- Paperback: 192 pages
- Publisher: Gia Publications (November 14, 2016)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1622772113
- ISBN-13: 978-1622772117
- Product Dimensions: 7.1 x 0.4 x 9.9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,347,114 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Take It to the Bridge: Unlocking the Great Songs Inside You Paperback – November 14, 2016
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About the Author
For more than 25 years, Mark Caro wrote about music, film, food, and other cultural topics for the Chicago Tribune, and he since has written for The New York Times and other publications. He is author of The Foie Gras Wars (Simon & Schuster) which won the 2009 Great Lakes Book Award for general nonfiction and two prizes from the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards in Paris. He also created and hosts the popular "Is It Still Funny?" film series in Chicago. He lives in the Chicago area with his wife, radio personality Mary Dixon, and their two daughters. Steve Dawson is a singer/songwriter/musician who leads the rock/folk band Dolly Varden and has taught songwriting and guitar at Chicago's Old Town School of Folk Music for more than a decade. He has been writing songs for more than 30 years. His band Dolly Varden has released six acclaimed studio albums and toured the U.S. and Europe. He has written and recorded two solo albums; a duets album with his wife, Diane Christiansen, and an album with three of Chicago's most revered improvising musicians in a band called Funeral Bonsai Wedding. At his recording studio, Kernel Sound Emporium, he has produced more than two dozen albums by up-and-coming songwriters.
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Top customer reviews
The assignments in this book, come from a class Steve teaches. I've taken the class for the past two years and have written over 60 songs based on these assignments. I've heard literally 100's of songs based on these assignments from experienced songwriters and beginners. Rather than just song prompts, these assignments teach form and harmony, use examples of different styles. Some people take the assignments very literally and some use parts of the assignments. I've heard some really amazing songs!
The book and assignments will teach you a lot without "Rules" because there aren't really any rules! And it will get you writing more songs!
Steve is an amazing musician and songwriter. He comes at it from a purely creative standpoint instead of "Here's how you write a great song that somebody in Nashville will buy". That's not to say, you couldn't write a great commercial song based on what is in this book.
They've created a companion website that allows you to communicate with others that are using the book and upload your songs!
I've been to dozens of songwriting workshops and read dozens of books on music and songwriting and there is really nothing like this out there that I have found.
Steve and Mark's book begins with a great dialogue section which I found inspiring and motivating. Further into the book you get into the individual songwriting assignments/prompts. There are some really cool and fun ideas to get your writing up and going! Some include writing from a photograph; writing in the style of a particular artist; and using your phone number to come up with a melody to write a song around.
There is also a companion forum site where Steve sends out a monthly prompt and anyone participating can upload the song they write based on that particular prompt. You can listen to everyone's compositions and comment. I really enjoy this online access, as I live out of state and I'm not able to take Steve's songwriting classes in person. The forum atmosphere is friendly and supportive.
The book has given me the motivation and inspiration to write not just music, but lyrics and melody as well, which is a first for me. No matter what your experience level is, you'll find "Take it to the Bridge" a great tool to get you writing and creating. Definitely buy it!!!
I've been fortunate to take songwriting classes with Steve Dawson for nearly a decade, having written more than a 3-inch binder's worth of songs in that time. "Take It To the Bridge" eloquently and simply captures the spirit of taking Steve's class—there's a website for the book that will, over time, capture the communal spirit of Steve's class as well. Mark Caro's journalistic curiosity and passion for music thoughtfully steer the dialogue portion.
Focused primarily on the building blocks of pop/rock/folk songs, if you've ever wanted to try your hand at songwriting but didn't know where to start, or are a songwriter looking to add to your skill set or for an inspiring kick in the pants, this is the book you ought to have at your fingertips.