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Songwriting Tutorial

Songwriting Theory Explained®

  4.7   (11)  - log in to review
20 Videos | Length: 2hr 45min 31sec
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Sample this tutorial...

Chapter 1: Chord Patterns

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    Standard Chord Library (4:32)


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    Strong Chord Progressions (7:32)


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    Strong & Weak Progressions (5:32)


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    Adding Color to Progressions (10:13)


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    Passing Chords & Bass Movement (6:36)


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    Cadences & Precadences (8:26)


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    Chord Progression Toolbox Pt. 1 (7:42)


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    Chord Progression Toolbox Pt. 2 (7:07)


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    Analysis (9:33)


Chapter 2: Melody

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    Melody/Harmony Relationships (8:40)


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    Melodic Rhythm & Meter (8:41)


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    Tips for Writing Melodies (10:10)


Chapter 3: Song Structure

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    The Pre Chorus & Bridge (7:52)


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    Form & Structure (7:18)


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    Hooks (5:09)


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    Intros & Endings (8:24)


Chapter 4: Get Your Creative Juices Flowing

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    Stimulate Your Creativity (7:40)


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    Collaborate! (10:00)


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    Light a Candle & Write a Song (9:43)


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    Cut Me to the Bone (14:41)


Eli's back with another awesome music theory based series! In this collection Eli reveals the mechanics and creativeness behind modern songwriting. Learn popular chord sequences and cadences as well as analyze the chord progressions of some of the most famous songs ever written.

Eli starts by diving deep into the various chord patterns used to write songs, showing you strong and weak progressions, how to add color to your progressions, and gives you a chord progression toolbox which can be used as great starting points when creating a new song. Eli then shows you some chord patterns that have been used as the foundation for some of history's most loved pop tunes, and then covers the importance of melody, song structure, ways to get creative when writing and much more.

Take your songwriting skills to the next level... Checkout "Songwriting Theory Explained" today.

NOTE: You should have a solid foundation in the skills taught in Music Theory Explained


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jgold707
Submitted 7 months ago

Good stuff

Great explanations of basics.

I am a: Hobbyist, Semi-Pro, Musician, Audio Engineer, Pro Tools

Ease of Use
 
 
 
 
 
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rguzman92
Submitted 1 year ago

Nice work

This helped me out a lot.. learned quite a bit from these videos.. top videos

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kerkenat@msn.com
Submitted 1 year ago

Chordal menu of options

In music theory class in college, this information was supposed to be consumed through osmosis. This series of 'lessons' spells it all out crystal clearly.

I am a: Hobbyist, Musician, Cakewalk Sonar, Cubase

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NOSEN
Submitted 1 year ago

What I Needed

I just started to study music recently. I'm 20 years old and never really practiced music as a child. I always loved music but, never had the opportunity to play an instrument till now. At my local junior college i'm taking a music fundamentals class that has taught me a lot. I have ambitions to become a producer and am using ableton. When I create music, I always have a hard time transitioning the form. Watching these videos definitely gave me a better understanding.

I am a: Beginner, Student, Producer, Beat Maker

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vizion
Submitted 1 year ago

From Progressions to Melody to a Complete Song

Very direct explanation on music theory including templates for bridge, intros, endings and other useful recipes for writing complete songs.

I am a: Beginner

Ease of Use
 
 
 
 
 
Quality of Videos
 
 
 
 
 
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shadow073180
Submitted 1 year ago

Just what i needed

I am a music production graduate from full sail university and even with the great job they did, i was still lost on a few things like melody vs lyrics. I am still a little but you really helped. Can you come up with a tutorial that focuses on placing lyrics over a melody so they don't sound out of key?

I am a: Producer, Professional, Audio Engineer, Musician

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Charly
Submitted 2 years ago

Great Theory Explained!!

It's so basic and also so theoretically fundamental. Really great Stuff!

I am a: Semi-Pro

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nsblues
Submitted 2 years ago

Basic Primer of Songwriting

This video series exposes one to the vocabulary of songwriting. You learn the mechanics and even get some creative exercises.

I am a: Semi-Pro, Musician

Ease of Use
 
 
 
 
 
Quality of Videos
 
 
 
 
 
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Toby
Submitted 2 years ago

And the Winner is: You.

If Eli Krantzberg authored it you can almost bet it's great. This has a lot of great information but the rest is up to you. You need to have a grasp of Music Theory first. And Eli has a course on that too.

I am a: Musician, Hobbyist, Sound for Film/TV

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dog meat
Submitted 2 years ago

Incorrect notations too hard to get past

It is very off-putting that the music in the examples is not played as notated. Dotted half notes followed by quarter note rests are sounded as whole notes; quarter notes followed by quarter note rests are sounded as half notes. That would be so confusing if I wasn't already musically educated. Your synth does not recognize rests apparently. Hard to trust a source for new information when the teacher does not seem to have a grasp on simple music notations (rests are silent!) Or simply cannot make his synthesizer pause for rests which is pretty sad, too. Tried to leave a comment but the disqus third party comment system is a pretty sad joke. If you don't want comments you should remove the comment section.

