SONGWRITING FOR THE BEGINNING SONGWRITER - Beginning Songwriters Guide to Writing Amazing Songs | Lesson Pros | Skillshare

SONGWRITING FOR THE BEGINNING SONGWRITER - Beginning Songwriters Guide to Writing Amazing Songs

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56 Lessons (7h 52m)
    • 1. Promotional Video

      1:30
    • 2. Introduction

      0:27
    • 3. How to Get Started

      2:14
    • 4. Title, Aliteration, Radio and Rhymes

      4:51
    • 5. The Title Part 2

      1:32
    • 6. Parts of the Song

      4:57
    • 7. Melodic Structure

      1:47
    • 8. Never Throw Away Anything

      1:39
    • 9. Writer's Block

      2:33
    • 10. Take it Out

      1:14
    • 11. Co-writing

      7:20
    • 12. Getting Organized

      3:08
    • 13. Books, Songwriting Associations, Etc

      4:23
    • 14. SONGWRITING BONUS TIP - Billy Currington

      3:39
    • 15. SONGWRITING BONUS TIP - Inspiration

      12:03
    • 16. Heavy 8th Rock - Key of A - Write a song to this Backing Track

      9:12
    • 17. Heavy 8th Rock - Key of B - Write a song to this Backing Track

      9:12
    • 18. Heavy 8th Rock - Key of C - Write a song to this Backing Track

      9:12
    • 19. Heavy 8th Rock - Key of D - Write a song to this Backing Track

      9:12
    • 20. Heavy 8th Rock - Key of E - Write a song to this Backing Track

      9:12
    • 21. Heavy 8th Rock - Key of F - Write a song to this Backing Track

      9:12
    • 22. Heavy 8th Rock - Key of G - Write a song to this Backing Track

      9:12
    • 23. Electronic Pop - Key of A - Write a song to this Backing Track

      10:36
    • 24. Electronic Pop - Key of B - Write a song to this Backing Track

      10:36
    • 25. Electronic Pop - Key of C - Write a song to this Backing Track

      10:36
    • 26. Electronic Pop - Key of D - Write a song to this Backing Track

      10:36
    • 27. Electronic Pop - Key of E - Write a song to this Backing Track

      10:36
    • 28. Electronic Pop - Key of F - Write a song to this Backing Track

      10:36
    • 29. Electronic Pop - Key of G - Write a song to this Backing Track

      10:36
    • 30. Heavy Rock - Key of A - Write a song to this Backing Track

      10:13
    • 31. Heavy Rock - Key of B - Write a song to this Backing Track

      10:13
    • 32. Heavy Rock - Key of C - Write a song to this Backing Track

      10:13
    • 33. Heavy Rock - Key of D - Write a song to this Backing Track

      10:13
    • 34. Heavy Rock - Key of E - Write a song to this Backing Track

      10:13
    • 35. Heavy Rock - Key of F - Write a song to this Backing Track

      10:13
    • 36. Heavy Rock - Key of G - Write a song to this Backing Track

      10:13
    • 37. Jazz - Key of Ab - Write a song to this Backing Track

      10:01
    • 38. Jazz - Key of Bb - Write a song to this Backing Track

      10:01
    • 39. Jazz - Key of C - Write a song to this Backing Track

      10:01
    • 40. Jazz - Key of Db - Write a song to this Backing Track

      10:01
    • 41. Jazz - Key of Eb - Write a song to this Backing Track

      10:01
    • 42. Jazz - Key of F# - Write a song to this Backing Track

      10:01
    • 43. Piano - Key of A - Write a song to this Backing Track

      10:28
    • 44. Piano - Key of B - Write a song to this Backing Track

      10:28
    • 45. Piano - Key of C - Write a song to this Backing Track

      10:28
    • 46. Piano - Key of D - Write a song to this Backing Track

      10:28
    • 47. Piano - Key of E - Write a song to this Backing Track

      10:28
    • 48. Piano - Key of F - Write a song to this Backing Track

      10:28
    • 49. Piano - Key of G - Write a song to this Backing Track

      10:28
    • 50. Slow Ballad - Key of - Write a song to this Backing Track

      10:49
    • 51. Slow Ballad - Key of B - Write a song to this Backing Track

      10:49
    • 52. Slow Ballad - Key of - Write a song to this Backing Track

      10:49
    • 53. Slow Ballad - Key of D - Write a song to this Backing Track

      10:49
    • 54. Slow Ballad - Key of E - Write a song to this Backing Track

      10:28
    • 55. Slow Ballad - Key of F - Write a song to this Backing Track

      10:49
    • 56. Slow Ballad - Key of G - Write a song to this Backing Track

      10:49

About This Class

Songwriting for Beginner Songwriters, Learn how to get started writing better songs

Songwriting Class- Learn Songwriting skills, tips and tricks to become a better Songwriter
#1 Songwriting Class

Learn the basic concepts and building blocks that will help you become a better songwriter.  This Class goal is to help you feel more comfortable and confident writing songs

Why take from this gal?

My passion is inspiring others to feel more confident in themselves and their playing.  I feel like writing music can do that. I have taught well over 50,000 students all across the US. 

After, performing and teaching all over the US. at workshops, out of my home and through multiple schools, I was asked by many of my students to make a songwriting class.  Here is the result.

