Songwriting - Learn how to write a catchy song

Learn all the techniques, methods and theory behind the greatest songs ever produced, along with hands-on examples!
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  • Lectures 132
  • Contents Video: 3 hours
    Other: 2 hours
  • Skill Level All Levels
  • Languages English
  • Includes Lifetime access
    30 day money back guarantee!
    Available on iOS and Android
    Certificate of Completion
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About This Course

Published 2/2015 English

Course Description

This course is all about writing a catchy song. After diving through the most important basics, such as beat, notes and scales we will focus on chords. We'll analyze and understand why to choose a chord over another in order to create a certain atmosphere. After that you'll be able to create and release tension in your song, which is very important for successful songwriting

A great deal of the course is about writing a great melody and how to use motives, sequences and transformations to improve your songwriting skills. We'l teach you how to avoid to write boring melodies and give you lots of techniques to spice them up. After all, you want to entertain your audience, don't you?

We'll cover the topics of lyrics and give you advice how to approach songwriting in case you have to fit the melody to the lyrics or vice versa.

We tried to create a course that can be really helpful to you, so there are exercises after each section.

We've created a course that is useful for any music genre. All the example audio files can be downloaded, so that you can also practice at home.

Students should be able to finish this course within 14 days if they are very commited, or 30 days if they are taking this course part time.

The course is linear, so it is best advice to watch it from beginning to end. It is also modular though, so it is possible to rewatch a certain topic if you want to refresh your memory or feel you missed something.

If you want to know why certain chords work, why certain melodies sound good and what you can do to turn any song into a catch great song, then this course is for you.

What are the requirements?

  • You should have software on your computer to download and play the audio resources in the resources tab (e.g. Audacity, iTunes etc.)

What am I going to get from this course?

  • write a catchy song
  • analyze and understand why a song sounds good

What is the target audience?

  • This course is for everyone who has little to no knowledge about music theory, but would like to learn how to write a professional song. It is also suited for more advances musicians who want to refreshen their musical theory knowledge and learn some useful tips, used by the most sucessful music producers of Western Music.

What you get with this course?

Not for you? No problem.
30 day money back guarantee.

Forever yours.
Lifetime access.

Learn on the go.
Desktop, iOS and Android.

Get rewarded.
Certificate of completion.

Curriculum

Section 1: If you like music, you can already write a song
07:25

This is an introduction to songwriting. After this lecture you will have a good understanding that writing a good song does not depend only on talent, luck or money, but you will discover that there are certain simple rules that are used to make any song great.

06:25

Here I'll introduce the methods I use in this course. After this lecture you will get to know some of the tools and methods that you can use to successfully write a great song.

04:41

This lecture shows you the structure of the course.

Article

Here you will find some hands-on examples that will allow you to strenghten the knowledge from the previous lecture.

Article

After this you'll know what the definition of a song actually is.

Article

Learn what sound actually is.

Article

Here you will learn some definitions that will not only help you to get the most out of this course, but will also help a great deal when talking with professional musicians.

01:49

Here you will learn which instruments are the best for songwriting

01:27

Learn why the bass is really important.

01:40

Learn how the rhythm guitar holds a harmonic function in a song.

00:41

Learn, how the synthesizer has often taken over the function of the rhythm guitar in modern music.

Article

Learn how a typical song is structured.

Article

Analyzing a song is something every good songwriter should be able to do

Article

Let's bring the previous exercise to a new level

Let's see what you've learned so far!
4 questions
Section 2: The beat goes on (and on)
02:24

Beat is hard-wired into human beings. Here you will learn more about it.

Article

Learn how beat changes with the different music genres.

Article

Here we'll dig deeper into different beats.

Article

Learn about the important time signature concept.

03:22

Syncopation is great to add variety to your song. Learn more about it here.

01:32

Here we'll look at the typical characteristics of Funk.

01:01

Here we'll look at the typical characteristics of Raggae.

01:35

Here we'll look at the typical characteristics of Swing.

Article

Learn about alternative time signatures that you can use in your songs.

03:45

Here you'll learn which speed you'll want to use for your song.

02:02

The tempo doesn't need to be fixed. Here you'll learn why.

Article

Let's compose some beats!

Article

You can even use a beat to compose a melody. Let's try it!

Let's see how much beat you got!
4 questions
Section 3: Notes and Scales
02:05

Just checking if you did pay attention so far ;)

01:28

Octaves are great for songwriting. Learn more here.

Article

No need to know all pitch collections. Learn, which are important to us.

Article

The most important definitions you'll definitely want to know.

06:10

This is the basis of why certain pitches blend in well and others don't. Turns out that Pythagoras found out for us, so we'll have a look at his results here.

