New Songwriting Books & Tools

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  • @johnstaples  Jan 9

    I have several cool new songwriting books and tools I am enjoying right now! I'm trying to up my game and create pop music that is as catchy melodically as chart-topping songs. Not sure how much time I'll have for that during FAWM but I'm gonna try to at least get some of these techniques started here for my 2019 songs.

    The Addiction Formula

    Great Songwriting Techniques

    The Writer's Toolbox: Creative Games and Exercises for Inspiring the 'Write' Side of Your Brain

    Bard Cards by FAWMer @ianuarius

  • @scottlake  Jan 10

    Apple’s free Music Memos app is pretty sweet and the fact that you can post directly to soundcloud makes it way more useful than GarageBand for quickie demos.

  • @sbs2018 Jan 10

    Will have to check these out. I’m currently reading “Song Starters: 365 Lyric, Melody, and Chord Ideas to Kickstart Your Songwriting” by Robin Frederick. I’ve read several of her other books, too.

  • @johnstaples  Jan 10

    @sbs2018 I LOVE Robin's books! I have them all but have only jumped around in them so far.

  • @leepat  Jan 11

    @johnstaples @sbs2018
    great selection John, Friedemann has a kick-ass YouTube channel too (holistic songwriting I believe it's called)
    and Robin is of course the boss

  • @barbara  Jan 11

    @johnstaples @sbs2018
    Thank you for the suggestions! I just downloaded the kindle versions of the 'Addiction' and 'Song Starters' titles. Pretty sure my muse is going to get antsy now, which is just what I was needing. 😀

  • @sbs2018 Jan 11

    I downloaded the Addiction sample and then had to buy the book. If this doesn’t get me writing hit songs, I’m giving it all up - lol!

  • @johnstaples  Jan 11

    @sbs2018, I'm about a 3rd of the way through Addiction. Large print...around 200 pages...easy to far, I think it is great! I am staying connected to Youtube as I read so I can listen to the many songs he references. He also tells you where in the song to find various parts.

    Let's all write some killer pop songs this February!

  • @johnstaples  Jan 11

    @barbara I am so tempted to switch to kindle. The books are often cheaper and certainly require less space! Do you have a kindle or read them on your phone?

  • @sbs2018 Jan 11

    I’ve already switched but I use the Kindle app on my iPhone and iPad - prefer it much more than an actual Kindle reader.

  • @barbara  Jan 11

    I'm using my iPhone, and while I love physical books, I've run out of room for new ones. It's so convenient for grabbing a quick read here and there throughout the day; nothing extra to carry; and no reason to ever complain about waiting in line again!

  • @valeriecox  Jan 11

    Yeah, Kindle on my phone all the way. I'm reading a couple books right now. Switch back and forth without even having to get up. It's kinda great. Real books have a great vibe though when you're holding them up and feeling the pages as you turn them. Plus that undeniable book smell. But for convenience, man Kindle is nice.

  • @johnstaples  Jan 11

    @barbara & @valeriecox what about battery life? I find my phone won't last a half day now with all the social networking and email and texting and stuff. If I'm reading books too I guess I'll need to be plugged in all the time. Maybe a kindle has longer battery life?

  • @valeriecox  Jan 11

    If you're already using a lot of battery power, reading books on your phone is surely going to add to more battery usage. I've optimized my phone as best I can for using the least battery power, and I go go almost all day without charging it, but everyone is different.

  • @scottlake  Jan 12

    A Kindle Paperwhite (I think I have the 9th version), will last me over a month between charges, reading an hour or two every two or three days. I prefer it over using the kindle app on my iPhone from a readability standpoint in natural light. But I also use the Kindle app on my iPhone when I find I'm out and about and I have a page turner that I'm really into and can't wait. The nice thing about using a Kindle (and Nook back when they were a little more popular), is that if your local library participates, you can borrow books to your kindle through Amazon. Right now I'm reading Julia Cameron's The Artist's Way on my Kindle/app, as well as Anthony Doerr's Grace, borrowed through my library/Amazon.

    John if you want to get a Kindle paperwhite type of experience, your local library might have readers to borrow that are pre-loaded. That's kind of how I got hooked on one, even though I had been using the Nook app on my phone. I read the Steve Jobs biography, a recent Jimmy Carter autobiography, All the Light We Cannot

  • @johnstaples  Jan 13

    @scottlake thanks for that! I have been tempted before but always hate to add yet another device. Today I looked at the latest Kindle Paperwhite at Amazon. Noticed no power adapter is included but I guess you can charge from your laptop or other USB charger?

