Writing the Lyrics

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Below are the top discussions from Reddit that mention this online Coursera course from Berklee College of Music.

Offered by Berklee College of Music. There’s a songwriter lurking somewhere inside you, peeking around corners, wondering if it’s safe to ... Enroll for free.

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Taught by
Pat Pattison
and 7 more instructors

Offered by
Berklee College of Music

Reddit Posts and Comments

1 posts • 80 mentions • top 48 shown below

r/edmproduction • post
71 points • DJVeaux
Some Tactics on How I've Found Vocalists for Tracks Over the Years


Berklee Coursera Songwriting Course:

A handful of tactics that have worked for me in the past for getting vocals on my tracks. Here's a summary of the 6 tips:

  1. Go to YouTube/Soundcloud music channels, find less well-known artists whose tracks have vocalists, and shoot said vocalists an email. Be prepared to send a lot of emails.

  2. Craigslist. Sketchiest, but another method I used with some success. Ask for vocal samples BEFORE collaborating.

  3. Make producer friends, then steal their vocalists.

  4. Learn lyric writing, write the vocal part to your song, then get a YouTube cover singer to sing it. Great tactic if you made a vocal part, but want someone with a certain timbre to sing it. See the Coursera course listed above for a good introduction into lyric writing.

  5. Learn how to sing. 100% sure way to get a vocalist everytime. Get a vocal instructor for a few months, have them show you the proper techniques, then eventually you get good enough to start singing (with modest amounts of autotune).

  6. Vocode yourself. Hands down the surefire way I got vocals before I took singing lessons.

Let me know if I missed any!

r/makinghiphop • comment
31 points • unclesharky

Doing anything everyday is going to make you better at it. Do SOMETHING everyday - even if 16 bars becomes too much. One couplet will make you better today.

Writing every day will help with writer's block but also consider creating a work method. You can make up your own, but that might take years. Steal someone else's and modify.

For example, look at writings by pat pattison. Here's an example course:

and he has a book called "write better lyrics" or something like that.

He focuses a lot on structure, rhyme (even how consonants contribute to rhyme), and a repeatable method for finding the right words to use. The examples won't be specifically rap (that doesn't seem to be his background) but he often mentions that the same principles apply to rap.

r/songaweek • post
14 points • Monecho
If you (like me) struggle with lyric writing, Pat Pattison, Berkelee's writing professor, has a free course on Coursera starting today!
r/Guitar • post
13 points • HumbleTH
[Question] Is there anything like Berklee's Songwriting course based on guitar?

I'm talking about this course. I'm currently just on lesson 2, but it teaches you how to take apart songs and analyse lyrics. Is there anything similar for guitar riffs?

r/Songwriters • comment
6 points • Auntie_Beeb

"Writing Better Lyrics" by Pat Pattison dives quite deep into the subject.
The author also conducts an online Berklee College of Music course through Coursera: Songwriting: Writing the Lyrics

r/SongwritingPrompts • comment
3 points • explorer-jo

Not trying out of fear of not being great will kill you before you even start. Go write some crap songs! I’ve never delved too deep into mixing, just tweaking what I recorded to sound ok.

Pay attention to the cover songs you’re playing. Analyze them and see what you like about them. How do the vocal melodies play against the chords? How do the instruments compliment each other without getting in each other’s way? When is the time to have lots of busy parts and when is the time to keep it simple?

Something else that helped me in overall songwriting was trying to fill in as many of the parts as possible. I play guitar and bass, can fake my way through some simple piano stuff and use the drummer that came with my software. Even if I only have 30 seconds of an idea, I’ll try to have all the parts worked out. Rather than just a single guitar and vocals, I’ll have multiple guitars, drums, bass and maybe keys. It forces you to have a little more big picture view when you try to imagine how all the pieces will fit together.

