Ready to express yourself through song or improve your songwriting craft? Transform ideas and emotions into melody and prose with this learning path, and explore music theory, songwriting best practices, and tips for managing your songwriting career.
Learn the fundamentals of music theory.
Explore the ins and outs of the music business.
Practice using the best digital audio workstations (DAW).
Music Theory for Songwriters: The Fundamentals with Julian Velard
Professional musician Julian Velard demonstrates the basics of music theory through the lens of songwriting. Learn about intervals, chord progressions, and voice leading, and using common song forms to organize your own musical ideas.
2h 50m • COURSE
Music Theory for Songwriters: Harmony with Julian Velard
Learn music theory through the lens of songwriting. These tutorials cover the basics of harmony: minor scales, modes, 7th chords, modulations, and more.
2h 53m • COURSE
The Business of Songwriting: First Steps with Garrick Chow
Get started in the business of songwriting. Learn about all of the major organizations, rights, and procedures that songwriters have to deal with in the music business.
1h 20m • COURSE
20 Unofficial Rules of Songwriting with Cliff Goldmacher
Professional songwriter Cliff Goldmacher reveals 20 unofficial songwriting rules that can make your songs more engaging and memorable.
35m 30s • COURSE
Write Think and Act Like a Professional Songwriter with Cliff Goldmacher
Want to know how to become a songwriter? Cliff Goldmacher shows what it takes to make it in the music business as a professional songwriter.
1h 26m • COURSE
The Dos and Don'ts of Songwriting Collaboration with Cliff Goldmacher
Professional songwriter Cliff Goldmacher explains the best practices for collaborating when songwriting, from planning the song's eventual promotion to keeping the co-write moving forward.
24m 25s • COURSE
Learning Songwriting: Logic Pro with Todd Howard
Learn how to write your songs in Logic Pro. Get your demo ideas down quickly and polish them into songs worth presenting to your band mates, producer, publisher, or label.
3h 37m • COURSE
Learning Songwriting: Pro Tools with David Franz
Learn how to write a song in Pro Tools, one of the programs professional musicians turn to to record their song ideas quickly and then polish them into demos worth presenting to partners, producers, and record labels.
1h 2m • COURSE
Learning Songwriting: Ableton Live with Yeuda Ben-Atar
Learn how to capture your musical ideas quickly and turn them into great songs with Ableton Live.
1h 9m • COURSE
Music Law: Copyrighting a Song with Richard Stim
Learn how to get and protect copyrights for your songs, and understand the critical language, concepts, and business aspects of music copyright.
1h 7m • COURSE
Music Law: Recording, Management, Rights, and Performance Contracts with Richard Stim
Learn how to understand and negotiate terms for the four major types of music business contracts: recording, management, performance, and rights agreements.
1h 40m • COURSE
An Insider's Guide to Today's Music Biz: 1 The Big Picture with Steve Rennie
Learn how the music industry really works. Insider Steve Rennie explains the big picture, the realities of getting by, and how artists and songwriters can kick off successful music careers. The first of 9 courses on getting ahead in the music biz.
1h 4m • COURSE
An Insider's Guide to Today's Music Biz: 2 Making Great Music with Steve Rennie
Learn the secrets of making great music that makes its way into the hands of music biz movers and shakers.
28m 20s • COURSE
An Insider's Guide to Today's Music Biz: 3 Treating Your Career as a Business with Steve Rennie
Steve Rennie explains how to approach the music biz with the mindset of an entrepreneur and look at a career in music as a business.
50m 39s • COURSE
An Insider's Guide to Today's Music Biz: 4 Building a Professional Team with Steve Rennie
Picking a great team of professionals is one of the most important and impactful decisions you are going to make in your music career. Learn about the key players you need on your team (managers, publicists, etc.) and what they do, how much they get paid, how you find them, and when you need them.
30m 41s • COURSE
An Insider's Guide to Today's Music Biz: 5 Managers with Steve Rennie
Learn how to find and hire a manager to guide your music career, and build a long-lasting artist-manager relationship.
51m 18s • COURSE
An Insider's Guide to Today's Music Biz: 6 Marketing and Promotion with Steve Rennie
Learn how to market and promote your music and turn music consumers into permanent fans.
34m 28s • COURSE
You'll learn songwriting with these experts
Julian Velard is a songwriter, piano virtuoso, musical director, and frequent NPR guest.
