Have you ever had a musical idea, melody, or great lyrical phrase bouncing around your head—but don't know what to do next? This learning path can help you take a great concept and build it out into a song. Learn tips and tricks from the pros to help make songwriting a part of your life and career.
Learn the basics of songwriting.
Explore songwriting techniques to help your creative process flow more naturally.
Transform songwriting into a career or full-time hobby.
Find out what it takes to become a successful songwriter. Learn about the skills you need and the jobs available in songwriting.
31m 40s • COURSE
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
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
One-Minute Songwriting Tips with Cliff Goldmacher
One-Minute Songwriting Tips breaks down the secrets of great songwriters. Get a dose of songwriting inspiration and technical insights for writing better songs and making it in the music business.
36m 10s • 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
Insights from a Professional Songwriter with Cliff Goldmacher
Ever wonder what it takes to be a professional songwriter? Cliff Goldmacher shares his insights on the business of songwriting, including getting a publishing deal and writing a hit.
45m 12s • COURSE
You'll learn songwriting skills with these experts
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.
Julian Velard is a songwriter, piano virtuoso, musical director, and frequent NPR guest.
Julian'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).