Customer Review

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best of Rikky Rooksby - in one package, June 17, 2011
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This review is from: The Songwriter's Manual: Everything You Need to Create and Record Your Music (Book & CD) (Hardcover)
Everyone who has done research on songwriting knows about Rikky Rooksby's "How To" series... How To Write Songs On Guitar, How To... Keyboards, Riffs, Chord Master, Songwriting Sourcebook, Arranging Songs, Lyrics, Inside Classic Rock Tracks, How To Write Songs In Altered Guitar Tunings (newest), and Melody.

These books are quite simply the cream of the crop, as far as learning songwriting goes.

This package goes even further. It's basically the best of all those books in one affordable package. It is the best value for anyone interested in Rikky's books... I'm blown away by the quality of this book package.

You get two books inside: The Tutor Book (which is the best of all his books), and The Chord Book (chords for guitar as well as keyboard). Plus, you get two CDs... one covers a lot of examples from The Tutor Book, and the other gives examples of recording a song, and the different directions it can take, arrangement-wise and sound-wise. Amazing stuff!

Here's how the Tutor Book breaks down:

PART ONE: Creating Songs
Songwriting Methods, Chords That Fit Together, 3 and 4-chord songs, 5 and 6-chord songs, Popular Chord Sequences, Creating Riffs, Composing Melodies, Writing Lyrics, Advanced Songwriting Tips

(yes, that was all PART ONE!!)

PART TWO: Writing Songs On Guitar
Guitars and Guitar Styles, Writing With Your Guitar, Guitar Chords For Songwriters

PART THREE: Writing Songs On Keyboards
Introduction to Keyboards, Songwriting With Keyboards, Keyboard Chords For Beginners

PART FOUR: Arranging Songs
Introduction to Arrangement, The Rhythm Track, Using Guitars In Arrangements, Arranging With Keyboards, The Finishing Touches

PART FIVE: Recording and Promotion
Choosing The Right Equipment, Press Play and Record, Mixing and Mastering, Promoting Your Music

Over 200 pages.

Here is a random list of everything he covers in this book: chord progressions, song forms, inspiration tips, chords that fit major or minor keys, adding extra chords (bIII, bVII, etc), inversions, triad shapes, turnarounds, rate-of-change, chord substitution, fingerpicking, arpeggios, intervals and "leaping" melodically, inspiration for writing lyrics (ideas for getting started, subjects to write about, etc), time signatures, key changes/modulation, song ideas (with CD examples)... by the way, this is just the stuff I found in PART ONE.

Random list of stuff from part two:
guitar analysis (different types/styles, where and how they're used), arpeggios, using a capo, altered tunings, tips on fingering chords better (for beginners), chord progressions and how they sound (CD examples)...

Random list of stuff from part three:
writing melodies on the keyboard, how keyboard/piano writing differs from guitar (and its advantages), inversions, 7th chords, simple finger movements that create interesting progressions...

Random list of stuff from part four:
the art of arranging, instrument use and effectiveness, emotion, rhythm, countermelody, vocal harmony, instrument harmony, contrast, drum tracks, drum machines, percussion families and when they're useful, chord shapes for second guitar, guitar solos, guitar effects (distortion, delay, trem, chorus, etc), keyboard arranging and the different instruments used (piano/organ/synth), finshing touches, making things less annoying, avoiding repetition, subtle additions, lead vocals and backing vocals, and then it summarizes with a dissection and analysis of many steps of song creation with a 78-track CD (CD #2)

Random list of stuff from part five:
short tips about recording using a computer, digital multitrack, choosing mics, building tracks, technical tips on recording all the different instruments, microphone positioning (with CD examples), recording drums (with CD examples), mixing and mastering, promoting your music online, building a fanbase online, writing a press release, making a website...

Needless to say--

This is, hands-down, the most COMPLETE songwriting/arranging package ever. It's Rikky Rooksby. You hear his name, and you think "Complete. Comprehensive. Makes sense to beginners and advanced writers. QUALITY."

It helps to know a little about music theory and the "Nashville Number System" (the I, IV, V... Roman Numerals as chords), as he does get deep in places (but not insanely deep)... but this package can be understood by anyone willing to not just skim, but to get into it. Rooksby does explain things in a great way, but those with A.D.D. may go "huh?"

Bottom line.... GET THIS. I guess it's only available used from amazon (but it is available new from other book-related websites)... it's worth every penny and then some. Also, a GREAT teaching resource!!
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