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Book Love: Writing Better Lyrics // 03


Welcome to the 3rd instalment of Book Love: a series in which I tell you all about the resources, guides, and inspirational books that I love. Today’s book is Writing Better Lyrics: The Essential Guide to Powerful Songwriting, Second Edition, by Pat Pattison.

This book fell into my life in a most unusual way. A student came to me for a consultation and we agreed to start lessons right away. The following week he came for his first lesson and brought me this book as a gift. After that lesson I received an email from him saying he could no longer continue taking lessons due to extenuating life circumstances and I never saw him again. It’s as if he came into my life just to give me this book because I use this book all the time.

003>>rhymesI love this book because it clearly lays out the most basic elements of lyric writing, like rhyme, metaphor, and cliché and includes easy and fun writing exercises to increase creative writing skill by using more interesting metaphorical language.

I use this book with my songwriting students all the time. My favourite activity to do with them is from chapter 4, Learning To Say No: Building Worksheets. This chapter lays out an extremely simple way of fleshing out lyric ideas using word lists. I do this activity almost every time I sit down to write a song.

But this doesn’t even scratch the surface of all the juicy lyric writing tips in Writing Better Lyrics. Between the 50 different exercises, I’m set up for at least a few more years of creative writing practice.

003>>cliches 003>>development

That’s it for Book Love // 03. Let me know what you’re reading in the comments below. You can also check out the last Book Love: Scat! Vocal Improvisation Techniques.

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Renée is a queer, non-binary, disabled, and chronically ill creator based in Montreal. They are a singer, songwriter, pianist, YouTuber, and Periscoper. They are currently a student of jazz studies at Mcgill University and a freelance vocal coach for young and emerging singers.

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