You've written a few songs, but have now reached a plateau. This learning path can help you take your songwriting skills to the next level by exploring the fundamentals of good songwriting, and then expanding your mastery of harmony, rhythm, and chords. You can then learn how to take your songwriting to a professional level and build a career around your creative muse.
Improve your foundational songwriting skills.
Explore rhythm, harmony, and chords as they apply to songwriting.
Build a fulfilling and profitable songwriting career.
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
Music Theory for Songwriters: Rhythm with David Franz
Improve your songwriting process by factoring for rhythm and building rhythm. Explore note values, time signatures, feel, timing, dynamics, syncopation, and more.
1h 35m • COURSE
Songwriting Techniques with Chords with Julian Velard
In this course, musician Julian Velard demonstrates the many ways to write songs with chords, and how altering those chords can add excitement and depth to your music. Julian shows how to harmonize a melody with chords, form an entire song using chords, and use chord extensions as melody notes to create a more complex melody.
2h • 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 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
Learning Music Licensing with Jake Versluis
Discover how to monetize your songwriting efforts by licensing your music. Learn how income is generated in music licensing, what you own when writing and recording, how to strategically pitch your compositions, and more.
1h 22m • COURSE
An Insider's Guide to Today's Music Biz: 8 Music Publishing with Steve Rennie
Get started in music publishing. Learn how to sell your music and turn your songs into money.
36m 57s • 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: 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: 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
Learning Songwriting: Reason with Matt Piper
Learn how to write, record, and mix songs—before the inspiration fades—with Reason.
2h 13m • COURSE
You'll advance your songwriting skills 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).
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.
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.
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.
Jake Versluis is an A&R, artist management, and music publishing professional based in Los Angeles.
Jake currently works at Position Music, where he scouts and signs composers and artists. He also handles video game licensing for Position Music, and has signed artists and composers who have licensed music in games such as Call of Duty: WWII, Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Siege, and League of Legends. In addition, he represents artists and composers through his company Verse Management.
He has spent much of his time working in band management. Working with Incubus and talent manager Steve Rennie allowed Jake to wear many hats—merchandiser, tour manager, day-to-day manager, online marketer, and more. His specialties include A&R, music licensing, touring, online marketing, artistic design, and merchandising.
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.
Todd Howard is a training producer at LinkedIn Learning, 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.
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/.
Matt Piper is the author of the 5-star rated books Reason 4 Ignite and Using Reason's Virtual Instruments.
Piper has conducted seminars on all aspects of music production at music schools, recording studios, and convention centers all over the United States, and has produced numerous how-to videos demonstrating recording techniques and Reason tips and tricks. He is accomplished on several instruments, including keyboards, guitars, upright and electric bass, and a variety of ethnic wood and bamboo flutes. Matt teaches Fundamentals of Synthesis at the Los Angeles College of Music, helping students understand core concepts that can empower them to design sounds with any music synthesizer setup. He also teaches Introduction to Working with Picture, where students learn the basics of cameras, lenses, lighting, green screen effects, and video editing, ultimately producing their own music videos for their final projects.