To an extent, songwriting is a personal, intimate thing that doesn’t necessarily need to be taught. However, there are certainly techniques and methods that can be learned and used to improve your songwriting.
Whether you’ve gone through singing lessons and now want to take your songwriting skills to the next level or simply want to write songs for others, this list of songwriting courses are worth checking out.
What Are the Best Songwriting Courses?
After some exploring, I shortlisted what I deem to be the best songwriting courses and wanted to share them with you, so let’s start from the top.
1. John Legend – MasterClass
If you want to learn how to write a hit song, express your emotions, touch your audience, and transform thoughts into tune articulately, John Legend’s MasterClass is the way to go.
This is essentially a suite of 18 video lessons plus a bonus video in which Mr. Legend imparts valuable advice for up-and-coming songwriters. The lessons dive deep into music theory, but what truly separates John Legend’s masterclass is his unique perspective on songwriting.
This masterclass was designed to help new songwriters find their voice, pick the subject matter that mirrors their emotions, and ultimately develop their unique style.
In this masterclass, John Legend presents a case study of his hit tune “Glory”, unveiling how he made it, the reasons why it resonated with such a broad audience, and how pretty much anyone can create a song with a similar impact with a bit of know-how.
- 18 video lessons
- Designed by the acclaimed EGOT-winning John Legend
- Covers a broad range of topics, including song structure, editing, performing live, and more
- John’s perspective on writing lyrics
- Genre mash-up explainers
You can subscribe to John Legend’s MasterClass at $15 per month. You can watch a trailer of the masterclass for free, or preview a sample before deciding whether you want to buy it.
What I Like / Dislike About John Legend – MasterClass
It would be hard to put the finger on what’s best about John Legend MasterClass, as it covers all bases perfectly. It’s affordable and suited for songwriters of all skill levels; it covers a broad spectrum of songwriting topics, and it also covers song recording techniques and tips.
There aren’t many masterclasses that I’d label “perfect”, but John Legend’s lessons are an exception. For a bargain price, you get to learn how one of the most iconic songwriters made his name in the industry. The only thing I think this masterclass lacks is direct communication with John (or his team), which is quite normal for masterclasses of this caliber.
Who Is This For?
John Legend’s MasterClass is an essential suite of lessons for practically all songwriters and musicians. The subscription is quite cheap, and even though Mr. Legend is mainly known as a pop superstar, his lessons can be applied to any music genre and style.
2. The Fine Art of Songwriting
The Fine Art of Songwriting is a five-week “crash course” in songwriting for beginners and intermediate-level musicians and artists. The process of learning how to write a good song may take years, if not decades, but The Fine Art of Songwriting lessons can teach you the basics (and more) in a fraction of that time.
The lessons are well structured, starting with the mindset a songwriter needs to be in before starting the session, before moving on to more concrete topics, such as song structure, writing lyrics, picking the right chords, building a catchy melody, and more.
This set of online songwriting lessons is extensive and detailed. Even though it was primarily built to help beginners write songs like professionals, even experienced writers can learn a lot from it. The things that may have inhibited your songwriting sessions that you couldn’t put to words will be explained in great detail in The Fine Art of Songwriting course.
- 33 video lessons
- Designed by a former professor of Nashville’s Belmont University Steve Leslie
- Teaches melody and lyric writing
- Several case studies
- Practical music tips for songwriters
The Fine Art of Songwriting course costs a flat $197. You can preview the lesson schedule, Leslie’s methods, and what the course will teach you on the company’s official website.
What I Like / Dislike About The Fine Art of Songwriting
I love how comprehensive The fine Art of Songwriting course is. Whether you’ve just decided you want to write a serenade for your significant other or if you’ve been struggling with writer’s block for some time, it can help you. Unlike SaaS songwriting lesson websites, it costs a flat fee, which is a huge plus.
The drawback of these lessons is that they’re mainly for guitar players, but even if you’re playing bass or a piano, you can still benefit from at least half of them.
Who Is This For?
The Fine Art of Songwriting was designed for beginner and intermediate-level guitar-playing songwriters. It offers high value to all songwriters, regardless of their chosen instrument and skill level.
3. The Basics Of Pro Songwriting
Tom Worth created one of the most comprehensive songwriting courses and appropriately titled it “The Basics of Pro Songwriting”. Unlike hundreds of similar courses you may find online, it is laser-focused on practical skills and mistakes songwriters tend to lose their minds about.
Tom is a renowned songwriting coach who’s taught over 10,000 students in his years of teaching. The Basics of Pro Songwriting is essentially a summary of core skills he is teaching his students and habits that professionals have developed and heavily rely on when creating hit tracks.
This course features 21 online lessons that are mainly designed to help songwriters create commercial, “radio-friendly” songs.
- 21 downloadable resources
- Created by a professional songwriting coach Tom Worth
- Full lifetime access to all lessons
- Udemy certificate of course completion
The Basics of Pro Songwriting course originally costs a flat $49.99. The course is frequently on discount, costing as little as $18.99.
What I Like / Dislike About The Basics Of Pro Songwriting
Teaching how to create a song that will resonate with “everyone” is extremely difficult. With The Basics of Pro Songwriting, it becomes much easier, as Tom ensured the lessons can be approached by immediate beginners and experienced songwriters alike.
Although this probably won’t be perceived as a flaw by many, I don’t like how strictly focused on commercial songwriting this course is. There’s a lot to be learned in a bit less orthodox songwriting methods, which you won’t learn in The Basics of Pro Songwriting.
Who Is This For?
