How Do You Write A Song? Songwriting From Scratch | Ian Kristofer | Skillshare

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How Do You Write A Song? Songwriting From Scratch

teacher avatar Ian Kristofer, Any story can be told through a song

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

10 Lessons (1h)
    • 1. INTRO

    • 2. Class Project

    • 3. What Is A Song Really?

    • 4. Songwriting 101-Anatomy of a Song

    • 5. Lets Get Started-Getting Started

    • 6. Writing Lyrics

    • 7. Finding Melodies

    • 8. What are Genres

    • 9. It's Time-Share Your Story

    • 10. Final Thoughts

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About This Class


Have you had a long time desire to write songs or music? Are you a fellow songwriter who enjoys tagging along someone else's process? This simple class can help with both.

The goal of this class is to:

  • Break down some simple foundations to songwriting
  • Equip and encourage you to start or keep writing songs.
  • Take you through writing a song

You won't need to know a whole lot about the topic, music theory, or anything like that. If you can play an instrument at a simple level it will benefit you, however it is not neccessary for you to gain the knowledge of writing a song in this course. You will learn and apply some practical tools and structures to form the visions for your first songs to be birthed. We believe you don't have to be born with the talent to write songs, you just need the inspiration, tools, repetition, and discipline to begin. That is exactly how I started and ended up with a fun and lively career as a singer songwriter.

I'm Ian Kristofer Gennari. Known as Ian Kristofer Music since late 2003. I began with just an endless desire to write music and possibly lead worship at church some day. At that time I couldn't sing or play an instrument. I picked up a guitar before YouTube videos and listened to my Father's songwriting instructions, and began hammering away and learning all I could. Eventually that led me after 10 years to becoming a full time touring singer/songwriter, music missionary, and worship leader all over the Southwest United States and eventually the East Coast and South America. It resulted in playing live in front of hundreds and thousands of people and I believe one of the key reasons this class though simple is different than others! Playing original music live for years in front of every type of crowd as an actual artist has allowed me to see how a lyric affects the audience or not.  I've had 3 completely original solo albums released and 1 original collaboration album released with another singer songwriter. For almost 20 years now songwriting has been a lifestyle for me; a way of processing joy, hardship, sorrow, hope, and life experiences that can only be captured with a song. If I can start from nothing and do what I have then you absolutely can too!

We believe every story can be turned into a song, and maybe you have a few stories to tell.

Meet Your Teacher

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Ian Kristofer

Any story can be told through a song



Hi, I'm Ian Kristofer a singer songwriter from Phoenix Arizona. I've been in the music industry for over 15 years as songwriter and touring vocal recording artist. From worship leader and recording artist, to music missionary around the USA and South America, to full time missionary in Mozambique I have deep wells of life experience to draw from creatively! Writing songs has become a life style for me to release ideas to the world and allow me to process the hardships, sorrows, joy, victories, and paradoxes of my own life.

I've been able to work with amazing producers and literally write hundreds of songs for myself as an artist and other fantastic singer songwriters. Songwriting has become such a passion I truly des... See full profile