Here’s a free songwriting course I took years ago. Pat was John Mayer’s teacher at Berklee and John has a lot of good things to say about Pat. I didn’t love everything he talked about and some of it didn’t really apply to me, but he definitely made me think in ways I hadn’t before. Again, it is a free course from one of the premier music colleges in the US. What do you have to lose?

r/Songwriters • comment
6 points • Fmaj7sus2

Pat Pattison, songwriting professor at Berklee, says that rhymes are a roadmap for the ears. Much like stops in lines (like so) in poetry and writing tell your eyes when to pause, rhymes tell your ears when to pause in music.

Pattison writes a great book about rhyming (and I encourage everyone to check out his other books):

Also, something that REALLY helped me get to grips with songwriting is his Coursera course:

That said, remember that songwriting comes from the heart and soul - music comes from passion, not theory.

r/SongwritingPrompts • comment
2 points • frenchst

I took this class a couple years ago and it was great. Next session, coincidentally, starts today.

r/Songwriters • comment
2 points • HellhoundsOnMyTrail

Sure, I wouldn't mind that. But let me suggest a couple other things too:

A new, free (if you don't want the certificate) session of Pat's class just started. I've gone through it twice and it's definitely worth it:

Along with that class is access to a Facebook group of really smart writers that would be glad to critique anything you have. And I definitely recommend that group. There's some spam but when you need good insightful feedback it's there.

r/WeAreTheMusicMakers • comment
2 points • stray_letters

You can try the free Coursera songwriting course.
He talks about creating structures that might help form the ideas you are having into something you can use.

r/Songwriting • comment
2 points • Altruistic_Ad_8847

This is a really good one from Berklee College of Music and as I see they do it for free still. It's the best beginning. This man is a genius and he also has good books on songwriting. Good luck.

r/SongwritingPrompts • comment
5 points • TotallyRandomMan

One exercise which is fantastic is object writing. Take a random object, either something in the room or something you come up with, and spend ten minutes writing about it using the seven senses (yes, not five.. seven, for this purpose): sight, sound, touch, taste, smell, organic (awareness of bodily functions.. heartbeat, pulse, muscle tension, stomach, etc.), and kinesthetic (awareness of motion in relation to the world around you.. falling, speed, balance, etc). Do it without overthinking, and do it every day.

This doesn't focus on songwriting specifically.. structure and rhythm of song is another matter altogether.. but doing this exercise goes a long way towards developing an intuitive connection between your thoughts and vivid, dynamic, moving words. There's even a website, that comes up with a daily prompt to write about, and explains the process above, possibly better than I just did.


This Coursera course is where I learned about this, and many other helpful, inspiring insights. It's worth checking out, and is free, I believe.

r/EnglishLearning • comment
3 points • Pelusteriano

To expand on this, when taking an online course on songwriting, a the sections was about rhymes and in a video they explained the concept of "phonetic relationships/groupings". I feel like talking here about a particular group will come in handy. We have:

  • plosives - voiceless: p, t, k (Pete, Tyler, Kyle)
  • plosives - voiced: b, d, g (Beth, Dean, Gwen)

Both sounds are made by releasing a burst of air and engaging your lips. The difference between them is that you don't engage your vocal chords when making the p sound but you do engage them when making the b sound. Voiceless plosives will always have a greater burst than the voiced plosives.


r/Songwriting • comment
1 points • thebraininajar

For what it's worth I'm going to let you into how I write a lot of my first drafts of my lyrics:

I get drunk and write anything that comes to mind.

The crap to gold ratio skews to the former but there's more potential in what I write there than what I write when I'm less...lubricated. If there was a consistent way I could get the raw ideas down, I'd spare my liver. I've even tried philosopher/educator Edward De Bono's Six Thinking Hats method.