  Building a strong songwriting foundation

  • Learn how to get started writing songs

  • Learn about the Title, Alliteration, Radio and Rhymes

  • Parts of the song

  • Melodic Structure

  • Throw Away  

  • Writer's Block

  • Take it Out

  • Learn about Co-writing

  • Getting Organized

  • I will recommend some great books

  • Learn about songwriters associations

Bonus songwriting Lessons:

  • Billy Currington

  • Where to get Inspiration

  Who is the target audience for this songwriting class?

  • Anyone just starting on songwriting

  • For beginner to intermediate songwriters

  • Anyone who wants to write songs for others or themselves

  • All ages

Questions
Feel free to send me any questions you might have on this songwriting class. I want to make your learning experience the best that it can be.

Thanks
Thanks for taking the time to look at this Songwriting Tips for Songwriters - How to get started class. I look forward to seeing you on the inside of this class and teaching you how to become a better songwriter.
Sandi M.

Songwriting Class - Learn Songwriting skills tips and tricks to become a better Songwriter - #1 Songwriting Class

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Transcripts

1. Promotional Video: My name is Sandy Millar, and I've been fortunate enough to teach thousands of students across the U. S. At songwriters, workshops and music festivals. And it was due to the inspiration of my students that kept asking me, Do you have any videos? So I've decided to make. Of course, I am designed this course toe offer an easy step by step instructional guide. Unlock the secrets to writing better songs. By the end of this course, you should be able to write a more cohesive song that has a deeper meaning to you. This course is for songwriters seeking to improve on their some writing. Within the course, you'll learn how to get started, where again, inspiration and we'll break down the parts of the sign. I will also touch on writers black, finding rhymes, co writing and being organized. And then finally, we'll talk about some my favorite books and ways to connect with a global, some writing community. This course is meant to help all sign writers from beginner to advance, become more successful at their songwriting by starting with the building blocks to help you write better songs. Thank you for taking the time to look at this course. Feel free to look at the course content and hopefully we'll see inside 2. Introduction: I'm so glad you decided to sign up for the course. My name is Sandy Millar. And again, I'll be your instructor for this course. Feel free. If you have any questions to just send me a message. Be more than happy to help you at any time. Thanks and enjoy the course. 3. How to Get Started: when you're writing songs, you can apply these tips to any genre of music. It doesn't really matter what your favorite style of music is. I think these tips will help you become that are some writer. So that's the ultimate goal. Here's just to help you become a better some writer. How do you get started writing a sign? That's the tricky part for the very beginner who's never written a song before. What I'm going to suggest, which is not my advice. It's it's advice from a guy named Harlan Howard, and he's written over 4000 signs, maybe even more. He suggested that you take a song that you love and rewrite the lyrics and then take the court structure and rewrite the courts. And then all the sudden you have a brand new song. I guarantee it will sell nothing like the song that you love, which is great. It's like if you're building a house and you have to do deciding, need some scaffolding and get up there, right? So if you can think of it like that, like this is the scaffolding of your sign, I need to have a core to get started So I spent a lot of time studying lyrics, and I haven't got so crazy one day that I read all above Dylan lyrics because I think Bob Dylan's a brilliant writer and and so I study his lyrics. I studied Snoop Dog lyrics. I I started the Carter family and studied Bill Monroe. What what were the lyrics? What were they writing? So then what I would do is I would read the lyrics, and then I would come up with my own idea of where I want to sign to go, like the sun has meaning. So what does that meaning mean to you So you can take that sign and make it your own by just reading the story and then coming up with your own stories? That's another really good way to kind of get ideas on how to write a song. 4. Title, Aliteration, Radio and Rhymes: Okay, So for this next tip, I'm going to talk about the title a little bit. So the title. I feel like that that when you're writing a song, everything should relate back to the title somehow some way. So let's say you're writing a song about dirt and dirt, your title and you want you know you want to talk about, like maybe mud racing and trucks and and being out in the field in the country. Or if you want the sign to be about like garni can, I'll be about flowers and how the flowers are growing in the garden. You know what? It's all about the dirt. So I know that's just kind of a simple, simple sample of a song, but just kind of an idea to get you relating back to the title Super important. Okay, let's move on to alliteration. I love a liberation and songs as long as it's not too much just gonna give you some quick examples of alliteration, which might kind of help. You kind of get the your mind rolling a little bit, but Alice is aunt ate apples and acorns around August, so that's there's a lot of days on that one and a lot of little aeration, and that one's carries cat clawed her coach Leary's lizards like leaping lizards. That's kind of a crazy one, but anyways, just little samples of alliteration. So think about that a little bit when you're when you're writing your songs, because it does help with the floor of the sign. Keep alliteration in mind. Okay for this next tip, I want to talk about saying it in three minutes of round three minutes, especially if you want to get on radio. We have a sign. It's called The Good Old Days of Bill Monroe. And if the Sun When I originally wrote this song it was nine, I think 9.5 minutes there's something crazy like that. I don't even remember the exact amount of time it was. It was all very long, Zain. And so what I had done with this song, just to give you an idea of another route that you can go when you're running sounds is. I decided to take Bill Monroe song titles, and then I put them in a story format again. There were so many verses because he had so he has so many signs that he's written. So I took all of his titles and I decided to put it in story format. And then what I did is I knew I wanted to get it on radio. So if we were going to get this song on radio, I needed to get under for sure four minutes. I had to cut the sign down and kind of re just redo it a little bit. And, uh, but it's kind of fun to go back and look at the old version to go. Oh, no. Yeah. Lepers. Making sure that that verse in there