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The Complete Singer-Songwriter Paperback – 26 Sep 2003

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Product details

  • Paperback: 202 pages
  • Publisher: Backbeat Books (26 Sept. 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0879307692
  • ISBN-13: 978-0879307691
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 1.3 x 23.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 190,464 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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If you can sing a song, you can write one. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By nj_reviewer on 15 July 2012
Format: Paperback
I really like this book because it's not one of these "how to get famous and rich with your music" self-help books. Rather, it's a take on the music industry from the singer-songwriter perspective. I found many tips in there, e.g. how to turn fragments of lyrics into an actual song (and how to decide which will remain a fragment forever). Another great feature are the extensive quotes by singer-songwriters (Joni Mitchell, James Taylor...) that explain how songwriting works.
The tips in the book have been a great source for my songwriting and I have reviewed a few chapters of the book in the past ([...]), showing how I incorporated the tips into my own writing.
I highly recommend the book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Michael Schembri on 5 Dec. 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Read as soon as it arrived, must adnit it did inspire me and found two tables in the book really useful. Must get the other books in the series
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By G Smith on 17 Aug. 2013
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This is a condensed, well-considered practical guide. The author writes clearly and has an encouraging approach to his readers. He is very experienced in the subject matter and covers the key points in a style designed to enable the reader to take action. Highly recommended.
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Really pleased with purchase, both in terms of the book and the prompt service from the seller.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 7 reviews
25 of 25 people found the following review helpful
The best book I've found for the singer-songwriter 20 Dec. 2003
By Bruce Irving - Published on
Format: Paperback
I picked this up last week while browsing in a bookstore on a trip to Pasadena, CA, and what a great find! I have dozens of books on songwriting and recording, and a few on performing, but this is the best book I've found on the special job of creating, performing, and recording your own music. Some key benefits:
1. Good depth -- At some 200 pages, the scale is just right -- you can actually read this book. Rodgers doesn't attempt to cover everything in depth, but he has useful tips on everything from chord progressions to how to connect with an audience to recording a CD (including how to decide if you SHOULD record one). Good references too, including Steve Rapson's wonderful "Art of the Solo Performer" ([...]) but omitting my favorite, Livingston Taylor's fine "Stage Performance" (unfortunately out of print).
2. Well organized, not only in the overall structure but in the subheads that locate individual topics, often illustrated with photos and quotes from songwriters Rodgers has interviewed, from Paul Simon to Ani DiFranco. Great for reference and browsing. The writing style is easy to read, informal but not chatty.
3. Up to date -- New in October 2003, the book is savvy about the internet, home recording options, and on artists working at various levels, with quotes from major label superstars like Paul Simon and James Taylor as well as a number of true and current DIY'ers with self-released CD's who use the internet as their main outlet (I think he should have mentioned CD Baby and as A-list choices for distributing independent music).
4. Realistic -- The book is helpful for people who are singer-songwriters as a sideline or hobby as well as those who are trying for a career. He talks about things like house concerts, booking in general, and even why and how to select a producer for recording.
5. Inspiring and supportive -- One cover blurb says that everyone needs a mentor, and this book is it. While the right human mentor would be better, you'd be lucky to find one with this range of knowledge. Rodgers helps you see that being a singer-songwriter is a big job, but with some organization and the right attitude, you can do it. Of course part of the process is to define what "it" is -- but I say, if you are creating music and sharing it even with a few people, it's a cool thing, even if there are already a zillion CD's in the world. This book can help you do it better.
I would have liked to have this book a year or so ago when I was starting on my first CD project (my recently self-released "Jardin du Luxembourg"). Although I found a local producer who is really great, decisions on song selection, preparing for and organizing sessions, staying focused on the project, and other topics in the book would have helped me. I'm now working on getting more gigs, promoting the CD, and preparing to record the first few songs for my next project. This book will help me to refine my blueprint for this process.
Being a singer-songwriter is a sideline for me, but it's an important part of my life, a creative outlet that I really value. If you have a passion for creating and sharing your music, whether as a career or as a sideline, you should read this book.
Bruce Irving
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Good detail! 11 Nov. 2012
By Hybrid - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Jeffrey Pepper Rodgers pays particular attention to detail, throughout. Not just the essentials to songwriting and gigging, but also to the interviews of musicians as well as the complete coverage of the troubadour's plight.
Required reading for any aspiring Songwriter / Musician 25 Mar. 2013
By A. Magnuson - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Jeffery Peppers Rodgers has done an incredible service in writing this book for singer-songwriters today. I really hope more people start their journey after reading this book--which provides a great overview of the different paths a songwriter and performer can take and where those paths can lead. Thankfully, he does not try to convince us that there are any simple formulas. Instead, he effectively communicates the trade-offs of different approaches, and he strengthens his points with insightful quotes from people who are farther along in the journey.

I have been playing and writing music for years, and I have had a lot of exposure to the music business in other ways, too. This book supplemented the vast experience I already had, and I ultimately came away really energized to continue to move forward. By knowing the pros and cons of the artistic and business decisions you will be faced with, you'll be able to choose a better path for yourself and eliminate some of the self-doubt that comes with inexperience.

This book is for any troubadour at any point on the journey, but if you can, I encourage you to make it your starting point.
Useful information for the Songwriter/Singer 12 Sept. 2013
By jmike - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
There's a difference between useful information and pages and pages of words. This book falls on the side of the useful. There are many short, explicit, sections on a variety of subjects that songwriters will find enlightening. Tons of quotes from successful artists, as well.
Pick this up and put it in your library. My copy is already on the way to being dogeared.
Inspired! 1 Jun. 2014
By Michael - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I'm so thankful that someone has composed such a fantastic resource for the singer/songwriter. This will be a useful tool that I will turn to many times as I approach the many "stages" of my performing career. Thank you!
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