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1. INTRO: Amazing experience, go down and had to write a sum valid, captured. Hello fellow creators and songwriters. Welcome to How do I write a song for writing a song from scratch? My name is Ian. I'm going to be hosting this class for almost 20 years now. I've been known as Christopher music. This songwriting lifestyle has taken me literally all over the world and helped me to process life experiences that I never could have processed without a song. And so I remember almost 20 years ago now desiring to write music, not knowing how to play an instrument. Not really knowing what I was doing writing, coming from a highly talented performance-based family that could sing and dance and all those kind of things. But I didn't think I could. And my wife actually helped me one day by bringing a guitar home and saying, I really feel like God is telling you to do something, you should do it. Because I had been waking up in the middle of night in all times of the day, writing stuff down and feeling like I had songs. And now fast forward 20 years later, I've been able to produce some, some albums that I'm proud of, toured around the United States of America, being able to share those and also recently co-writing projects with other people. And so if you're sitting here right now thinking, man, I don't know if I could ever write a song, but I have this desire to. Or maybe you are a songwriter and you've come into your own amenable to write music, but you love to hear the process that other songwriters take, like many of us do to create our own inspiration. Then this really is going to be a good class for you. And I'm very excited that you would want to join me in it. And I hope that I can give you the skills and tools to equipment encourage you to write new songs for yourself. I truly believe that any story can be put into a song. And maybe you have some stories to tell. 2. Class Project: All right, So let's talk class project. It's really simple. You're going to write a song. If you're in this class and you do not play an instrument, don't check out right now. Don't say, I can't do this. If you play an instrument of some kind of a simple level, it will be of benefit to you. But if you, but if you don't, it's not going to stop you from doing this. In fact, I would encourage you that if you don't play an instrument, like I didn't when I first started. It actually will challenge you to find melodies on your own so that when you do play an instrument or if you don't, you actually tie the music together with your lyrics. Now, finally, if you're someone in here that just can't find a melody for it. And you just want to learn how to write a song with structure. Please sit on the class too as well, and feel free to go ahead and upload a project of just lyrics. Because the truth is, you can write music whether you can play an instrument or sing melodies or not. This is something that can be taught. If you're disciplined enough and motivated enough to go ahead and use the tools that you learn with. So there's three possible class projects that fall into the one class project. If you play an instrument, I want you to end of what I give you to be able to apply. Upload your, your song, lyrics, melody, instrumental. If you're someone that doesn't play an instrument of any kind, but you can find the melody in your head. Now. Now, nonane. Hey, hey, you could finish that song for me because why? Because someone was walking around someday singing that in their head and had a melody. It's not even a full lyric song, but that melody gets stuck in your head. And so during this process, if you can't play an instrument, but you can find the melody that you want to go with your lyrics. I want you to upload that as your project. That's your song. Because someone else could find with an instrument the melody that you've sung or that you've harmed, or that you've created. And then finally, if you just don't have it in you to create that melody, then go ahead and write out the lyric structure of the type of song that you want someone else to put a melody to and upload that anybody can sit on this class. I really hope that you guys take this journey with us. Go through the few classes. It's a simple one, goes with a few classes that will help you guys get this done. And I'm excited to dialogue with you guys about how the journey lab. 3. What Is A Song Really?: All right, So this topic as you saw is what is the song really? All right, I think if we discover that first and put that to rest inside of our ourself, we'll be able to find the song or the story or the music that we're trying to create. In this long journey for myself, I would call myself a pure storyteller, a pure songwriter in the storytellers sense. Even though most of, most of my journey has been in front of people from spiritual backgrounds. I have written hundreds of songs in a natural contexts for myself on a daily basis, just due to telling stories of life experience. So what is a song really? I believe a song is a story. Hear me out on this. Let's take an example of The Three Little Pigs. If I walk into a room, most people, if I say Have you heard the story of The Three Little Pigs? They would say, Yeah, I've heard that story. It's a children's story. All right. But if I was to say, Did you know that the story of The Three Little Pigs is a song. They'd be like, Well maybe, maybe it's, somebody made a nursery rhyme about it or something. That's not what I mean. If you were to read the story of The Three Little Pigs to your kids, It's actually a decently long story. It can be written in 15 pages or 25 pages or 50 pages depending on how detailed you want to me. All right. Now, if I take the story of The Three Little Pigs and I actually try to write a song and every detail that, well, the big bad wolf or a red dress at one house and then a royal blue one at the next one and the yellow one at the next one. Or the dialogue that the big bad wolf had with his grandma about these pigs that are really, really, really stubborn. That's not going to make for a good song. But if I look at the content of the story, if I said to you, summarize the story for me, summarize the three little pigs from me. We'd, we'd probably all get something like this. There's a wolf and the story that wants to eat, There's three pigs that are brothers in the story. All three pigs have different style houses. One is made of, hey, one is made of sticks, and one is made of brick. The wolf goes from house to house, blowing down the houses because two of