No, no. I like the song that way. Yeah, we had to get it, uh, cut down for radio time. So keep that in mind if you want to get on rate. If you want your songs on radio, you need to find out what radio time is typically for, like hit songs. I think it's about 3 18 to 3 23 They cut that down for over the years. I think used to be a little bit higher than that, but now it's that is the slot. Keep that in mind if you're gonna try and write for radio. All right. Next tip. People always ask me about how do I get rhymes? How do I How do I find the rhyme in a sign? And you know, this is my advice. It's all been done before. Okay, so I know that seems like a simple answer, but what I did one day, okay. I was telling you about Bob Dylan and how I studied Bob Dylan lyrics, right? What I did one day. This is crazy insane, But I made a spreadsheet. I made a spreadsheet of all, all above Dylan's. Ryan's just the Ends. Not not his lines, just the ends. The war goes rhyming words because I think he's a brilliant Reimer. Sometimes I wonder if you just, like, pull something out of the air. I don't even know. I don't. He's just brilliant, so I encourage you make a spreadsheet. The rhymes are already their souls. You have to do You got your end rhymes, right? And then right the line in front. Just a crazy tip, and it makes finding your rhymes a lot easier. However, now, one more thing is that never write the song just for the Ryan? No. So that's super important. You don't want to. Just like Oh, I'm gonna throw this word in there cause it rhymes. So you still want stuff to make sense. Keep that in mind also, when you're finding your rhymes. 5. The Title Part 2: when you're picking your song title, you really want something that's gonna pop. That's kind of catchy. It's really going to drive your point home. You want your song titled To be unique. If you're having a hard time coming up with a song title or an idea for sign, go to book generator dot com. I think maybe it's book title generator. Not not sure, but anyways, it'll generate titles, book titles for you, for all kinds of writers, and you just might get a really good idea. So sometimes I'll take, like if it has one title here in another title here, I'll take the two titles and combine them to make it more interesting. I have thousands of titles that I've got in my Google docks, just sitting there waiting for those songs to be written. It's a great place to get titles. Think about it. Red Solo Cup. You know that's a great song title. It's like everything leads right back to the Red Solo Cup in the partying. And you know what, Sons about the great Great song title. Ramona, Kentucky. That's a bluegrass sign. Kentucky. It's It's a sign. It's a sign title that pops. Will the circle be unbroken? It's another great song title sound of silence. That's kind of sound and silence are actually opposites, which is really kind of It's a really unique title sound of silence. It's a great title. 6. Parts of the Song: Let's talk about the parts of the song that are really important. I want to just kind of go over my top six things that I think our super important to having a really good sign. So your title is super important, your opening line really important set, Applying, which we'll talk about in a little bit, making sure that you stay in the correct person. That's a big one. A lot of people Flip Flo, and then imagery is important. And then last but definitely not least. And I feel like this is probably the one of the most important things is being genuine in your songs. So singing about stuff that's that has meaning to you is gonna make your song really, really great. Title. Let's talk about the title. You definitely with your title. We talked a little bit about this before where you want. I feel like everything should kind of relate back to the title so all of your lines somehow try and get them relating back to the title. That'll help make your son better also try, You know, just challenge yourself once in a while. Just try even writing a song with one word. You know, that's that's, you know, it's just something different. It's just a great exercise Teoh to try and challenge yourself. So write a song about that, has a title with one word in it. However, I feel like your title needs to be really unique. So, um, you know, like Red Hey, that's a great and actually so great song titled Right and some other great song titles that I want to just kind of mention red solo cup Man, You know what that sign is about? It's about a party, and then will the circle be unbroken? That's a great song title. So my other favorite, some tiles, are sound of silence. So the reason why I love this title is because it's sound and silence sound of silence, opposites, and that's very creative. I love the opposite. And then bridge over Troubled waters Really good song title. The opening line This, In my opinion, the opening line is the most important line of your sign. Your first line has to be powerful, and it needs to grab your listener. Here are some great first line examples that I like to use in my workshops that I teach. Please allow me to introduce myself. I'm a man of wealth and taste. Hello, Darkness, my old friend. I've come to visit you again yesterday. Oh, my trouble seems so far away. Your tip number three is your set of line is really important. Your set a blind to your hook line Really important. So think about this when you're singing your chorus the lying right before your title or your hook line which in most cases, the title I like again I like using opposites. Here is a good one This is a special consensus sign that I heard That's a really good problem as long as you could solve home That's a really good problem to have see a good and problem They don't really go together But in this case, it works really well It's a good problem That's one My favorites And then another one The song remembers when the set of blind is And then I had forgotten all about it. The payoff line is the song remembers, went So you're saying And then I had for gotten for gotten the song remembers, remembers when so forgotten and remembers their opposite I like the opposites using those in Asan Tip number four within the parts of the song that are really important writing by staying in the correct person, making sure your he's and she's and eyes and weaves and haves and hats are all correct if you're in the presence day in the present. If you're docking, If it's a woman singing and just singing about the man, you got to keep it that way. Tip Number five Imagery. I hate a picture with your lyrics and then Number six, which I feel is really important, which I've already mentioned just be genuine because that's going to come out in your song , so really be sincere when you're writing your sons. 7. Melodic Structure: Okay, some writing. Tip number four. I want to just touch on your melodic structure for just a little bit. You're melodic. Structure should be rising and following the rising and falling of notes and staying within a couple notes or