Top 10 Must-Read Music Books For Songwriters, Artists, And Industry Experts

If you’re a songwriter, artist, or industry professional looking to enhance your music skills and gain valuable insights, music books can be an invaluable resource. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced songwriter, these books provide a wealth of knowledge and inspiration to help you write great songs, master music theory, and improve your craft.

In this article, we have compiled a list of the top 10 must-read music books that cover a wide range of topics, including songwriting techniques, lyric writing, melody creation, music theory, and the creative process. These books have received rave reviews from songwriters and industry experts, making them essential additions to any music library.

Whether you’re looking for practical advice, creative inspiration, or a deeper understanding of the songwriting process, these books offer valuable insights from renowned authors and songwriting legends. From interviews with successful songwriters to comprehensive guides on music production and the music business, there’s something for everyone in this list.

Key Takeaways:

  • Explore a diverse range of music books that cater to songwriters, artists, and industry professionals.
  • Enhance your songwriting skills by learning from renowned authors and successful songwriters.
  • Gain valuable insights into the songwriting process, music theory, and the music business.
  • Discover practical techniques and strategies to write great songs and build a successful music career.
  • Expand your knowledge and creativity through interviews with songwriting legends and industry experts.

The Steal Like an Artist Trilogy by Austin Kleon

The Steal Like an Artist Trilogy by Austin Kleon is a collection of three books that provide valuable insights into the creative process, sharing your work, and staying motivated as an artist. This trilogy is suitable for any musician, producer, songwriter, or music business person looking to enhance their creativity and artistic journey.

  1. Steal Like An Artist: This first book encourages artists to embrace influence and find inspiration in the work of others. It emphasizes the importance of understanding the creative lineage and finding new ways to express oneself through the ideas of others.
  2. Show Your Work!: The second book emphasizes the importance of sharing your creative process with the world. It encourages artists to embrace vulnerability and open up about their journey, allowing others to witness the growth, struggles, and successes along the way.
  3. Keep Going: In the third book, Kleon provides practical advice and philosophical approaches to stay creative and motivated in the face of challenges. It explores strategies to overcome creative block, maintain a consistent practice, and cultivate resilience in the pursuit of artistic endeavors.

Whether you’re seeking inspiration, looking to expand your creative horizons, or simply needing a boost in motivation, The Steal Like an Artist Trilogy offers valuable insights and practical guidance to fuel your artistic journey.

“The Steal Like an Artist Trilogy is a must-read for anyone looking to unlock their creativity, share their work, and navigate the challenges of the artistic process.”

Songwriters on Songwriting by Paul Zollo

Songwriters on Songwriting by Paul Zollo is a book that provides a fascinating glimpse into the world of songwriting through in-depth interviews with renowned songwriters. Featuring names like Paul Simon, Bob Dylan, Randy Newman, and Leonard Cohen, this book offers a valuable opportunity to gain insights from some of the greatest minds in music.

Within the pages of this book, Paul Zollo explores the songwriting process, unearthing hidden gems of wisdom and inspiration. Through candid conversations with these songwriters, readers can delve into the creative minds behind iconic songs and understand the intricate craft of songwriting.

“The best advice I’ve ever gotten about songwriting is to just keep doing it. Write every day, even if it’s just a few lines. Inspiration comes from the act of creating.”

Whether you’re an aspiring songwriter or a music PR professional looking for valuable insights, Songwriters on Songwriting is a must-read. It offers a unique perspective on the art of songwriting, providing a deeper understanding of the creative process, the sources of inspiration, and the challenges songwriters face.

With its abundance of songwriting insights and personal anecdotes, this book serves as a wellspring of inspiration for anyone seeking to understand and appreciate the magic behind the songs we love.

Songwriting Insights from Interviews

  • Discover the sources of inspiration for renowned songwriters.
  • Explore the songwriting process and the steps taken to create remarkable songs.
  • Gain valuable insights into the challenges and rewards of a songwriter’s journey.
  • Learn about the techniques and approaches used by the greatest songwriters in the industry.

Inspiration can strike from unexpected places, and Songwriters on Songwriting offers an intimate look into the moments of genius that shape timeless songs. It is a treasure trove of wisdom that can ignite your own creativity and deepen your understanding of the songwriting process.

Experience the Journey of Songwriting

Explore the stories behind the songs, the emotions that drove their creation, and the intricacies of song structure. Songwriters on Songwriting takes you on a journey through the minds of musical legends, revealing the magical alchemy that turns words and melodies into unforgettable songs.

Whether you’re an aspiring songwriter, a music enthusiast, or simply someone curious about the art of songwriting, Songwriters on Songwriting is an indispensable resource that will deepen your appreciation and understanding of the craft.

