Songwriting and Composition Lessons
If you are interested in using the guitar as a vehicle to compose your original songs and compositions, this format will offer you a variety of tools, techniques, and strategies to define your voice as a writer. Composition is one of the most fulfilling aspects of using your creativity and contributes to deepen your understanding of the inner workings of music and push your abilities as a musician to higher levels.
The art of writing a great song is a combination of individual skills with the assimilation of established techniques and strategies that artists have used throughout centuries of music-making. What makes the song you love great and why does it create such an emotional response in you? An important step towards the development of your own voice is the analysis, assimilation, and imitation of the stylistic elements found in the music you love. By breaking down the great works of influential songwriters such as John Lennon, Paul McCartney, Stevie Wonder, Elvis, Kurt Cobain, Leonard Cohen, Joni Mitchell, Michael Jackson, David Bowie, Neil Young, and many others will give you many insights on how these artists use musical elements to create masterful songs. Songwriting lessons will allow you to learn how to utilize melody, harmony, rhythm, and lyrics to tell a compelling story. Specific topics and tools will include:
- diatonic harmony and common chord progression;
- melodic contour and rhythmic elements;
- song analysis and structure;
- crafting unique chord configurations using the guitar's idiosyncratic sound qualities;
- seventh chords and extensions;
- secondary dominants, modulations, and borrowed chords;
- modal writing;
- how to write guitar parts that complement the melody of a song;
- the interaction between lyrics and music;
- improvisation as a vehicle for composition;
- the use of technology to aid the creative process.
To hear some example of my original music, please check out 'My Music' section.
With composition, the focus of the lessons shifts towards a wider understanding of the process of writing instrumental music for the guitar and a variety of instruments. As well as covering similar topics on harmony, melody, and rhythm found in songwriting, we focus on a more extensive study of instrumentation, orchestration, counterpoint, four-part harmony, form and structure of a piece, arranging, and aesthetics of specific genres and styles.