the three are not strong enough. The pigs spend all their time running to the next brother's house trying to seek safety while the wolf is trying to eat. The story concludes with the last brother is wise and builds his house with bricks and is kinda, I'm a shrewd enough to trick the wolf. After the wolf can't blow the house down, and the wolf learns is less than that. He can't eat these pigs. Now if I summarize that, we can make a song out of it. All right? Well, what do you mean? And that's part of what we're going to talk about in these lessons of structure and song anatomy. Here's an example. The wolf goes from house to house to house. Each house can be what we would call averse. What happens at that house? What are the similarities that happened between each house? Maybe you have three houses, so you have three versus, alright, the chorus or the, the part of the song that we keep coming back to the catchy tune might be about the wolf doing the one thing we know he wants to do, which is trying to eat and blow the house down. The bridge of the song, which is what takes us to another place and lets the song breathe a bit, but has the same meaning, the same core foundation about what the song is about, but brings it to us in a different perspective. In this story, it could be about how the pig, the last pig, has wisdom and built his house on Briggs. And now the core, it's letting us know the course is going to change. Maybe the final chorus or the chorus to the catchy part of the melody, but with the word, slight changes that the wolf can't eat and can't blow down houses that are built strongly. Now all of a sudden, the Three Little Pigs has become a song and not adjust story. All right, so I believe that every story is a song. We just have to figure out how to summarize that story and make it catchy for people to remember. All right, Let's figure out what the structure of a song might look like. 4. Songwriting 101-Anatomy of a Song: All right, Let's talk songwriting 1, 0, 1. Let's talk the structure, or possible structures or the anatomy, as we would call it a song. Right? The first thing I would say is there are so many different ways to write a song. However, this is a basic songwriting class, so we're going to keep it simple. And I just want to give you a couple of formats, a couple of ideas, a couple of what we call foundations, to where you can be as creative as you want. But if you won't venture off this path, you can at least be sure that you can write a song. You can put it into a structure that people could understand. I also want to say with that, but don't box yourself in. The grades have created what they've created because they stepped outside the box. But for you that are in this class, they're just trying to write a song or figure out the process though people use, let's use these simple, some of these simple tools that I've learned over the years and that many songwriters use. The first thing that a song needs is usually an intro. In intro is it can be free flowing, it can be OneNote. It can be an entire instrumental section, a baseline to a guitar and keyboard and instrument, cow bell, it really doesn't matter. The intro is what lets you know you're coming into the song. A lot of times the intro can just be the first four chords of the chorus or the first four chords of the verse. So the first two chords of the verse, It's just simply a way to let us know we're getting started. It can also be what we call the hook of the song, which I'm not going to spend a lot of time on in this video. But a hook is super important if your goal is for the song to be memorable, for years to come, for people to remember it. When I say the song, Michael Jackson, Billie Jean, most people can hear that line in their head, but the baseline in their head that starts that song. That's the intro. The next part of the song, we would usually form the song with what's called verses. It can be adverse or verses. The verse is the part of the song that lets us know the history of what's going on, what's going on in the story, and what's going to lead us into the release of what we want to sing or here, which would be the chorus. The verse is many times. Depending on the genre, can be very lyrical or just whimsical or simple. It depends on the rider, depends on what you're feeling for that song. The verse sets the tone for the emotion of the song as well. If this is a really, really happy song, and my lyrics from my inverse are not going to start out melancholy. They're going to start out with some type of a history, a character, a person, um, or, or some way to let us know that we're building to join this song. All right, a good example of a verse would be and Creedence Clearwater song. Have you ever seen the rain? So he starts out with that song. Someone told me long ago, there's a calm before the storm. And I know it's been coming for 0 so long. So now I know that there's a buildup of what this person has processed from other people. All right? The second part of a song and not always used, is what we would call a pre-chorus. A pre-chorus can be used simply to shift the tone of the verse to let us know that we're coming into the big release of the chorus. It can be done with it melodically. It can be done with it with instrumental, and it can be done with it lyrically. Any version of one or all of those. A pre-chorus can be long, it can be short. It's just a bridge to let us know that we're shifting into the chorus. A lot of the pop genres these days and country genres are going to a pre-chorus style. Another key foundation to the anatomy of a song is the chorus. It's the part of the song or everybody is hoping that we'll get to hopefully up to this point, kind of a standard rule if it's industry or wanting to be played musically on radio or whatever. Very often, the time of lyrics averse to pre-course up to this point can be as little as 40 seconds to a minute and a half, because we're trying to get to the chorus. That's the part of the song where oftentimes the vocal tone and The key goes up. So the song would be the highest notes is what I mean. The highest notes of the song are usually played in the chorus. The emotion of the song is at its full release at that point. If, if my heart string needs to be tugged on because this is a really sad song. That chorus is where you're going to cry, tears. If this is a super joyful and hopeful song. After you enter the course, you're going to want to go conquer the world. That's the part of the song where the biggest lift is. If we take that example of Creedence