Top 10 Books For Worship & Modern Hymn Songwriters

by Bobby Gilles

in Songwriting/Hymn Workshop

Book covers of some of the best books for worship music songwriters, like God Songs: How To Write And Select Songs For WorshipFresh on the heels of the My Song In The Night “Ten Top Books For Worship Leaders” list, here is a list of ten books for songwriters. These books will benefit all songwriters, but the list is tailored for those who write praise & worship songs, modern hymns and other congregational songs.

I’ve included one book on the business side of songwriting and one book on the benefits, uses and practices of various kinds of writing groups. I’ve also included a couple books on how to write poetry, because they’re far more helpful in developing your skill as a lyricist than most “how to write song lyrics” books I’ve read. Song lyricists need to take their art seriously.

I’ve linked to the page for each book. A few of these gems are rare, so I’d encourage you to look beyond Amazon to make sure you get a good, well-priced copy.

As with the Worship Leader Book List, I’m not going to attempt to rank all ten of these in exact order. I’m just saying:

Read all ten.

The My Song In The Night “Ten Books For Writers Of Praise & Worship Songs & Modern Hymns”

God Songs: How to Write & Select Songs for Worship by Paul Baloche, Jimmy and Carol Owens

The Anatomy Of Hymnody by Austin C. Lovelace

Writing Better Lyrics: The Essential Guide To Powerful Songwriting by Pat Pattison

In the Palm of Your Hand: The Poet’s Portable Workshop by Steve Kowit

With Tongues Of Fire: Profiles in 20th Century Hymn Writing by Paul Westermeyer

Common Hymnsense by Madeleine Forell Marshall

Writing Alone, Writing Together: A Guide for Writers and Writing Groups by Judy Reeves

The Discovery of Poetry: A Field Guide to Reading and Writing Poems by Frances Mayes

How To Write Songs On Guitar: A Guitar Playing and Songwriting Course by Rikky Rooksby

This Business of Songwriting by Jason Blume

Songwriters should also make use of a good thesaurus and rhyming dictionary, but you can do that online (I use for both). Don’t go hog-wild with them. Sometimes when writers first discover the thesaurus, for instance, they start coming up with synonyms that hurt their writing:

“Bloodless” and “creamy” may both be synonyms for “white,” but they conjure up far different images.

Previous post:

Next post: