Songwriting: The Basics

FROM SONGBOOK TO STAGE

Stuck in a songwriting rut? Struggling to find the right lyrics? Great ideas, but no direction? Our online songwriting course is the answer. With 6 modules and 33 unique lessons, flexible learning and monthly masterclasses, bring creativity and structure to your songwriting and explore the process at your own pace.

Flexible Payment Options

Songwriting the basics

Learn how to write a great song, overcome creative blocks, hone your focus and find inspiration in a range of genres to bring your ideas to life. Analyse what works in popular songs e.g. chord progression. Find ways to generate song lyrics and develop concepts. Learn how to use song form structure to create strong foundations for your writing lyrics. Our course gives you the skills you need to be successful – whether writing songs is a new hobby or your chosen career in the music business.

Heart set on writing music but stuck in a songwriting rut? Struggling to write a good song? Wondering if you have the right lyrics? Have great ideas, but no direction?

Then study songs with one of our online short courses. With 6 modules and 33 unique lessons, we offer flexible learning and monthly masterclasses, to help bring your songwriting creativity to life. Learn the best way to structure your songwriting (like the pros), and explore the process at your own pace.

You can even book 121 mentoring or take this course as part of our Introduction to Songwriting course for a deeper dive.

Writing great songs doesn’t just happen. Songwriting is a learned skill that even the best songwriters have had to spend time mastering.

With Elevate, you will learn the craft of songwriting – focusing on the foundations of structure, content and melody in popular music.

This practical course takes you step-by-step through the basic songwriting process and will leave you with a deeper understanding of what it takes to write a good song, as well as a broader spectrum of knowledge to draw inspiration from.

We can’t wait to hear your finished product!

Only £20

Learn to write a song

  • 38 Unique lessons across 7 packed modules
  • Created by practicing industry experts
  • Learn at you own pace in your own time
  • HD video industry insider hints & tips
  • Immersive interactive learning
  • Certificate on completion
  • Downloadable lesson guides
  • Lifetime access
  • Mobile friendly platform
  • Access to a live session masterclass

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Modules in this course

Our introductory online Songwriting course is packed full of HD video lessons,
suggested tasks and industry insider hints, all designed to help you write songs.

1
Get The Songwriting Mindset

We’ll start with the building blocks of a song, like the lyrics, harmony and genre. You’ll then learn how to listen to and analyse songs, unpicking the themes and messages, and understanding how dynamics, tone and repetitive hooks shape sound.

2
The Creative Process

Now you’ve learnt how songs are made, you can take a step back to think about how to develop your own. It starts with unlocking your inner creativity, whether that's through finding inspiration or a fixed routine. You’ll find plenty of inspiration in this module.

3
How to Structure a Song

Verse, chorus, bridge and more: songs need a structure to tell their story and make sense to the listener. Once you know the song structure conventions, you’re then free to break (or shape) the rules to fit your own style.

4
Learn How to Write Lyrics

You’ve ticked off song inspiration and structure — now it’s time to think about words and lyrics. Learn how to write as a character; in a confessional style; or with imagery and metaphor. You’ll also touch on editing and refining your work, too.

5
Exploring Harmony & Melody

You’ll now explore how to give your song its own unique sound through elements like chord progressions and scales. You’ll also start to look at your overall approach to songwriting, and see how all these moving parts fit together.

6
Content, Style & Genre

Folk, pop, soul: discover the instruments, singing styles and types of lyrics and melodies that feature in a wide range of genres. It’s all to help you apply your learnings to your own writing, or to create your own take on a classic style

  • Songwriting: The Basics
    1
    Get The Songwriting Mindset

    We’ll start with the building blocks of a song, like the lyrics, harmony and genre. You’ll then learn how to listen to and analyse songs, unpicking the themes and messages, and understanding how dynamics, tone and repetitive hooks shape sound.

