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Beginning Songwriting: Writing Your Own Lyrics, Melodies, and Chords

by Andrea Stolpe
available from

Learn to write songs! This book presents the basic concepts of popular songwriting, such as music theory, song construction, creativity techniques, melodic and harmonic development, how to write memorable lyrics, and other core topics. Hands-on exercises make it practical, and the accompanying online recording illustrates the concepts—even for those who don’t read music.

You will learn to:

  • Find inspiration for your songs, and develop work strategies to harness your creativity into songs
  • Understand the essential music theory, and use it to make your songs more expressive
  • Write melodies, lyrics, chord progressions, and grooves
  • Create verses, choruses, and bridges, and arrange them to tell your song’s story effectively
  • Use techniques and structures favored by current popular hit-song writers
  • Perform your songs, with expression, and coordinated with performing your instrument

Andrea Stolpe is a hit songwriter and music educator. She has worked as a staff writer for music publishing companies such as EMI, Almo-Irving, and Universal, and teaches songwriting at Berklee Online and the University of Southern California. Andrea is author of the Berklee Online course Commercial Songwriting Techniques and book Popular Lyric Writing.

“Andrea is a master of her craft and a fantastic teacher to boot. The book is bursting with helpful tools that are pretty awesome to have all in one place, and even after writing songs for twenty years, it was an inspiring refresher for me.”

Mike Schmid, Artist, Songwriter, Keyboardist, and Backing Vocalist (Miley Cyrus)

“Andrea Stolpe has done it again! Following her wonderful book, Popular Lyric Writing: 10 Steps to Effective Storytelling, she’s written a comprehensive, clear roadmap for young songwriters (of any age) who want to stock their tool belts with more effective ways to craft their songs. Andrea covers both the lyrical and musical aspects of the craft in easy-to-follow steps. Bravo Andrea!”

Pat Pattison, Author, Clinician, and Berklee College of Music Professor of Lyric Writing and Poetry

“This book is a 'must have' for the beginning songwriter! Whether you’re formally trained or write songs by ear, Beginning Songwriting will give you a clear and comprehensive road map to writing great songs. In detailed chapters on lyrics, melody, and chord structure, Andrea Stolpe uncovers the magic behind what makes a song work. This is more than just the ABCs of Songwriting. It’s the whole alphabet!"

Susan Cattaneo, Songwriter, Artist, and Professor of Songwriting at Berklee College of Music

“Andrea Stolpe is a gifted writer and a fabulous teacher! Beginning Songwriting is must read for anyone writing songs. I can't think of a more qualified person than Andrea Stolpe to write a book to help people navigate the windy creative road every great songwriter eventually goes down.”

Steve Seskin, Songwriter, Artist, and Producer

Also by Andrea Stolpe

50449553_PopularLyricWriting_75 Popular Lyric Writing