The Worlds of R. A. Hortz
Getting to the Heart of Creativity
By Jason Blume
Billboard Books, New York: 2003
Reviewed by Herbert White - Posted February 21, 2012
Jason Blume is a well-known songwriter and instructor who has written songs that have been recorded by such famous personages as Britney Spears, the Backstreet Boys, John Berry, Steve Azar, and the Oak Ridge Boys. He is also the author of 6 Steps to Songwriting Success.
Despite the tag line for this book, Getting to the Heart of Creativity, Inside Songwriting is more of a book about Blume's personal experiences as a songwriter and the business of songwriting, rather than a how-to book about songwriting. Told through Blume's personal anecdotes and advice based on his hard earned experience, this book illustrates how songwriters compose their songs, and how the songs are translated into marketable recordings. An informative read, Inside Songwriting offers excellent insights into the world of songwriting, both from the view point of the writer and recording executives. Blume offers advice on just about everything from handling rejection to finding the time to write. The book is written in the form of short, pithy, personal essays that detail various aspects of Blume's career and his insights into the creative process.
Overall, Inside Songwriting will give you a good feel for whether or not you have the talent, business acumen, and personality to succeed as a commercial songwriter. This book also offers some excellent advice that will take you through some of the rough spells that you will inevitably encounter, as well as advice that will keep you writing even when you don't think that you have the time to do it. Throughout this book you'll find some excellent, albeit brief writing exercises that will give your creative muse a nudge while also giving you a little extra songwriting practice.
What I liked best about this book was that is does double duty as Blume's autobiography, giving the reader an unprecedented, insider's view of the process and business of songwriting. Best yet, Blume offers sage advice based upon his own experiences that will help many would-be songwriters avoid making some of the same mistakes that he made when he was a novice. Inside Songwriting is an intriguing book, and one that will interest anyone intrigued by the hows and whys of commercial songwriting.
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