Creative Songwriting For Beginners | Eve Horne | Skillshare

Creative Songwriting For Beginners

Eve Horne, Singer | Songwriter | Producer

Creative Songwriting For Beginners

Eve Horne, Singer | Songwriter | Producer

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9 Lessons (50m)
    • 1. Introduction

      2:41
    • 2. Your Class Project

      2:31
    • 3. Anatomy Of A Song

      3:52
    • 4. Identifying The Genre Of A Song

      5:13
    • 5. Song Structures

      8:04
    • 6. The Importance Of Titles

      7:17
    • 7. Writing Lists

      6:54
    • 8. Overcoming Writer's Block

      8:55
    • 9. Final Thoughts

      4:42
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About This Class

If you love music and have always wanted to explore writing a song but don't know where to start, or you are familiar with songwriting but need some new techniques or help overcoming writers block? This class is for you!

I have been lucky enough to have over 20 years experience in the Music Industry as a Singer, Songwriter, Producer. She is the  Founder of PeakMusicUK and Co-Founder of [email protected] & The Magpie - a production agency.

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My journey started at the Brit School, I later qualified as a Sound Engineer and is also a Native Instruments Certified Specialist and an Engineer/Producer at Fitzrovia Post.

This class will give you the skills to write song lyrics to help convey your emotions to your listeners. 

You will learn:

  • Why song titles are so important.
  • Basic principles of song form.  
  • Tempos of different genres of song. 
  • Structures that make a song appealing to the listener.
  • How the different parts of a song come together.
  • The skills you need to be a successful songwriter.

I will be getting you to practice how to get yourself into a space and mindset to start writing a song. I will also give you valuable tools along the way and I will be encouraging you to collaborate with class members during the process to help build your confidence around songwriting.

Practicing songwriting has multiple benefits and is proven to help with the following:


EMOTIONAL

  • Improved mood

  • Better overall psychological well-being

  • Less depressive/anxiety symptoms

  • Improved confidence

    HEALTH

  • Lower blood pressure

  • Improved lung and liver function

  • Improved short-term memory

    SOCIAL

  • Higher grade point average for students

  • Altered social and linguistic behaviour

Creative songwriting is a set of skills can be improved through practice and perseverance. You don’t need to be born with this talent and there is no need for any prior experience of songwriting!

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Eve Horne

Singer | Songwriter | Producer

Teacher

I am a Singer Songwriter, Producer, Founder of PeakMusicUK and Co-Founder of [email protected] & The Magpie - a production agency. My journey started at the Brit School. I then signed to Polydor, then EMI and toured internationally.  I later a qualified as a Sound Engineer.

 

I am currently a Mum to my 2 year old daughter, a Native Instruments Certified Specialist and an Engineer/Producer at Fitzrovia Post.

 

I am passionate about promoting women in music and have recently launched a campaign called  "Stories Of The Unheard" to promote equality for women in the Music Industry.

I also have a YouTube channel to provide fun, easy to follow walkthroughs on production hardware and software. I will be releasing my ne... See full profile

