Writing Music 101: Songwriting Basics

Jason Rivera, Music Composer

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7 Videos (23m)
    • Introduction

      1:10
    • Your Assignment

      0:55
    • Chords

      6:35
    • Melody

      4:46
    • Lyrics

      2:15
    • Orchestration & Arrangement

      6:22
    • Final Thoughts

      1:01

About This Class

Learn the basics of songwriting from composer Jason Rivera. This class covers fundamentals such as chords, melodies, lyrics, orchestration and arrangement. I share several tips and techniques that I’ve picked up on my musical path.

For your class project you will write an original song/composition, utilizing the fundamentals we cover in the class, and record it. Your recording doesn't have to be professional quality—a smartphone demo will work just fine. For beginners, I’ll supply you with a chord progression to work with.

Anyone interested in cultivating their skills as a songwriter or composer can learn from this class. Prior knowledge and/or experience in music is helpful but not required--beginners are welcome!

If you're interested in writing your own original chord progression to use in your song check out my deep dive class Writing Music 101: Create a Chord Progression in a Major Key.

If you want to learn how to change keys (modulate) in your piece check out my other class Writing Music 101: Changing Keys (Modulation).

If you'd like to dive deeper into writing melodies check out my class Writing Music 101: Composing Melodies.

5 of 5 students recommendSee All

Jason explains the basics of music composition clearly and makes it approachable. He also includes visuals so it's easy to follow along. Great for anyone looking to get started in music or for recapping.
Chris V

Artist, Designer, Maker

Very useful class for aspiring songwriters, I recommend it!
Margarita Bourkova

artist | dreamer | infp

33

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Jason Rivera

Music Composer

I'm an active composer, multi-instrumentalist and educator with over 20 years of experience. I've toured across the United States and collaborated with an array of great artists including members of the legendary hip-hop group Wu-Tang Clan.

I have experience scoring music to picture, and have written for, recorded with and conducted live orchestras.

I'm signed to&nbs...

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