How to Make It in the New Music Business by Ari Herstand

How to Make It in the New Music Business by Ari Herstand is a comprehensive guide that provides practical advice and strategies for independent musicians aiming to succeed in the modern music industry. This book covers various aspects of the music business, including music production, building a fanbase, promoting your music, and effectively utilizing online platforms.

Ari Herstand draws from his own experiences as an independent musician, offering valuable insights into navigating the ever-changing music landscape. Whether you’re a musician, producer, or aspiring artist, this book equips you with the knowledge and tools necessary to establish a successful music career.

Among the topics covered in How to Make It in the New Music Business are:

  • Recording and releasing albums
  • Building a loyal fanbase
  • Promoting your music
  • Touring and live performances
  • Using the internet and social media effectively

“Success in today’s music industry requires a combination of talent, hard work, and a deep understanding of how to navigate the new digital landscape. How to Make It in the New Music Business provides aspiring musicians with the tools they need to thrive in this ever-evolving industry.”

Whether you’re an independent musician looking to take your career to the next level or someone interested in understanding the intricacies of the music industry, How to Make It in the New Music Business is an invaluable resource. By following Ari Herstand’s advice and implementing his strategies, you’ll be well-equipped to make your mark and achieve success in the competitive world of music.

How to Make It in the New Music Business

Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell

Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell is a captivating exploration of the factors that contribute to success and challenges the traditional notion of innate talent. Gladwell introduces the concept of the 10,000-hour rule, which suggests that achieving greatness requires at least 10,000 hours of practice and dedication in a specific field. The book delves into the role of luck and opportunity in the path to success, highlighting how these factors can play a significant role in an individual’s achievements.

For aspiring songwriters, Outliers offers a fresh perspective on success and the creative journey. It encourages a more nuanced understanding of achievement, emphasizing that it is not solely dependent on talent but rather a combination of hard work, opportunity, and timing. By exploring real-life examples and stories, Gladwell inspires readers to rethink their approach to success, igniting a new sense of motivation and creativity.


The book provides valuable insights into the importance of seizing opportunities and emphasizes the significance of continuous practice and perseverance. It challenges the notion that success is solely determined by individual talent, instead emphasizing the larger societal and environmental factors at play.

All You Need to Know About the Music Business by Donald Passman

All You Need to Know About the Music Business by Donald Passman is widely regarded as the industry bible for anyone working in the music business. This book covers a wide range of topics, including record agreements, merchandising deals, copyrighting, and building an artist image. It offers comprehensive insights into the various aspects of the music industry, providing valuable knowledge for musicians, managers, lawyers, and anyone seeking to navigate the business side of the music industry.

music industry

Get More Fans DIY Guide to the New Music Business by Jesse Cannon

Are you an independent musician looking to establish a strong presence in the music industry? Look no further than the Get More Fans DIY Guide to the New Music Business by Jesse Cannon. This practical guide offers invaluable strategies and techniques to help you stand out in the modern music landscape.

One of the key challenges for any musician is building a fanbase. This guide dives deep into effective music marketing strategies and provides actionable steps to help you connect with your target audience and grow your fanbase. Whether it’s through social media, email marketing, or live performances, you’ll discover proven techniques to attract and engage fans.

Distributing music is another crucial aspect of a successful music career, and this guide has you covered. From navigating online platforms to securing playlists and radio plays, you’ll learn how to get your music heard by a wider audience. The guide also offers insights into effective online promotion, helping you create buzz and generate excitement around your music.

But it’s not just about promotion. Jesse Cannon’s guide also delves into the importance of creating a solid foundation for your music career. You’ll find practical advice on building your brand, developing a professional image, and establishing relationships within the industry.

To give you a taste of what to expect, here’s a quote from the book:

“Building a fanbase takes time and effort, but with the right strategies and consistent promotion, you can attract dedicated fans who will support you throughout your music career.”

— Jesse Cannon

With its comprehensive insights into music marketing, building a fanbase, distributing music, and online promotion, this guide is an invaluable resource for independent musicians. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to establish a strong presence in the new music business.

Get More Fans

Key Takeaways from Get More Fans DIY Guide to the New Music Business:
Effective music marketing strategies to build a fanbase
Actionable steps for distributing music and online promotion
Insights into building a professional image and brand
Practical advice for establishing relationships within the industry

Writing Better Lyrics by Pat Pattison

Writing Better Lyrics by Pat Pattison is a comprehensive guide that focuses on the art of lyric writing. Whether you’re an aspiring songwriter or a seasoned lyricist, this book offers valuable techniques and exercises to elevate the quality and impact of your lyrics.

