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Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite
New Tracks: Demystifying the Art of Writing Good Lyrics is a non-fiction instructional book for songwriters. Author Shel Craig explains how she creates her songs and breaks down the process into easy, understandable sections. She begins with timed free-writing, a process where one writes for ten minutes without concerns about grammar, spelling or even subject. This is something that Craig recommends should become a daily practice, and she gives advice on how to incorporate timed writing into your schedule. These writings may contain one or more lines that really resonate with you or are rich in imagery. Those are the lines that have the potential to become lyrics. From there, Craig shows you how to hone them, work with rhyme and rhythm and finally melody.
Shel Craig's guide to song-writing, New Tracks: Demystifying the Art of Writing Good Lyrics, is a deceptively slim volume that is brimming with great ideas and inspiration. It's a workbook that makes it easy to sit down and start writing lyrics. Craig shows you how to detect promising lines and begin the process of making them into songs. As I read on, I recalled my long-ago abandoned efforts at writing lyrics and how difficult the process seemed to be. I wish I had had her book back then and am thrilled to have it now. Even if you've never thought of writing lyrics, this book may very likely start you seriously thinking about it. New Tracks: Demystifying the Art of Writing Good Lyrics brings the seemingly impossible within reach, and the author's enthusiasm for her subject is quite contagious. It's highly recommended.