having intervals and or lifts, you have your rhythmic structure. So experiment with long, long, short and short, short, long known. So hold out lone, Long, short. You know what I mean Or switch that around. So just changing your rhythmic structure, your chord structure. So picking a sign and changing the cords up, which were you already talked about. You can do that and then tempo structure. So experimenting with different temples if you're some we had assignment was really slow, and I wanted to be really dirty because it was about a girl who's getting abused and the song is called Shackles. So I really wanted it to be Georgie. And then it was really interesting because we got into the studio and we're like, Man, this album, a lot of really slow signs on your weeding pick me up. So I took that sign and I made it fast, and it ended up being really interesting. I'm really glad we did it that way, but it's kind of cool because we have two versions of Sun. We have a slow, dirt dirty version. So depending upon the mood, if I'm feeling like Dorje and we'll play it slow. And if I want a little pick me up for a sands on a play fast experiment with your tempo changes, for sure. 8. Never Throw Away Anything: this'll is tip number five, which is never throw anything away. Ever, ever, really important. Tip. I always stress this at every one of my workshops that I teach. It's really important that you keep everything that you've ever written. You may get sick of it. You know, I don't like that, but you just crumple up and thrown in the garbage. And the thing is, is that if you keep that, you could always rework it. So I just want to tell you quickly story. I have a friend who had written a budget songs in Hiss, teens and early Twenties, and I want to say maybe 2030 songs, something like that that he had written. They were a little bit more popular, something that might have worked for commercial radio. Well, his style of music changed, and he became more of a root C and bluegrass slash, you know, kind of more foky. And so he decided he didn't like any of those songs anymore anymore, and he threw them all away. And now he's in his thirties. Any regrets? It He's like, I wish I had those songs because he could have taken him and he could have reworked him and and so very, very important toe always hang onto stuff even if you don't like it because you might not like the line the way it is. But in two years from now or five years from now you can go back to and go. Oh, I can reword this way and make it and turn it into something that you love. Be sure to never throw anything away. 9. Writer's Block: Okay, this is tip number six for sun writing. This is one of my most favorite ones. And I'll tell you why. It's because every time we teach workshops, I can guarantee I'm gonna have somebody that asks, Asks me about writer's block. And I know you may think I'm crazy, but my response is I don't believe in writers black. I don't. I just I feel like there's a 1,000,000 songs that you can actually write, So if you get stuck on an idea or you get stuck, you can always come back to later. So, yeah, you might be stuck for a year or two years or three years. One time we had one song. It took us three years to write that sighing, but finally it came out. So when people say I get stuck, I get writer's block. My advice on that is, you know, go back to the Inspiration video and watch that again and just look at all the places that you can get inspiration from. You can read an article on Google. You can go for a walk. You can go to a place that you've never been to before you can. This is a big one. Get a co writer. So if you're stuck on a sign, have somebody else help you finish it. Yes, I do believe that you can get stuck on songs, but there's another song to write. So right, another one and move on from that one. I mean, you don't want to do that with all you want to do that with all of your songs. Because if you did that, you never finish anything. So sometimes you just have to hunker down and say, All right, I'm gonna finish this song But yeah, get get some help, get some help. That's great. Way to finish a song if you're stuck. One more thing just on that writer's block. Um, I do kind of relate to people who say, I've I have writer's block because I felt like I had writer's block for eight years. But the truth of the matter was, is they just wasn't really inspired to write. There wasn't. I was I think I was too happy or something. There was a period of time where is really happy, and it made it really hard for me to write, but yes, so find fine places to get inspiration or again, get somebody to help you and and then you'll be able to finish your songs. That is a great tip. Good luck with that one. And, uh, no more writers black. 10. Take it Out: tip number seven Tip number seven for songwriting is less is more so if you consejo it in five words instead of eight or 10 say it in five words instead of eight or 10 meaning take out your hands and eyes and ifs and buts, and he is in. She's and weaves. And these and you know, there's lots of words. Just just is another word that you could take out a lot of a lot of times I find myself using that word a lot, but take it out. You don't necessarily need it. And and sometimes when we think of writing a sentence, it has to be grammatically correct. Well, when you're writing a song, that's not necessarily the case, so definitely say it in less words, if you can so have fun with that. Re look at your lines and see if there's anything you could take out 11. Co-writing: for the next section, which is tip number eight. We're going to talk about Cole right a little bit. I've really in the last couple years gun in the co writing songs, and I love it because my co writer, a lot of times will come up with ideas that I would have never thought of. So it's just a great week for you to bounce your ideas back and forth. And then I think ultimately you just come up with a better sign. Let's talk about the tips that I have for co writing Number one. Show up on time. If you're gonna send it some writers co writing session, be sure that you arrive on time because that's really important people, you know, time is valuables, respect that, I would say also like avoid unnecessary, unnecessary distractions. Turn off your cell phones trying not to answer emails during here. I mean, I know this is basic stuff, but it's important to kind of go over it. Another chip is be over mine and really try to respect the person that your career you with . Because no idea is a bad idea. If somebody comes to a songwriting session with an idea. Try really hard to. Even if you don't like the idea, just say, How can we help? We branch off of that. How can we make it even better instead of just being negative and, uh, you know, shooting the idea down. So be open minded to people's ideas that will make you a better co writer. Sometimes my lyrics are really on the surface and I'll go to chalk or I'll go to another. You know, telling your Tim are whoever it ISS I'll go