I don’t claim to know how to teach anybody anything, let alone something so individual and subjective as writing songs. The truth is, dear readers, you already know how to write songs. You’ve been, in a sense, studying them your whole life. My goal as a teacher, and the goal of this book, is ‘unlocking the great songs inside you.’ They’re in there. I have witnessed the births of hundreds of songs in class, some so beautiful that the class is wiping back tears by the end. These songs were written by people exactly like you: lovers of music; strummers of guitars, banjos, mandolins; people who’ve dreamed of writing songs like the ones they love. So, welcome and good luck.
— Steve Dawson, from the Introduction
Take It to the Bridge combines a lively, instructive dialogue; helpful chord, key and song-form charts; and creative songwriting assignments designed to inspire anyone who ever has thought of adding songs to the world.
Steve Dawson is a singer/songwriter/musician who leads the rock/folk band Dolly Varden and has taught songwriting and guitar at Chicago’s Old Town School of Folk Music for more than a decade.
Mark Caro is author of the award-winning noniction book The Foie Gras Wars and has written about music, film, food and culture for the Chicago Tribune, The New York Times, and other publications.