Lessons in Order
2: Practicing Songwriting
Lessons by Topic
Lesson 2: Practicing SongwritingThis lesson offers a plan for growing your songwriting/composing skills (no actual "music theory" in this one).
Songwriters seem to use two basic approaches to growing their skills:
In an intuitive approach, you just write what "comes naturally". You don't analyze music or do "exercises". Most composers (myself included) probably started this way, and plenty of composers use only this approach.
If you're happy with an intuitive approach, that's great. But if:
In an analytical approach, you study why good music sounds good (which is just what "music theory" is). And you can combine theory with a structured practice plan which helps you actually use the theory when you write.
A Structured Practice Plan
Your own personal practice plan can take many forms. Here's an example you can use as-is or for inspiration:
Divide your practice time among these 3 major activities:
To grow your writing skills, you have to write (of course).
This means, study good music and figure out why it sounds good, how it's using music theory concepts, "how it works". This is what these Pop Music Theory lessons are all about.
Finally, to connect analyzing and writing, do "writing exercises" to practice actually using the theory concepts you learn. These lessons suggest some exercises, but you can also invent your own.
The "real theory" starts with Lesson 3: Pitch Names.