to them and I'll say, some line I mostly people I feel like I could just do this with because they're not gonna criticize me and I'll see some line that's really on the surface. But what will happen is it'll trigger them to say, Yeah, hold on line. Don't be afraid to say what's on your mind. Okay, so I would say that when you're in a co writing session, you want to kind of brainstorm and think of what's the song I'm gonna be about? And then the main thing is, try to really stick to that, you know, try and stick instead of branching off too far because that can become distracting, and it could be a time waster. Really. Try and stick to that topic. And if the topic isn't working for either one of you that switch topics but then make that decision together, really? Try and stick to the the main point of the song, and I think that will help you become a better cooperator. Also, if your stock with your coal writer again just get up and walk around, go outside for a second, take a break, it's OK to take breaks and then come back to it because maybe you you clear head. But another thing that I love to do is if if I'm stuck in a cooperating session So, like Michael Reagan sessions, I'd like to do my part. I don't I have a hard her time writing in the same room with people. So because my brain is going so much that I like to kind of have my own time to kind of sort it out and then maybe present that idea back to the co writer say, Hey, what do you think of this? And maybe in that time he's working or she's working on on their ideas and then we can cross reference. Um, a lot of times I like to get on Google. You know, I will Google something if we're talking about a topic or what is this song about? The song is about breaking up. I might look on Google breaking up signs, you know, and start reading those lyrics because all of a sudden there's a trigger word your stock use the triggers. Another thing that's a really good idea when you're writing songs is to try and keep some kind of a recorder going because I found this happened many times where somebody, my co writer, I said something really great. You're like, Oh my gosh, that wouldn't work so well in the sign. But then two minutes later, you can't remember what we said or out we said it. If you have that tape recorder going and I felt whatever it ISS and you have something going, a recorder going, it's gonna help. You can go right back. Go. There it is. You know, our same thing with like like Matlock Structures. I a lot of times forgive melodically what we did, and I like a man. I wish we really recorded that because it was so good. But then sometimes people say, Well, if you can't remember it, then it wasn't meant to be. And so you have to almost get that mentality. But, ah, that's a little bit her for me to get. Well, another thing you can dio is when you're finished with the song, make just a rough recording of the sign you recorded all your ideas or you recorded the session. Now, when the sound is complete, do the final. You know, like just a really rough draft, whatever it is just on a handheld recorder so that you have it, you know, and it's it's there. And I also suggest that maybe both or three or four core writers how many other people you have in the room everybody recorded. So everybody has a copy of it. You could take it home for a while, listen to it and go Oh, you know what? What were to change this little piece right here? It just could make it better if everybody records it. You definitely want toe respect your co writers and not use something that they've said in a session and use it in your own song without permission. I mean, you can ask them if it's okay and a lot of times somebody will say, Yeah, that's fine, But just be just be respectful of that, OK? Another really good tip for co writing is to remember that this song is the most important thing when you're writing and the sun is going away that you didn't think it was, really it should go or you weren't sure you wanted it to go. Sometimes there's a reason why that happens. Let the sun go where it's supposed to go and you'll find in the Enya, most likely a better sign, just like the sign Take the lead. One other thing that I really like to do in a cooperating session is keep the energy level is up is much as you can, so you want to stay positive if things aren't going well. You know, it's really easy to kind of go. I wish was going better. But if you can stay positive in the writing session, I think I will help. But it will make people want to write with you again. Try not to knock down people's ideas and and try and encourage because I don't, You know, little feed off. Your co writers will feed off of that. Yeah, Just kind of have fun with within. Keep keep it light. Keep your cooperating sessions. 12. Getting Organized: okay, throughout this course, you've heard me talk about Google docks. I want to just talk about being organized and how I got how I chose to get organized with Google Ducks because I had written so many songs that I needed to figure out a way to organize all of my songs. I have so many completed signs, and then I have tons of uncompleted songs. How could I find it all? So what I did as I decided to get into Google docks and then I created folders for my songs , and I'd like to show you a sample of that. I have, like my completed songs folder and then I have my, um, Michael writes, because now I have co writers write, and I needed to have all of their names in a folder of who I was call writing with because I was starting right with so many different co writers. Then I came up with all these titles, remembers telling me about my titles that I came up with, so I wanted to have a folder just for my titles. Then I have, like, different categories, so I had, like, my bluegrass folders, my blues folders My Christmas, etcetera, ones that were categorized yet, and then you can see in my case, I'm I write a lot of lyrics to start with. I write the lyrics, and then I usually like to have a co writer finish on under my bluegrass category. And let's just look at that, for instance. So I got bluegrass and then I have bluegrass off Miller folder called Bluegrass Needs Lyrics and then bluegrass needs music. So basically the bluegrass that needs music, it's the lyrics are all there that, and they might just need a little bit of tweaking. So the idea of the song and the structure of the song is done, and then the the lyrics can change just depending upon the the musical, the melodic structure of the sign on. And then I have that needs lyrics. So if we go into the needs lyrics pert, I can show you that I have percentages. If I have 5% it might be just a title on the line that I haven't that sign. And then if I have, like 75% I know that this side is almost done. So one night if I'm sitting there like, Oh, I just want to finish these lyrics, Open up that 75% 1 and to see if there's anything that that sparks, you know? Can I come up with any ideas on how to finish this song so that it can at least ended? Been the Means