Writing Better Lyrics

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The Must-Have Guide for Songwriters

Writing Better Lyrics has been a staple for songwriters for nearly two decades. Now this revised and updated 2nd Edition provides effective tools for everything from generating ideas, to understanding the form and function of a song, to fine-tuning lyrics.

Perfect for new and experienced songwriters alike, this time-tested classic covers the basics in addition to more advanced techniques.Songwriters will discover:How to use sense-bound imagery to enhance a song's emotional impact on listenersTechniques for avoiding clichés and creating imaginative metaphors and similesWays to use repetition as an assetHow to successfully manipulate meterInstruction for matching lyrics with musicWays to build on ideas and generate effective titlesAdvice for working with a co-writerAnd much more

Featuring updated and expanded chapters, 50 fun songwriting exercises, and examples from more than 20 chart-toppings songs, Writing Better Lyrics gives you all of the professional and creative insight you need to write powerful lyrics and put your songs in the spotlight where they belong.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Writer’s Digest Books; 2 edition (January 8, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1582975779
  • ISBN-13: 978-1582975771
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds

Customer Reviews

Best available for its type

78 people found this helpful.
 on February 1, 2004
By Robert Graves
Pat Pattison has produced what is the ultimate book on lyric writing. Actually, Pattison’s exercises and techniques are valuable for any aspect of creative writing, from poetry to fiction.

One of the "Big Three" for lyric writers

63 people found this helpful.
 on December 28, 2009
By J.B. Fillmore
“Writing Better Lyrics” does an excellent job of providing specific examples and tools for mastering the complex craft of lyric writing. The author extends his formal knowledge of poetry to encompass the additional elements that lyrics require, and does so in a readable, non-technical way. However, no single book can cover all the facets and nuances of writing lyrics, especially since there are so many different artistic temperaments and musical styles. Thus, this book is best used in conjunction with the two other major books for lyricists, 

This is THE book for lyric writing

48 people found this helpful.
 on April 17, 2002
By Kevin S. Currie
Lyric writing is doubtless the hardest aspect of songwriting (for most of us anyhow.) Believe me though when I say that this book is better than any other for helping you clear this most challenging hurdle.

Enter into the realm of what you don’t know

37 people found this helpful.
 on July 4, 2010
By Avrim Topel, Author of GREEN BEGINNINGS: The Story of How We Built Our Green & Sustainable Home
As a songwriter, I’ve always been wary of over-analyzing the magic that delivers songs to me. Some come prompted from a specific instrument, others from the sound of a note or a chord. Others arrive out of the blue, or from an experience. Mostly, I don’t set out to write songs, but rather, songs find me. So, in my mind, over-intellectualizing about this magical process has always been a taboo for me. Don’t mess with this God given gift, I’ve told myself again and again. Well, I’ve been wrong. Pat Pattison’s obviously been aware of this for a long time. His book provides tools, tricks, and awareness to enhance a songwriters ideas and craft. He offers activities to evoke the creative process and templates, formulas, and good rules that one may pick and choose to use or apply to one’s songs that are just really good stuff. You don’t have to do things Pattison’s way at all, but if you want to take your craft to another level, the blueprint is here.

Finally, a real teacher with a repeatable system for lyric writing!

29 people found this helpful.
 on January 11, 2013
By Perpetual Dreamer
I have never been a lyric writier. I wanted to remedy that deficiency. But do I have the talent, creativity, skills to do it? The books I had bought to help me weren’t helping. They dispensed facts. Prosody, rhyme, form, blah, blah. This book is different. Pat is a real, breathing teacher. From the first chapter, he has you on a program designed to rewire the way you think–to harvest the rich garden of word memories you have stored away in your brain. To systematically build tables of nouns and verbs that will serve your song. To then really understand rhyme and prosidy. You learn by doing–not by reading and examining other people’s songs. It’s all about you and your innate skills plus the necessary new skills to harness them. I feel liberated!

Top Notch

25 people found this helpful.
 on January 20, 2002
By Linda Bell
Even looking at the pages of the book that are posted here doesn’t give you any idea of how wonderful this book is.

Had to buy this book!

16 people found this helpful.
 on January 14, 2006
By Linda M. Piechowski
I checked this book out from my public library and after reading

Pretty Good…!

13 people found this helpful.
 on December 16, 2003
This should NOT be your first lyric writing source. There are hundreds of books that describe rhyme, structure, and all that. (Sheila Davis, Jason Blume, IDIOT’S and DUMMIES’s quickly come to mind when I recommend books for beginners.) No. This book is for writers who know the basics and want to GRADUATE beyond the elementary-secondary level. If you only study the chapter on metaphor, your eye and ear will sharpen spectacularly. (And there are 18 better chapters in the book!)

A Superb Book For Some Songwriters, Maybe Not So For Others

8 people found this helpful.
 on December 28, 2015
By robert
This is an excellent book which not everyone will like.

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