This is the best book I’ve read on song writing so far. It uses the Beatles’ songs as examples so that even if I didn’t know a song I could look it up on-line.
The book begins with very simple two and three chord songs, each chapter then adds another layer of interest and complexity. It’s a great book just to read through, and there are lots of points where I suddenly understood how a part of a song worked.
You don’t need to read music to use the book but it helps as a lot of the examples use notation, there is an Appendix, “A beginners guide to music theory” that gives you the basics.
I bought the hardback (almost 800 pages) and the Kindle version. The Kindle is much easier to handle as the paper book is quite chunky. The only downside of the kindle version is that you need good eyesight to read some of the musical examples.
If you buy just one book on song writing then this is the one to get.
Best bit: Appendix 2 “Beatles chords in practice”, some great example of modulation when moving between song sections, e.g. Verse to Chorus or Chorus to bridge.