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Songcrafters' Coloring Book: The Essential Guide to Effective and Successful Songwriting: 1 [Paperback]

Bill Pere
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
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Book Description

28 Sep 2010
Songcrafters' Coloring Book is a groundbreaking approach to the art, craft, and business of songwriting. This is a book is about choices --your choices. The choices you make as a songwriter which cause your songs to get the reaction you hope for, or the one you don't expect; The choices which determine whether your song sells a million copies, or never goes beyond your studio shelf. By looking at the individual components of songs, those choices become clear to you and let you know what to expect when you decide on one option or another. This book is not about songwriting rules, as there really are none. Looking at songwriting as an interrelated series of informed choices is the primary paradigm of Songcrafters' Coloring Book. Everything in songwriting is a choice with artistic, commercial, emotional, spiritual, or monetary consequences. When creating, performing or marketing songs, we often don't know what all those choices are, let alone the results that flow from each one. Common sense tells us that if we don t know what our options are and the consequences of choosing a particular one, it is impossible to make an informed decision, or the best decision to meet our objectives. When we understand what our choices are and their associated outcomes, we gain control over that incredible process we know as songwriting. There are two types of topics discussed in this work: the Whys and the Hows. It is important to know Why the techniques given here are important and When they can be used to best advantage. Along with that, there are some core ideas and concepts which underpin all the 'How-To' discussion. The How-To topics look at how you apply a particular technique to achieve a particular result. A good book challenges the way you think; A GREAT book CHANGES the way you think. You'll never look at songwriting the same way again. WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING: "I love your style and creativity. It really puts into perspective how people actually think. A great read" -- Dennis Sinnott, former EMI Executive, author of "Masters of Songwriting" "I looked through your book last night. I have to say it is definitely the best investment I've made at this conference!" -- attendee, Indiegrrl Conference, Nashville, 2009 "To describe your work as a 'book' falls far short of its worthiness. A more accurate description would be a treatise on the art of songwriting. Congratulations are in order." -- V. Vergilio, Ph D, Music Education (NY) "Your workshop was the best hour of my life as a songwriter! You turned on many light bulbs and made it all so clear." -- C.Senski, IMC Attendee 2009 I finally have gotten through my "To Read" pile and have started your book. I am loving it! You and I are definitely on the same page when it comes to the "crafting" of the song. I love your illustrations and the intelligent presentation. You are an amazing teacher. -- Mary Dawson, Author, "How to Get Somewhere in the Music Business From Nowhere with Nothing" "I can't tell you how impressed I was with how knowledgeable you are and your way of making the material comprehensible " -- George David Weiss, hit songwriter and past President, Songwriters Guild of America "Bill is one of the few teachers to emerge in the last 20 years who understands all these aspects of songwriting and is willing to share the knowledge with others." -- John Braheny, author "The Craft and Business of Songwriting"material." "Bill Pere embodies the link between music and science" -- The New York Times "I have never been captivated by a textbook like I was by this one and when I saw that Bill was conducting a songwriters retreat in Connecticut, I knew this was an event I definitely wanted to attend. The weekend was everything I had hoped for and more. After reading his book and attending his workshop, I have a great respect for Bill Pere as an artist and a teacher." -- Cecilia Dahl, singer -songwriter, Boston, MA

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Product details

  • Paperback: 228 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (28 Sep 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1453835660
  • ISBN-13: 978-1453835661
  • Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 19.4 x 24.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 719,282 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

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Product Description

About the Author

Bill Pere was named one of the "Top 50 Innovators, Iconoclasts, Groundbreakers and Guiding Lights of the Music Industry" by Music Connection Magazine. It is rare to find a noted songwriter whose primary concern is teaching the secrets of the craft to others, and who can actually do that in a clear and effective way. In 2002, "Songwriters Market" editor Ian Bessler called Bill's article on the relationship between songwriting and personality preferences "Groundbreaking". At Bill's 2006 workshop in Dallas, Mary Dawson, author of "How to Get Somewhere in the Music Business From Nowhere with Nothing" commented "That was the most coherent presentation on songwriting I've ever heard, bar none." When Bill Pere leads workshops, teaches classes, or presents at conferences, it is typically as a songwriter and performing artist with decades of music business experience. It often surprises folks to learn that he has a graduate degree in molecular biology, has designed global computer systems for collecting and analyzing scientific data, and has other assorted science-related certifications and affiliations. He is a qualified practitioner of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, the most widely used preference-profiling instrument in the world. Bill often says that his science-oriented background made him a much better composer and lyricist than he likely would have been without those additional perspectives. In his thirty years of interacting with thousands of songwriters, from all-time greats to living room hopefuls, that background has enabled him to use the information as a pool of data yielding insights to the essence of what causes a specific song to evoke a specific reaction in a specific type of audience. His participation in thousands of song critiques, across all styles and levels of proficiency has provided him a window overlooking a vast sea of raw creativity, revealing patterns, tendencies, and interactions leading to the new conclusions presented here. Bill has spent decades developing these new concepts in songwriting. It required that much time to experience all the data, make sense of it, and present it in a meaningful way. Over that span of time, tastes and styles have changed; recording and listening technology has changed; music distribution channels have changed; Yet amid that sea of change, the elements that make a great song have remained constant. Those are the timeless things Bill seeks to help songwriters understand and master.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant book 18 Dec 2012
By Rob
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Great book. Really differentiates / defines the creative process of songwriting then the more objective crafting process and explains it in a manner that helps you understand choices rather than just listing them.

