real reason for buying this book should be the information on lyric writing. It also contains a detailed explanation of how the music industry operates, which is useful but, the rest of the book is fairly poor.

Where this book fails is in it's explanation on writing better music. It contains a whole section on melody that essentially boils down to general tips on varying the melody, and contains almost no musical theory. By his own admission, Jason Blume is not really strong on musical theory, and it shows (he completely ignores chords - kind of a big deal!). If you want a good book on writing better melodies try "Melody: How to Write Great Tunes" by Rick Rooksby (ISBN: 0879308192) as it actually explains the musical theory behind writing melodies in great detail.

This book also contains a fairly long section on recording demos that is fairly poor. The book ends with chapter aimed at motivating you to keep trying until you make your big break.
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