Watch the Songwriting On Guitar online guitar lesson by Matthieu Brandt from Songwriting on Guitar
Normally if you want to learn something you
- set the boundries on what you what you want to learn
- break it up in parts
- find out what you need to know for each smaller part
- decide on a logical road through the material
- and keep on plugging away till you know the smaller chunck
Which for guitarists is developing techniques, learning a bit of theory, getting some motor skills, studying other players and developing our ears. When we have mastered one of those smaller parts we move on to the next, until we've gone through all the pieces we needed for the original task we set ourselves.
Composing and writing songs is different in that sense that the boundries of the big task we set ourselves are vague:
what is a song or composition?
does it involve all four elements we generally divide songs into (rhythm, harmony,melody and lyrics) ?
Do we need all of those ?
In that case we would dismiss certain forms of African music, rap music, chanting, bass-and drum and you name it as non-musical. Can't do that!
And where does a composition or a song differ from random generated sounds? Are sounds music, can we make a composition of noise?
I'm sure we can; but how to compose with those tools, is the question ?
And then there's the subdivision in parts and learning everything you need about the smaller parts to move on.
Do you first need to know everything there is to know about music theory before you can compose?
Do you need to be a full blown poet before you start to write lyrics?
Do you need to be a killer guitar player before you can write a song?
No, of course not. In this way learning how to write songs is different from any other learning process. It's a creative process and these never move in a linear way. You can't and will never know all the things there are to know about these smaller chuncks you devided your task in.
Dealing with vagueness, uncertainty and being creative with things you only half know, puzzling with small chuncks of information; all this is an integral part of composing, of writing songs.
Songwriting on Guitar will give you a huge number of tools to help you with this puzzle. Your toolbox is not empty; it is filled with an educated ear, compliments of tens of thousands of hours of listening to music. It's filled with some theory, pratcical skills on guitar and a good developed feel for what 'works' in songs. We'll add to that toolbox and work towards giving you all the skills needed to write your songs.