Article

We'll make the jump from perfect fifths to a full scale. It's good to understand this concept for solid songwriting.

Article

You really want to know everything about scales!

00:59

Ever heard of the terms "major" or "minor"? Learn more about it here.

00:49

A brief intro to the fantastic blue note.

01:02

The tritone is very dissonant. Perfect to create tension. Good to have it around when you write songs.

Article

Let's write a melody!

Article

Let's write a melody in minor!

Article

Let's write a melody in phrygian mode!

Time to test your skills!
3 questions
Section 4: Use Many Mighty Major Chords to build up tension!
00:57

This is going to be all about harmony!

05:36

Remember, it's all about creating and releasing tension. Learn how to achieve that here!

07:00

Advances tension building techniques.

05:22

Triads are the most important chords. Learn more about them here.

03:13

More tension building tools for you!

02:22

And even more tension building tools!

11:29

Now that you learned all about chords the question is: when do you know which one to use for your song? Find out here.

Article

Let's try to build some tension with a chord progression.

Article

Can you transpose a chord progression? Let's try!

Test your tension building skills!
3 questions
Section 5: Make it sound sad with Minor Chords!
05:41

This is all about the minor scale!

00:57

Learn all about the I Chord.

00:56

Learn all about the II Chord.

00:52

Learn all about the III Chord.

00:58

Learn all about the IV Chord.

02:54

Learn all about the V Chord.

01:14

Learn all about the VI Chord.

01:54

Learn all about the VII Chord.

Article

Make a scale less boring with a harmonic minor.

Article

Learn, how Mozart used the melodic minor to avoid that and interval sounded unnatural. You can use it too!

Article

More great ways to create and resolve tension.

Article

Let's write a chord progression.

Article

Let's write another chord progression.

Article

See if you can transpose this chord progression.

Time to test your songwriting skills!
3 questions
Section 6: Chord Inversions (great to build a solid bass line!)
00:54

Some more useful chord types and then we'll move on to the melody!

01:46

Inversions are great for a bass line in your song!

00:11

These chords create so much tension, we love them!

13:45

Let's put that 7th chord into action.

Article

Chords galore!

Article

Make it sound a bit more spacious with suspended second chords.

Article

Simple, effective. Power Chords.

Article

Let's take a look how all this applies to the examples included here.

Article

Yes, pro's do this and so should you.

Article

Let's try to write a more advanced chord progression.

Article

Writing more advanced chord progressions.

Article

Let's use the seventh chord to write a song.

Let's see what you've learned today!
3 questions
Section 7: Harmonic Progressions (using chords the proper way)
02:41

Let's take those chords you learned about before and use them the right way.

02:49

Let's see some examples.

04:06

We created a lot of tension so far. Cadences are great to create a sense of rest and return.

Article

Have a look at these examples.

03:02

Let's get you more familiar with the syntax of harmony.

Article

Examples, examples, examples!

05:38

You can learn a lot from blues, let's have a quick look at it.

07:53

Learn all about the relative key.

Article

More examples!

01:37

Let's look at how this applies to a song I wrote.

03:53

From major to minor.

Article

And we have more examples (yay)!

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Instructor Biography

I am a musician, multimedia producer and Bachelor of Arts in Media Informatics. Currently I live in Rome, where I organize the only official international Open Mic of the city. I am also the co-founder of Vandi Design, an Italian-Dutch production company.

Starting at a young age, I stepped into the world of music when I learned to play the keyboard at three years in a music school in Germany. This was followed shortly after with another 8 years of studying how to play the organ. During this time, still a young kid, I got my first vocal lessons after which I became one of the main singers of a local choir, with final appearance on TV (ZDF Fernsehgarten).

After several cover bands in Germany (and learning how to play guitar in the meantime) I eventually moved to Rome, Italy, where I found some very talented international musicians. After recording our first album, a low-cost self-made production, we instantly got incredible positive feedback from several important music magazines in Italy (and some even abroad). We took the experience and recorded our first high-quality recording, called Into the Light, which instantly got us into the most important radio stations in Rome, including interviews at Radio Rock and Radio Popolare Roma, which also instantly invited us to play at their festival (Dinamo Fest 07/2011).

In the meantime the Open Mic Nights I'm organizing grew bigger, with hundreds of musicians that play their original music every year. Some of them struggled with their songs, so I started giving them 1:1 sessions, teaching them how to improve their songs and giving them useful tools for songwriting. In 2005 I found out about Udemy and now I'm making these methods available for everybody right on this great platform.

I'm also organizing live music events at the first Irish Pub in Italy (The Fiddler's Elbow) , and I directed music videos for "The Swing Pistols" and "Frühbel" - Leave (No. 1 Hit in the L.A. Dance Charts March 15 - 31 2007)"

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