Have You Ever Written A Song? | Coursera Community
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Have You Ever Written A Song?

  • 2 September 2019
  • 6 replies

  • Music Community Leader
  • 655 replies
Yesterday, @Elochukwue asked me how he could learn to write and produce songs.
As a Music Community, I wonder if we could help him.

Has anyone taken a song writing course here?
Would you recommend it to someone without any music background? Do you need to know basic music theory first?

Have you written a song? If so, what advice might you have to give ?

Do you hear the music first and then add lyrics, or do you write the lyrics first and then set them to music? Do you do both at the same time?

When I have written songs I prefer to write the lyrics first. Somehow a melody always seems to flow from the lyrics. Or I will find a chord pattern I enjoy the sound of on guitar, and make up words and melody to go with it.

What do you do? Have you used Garage Band to help you create a song?
Let's share songwriting thoughts...

6 replies

Userlevel 2
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I took a songwriting course here, the one given by Berkelee. I write a great deal of poetry and I play the flute and the piccolo, so I can't say what it would be like for someone with no musical background.
I discovered that I like writing poetry but I'm not a song writer. I've written poems that I intended to be songs as part of a couple of my science fiction novels that I haven't set to music.
Userlevel 6
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I have never written a song as such, however I have been know to write my own guitar studies when I need to work on something specific and don't have a study handy that focuses on that problem in particular. I am not much of a poet, in any case, so a song with lyrics is probably out. 😆

Here is an example of one of the songs I wrote for 12th Night...using Shakespeare ‘s words.
Whenever I read good poetry, melodies pop into my head. They’re usually simple. Having worked with kids and also many adults, I found that people enjoy melodies that are easy to learn.

@Halla , I think you are a poet! You paint pictures with your words...I have heard many ballads in your stories.😀
Hello. Some years ago I wrote some songs, which later a friend of mine was in charge of musicalizing. But my musical theory is exactly equal to zero, although I would like to have the basics. Thanks and regards
I took a songwriting course here. It was great but it mostly covered song form, construction, types of rhymes, etc. I personally write songs from whatever inspiration I get. It could be a 3 word phrase on top of one chord, it could be a lyrical phrase that I like, it could be the sound of a train going down the tracks. Take inspiration from wherever you can get it. A song may start from the melody, a chord, a rhythm, a lyric, or anything else. If you look at songwriting like Arts and Crafts,---that inspiration is the art. The craft is what you will learn from taking courses,---that is how to write songs when you have no inspiration...
@yonick , what an excellent analogy to compare songwriting to Arts and Crafts. You seem to trivialize the crafts part though, saying this is how to write songs if you have no inspiration.
The crafts or the musical knowledge become your tools. By learning much of these mechanics you can use them to better your songs. For example, you mentioned you placed words over a chord, but what if you didn’t know your chords? You could be inspired to write a beautiful melody, but how would you harmonize it? Might you use a certain instrument in the background? Your inspiration will be greater and you will achieve greater results if you have more musical knowledge to draw from.

What was the course that you took?
Your ways of creating songs sound wonderful! Can you share any samples with us?