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Transcripts

1. Introduction: Hello, my beautiful creatives. My name is Eve Horne, and I would like to thank you for signing up to my class, Creative Songwriting for Beginners. This class is aimed at anybody who is interested in getting into songwriting, but has never known how to, or doesn't know where to start. You don't need any prior knowledge at all. You just need the right attitude and the willingness to learn and be open. I've been in the industry now for over 20 years as a singer, songwriter, producer, and performer. I got my first record deal when I was 18 years old, and I was signed to Polydor, and then I got signed to EMI. In this time. I've written with loads of different people, and worked with so many different types of artists and producers. I've acquired a massive amount of knowledge when it comes to songwriting, production, and everything in between. The reason why I wanted to do this class is because, as I've gone on my songwriting journey, my confidence has grown, and so has my belief in myself. Even though I'm teaching you tools on how to be open to songwriting, you will learn confidence along the way and belief, which are tools that you can use in any aspect of your life. At present, I write songs to pitch for a publishing company, so every day can be different. That's what I absolutely love about being able to songwrite. In this class, we'll be covering things like the anatomy of a song, the importance of writing lists, the importance of titles in songs. I'll also be giving you some great tips on how to overcome the dreaded writer's block, and I'll be giving you some fantastic resources on how to get your finished song to the next level, and out into the world. Look forward to seeing you in a sec, where I'll be going over your class project in more detail. 2. Your Class Project : Hi guys, welcome to your class project. For your projects, you'll be writing a song from start to finish. That will be including intro verses, pre-chorus, chorus, bridge, or middle 8. I'll be giving you all the tools you need along the way. I chose this project because it allows you to put the skills that I give you directly into practice and build on your song writing confidence. To make your project successful, all I suggest you do is complete the tasks I give you, use the resources, practice, practice, practice, and allow yourself to have fun. Your three-minute finished song should consist of title, intro, verse, pre, chorus, verse 2, pre 2, chorus 2, middle 8, or middle 8 forward-slash breakdown if you're feeling confident, chorus 3, chorus 4. Double chorus to end, or you can just have one chorus, outro. As you're going through your project, I'd like you to take photos of your progress, upload them to the class community so you guys can support each other. I can give you some feedback and also you can show how you're growing and learning the tools that I've been giving you and also ask each other or ask me any questions that you might have. This project is about you learning to be open to express yourself through writing a song. Don't be too hard on yourself. Just like I said, be open to the process and make it fun. Push your boundaries. No lyric is too silly and every single thing is unique to you. When your project is complete, please send your photos of your project into the class community for me to give you feedback. Don't forget, collaboration is key to great songwriting as well as it not only doubles but triples your talent if you're writing in threes, which is always a great number in songwriting. I'll be giving you key advice on how to become a good collaborator during the lessons. Before we dive into the main lesson, make sure you go check out the class description and remember, you are the only person standing in your way of being great. 3. Anatomy Of A Song: Welcome to your first lesson, the anatomy of a song. You can't write a song until you know what a song is actually made up of. In this lesson, I'll be explaining the different sections of a song and how your lyrics can work with each section. Intro. The intro is found at the beginning of the song, and it sets the song up. It establishes many of the song's important elements such as key, tempo, rhythm, feel, energy, and attitude. The intro will most of the time be the same music used in the verse or the chorus, except without vocals. Sometimes the intro can be completely different from anything else in the song, or it can be acapella. An intro is usually a maximum of four bars. The verse. The verse is usually lower in intensity with a low vocal range and quieter dynamics. The verse is where you let the listener know what the story is about. This is where you should try to be as visual as you can with your lyrics and draw the listener in. A song will have multiple verses with the same melody but different lyrics. Each verse reveals more of the song. When writing a commercial song, which is usually around three minutes long, a good rule is to keep the verse under one minute or a few lines. Pre or pre-chorus. A pre-chorus is not a necessary part or component of a song, so it can be left out. Usually, when you're writing a song, you'll be able to get a feel as to whether or not it needs a pre in it. The main role of a pre-chorus is to create tension in anticipation of the chorus, is also referred to as a ramp. The chorus. The chorus is the big payoff. This is higher in intensity, is usually an octave higher in vocal range, and it's the main event of the song. This is where you hit home with the point of your song. The verse and the pre are reduced to simple phrase, word, or line that is repeated. Repetition is key in a chorus. This is what the listener remembers and is often the title of the song. The chorus is also called a hook. Hook is often a short, brief passage or phrase used in popular music to make the song appealing and to catch the ear of the listener. The bridge or the middle eight. The bridge, middle eight, or breakdown adds broader perspective. It gives relief to the listener and gives them a break from the repetition. This section will have different lyrics and melody and will be musically different too. Generally changing to a different chord. It's a section that bridges between the choruses. So when the chorus comes back in, it brings the listener back up. The key takeaway for this lesson is to remember that every song has a structure and every structure can change depending on the genre of that song. Before moving on to the next lessons, I would like you to listen to five songs of completely different genres. I want you to write the title of the song down. What genre you think that song is? Also, what about the song stands out to you? Once you've done that, I want you to listen to all of the songs again and then write down anything that you didn't quite pick up the first time because listening a second time really opens up your ears. Once you've done that, I would like you to share your findings in the class community. In the next lesson, I'll be covering the different ways in which you can identify the genre of a song. I look forward to seeing you there. 