Clearwater song that I mentioned just a few minutes ago. The chorus goes to an hour. I want to know, have you ever seen the array? So now he has lifted the song because it was just a steady kinda Johnny Cash feel, you know, someone told me la, go and it's just real steady and it kinda brings you in. And then the chorus hits and it says, And now I want to know he lifts it. But he's asking a question so that the shift of the song went from what he's process from people to now he's asking you, have you process this. Do you know this? What do you think about this? So we know at that point we're either going to hop on board and saying or not. All right. Another part of a song that is, these days, especially in modern times, a part that gets focused on a lot. It's, it's almost as exciting as the chorus these days is the part that we call the bridge. There's other names for it in other parts of the world. For me as a songwriter, I've always called it a bridge. The bridge. The best way to describe the bridge is freedom. It's a, it's a time where you can, you know, you have some key rooms in your house. And this one room is the one that you love to show everybody. And you go in there for a little while, but you don't live in that room. You come back to the kitchen, you come back to the living room to be able to commune with your friends. But this room is special and it helps connect the personality, the feel, the vision of the house. That's what the bridge does. It usually will confirm either what the verse has said or what the course has said in many, oftentimes, most times it's what the chorus said. It's just a different perspective. For those of you who are really visual hiking my wife, a good way to describe the bridge would be if you've ever witnessed not necessarily been in but if you've ever witnessed a car accident or I'm not trying to be melodramatic, dramatic, dramatic here. But if you've ever witnessed a car accident, right, it can be very intense. And you're watching these two cars hit, you're seeing the pandemonium, you're seeing people come from all directions. Maybe within a few minutes you're seeing an ambulance come. The bridge of the song would be like the guy that's in the corner store on the other side of the accident that witnessed it from a different perspective. It's still the same accident. The chorus is the same. It's a different perspective on what happened. It's a different angle on what happened. Maybe it's a painting of the emotion, more of what happened. Maybe it's a painting or more of the collision and the explosion and the sounds. That's how I would paint a picture of a bridge. You're changing the perspective of the chorus and letting people kind of rise above the song and or step into the song emotionally, just enough time for you to want to hit that chorus again. Another final thought on the bridge is, it lets the song breathe a little bit. It might be intense, but the shift of tone, the shift of court structure, which nine times out of 10, the core structure, the note change, will change in the bridge and complement the ability to come back to the course allows us that moment of breathing to take in with the SOM is saying and embrace it fully so that we punch into the course and one that come into it again. That's the bridge. Together these things make up the basic structure of a song. If you want to study this even more and look into songwriting, there are a lot of other things that can make up the body of a song. You know, on a, on a person's body, we have the arms, we have the legs, we have the eyes, the ears, the mouth, but we also have a nose and tongue, fingers, elbows. Those subcategories of a song not gonna go into, but you can research and things like refrains. The middle eight, that relates to the bridge, a tag, a chorus 2 or 3, kinda says what it means by the title. But you can look into those things. But for now, let's focus on intro. Verses. Pre-chorus is choruses and bridges. 5. Lets Get Started-Getting Started: All right, So now you're probably ready to get started. So let's get started. How do we start this thing called writing a song? Alright, there's no one way to do it. I'm just going to throw out the tools that I've used over the years. And hopefully that helps you. The key is to break these pieces together in the way in the process you like to do it and mix and match it until you have your completed project. But let's try to be a little structure here and give you some ideas on how we can get started. The first thing to get started with, in my opinion, is the title, topic, the vision. What is it that you're wanting to write a song about? All right, and how can you get there? Maybe you're listening to this and you already have a topic for a song. Maybe you already have a title for a song is not. One of the best ways to do this, is to walk outside in a mall, in a park, in your house. And record ideas of what you think you would want to write a song about. Alright, let me emphasize record. You don't have a list of ideas already in your head, or at least one solid one, it's going to be hard to just jump in and write a song. Unless you're a melody person and you're just good at humming melodies or like what I do with my guitar. I'll sit down and I just play a chord progression that, that hits my heart. And I know the structures of songs and so I know all that's a chorus. If you're just starting out here, the best thing to do is grab your phone, grab a recorder, grab a pen and paper. It doesn't matter. And either go somewhere, sit down somewhere, grab a cup of coffee, and think about what you'd want to write about. When you think about a topic, break it down into its simple form, alright, into a summary or a title. A good example of this would be like, maybe you had a dream last night and crazy dream last night where you flew across the world and landed on an island where there was three people. And each of them told you things that you'd be doing in your life at some point. Okay. That's a lot of detail in a dream. But if you summed it up and made a summary, you could say something like life calling or my future or the words on an island, something like that just off the top my head to make a topic, a title of what you're writing about. For instance, if you're outside sitting down in advance with a cup of coffee and Watching moms with their children in a park. And you think to yourself, Man, these moms spend a lot of time investing in their children, letting them play, and I bet there's a song title in there somewhere. You would write down the idea and try