Basics of Songwriting
4.6 (60 ratings)
Course Ratings are calculated from individual students’ ratings and a variety of other signals, like age of rating and reliability, to ensure that they reflect course quality fairly and accurately.
1,507 students enrolled

Basics of Songwriting

Learn to things you need to know, to write the music you need to write
4.6 (60 ratings)
Course Ratings are calculated from individual students’ ratings and a variety of other signals, like age of rating and reliability, to ensure that they reflect course quality fairly and accurately.
1,507 students enrolled
Created by Johan van Rooyen
Last updated 6/2017
English [Auto]
Current price: $13.99 Original price: $19.99 Discount: 30% off
5 hours left at this price!
30-Day Money-Back Guarantee
This course includes
  • 1.5 hours on-demand video
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Certificate of Completion
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What you'll learn
  • Understand how lyrics work
  • Understand chord progressions
  • Create their own lyrics
  • Construct chord progressions
  • Understand basics of arranging
  • Be able to play a musical instrument
  • Have an urge to express yourself musically

This course covers some of the basic ideas in song-writing. Ever listened to a song you love and thought, how did they do it? This course offers some interesting ways to understand how lyrics and music are put together to write songs.

Learn The Simple Things That Make A Great Song

  • Learn how to analyse and break down lyrics
  • Understand how verses and choruses are constructed
  • Use easy ideas to create your own songs
  • Examine case studies of famous songs by various artists
  • Understand what makes a great chord progression
  • Learn about the different parts of a song

Since the dawn of civilization, people have been using songs to communicate with each other, express ideas, and allow them to express their thoughts and feelings. The song is the simplest way in which ideas can be spread with music. There are no methods of creating art that are more wide-spread and accessible than the song. 

In this course, we look at how songs are put together. You will understand the important things to look for when listening to a song, and you will also know how to create your own songs based on these same ideas.

You will begin by looking at lyrics. How are they put together, do they rhyme, and do the words have any implicit musical qualities? You will analyse two songs from different genres and times and see how various tricks are used to understand the song. From here, we can write a new song based on the same ideas.

Next up you will come to understand harmonic progressions. Which chords should be used underneath your words? There are a few music theory tricks to help you here, and by analyzing a couple of different songs, you will start to see how these progressions work - many of them are made up of the same chords! From this understanding, you can create a chord progression for your lyrics.

Finally, we look at how to transform your chords and lyrics into a complete song. You will understand and be able to identify the parts of a song. You will also know about different instruments and some of the basic principles of arranging and producing music. We finish up at a point where you can go ahead and start looking at putting together your song.

Who this course is for:
  • People that want to write songs
Course content
Expand all 15 lectures 01:15:59
+ Words
5 lectures 33:56

This lesson gives a broad overview of how the course is put together. 

Preview 02:31

This lesson explains some of the things that are important to our study of lyrics - syllables, rhymes, and stressed/unstressed sounds.

Preview 07:32

In this video we will go through the lyrics of a well known Justin Bieber song. Using the tools from lesson 2 to describe exactly what is going on.

Case study #1 - Bieber

In this video you will see how the same tools that we used to examine the Bieber song can be used across time and genre by examining a class rock song by Journey.

Case study #2 - Journey

Using the learnings from the previous lessons, I will set you on your way to writing a good lyric. Keep in mind that while following the rules, you'll get something that works, some of the best songs come from breaking the rules completely.

Creating your own lyrics.
+ Music
5 lectures 22:21

This lesson looks at the idea of chords, and explains one of the foundations of a well-written song - a nice harmonic progression

Chord and progressions

We have a nice close look at "The first cut is the deepest" and see how Cat Stevens uses chord progressions in his classic song.

Case study #3 - Cat Stevens

Moving away from Cat Stevens, we can see that even complete Pop stars use chord progressions in their music. We look at this 90s pop song.

Case Study #4 - Spice Girls

Writers don't just choose chords at random. There's some solid music theory behind choosing chords, which we get into.

Some theory stuff

You'll combine the things from the previous lessons to create your own harmonic progression. I'll set you on your way to get a great chord progression. 

Your own chord progression
+ Putting it all together
5 lectures 19:42

Right now you have some chords and a tune. In this video we'll talk about different instruments and how we can combine them to play a song together.


Verse. Chorus. These words probable mean something to you. In this video we will put a meaning to these words, and see how we combine them to give a song structure.


We look at the topic of structure by looking at a song by Eminem. We see how he combines the ideas of a verse, chorus, etc. into a song.

Case Study #5 - Eminem

We've covered all the information that you need. There isn't much to it really. This video looks at how some very simple ideas can be combined, redefined, and twisted to create any song. You'll start to realize that following the rules does not guarantee a great song.

Final thoughts

Here we'll start to put your song together. I'll show how one can combine the ideas we've already learned and start pulling everything together.

Putting your song together