Writing Music for Your Lyrics
For songwriters who find lyric writing easy, but have trouble writing
good music to go with their words. We'll find inherent rhythms
within your phrases, then use production models, guitar, keyboard, bass,
and other techniques to explore possible
melodies, chord changes, bass lines, beats and styles for your song.
Every week, show the class what you've written. (Music experience
helps, but isn't required. Familiarity with a guitar or keyboard
Writing Lyrics for Your Music
For songwriters who feel that music is their strength, but who struggle
to come up with good
lyrics. We'll explore different techniques for
developing compelling first lines, catchy titles, interesting themes &
stories, and how to apply these in your verses, choruses, and bridges.
Play your new songs for the class and get positive feedback.
(Intermediate-Advanced.) Expand your songwriting skills through
weekly units about different aspects of collaborating, audio examples,
live demonstration, and writing assignments. Sign up with your own
writing partner or co-write words and music with classmates and the
instructor as partners and in teams. Perform your collaborations
and for helpful comments.
Rewriting to Improve Your
(Intermediate-Advanced.) Free yourself from the perceived
constraints of your early and unfinished drafts. This course will
let you rewrite your songwriting heroes, rewrite your own material and
learn the secrets to how I've rewritten mine. We'll focus on
making your songwriting more adaptable, flexible and easy. Sing or
play your rewritten songs for the class for supportive comments.
Songs in 8
(Intermediate-Advanced.) Compose a song on a different assigned
topic or theme every week. Experiment with different writing
techniques. Brainstorm your premise and develop your song form
during class. Play your song the following week and get immediate,
Songs in 8
Weeks (Session B)
(Intermediate-Advanced.) New topics! Compose a song on a
different assigned topic or theme every week. Experiment with
different writing techniques. Brainstorm your premise and develop
your song form during class. Play your song the following week and
get immediate, constructive feedback.
Songwriting With a Sense of Humor
(A basic understanding of songwriting is encouraged.) Each week,
we'll hear and discuss songs that are witty, nonsensical, slapstick,
storytelling, parodies, politically charged, outrageous and more.
Then, using a wide range of comic techniques, we'll pen humorous songs
of our own, which students can share during class.
Music Theory & Ear
Training for Songwriters
rhythm, scales, intervals and chords relate to melody, harmony and chord
changes. The more you know about how music works, the more context
you'll gain for informed listening, and the more tools you'll have for
composing and arranging.
Reviewing the materials and dedicated practice time between classes will
be essential to your results. Reading music is not required.
and Marketing Your Songs
Get your music heard and noticed! A detailed look at how to
promote your songs on web sites & social media, plus how to submit music
to reviewers, blogs, radio shows & podcasts. Includes a crash course in
This course is all
about the presentation of your songs. As we cover the elements of
style, instrumentation, arrangement and music production, we'll apply
these techniques to your own songs which you can share with the
class for positive comments. Course FAQ
Each week, we'll use forensic listening to
examine the DNA of a variety of killer hits. Then, using similar
modus operandi and the evidence we uncovered, you'll return to your own
rhyme lab and write a new song
for constructive input from your CSI teammates the following week.
(Intermediate-Advanced.) Each week, we'll cover material from
different courses in Dave's series "The Secrets to Better Songwriting."
You'll gain valuable insight and experience while exploring a variety of
songwriting topics. Includes creative instruction, audio examples, songwriting
assignments and your own live performance.
Writing To Chord Changes
(For guitarists &
keyboardists.) Each week, we'll focus on a different topic related to
songwriting using chord changes. Chord topics (with pop song examples)
will include: Types of Chords, Popular Chord Changes, Circle of Fifths,
Bass-Leading Chord Changes, Suspended Chords, Open String (or Open
Voiced) Chords and much more. As always, we'll write songs using the
chord changes and play them for the class. Course FAQ
Writing With Intervals & Advanced Chords
& keyboardists.) Perfect for songwriters who want to push
themselves to write, while expanding their sound pallet with chords that
are less ordinary and more interesting. We'll write using
intervals, minor chords, 6th chords, 7th chords (major, minor &
dominant), diminished, augmented, & non-diatonic chords, and more, with
suggested lyric themes.. Optionally play your new songs for the
class for supportive discussion. Course FAQ
the most important component for making a song popular and enduring.