4. Identifying The Genre Of A Song: Welcome to your second lesson, identifying your genre. In this lesson, we'll be covering the ways that you can identify the genre of a song. Now, there are multiple ways of doing this. Tempo. Is the tempo slow? Is it mid-tempo? Is it fast? You can get an idea for this by just tapping to the beat of the music and referring to the tempo ladder from the lesson. Remember BPM stands for beats per minute. However many beats you'll tap in within a minute, that will give you the BPM of that song. Vocals. What type of vocals are they? Are they soft? What type of expression or they're using? Are they sing in a high pitch, or are they rapping? Are they screaming and sounding quite aggressive? Are they doing some form of rhyming? Is there hardly any vocals at all? Are they repeating the same word? The instruments used in the music? What instruments have they used in the song? Is the song guitar heavy? If so, is it an electric guitar or is it an acoustic guitar? Are there a lot of drums in the truck? Are there strings? Are there a lot of instruments in the track, or is it just piano and drums, or guitar and drums, or is it just guitar, or just piano? Feel of the music? How does the song make you feel? Does it make you feel chilled and relaxed and want to take a minute for yourself and breath for a moment? Or does it make you feel excited, happy? Does it make you want to dance? That's a really good fun way to be able to identify the genre of a song. The arrangement of the music. With the arrangement of the song, you want to look at the structure that we already went over in the last lesson. Has it got an intro? How long is the verse? How long the chorus? Does the chorus elevate higher than the verse? If so, it's probably a pop song. If it doesn't, it could be an R&B song, it could be a reggae song. There's different ways of seeing the type of arrangement that, that song has as to the type of genre that it fits in. There are so many different genres of music. In recent years this is completely multiplied with the birth of sub-genres; pop, rock, reggae, country. They all used to be so easy to identify. Now, music is so intertwined, genre is really not as easy to identify as it once was. Let's say EDM, for example, EDM has at least 18 sub-genres alone, that's insane. You'll also learn through your writing process that you might like a style of music or a genre of music, but you can't write it. I love '90s R&B, but when I'm writing a song, I tend to write more melancholy lyrics and my voice tends to lend to that type of song too. Throughout this process, you'll realize the type of songwriter you are. That's okay, because you can become the other songwriters because I do write R&B lyrics now, but to begin with is very important that you start understanding your core songwriter to enable the other parts of your writing to grow from that. This brings me back again to collaboration, because when I collaborate with someone, it's amazing how your world opens up and you can start intertwining the two worlds. You can literally put a melancholy song to a dance track, just by working with someone else and allowing yourself to be open to their ideas as well, it's fantastic. The key takeaway for this lesson is; if it makes you feel somber, relaxed, chilled then the BPM is probably between 60-80, and if it makes you feel energetic, you want to dance, excited, happy, then the BPM is probably between 90-180. Before moving on to the next lesson, I would like you to go onto YouTube and type in, "The best music of all genres." There you'll see a playlist full of different genres. I'd like you to just play that in the background and see if you can identify 20 genres just by listening to them. If you don't want to use YouTube, another really fun way to do it is to just turn on the radio and turn the dial until you find a random radio station that don't normally listen to and see if you can identify some of the genres of music that they play. When you get to 20 I'd like you to write a list of all of those different songs and the genre that you think it is, and upload them to the class community. In the next lesson, I will be covering song structures and why choruses are so catchy and will also be touching upon rhyming. See you in the next lesson. 5. Song Structures: Hi guys, welcome to lesson 3, Song Structures. In this lesson we'll be touching upon structures of songs in different genres. I'll be going over rhyming and how it's used within a song. You start to understand in this lesson exactly how songs are formatted and you'll find it a lot easier to start realizing why choruses stand out and how the verse goes into the chorus, and you really start getting an idea for the structure of a song. Here are some examples of structure. Our first example is the pop genre, and I've used the example of Taylor Swift's song Delicate. The structure of this pop song is A, A, B, A. The A in this particular structure stands for verse and refrain, and the B stands for the bridge. A refrain in a song is something that is repeated, and it sums up the subject matter of the verse and the bridge is what bridges between the choruses, or in this case, the refrain and the verse. Make sure you take time to go and listen to that song so you can understand and get a feel for the structure yourself. The next genre is pop and country. These two genres have