    $130 seems like a bit much when I can already read on my phone and will still have to purchase Kindle books in either case.

    Then I noticed that 1 and 2 star reviews make up 13% of the reviews with a lot of complaints about everything.

    I understand how it works with fiction...just a bunch of words divided into chapters. But what happens when you wanna read a book that includes figures, charts or photos? I assume they'd have to be B&W but are they even included? And do all publishers follow the same specification or will some include and others remove such graphic components?

    I noticed they don't appear to sell older versions. Any idea if these are available in other places? Or would you even recommend buying an older version

  • @johnstaples  Jan 13

    Another do they handle footnotes and, more importantly, chapter or book end notes? Are they linked or do you have to page forward to locate them then page back to return?

  • @scottlake  Jan 13

    I read mostly fiction and biographies on my kindle and I only borrow them. I’ve never bought a book. I wouldn’t recommend it for technical books. If you don’t mind reading on your phone then just use that.

  • @scottlake  Jan 13

    As for older versions, there’s nothing wrong with them if the battery works. The only books I’ve had a little trouble with were some ePub books I had for my nook which I got from Page numbers that were hard coded into the body text instead of metadata.

  • @darcistrutt  Jan 13

    LOVE my first generation kindle because back then there was a built in audio option so a computer voice could read your book to you...without buying an audiobook. I’m reading Stage Performance by Livingston Taylor. I’m learning a lot about performing that I can use in my public speaking life too! Next on my list is Growing Gills by Jessica Abel.

  • @johnstaples  Jan 13

    @darcistrutt that looks like a great book...just added it to my Amazon wishlist! Thanks!

  • @writeandwrong  Jan 13

    Awesome new stuff, @johnstaples!!!

  • @johnstaples  Jan 14

    Thanks @writeandwrong! I'm aiming for Taylor Swift and Sia and Pink this year!

  • @treble  Jan 14

    Lucky me. A friend gave me a kindle Oasis which I love. I signed up for a free 30 trial through Amazon of Kindle Unlimited and they have free songwriting books to borrow. Reading Song Starters by Robin Frederick. Love it.

  • @johnstaples  Jan 14

    @treble Song Starters is a great book! I have all of her books and love them all!!!

  • @writeandwrong  Jan 14

    There ya go, @johnstaples !! Whatcha doing to get your vocal up the extra octave?? haha! @treble , Robin Frederick rocks!

  • @johnstaples  Jan 14

    @writeandwrong I have autotune and I'm not afraid to use it!!! 😁

  • @donna  Jan 14

    Another 'Yay!' for Robin Frederick's books. A must-have on any hopeful songwriter's bookshelf (and not forgetting Pat Pattison of course, or Andrea Stolpe or Jason Blume).

    A book I picked up a year or two ago is Lisa Aschmann's '1000 Songwriting Ideas'. Plenty of triggers there. You can buy a used copy quite cheaply on Amazon.

    For those of you who Christian songs, an excellent book is 'The Craft of Christian Songwriting' by Robert Sterling - and useful as well for songwriting in general.

    Another book I might mention: 'The Frustrated Songwriter's Handbook: A radical guide to cutting loose, overcoming blocks, and writing the best songs of your life' by Karl Coryat & Nicholas Dobson.
    Here's an overview.

  • @writeandwrong  Jan 14

    @johnstaples , ha!! lol 😁 Those are good ones, too, @donna ! @darcistrutt , my Fire kindle reads to me like that as well. Love it!!! 😀

  • @scottlake  Jan 15

    @johnstaples the New Hampshire collection is up on Project Gutenberg. Really easy to load it to your kindle app on your phone. Follow these CNET instructions:,2817...

  • @johnstaples  Jan 15

    Thanks @scottlake !

  • @fearlessflight2014  Jan 15

    Ooh! Commenting so I keep up with this feed! Many interesting resources...

  • @treble  Jan 15

    Thanks @johnstaples . I'll get Robin Frederick's other books!

  • @sbs2018 Jan 16

    What I find especially interesting about the Addiction book @johnstaples is that it uses the 3-act structure used in screenplays (and novels). As a novelist familiar with this principle in the "Save the Cat" books, I'm hoping to apply it to my songs. Maybe I have by using the Pat Pattison strategy, but this is even more familiar to me

  • @johnstaples  Jan 17

    @sbs2018 I am intrigued by that too! And it makes perfect sense.

  • @ianuarius  Jan 23

    There's this humble books bundle...


    That's 16 Ebooks, $15.

    Can't speak to the quality of the contents but you can check it out yourself.

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