He explains an "eyes wide open" approach that helps make you aware of the decisions made during the crafting process. This may be as simple as the choice between width or depth of appeal or the way the lyrics work (he goes into more detail with 4 song faders and many many other subjects).

I particular like his discussions about song meaning and then into lyrics. Rather then teach you to write lyrics, he teaches you things that are potentially bad or confusing, things that are good, bad and provides exercises to help understand + assess lyrics and also how to tie it in with the song.

This was an eye-opener for me. Most lyric books I've read just blurp technical things at you and expect you to understand it / how to use it. Whereas the approach taken across the whole book is more a discussion about the technical aspects with the awareness of what is going on when you make choices, i.e. whatever choice you make, you do it with your eyes wide open. This teaches you both the technical and more importantly, the understanding.

I would highly recommend this for any seasoned, inspiring or stuck in a rut songwriter.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Oh for prosody but it still escapes! 27 Jan 2012
By Riff
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
A great book with many new ways of looking at the craft. The overarching metaphor or 'conceit' I find very useful. Not sure his use of Myers-Briggs classification is really that helpful, best to remember that not everyone thinks like you. One of the longest and probably best discussions on prosody (fitting musical accents with lyrical accents) in any book I have read...I have decided important as it is that I can't do it without writing lyrics and music together. At least it taught me that. You who can write lyrics with a good understanding of prosody have a head start....I am beginning to think it may be something you are born with. Overall a very good book with some good insights.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.2 out of 5 stars  16 reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stay Inside the Lines? 7 Jan 2010
By Shaun A. Klopfenstein - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Spiral-bound
Bill's many years of experience as a songwriter shine through on every page of this book. His wry sense of humor and knowledge of his craft makes this book enjoyable and very readable whether you already have a passion for the art or if you are discovering or rediscovering a love for songwriting. The scope of his book is unparalleled, yet does not bog the reader down with jargon. A Coloring Book it may be, but Bill shows you the lines and encourages you to make informed choices whether to color inside or outside of them.
11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Dense read but fantastic resource 31 Mar 2011
By Gregory Mohler - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Spiral-bound|Verified Purchase
Don't let the title fool you- this book is bazonkers dense, with a few really difficult sections (which the author acknowledges up front). But he exhaustively covers the "craft" side of songwriting, with a lot of info on word choice and matching lyrical cadence to musical rhythm. He gives a lot of ideas and techniques for improving songwriting skills across the board. After reading this book, I realized why so many of my crappier songs didn't really work, and it inspired me to go back, fix things, and start writing better. If you want to build your songwriting abilities, get this book. There's very little fluff, all hearty skill-building crunch.

