The stacks and stacks of my songwriting books keep growing year after year.
I've picked up a thing or two from them all. Some, however, stand out above others.
I encourage you to give these three books a read.
They're well worth the time.
Book #1: How To Write One Song by Jeff Tweedy
Tweedy narrates the book, and it's inspiring to listen to on long car rides to gigs. I also bought the paperback to flip through when I need a quick pick me up.
Here's why you'll love it:
It dispels the myth that you must be "born with it" to be a songwriter
It includes exercises you can immediately apply to write lyrics, music and put a song together
It's an energizing philosophical exploration of creativity and songwriting
It offers a path to making creativity part of your everyday life
Book #2: The Songwriter's Workshop: Melody by Jimmy Kachulis
This book is required reading at Berklee, where I was formally trained. There are too few books about melody writing. This is one of them.
Kachulis's book is a comprehensive guide that takes you through the types of melodies and how to craft them.
There are also sections on melody-harmony relationships and chord progressions to go with your melody.
Book #3: The Frustrated Songwriter's Handbook
Finally, I think everyone should read this book.
The subtitle says it all:
A Radical Guide to Cutting Loose, Overcoming Blocks & Writing the Best Songs of Your Life
Give them a read, and you'll be sure to become a better songwriter!