I have no clue how to write songs, and ive tried really hard.
My guitar teacher told me to try reading some song writing books.

so which one do you think is really good?
a friend recommened this one "The Craft and Business of Songwriting" - John Braheny
Writing songs take analysis. I doubt there's really a book that can teach you it. Just listen to music and pay attention to every detail.

...modes and scales are still useless.

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In a specific geographic location that will remain nameless, book reads a song about how to write YOU!
you could try songwriting for dummies or whatever, but ebvery songwriting book I've ever looked at pretty much only focuses on pop (and variants thereof) songwriting. Good songwriting isn't something you can learn from a book, unless your only intention is to write formulaic radio friendly stuff.
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Lots. Writer's Digest magazine doesn't really focus on songs, but good ideas about using language. Also, if you are still in school, your own english/literature class. Further, a thesaurus, dictionary, book of idioms, all helpful. Pay attention to ordinary advertising, too.

Not too sure about the music though. Found loads for lyrics, but zilch for "the riff"

EDIT yeah, i shoulda specified, most books focus on pop
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Last edited by millerdrr at Feb 2, 2009,
Those will just teach you how to formulate a pop song. The only way to get better at writing is to just keep doing it and having other critique it until you're happy. Then just keep doing it until you're dead. Simple.
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bob dylan's mad libs book.

its like a corkscrew to the heart.
I have no opinion on this matter.
What I did was just start writing and keep it up so you get lots of practice. The first few songs I wrote were terrible, I managed to dig them up when I was cleaning. But I definitely noticed a huge improvement since then and Im proud of a few of the things Ive written. Basically a decent vocabulary (thesaurus and dictionary are your friends), understanding of poetic devices, and practice are all fundamental.
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