Songwriting Classes | Songwriting Lessons | GARNISH
Our songwriting classes take place at Alex Von Soos’ studio in Fulham, West London as it’s more geared towards songwriting lessons than our usual setup of individual workstations.
Writing a song is one of the most rewarding things a musician can do; it makes you feel happy, confident, attractive and can earn you a pile of cash too! Writing a song can be for simple personal pleasure, for a gig you are playing later that night, for an advert you’ve been asked to contribute to, a theme tune for a film, even a ringtone for a mobile phone. The opportunities are endless.
In most acts, you tend to find that there is one or maybe two songwriters, sometimes more. These people often write their song alone, and bring it along to the band in a rehearsal room or a studio for the rest of the guys to play. The songwriter does not necessarily tell the bass player what to play, or the drummer what to drum, but if the melody, chords and lyric were written by her, then generally we consider it to be her song.
Alternatively, some acts write together. This tends to occur in rehearsals, where the band jam together, eventually leading to a completed song. In these cases, each player has usually not only composed what she plays on her own instrument, but has made a contribution to the writing of the song as a whole.
And then, there are hit writers who are not members of any band. These people write songs for other artists to perform. Burt Bacharach (Aretha Franklin, Dionne Warwick etc), Cathy Dennis (Kylie Minogue, Rachel Stevens etc) are good examples of these kinds of writers.
Whatever king of hit writer you intend to be, there are some important principles that apply to you and your forthcoming career. These form the basis of the way the music industry works with compositions.
You have a great song, it’s a potential number one, and by some unlikely twist of fate it’s about to be recorded and released by the biggest star of the year. Everyone is patting you on the back and reminding you how much they’ve helped you through the years. Then it dawns on you: this is too good to be true, surely I have to give away loads of my future earnings to someone, this is the music industry after all?
Well, on most occasions you won’t have share the money you earn with the artist at all, certainly, there is no legal imperative for you to do that. This is one of the beauties of writing for a third party. They need your hit song far more than you need that particular artist to record your song. You can always take it along to someone else; you’re in the driving seat so to speak. Congratulations!
There is one major thing to be aware of though: Quite often, the artist you are writing for will object to a line you have written and change it for the recording specifically so they can take a chunk of your earnings (and credit). There are countless examples of this through the decades, there is very little we can do about it. We used to call this ‘add a word, get a third’. Much more on the business side of things in your songwriting lessons with Alex. Check out our songwriting classes in full, and let us know if you’d like to book. Don’t forget, they’re based in Alex’s West London studio!
“Great content, really useful techniques that I think have saved me years of frustration on trying to figure out why my songs were “just not there”. Love the tools you gave us on melodic rhythm to provide contrast and build, and then release into the chorus. Learnt a lot about what makes a hit commercial song and what I can do to make my songs better” Allan Cuevas
“The course was excellent. It’s like being handed a deluxe toolbox for songwriting that you will use forever. I have learnt so much about how to write quality and catchy songs. I know my songwriting practice will be changed for the better since I have done this course!” Christa Wright