to break that idea into a two or three word summary topic, right? Playing that the park, right? Moms and their kids, whatever. Maybe you're just at a football game, right? And your you're watching all the young kids in in love with their boyfriends and their girlfriends, high-school love or whatever, you know. And you're paying attention to that. And you go, Hey, there's a song here. You know? That's why, I mean, you need to write down titles and topics. Start there. All right. The next thing to get started is you want to take that same recorder when you have your idea, you have your phone and you want to break down and brainstorm the ideas of what you're wanting to say in the song. But music with lyrics. This is the part that can oftentimes caused people to think. And I'm just being goofy or this is just weird and I can't do this. This is the part where you need to press and be creative, be open-minded in your heart, and not judge yourself for what comes out of your heart and mouth. All right. Here's what I mean. If you have an instrument, then you want to sit down with your instrument and your idea, your topic of your idea that's you're staring at and you want to just hit record on your, on your phone or on your quarter and start singing. Starts singing your idea, maybe like that guided, hey, who knows what he had before that, and start singing it with your instrument. Find a progression that you like, and just let words flow out. But stay on topic standpoint with your title and write whatever is there. Let it be recorded. If you don't play an instrument, do the exact same thing with just your voice. Alright, la, la, la, la. And, and make those words, make the syllables make the sounds into words based on the topic that you have. And don't judge yourself. Spend five minutes, 10 minutes, 15 minutes of just purely going at this. All right, try those same melodies in different ways. So if maybe you're singing at a certain temple, now, speed it up or slow it down. Test yourself. No, no. No, no, no. All right. Or speedup. Nano. Nano, no, no, no, no, no, no, no. Speed up, slow down. Work. What's going on in you with the topic? Alright, change things up. Have a record on your recorder of some of these melody ideas. And if you are a melody guy or an instrumental person, then skip this part because you'll probably just need to jump to lyrics. Alright? Those are my ideas for that. Those are the best way I can say for you to get started, create a topic right via a titled, which you might need to do by going to find it or making lists of those things, which I'll talk about in a little bit further point, papilla and my final thoughts. And then once you have a topic idea that your honed in on, take 10 or 15 minutes and really lock in with your instrument or with melody. The thoughts that are coming out of you musically about those ideas. Or just create four to eight bar melodies that possibly could be used with the words that you want to say in your topic. All right, that's the best way to get started. Do not judge yourself. Press through this, write down or record what you have so that we can move on to the next step was his writing lyrics. 6. Writing Lyrics: Getting down to the nitty-gritty of what this song that's you're making might look like. We're on to lyric writing. Alright? Writing lyrics. First. I want to just start this out by saying, this can take years. This can take years and years and years to get really good at. But the great part about this is you don't have to be really good at to be able to do it, alright? And to get good at anything, you need to repetitively do it. And you need to repetitively do it. Well, if you repetitively do something wrong, you're just compounding the wrong. You probably have heard that same practice makes perfect. Well, I think that's rubbish. I think practice makes permanent. What do I mean? If you practice something wrongly, you're going to be really bad at it. But if you practice something correctly, you're going to get really good at it. That's the key. It makes permanent. You don't want to compound bad habits if you have them. And so hopefully, this lesson will help you on lyric writing in a way that you can expand and growing at creative and do the things you wanna do. Basically a new life. Lyrics can be about anything, all right? You can talk about anything. And so then you can write about anything. The key with the lyrics is that when you write your lyrics, there's consistency, right? The human ear. Humanity. We like to be very creative, but also within structure. So for instance, on a verse, we already talked about how a verse is usually the history or the explanation of what the song is going to be about. Alright? Equally as strong song has structure may be verse, chorus, verse, chorus, verse, chorus, song, gun. So does the lyric. So if my verse, I have chosen to be very wordy with my lyrics, then I need to keep that consistency throughout my verse or have a way to release that. When I get to the next section, whether that's a pre-chorus, chorus or a bridge, so that, that next section can change into the lyric rhythm that I have for that section, right? No sections are the same. That's why it's called a verse and chorus. I don't want my course the sound exactly how my verse sounds. Otherwise it's just another verse. Alright? Many times as a tip, many times when I first started writing, I had so much I wanted to say in the song, instead of realizing that if I would break those things I wanted to say in the smaller sections, I had more songs to, right? If I try to stuff everything into one song, I've really got five songs in one song. And that's one of the keys to lyric writing is simplify and summarize what it is you're trying to say, you're not writing the whole children's story. You're not writing all of the Three Little Pigs in detail. You're writing it in sections. It's a story told to music. All right. Here's what I mean. Here's a, here's an example. The song, Jesus loves me is, Jesus loves me. This I know for the Bible tells me so little ones to him belong. They are weak, but he is strong. That cadence of those four lines for the verse or the same, Jesus loves me. This, I know for the Bible tells me so within six or seven syllables, It's the exact same Led Total ones to him be long, It's all within the same thing. They are weak. He is strong. Everything's within six to eight syllables throughout. All right? And the way they record it is rhythmically in a moderate tempo. The chorus shifts to, yes, Jesus loves me. Yes, Jesus loves me. Yes, Jesus loves