Oh, and you might want to check this free course out:

r/Songwriting • comment
1 points • guerres

I’ve found Pat Pattinson’s Songwriting course on Coursera ( extremely helpful, also his book Writing Better Lyrics. They won’t tell you what to write or try to force your lyric writing in one direction or another, but rather give you a bunch of tools and exercises you can practice and make use of as you see fit.

r/Songwriting • comment
1 points • Trjredjoker

Not a full degree but I've taken courses in songwriting. I thought it helped me tremendously as it pointed out things that I hadn't thought of before. Different methods of creating that tension and release.

Here's an online one from Berklee:

r/WeAreTheMusicMakers • comment
5 points • HashPram

For gear start here. For an introduction to music production try this Coursera course

For more detailed answers on mics, cables, audio interfaces, speakers & stands try /r/audioengineering

As far as songwriting goes it's a mixture of lyrics and music.

For lyrics you could do worse than buy - and do the exercises in - Pat Pattison's book "Writing Better Lyrics". You'll also need to buy a rhyming dictionary - see the book for details on which one he recommends. I've used it and have zero complaints. If you don't want to spend money on a rhyming dictionary then works just fine. If you want a course then Coursera have a condensed version of his book where he talks you through what to do here

For the music side of things if you don't play an instrument you're going to struggle. So learn to play piano or guitar because those are the two instruments most songwriters use to write their music on. You'll need some music theory as well - check the sidebar on /r/musictheory for recommendations. I'd also recommend "Chord Progressions for Songwriters" by Richard Scott which is a slightly more practical book than the majority of theory textbooks.

Bear in mind that most people writing songs have been playing some kind of instrument for years & learned how to write by just listening to a lot of music and picking it up as they went along. So hang onto your dream because you've got a long, long road ahead of you.

r/bluesguitarist • comment
1 points • BeNiceMudd

Do you have anyone to jam with? I was at my best when I was regularly playing with other people. Its been many years since I've played with other human beings and I have noticed a severe drop off in my improvisation. There's also many online resources to address the songwriting/general music knowledge thing. Maybe something like this

Good Luck!

r/WeAreTheMusicMakers • comment
1 points • alphadeltagames

This course is good for thinking about lyrics. You can watch the content for free if you do the 'audit course content' option, if you're not looking to earn a certificate.

r/MusicInTheMaking • comment
1 points • Knute5

There was a free Berklee College course that did a really good job laying out the basics of songwriting/lyric writing. Definitely worth it.

r/Songwriting • comment
1 points • sliverkitsune

r/Songwriters • comment
1 points • bwqmusic

Hey - Pat Pattison has some great resources on lyric and songwriting. A commonly recommended book is "Writing Better Lyrics."

He also has a video series on Coursera:

The idea is to find a theme, or decide what you want to write about, and then to explore that idea first broadly, and then more specifically. Basically, your lyrics "need to" (they really don't, you can do whatever the hell you want) develop in its depth, detail, and clarity with each stanza/chorus.

But the process of writing lyrics is different for everyone. It may work for you to free write and use random word associations to get yourself started - find a line or a set of words that speaks to you in some way. It's okay if you don't know what you're writing about, honestly, as long as you're expressing that itch.

You can analyze your own lyrics, find out what kind of theme you're working with, and then develop the lyrics into something more cogent during your editing process (you should be editing your songs - that is a firm belief of mine).

As far as the music part goes, trust your ear and trust the melody to develop the song as you want it. Be as intentional in picking notes as you are in picking words.

Hope this helps.

r/suggestmeabook • comment
1 points • divbyzero_

The Craft of Lyric Writing by Sheila Davis is very good.