mixed very, very well together over the last few years, and they're great as a sub-genre of both pop and country. Here, you can see the structure is A, B, A, B, C, B. In this genre, the A stands for verse, the B is chorus, and the C is the middle eight or the bridge. Once again, make sure you go and have a listen to Tequila by Dan and Shay so you can identify that structure. Moving on, we have pop/R&B, another amazing example of two genres that have come together to create a sub-genre. Here, I've used the examples, Dua Lipa New Rules and Selena Gomez Back To You. They both use the structure A, B, A, C, A, B, A. A is the chorus, B is the verse, C is music, so it will be like an instrumental, and then B will be the bridge or the middle eight. Once again, make sure you check out those songs to see if you can identify the structure and where the changes happen within those songs. Now we're going to move on to EDM, which stands for electronic dance music. You might remember from the earlier lesson, this particular genre has a huge amount of sub-genres in it. Within EDM, you can see the structure is A, B, A, B. A, that stands for intro verse, pre-chorus, and chorus. There's a lot happening in A because musically with EDM, we have something called a drop. A drop is normally an instrumental part of the track that takes over. It's the best part of the song. Definitely check out some EDM songs so that you can hear the examples of the structure and understand exactly what a drop is because you need to hear it to understand how important it is to EDM music. Lastly, we go to classic bluegrass, gospel, and country music. They actually use a similar structure to EDM, but in a completely different way. Once again, it's A, B, A, B, but A stands for verse and B stands for chorus. It's much more straightforward A, B, A, B. Go check out Somewhere Over The Rainbow. Now let's move on to some rhyming examples. This is an example of a song that I co-wrote and released in 2019. As you can see at the top, we have the title and then as the page goes down, you have verse 1, pre-chorus, chorus, down to verse 2, pre-chorus 2, chorus 2, a bridge or middle eight, and then the chorus times 2 to end. At the bottom here in red is all of the ideas. Let's zoom into the song now so I can show you the structure properly and the rhyming that's been used in the verses and choruses. You can see in verse 1, the end of line 1 and line 2 are different, line 3 and line 4 are different, line 5 and line 6 are the same. Line 1 and line 3 actually rhyme with each other. You can see at the end of line 1 and line 3 you have soul and control. Line 2 and line 4, they rhyme as well, so ton and one, and then line 5 and 6, start and heart. Now, that is a structure and rhyming of the verse. You can see there's two halves of the verse which have repeated the same rhyming pattern. In the second half of verse 1 is slow, smile, control, sunrise and you'll think sunrise doesn't really go with smile, but there's a thing called a near rhyme. It sounds the same when it's pronounced. Then, at the end, heart and apart. In the pre-chorus, now we both know where this can go. Our energy is the same. There, I've used rhyming differently. I've used it within the line instead of using it at the end of different lines, which is another great way of changing up the dynamics of a song. Now we move down to the chorus and we can see that line 1 and 2, rhyme, they're near rhymes, line 3 doesn't, line 4 and 5 rhyme, and line six doesn't. Actually, line 3 and line 6 rhyme with each other, which is why they look like they're not rhyming with anything else. Then, seven, eight, nine, and 10 are repeated from the last line of six. It's like a B chorus. Let's move down to verse 2. You'll see here that it's the same structure as we used in verse 1. However, there's half of the verse and there's a reason for this so the listener doesn't get bored. A great way to do that is to actually half sections. Then, we will go back to the pre-chorus, which is the same as the one before, same melody and same lyrics, and then down into chorus 2, which is the same as chorus 1. Now we come down to the bridge and you might remember from previous lessons, this is where the listener gets perspective and some refrain from the repetition of the song. The bridge could be an octave lower or an octave higher. It could have a change in tempo. It's usually very different from what you're already hearing. You can see here the structure has changed again. The rhyming has changed. Lines 1 and 2 rhyme, and three doesn't. Four and five rhyme and six doesn't. Also, you'll see that line 3 and line 6 rhyme with each other. After the bridge, it comes back to the chorus and then we have two choruses to end. Your Key takeaway for this lesson is repetition, repetition, repetition. Try not to use the main words in the chorus in the verses. You want to save those main words for the chorus alone so that it stands out, and don't forget, the chorus needs to relate to the title. Before moving onto the next lesson, I would like you to listen to five songs that have all topped the charts. I would like you to do the following. Try to identify any similarities between them. Are they all uptempo, fast? Are they all the same structure? Listen for repetition and note down where it happens the most. Does the title appear in the actual song, and if it does, where does it appear? Lastly, I would like you to write down what sections those songs have. Once you've done this, I would like you to share in the class community so that you guys can support each other, grow in your confidence, and I can also give you some feedback. Join me in the next lesson where I will be covering the importance of titles. See you there. 