This course is designed to help you write more engaging melodies.
We’ll use proven melodic techniques and pop music examples to help you
write up to 7 singable, catchy songs and lyrics. You'll receive
a PDF of each week's class material. Course FAQ
Each week, we’ll discuss and write melody and chords from a guitarist’s
perspective, and question how a guitar’s unique layout, tunings,
performance techniques and accessories can influence our writing process.
You’ll be encouraged to try 7 songwriting assignments and optionally play
your new songs in class. BYO guitar. Course FAQ
Songwriting for Keyboardists
Each week, we’ll discuss and write melody and chords from a keyboardist’s
perspective, and question how a keyboard’s unique layout, performance
techniques and samples can influence our writing process. You’ll be
encouraged to try 7 songwriting assignments and optionally play your new
songs in class. Course FAQ
Register for the current session today!
With my half-hour Songwriter
Sidebars on Zoom, Google Meet, Messenger or Facetime, I can help you break
through issues like unfinished songs, writers block, being
dissatisfied with your writing, or just wanting to add new skills to
your songwriting bag of tricks.
your songwriting challenges and we'll apply proven techniques to make
songwriting less mysterious and more satisfying. In short, we'll
tackle whatever's been bogging down your writing. As a song
doctor, I don't ask for any writing credit, so your songs remain your
-- Dave Caruso,
Songwriter / Instructor
Songwriter Sidebar today!
How will I attend a class or sidebar?
After you register, you and other members of the class
will be added to a livestream group which works just like
Zoom, Google Meet, Messenger or Facetime.. Dave will get in touch to help orient
you so you can hit the ground running.
Once classes begin, you'll see and hear
Dave and all members of the class, and they'll see and hear you.
How long are classes
Classes are one-hour
long and they meet weekly. Each Songwriter Sidebar is 30-minutes
Do I need to
understand computers to join an online class?
Nope. If you can stream
movies, your Internet connection is fast enough to join our classes with your smartphone, tablet or computer. Smartphones
and tablets have the capability built right in. Most newer
computers do too, with a webcam and built-in microphone.
will I receive from the courses?
Each registrant will receive PDF handouts, examples and
assignments from every week of class.
Do I have to write an entire song every
Nope! You'll write whatever you're able, according to the
assignment. For some weeks, that might mean you'll only write a
verse or a chorus. Other weeks, you might be assigned only one
section of a song. And during the final week of class, no
assignment will be given.
Isn't writing on demand hard?
While it might seem intimidating at first, most songwriters
find that writing with a certain technique to an interesting theme is
actually EASIER than trying to pick a new song out of thin air.
Also, it will improve your ability to collaborate and to start or
finish your own songs.
What if I only
write lyrics (or music)?
No problem! Unless the course title is specifically aimed at writing
one or the other, you can concentrate on your writing
strength, your writing weakness, or both. It all depends on what
you want from the class.
Do I HAVE to play my songs for the
Nope! You won't be pressured to play for the class,
but songwriters repeatedly tell us that our virtual songwriters circle
is what they enjoyed most about taking our courses. It's a supportive audience and
a great sounding
board for your music. It's also a great way to find
collaborators and musical co-conspirators.
Can I try out a course for just a few
weeks and see if it's right for me?
Yes! When you register, you'll get a choice: If you register
for the total number of weeks, you're all set. If you register
for the "Two-Week Trial," you'll be able to return to our shop and buy
an "Add-On" to complete the course while it's in session.
Are these courses mostly lecture?
Not at all! Class time is split between learning techniques,
listening to examples, discussion, and performances by members of the
When are these courses offered?
We alternate courses all throughout the year in our Shop. Some
courses may be offered more often than others. When we add new
courses, they'll appear on this page.
When are the Songwriter Sidebars
Once you register for a sidebar, Dave will contact you to set up a
mutually agreeable date and time, based on your schedule and time
Register for the current session today!