me. The Bible tells me so. So the chorus shifts to three bars that are drawn out with very few words, with the fourth that don't rhyme, but are the exact same repetitively. And the fourth line brings home the point, and it's a few more syllables. The structure of the course is lyrics is way different than the structure of the verse, but the melody holds together. That's what lyric writing is. So let's talk about some ways that you can lyric, right? There's a lot of different rhythms and patterns. Many songs for this, for this lesson, I'm going to keep it simple. You can write in many, many bars that you want. You can in an actual Barbara, in as many bars of music that you want. But for this lesson, let's keep it simple. A lot of times verses and choruses are four bars or three bars of music. Alright? In those four bars, there are rhyme schemes that can be used or not used. You can choose for your lyrics not to rhyme or to rhyme. Many, many folk singers and made livings off of songs, not rhyming. However, like I said earlier, the random of the way they structure their lyrics based on syllables or syncopated structure stays consistent. They're not all over the place with 10 syllables in one line and two syllables in one line and then eight syllables and then 15. They keep it very structured. And so while you don't have to rhyme every line, which I'm going to show you some examples of how you can structure the way that you choose to rhythmically put your lyric together needs to stay consistent. All right, also, finally your lyrics within your verse, your course, your pre-course, your bridge, need to stay true to your, you guessed it, your title, your topic. In the story of The Three Little Pigs. If I want to make a song about the three little pigs, I am not going to talk about the pigs distant cousin more than I talk about, or, or the pigs uncle more than I talk about the pigs and the wolf. Alright? Your lyrics must stay true to the topic of the song. Or else you don't have oral Su, have a different song. Alright, so let's talk about some structures or lyrics starting with the verse. All right, if we have, this works for the chorus 2, but let's talk about it as averse. If we have a four bar or a four line verse. There's a lot of different ways you can do this. There's one system that we would label a, a, a, a, right? That means that every line is rhyming in the verse, right? As an example, I could say would be a great example here. If I wanted to fly high up in the sky, many people might wonder why because I could die. That would be a good example of a, a, a, a. Alright. Another great example of an or, a potential lyric way to write your lyric inverse would be a, a, b, a. All right. So AABA would be line 1 and 2. Rhine. Line 3 does not rhyme, but live for rhymes with the first two lines. All right, let's see if I can pull an example out here. One day. I want to fly. I want to fly high in the sky. Maybe in a balloon or a plane. The truth is I just want to fly. All right, so that would be a very poor example of a ba. Alright. Another very well used structure for, for lyrical miracle structure could be a, B, AB. And you've probably already thought of this one where line 1 and 3 rhyme and line 2 and 4, Rhine. Alright, How would that look? I really want to fly. I know it would be so fun. Cruising high in the sky as I draw closer to the sun. All right, so there's another example of a b. A b. You can see how this can change all over the place like this can literally turn into whatever you want it to do. The key though, in all of what I've already showed you is the pattern of syllables and the amount of words I used based on how I was caving. Kit. Condensing them didn't change, right? I didn't make the first line on ABAB super long be short, the third line short, and the last one super long. I didn't do that because it doesn't rhythmically hit lyrically. And what I'm trying to say, what I'm trying to say is not just done with words, it's done in a way that people can receive it rhythmically as well. Alright? Another example of a way that you could do this would be a, a, B, B. All right, where the first line in the second line rhyme and the third line and the fourth line rhyme. All right? Another example of this would be, I want to fly. See what it's. I want to fly. I really want to fly to search out the blue sky. One day. I know I will be able to find this skill. Alright, so AAA rhymes, BB rhymes, right? These are some examples of writing your larynx. Now, those are the practical, simple tools. What I would love to give you now is some tips and foundation of writing the lyrics, binding the lyrics. One of the things over the years that I've found in my writing is it has to move me. When you write your lyric. Whether it's about something serious, about something sad, something funny, something goofy. I have to believe what I'm saying. When you write your lyric, allow yourself to release the emotion of what you're trying to say. How does this topic affect what I'm writing? How do I want the song to sound? If I chose a topic about dads, fathers, and I chose a structure of verse, chorus, verse, chorus, bridge, chorus. That's what I chose as a structure. And I chose, I want the emotion to be very grateful, joyful, not melancholy. When I write my lyrics from my verse or my chorus, I need to remember that. I need to write my lyrics in a way that I allow and find the joy of fatherhood or the joy of having a father or the joy of watching fathers comes out in my lyric. And I stay there and I stay true to that for the intent of the song, I may find a really good lyric about fathers that has to do with hardship, but it may not fit this song. Take that lyric, remove it and put it in your lists. Put it in your idea of topics and write a different song on it. If you will, focus on how it makes you feel and stay true to the emotion, the topic, and what you've chosen for the song to be about. The lyrics will flow much, much easier because your mind is able to compartmentalize that. All right, hopefully that helps a little bit. Let's move on to melodies. 