6. The Importance Of Titles: Welcome to lesson 4, the importance of titles. In this lesson, I'll be giving you some amazing examples of song titles that can make your songs stand out and capture your listener's attention. The title of a song is what the song should be about. Everything within that song should relate back to the title. It's always a good thing to use the song title as a way to track your progress for the song. So as you're going through, keep referring back to the title if you lose your way just to remind you of exactly what the song is about. The title of your song will help you to understand why your song exists and how you can move the listener with those lyrics. We're going to use indestructible again as an example. Obviously by the title, the aim of the song is to portray that the relationship is unbreakable. Now one of the resources that I use and I know many of the songwriters use and is absolutely free is good old Google. We're going to type in indestructible and just see what it comes up with. Let's go down to the English dictionary. Here you can see straight away under the word indestructible, it says impossible to destroy or break. Even though sometimes we already know what a word might mean is really, really good to use these resources like Google because what it will do is it'll give you other words to explain that initial work. It really gives like puts the meat on the bones of the verses and the choruses and stuff and it can always open up new ideas. It's a great resource to use. You can see it says lasting, permanent, I'm going to click on that. Permanent also has an explanation, lasting for a long time or forever. You can see down here a lot of other synonyms and examples, strong, tough, sturdy, solid, hard-wearing. Once again, Google is a really good way to start getting ideas down for your song once you've got a title. If we go back to indestructible, now you can see the lyrics in verse 1. You looked into my soul, it hit me like a ton, it's out of our control, we are two becoming one, right from the start, I knew you had my heart. Already, I want the listener to be able to understand that you're already having the thought that this relationship is indestructible. The second half of verse 1, I wanted to explain how someone would feel in a relationship, how they would feel intimately, when you're really secure in a relationship and your inhibitions go away. You touch me oh so slow, feel the pleasure in your smile. I didn't want to say I see it. I can feel the pleasure. In the pre, now we both know where this can go, our energy is the same. In this song, I wanted it to focus slightly on energy as well because it's something I believe in and I think every human has certain energy and I think that's what you're attract. Then that leads into the chorus, we're stuck in the moment. Now, for me, I love that. I could've changed it because some people might see stuck as a negative. I see stuck as when in your honeymoon period, you want to stay there. We're drowning in emotion like it's so intense. This love it's like the energy is amazing. You and me, we have it all. Our love is electric, magnetic. For me, those words just explained everything to do with energy, universe like the feelings that are out of our control, basically. Together we're indestructible and then we repeat the word indestructible. Once again, going back to repetition in the chorus, so important. This is exactly why people remember choruses because the repetition in them. People enjoy repetition. If you go back to kids songs, twinkle, twinkle little star, how I wonder what you are is the same words, the same melody repeating. As humans, we like repetition. It's just a scientific thing that us humans love because our ears like it. Going down to verse 2, you make me want to run but I've got nowhere to hide. That is when someone makes you feel so good and your inhibitions are fighting against it. You want to run away but you can't hide because that person is so right for you, they can see through you. Defenses came undone when I showed you what's inside. That saying I have no defense because I let you in. You have my heart, we can't be torn apart. You're explaining the story a little bit more in verse 2. You're going to look a little bit deeper into the story and why you think that you're indestructible. Go back to the pre and then the chorus again, just solidifying that message, then you've got the bridge. Once again, this is where people get perspective on the song. Let's make this moment be, a page in history. Make sure that we're known for our strength and our strong relationship. You make me want to scream from the highest high. With that, it's just like imagining you're so caught up that you just want to go to the highest rooftop and scream your lungs out. I want the world to see, it's our destiny. Our love will stand the test of time. Once again, that bridge is solidifying everything that we've originally said in the title. We've been leading up to in the verses, just making sure that the listener knows this is it, the love is indestructible and then we go back to the chorus. Here's a list of some well-known song titles that you definitely know and love, and as you see them pop up, you'll realize that you can sing every single chorus and probably not even remember any lyrics from the verses. The key takeaway for today's lesson is to keep referring back to your title when writing the content of your song. If you end up writing a great song that was inspired by the title but you find that the title is no longer relevant because the song is evolved in a different way, it's completely okay to change it and get a new title. Remember, to make sure if you do get a new title, that that title is still relevant to your song content. Also, always do what is best for the song. Before moving on to the next lesson, I would like you to write down 20 titles of songs you would like to write. Now, they can be short titles, long, anything that you might find unique or quirky. Once you've done that, please take a photo of your titles and upload them to the class community. In the next lesson, we will be looking into writing lists and I'll be explaining why lists aren't just good for shopping. See you then. 7. Writing Lists: Hi guys, welcome to Lesson 5, Lists aren't just for shopping. In this lesson, I'll be covering the importance of lists and the different types of lists you can write to help you get creative quickly. Lists are great because you can instantly refer to them to help kickstart your creative writing process. For example, this is a list that I have in my phone and it really helps me out if I'm in a co-writing session with someone and I need to get the session started. We might be discussing what the title could be, so I whip my list out straight