Learn how to write a hit song in popular music styles - rock, pop, blues, metal, reggae and more! Learn how to take a basic music idea and develop it into a full song.
"This course has good content with good visuals. You get to see the lesson and hear it individually and then combined together for the full sound. The demonstrations Robert has included ties it all together." - Greg R
"Teacher is clear, concise and interactive and lessons are easy to learn and easy to follow. Great job." - Suppoman ®
Learn about your cool instructor and what you can gain from these awesome music lessons. This brief intro will give you a sample of your instructor playing capability and what this course offers for you!
Ready to be inspired? Watch this brief description on how to get the most from this course. You'll get an outline of what to expect throughout the whole songwriting course and then you're on your way to songwriting happiness!
The 5th chord originated in in rock music... or did it? Take a quick look at the history of 5th chords, also called power chords, in this lesson.
Watch as we progressively lay a number of guitars on top of a simple two chord rhythm played on acoustic guitar. This will give you great ideas for using more than one guitar in your own songs. The end result is pretty cool!
Add open string bass notes to a simple guitar rhythm. We'll start with an easy guitar and bass combo. After that see how a few adjustments on either instrument can build depth to your bed.
Start layering a song further with more power chord ideas added to a new two chord rhythm. This lesson adds more guitars playing 5th chords with slightly different arrangements. The end result is rather surprising. Sound like 3 guitars? You decide.
Starting with a simple two chord progression listen to the effect of adding a 5th chord track where the movement is tight, compared to one where the movement is quite spacious. Both versions are built with using root notes for each pair of chords on the same strings only.
Based on two chords only, learn how just a guitar and bass can create a great, full sound. Perfect for a three piece band. Or larger...
Rock foundations locked in? Let's take a quick review.
Take your chords up into high registers and play them as triads. This is great for adding more instrument parts to your songwriting. In this lesson triads are played as chords. What is a triad? Keep going through the lessons to find out.
Some great sounds can be gained playing through each note of a high register chord individually. This lesson explores doing that with triads. Cool ideas for any instrument that plays a melody.
A brief review of high register chords. And we mean brief! So attention, please.
Bass octaves are a powerful way to create depth on any low register instrument. Start out with whole note octaves in this lesson. See how they provide a full sound in the lower end of the music spectrum.
Each bar in this four bar progression uses a bass octave in a slightly different way. In creating any music line not each bar has to use the same concept. This example creates an energetic, but smooth, bass line that keeps a song moving by varying its approach for each chord in the progression.
Using 3rd notes in bass lines adds more tonality. A bass can create a groove whether for a fast paced song or a slow one. It also allows the bass to shape to flow of a song, working in harmony with chord changes or helping reinforce them.
In bass lines 3rd notes can be used to create a driving bass approach perfect for energetic music styles. This four chord progression comes alive with a happening bass line built entirely around thirds.
Get the low down on using octaves and thirds to shape your bass lines, therefore an entire song. Here's your review.
While a guitar rocks with some punchy chords watch how the bass controls the flow of the groove. It's a great approach for anyone who wishes to write a driving rock song.
This lesson shows how to take the same basic chord progression and change it to different musical styles. Here we're getting all tropical with some reggae and ska. Explore key elements of these styles and learn how to use them in your own songs.
Learn funk techniques to create a full sound while still having strong separation between guitar and bass. This lesson explores guitar techniques on its own and then bass on its own. It then combines them both so you can see the awesome final result.
Some genres of music as different as progressive rock and hip hop use complex arrangements with many instruments. Learn in this lesson how to add a luscious depth to your songs by adding keyboard pads and layering your songs with multiple instrument parts.
Here's another keyboard technique. Dropping the 5th note of your triad on a keyboard pad can add to an atmospheric sound. This lesson uses a quiet sounding pad and a strong sounding pad with the same basic technique. This helps show simple mixing concepts also - does every instrument have to stand out strongly?
A recap on the lessons using tight chord clusters and keyboard pads in music arrangement.
The foundation for many modern bass styles comes from the blues. So, let's start at the beginning. Blues bass lines. They can be played on any low register instrument like piano, bass guitar, or cello.
'Walking' bass lines are at the heart of many blues songs. Check out a few simple versions in this lesson. Suitable for bass guitar, keyboard or most low register instruments. These lines are an essential component to many hit songs.
Using open strings only can be a creative to write bass lines. The concept translates easily on piano too. Also, this lesson shows that sometimes taking a idea from one instrument to another may not always work.
Take your blues bass lines into other genres like rock and techno. Explore both of those other genres here and be inspired to take your blues bass lines into other places.