I'd also highly recommend the free online songwriting course on Coursera taught by Pat Pattison of the Berklee College of Music. He also has a book on the topic called Writing Better Lyrics but I haven't read that one yet.

r/WeAreTheMusicMakers • comment
1 points • MiddTech

r/Songwriting • comment
3 points • unidentifier

He has a free course on Coursera:

I would also take poetry courses. There's a bunch on Coursera, EdX etc.

r/musicproduction • comment
1 points • MyCleverNewName

This helped me a lot. You can access all the material immediately for free. The paid version, and scheduled start are just for the extras you can get from it. (certificate of completion and peer reviewed assignments) I just did the free version and ended up watching it all a couple times to squeeze everything I could from it.

r/WeAreTheMusicMakers • comment
1 points • boombapdame

Was u/AppleIncTechSupport it Songwriting: Writing The Lyrics

r/WeAreTheMusicMakers • comment
1 points • GREHmusic

If you haven’t, check out this course it’s free from Berkelee and super helpful.

r/WeAreTheMusicMakers • comment
2 points • amrh




Pick a memory. Spend like half an hour writing every sensation from that memory. What colors were there? What did it smell like? How did the air feel? Was there music? Be as specific as you can possibly be. Write in prose or bullets or whatever you want.

Eventually you'll have a sentence on paper and say "oh damn that's good" and then you can start trying to turn it into lyrics. But not until you've really thought about the senses and are ready to show a scene, not just tell us about it.

And don't rhyme just to rhyme, rhyme cuz your words need to rhyme. If you wanna invest some time in learning the mechanics of lyrics and how rhymes and rhythms can complement your message, I highly suggest the free Berklee course from Pat Pattison:

r/Songwriting • comment
2 points • mrplate

Also, more specifically, the "cider/whiter" rhyme is what Pat Pattison would call a "family rhyme". The "d" and "t" sounds are both plosives, so they're both in the same "family" (similar to "b", "g", "p", and "k" sounds) and sound relatively similar. The "t" almost sounds like an unvoiced "d", which doesn't hurt the similarity!

If you want to dig more into this, SongChops has a decent article. Pat has a good Coursera course which is usually free...but I can't seem to link the full video, sorry.

r/countrymusicians • post
2 points • calibuildr
Berklee Coursera "Writing The Lyrics" course with Pat Pattison

I've been following loosely the Songwriting: Writing The Lyrics course on Coursera- it's one of the many Berkelee College Of Music courses on Coursera. I'm just doing it as an "audit" and listening to the videos but not doing all the assignments, and it's still been useful.

Pat Pattison has a well-known book called Writing Better Lyics, and there are a few videos of his various workshops on youtube. I've noticed that his insights into songwriting have made it into a lot of other songwriting teachers' methods and a lot of other books.

The Berklee videos cover some of the same territory as the book but of course he does some singing/clapping/working against a backing track to make many of his points, and that's something you can't get from just reading the book if you're a beginner at this stuff.

r/TimeManagement • comment
1 points • besucherke

It is free if you don't do the assignments and don't want a printed paper. Check it out:

I have to add, I had already went through the Song Writing course here by Pat Patison, and it was absolutely game changing for me:

r/WeAreTheMusicMakers • comment
1 points • 2nuts1penis

Check out this course:

I think you can access most or all for free. I got some really, really useful tips on writing lyrics and using rhyme schemes.

r/Songwriting • comment
1 points • hajime2x

hey there! thank you so much! I haven't. Is this the one you're referring to or something else too:

r/WeAreTheMusicMakers • comment
1 points • ending-ending

Coursera has a free Berklee Lyric Writing course. I did some of it, it was excellent. I think it's still free -- check it out If it's still free, DO IT. It's a legit course and I learned a lot about the art of writing lyrics and how line length, rhyme etc can enhance your message, and the impact it has on listeners

r/AskReddit • comment
1 points • arisoncain

I've had a lot of success with Skillshare and YouTube tutorials when I'm looking for specific techniques.

It depends quite a bit on what your current theory knowledge is. Coursera has a free basic Music Theory class. I haven't taken this one but I have taken the Songwriting class by Pat Pattison and it was great. Even if you are familiar with the basics, it's really helpful to brush up on some of this stuff.