7. Finding Melodies: All right, Let's talk melodies. All right. Now, if you're in that third class of person that I mentioned in the intro, that really can't find a melody because you can't play an instrument. Or you just don't have the confidence yet to sing out a melody or to Hama malady or maybe you think you're, you just can't sing yet. Then I don't want to say you can skip over this class, but you could skip over this lesson. But I would encourage you to listen to it all the way through because I believe that in the future you could find a way. Alright. Let's talk melodies for those of you guys who play instruments, alright? When creating a melody, what I've done over the years is I found my, my title or my topic. I have my ID or my vision in my head, and I start playing that melody around it. That's if I have the lyrical or the topic idea first. Many times I'll at least have the Somme idea first. All right, if I at least have the title of the song first, then I can start experimenting with melodies. Alright, so for instance, I might pick up my guitar and back to that topic of fathers. Maybe you have a topic of fathers. And I want it to be a joyful, upbeat song that people can seem too. Alright. So I have my guitar and I know that I want this to be singable and catchy. So I might choose that. I want a chorus that is eight bars, so it's four bars of something and then four bars of something. All right, a total bars. And so I might start playing on a major chord, a C chord. And I might go ahead and find myself going into the five core to the G, because it lives the song up right away in the first two chords. And then maybe I have the four core to the F. And I'm going to use the minor chord that a minor as a turnaround to uplift me right back into that second set of four bars again. But I have no idea of where I want to go with the melody. I would just practice. I'll just try. So maybe I'm hitting the C chord on just downstreams because this is a punchy joyful, awesome song. So I'm just C, C, C, C, C, C, C, C G, G, G, G, G, G, G, G, f, f, f, f, f, f, f, a minor. A minor. A minor. And it's just real driving. All right, I might grab some of the melodically and go. C, C, C, G, G, G, Fay minor. And it's real kind of just bumping Sharpie. Alright. The basic thing is, I'm just going to go ahead and start playing my melody, my rhythm, based on the topic I chose in different ways. And when I find something that hits me, I'm going to stay there. Now, whether that's the verse or the chorus. Once I have that melody that I like, I'm going to build the other things around that. So if I have a chorus That's real uppity and it's dry. The CCC, CGT, DZ. Then when I go to my averse, I might slow it down a little bit and find a rhythm within those chords that's set, that stays on that same melodic structure, but in a different way. So I might go ahead and start with my f. Alright, because it's kinda, my, my forecourt in this case is just kinda simple. And it gets you into the song. And I might go from the f to the a minor. And they lift that up a little bit from the sea into the gene so that it starts a bit normal, but it's building into that C and G so that when I get to that C of the course, it punches in, right? But I'm going to change the structure of the core and the intensity of the chord the same way I did lyrically. When I wrote my lyrics. Alright, think about Jesus loves me. Jesus loves me. This I know is the verse. It's real kinda happy-go-lucky. And then it says, yes, Jesus loves me, like punches in. Alright, why? The goal of the song was to be a joyful memory of Jesus his love for a person. But the verse is happy, go lucky while the chorus is I either buying or I don't. All right? And so melodically I want to do that as well. Once I find the melody I want based on the topic, I want, I want my averse, my pre-chorus, I'm, I bridge to buy into whether that is staying lower, medium based or based on how much intensity is in the chorus and the verse complementary of each other. Alright? How do I do that? Same way, you push play on your recorder and you keep on playing your melody until you find something that you like that fits to test, to put the lyrics into right now. And I don't have an instrument to play, then you do the exact same thing with your humming. You're not No. 9 your words. All right. The exact same way you think to yourself, Man, I want the course to be real punchy. Alright? So then you hum, something resolves punchier, you make sounds. You pull out the melody as goofy as that might sound with your, with your own melody inside of you. And then you structure and timing and find that with the verse and the chorus and the bridge. And the timing and you put it together. You don't need an instrument to make the melody. You can saying or home or tap out melody how you want. Alright, but the key is, keep it within the structure just like you did lyrically. My verse is melancholy. Stay melancholy. If my verse is four bars, then my melody needs to be crunched down into four bars. I don't want to try to force eight bars into four bars. All right. Those simple structures are, are, are ways that you can kind of keep the path safe for you to write something creatively. All right, hopefully that helps if you have any questions, stick them in the dialogue and we'll talk about it. Melodies can always be a great discussion. 8. What are Genres: All right, so tough, songwriting, 1, 0, 1. So far we've talked about the anatomy and the structure or the anatomy and the tools that go into writing a basic song. We talked about choruses, verses, pre-chorus is in intros and bridges. Now, how do you put those together? That is completely up to you and that is what we would call it John run. So you've probably heard that word. What's the musical genre you write in? All right, a few years back, this used to be a lot more cut and dry. Used to have gospel, country, R&B, blues, rock. Now days or classical, even nowadays, there are so many sub-genres that it can be hard sometimes to distinguish what the genre is. It's not a bad thing. It's actually great because it means that we're becoming more creative over the years and putting, allowing ourselves to think outside the box a bit was structured. So let's keep it simple for those of you guys who are taking this class and wanting to just keep it simple. Let's just use the word genre as a structure. All right? Thus, the genre of a song is just the structure with song. How am I choosing to take those sections? Intro verse, chorus, pre-chorus bridge, and put them in an order, right? I'm going to give you a couple so you can get started, but only a couple because I don't want to overwhelm you. I want you to feel like you have the knowledge and the equipping to be able to write your first song and send it to the class so we can take a look at it. And so I can, I can dialogue with you about it. So let's just take a few formats and hopefully this sparks and creativity and you can put together the song the way you want to write. One example, very simple