away and I can scroll down my list and just start giving ideas, throwing them out there and seeing if anything sticks or if anybody else in the room can relate to that title, and then that's where the song is born. You can see I've written that "piggy in the middle." Honestly, titles can be absolutely everything and anything. A song can be born out of the most crazy title. You can see, I haven't been doing a lot of housekeeping with my list because it's on my phone; my lists are all over the place. I do have a different set of lists on the computer where I have a title list and a song ideas list. You can see down the bottom here as well, I've just started writing that actual song ideas, so not only have I got titles, but I've got a whole ideas here for some. I've got lines like, "Lying dormant deep inside my brain." This is the one I wrote recently, actually. It came from a conversation I had with my mom and it just made me write it down. "Only when I accepted myself was I accepted by the world, or so it seemed. I was always accepted, I just couldn't see it." That was because I was having a conversation with my mom about how proud of me she's always been. I'm sure many of you have been through similar situations where you're always trying to prove you're good enough, or I mean, not that I have a situation with my mom, I've just always wanted to make my mom proud. What she was basically saying to me is I didn't have to because she was always proud. So yeah, that was a lovely moment. A good way as well to get ideas to writing songs is sayings. Sayings are a great way to start delving into the flesh of a song. It's so important to write your lists. I can't tell you because this is the beauty of your subconscious mind. Here you can see I've separated my lists into categories. I've got story, happy, sad, dancing, fun, empowering, sexy, and love. Sometimes you'll find that your titles will cross over into different categories, which is absolutely fine because something can be happy and sad or it can be happy and make you want to dance or it can be empowering, so you can actually use the same title in multiple sections. Here, in my story section, this is the type of song that you think would be more like telling a story to the listener. My titles for that are: you think you're something, when you wake up, let the cards fall, occasionally, listen to the quiet inside, if you look back, and keep your ring on. There are things that I feel will tell a much more in-depth story about whatever the situation might be. My happy, I've put guilty, which for me isn't necessarily always a negative because I could be guilty of feeling happy or I could be guilty of loving you, I could be guilty of dancing into the night. There's so many different ways that you could turn that on its head. Staying in, moving the positive, perfection, hair of the dog. That's happy for me because you've had a great night the night before. Explode, tourniquet, is a happy one for me as well, even though the word sounds quite negative because if someone is your tourniquet, then they are basically stopping you from bleeding out. So they're keeping you alive, and paradox. In my sad section, let the cards fall, when you wake up, bye-bye, guilty, it hurts to love you, full vision, occasionally, too long. Dancing, I have groove, hair of the dog again, explode, which is also my happy one. Us against the world, crave, sweet spot, paradox. Empowering, give it all you've got, stronger than I thought or think, defy the odds, move in the positive, full vision, this is your moment, us against the world. Us against the world is actually in dancing and empowering because us against the world could mean me and the music, me, you, and the music, or it can mean your pet. Sexy, the slow rush, which is actually a song I've written, rough and tumble, explode, crave, sweet spot, paradox. Love, staying in, which is also in happy, you make me be myself, overcome, it hurts to love you, full vision, occasionally, too long, safe place, tourniquet again, because that's love, and us against the world. Again, that's empowering and is also love. Even though the titles are same, the songs could be completely different. That's a really good way of getting another perspective on the titles that you write. You can write your list in any way shape or form you choose. You can use pen and pad, you can use sticky notes, you can use your phone, you can use a laptop; anything that comes to mind that helps you be creative. The key takeaway for this lesson is listen out for ideas absolutely everywhere. Number 2, categorize your lists into feelings or best and worse, whatever way you would like to do it. What this does is saves you time and stops you from having to scroll through hundreds of titles and song ideas that you've accumulated over time, because believe me, you will accumulate a lot. If you do write your list on paper, it's a good thing to actually transfer them over to your phone or a laptop. The reason for this is as you grow and become more confident in your songwriting, you will want to collaborate with other people. One of the great tips about collaborating is to always be prepared and always bring your lists with you because they enable you once again to get creative quickly. Lastly, don't overthink. Before we move on to the next lesson, I would like you to sit down, relax, look around your room, look out your window, let your mind wander and start writing a list. Now, it doesn't matter which way you write your list as long as it works for you. Once you've written a list, I would like you to take a photo of it and upload it to the community so that I can give you feedback and you guys can do more collaborating. In the next lesson, I'll be looking into how to overcome the dreaded writer's block. We've all had it. I look forward to seeing you there. 