A comprehensive guide to writing better songs
This is a course for songwriters of all levels. I will take you through the process of coming up with ideas and starting a song, all the way to creating a final product and getting it out there. We will begin with a few introductory videos and then get straight into learning my process for writing songs.
I will share with you all a number of ideas and insights I have had into songwriting. Having written countless songs over about 12 years of playing, I have some ideas I would love to share with you guys.
This is a comprehensive guide to writing better* songs and if you are a songwriter at any level, I believe it will be worthwhile, even if you just take away a few new ideas to add to your songwriting toolbox.
*better: songs that are authentic, honest and true to you!
A look at what you have to offer as a songwriter. Do you have something unique, original and exciting to share?
Setting up your Songwriting space is essential to creating an environment that is inspiring for writing songs.
Six Points for Setting up Your Songwriting Space.
Rules of Songwriting
This lecture looks at song structure. Andrew talks through some of the common song structures, and iterates that you can ignore all the rules of structure if it feels right to you.
So this is one of my own songs called Forgive Myself. As we spoke about in the last lecture, following structure can be great and really help a song, but sometimes you need to throw out the rule book. Here I had four long verses and only used three chords in the whole song. By all accounts it isn't structured well, but I think it works as a song. It is a very lyrical song and so I am not so concerned about making it fit some perfect (pop) formula.
Andrew looks at what to write your song about.
This lecture investigates where ideas come from and how to come up with a song idea.
Writing lyrics is often argued to be the hardest part of songwriting. It can sometimes be painstaking for even write one line. Hopefully this lecture will give you some ideas to help make the process a little easier.
Be kind to yourself when writing songs and lose the judgement on yourself. Great ideas don't come out of negativity, so allow ideas to come freely.
The book mentioned in this video is The Artist's Way by Julia Cameron.
It is vital when writing music that you get in the habit of finishing songs. If you can continue to complete songs it unlocks your creativity and makes each subsequent song easier to finish.
This lecture is really a troubleshooting video for all issues you might be having with the songwriting process.
As with any creative process it is important to set goals. In this lecture we look at setting some songwriting goals.
To write a great song you don't have to necessarily be an amazing musician. In fact in many cases being extremely knowledgable can hinder the process, causing you to over analyse and intellectualise the process. That being said I believe you should aim to get as good as you can at your instrument, so you are comfortable when writing music.
Writing music in a vacuum doesn't work. You need to constantly refuel the creative tank. In this lecture we look at how you can stay inspired and motivated to write music.
Have you read a book recently?
Who is your favourite poet? Or have you ever read a poem?
When did you last get out of your room and take a bold step?
Everything you do fuels your writing. So the more you do, the more fuel you have.
In this short video we look at performing live. It is an important part of being a musician and songwriter.
In this video we look at producing your songs. This mainly focuses on setting up a recording system so that you can record demos and other recordings to share with people.
At some point you have to get your music out there. In this lecture we look at the process of getting your music out there. We look at social media sites and other avenues to help you get your career moving.
This is a song I recently recorded in a professional studio with my band. The song is called Addicted. It's a more commercial song than I usually do. Here is the song structure for you to check out.
If you would like to listen to my latest release, Mediocre, here is the link:
A summary of all the ideas, lessons and advice given through out the course. My final advice - have fun, lose the judgement, and be true to yourself. Songwriting can be a frustrating and difficult process, but it can also be an incredibly uplifting and spiritual experience. I hope this course helps in some way improve or refine your process. Always remember it is your process.
Andrew Hearle was born in Brighton, England and shared his childhood between the pebble beaches of Brighton and the palm trees of Noosa, Australia. Growing up Andrew played in bands and passed his teenage years writing songs and performing.
After school he was accepted into the prestigious Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (Hugh Jackman, Tim Minchin, Jai Courtney) and studied there for three years before moving to Sydney.
Andrew has worked and recorded as a solo artist as well as with numerous bands. He has performed around the world and continues to record and perform. Andrew plays under as Andrew Samuel. Lookup Andrew Samuel on Spotify or iTunes to listen to his latest releases.
He has always been passionate about teaching and sharing knowledge and so writing and presenting courses was a natural progression.