I reluctantly deduct a star because some of the sections rely heavily on Meyers-Briggs, a personality-classification system that makes for some fun web-surveys but, in my opinion, is about as useful as astrology. M-B comes up in the book because the author is trying get across the idea that songwriters tend to be introverted and idea-based, while the listening public on average is extroverted and concrete-concept based. Leaving aside that he does all this in the acronym-happy M-B terminology, I found the use of M-B to be needlessly reductionist.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bill Pere has successfully written a "captivating" text book-- a "must read" 9 April 2010
By C. Dahl - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Spiral-bound
I purchased Bill's book online and was immediately impressed. What I found between the pages was a sense of reassurance that as a songwriter, I can do anything I want with my music and it won't be "wrong" but that there are also choices to be made about my songs in order to craft them so that they are most appealing to the broadest possible audience. What Bill teaches is insight into this decision making process so that songwriters can make informed choices with an understanding of the expected outcome.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A "must" read 22 Mar 2010
By Arthur Meister - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Spiral-bound
This is a well designed instructional for anyone wanting a good foundation in the craft of songwriting. The author is well respected and very knowledgeable in the songwriting field, and this book illustrates that fact better than any I've seen. It is a comprehensive work, and one that should be read by anyone thinking of actually writing and crafting what so many just dream of doing.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The biggest book on Songwriting I've read so far 16 Jun 2014
By Gabriel Castro - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
As an aspiring music producer, songwriting is definitely an important subject that I spend a lot of time trying to learn. I started out with Coursera courses by Pat Pattison and have read his books with enjoyment. I've since moved onto other books but, as a whole, I never seemed to get a handle on Songwriting. I understood just how difficult it was and I tried to be patient until I found resources that seemed to give me was I was looking for.

Out of a whim, I found the "Songcrafter's Coloring Book" and, after previewing it on Amazon, I immediately made a purchase. Every source I've ever read on Songwriting seemed to be there and written in the most delightful prose: I just had to give it a go.

I was right: to this day, this book remains the most comprehensive book on Songwriting I've ever read. Pat Pattison talks a lot about prosody, but his books don't even come close to the breadth and depth (songwriting choices you'll learn you have to make as you'll understand from the book) that comes from this single tome.

That is both a good and a bad thing: it's been months since my purchase and I still haven't been able to digest everything this book has to offer. It truly is an overwhelming read and, if songwriting really is important to you, be prepared to sit on it for months just like I have. It truly goes into a staggering amount of detail as you'll read about in other reviews: so staggering, that I've looked at other books to see if they have anything more straightforward or different to offer that might have work better for me. After all, it's realistically wrong to rely on one single source for anything, but I still kept and continued to refer to the book as I had yet to find anything better. "How Music REALLY Works" was recommended in one of the reviews, and I'm still going through it and making up my mind about it.

But one thing hasn't changed: this book really is the most comprehensive book on Songwriting. I will continue to look toward other books to see if I will learn anything new, but I've seen nothing that isn't already covered in this book and, little by little, I am starting to memorize and try to use what it has to offer. Some people say that it's too technical, and it definitely is extremely detailed: so detailed in fact, that I wondered if there was something better like everyone else said. I've yet to find anything better though and I seem to be naturally very left-brained anyway: the diagrams, charts and everything Bill Pere uses completely speaks to me. So much in fact that it was the initial creation process (as it's made a strong point early on that Songcrafting refers to the process of crafting the first draft and utilizes the techniques he explains. It's a different stage than the creative burst that makes us the first draft) that was frustrating me more than the crafting. Songcrafting is difficult, but it's something that could eventually be analyzed, broken-down, and applied. The whimsical creative part in the start left me frustrated that I emailed Bill Pere recently to ask him for his advice: I surprisingly got a prompt response that was considerate and extremely detailed and immediately gave new insights to help me develop the first draft (and to not leave everyone else in the dark, look to the "flow of information" and the Box Technique on his Songwriter Tools on his website for help!). It immediately cheered me up and does indeed like I'm finally developing an effective workflow that uses all his techniques.

This book is a wonder and Bill Pere was very courteous to help me out so quickly. Songwriting, flat-out, is a very difficult subject: but if you're attempting music production, you already know that each and every facet of the whole thing is extremely difficult, it's own subject, and requires long and patient study to truly master. Nevertheless, a long time does not mean impossible, and Songwriting can be tackled just like everything else: you simply need good resources at your disposal, preferably friends and supporters to encourage you, and patience and persistence (and giving yourself permission to suck) to become as good as you want to be. On that, this book is the best I've ever read on the subject.

There could very well be other books and resources out there that are just as good or perhaps simply work for you: as before, you can never stop striving forward. However, if you truly want to learn or better your songwriting skills, this book will help you more than you ever imagined. It's extremely overwhelming, and it will take months to digest it all from cover-to-cover (I'm not there yet), but the results seem completely worthwhile. Frustrating as it may seem, I encourage everything to stick to it like glue and never give up. You'll eventually memorize and learn the principles and no longer have to think hard on it, and while there may indeed always be more to learn, I feel that anyone who masters this book will indeed be a very strong songwriter. Every style and genre is different with it's own "rules", but the principles in this book feel universal and, whatever sort of music you end up writing, you'll have a very strong songwriting foundation to stand on.

Buy this book! you will most certainly not regret it!
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