Julian Velard's engaging style of theatrical, piano-based pop has been colored richly by several stints in London, where he recorded his first two full-length albums, The Planeteer (2009) and Mr. Saturday Night (2011). His newest release is If You Don't Like It, You Can Leave.
With a style the Sunday Times calls "catchy but complicated; a surprisingly rare combination," Velard turns the piano-pop tunesmith stereotype on its ear with a most refreshing twist: a biting, 21st century wit in a stylish package. Time Out London even compared him to the likes of Tom Waits and Harry Nilsson.
Julian's versatility has also earned him regular appearances on NPR, serving as the musical director for the pilot Scott Simon's Wonderful Town and making regular appearances on the musical trivia show Ask Me Another with Ophira Eisenberg. When not performing, Julian also finds time to pen songs for other artists, from UK singer-songwriter Olly Murs to the New York Knicks (his rollicking "The Mighty Lin," an ode to the team's former point guard).
Garrick Chow has authored 75+ training courses, and is a presenter at Macworld and AIGA.
Garrick Chow is a senior staff author at Lynda.com, and has authored dozens of courses, covering a diverse range of topics. He regularly leads live classes and seminars at private companies, government agencies, colleges, and universities. He has been a presenter at the Macworld conference, and at events for design associations such as AIGA and UCDA. His interests include audio and music production, digital lifestyle tools, and fitness-related apps and gadgets. When not sitting in front of a computer screen, Garrick can be found playing with the indie-rock band The Jellybricks (www.thejellybricks.com) or trail running. Visit him at www.garrickchow.com or follow him on Twitter @garrickchow.
Cliff Goldmacher is a songwriter and recording engineer who has worked with Kesha, Mickey Hart, and Keb' Mo'.
In the music business for over twenty years, Cliff Goldmacher is a songwriter, producer, engineer, author, and owner of recording studios in Nashville, Tennessee, and Sonoma, California.
A multi-instrumentalist, Cliff has recorded, played on, and produced thousands of recordings for major and independent publishers, brand-new songwriters, and Grammy winners. The recordings Cliff has engineered and produced have ended up as major-label cuts, in feature films, and on television.
Cliff has worked in Nashville as a staff songwriter, and his songwriting collaborators include multiplatinum-selling and Grammy-winning artists Ke$ha, Keb' Mo', Grateful Dead drummer Mickey Hart, Lisa Loeb, and Chris Barron (lead singer of the Spin Doctors). Cliff's songs have been cut by major-label artists in genres ranging from country, pop, and jazz to classical crossover. His music has also been used on NPR's This American Life, and in national advertising campaigns. Cliff's song, "Till You Come to Me," went to #1 on the jazz charts.
As an educator, Cliff teaches workshops for BMI, ASCAP, the Stanford Jazz Workshop, NARAS, the Songwriters Guild of America, the Nashville Songwriters Association International, TAXI, and the Durango Songwriters Expo. Cliff is also a member of the NARAS board of governors for the San Francisco chapter.
As an author and journalist, Cliff has written articles for EQ Magazine, Recording Magazine, and ProSound News, along with numerous music websites and blogs. Cliff's first ebook, The Songwriter's Guide to Recording Professional Demos, has sold over 6,000 copies.
Todd Howard is a training producer at Lynda.com, an author, and a prolific musician.
As founder and principal of Howard Digital Media, a Massachusetts-based creative media development company, Todd Howard worked for 15 years in the fields of film and video production, DVD authoring, web site development, music composition and audio production, and professional and personal software training on the Macintosh.Todd became a published author in 1998 with Who's Afraid of HTML?, and the third edition of his GarageBand tome, GarageBand '11 Power!, was released in 2011. Also in 2011, Todd relocated to the west coast with his wife and son to take a job as a training producer with lynda.com.
David Franz is a producer, songwriter, and educator. His music is in TV, films, and Fortune 500 ad campaigns.
David Franz is a producer, engineer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, performer, and educator. He's the founder of Underground Sun, an artist development company and music studio based in Venice, CA. He writes, produces, and engineers music for a wide range of clients, and his music has been heard in primetime TV shows, multimillion-dollar movies, and advertisements for Fortune 500 companies. In addition to his lynda.com courses, he teaches production courses online at Berkleemusic, the continuing-education arm of Berklee College of Music. He is the author of Producing in the Home Studio with Pro Tools (the first book about using Pro Tools) and Recording and Producing in the Home Studio. Samples of David's music can be found at undergroundsun.com and davidfranz.com.
