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.
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.
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.
This lecture shows you the structure of the course.
Here you will find some hands-on examples that will allow you to strenghten the knowledge from the previous lecture.
After this you'll know what the definition of a song actually is.
Learn what sound actually is.
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.
Here you will learn which instruments are the best for songwriting
Learn why the bass is really important.
Learn how the rhythm guitar holds a harmonic function in a song.
Learn, how the synthesizer has often taken over the function of the rhythm guitar in modern music.
Learn how a typical song is structured.
Analyzing a song is something every good songwriter should be able to do
Let's bring the previous exercise to a new level
Beat is hard-wired into human beings. Here you will learn more about it.
Learn how beat changes with the different music genres.
Here we'll dig deeper into different beats.
Learn about the important time signature concept.
Syncopation is great to add variety to your song. Learn more about it here.
Here we'll look at the typical characteristics of Funk.
Here we'll look at the typical characteristics of Raggae.
Here we'll look at the typical characteristics of Swing.
Learn about alternative time signatures that you can use in your songs.
Here you'll learn which speed you'll want to use for your song.
The tempo doesn't need to be fixed. Here you'll learn why.
Let's compose some beats!
You can even use a beat to compose a melody. Let's try it!
Just checking if you did pay attention so far ;)
Octaves are great for songwriting. Learn more here.
No need to know all pitch collections. Learn, which are important to us.
The most important definitions you'll definitely want to know.
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.
We'll make the jump from perfect fifths to a full scale. It's good to understand this concept for solid songwriting.
You really want to know everything about scales!
Ever heard of the terms "major" or "minor"? Learn more about it here.
A brief intro to the fantastic blue note.
The tritone is very dissonant. Perfect to create tension. Good to have it around when you write songs.
Let's write a melody!
Let's write a melody in minor!
Let's write a melody in phrygian mode!
This is going to be all about harmony!
Remember, it's all about creating and releasing tension. Learn how to achieve that here!
Advances tension building techniques.
Triads are the most important chords. Learn more about them here.
More tension building tools for you!
And even more tension building tools!
Now that you learned all about chords the question is: when do you know which one to use for your song? Find out here.
Let's try to build some tension with a chord progression.
Can you transpose a chord progression? Let's try!
This is all about the minor scale!
Learn all about the I Chord.
Learn all about the II Chord.
Learn all about the III Chord.
Learn all about the IV Chord.
Learn all about the V Chord.
Learn all about the VI Chord.
Learn all about the VII Chord.
Make a scale less boring with a harmonic minor.
Learn, how Mozart used the melodic minor to avoid that and interval sounded unnatural. You can use it too!
More great ways to create and resolve tension.
Let's write a chord progression.
Let's write another chord progression.
See if you can transpose this chord progression.
Some more useful chord types and then we'll move on to the melody!
Inversions are great for a bass line in your song!
These chords create so much tension, we love them!
Let's put that 7th chord into action.
Make it sound a bit more spacious with suspended second chords.
Simple, effective. Power Chords.
Let's take a look how all this applies to the examples included here.
Yes, pro's do this and so should you.
Let's try to write a more advanced chord progression.
Writing more advanced chord progressions.
Let's use the seventh chord to write a song.
Let's take those chords you learned about before and use them the right way.
Let's see some examples.
We created a lot of tension so far. Cadences are great to create a sense of rest and return.
Have a look at these examples.
Let's get you more familiar with the syntax of harmony.
Examples, examples, examples!
You can learn a lot from blues, let's have a quick look at it.
Learn all about the relative key.
Let's look at how this applies to a song I wrote.
From major to minor.
And we have more examples (yay)!
Use chord variations to mix things up.
Let's write a verse with an open cadence.
Let's write a rock song.
Let's use a progression to write a pop song.
This is the most important aspect of your song - the melody. Learn all about it here.
It's always good to have some examples around.
Here I'll teach you the most important concepts and musical vocabulary you should know before we dive into the melody.
You can choose from 4 ways to start writing your song. Here you'll learn which they are.
Learn what a melody actually is.
Learn all about motives.
Learn all about repetition.
Learn all about sequences.
Learn all about transformation.
Here we'll have a look at different motives.
Here you'll learn how to apply motives to write a pop song.
Compose a motive yourself!
Repeat and sequence your motive!
How it's time to set your melody to actual chords!
Let's look at a different way to compose a melody.
Learn how to write a verse.
Learn how to improve your song.
Learn how to blend the melody with the chords.
Some tricks to make your song more interesting.
Here you'll learn how to avoid writing a boring song.
Even more tricks to improve your song!
Learn how to use motives properly.
Here you'll see how to use the techniques before for a song of mine.
Learn how to write a chorus.
Here you'll write a melody on top of your chord progression.
Let's practice more advanced songwriting.
An overview about writing lyrics.
Learn more about the eternal fight between who prefers lyrics over music. Which side are you on?
Some advice on getting your inspiration.
How to write a song lyrics first.
How to write a song music first.
Getting rhymes and flow into your lyrics.
Here you'll learn some interesting facts.
Don't let them steal your song. Learn more about it here.
Practice how to adapt lyrics to music.
Practice how to adapt lyrics to music Part II.
Let's compose a new melody.
Let's try to transform your lyrics into a rap version.
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)"