I am a: Musician, Audio Engineer, Hobbyist

Response from Author:

Hi there, As you may or may not already know, the thing with DAW notation is that DAWs interpret or “round off” the quantization display of notation in order to make it easier to read. For example, with 240 MIDI ticks to each sixteenth note, at what tick does the DAW interpret the note value as the next/previous musical subdivision? In other words, if a note is only 230 ticks long, it will likely be displayed as a sixteenth note, even though it is technically shorter. If it’s a dozen or so ticks over 240, it will probably still display as a sixteenth note. At a specific value, it will roll over and show a dotted sixteenth note. So, getting into larger musical subdivisions, like whole notes and half notes, there’s an even greater range of values involved between each division; and therefore an even greater range of interpretation. Add to this the possibility of a slow release time and/or a long reverb tail (I’m not saying this was a problem on the videos, just that they could be additional variables), and that could obscure the perception of the end of the note even further. If the notes do sound too long in the videos, that is unfortunate; and I am sorry about that - it was unintentional. But I’m confident the explanation of the durations of the subdivisions is perfectly clear (they are basic concepts visited many times throughout the series), and that there wouldn’t be any confusion understanding the concepts as a result. I know music theory is a rigorous discipline that many people study for years; and it is important to get it right! I feel that overall, the basic concepts of timing and duration are clearly presented in this series. Best, Eli Krantzberg
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1. When did you start dabbling in music?

I started playing drums in high school at age fourteen. Like most kids my age around then, I was into progressive rock. Genesis, Emerson Lake and Palmer, and Yes. They rocked my world. A few short years later though, my musical life changed. While studying music in college I discovered Charlie Parker, Milt Jackson, Sonny Stitt, and John Coltrane. Milt Jackson spoke to me in such a profound way that it left me no choice but to take up vibraphone.

These great players, along with  drummers like Philly Joe Jones, Max Roach, Art Blakey, and Elvin Jones changed not only the way I thought about drumming, but also music - and by extension, life - as a whole. I realized life was meant to be a creative endeavor. The idea of improvising based on a loose set of guidelines and rules permeated into my psyche even when I wasn't holding a pair of drumsticks or mallets. But if I am going to be perfectly truthful, I have to hold Henry Miller and Woody Allen equally responsible for shaping the way I view and experience the world around me. 

2. What training have you had?

I am currently an Apple certified Logic Pro. Young and cocky, and armed with only a partial University degree, I dropped out of school and  began playing steady commercial hotel engagements and jazz gigs when I could. This went on for many years until I decided it was time to complete my degree - which I ultimately did with a major in Political Science and a minor in music. 

It was at this point that I formed my current band Nightshift. We are going in to our twenty third year now - playing commercial one nighters like weddings, corporate events, etc. Don't turn your nose up at it though - it has allowed me a wonderful quality of life. It gave me the freedom to go back to school and complete a post graduate degree in Communications Studies - all the while supporting myself by playing weddings.

3. When did you get into recording?

It was in this graduate program - in the early nineties - that I found myself drawn to the fledgling emerging universe of hard disc recording and midi sequencing. Based on nothing more than the recommendation of one of my band mates who had an old Atari, I jumped in head first and bought a Mac LC ll, along with a version 1.1 of what was then Notator Logic. I had no idea what I was getting myself into. But, in hindsight, it was a decision of epic importance in my life - shaping my future as much as the music of Milt Jackson and Charlie Parker did fifteen years prior. 

I opened up my own commercial home studio in 1998 and began doing a variety of projects, working on radio jingles, artist CD projects, and whatever came my way. A couple of years later a colleague called me up - desperate. He was working at a post production house and one of the editors had just quit. They were doing audio post for a weekly TV series and needed a Pro Tools editor - and fast! And so, once again, I jumped in head first into what would ultimately open up my world even more - the world of Pro Tools. 

4. People you have worked with/for?

Focusing on Logic, I built up a small but loyal client base and my phone kept ringing for Logic tech support and instruction. Film composers and studio owners all over the city were calling me. Even the music stores were giving out my phone number at this point! This kind of stuff becomes a self fulfilling prophecy. The more of it you do, the more calls you get to keep doing it. At least that's the way it should be!

As my Logic chops kept growing, I was hired by an old buddy of mine, Len Sasso, who was then an associate editor at Electronic Musician magazine, and began writing some columns for them. I had a blast doing them - and really learned to focus and express my thoughts in a concise and clear manner. This lead to a collaboration with LA based composer Terry Michael Huud on the 2006 film called Civic Duty - which was certainly one of the highlights of my professional life as a composer. 

