I thought it’d be neat to follow up my Holiday Gift Guide for Freelance Writers for one geared towards musicians! From history, inspiration, and songwriting craft, this is a well-rounded guide for those of you who are stuck on what to get for your musician friends and loved ones!
(Just like for my last gift guide, this post uses Amazon Associates links. That means if you end up buying from these links, I get a small percentage of the sales. Enough of those, and I might be able to buy myself lunch! Thanks guys!)
When we read the list of bands interviewed and profiled for this book, I had to pick it up. It’s a thorough history of the indie music scene in the 80s that starts with Black Flag and moves its way through the decade, covering many of the movers in the indie record label and music scene. Dinosaur Jr., Fugazi, Minor Threat, and Sonic Youth are just some of the bands featured in this book.
For some people, lyrics is an intuitive process. But like any other craft, it can be learned. I grabbed this book as part of the free Songwriting class offered by the author and Coursera (which I also recommend).
The book is easy-to-read, well-organized, and breaks down songwriting in understandable chunks. From creating vivid imagery, developing a story, and effective structuring, this book is a great start to develop lyricwriting skills. Exercises follow each chapter so you can actually practice what you’re learning.
At times poignant and insightful, this collection of Kurt Cobain’s journals and letters uses reproductions of the actual notebook pages and is an intimate look into his head. Even if you’re not into Nirvana, this book is an important way to see how a musician sees the world, thinks, and works.
I bought this for myself and my boyfriend last Christmas and we’ve been using it ever since. Affordable and portable, this USB audio interface works with all the major DAWs out there. It comes with Ableton Live Lite, which is fun to play with, but we mainly use it with GarageBand on our Macbooks. (And our roommate has used it with Logic.) If you’re just getting recording your own music, this is the perfect audio interface — it doesn’t have too many features where you’re overwhelmed, but has the basics of what you need.
Thanks for reading guys!