music folder again? Lots of different categories that I that I've come up with a gospel kids, military signs, wedding signs, pop, rap, reggae. You can come up with whatever, um, whatever folders you want. But I needed to be organized. So this might we a way that you could get organized to So I hope that helps 13. Books, Songwriting Associations, Etc: My number 10 sound writing tip is, I'd like to give you guys some information on some books and different associations you can join and some links that I love to use. I'm just going to kind of go over some of them really quickly here, one of my favorite ones, and I feel like I've learned a lot from these guys is a songwriter's association called Song Town USA that's run by two guys, Murray Dotson and claim Mills. And they're just I have never met the guys, but they're just awesome. There they seem like they're gent really genuine. They've got tons of videos out there on songwriting. I've learned a lot from them. My son writing is improved since I joined their association, and, uh, they have lots of videos out there that you can watch. And like I said, they've got an association you conjoined every single month. You can have one song critiqued by believe. Once I'm critic by your saying, like all your friends on on some town, and then you can have your like your peers, and then you can have a prom, enter one of their pro mentors, do a song critique a son critique for you also. So it's a great way for you to get your sons. I think it's it's period. It's not. It's very inexpensive to join the The association should look into that, Um, it's song town, usa dot com or some other websites. Sandtown dot com In Minnesota, we have the Minnesota Association of Some Writers, which is a great organization also. So look into joining that I know that there's the National Some Writers Association. Almost every state, not every state, has a somewhere association. But there's a lot of times if you can't find one in, you're like, Listen, you and I won. They don't have an association there. Join Minnesota were pretty close. You could do this stuff online, get some ideas from your peers. It's a great way to meet people, meet new like my people. Definitely check into that. I'm another link that I wanna share with you is I watched a YouTube video from Ralph Murray , vice president of ASCAP at the time, and he did a great YouTube video and I'll give you that link. I learned love stuff from just watching this link rhyming help. OK, so people talk about rhymes a lot. You know, we wanted to touch a little bit more in this because there's some great websites out there that can help you with your rhymes. Back in the day was the good old fashioned Reimers dictionary, you know, and you had to search through it. And now you can actually just type in one word, and we'll come up with all the rhymes that you need. Www dot reimer dot com As one of them rhyme zone dot com is another one, and then another one I like is be rhymes dot com for a New York Help. You know, I was talking about reading lyrics and studying lyrics, a website that I really like to go to to read lyrics, a dizzy lyrics or a Z lyrics. So www dot ese lyrics dot com You can go in there. You can type in an artist and how you could just do this and Google to You want to have to necessarily go to a disease lyrics. But I just like how it's laid out because it's just the lyrics in there, there's no cords or anything and and I don't get distracted by the court. So I just read the lyrics. And, like I said, studying the lyrics and then write my own story of what I think the sun would be about. That's another great resource for you. I also wanted to talk about some my favorite books that I like that I read that have helped me with some writing. And, um, I'm just gonna basically I'm gonna put this list up with this list up on online so you can see some my fair books that I like that I think will really help you. Uh huh. 14. SONGWRITING BONUS TIP - Billy Currington: It's just a bonus tip that I want to throw in. Chuck and I. We I decided to do a some writers challenge and trying to write a song for Billy Currington . So I've never really done that before. Where I actually took an artist and had to write a song for them, of course, are some didn't get picked or anything? Tow. It didn't get past our summaries association so that Billy actually got to hear the sign. But I still sign has come get off the grid. And it was, Is this cat fun, you know, and light hearted in the cars that we had never really written any country signs. Up until this point, I was just a fun little challenge. Basically, what I did is I studied everything I could on Billy Currington. I literally have, like, nine pages of information on Billy Currington. I read every single interview and article I could find on him. I watched on YouTube, every single, um, every single video I could find on him, and I thought that what he liked and he wanted to sing fast up tempo fund songs, and so we tried to write that song and it was all about getting off the grid. And he likes he's barefoot, you know? So you like to be barefoot, and we talked about on the being on the beach, and he likes sweet tea. And so we try to incorporate all of those things into this song. It was a really, really fun challenge. And so I guess the main tips that I want to give you if you're going to try and write for an artist, study the artist as much as you can, Would they sing the sign? They're not most likely going to sing a song about a homeless child or something Sad like a drunk dad. You know what I mean? They're just not gonna sing something. Most Pete, most artists aren't gonna sing songs about that. So you should really try and find out what kind of a sign they would sing. Well, it make the singer look good or bad. That's another thing. Is it gonna make them look good or is it gonna make them look bad? I found in country music a lot of those songs. Air Song about the women, you know it's all about you and how beautiful you are You is worth in the 1st 20 seconds. If you want to try and write a hit song, study the starting the charts study exactly what the structure is. You know, all these country songs, especially when we got into studying country. A lot of them have the same structure. I would say most of them have the same structure. So it's verse pre chorus, chorus verse, pre course chorus bridge chorus, out with something like, You know me is all the same structure. So just study your study, your chord structure and, um hey, all the better chance of writing a hit song if if you want to go that route again, if you're gonna write a sign, you probably don't want to write a song that has a lot of anger in it or it's a song about you. You know it's all about me, me, me, me, me. You know you want to try and write about other people and make people feel good. Just going back to this Billy Currington thing for just a minute. I studied all of his tempos. I found it exactly what tempo he most of his sons are in. So I never down even further. I knew it down to the keys, and he's saying that so I wanted for my son and a key that he would maybe singing that again. If you're gonna if you're gonna write for an artist, really study, hunker down and study that artist. And I think that will help you have a better shot getting your son out there. 