Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Other Sellers on Amazon
+ $3.99 shipping
+ Free Shipping
+ $3.75 shipping
Writing Better Lyrics Paperback – January 8, 2010
|New from||Used from|
The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
About the Author
Pat Pattison is a professor at Berklee College of Music, where he teaches lyric writing and poetry. His books include Writing Better Lyrics, The Essential Guide to Lyric Form and Structure, and The Essential Guide to Rhyming. In addition, Pat has developed three online lyric writing courses for Berklee’s online school, and has written articles for a variety of industry publications. His internationally successful students include multiple Grammy winners John Mayer and Gillian Welch. He lives in Boston, Massachusetts.
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
He begins the book with the staple of his teaching, "Object Writing". Object writing is defined as writing on a specific thing - it can be anything from polyester to holding your breath - while incorporating as many senses as you can: touch, taste, smell, etc. The exercises last for 10 minutes, exactly, and you do it every day. He likens this to a pearl diver holding his breath and diving for pearls. Each time you hold your breath a little longer, dive a little deeper. It's the same with object writing. At first your writing will be awkward and fragmented - and that's okay. But as you do it on and on, eventually you will hit that vein, that underground river where your creativity rolls free and the words will pour out. As you continue it day to day, you'll hit this river more and more frequently and at greater depths, until eventually you'll just exist there.
Here's the amazing thing - it works. Object writing on a regular basis has improved my reading ability, my writing ability, my comprehension skills - my overall thinking. It gets your brain in shape and gets you in better touch with the powerful subconscious parts of your mind, where the majority of creativity happens.
From here he brings you more into the disciplined aspects of writing, showing you how to build a worksheet to write a lyric from. It involves object writing on your lyric title or concept and extracting anything useful from that, then using a thesaurus and rhyming dictionary to brainstorm even more ideas, and to place these on a worksheet to write from, giving you tons of related ideas at your fingertips.
He then discusses verse development, song forms, rhyme structures and meter. It goes very deep into these topics, and you can go as far as you want.
It's one of those books that you can continually read, diving into various chapters as you get stuck in different parts of different songs you are writing. I highly recommend this book for any aspiring lyric writers, even for composers who want a better understanding of the lyric writing process.
Pat doesn't spend a lot of time on teaching you how to "brainstorm" (3 of 19 chapters) but what he does of it is solid suggestions that you can follow step by step.
Then he gets into the nuts and bolts of writing, using made-up and real songs and a combination of both, to show you step by step (and verse by verse) how to build (and not to build) a song.
Nowhere along the way does he assume you know the basics, nor does he talk down to you to explain them.
He clearly explains how each verse should build on the previous vers, where the "power points" of a song are, and how to make more of them.
Then he shows you how point of view of a song can make it great or terrible and when to break the general "rules".
Even when he gets into meter (which as a non-songwriter I've always thought of in terms of poems) he explains how because of the nursery songs we grew up with we expect certain things and when to put them into a song and when not to.
Then he puts all this together as a teaching tool.
As if this wasn't enough, he shows how he built a song through 10 revisions and why those were the revisions he chose.
I'm getting his other two books!!