example would be intro, verse, chorus, verse, chorus. Now, you can use as many verse courses you want. But the key to this pattern is it's just verse chorus, verse chorus. There's a song called the wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald. That's a legendary song that literally takes forever to listen to. It's like one along songs ever. And that's the form of God verse, chorus, verse, chorus verse, chorus over and over again. All right. Technically you could do verse, verse, verse, verse, verse, and never have a porous, alright. There's a few blues and bluegrass songs that are set this way where the chorus is hidden within the very last line of the verse. But it's not something that you sing over and over. It just gets repetitively said in the verse. All right? Another format that's often, often used in modern times is the pattern of verse. Pre-chorus, chorus. Verse 2, pre-chorus 2, chorus, 2, bridge, chorus. Maybe a couple of times, finish. Alright. Another format that you can use is verse chorus. Verse 2, chorus, bridge, chorus, finish. All right. Any of these formats are a good example of a song structure that you could use to read a simple song. 9. It's Time-Share Your Story: All right friends. It's now that time is time for you to share your song with us. Right? Now. Obviously you don't have to, but I'm very excited to have worked with you on this so far. I'm very excited to have given you at least some basic knowledge of what's helped me to succeed over the last almost 20 years now and really enjoyed writing songs as a lifestyle. And so I would encourage you, one of the keys to this is sharing in it. All right? The one thing you can be sure of is there's not going to be judgment in this class. We're just excited and proud of you for wanting to take the step to even write a song and go for it. And so go and upload it in a simple way with your, with your instrument and your, your voice and an MP3 or WAV file. And I'll take a look at it in dialogue with you if you have, if you want me to give you any more ideas, I'm in a can, but we would just love to hear the here the product of what happened to this process. And it will encourage me to know that the way I set this class, I've helped enough that you could, you could actually go ahead and do and make, make a song for yourself. If this is your first time making a song ever, congratulations, it's a huge accomplishment and you should feel good about it. Again, there's no judgment here. I just hope that you feel encouraged to be able to take more of your stories and put it into music in the future. And that you realize you can do this. Also, if you're someone who's already been writing songs, thanks for coming on this journey with us. Hopefully, the simplicity of this process you've found to be helpful for yourself or you've got a couple of tips for yourself as well. Thanks for joining us on this journey. Upload your class project. Let's hear it. 10. Final Thoughts: Alright, to take this class to conclusion, I'm going to let out some of my final thoughts. First, I just want to say thank you so much for entrusting this time with me so that I can actually give back what I've learned over the years and hopefully encourage you to let that creative song out of your heart wherever it is. And hopefully you learned that you can find it anywhere, that every story can be made into a song. We truly believe that also you have a lot of stories to tell. But in conclusion, we wanted to just remind you of some of the things that we learned in the class. Obviously, when we talked about what is a song really, which I just said is a story. We talked about songwriting one-to-one, or the anatomy of a song. And we, we discussed some of the basic sections, topics, tools that make up a song in the intro, the verse, the chorus, the pre-chorus, and the bridge. There's many other ways that you can put these together. There's many other ways that you can dissect the anatomy of a song, but those basic structures are there for you to get started. Also, being able to get started, we talked about how important titles and the topic of the sambar to keep things true in what you're writing. How to brainstorm and just sit down and free write, free listen and not judge yourself in allowing those ideas, lyrics, and melodies to come. I can't stress enough how important this is. I want to come and dive off to the side just for about 30 seconds and let you know. One of the ways that I keep this up is in my phone. I have a notepad. I also have a bunch of notebooks and diaries I've kept over the years that when I'm out and about and I hear something or see something that could be a song. I have a list that says song ideas and I literally put the topic down. I also have a section, tons of them. So that way when I go to something, I can listen to it or look at it and dissect it. Also have a section that is lyric ideas. So I might hear somebody say something at the store. I live in Mozambique, Africa as a missionary here in the village. So I might hear something that someone says in life experience and go a lyric or that's a song idea. And I'll pull out my phone and I'll type it in. So those ideas are constantly flowing. All right. Also we talked about, we talked about within those times the brainstorming, changing up what you're doing, speeding up a melody, slowing down a melody, bringing intensity to a lyric or pulling off of a lyric. When you're brainstorming or letting those song sounds, ideas, lyrics out that you don't just get into a one thing that you allow the freedom of what you're saying to also change in speed and timing and intensity so that you could actually find what the songs trying to say. All right? And then the final thing is you sharing the song with the class. What I would love to encourage with in these final thoughts is share your story all the time. Songwriting can be such an amazing way of releasing stress, anxiety, processing hardship, processing life experience, and also a memoir of remembrance and gratitude of the things in your life that you're appreciative of. This has become a lifestyle for me over 20 years and is literally brought healing to my heart and certain ways has helped bring you into other people's heart in certain ways. Helped me grow and ways that I need to mature or helped me to communicate better what I'm trying to say. So that may encourage you stay hopeful in your creative writing process and keep writing. If you've done it once, you can do it again. Thanks for coming on this journey with me. I hope to see you in the future video.