5. Why are you so good at training people?

I wake up every day excited to boot up, and create. Whether it's instructional videos, creating music, working with a studio client, performing with my band, or teaching at the schools - my days are filled with what I love doing. Enriched by the stimulation and creative freedom this modern music making software brings to my life. I bring that excitement and passion to each and every training product I create. My years of experience both using and teaching these programs has taught me the best way to make the user comfortable with these complex programs.

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    AAS Chromaphone Explained

    Eli Krantzberg returns, this time showing you the incredible AAS Chromaphone creative percussive synthesizer. This synth is capable of creating incredibly expressive drum, percussion, string, and synth-like instruments, so hold the phone and check it out!

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    AAS Strum GS-2 Explained

    In this FREE series commissioned by Applied Acoustic Systems, Eli Krantzberg covers the expansive performance library of electric and acoustic guitar strumming inside and out, and shows you how to make Strum GS-2 your new favorite session guitarist!

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    AirEQ Explained

    Eli Krantzberg returns with an in-depth series on the amazing AirEQ by Eiosis, which was designed with a vision of achieving musical, technical and sonic excellence in equalization. This just might become your to go-to EQ!

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    Alchemy 2 Explained

    Logic Pro X 10.2 integrated Alchemy 2, one of the most powerful virtual instruments ever made. In this three-hour video training tutorial series, Eli Krantzberg teaches you how to become a Alchemy wizard and unleash all of its power on your music!

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    Apogee Maestro 2 Explained

    Maestro 2 is Apogee's flexible and powerful OS X Mixer software solution that's included with all Apogee interfaces. Studio master Eli Krantzberg shows you everything you need to know about Maestro 2, as well as how to get the best performance out of your Apogee interface and improve your workflow.

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Songwriting Theory Explained® is rated 4.7 out of 5 by 11.
Rated 5.0 out of 5 by from Good stuff Great explanations of basics.
Date published: 2017-12-22
Rated 4.5 out of 5 by from Nice work This helped me out a lot.. learned quite a bit from these videos.. top videos
Date published: 2017-08-17
Rated 5.0 out of 5 by from Chordal menu of options In music theory class in college, this information was supposed to be consumed through osmosis. This series of 'lessons' spells it all out crystal clearly.
Date published: 2017-07-13
Rated 4.5 out of 5 by from What I Needed I just started to study music recently. I'm 20 years old and never really practiced music as a child. I always loved music but, never had the opportunity to play an instrument till now. At my local junior college i'm taking a music fundamentals class that has taught me a lot. I have ambitions to become a producer and am using ableton. When I create music, I always have a hard time transitioning the form. Watching these videos definitely gave me a better understanding.
Date published: 2017-04-07
Rated 5.0 out of 5 by from From Progressions to Melody to a Complete Song Very direct explanation on music theory including templates for bridge, intros, endings and other useful recipes for writing complete songs.
Date published: 2017-02-22
Rated 5.0 out of 5 by from Just what i needed I am a music production graduate from full sail university and even with the great job they did, i was still lost on a few things like melody vs lyrics. I am still a little but you really helped. Can you come up with a tutorial that focuses on placing lyrics over a melody so they don't sound out of key?
Date published: 2017-02-16
Rated 5.0 out of 5 by from Great Theory Explained!! It's so basic and also so theoretically fundamental. Really great Stuff!
Date published: 2016-10-03
Rated 4.0 out of 5 by from Basic Primer of Songwriting This video series exposes one to the vocabulary of songwriting. You learn the mechanics and even get some creative exercises.
Date published: 2016-09-05
Rated 5.0 out of 5 by from And the Winner is: You. If Eli Krantzberg authored it you can almost bet it's great. This has a lot of great information but the rest is up to you. You need to have a grasp of Music Theory first. And Eli has a course on that too.
Date published: 2016-06-28
Rated 2.0 out of 5 by from Incorrect notations too hard to get past It is very off-putting that the music in the examples is not played as notated. Dotted half notes followed by quarter note rests are sounded as whole notes; quarter notes followed by quarter note rests are sounded as half notes. That would be so confusing if I wasn't already musically educated. Your synth does not recognize rests apparently. Hard to trust a source for new information when the teacher does not seem to have a grasp on simple music notations (rests are silent!) Or simply cannot make his synthesizer pause for rests which is pretty sad, too. Tried to leave a comment but the disqus third party comment system is a pretty sad joke. If you don't want comments you should remove the comment section.
Date published: 2016-06-20
Rated 5.0 out of 5 by from Excellent, Easy to Understand Instruction This video course is excellent and easy to understand, the author explains everything in great detail with easy to follow examples. Even if you have no prior understanding of music theory you will have no problem following this course and if you are experienced there are many things that will give you great ideas.
Date published: 2016-02-17
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