Honestly, I've found with piano specifically that a great teacher or even a knowledgeable friend who is willing to spend an hour or two answering your questions is invaluable. Having that person sitting with you and explaining things in a hands-on way is especially helpful for piano.

If you know someone who is knowledgeable in theory, I would reach out and offer to pay them for a lesson. You can probably get more out of one $20 lesson than you realize. I would just stress that you should get someone who you are comfortable with so you won't be afraid to speak up when you have questions.

r/Songwriting • comment
1 points • jacobtheavenger

Also, Pat has a Coursera course which I found extremely comprehensive. He starts you off on easy mode and grows upon that. I actually came away from the class wanting to develop a few of the songs from the assignments.

r/Songwriters • comment
1 points • starshipmachine

It sounds like you'd get a lot out of Pat Pattison's work - he has a bunch of books (buy Writing Better Lyrics), but the thing you should do right now is his free Coursera course. it covers all of the things you asked about.


map out the story of your song - not necessarily the content of each verse / chorus, but even higher level. I don't always do this before I start a song, but it's a great tool to come back to when I'm at the sticking point you mention and I take a step back and think "what is this song about? what am I trying to say? to whom?".

r/Songwriting • comment
1 points • Team_Steve

Listening to your favorite bands and really paying attention to how they structure their lyrics is a good start. Listen to how they rhyme, how they phrase their ideas and style of metaphors they are using.

If you jump on you tube there are a whole heap of videos if you search "How to write Lyrics" or something like that.

If your looking for something a bit more in depth, Pat Pattison had a few book, most noticeably "Writing better lyrics" and I'd highly recommend it. There is a course he has on Coursera which if you sign up, you can watch all the videos for free. you need to pay to actually do the course work but the videos are pretty good and will help heaps.

Hope this is helpful, but remember, without melody and/or rhythm it's poetry. So when you get to looking for feedback, you wont get much from it unless you can present your ideas with melody and/or rhythm. For example; If I say "Words cannot express my feelings for you" sounds like a love song right? If you were to say that with a more staccato rhythm in a minor key it could mean the exact opposite.

Enjoy your songwriting adventure. Regardless of where it takes you, its an incredibly rewarding journey.


r/musictheory • comment
1 points • Icommentor

I've taken a version of this course years ago:

It's changed ... Everything really. Even though it's mostly about lyrics, it's provided me with a ton of structure regarding the overall feel and progression of songs. When I work on a song, I'm much better at figuring out the weaknesses and how to address them. I have a much clearer idea of where I want to take the music and the words, making the whole process a lot less trial-and-error.

It's also made me a lot more perceptive of songwriting subtleties when I listen to music, and this continually enriches my own bag of tricks.

r/musictheory • comment
1 points • Mkid73

You can do a Pat Pattison course on Coursera,


Edit, Ah this is what you're talking about not the Actual Berklee college courses, ignore me

r/WeAreTheMusicMakers • comment
1 points • Monkeygonetoheaven5
r/MusicInTheMaking • comment
1 points • CaliBrewed

Very good instrumental production. The best thing you can do right now is just finish a lot of songs lyrically and like D said learn some covers. Once you've got some under your belt,and you're ready.... take this class. . Taught by Pat Patterson of Berklee college it's everything a professional lyricist needs to consider.

r/Songwriting • comment
1 points • president_josh

Thanks for pointing that out. I assumed that you took this 6-week "Writing the Lyrics" course taught by Pat that you can audit for free. Reddit mention here.

If there's a "Writing the Music" course I'll look for that and the discussions about chords. John Mayer physically attended Berklee and said he learned a lot. Attending in person is probably different from auditing courses over the Internet.

You might try the Chordpulse desktop program which lets you play with chords in real time as the music loops. You can even write a song on it because you can create separate pages that represent song sections - then export the MIDI to a DAW. It comes loaded with chord progressions and musical styles played by percussion, bass and keyboard/guitar.

r/SongwritingPrompts • comment
1 points • Budget-Athlete-7002

Two classes, one free and one cheap.