According to Tom, he built these lessons to help songwriters and singer/songwriters build a stronger foundation for their commercial songwriting skills. The Basics of Pro Songwriting is best suited for beginners and intermediate-level songwriters that want to learn how to make hit tunes.
4. How to Write Your First Song
“How to Write Your First Song” is a beginner’s guide to songwriting, covering the fundamental tools, techniques, and skills required to create a tune in practically any genre.
Aside from teaching song structure, chords, and other important elements of music theory, How to Write Your First Song also dives into lyric writing. Unlike masterclasses, this is an “active” course, meaning that its contents are being updated with new features on a weekly basis.
Each week, Adam White, the creator of the course, adds a video in which a song or song lyric is analyzed by both the professor and the students. The main purpose of this course is to enable a beginner to write a compelling song in just a few weeks.
- Created by Adam White, ex-course director at the Department for Lifelong Learning
- Several case studies
- Weekly song analysis with students
- 6-week course
- Covers song forms, arrangements, melody, chord progressions, song forms, and music theory as a whole
The subscription to the How to Write Your First Song course costs $27.99 per month, or a flat $69. You can also enroll for free to gain access to some of the lessons and features this website has to offer.
What I Like / Dislike About How to Write Your First Song
When it comes to cheap songwriting courses, I’d say How to Write Your First Song is among the best. Its lessons are very easy to follow, and you’ll get to learn more than just dry music theory from them. There are no major drawbacks to this course aside from the fact that it’s primarily for newbie songwriters.
Who Is This For?
How to Write Your First Song course is an excellent choice for immediate beginner songwriters. It’s affordable, the lessons are straightforward, and you can take each lesson whenever you want.
5. The New Songwriter’s Workshop
The New Songwriter’s Workshop is an online songwriting lesson suite created by professional pianist and producer Oli Rockberger. What separates it from other courses on this list is its focus on melody.
The course starts with lessons regarding the basics of song structure; according to Oli, after covering the first two sections, you’ll be able to write a simple song.
The remaining sections revolve around finding and creating unique melodies. Another interesting element of this course is that Oli’s also explaining other approaches to songwriting, broadening the scope of perception of his students.
- 9 sections featuring multiple lessons
- Designed by Oli Rockberger, a professional producer, songwriter, and pianist
- Covers a broad range of songwriting topics with a strong emphasis on melody
- Best suited for piano songwriters
The course can be accessed with a Soundfly subscription, which costs $19 per month. You can preview the course’s contents for free.
What I Like / Dislike About The New Songwriter’s Workshop
New Songwriter’s Workshop is very easy to follow, but more importantly, it’s straightforward. Each section of lessons was designed to enable you to implement newfound knowledge in practical situations.
Even if there are any drawbacks to New Songwriter’s Workshop, I believe you’ll find huge value in the Soundfly subscription, which allows you to access thousands of other courses.
Who Is This For?
The New Songwriter’s Workshop is a perfect choice for people that either write or want to write songs on a piano. It’s also great for all musicians that want to learn more about various songwriting approaches and strategies.
6. Songwriting Mastery
Songwriting Mastery’s “Complete Course” is one of the best songwriting courses out there. It’s among the most comprehensive music education programs, featuring hundreds of lessons, courses about music publishing and music production, a thorough dissection of various songwriting processes, and more.
The course was created by Full Circle Music and can help you learn the ins and outs of song creation, how to put your new skills to use, and ultimately how to monetize your work with smart publishing strategies.
- Designed by Full Circle Music’s team and founder (Seth Mosley)
- 123 online videos
- Step-by-step music production instructions
- Covers music publishing
Songwriting Mastery “The Complete Course” costs a flat $997.
What I Like / Dislike About Songwriting Mastery – The Complete Course
The Full Circle Music team left no stone unturned when creating “The Complete Course”. It’s a collection of lessons that will teach you how to explore your untapped potential, broaden your songwriting scope, as well as how to write, publish, and record music, and so much more. The obvious downside is its hefty price tag.
Who Is This For?
I recommend Songwriting Mastery “The Complete Course” to beginner, intermediate, and advanced-level songwriters that are committed to reaching the next level in their professions/careers.
7. Songwriting Simplified
Songwriting Simplified is a slightly more advanced course about songwriting best suited for people with a basic understanding of music. It was created by a professional music coach Steve Glazer to teach beginners and intermediate songwriters everything there is to know about chord progressions, song transpositions, and music theory.
The main draw of the Songwriting Simplified course lies in streamlined step-by-step instructions on how to write songs while its secondary focus is building the fundamental knowledge base regarding songwriting.
- 38 downloadable resources
- Created by a professional music coach Steve Glazer
- Full lifetime access
- Udemy certificate of completion
The Songwriting Simplified course usually costs $99.99 but is typically on sale. At the time of writing this article, it was on sale for $19.99.
What I Like / Dislike About Songwriting Simplified
If teaching songwriting was easy, everyone would do it. Steve managed to do it by channeling his years of experience into creating a comprehensive step-by-step guide comprised of small, bite-sized lessons and learning resources.
There aren’t any major drawbacks with this course, as it is as cheap as it is effective and easy to follow.
Who Is This For?
Songwriting Simplified is ideal for intermediate-level songwriters and musicians with some experience in playing guitar or piano.
I didn’t judge the best songwriting courses based on how many lessons they include, how cheap/expensive they are, or who made them. The main criterium was how effective the courses are, and how easy to follow they are.
All of the websites I’ve listed above have passed these tests with flying colors.