15. SONGWRITING BONUS TIP - Inspiration: in this section. I want to talk about where we get inspiration for signs. One one tip that I'm gonna give you is take a road trip. You know, just get in your car and drive because there's a 1,000,000 songs on the road. It doesn't have to be very far. Just go to the next town or go someplace that you've never been before breed road science and look A Whenever we cross over river, I'm like, Oh, that make a good song title or with that fit really well in this particular song waiting it wean a portion of the song to be about rivers. So let's maybe use that title of that. Maybe is the name of the river and, uh, in the sun read billboards. Science. This is one of my favourites when we're driving because we're on the road a lot with the band is we'll see a farmhouse like a farm house, and then I I sit there and I look at that house and I go, Oh, gosh, there's a story in that house. And then I try and visualize what that story of that farmhouse might be about. You know what? Who was Who are the people that live there? Is it a family? You know what? What were their lives like? Uh, maybe they, you know, were were farming wheat their whole life or whatever, whatever it is and that if you can maybe visualize the couple that live in the house Or maybe it's a single person who lives in that's whatever it is. Whatever comes to your mind, let your subconscious do the work for you there reading signs. Sometimes we get we were up way up north and Minnesota And, uh, I saw this this town called Cobblestone Cobblestone Kobe, I think it was called. So I'm like, Oh, my gosh, I will make a great Phil tune We ever in it yet, but, you know, it's like that's a great fiddle name. So I put that in my, uh, in my titles. I'm like That would make a really good fiddle fiddle tune someday. So another thing we're way up north and Lutsen. And, uh, there's this thing called Devil's Kettle and I'm like is what it is. It's like a pool of water and they're not really sure what, like they drop ping pong balls on their the dropped all kinds of stuff in there, and it never would come out. They never could find it. They put chemicals down there and try and figure out where die and, like, die down there to try and figure out where it actually goes to. And I'm like, Oh my gosh, that would make a really good title for a song. So the devil's kettle. So when you're taking these trips, read road signs, read billboards, read the green little signs that is your coming into towns, little towns. Sometimes I got my best song titles from just the sign in a Little time town getting in touch with your senses So your sight, smell, touch, taste and hearing What do you see around you? So let's say you have a sign started and you're kind of stuck on it. If you can kind of visualize. So read a line and then just see if you can visualize or you can smell a certain smell or you can taste something or you can touch something or what do you hear? Apply your senses to your songwriting. It will really help you get that imagery out to just be really paying attention. Everything around you colors are another great way to get imagery out. So use your colors. Red, blue, purple, green, yellow, etcetera. Use those colors to paint a picture. Gore coffeehouses This is a great tip. I think I got this for Mary Chapin Carpenter. I'm pretty sure with her that said she used to go to coffee houses and when listen to people's conversations and then would rate the song about the conversation. And that's a great way to get something. Ideas go to coffee houses or like if you're if you're, let's say you're a student who's in school. You know, sometimes your friends will say something in school that's really, really funny or whatever. Just jot it down because you might be able to use it in a song later on again. If you're out with. If you're an adult, you're out with friends, drinking or having a good time. We're just party whatever and somebody says something funny. Uh, just jot it down or somebody says something really serious, jotted down. Okay, so if you're a songwriter and you're a little bit stuck, one suggestion I have is going to some place that you've never written before. Go a park. Go sit on a bench. You've never sat on. Go by a leak. Go under a bridge. Um, go buy a flower garden or walk through the botanical gardens. It's a great place to get some inspiration. This may seem a little I, but even I have spent time in cemeteries, you know, just looking for inspiration and in sort of, you know, like getting in that feeling like, you know, like when you're standing there over somebody's grave, it's so sad. And so you know, I'll read. I'll read the inscription on the grave site and I'll try and, you know, visualize that person's life. And maybe it's my way of like writing their legacy, you know, like writing something about them. Still, you know. So, um, try that I suggest that, too. It's It's kind of a sad experience, but sometimes we get we get inspiration from being sad. So who has almost make me cry anyways? Let's move on. I want you to look at book titles for me to even go to a bookstore and just breathe the titles of the books and all of sudden boom. There's a title for your next song. You don't even have to go to the library to do that. You can actually, Or bookstore. You can actually go online and just get a list of book titles and then go. Oh, I like that as an idea. I'm gonna take it and run with it. If it's not necessarily that. If it's not the title you can use, it may be in a lying somewhere in your songs. No, nothing. Movies, you know, look good movies. That's another great way to get inspiration for your titles. Sometimes when we're watching movies or we're watching a TV show, I'll sit there and I'll have my little computer cause I take almost everything out now. But on my computer. And if somebody said that a really great lying within the movie, all right, I'll jot it down. We're all changing a little bit so that I that it fits me. You know, this fits me better this week. Yeah, be always paying attention because there's inspirational. They're everywhere. This is one of my favorites. I got this from a gal named Data Ulysses. Who is it? Bluegrass artist. I went to one of her some writing workshops, and this was kind of one. Might the fun ones that I like to share with with all of my students. She suggested that you take tile, uh, Scrabble tiles and put them in a bag. Or they had her basket or whatever and then pull it all the time tile and then So if it's a W, you just write down every single word that you can think of that starts with a W. I thought that was really, really good advice. It's just a great exercise, so I wanted to share that with you. Also, if you