Pat talks about writing from a title, writing lyrics to music and, of course, writing fearlessly in these interviews. Check out the latest Pat Pattison videos here.
Coursera Songwriting Course Starts Again January 27th
Five months in the making, Pat's newest course, which initially launched March 1, 2013 with 65,590 songwriters from all over the world, will begin its 4th run on January 27th. This free online course consists of six weeks of video content, with quizzes and peer graded assignments.
"I had such a great time filming this," said Pat, "and can't say enough about how the Berkleemusic team have executed the course. What a great opportunity!"
Coursera's philosophy is that education is a basic human right and should be available to all (see About Coursera) - and they've partnered with the world's best universities to bring about this vision.
"I'm delighted with the Berklee/Coursera partnership," Pat continued. "Berkleemusic has won best online course 8 years in a row and Coursera is far and away the most successful MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) provider in the world. Jump in - you'll have a great time!"
Pat's course can be found at:
Kudos for Pat
"I count myself lucky and proud to have studied with Mr. Pattison. I would not be the writer I am today without his teaching and his unique and comprehensive understanding of language, rhyme, rhythm, and structure."
Pat Pattison does the impossible. He takes the mystery out of songwriting without taking the heart out of it.
- David Wilcox
"I took a class with a great teacher named Pat Pattison... I learned a lot in that class...and I still read that book, Writing Better Lyrics. I think it's great."
"This was the best 2 days a songwriter could spend. By lunchtime Saturday, after two and a half hours, I learned more than I had in 35 years of playing and writing music. And it just kept getting better."
"Working with Pat on my songs has been an essential part of my songwriting process. Pat is a master at asking the right questions to pinpoint what may seem like small tweaks, but in the end, are huge revelations, taking my songs to a whole new level. I honestly believe that Pat is the best songwriting teacher out there. Working with him has made me a much better writer, performer and singer. I'm always afraid to bring him new material, because I know something I think is done, once put to the Pat test, just needs a bit more work. But in the end, the SONG is better for it. I bring him as many songs as I can! He is an essential mentor for me."
Songwriting Writing Without Boundaries
Songwriting Writing Without Boundaries: Lyric Writing Exercises for Finding Your Voice
Pat's new book, Songwriting Without Boundaries: Lyric Writing Exercises for Finding Your Voice, sets out a series of 14-day challenges constructed to improve both your object writing and your ability to discover and manipulate metaphor.
Writing great song lyrics requires practice and discipline. Songwriting Without Boundaries will help you commit to routine practice through fun writing exercises. This unique collection of more than 150 sense-bound prompts helps you develop the skills you need to:
- tap into your senses and inject your writing with vivid details
- effectively use metaphor and comparative language
- add rhythm to your writing and manage phrasing
Songwriters, as well as writers of other genres, will benefit from this collection of sensory writing challenges. Divided into four sections, Songwriting Without Boundaries features four different fourteen-day challenges with timed writing exercises, along with examples from other songwriters, poets, and prose writers. Contributing writers include multiple Grammy winning songwriter Gillian Welch, professional poet Caroline Harvey, a host of songwriters from the Berklee College of Music faculty, and others.
Includes foreword by professional songwriter Mike Reid ("I Can’t Make You Love Me", performed by Bonnie Raitt)
Not long ago I said to Pat, “Why bother with all this when great lyrics donʼt seem to matter anymore?” “They matter to you, donʼt they?” he shot back. And there it was. For reasons beyond my full understanding I had to confess that they did matter to me. A lot. If they matter to you, then buy this book.
If youʼre of a mind to want to get at the best in you, you hold in your hands, at this moment, a tool of inestimable value. …Faithfully following the principles set down in this book will not only help you ﬁnd the right word but, more importantly, will be a constant companion in the life long journey toward understanding precisely what it is you mean to say.
- Mike Reid, Nashville, TN
Pat Pattison is the writing teacher I've been long praying for and his writing exercises are nothing short of revolutionary. I’m almost embarrassed to say that after over a decade of professional creative writing I don’t think I ever fully understood the function and craft of metaphor until diving in to the writing challenges of Songwriting Without Boundaries. With the elegant flair of a wonderfully mad scientist, Pat pulls the best out of artists and empowers us to make the work we've always wanted to make. The poetry I’ve produced since investing in Pat’s teaching has been some of the liveliest, most powerful, and most published work of my career so far. His smart, inventive, cut-to-the-chase instruction has been the necessary overhaul for my whole creative life; the very core of my writing practice has been revamped and infused with new, lustrous life blood. His books sit open on my desk, dog-eared and well worn.
- Caroline Harvey, professional poet
featured on HBO’s Def Poetry Jam
Good luck. Write fearlessly. Have fun.
Writing Better Lyrics - 2nd Edition!
It’s out - the 2nd edition of Pat Pattison’s groundbreaking Writing Better Lyrics, featuring a foreword by three-time Grammy winner Gillian Welch and almost 100 new pages, including several new chapters plus expansion and reworking of most of the original chapters. "
[This book] is a priceless map through the minefields of cliché, boredom and laziness that often destroy even the best efforts...
I would not be the writer I am today without [Pat’s] teaching and his unique and comprehensive understanding of language, rhyme, rhythm, and structure. To this day, when I struggle with a lyric and find myself falling short, I am usually ignoring some very sound advice contained in these pages. And I read it again." -- 3-time Grammy winner Gillian Welch
Read Writer's Digest article about the book here