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Can anyone recommend a songwriting teacher? #2885132
08/30/19 10:49 AM
08/30/19 10:49 AM
Joined: Sep 2017
Posts: 13
Chicago IL
Z
ZanderChicago Offline OP
Junior Member
ZanderChicago  Offline OP
Junior Member
Z

Joined: Sep 2017
Posts: 13
Chicago IL
Hello everyone! I live in Chicago and my friend and I are beginner songwriters and pianists. We have read quite a bit on composition and songwriting and know all the music theory. However, we don't understand things like how to convert our song into sheet music and a time signature, for example. Does anyone know a good songwriting teacher that we can work with? We are in Chicago but could skype with someone anywhere. Looking for someone really experienced!
Thanks in advance for any info.

Zander

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Re: Can anyone recommend a songwriting teacher? [Re: ZanderChicago] #2885661
08/31/19 08:00 PM
08/31/19 08:00 PM
Joined: Oct 2008
Posts: 4,886
San Jose, CA
Jeff Clef Offline
4000 Post Club Member
Jeff Clef  Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Joined: Oct 2008
Posts: 4,886
San Jose, CA
Hi, zander-

Well, it's a big ask. I was going to suggest books, but I see that you and your friend are ahead of me.

I have two suggestions. This kind of big question might be a good one for http://sweetwater.com , which is a big music hardware and software outfit. They have a big staff to handle questions like yours; they never seem to get tired of answering and helping musicians--- and you can talk with them online or on the phone, free.

They have a big section with a lot of useful books, and there is software to help you write and record and score your compositions. Once you get that far, there are books that tell you how to market your work, and how to avoid the worst, at least, of the problems that can come with it.

I can tell you that they love musicians and will go quite far to help you find resources that will work for you. And, music education is an emerging part of their business: they have a regular series of classes on things like you have asked for: live teachers, there in person, hands-on, veterans of the industry. BTW, I am a happy customer, not an employee.

If you just have to get your hands on something right away, Guitar Center has a store (or more) in Chicago, and you can go talk to them and see what they have. (They are online as well, of course.) I don't mean to throw shade on them by not saying more; I think much of what has been noted about love for music and wanting to help applies. But, when you're there, they can say it themselves.

As for straight-up music education, including songwriting, there are community colleges that offer classes that would support you. And I would also say, take a look back in time to the great talents who have written wonderful songs, which have spoken, heart to heart, to the life experiences of so many. You can learn about their lives, study their work, see how they have made their mark as you're preparing to make yours. Used book and used CD stores will be your friend; these things go out of print so fast you'll have a hard time finding them at the likes of Barnes & Noble. And your music education dollar will go a lot further. The web: great resource. Wiki will answer questions about as fast as you can think them up. Also, don't overlook the Library of Congress online collections of everything you've ever heard of, including music. There's a little trick to figuring out how to use it, but it's a true mine of precious gems, free. Your tax dollars at work.

One last tip, this one from Dolly Parton: keep your publishing rights. It costs very little to register your work, and it is by far the most valuable asset. So, don't throw it away or let it be mopped for nothing. So says Dolly. Started poor, rich now; priceless advice. And--- ok, last-and-a-half: ask people in the industry to tell you things. You can write, asking for an interview. Ask how they got where they are; ask about songwriting. You don't mention your genre, but whatever it is, there will be a library that will specialize in it. I'm thinking now of Broadway musicals. New York Public Library. Or country: Nashville. Or film: (where else) Hollywood. Archives bursting with valuable information--- soak it up, and write the trip off as a business expense the first time you sell a song.

Good luck!


Clef

Re: Can anyone recommend a songwriting teacher? [Re: Jeff Clef] #2885665
08/31/19 08:20 PM
08/31/19 08:20 PM
Joined: Oct 2008
Posts: 4,886
San Jose, CA
Jeff Clef Offline
4000 Post Club Member
Jeff Clef  Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Joined: Oct 2008
Posts: 4,886
San Jose, CA
Hey Zander- one more little thing. The editor timed out on me so I couldn't add it to the first post. But I promise, this is the last.

Good luck!

Clef

PS- One more. Listen to yourself. Creative minds generate new things (for want of a better word) all the time, lots of times it is on the back burner where you ignore it, or forget it. Don't do that! Honor your creative self. Write down your ideas, or have a little recording device so you can sing them, wherever you go. Whatever delights you, offer your thanks for it. Who knows where these things come from; it is a great mystery. Mark Twain wrote about it in his "Autobiography;" Robert Heinlein wrote about it in his last book. The skills you learn to give voice to this inner font are your offering. The greater the skill you can offer, the more fully the creative faculty can manifest itself.

In an important way, we are our own audience.


Clef


Moderated by  Ken Knapp 

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