don't have Scrabble tiles, you can definitely use, you know, write out letters about that. However you want to do it. It's a great way to exercise your brain. Okay, so we talked about movies and books. You can also look through your CDs, so books, movies, plays, CDs, all that stuff. There's tons of inspiration there. Look for something that somebody said on Facebook. It's another great place. Definitely. This is a tip that is really helpful. ISS. Relax when you're writing, just try to get your mind clear, and if you're struggling, just get up and walk around the room or walk around, you know, like I said, go someplace in new. Another place to get inspiration is called somebody that you haven't talked to in a while. Read stories online. I actually read this story about a girl who set herself on fire and inspired a sign. You know, it's it's not a sign that I share with people, but but, you know, it was such a traumatic article that I read that these girls, they were It was so sad. They set themselves on Fire is horrible. It starts emotion in me. And I got a song out of that green read stories online that also in the news articles, that kind of stuff online that will help you. Another great way to get inspiration is by joining us some writers Association. There's a lot of people there that don't know that these exist, and you conjoined even online. You don't have to necessarily be there. A lot of them have online meetings that live feeds or they have videos online on their association site. A lot of times with the's, some writers associations, you can get two of your songs reviewed a month for free. You have the month monthly association or the yearly association fee, which in most cases, not very much. It's nice because then you get this feedback so you you can get feedback from pro writers. You know where you can get feedback from your peers, which is really helpful, and and then they don't they don't take any rights to your song. It's just free advice, and you could take it or leave it. And the one thing that I found about found out about our songwriters association is is it's non threatening. I feel like everybody there is super supportive, and I was actually surprised. You know, I thought, maybe when I go to my meetings, I e. I felt uncomfortable. I didn't feel uncomfortable at all. I felt it very helpful. Every was so genuine and nice. So definitely joined some songwriters associations. We already kind of touched on this a little bit, but I'll touch on it again, study different songwriters and you've heard me mention about Dylan. I love Bob Dylan and his writing. He's a great songwriter, very creative, some other. You know, other people you can tailor sweat the Carter family, Dolly Parton. Lady Gaga. You know, Prince Tom Waits top talent fans, and you know, Tom T. Hall was a great songwriter. John prying. Like I said, I even I even read some of Snoop Dogg's, uh, lyrics and, you know, there's some swearing in there, but you know, which I didn't apply in any of my sons. But, you know, just it's just inspiration. It's just a way to get inspiration. Okay, so another great tip is use lines that you came up with from previous song. So let's say you have a bunch of songs up a bunch of lines that you've written, but you're having a hard time coming up with coming up with a song with those lines. But what I would suggest is take the lines come in into, you know, just little you trying out. So printing Oliver, write it out, put him in a hat full amount, and then write the lines down and see what kind of a sign you can come up with this. Another really good exercise to try and get some some new ideas. I think when you're writing a sign, if you're if you're writing it for other people, the idea would be to make them feel something. Obviously, you want to make people feel something, whether it you make them cry or laugh or smile. You just want to make a feel. So if you're gonna try and get into some writing as a profession, you want to definitely make them feel something. Let them forget about their troubles for a while, just a little bit for three minutes. Even if it's three minutes, I'm gonna forget about my troubles for three minutes. If you're writing it for yourself, then that's okay, too. It's just for you, and that's all that matters. 16. Heavy 8th Rock - Key of A - Write a song to this Backing Track: 17. Heavy 8th Rock - Key of B - Write a song to this Backing Track: here. 18. Heavy 8th Rock - Key of C - Write a song to this Backing Track: 19. Heavy 8th Rock - Key of D - Write a song to this Backing Track: 20. Heavy 8th Rock - Key of E - Write a song to this Backing Track: - Yes , it's 21. Heavy 8th Rock - Key of F - Write a song to this Backing Track: 22. Heavy 8th Rock - Key of G - Write a song to this Backing Track: - that's 23. Electronic Pop - Key of A - Write a song to this Backing Track: 24. Electronic Pop - Key of B - Write a song to this Backing Track: 25. Electronic Pop - Key of C - Write a song to this Backing Track: 26. Electronic Pop - Key of D - Write a song to this Backing Track: 27. Electronic Pop - Key of E - Write a song to this Backing Track: 28. Electronic Pop - Key of F - Write a song to this Backing Track: but no. 29. Electronic Pop - Key of G - Write a song to this Backing Track: 30. Heavy Rock - Key of A - Write a song to this Backing Track: - Oh , - uh , but 31. Heavy Rock - Key of B - Write a song to this Backing Track: no. 32. Heavy Rock - Key of C - Write a song to this Backing Track: 33. Heavy Rock - Key of D - Write a song to this Backing Track: way. 34. Heavy Rock - Key of E - Write a song to this Backing Track: 35. Heavy Rock - Key of F - Write a song to this Backing Track: way, Yeah. 36. Heavy Rock - Key of G - Write a song to this Backing Track: - and 37. Jazz - Key of Ab - Write a song to this Backing Track: 38. Jazz - Key of Bb - Write a song to this Backing Track: 39. Jazz - Key of C - Write a song to this Backing Track: 40. Jazz - Key of Db - Write a song to this Backing Track: 41. Jazz - Key of Eb - Write a song to this Backing Track: 42. Jazz - Key of F# - Write a song to this Backing Track: - and and to 43. Piano - Key of A - Write a song to this Backing Track: Yeah. 44. Piano - Key of B - Write a song to this Backing Track: 45. Piano - Key of C - Write a song to this Backing Track: 46. Piano - Key of D - Write a song to this Backing Track: - okay ? - Yeah , - yeah . 47. Piano - Key of E - Write a song to this Backing Track: 48. Piano - Key of F - Write a song to this Backing Track: 49. Piano - Key of G - Write a song to this Backing Track: 50. Slow Ballad - Key of - Write a song to this Backing Track: - okay ? 51. Slow Ballad - Key of B - Write a song to this Backing Track: 52. Slow Ballad - Key of - Write a song to this Backing Track: 53. Slow Ballad - Key of D - Write a song to this Backing Track: okay? 54. Slow Ballad - Key of E - Write a song to this Backing Track: 55. Slow Ballad - Key of F - Write a song to this Backing Track: 56. Slow Ballad - Key of G - Write a song to this Backing Track: