Songwriting Strategies: A 360-Degree Approach
Write songs starting from any direction: melody, lyric, harmony, rhythm, or idea. This book will help you expand your range and flexibility as a songwriter. Discussions, hands-on exercises, and notated examples will help you hone your craft. This creatively liberating approach supports the overall integrity of emotion and meaning in your songs. It will help you become more productive, versatile, and innovative in your songwriting.
You will learn to:
* Discover more ideas for songs—song seeds—and capture them in their most powerful and usable form
* Overcome writer’s block by having many more pathways through the writing process
* Develop strong song structures by working independently with melody, lyrics, harmony, and rhythm
* Write songs more easily, guided by your well-tuned “songwriter’s compass”
Mark Simos is a songwriter, composer, and performer, with over a hundred songs covered by artists such as Alison Krauss, Ricky Skaggs, Del McCoury, Laurie Lewis, and Jimmy Barnes. An associate professor of songwriting at Berklee College of Music and an active teacher at workshops, camps, festivals, and retreats, Mark has mentored hundreds of songwriters worldwide.
“Mark Simos is a remarkable songwriter. He's one of those rare people who knows what words sound good together, and his lyrics are just as unique as his melodies. I never stop being amazed at his songs, and I'm never surprised that I love another one.”
—Alison Krauss, Multiple GRAMMY® Award-Winning Artist
“This book outlines a wholly original approach to songwriting—one I've never seen taught in any workshop or read about in any blog, though many established and pro writers use it. For any serious songwriter, this brilliant practicum will be a revelation. It's the book I wish I'd had when I was coming up. A must-have on the well-read songwriters' bookshelf!”
—Bonnie Hayes, Songwriter (Bonnie Raitt, Cher, Bette Midler); Chair of Songwriting, Berklee College of Music
“Songwriting Strategies reads like a novel I can't put down. Mark Simos has journeyed deep into the myth and abyss of songwriting, traveling 360 degrees to demystify the craft of songwriting while still embracing the spirit and joy of the art. It's a great read and a beautiful book.”
—Patty Larkin, Songwriter, Artist/Guitarist
“Without a doubt, this is the most insightful, provocative, and thorough examination of song composition to ever come on the market. This book places songwriting and its component elements of lyric, melody, harmony, and rhythm on the same ‘high art’ plane as all other compositional forms. A book to constantly come back to for inspiration, reference, and understanding of songs, how we can and would like to imagine them, and ultimately, how we would write them.”
—John Pennell, Songwriter (Alison Krauss, Alan Jackson, Eva Cassidy)
“A fine songwriter and a perceptive teacher, Mark Simos knows the many pathways to great songs. His new book can help students avoid the stumbling blocks that lurk along the way.”
—Tim O’Brien, Songwriter, Artist/Multi-Instrumentalist
"Mark not only teaches, he does. He's had songs cut by the most discerning of recording artists, and this book is his guide to how it’s done."
—Don Walker, Songwriter (Cold Chisel)
“Songwriting Strategies is an important and valuable book for songwriters, because its approach is to stimulate creativity without prescribing it. Mark Simos provides practical, usable methods to aid the songwriting process, but always shows an understanding that the purpose of a song is to communicate—musically and emotionally.”
—Joe Bennett, Songwriting Masters Degree Faculty, Bath Spa University, UK
“Mark Simos, my favorite co-writer, has big ears. All his wide-open curiosity, vitality, self-awareness, and heart have gone into this book. Mark inquires about the deep structures of song, with exercises that could lead any songwriter to a lifetime of skill building and perspective-gaining. Once you’ve experienced a spin around the compass of possibilities—the angles into a song—you know you could write more, learn more, play more, and hear and notice more.”
–Lisa Aschmann, Songwriter, Author of 1000 Songwriting Ideas (Hal Leonard)