MAGDA in Blog, Music Industry, Songwriting, 18th August 2016

5 Best Books for Advanced Songwriters

Best resources for songwriters and A&R managers on advancing songwriting skills, recognising true talent and understanding the song machine mechanism


Since I enrolled Music Business and Songwriting in 2005 at Music school for Pop & Jazz Music in Zagreb, I went thru more than 50 books on various topics from songwriting to music business/industry.

In this review I am not talking about putting two chords together. These books truly broadened my horizons and brought my songwriting to a whole new level. Here are my 5 best books for advanced songwriters.

1. The Manual – How To Have a Number One The Easy Way by The KLF

This is a business book, very short and efficient, including step by step methods. It is also free, you can read it here. Although it is a bit outdated (written in 1988), it teaches you how to represent yourself and how to talk with producers and other people in the business.

Web link.

2. The Billboard Guide to Writing and Producing Songs that Sell: How to Create Hits in Today’s Music Industry by Eric Beall

I saw the author at ASCAP Expo 2016 at his panel “Nuts & Bolts of the Music Business” and I was impressed with his great speech. This is my favourite from the list, the best songwriting book and generally among best books I read in years. It really pushed me to pay attention to every second of the song and create absolutely the best impact for the listener.

Amazon link.

3. Popular Lyric Writing: 10 Steps to Effective Storytelling by Andrea Stolpe

I downloaded dozens of books on the subject lyrics, because I wanted my lyric skills to be as good as melody writing skills. None of them really helped me, but this blew my mind. It is a bit scientific and offers many simple and effective methods. It helped me improve my lyrics writing for 200%, and I believe this is the best book on writing lyrics ever. Prove me that I’m wrong.

Amazon link.

4. The Business of Songwriting by Jason Blume

This was my start. It explains how everything in the songwriting business works, from preparing songs to delivering it to the artist. Not mind blowing, but well written and organised. It contains sample contracts which I use a lot.

Amazon link.

5. Six Steps to Songwriting Success, Revised Edition: The Comprehensive Guide to Writing and Marketing Hit Songs by Jason Blume

Another songwriting book by Jason Blume. It is similar to the last one, some parts are repeating, but it has great tips on writing melody and lyrics as well, while the other is more concentrated on the business.

Amazon link.

Which is the best songwriting book in your opinion and which resources in this field do you find useful?