How Music Really Works : The Essential Handbook for Songwriters, Performers, and Music Students ( Updated & Revised Second Edition ) by Wayne Chase: Review

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Are you dreaming of becoming a successful songwriter and having your music heard by millions? Look no further than Molly-Ann Leikin’s ‘How to Be a Hit Songwriter: Polishing and Marketing Your Lyrics and Music’. This comprehensive guide offers practical tips on how to improve your songwriting skills, refine your lyrics and music, and ultimately succeed in the highly competitive music industry.

Leikin’s book is geared towards aspiring songwriters who are passionate about their craft but may be struggling to break into the industry. Through her years of experience as a professional songwriter, she provides valuable insights on how to stand out from the crowd, catch the attention of potential listeners, and turn your passion for music into a successful career. So if you’re ready to take your songwriting skills to the next level and make your mark in the world of music, read on for an overview of ‘How to Be a Hit Songwriter’ by Molly-Ann Leikin.

Overview of ‘How to Be a Hit Songwriter’ by Molly-Ann Leikin

If you want to learn the secrets of becoming a hit songwriter, then Molly-Ann Leikin’s book ‘How to Be a Hit Songwriter’ is definitely worth checking out. This book offers a comprehensive overview of the writing process and creative techniques that can take your songwriting skills to the next level. Whether you’re an aspiring songwriter or already have some experience in this field, Leikin’s insights can help you polish your craft and achieve success.

One of the main strengths of this book is its focus on the practical aspects of songwriting. Leikin provides clear guidance on topics such as melody, lyrics, structure, and hooks. She also emphasizes the importance of finding your own unique voice and style as a songwriter, while still keeping in mind what makes songs successful in today’s market. By following her advice, you can develop a more effective approach to songwriting that will increase your chances of creating hit songs.

Overall, ‘How to Be a Hit Songwriter’ is an informative and engaging read that can inspire you to take your music career to new heights. From learning about different creative techniques to understanding how the industry works, this book covers all aspects of successful songwriting. With Leikin’s guidance, you’ll be well-equipped with the knowledge and tools needed to write great songs that stand out from the crowd. So let’s move on now to some tips for polishing your lyrics and music!

Tips for Polishing Your Lyrics and Music

To polish your lyrics and music, you need to find your unique voice, use imagery and metaphors effectively, and refine your melody and chord progressions. Finding your unique voice means developing a writing style that sets you apart from other songwriters. Using imagery and metaphors can help create memorable lines that stick with listeners long after the song is over. And refining your melody and chord progressions will make sure your music complements the lyrics in the best way possible. By following these tips, you’ll be on your way to creating hit songs that stand out from the crowd.

Finding Your Unique Voice

Discover your unique voice by playing to your strengths and embracing your individuality. Developing authenticity is key in finding what sets you apart from other songwriters. Take the time to explore your creativity and experiment with different styles of music. Don’t be afraid to take risks, as this may lead you down a path that is entirely yours.

When crafting lyrics, consider the message you want to convey and how you can express it in a way that is true to yourself. Incorporate personal experiences and emotions into your writing, as this will make it more relatable for audiences. Using imagery and metaphors can also help create vivid pictures in listeners’ minds, allowing them to connect with the story on a deeper level. Emphasize these elements when marketing your music, highlighting what makes it unique and why people should pay attention. By staying true to yourself and showcasing what sets you apart, success may come naturally.

Using Imagery and Metaphors

Using imagery and metaphors can add layers of meaning to a songwriter’s work, creating a more vivid and powerful listening experience for their audience. By using descriptive language that appeals to the senses, songwriters can evoke emotions in their listeners that will keep them engaged from start to finish. To achieve this effect, here are two sub-lists of techniques that you can use:

  • Imagery:
  • Use concrete nouns and verbs to create visual images in the listener’s mind.
  • Describe sensory experiences such as touch, taste, smell or sound.

  • Metaphors:

  • Compare two seemingly unrelated things to create a new perspective on an idea.
  • Use extended metaphors throughout the entire song to create a consistent theme.
  • Imagery:
  • Use concrete nouns and verbs to create visual images in the listener’s mind.
  • Describe sensory experiences such as touch, taste, smell or sound.

  • Describe sensory experiences such as touch, taste, smell or sound.

  • Metaphors:

  • Metaphors:

  • Compare two seemingly unrelated things to create a new perspective on an idea.
  • Use extended metaphors throughout the entire song to create a consistent theme.
  • By mastering these songwriting techniques, you can make your music stand out from the rest. As you move on to refining your melody and chord progressions, remember that imagery and metaphors should be used sparingly so as not to overwhelm the listener with too much information.

    Using imagery and metaphors is a powerful tool for any songwriter looking to create emotionally resonant music. By painting vivid pictures in your lyrics through descriptive language and clever comparisons, you’ll be able to connect with your audience on a deeper level. So take some time to experiment with these techniques in your own writing – you might just find yourself crafting songs that truly resonate with people.