    2
    The Creative Process

    Now you’ve learnt how songs are made, you can take a step back to think about how to develop your own. It starts with unlocking your inner creativity, whether that's through finding inspiration or a fixed routine. You’ll find plenty of inspiration in this module.

    3
    How to Structure a Song

    Verse, chorus, bridge and more: songs need a structure to tell their story and make sense to the listener. Once you know the song structure conventions, you’re then free to break (or shape) the rules to fit your own style.

    4
    Learn How to Write Lyrics

    You’ve ticked off song inspiration and structure — now it’s time to think about words and lyrics. Learn how to write as a character; in a confessional style; or with imagery and metaphor. You’ll also touch on editing and refining your work, too.

    5
    Exploring Harmony & Melody

    You’ll now explore how to give your song its own unique sound through elements like chord progressions and scales. You’ll also start to look at your overall approach to songwriting, and see how all these moving parts fit together.

    6
    Content, Style & Genre

    Folk, pop, soul: discover the instruments, singing styles and types of lyrics and melodies that feature in a wide range of genres. It’s all to help you apply your learnings to your own writing, or to create your own take on a classic style

Here what our students say

Iain T.

Songwriting: The Basics

“If this is the amazing amount of content in just the basic course, I can’t begin to imagine how full-on the more advanced courses are! This course is brilliant! Covering every aspect of what I’m looking for, in depth, but kept easy to understand and at a pace that suits all levels. Just brilliant!!”

Ruhan K.

Songwriting: The Basics

“Bought this course because I wanted to start writing songs but had no idea where to begin. This was fantastic! It was well structured and has given me a solid intro to the craft. I’m now feeling much more confident and inspired to begin my songwriting journey.”

Lisa C.

Songwriting: The Basics

“I have been writing songs for years and hit a creative block a few months ago and wanted a fresh perspective to try and escape my comfort zone. This course, despite being an intro course, did exactly that. I learnt so much more than i expected! Loved it, took so much away!”

Other songwriting courses

Thinking about this online music course?

  • I've never written a song before, but would like to learn songwriting. Is this course for me?

    Yes, you’ll be guided through the songwriting process and encouraged to write your own material. You’ll also undertake ‘writing activities’, where you’ll be encouraged to try your hand at professional real-world songwriting briefs.

  • Will this course teach me how to write songs?

    Yes. If you're struggling where to start - the melody or the lyrics. If you're wondering how to translate your new ideas into a complete song. If you want to write a great song. Then we can help you with your song craft. The techniques of writing a good song are tried and tested, but that doesn't mean you'll simply write a song that lacks originality. Far from it. Our course will teach you how to write a song that listeners can connect to, turning your song into a hit song.

  • What's the difference between this course and Elevate's other songwriting courses?

    This course provides you with a solid foundation so you can embark upon your songwriting journey. We recommend you begin here, unless you’re already an experienced writer with at least ten or more songs under your belt. Having mastered Songwriting: The Basics, you can then progress onto our other songwriting courses, which are for intermediate-level songwriters.

  • Will I learn how to write lyrics?

    Yes, lyric writing is an integral part of songwriting and features prominently in this course. If you’d like to progress your lyric writing skills at the end of this course, you might like to consider taking our Lyric Writing course where you’ll explore the craft of lyric development in more detail.

  • Will I learn chord progressions?

    If you play an instrument, then yes, you can learn chord progressions and discover which are the most popular chords in modern music. But to be clear - you don't have to be able to play an instrument to write great song lyrics or a melody.

  • Do I need to be able to read music to do this course?

    No. Being able to read and write music will help, but it's not essential to do this course. Nor do you need to be able to read music to become a top songwriter.

  • Will I learn about song structure?

    Yes, because song structure is a hugely important thing in songwriting. A solid structure will provide your song a strong foundation from which it can grow and develop. Having an easy to follow song structure will help guide listeners through your song from the first note to the last. In our course, you'll learn the most common contemporary hit song layout, as well as how to play with this. We'll teach you the different add ons you can include with your structure as well as other popular variations that hit songs have utilised over the years.