Yeuda Ben-Atar (aka Side Brain) produces, performs, and studies electronic music and teaches Ableton Live.
Yeuda Ben-Atar (aka "Side Brain" or "Juda Baduda") produces, performs, and studies electronic music. He started out his musical career playing the keys and guitar in the 90s. After discovering Ableton Live 6 in 2007, he started producing electronic, hip-hop, and soul-oriented music and in 2011 he released an album on Holy Dubs Recording, a Jerusalem-based company.
Yeuda started making music for commercial use as well as playing live with his unique setup incorporating Ableton Live with old video game controllers. Today, Side Brain lives in LA where he performs and produces music in his own studio, as well as giving private and group Ableton Live lessons and running Ableton Live user groups. Learn more at http://sidebrain.net/.
Richard Stim is an attorney specializing in intellectual property law and small business issues.
Richard Stim is a Bay Area attorney and author specializing in intellectual property law and small-business issues. He is the author or co-author of over a dozen books, including:
Music Law: How to Run Your Band's Business
Patent, Copyright & Trademark: An Intellectual Property Desk Reference
Getting Permission: How to License and Clear Copyrighted Materials Online & Off
Contracts: The Essential Business Desk Reference, and
Profit From Your Idea: How to Make Smart Licensing Deals
Stim regularly answers readers' intellectual-property questions at his blog: Dear Rich: Nolo's Intellectual Property Blog. In addition to working as an editor at Nolo, a Berkeley publisher, Stim maintains a private practice and has represented cartoonists, graphic artists, toy designers, software developers, musicians, and writers. He's worked as a musician and currently records with two bands. His new obsession is photographing crows.
Steve Rennie is a music industry expert, having promoted and managed bands such as Mötley Crüe and Incubus.
Steve Rennie began his music career working as a booking agent at USC. After dropping out of college in 1980, and being passed over for a job in the mailroom at the William Morris Agency, he decided to start his own concert promotion company called Steve Rennie Presents. For the next 2½ years he promoted a number of up and coming new wave bands, including The Motels, The Plimsouls, Adam Ant, X, The Blasters, Mötley Crüe, and INXS, in secondary markets outside LA. On New Year's Eve 1983, he had his first big breakthrough in LA, booking The Motels at the Beverly Theater in Beverly Hills, getting the nod to promote the show over the big promoters in town. By 1983, he had caught the attention of Southern California's leading concert promoter, Avalon Attractions, which offered him a chance to join the company. Steve accepted and soon rose in the ranks to become the senior vice president of Avalon Attractions.
In 1990, he left Avalon Attractions to start his first incarnation of REN Management Corporation, an artist management firm where he managed a number of top alternative bands, including Dramarama, The Wonder Stuff, Ned's Atomic Dustbin, The The, and Primal Scream. In 1994, he accepted an offer from then Epic Records president and current One Direction manager Richard Griffiths. Steve became senior vice president and general manager at Epic Records, where he met and helped sign a young So Cal band called Incubus. He took the band under his wing and helped them build the foundation of what became one of the most successful alt rock bands of the late 1990s and early 2000s.
In 1998, Steve left Epic to become one of the founding members of one of the pioneering Internet music startups, ARTISTdirect. When he informed the members of Incubus that he would be leaving Epic to join his friends Marc Geiger and Don Muller at ARTISTdirect, guitarist Mike Einziger asked Steve to comanage the band with their then manager, Mark Shoffner. He accepted the offer and stayed at ARTISTdirect until 2000, when he left the company to manage Incubus on a full-time basis. Shortly thereafter, the band released their breakthrough, multiplatinum-selling album Make Yourself. Over the next 14 years, the band went on to have a #1 Billboard Top 100 album, a #2 Top 100 album, and a dozen Top 10 alternative radio hits. During his tenure as manager, Incubus built a huge live-touring business and one of the most dedicated and loyal fan bases in the music scene. In January 2014, the band and Steve parted company. Today, all of Steve's focus is on his new venture, RenmanMB, which is a mecca for all aspiring artists and music business professionals to come and learn the "real" music business from some of the smartest, most talented, and successful people in the music industry.