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

34 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: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,683,937 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Jason Blume's songs are on three Grammy-nominated albums and have sold more than 50,000,000 copies. One of only a few writers to ever have singles on the pop, country, and R&B charts, all at the same time--his songs have been recorded by artists including Britney Spears, the Gipsy Kings, the Backstreet Boys, Jesse McCartney, and country stars including Collin Raye (6 cuts), the Oak Ridge Boys, Steve Azar, and John Berry ("Change My Mind," a top 5 single that earned a BMI "Million-Aire" Award for garnering more than one million airplays). In 2013 had two top-10 singles and a "Gold" record by Dutch star, BYentl.

His songs have been included in films and TV shows including "Scrubs," "Friday Night Lights," Disney's "Kim Possible" "Dangerous Minds," "Kickin' it Old Skool," "The Guiding Light," "The Miss America Pageant," and many more.

Jason authored three of the best selling songwriting books, and is in his nineteenth year of teaching the BMI Nashville Songwriters workshops. He presented a master class at the Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts (founded by Sir Paul McCartney) and teaches songwriting throughout the U.S., Australia, New Zealand, Norway, Ireland, the U.K., Canada, Bermuda, and Jamaica.

After twelve years as a staff-writer for Zomba Music, Blume now runs Moondream Music Group. For additional information, visit

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 17 people found the following review helpful 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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24 of 26 people found the following review helpful 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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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By James Xabregas on July 23, 2005
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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41 of 51 people found the following review helpful By P. Ramon on February 12, 2005
Format: Hardcover
In the world of songwriting, there are artists and craftsmen. The artist will produce for you a work of originality that no one else has ever done quite the same way before, that will touch you in some unique way and that will stay with you. The craftsman will give you a serviceable reproduction of something but it will lack anything special and will have the lifespan of a fruit fly. Jason Blume is a craftsman. He makes his living by studying "the market" and basically rewriting other people's songs. Ideas are difficult things. Not everyone has great ideas, so some take the road Jason Blume has taken. He's apparently feeding his family by being a craftsman, so there's nothing wrong with that. We need bricklayers as much as we need architects. I'm just letting you know what you're getting into here. If you want to learn how to design a beautiful building, you don't study with the bricklayer. This guy ain't no talented songwriter but he is living proof that you apparently don't have to have talent to make money in the music biz these days. I'm sure that gives hope to a lot of untalented people, which is probably why this book has gotten such good reviews. He's strictly a bubblegum pop writer, so if that's the direction you want to go in, maybe you'll get something out of this book. Just remember that bubblegum loses its flavor really fast. If you're really serious about this, if it's something that burns within you and you want a real career as a songwriter, you should shop around for a better book. This one will only make you feel that you're in the wrong business.

This book is littered with quotes from music biz insiders that are far more insightful than anything Jason Blume has to say.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Watujel on December 10, 2005
Format: Hardcover
It's simple, really. Make your song stand out and be better than all the competition, while still adhering to a long list of unwritten (until now) rules about what constitutes a commercial cut, plus avoiding an even more byzantine array of artistic and business taboos that could send your creation straight to the trash.

Admittedly, it's tempting to dismiss the un-comforting advice Blume gives, especially when you learn that he is the co-author of such how-does-that-go-again? filler as Britney Spears' "Dear Diary" or the Backstreet Boys' "Back to My Heart" (not to be confused with "Shape of My Heart"). But regardless of whether you respect his work or not, the guy knows how the system works and how the game is played. And he doesn't sugarcoat things, which is good, because he knows the nuances and subtleties of what artists, labels, and producers are looking for.

He reminds readers to practice and rewrite incessantly, give themselves time to develop their craft, get unbiased feedback, and start small - with local, no-name artists (hopefully) on the rise.

It's also tempting to recoil at his advice for how to write lyrics and melodies - is he trying to codify a formula? Not really. Blume makes it clear that artistic merit is subjective, but if you don't want to conform at least somewhat, you're better off forming your own alternative band than pitching your ahead-of-their-time creations to platinum recording artists.

However, he leaves out an important point that Donald Passman makes in his "All You Need to Know About the Music Business" - businesspeople have many ways of getting around the federally set royalty rates.
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