BOOK REVIEW: A Monkey Manual For Songwriters

A Monkey Manual For Songwriters
Authored by Karin Paparelli and Bill DiLuigi

When I was first contacted about doing a book review, my initial thoughts were “I review music and artist performances, not books” and I have not taken time to sit and read a book in so long, but this is a book that is about the music and how it is created, so I said I would take a look and give it a try. And I am sure glad I did as the authors have used their god given talents of expression to present an instructional guide that is easy to understand, entertaining and filled with information that will benefit the dreamer to the established songwriter.

This is no ordinary book, and how could you expect it to be with a title like “A Monkey Manual For Song Writers”. It is more like a recipe book for anyone who writes, and not only music, as I gained some extremely useful and thoughtful insight on my own presentations. The book title is taken from the phrase Monkeying Around. Authors Karin Paparelli and Bill DiLuigi began hosting song writer rounds in a coffee shop called the Frothy Monkey, which would soon be referred to as the “Monkey”, so naturally it evolved to Monkey-In-A-Round, and there are always plenty of jokes about monkeys, so a theme was born.

One hundred and two pages long, it is an easy read, take it with you over your lunch hour and it makes for an enjoyable companion making everyone around you wonder what is so funny. The entire book is filled with fun references to the title, but don’t think the book is a joke, as it is a serious guide to anyone who wants to write songs. Every page of the book is filled with exercises to get the reader and songwriter in a creative mode, and search not only within themselves but in the every day surroundings for material for their songs and tools for utilizing the ideas to make music.

Eleven chapters are divided into the basic components and tools a person needs from the beginning to the end of developing a song. Each of the chapters is titled in reference to the monkey theme, including such creative titles as More Fun Than A Barrel of Monkeys, Hey Hey We’re The Monkeys, Monkey In The Middle … you get the idea. The reader is taken by the hand and explained how to come up with a hook and to use it properly, how to implement the rhythm and melody and all the other building blocks and structures involved in creating a song.

As a bonus the book includes a CD with five songs co-written by Paparelli and DiLuigi that are used as references throughout the book to give the reader examples of the lessons and can be used as a valuable reference.

Karin and Bill are both well established in the music community with songs recorded internationally as well as a collection of songwriting awards from such recognize publications as Billboard and American Songwriter Magazine. Both frequently perform at the famed Bluebird CafĂ© in Nashville as well as co-hosting their Monkey In A Round writer’s show and many other venues nationally.

To order your copy of the book online go to For more information about the song writers, visit or

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