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Book Review: Songwriting for Dummies by J. Peterik, D. Austin, and Cathy Lynn

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From the most bizarre of topics to exceptionally thoughtful titles, the “Dummies” series have always rolled out anything and everything possible — trying to assume the role of the venerable bibliotheque. You either love ‘em or loathe them!

Songwriting for Dummies is an improved version, this time with in-depth exploration and treats, in contrast to the 1st edition. It is a laudable compendium of techniques and tested styles explored by successful songwriters — or let’s just say a likely addendum for both veteran and budding songsmiths alike to obtain referential knowledge.

This friendly, hands-on guide tackles the new face of the recording industry, guiding songwriters through the shift from traditional sales to downloads and mobile music, as well as how to harness social media networks to get our music “out there.”

Interestingly, we’ve seen successful careers come unto the scene when a sudden moment of inspiration gravitates to scribbling down these “lyrical piffles” on ordinary sheets. This gets converted into musical hits,that goes on to conquer the Billboard charts as platinum collections.Thus paving the way for unknown stars to shine.

The book — authored by professionals like the multi-awarded lyricist and performer Jim Peterik, in collaboration with other seasoned music industry afficionados — also highlights songwriting pitfalls and catalysts, plus the crucial need for  learning the ropes and appreciating success.

In addition, Songwriting for Dummies covers other fields of play for the songwriter — writing for stage, screen, games, radio, and television. “How to Work the Web” — harnessing online marketing and social networks like Facebook, Twitter, and others to get your music heard by a whole new audience, is also covered.

Whether your musical inclination is rock, pop, R&B, gospel, country — even the nondescript genres too — there’s something for everyone to master. All there is to the art/hobby/business of writing songs (not just performing them) is in Songwriting for Dummies, be it for a newcomer or veteran.

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A niche media commentator, technophile and entrepreneur. A frequent freelance writer for major media outfits apart from running own weblogs. A few of which include; Yahoo voices, Lionsgate, EMI Music, Audiofile Magazine et al.