So that's the blues! Take a short recap of the techniques common in blues bass lines.
Control your guitar sound by anchoring to one fret. This example plays a chord progression at the fifth fret only. This is an approach to guitar playing that forces a player to be creative in deciding which chords to use, and how to use them.
Energetic music like funk needs to have strong attack and crisp sounds. Keep chord movement tight in this funk example, add a new bass trick, and keep it tight!
A theoretically correct chord progression doesn't always work best... take this minor rock progression for example. It worked better with a little Major tweaking. We'll explain why and how we created this great rock sound in this lesson.
Use musical phrases on keyboard to create emotive concepts for your song. The techniques work on any instrument. This lesson demonstrates creating moving phrases on a piano. Can be used anywhere from classical to pop to trance to rock.
A relaxed approach to keyboard chords can provide a great songwriting platform allowing for other instruments to work in with it. Starting with a choice keyboard approach we'll add more instruments until we achieve a great slow rock sound that is almost comes across like a rock anthem.
Alternative chord formations all summed up in this short review.
So, where do you really begin in writing a great chord progression? A little theory will open some amazing songwriting doors. Learn in this lesson how to know which notes to use when building a single Major chord. Start by building the first chord of a Major scale. Complicated? Not with a little practice.
Unlock the secrets of knowing which chords to use when writing a song. This lesson will build on the previous lesson. Once you know how to build one chord take the theory and build a full sequence of chords all compatible with each other! Then, you know which chords to chose from when writing a song. Check it out in this lesson.
Whether for using this music theory to build a chord progression, or working out a scale to create a riff, solo or melody line over this is the lesson you need. Learn the theory of how to build a Major scale in any key here.
Exploring standard chord progressions are a great way of learning how various chords work together. Learn here some of the basic chord progressions that have spawned countless hit songs!
Many great hit songs use only major chords for some sections - just the chorus, just the verses or maybe even the whole song. And, sometimes those chord combinations aren't exactly compatible according to music theory but still sound great! Check out a few ideas in this brief lesson.
The first lesson in this lyrics series explores rhyming patterns in songwriting. Use Rhyming Patterns to develop richer lyrical flow, or just get new ideas for your own word craft.
Go beyond writing your songs using only rhyming words. Using narrative (spoken word) can be an excellent way to expand your story-telling capabilities in your lyrics. Or it can simply as a cool way to make your songs for intriguing and attention grabbing.
This lesson goes through four lyrical techniques you can use to write better songs. Enhance your skills at writing good lyrics by learning and applying these techniques to write great music.
Check out our new HD video. This lesson is about using arpeggios to create melody lines. You may need a little theory for this one but if you're a vocalist you should be able to sing along just fine, or maybe with a little practice. All the notes in this lesson are also called 'target notes'. They are great notes to use when creating melodies, scat singing or soloing (start or land on one of these notes and everything will be fine). Plus, this lesson is gives you great warm-up exercises for all instruments and vocalists.
I have two diverse and specialized skills. I am a very skilled musician...
I have played in live since 1993 - everything from 5 piece rock bands to acoustic duos and sol. I'm a multi-instrumentalist excelling on guitar and bass. I sing, play keyboard and some drums. In 2010 I graduated from Griffith University with a Bachelor of Creative Arts - Digital Video and Audio Engineering. I have studio, session and teaching experience.
In 2015 I established a small-scale local music festival called K-Blues. It again ran successfully in 2016 on a slightly larger scale. 2017 will mark the third time.
I've been involved in live theater and musicals, including sell-out performances of 'Grease'.
I have been involved in community radio where I became part of the programming committee and soon became 'Program Content Manager'. I had to organize and maintain a database of over 15,000 songs. I also wrote and recorded advertising soundtracks for large corporate organisations. I DJ'd two shows per week - 'Rock's Breakfast Jam' and 'The Nineties - Before and Beyond' a live show centered on grunge music. It centered around how the 90's grunge sound had been influenced from early rock, and how it in turn influenced newer music. For a time I became Vice President of the station.
As some-one who really knows music from a variety of angles, and is an excellent musician, I can provide music courses that are really superior.
Also, I speak good Japanese and use it professionally.
I also speak Japanese and work casually for a company who helps Japanese students improve their English. Japanese students arrive in Australia in groups. I host them for a few days, fully providing for all their needs whilst teaching them about Australian culture and teaching them how to use their English in a 'real world' context. The activities engaged in range from video games to sports to bushwalking to cooking to card games - improving their English in a fun and interesting environment. It's rewarding for all involved. And I get to improve on my language skills also.
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