Songwriting - From Idea to Finished Song
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Hey guys! My name is Ben Cooper, and I’m a full-time songwriter here in Nashville, Tennessee. Whenever I tell people what I do for a living, I often get a response like, “Wow, writing songs is such a mystery to me.” Maybe you’ve thought about writing a song or have come up with an idea that would make a good song. Who knows, you might have already written tons of songs and are just looking to come back to some of the basics.
Whatever the case, this course is specifically designed to equip you with a working knowledge and understanding of the craft of songwriting.
In this first course, we’ll focus on de-mystifying the process of constructing a song. We’ll begin with questions like “What is the purpose or goal of a song?” and “How do a lyric, hook and melody work together?” Don’t worry if you don’t yet play an instrument… I’ll be giving a quick piano and guitar lesson to get you started. We'll also be looking at the importance of the opening line and what to do if you get stuck starting the second verse.
In the end, my hope is that you’ll feel confident of your ability to take an idea and develop it into a complete song. I’m excited about this course, and I hope you’ll join me!
This course, primarily taught through informal video discussions, will encourage the participation of its viewers by finding specific examples in popular music of each segment topic. This course contains about two hours of viewing time, with the option to participate in composing an original song based on the information discussed. As the instructor, I will be monitoring the discussion weekly and improving upon the course as necessary.
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Overview of CoursePreview
|Section 1: Intro to Songwriting|
What is a Song?Preview
Define Your Goal
Tools for SongwritingPreview
Rules of Songwriting
What Do You Believe?
What's Your Idea?
|Section 2: Learning an Instrument|
Overview of Learning an Instrument
Strumming & Tuning the Guitar
Get Comfortable On Your Instrument
|Section 3: Musical Elements of Song|
Key, Tempo & Dynamics
How Should Your Song Feel?
|Section 4: Lyrics|
Basic Principles of Lyrics
Tour Guide & Pitfalls
Which Structure Works Best?
A Catchy Title/Hook
Stuck In Your Head?
Opening Line - The First Impression
Put Yourself In The Audience
The Heart of the Message
|Section 5: Summary of Songwriting: From Idea to Finished Song|
Thank You, and Keep Writing!
Ben Cooper is an Indiana native (aka Colts fan) and a 2007 Belmont alum (Audio Engineering & Entrepreneurship) who has spent the past five years as a full-time songwriter in Nashville.
Collaborating with his mentor, Gordon Kennedy, he has had cuts on Ricky Skaggs’ Grammy-nominated album “Mosaic,” Skaggs’ 2012 release “Music To My Ears,” Olivia Newton-John's "A Celebration In Song" and others.
When he’s not writing music in his East Nashville studio, Ben is soaking up every moment he can with his wife Brittany and their one year old daughter, Eleanor Joy.
He currently writes songs for Writers Den Music Group (with Bobby Rymer) on Music Row in Nashville, TN, and is a freelance composer/producer for Jingle Punks. He is affiliated with BMI.