Tyson Farmer:   Music Lessons

Songwriting Lessons

Like a lot of (but not all) musicians, I enjoy writing my own songs. I feel it's a great way to be creative with my musical skills. To be a good musician, one doesn't have to learn to write their own songs, but it's an additional bonus skill to being a musician that is fun and challenging, is a real confidence booster, and takes the mystery out of the creation of some of our favorite music, thus making it more accessible and within our reach.
    Learning songwriting is for anyone who has had ideas or inspirations with lyrics, poems, or musical sounds in their head and who wants to learn how to organize and capture these ideas and inspirations and get them into the world so they and other people can hear them with their own ears.
    Learning songwriting is also for those who do NOT have ideas and inspirations so far- part of this skill is learning to tap into the inner creativity we all have, and creating unique audible art with it. If you have listened to and enjoyed music in the past, then you probably have all the seeds for inspiration in your head already! There are more methods and formulas to songwriting than most people think, and like singing, most of us unfortunately believe the myth that "you have to be born with it" to write a good song. To the contrary, it's a skill that can be learned by anyone, and can be honed more sharply with practice and patience.
    When selling albums and songs, the musicians who make the most money are always the ones who write the songs that are being performed, not the ones performing it. And if you write and perform your own songs, then you get payed twice!
    If you've ever seen yourself writing your own music, lyrics, and songs that can be played by you or other musicians, or been inspired by your favorite songs to make your own ideas be heard, you should consider songwriting lessons. Read below to see how I approach this topic and who it can benefit the most.

My teaching skills with this instrument

I normally teach basic songwriting if asked for in any music lesson, as the skill makes any musician more well-rounded and quicker to pick up on musical concepts. So a student doesn't have to take songwriting lessons exclusively if they are interested in the subject.
    However, I can also tutor with a songwriting- intensive approach for anyone wanting to learn in more depth, create songs for themselves or any musical group, use it as the subject for a project in a theory class or other high school or college music course, create a product for a high school or college senior project, learn songs by ear, or any other goals or reasons one may have for learning this skill.
    Songwriting goes hand-in-hand very well with music theory, as it gives you a game plan and tools to work with. Also, keep in mind that learning to read music is not a requirement for being a good songwriter, so I don't push learning to read music on anyone not on the career track or who doesn't ask for it specifically.

If you have any further questions I couldn't answer here, check out my FAQ section.

Concepts I teach:

Writing song lyrics and poetry
Differences between lyrics and poetry
Creating melodies with vocal inflection
Chord progressions
Matching melody notes to chords
Matching chords to melody notes
The role of tension and resolution
Creating tension/ resolution in a song
Getting over "writers block"
"Creating songs from a "seed" idea
Four and eight- bar phrases
Song form (verse, bridge, chorus)
The role and variations of the bridge
Writing chord charts
Writing in different styles
The evolution of a song
Using the right chords for a style
Writing in different styles & genres
Writing for bands/ other musicians
Orchestration and ensemble writing
How to write a good intro/ outro
Live performance vs. recording
Recording and multitracking
Using MIDI to write and sketch ideas
Songwriting and money
...and much more than I can list here!