Graham English

Apr 23, 2022

3 Books Everyone Should Read About Songwriting

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!

Graham English

Musician & Composer, Best-Selling Author of Logic Pro X For Dummies