8. Overcoming Writer's Block: Hi guys, and welcome to lesson 6, how to overcome writer's block. In this lesson, I'll be giving you some great tips on how to overcome writer's block from free writing to brainstorming, referring to a list and rewiring your brain. These techniques are very easy and simple to use and they definitely work. I use all of them when I'm stuck. Perfect example of this is when I was writing the song Indestructible. I was stuck on one word and I couldn't find it for the sake of me. I didn't want it to be too wordy, it was in the chorus and I needed it to fit syllable wise, and it wasn't until the studio session ended and I went back to my hotel room and I referred to my list that I found the word. It just came to me and believe it or not, it was one of the most basic and simple words, and the word was together. You'll be surprised that those words sometimes just do not come because you've been in the song for so long. It's good to step away from the song. Once you step away, have a minute and refer to your list, magic happens. Let's start with our free write. A free write is something that allows your subconscious mind to take over. You set three minutes on a clock, make sure you've got your song title written down already, once you've set your free minutes, then press go, start writing. The aim is to try not to think about anything at all and just let your mind do the work. Your subconscious mind will take over and your free minutes would be up. I guarantee you that your song will be in that free write somewhere. Next, let's look at brainstorming. Brainstorming is old-school, is what everyone used to do in school and it's a really, really good way to start actually thinking. When you're brainstorming, you want to look at things like setting the scene for your song. Where are you going to be in the song or where is the person that you're writing about placed? Are they at the beach? Are they in a cinema? Are they in a club? Are they in bed? What are they doing? If they are in bed, are they in bed sleeping? Are they in bed eating? Are they in bed chilling watching entirely? Are they in bed reminiscing? Are they dancing at a club? Are they sitting at the bar in a club? What are they doing in that space and why? Why are they there? What was bought them there? Are they there because they sad? Are they there because they just want to dance the night away and they just want to forget everything? You have to ask yourself why that person is in that place, in that time, and doing what they're doing. Make sure you refer to your lists. We've already gone over lists in some detail and they are fantastic for making sure you stay creative. Next, let's look at rewiring our brain. Learning how to song write or write poetry, anything like that is like learning a new language. It allows your brain to re-adapt by songwriting that you can improve your mood, your ability to learn, your concentration, your focus. It allows you to remember new information and it also slows down cognitive decline. By retraining your brain, you can also learn to unfocus. Unfocusing is when you stop thinking about stuff, you meditate, you allow your mind to relax and learn the art of unthinking and unfocusing. By doing this, you interrupt unwanted habits and change the pattern of things that are happening already that will move out of the way and allow you to change your thought process. It also helps you to find new solutions to problems. Another great way to overcome writer's block is to look around the room at inanimate objects. Sia has written about inanimate objects absolutely, amazingly, and perfectly. As you can see, I've put two of her examples in. One is Chandelier and the other one is Diamonds. Until you hear the song, you wouldn't think you could write about a chandelier the way Sia has, but it just goes to show that you can take any object and put meaning to it. Another really good way of overcoming writer's block is to change your surroundings, go out for a walk, go to the beach, go and see someone, just disconnect from the space that you're in uninterrupted. A fun way also is to watch a film with the sound off. You've already got a scene that is set and then you can choose how you interpret that. It's a really fun way to overcome writer's block and get some really cool ideas. Another fantastic way, believe it or not, is newspapers and magazines. Scroll through them and look at words that might stand out. Look at headlines of the newspapers. Now, we're going to look at some resources that you can also use to help you overcome writer's block. Firstly, we are going to go to Google quotes. I'm going to type in love quotes here, and then make sure go to images. Here, you've got an never ending pool of ideas and inspiration. Here you can see something that pops up straight away, great plain words. There's only one thing, two do, three words, four you, I love you. Brilliant. We're going to look at dance quotes. You can see there's lots here. Let's go to hate. Haters going to hate. Potatoes going to potate. Waiters going to wait. Aligators going to alligate. I find that hilarious. Don't forget a song doesn't have to be serious at all. There are so many hit songs out there, massive hits that have just been for fun. Let's look at some empowerment quotes now. Once again, endless amounts that you can be inspired by. Lastly, we're going to look at sexy quotes if you want to write a sexy song. I like to be alone, but I would rather be alone with you. This quite cheesy and generic, but it depends how it's said and in what context. I do know things and I'm pretty damn good at it. I can see someone like Taylor Swift saying that. It's kind of sexy but cheeky at the same time. Some fantastic resources if the ones I've given you aren't enough. You have something called MasterWriter. Let's have a look at MasterWriter. Here you can see that you can choose between a Songwriter or a Creative Writer. I'm going to click on Songwriter and we're going to take the tour quickly, just so you can have a quick look, and feel free to go onto YouTube and type in MasterWriter tool and it should come up. You can see all the rhyming categories and at the top you've got phrases, word families, synonyms, definition, speech types, etc. You can choose between all of them. It's such a good resource, but we have a free version called RhymeZone and this has been my friend. If I type in awake, you can see it will automatically show me all of the words that rhyme with awake. At the top here, you can see you've got lyrics and poems, near rhymes, synonyms and related phrases, mentions, descriptive words, definitions, similar sound and same consonants. Let's click on near rhymes and this