Informative and tremendously fun to read, Joel Hirschhorn's book "The Complete Idiot's Guide To Songwriting" (Alpha; $16.95) is for anyone that has ever heard a song on the radio and thought: "I would have done that a little differently." Even though most people are not formally trained musicians, many possess the intuitive skills required to compose hit songs. Hirschhorn's book is designed to awaken and inspire the sleeping creator within.
Hirschhorn is uniquely qualified to write a "how-to" songwriting book. A two-time Oscar winning composer, he has sold over 93 million records and been nominated for two Tony Awards. Moreover, he has had success in multiple fields, including country, r&b, pop, film, theatre and commercials.
Though Hirschhorn's book is a must-read for aspiring songwriters, it's also a great reference for experienced tunesmiths. With its uncomplicated format, historical information and advice, "The Complete Idiot's Guide To Songwriting" simplifies the often complex craft of composing. Chapters include "A Century of Songwriting," "Secrets of Great Hit Melody Writing" and "Becoming A Great Song Salesman." The book even comes with a handy reference card that touches on some of its key points.
Though Hirschhorn has had his greatest success in the pop, film and Broadway fields, his book underscores an undeniable fact: Regardless of genre, most popular songs have certain things in common. Whether you aspire to write tuneful pop, explosive rock & roll or head-bobbing hip-hop jams, "The Complete Idiot's Guide To Songwriting" details the common threads that most often result in hit songs.