  • After the course will I know how to write a hit song?

    We don't have a crystal ball, so alas we're unable to predict the future. But what we can say is this: after the course, you will have a solid understanding of structure, content and melody in popular music. You'll know how to construct a song title, compose lyrics, and structure your song by teaching you the songwriting skills that will elevate your songs.

  • When can I begin my course?

    You can start whenever you’re ready! Elevate courses are accessed on demand, so you can start and pause your learning at any time. There are no deadlines to begin or complete your course by, so you can progress your studies when it suits you. All course materials are yours to keep forever, so you can take the course again further down the track if you’d like.

  • Do I receive any discounts as an Elevate student?

    Yes. We work with a range of partners from the creative industries to provide Elevate students like yourself with discounted software to support your learning journey. Your courses will include links to discounts, where relevant. 

  • Do I really get lifetime access?

    Yes – you absolutely do! ICMP Elevate courses are designed to be revisited, so you can reuse the course material to practice, develop and continue to improve. As long as you have an account with us, you’ll have access to all the courses you’ve purchased.

  • What do I receive when I finish my course?

    Once you’ve completed all your course lessons, you’ll be awarded a certificate found on your dashboard page, which you can download and share.

  • What can I expect if I sign up for an Elevate course?

    Expect something highly engaging! Elevate courses are packed full of interactive learning elements. You’ll have access to video and written lessons, and will use diagrams, case studies and insider hints and tips in your studies. Once you’ve completed an Elevate course, you’ll have lifetime access to all information shared, meaning you can revisit your course materials whenever you like.

Meet your tutors

Sophie Daniels, Tim Elsenberg, Megan O’Neill & Jonathan Whiskerd

Songwriting: The Basics’ has been written by expert industry insiders Megan O’Neill, Jonathan Whiskerd, Sophie Daniels and Tim Elsenberg. They have worked with singers and songwriters such as Will Hicks (with Ed Sheeran and Lily Allen), Bruce Hughes (with Jason Mraz), Joshua Blair (with Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars) and Jamie Cullen, and also played a large part in developing London’s ‘The Institute of Contemporary Music’ world-class songwriting curriculum.

“The idea behind this course is to offer simple, accessible insights into the craft of Songwriting, which creatives and writers from all different backgrounds can experiment with. In my own development as a songwriter and Songwriting teacher.

I have found a few key concepts and writing tricks that have helped me cultivate a more enjoyable process and unlock more purposeful songs. Sophie, Tim and I have worked together to create a course that we believe offers a strong skills foundation for any aspiring songwriter.”

See what our songwriting students say

Loved it

Rated 5 out of 5

Learnt a lot of nuances and basic technicalities of songwriting. definitely recommend this course to music enthusiasts and newbies!

Chris E.

Satisfied hobbiest

Rated 5 out of 5

I was interested to learn what the essence of a good song is and the basics course was perfect for taking my hobby to the next level. It feels, I took a lot from this course, although, to be honest, I sometimes may break the rules (being still an amateur), but now more intentionally instead of accidentally :-).

Zoey L.

Nice course!

Rated 5 out of 5

Great little intro to songwriting, provided plenty food for thought – think I will try some of the other songwriting courses at a later date, as would like to keep building on what i’ve learnt here.

James D.

Flexible payment method

We accept payments via Credit Card, PayPal, Google Pay and Apple Pay. You can even spread your payments using PayPal Credit.

The Complete Songwriter Expert Track

The Elevate special 4-in-1, (THE BASICS, CREATIVE PROCESS, CONTENT & GENRE & LYRIC WRITING) Complete Songwriter Expert Track reveals all, covering essential technical elements of music theory, as well as guiding you to generate, develop and refine your very own songs. It’s all led by music experts, and developed with today’s industry in mind.

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Songwriting The Basics

£20