    Refining Your Melody and Chord Progressions

    As you refine your melody and chord progressions, it is important to remember that music is not just a collection of notes, but an art form that evokes emotion. Melodic tension is one way to create this emotional response in your listeners. By intentionally creating moments of dissonance or unresolved chords, you can build anticipation and excitement for the resolution.

    Chord transitions are also crucial in refining your melody. Smooth transitions between chords can make the difference between a mediocre song and a hit. Experiment with different chord progressions until you find one that fits the mood of your lyrics and creates a dynamic flow throughout the song. Additionally, consider song structure and arrangement as you refine your melodies. A strong chorus or hook paired with contrasting verses can keep listeners engaged from beginning to end. As you continue to polish your music, remember to stay true to yourself and let your unique voice shine through.

    Now that you have honed your musical skills, it’s time to start thinking about strategies for marketing your music. With so many aspiring songwriters out there, it’s important to be proactive in getting your work heard. But don’t worry – there are many avenues available for promoting and sharing your music with the world!

    Strategies for Marketing Your Music

    Marketing your music is key to getting it heard by the masses and connecting with your audience on a deeper level, so don’t skimp on this crucial step in your journey as a songwriter. One way to promote your music is through social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube. These platforms offer a great opportunity to build an online presence, engage with fans, and share your music with the world.

    To effectively market your music, you need to take advantage of networking opportunities within the industry. Attend events like concerts or open mic nights where you can meet other musicians and industry professionals who may be able to help you get exposure for your work. You can also join songwriter associations or organizations that provide resources for aspiring artists.

    Remember that marketing is not just about selling yourself but building relationships with people who appreciate what you do. By promoting your music through various channels and engaging with fans online and offline, you increase your chances of success in the competitive world of songwriting. In the next section, we will delve into case studies of successful songwriters who have gone through this process themselves.

    Case Studies of Successful Songwriters

    Get inspired by the success stories of talented songwriters who have reached the pinnacle of their careers, proving that hard work and dedication can pay off in unimaginable ways. Take for instance Taylor Swift, whose creative process is often fueled by her personal experiences and relationships. Her music has resonated with millions of fans worldwide, earning her numerous awards and accolades in the industry.

    Another successful songwriter to learn from is Ed Sheeran. He draws inspiration from various sources like his travels, life experiences, and even movies or books he’s read. His hit songs like “Shape of You”and “Thinking Out Loud”showcase his ability to write catchy melodies paired with heartfelt lyrics that listeners can relate to.

    Lastly, we have Lin-Manuel Miranda who wrote the critically acclaimed musical Hamilton. He drew inspiration from Ron Chernow’s biography on Alexander Hamilton and created a masterpiece that not only entertained but also educated audiences about American history. His unique approach to storytelling through hip-hop music earned him numerous Tony Awards and cemented his place as one of the most successful songwriters in recent times.

    As you study these successful songwriters’ creative processes and inspiration sources, take note of what works for them and see how you can apply it to your own craft. The next section will delve deeper into the critique of ‘How to Be a Hit Songwriter’ so you can further refine your skills and become a master at your art form without feeling overwhelmed by its complexity.

    Critique of ‘How to Be a Hit Songwriter’

    Now that we’ve learned about the success stories of some famous songwriters, let’s shift our focus to a critical review of Molly-Ann Leikin’s book ‘How to Be a Hit Songwriter: Polishing and Marketing Your Lyrics and Music.’ While the book provides valuable insights into the songwriting process, it has its fair share of drawbacks.

    One common pitfall in this book is that it tends to oversimplify the complex art of writing hit songs. Leikin presents her own formulaic approach as the only way to succeed in the industry, which can limit creative freedom and stifle originality. Moreover, her advice can be contradictory at times, leaving readers confused about what direction to take.

    However, there are alternative approaches that aspiring songwriters can explore outside of Leikin’s methods. For instance, they could experiment with different song structures or collaborate with other artists for fresh perspectives. Ultimately, while ‘How to Be a Hit Songwriter’ may provide some useful tips and tricks for beginners, it shouldn’t be taken as gospel. It’s essential for writers to find their unique voice and style instead of relying solely on formulas prescribed by others.


    Congratulations on completing this insightful review of ‘How to Be a Hit Songwriter’ by Molly-Ann Leikin. By now, you have learned valuable tips for polishing your lyrics and music, as well as strategies for marketing your music effectively.

    As a final thought, let me share with you an anecdote that will illustrate the power of polishing and marketing your music: Did you know that the iconic song “I Will Always Love You”by Whitney Houston was originally written and recorded by Dolly Parton? It wasn’t until the song was polished and marketed to perfection that it became a worldwide hit, earning Whitney Houston multiple awards and making her version one of the best-selling singles of all time.

    This story highlights the importance of not only having great content but also putting in the effort to refine it and getting it out there to be heard. With the knowledge gained from ‘How to Be a Hit Songwriter,’ you too can take your musical creations to new heights. Keep writing, keep refining, keep promoting, and who knows? Maybe someday we’ll be hearing your songs on every radio station around the world!

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