will give you everything that is a near rhyme, which is what we spoke about earlier in the class. It's free and it's really, really good to help you with those all the times when you're stuck. Then, if you just type in to Google songwriting resources, you have a whole host of amazing resources that you can tap into. I'm going to go on Songwriters Resource Network here. You can see already it's a fantastic place for pro advice, tips and articles, making connections, songwriting contest and people who only write lyrics. You can chat to people and it's just a perfect place for you to start learning your craft and growing in your confidence. Guys, key takeaways for this lesson is to listen to conversations. Wherever you go, whether it's at the train station, bus stop, shopping center, it doesn't matter where you go, listen to people's conversations and you'll be amazed at how many songs are in those conversations. Also, remember to use wordplay and find different ways of saying a basic thing. This doesn't have to happen all the time. It's great sometimes to have certain bits of word playing the song, but it has to be right. Because if you try to overdo it, it's going to be noticeable and it's going to have the opposite effect. Lastly, remember to free write every single day to make sure that you practice and open your mind to letting those songs flow. Guys, before moving on to the next lesson, I would like you to take two of the tools I have given you in this lesson, for example, brainstorming and free writing, and I would like you to give me two examples of each. Two examples of brainstorming and two examples of freewriting. Take pictures of them and then upload them to the community and I can give you some feedback on your progress. Guys, join me in my final thoughts where I'll be recapping everything that we've covered in this class and also some of the things that you can expect in my next class. See you there. 9. Final Thoughts: Hi guys. Welcome to My Final Thoughts. Firstly, I would like to thank you so much for taking the time to take this class. I know that it can be daunting when you start something out and it can be scary. First of all, I'd like to take my hat off to all of you for actually starting, because starting is the hardest. It took me a long time to call myself a songwriter, because I believed that you have to have something out that was being paid a billion times and be platinum. Now I know that's completely untrue. You're a songwriter when you write a song, and it doesn't matter if no one's heard it. It's about expressing yourself. Also, remember practice makes perfect. Very, very rarely people are just born into something naturally. It comes from practicing your craft. I would love to see your finished pieces. There's absolutely no judgment, just support and constructive feedback. Now, you've done the hard work. I've given you all the tools you need. Now it's up to you to go out and practice, practice. Find people to collaborate with, because it's other people as well that you can really learn from, if you're open to it. Please connect with fellow classmates, work together, get feedback, grow your confidence in your songwriting skills. Use this time while you're growing and learning to shape who you are as a songwriter. Believe in yourself, and go and be that songwriter that you are. Let's have a quick recap. First of all, we covered the anatomy of the song, and went through what exactly is in a song. Then we went on to identifying your genre of a song. How the song makes you feel, the tempo, how fast or slow is it, the type of vocals that are in the song, the instruments that are used in the song, and also the arrangement of those instruments as well. Then we went over structure and spoke about rhyming in verses and choruses. Also we went over trying to be visual with your songwriting, and why the pre creates tension and prepares the listener for the chorus. We also touched upon why the chorus is the release in a song, so we create the tension, and then give the listener the release which is the chorus. Also, why it's so important to have repetition in the chorus, and exactly why choruses stand out, because of the repetitive nature of them. We then went on to the importance of titles and how everything in the chorus must relate back to the title. We covered why the song exists, and how you can get the listener's attention. We also touched upon making sure you write lists to keep yourself in that creative moment. The techniques that you can use to get over writer's block. First of all was the Freewrite, which is three minutes, or however many minutes you choose, of subconscious writing, allowing your mind to just do its thing, and guaranteed your song will be in that Freewrite. Next we went on to brainstorming, and how important it is to set the scene of a song, so where the person or object is, what they're doing there, and why. We also covered referring back to your lists. Other ways of getting over writer's block was rewiring your brain. You can do this through freewriting, meditation, all sorts of ways that give your brain time to readapt and refocus. A great fun way to go over a writer's block was to look around the room for inanimate objects, or change your surroundings, go on a walk, write to a film with the volume down or a series, and also check the newspapers and magazines, or even books. Remember, I'm here to support you. You can ask me anything, and I'll give you the feedback that you need. Also remember collaboration is key, so make sure you get out there and work with other songwriters. I'm super, super excited to see what you guys can produce. I completely believe in each and every one of you. In my next class, I'll be helping you with melodies. Now, I know we've already covered a little bit of melody in this, but this is mainly just to start the creative process. To get you from getting things out of your head down onto paper. Some of you are going to be a little bit more musical, some of you might be able to sing, some of you might be able to play. So now we need to start taking the song that we've written, and actually getting a melody to it. I hope I will be seeing you in my next class. The last thing I'm going to say is remember to stay open to the process and have fun.