With a strong emphasis on creativity, Pattison provides insightful strategies to break free from creative blocks and unlock your full lyrical potential. The book explores various lyric writing techniques, guiding you through the process of crafting powerful and memorable lyrics that resonate with your audience.

One of the key aspects covered is the art of rhyming. Pattison offers practical exercises and examples to help you master different rhyming schemes and create lyrically rich songs. By understanding the nuances of rhyming, you’ll be able to create more polished and impactful lyrics.

The book also delves into song structure, exploring how to effectively organize and arrange your lyrics for maximum impact. Understanding the various song sections and their roles will enable you to create songs that flow seamlessly and engage listeners from beginning to end.

Overall, Writing Better Lyrics provides invaluable guidance for any songwriter looking to enhance their lyric writing skills. By implementing the techniques and exercises outlined in this book, you’ll be able to create compelling and meaningful songs that leave a lasting impression.

Writing Better Lyrics

Recording Secrets for the Small Studio by Mike Senior

Recording Secrets for the Small Studio by Mike Senior is a highly recommended resource for songwriters seeking to enhance their recording skills. This comprehensive book offers practical advice and techniques specifically tailored for music production in small studios or home recording setups.

The book covers a wide range of topics essential to audio engineering and music production, including:

  • Microphone techniques
  • Mixing
  • Mastering

Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced songwriter, this book provides valuable insights and step-by-step guidance to help you achieve professional-quality recordings in any small studio environment.

Also Read:- Top Free Synth VSTs For Your Home Studio Sound In 2024

One of the key highlights of Recording Secrets for the Small Studio is its emphasis on practicality. Mike Senior’s expertise and experience shine through as he shares real-life recording techniques and strategies that can be applied immediately by aspiring songwriters.

“Recording Secrets for the Small Studio is an indispensable guide for anyone looking to produce high-quality recordings in a small studio setup. Mike Senior’s expertise and practical advice make this book a valuable resource for both beginners and experienced engineers.” – John Davis, Music Producer

Whether you’re recording vocals, instruments, or full bands, the book offers valuable insights into capturing the best possible sound in limited spaces. From microphone selection and placement to optimizing the acoustics of your studio, Recording Secrets for the Small Studio covers everything you need to know to improve your recordings.

Don’t Miss Out on Proven Recording Techniques!

Upgrade your home recording setup and elevate your music production skills with Recording Secrets for the Small Studio by Mike Senior. This book is the go-to resource for songwriters looking to achieve professional-quality recordings in their small studio or home recording environment. Be sure to grab your copy today!


In conclusion, these top 10 must-read music books for songwriters offer a wealth of knowledge and inspiration to enhance your songwriting skills and further your music career.

From books on songwriting techniques and music theory to practical guides on the music business and recording, these resources cover a diverse range of topics.

Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced songwriter, these books provide valuable insights and guidance to help you hone your craft and succeed in the music industry.


Q: What are some must-read music books for songwriters?

A: Some must-read music books for songwriters include books on songwriting techniques, music theory, lyric writing, and books by industry experts.

Q: Can you recommend any good songwriting books?

A: Yes, some highly recommended songwriting books include “The Artist’s Way” by Julia Cameron, “Bird by Bird” by Anne Lamott, and “Letters to a Young Poet” by Rainer Maria Rilke.

Q: How can I improve my songwriting skills?

A: You can improve your songwriting skills by reading books on songwriting, studying music theory, writing songs regularly, and learning from experienced songwriters.

Q: Are there any books that focus on lyric writing?

A: Yes, there are several books that focus on lyric writing, such as “Writing Better Lyrics” by Pat Pattison and “The Frustrated Songwriter’s Handbook” by Karl Coryat.

Q: What books can help me with music production?

A: Books like “The Secrets of Songwriting” by Gary Ewer and “The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Music Composition” by Michael Miller can help you with music production.

Q: Who is known for writing great songs and has authored songwriting books?

A: Jimmy Webb is a renowned songwriter known for writing great songs and has also authored the book “Tunesmith: Inside the Art of Songwriting.”

Q: How can I overcome writer’s block as a songwriter?

A: To overcome writer’s block, you can try reading books on overcoming creative obstacles, exploring new songwriting techniques, and collaborating with other songwriters.

Q: Are there any books that focus on chord progressions and melody writing?

A: Yes, books like “The Songwriter’s Workshop: Harmony” by Jimmy Kachulis and “Melody in Songwriting: Tools and Techniques for Writing Hit Songs” by Jack Perricone focus on chord progressions and melody writing.

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