10 Best Books on Songwriting You Must Read in 2021

Songwriting practice

Here you will get acquainted with the 10 most popular and best books on songwriting.

“Songwriting is a very mysterious process. It feels like creating something from nothing. It’s something I don’t feel like I really control.”

Tracy Chapman, American Singer & Songwriter

When we listen to a song, we usually give all the credit to its singer. But do we give any credit for it to those who really deserve it? As you know behind a song, there is the hard work of many people, the songwriter is one of them. Songwriters always give their heart and soul to write a song.

Songwriting is not an easy task, it needs a good amount of your time to excel on it. There are many songwriters who have got this as a legacy. On the other hand, there are also many songwriters who did not inherit it but excelled in it with their dedication and practice.

Thus, it is clear that if one wants to pursue a career in songwriting, it is not important that one is naturally gifted with this talent. He should have the quality of dedication and practice, that’s enough. There are some resources that can take anyone’s songwriting skills to the next level. Reading books is one of them.

There are thousands of textbooks on songwriting, but you can’t read every book. Therefore, it is important for you to select the best songwriting books to read. To save your precious time and energy, I am going to mention the 10 best books on songwriting that every songwriter should read.

Let’s start with the list of best books on songwriting.

10 Best Books on Songwriting

Saved by a Song: The Art and Healing Power of Songwriting

AuthorMary Gauthier
Rating4.9 out of 5

If you want to learn songwriting with an emotional and inspiring story, it would be the one of best books for you. Through this book, the author presents a wonderful look into the process and the qualities of the songs that are very enlightening and fulfilling. The book will give you deep insights into songwriting by which you will be able to create unique songs. Whether the selection of words or the tone of lyrics, everything is explained perfectly. Thus, if you follow her method, your verse, chorus, bridge, etc will be perfect.

How to Write One Song

AuthorJeff Tweedy
Rating4.8 out of 5

How to Write a Song” is a great music guidebook that teaches new songwriters the intimate process of writing a song’s lyrics, adding music, and putting it all together. As you know, creativity is a very important part of songwriting, without being creative, it is almost impossible to make a heart-touching song. Through this book, the author teaches how you can explore new words to use in song lyrics with creative thinking. The book helps in writing such lyrics that have a deep sense, completeness, and art of expressing emotions.

The Emotion Thesaurus: A Writer’s Guide To Character Expression – Angela Ackerman & Becca Puglisi

AuthorBecca Puglisi, Angela Ackerman
Rating4.8 out of 5

Choosing words for a song is not a child’s play, it requires a solid vocabulary. The more type words you have, the more engaging your songs will be. The book mainly focuses on a selection of suitable words for lyrics. Through this book, the author guides how to build solid vocabulary, how to put different emotions into different lyrics, how to use verses effectively, etc. The most beautiful thing about this book is that it has instructions to show hidden feelings and emotional subtext through lyrics. If you are a songwriter, it is an excellent investment and tool for your craft.

Song: A Guide to Art Song Style and Literature

Ratingout of 5

“Song: A Guide to Art Song Style and Literature” is an interesting and informative survey of western art songs that gives deep insights into songwriting. It contains relevant summary information about the composer, context, and writer, as well as a brief analysis of a select number of art songs that makes it different from other books. The book has short biographies of great music composers, songwriters by which we can learn their most important works with relevant information.

Songwriters On Songwriting: Revised And Expanded – Paul Zollo

AuthorPaul Zollo
Rating4.7 out of 5

Fifty-two interviews, 700 pages, and a wealth of information, does it terrify you? “Songwriters On Songwriting” is one of the best books on songwriting and for music reference. It is an interview-based book containing fifty-two interviews of the greatest songwriters. The author has highlighted the important strategy for the songwriting of each and every songwriter that will definitely help you on the time of planning and writing the songs. In last, I would like to say that it is a fascinating format where a knowledgeable interview engages songwriters in conversation.

Writing Better Lyrics – Pat Pattison

AuthorPat Pattison
Rating4.6 out of 5

Pat Pattison’s book “Writing Better Lyrics” is a best-selling book in “Classical Musician Biographies” on Amazon. Through this book, you will learn how you can use sense-bound imagery to enhance a song’s emotional impact on listeners, how you can match lyrics with music, how you can build on ideas and generate effective titles, etc. Since metaphors are the heart of any music, so the author also teaches how to create imaginative metaphors and similes. Apart from this, whether work with a co-writer or team, the author gives the advice to manage them all. Also, it is a well-written and easy-to-read book.

The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles – Steven Pressfield

AuthorSteven Pressfield
Publication2012 (16th Edition)
Rating4.6 out of 5

The War of Art” is one of the best songwriting books that primarily focus on creativity like “How to Write One Song” by Jeff Tweedy does. It has a succinct, engaging, and practical guide for succeeding in any creative sphere like acting, music, dancing, etc. If you’re an entrepreneur, an artist, a writer, scientist, or just about anybody with an internal urge to create something but cannot because of distractions, fears, doubts, and apprehensions, then this is the book for you. Therefore, you must take this book.

Tunesmith: Inside the Art of Songwriting – Jimmy Webb

AuthorJimmy Webb
Rating4.6 out of 5

Whether you are a songwriter, musician, or composer, this book needs your attention. “Tunesmith: Inside the Art of Songwriting” is also one of the best books for songwriters. It is created by Jimmy Webb who has been writing songs for over twenty-five years. He put his heart and soul into creating such a book. Through this book, he brings his inner knowledge, experience, and star power to the ultimate guide for aspiring songwriters. Apart from this, his step-by-step advice on how to become a successful songwriter makes this book so great.

The Craft of Lyric Writing by Sheila Davis

AuthorSheila Davis
Rating4.6 out of 5

Like other songwriting books, this is a must-read book for every songwriter, whether they are a noob or an expert. Through this enlightening book, the author teaches the art of choosing words for a song which is one of the most challenging and time-consuming activities of writing lyrics for any song. This book also defines more than 100 literary and musical terms and supplies advice that will definitely help you in your journey of songwriting. It is not only a theoretically based book, but it also has practical approaches.

Melody in Songwriting: Tools and Techniques for Writing Hit Songs by Jack Perricone

AuthorJack Perricone
Rating4.5 out of 5

If you’re looking for a book that instructs you every step of the way about music, this is the book where you should start. There are many parts of the music for instance verse, chorus, tone, etc. In the same way, the melody is also part of music that becomes very important when it comes to classical music. Through this book, you will learn to write interesting melodies, how melodic rhythm influences rhyme, what makes harmony progress, and the many dynamic relationships between melody and harmony. If we talk about its language, it is written in a reader-friendly tone that makes it more interesting.



I hope you might have familiar with the best books on songwriting. These books are well-written, well-designed, informative, intriguing, and very valuable. So, either you are a noob or an expert in songwriting, you must read these books. These books will give you deep insights into music, songwriting, also the cinema world. So, if you are serious about your songwriting, don’t ignore these treasures.

One last thing, if you find this article useful and informative, share it with your friends so that they can also get acquainted with the best books for songwriters. Apart from this, don’t forget to share your views, experiences about songwriting in the comment section. It would be our appreciation.

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