Blog Archives

Rooksby on lyric writing (1)

This article is a set of notes I made from the chapter ‘How to Write a Lyric’ in Rooksby, Rikky (2000/2009) How to Write Songs on Guitar: A Guitar-playing and Songwriting Course, Backbeat Books, pp. 117-136. It’s a great little chapter, packed full

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Thirteen tips for songwriters (a lucky number)

One of the most important ways that any songwriter learns to write songs is by writing songsI. That may be stating the obvious, but it’s surprising how often I’ve met a songwriter (or aspiring songwriter) where the conversation goes something like

Posted in Creativity & Craftsmanship, Lyric writing, Music writing / Composing

Notes on rhyme (from the New Oxford Rhyming Dictionary)

I have posted a number of articles on this blog about lyric writing that include advice from famous lyricists about the use of rhyme. It is well worth checking all of the posts with the tag / keyword ‘rhyme’. This

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Sammy Cahn on Songwriting

Sammy Cahn (1913-1993) was a lyricist (who, like Oscar Hammerstein, preferred to call himself a lyrist) who collaborated successfully with the composers Saul Chaplin, James van Heusen and Jule Styne. He was nominated for 26 Oscars, and won four, for ‘Three Coins

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Gene Lees on lyric writing

Gene Lees (1928-2010) was a lyricist, singer, music critic, biographer and journalist. One of his most notable successes as a lyricist was his English translation of Antonio Carlos Jobim’s ‘Corcovado’, which became ‘Quiet Nights of Quiet Stars’, recorded by greats

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Oscar Hammerstein II on Songwriting

Singers, songwriters, lyricists and composers all have something to learn from one of the great lyricists, Oscar Hammerstein II (1895-1960). He collaborated on a huge number of well known musicals, winning 8 Tony Wards and 2 Oscars along the way.

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Stephen Sondheim on Songwriting (1)

If we want to understand something about songs, how they are written, and therefore how we should sing and perform them, who can we learn from? The musical dramatist Stephen Sondheim is superb craftsman as a lyricist, composer, songwriter, musical

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