Free: by Pat Pattison

Not free (put it in your cart until the price goes down to like 9.99 but worth it):[email protected]_mywkaVFADPtbE7_XZUHJDRf167prNqLhrptCiC37iX8Kpgw/ The Basics of Pro Songwriting by Tom Worth

r/SongwritingPrompts • comment
1 points • palames

As J_lennox10 commented, write more. Accept that you'll write a lot of garbage and that it's a necessary part of finding the gems. I think it was Berklee's Pat Pattison who said, "Don't be afraid to write crap--it makes the best fertilizer." In fact, his lyrics class on Coursera might be helpful:

Along the same lines, a recent episode of the Song Exploder podcast had Jewel comparing songwriting to mining: alone in the hole, digging away. You have to go through a lot of dirt to get to the gold. (

r/WeAreTheMusicMakers • comment
1 points • stitcherydoo

I guess you're right on that, I hadn't read the website in a while and I only skimmed it when I did.

"A trademark application must specify the proper "basis" for filing, most likely either a current use of the mark in commerce or an intent to use the mark in commerce in the future." (from:

I guess I'd just be wary of jumping into register too early, before you have proof of the 'intent to use in the future', because if you apply and they reject the application, you've lost money on that. Idk where you are in your process, but just keep that in mind.

The first video, "Basic Facts 01" is a good video that goes over the basics. He discusses trademark selection challenges & how to search the database to ensure your mark isn't already registered at around the 15 min mark. He also discusses what to look for and ask when hiring an attorney to file a trademark application for you toward the end, around 30 mins in, and I'd check that out if you're really interested to make sure you've covered your bases with your lawyer friend who's offered to do this.

However, I still wouldn't really worry about it until you're really promoting your music and getting out there (like on radio/larger venues, at least regional tours, or when you start needing sponsors and stuff). The likelihood of someone 'stealing' your name is very low right now, and will probably remain so for a while. I'd make a goal of 'play x amount of gigs' or 'get over x number of facebook/social media followers' or 'sell x number of tshirts/merch' or 'sell out a venue of x number of people' or 'play on the radio' or 'get x number of streams' before I would put money toward reserving a trademark.

Now for the domain:

It sounds like the domain you want is already registered by a reseller or squatter. I would not recommend paying that amount for a domain at this time.. maybe if your band hits it big, but even then you could use "", "", "", or any number of variations that are available. Same goes for your social tags, which it sounds like you've done. Your fans will figure it out.. they're probably using links to find you anyway. When you're ready for it, you'll be able to sort out the SEO later.

To check if a name is available, go to your computer terminal/console and type "whois mydomain.tld" (see: here). You want the query to return "no match for domain" (see: here), which means it's available to register. If it returns with a bunch of registration info, check the status. If it says "Active", keep searching & trying variations in the terminal until you get one that is available. If you see something like 'pendingdelete' or 'redemptionperiod', that means the domain may expire from it's current registration and become available, and you may want to research dropcatching the name to get it... but that's a whole 'nother post (I had to do this.. it was a pain and a half!). If it's simply marked 'ok' or 'transferprohibited', that means it's already registered by someone else (or a squatter/reseller) and is in good standing, so they probably won't just let it expire, and you probably won't get a chance to scoop it up later, so I'd move on. It's not that important to have the perfect domain... most people aren't looking for you on a website anyway, and if they are, they're finding you via a link.


I get that it's hard to find stuff to do while waiting on recording, especially during this time when gigs are so limited. If you want to be ready to hit the ground running, I think the better use of your time is to start learning about SEO and how to promote yourself, and make a bandcamp page for free so your stuff can go straight on there when it's ready. Also, look into distribution stuff (like how distrokid works & how to get your stuff on streaming platforms/where/how you want to promote your music). There's tons of resources on here for that. Find fb/social media groups for musicians in your area or genre and start networking that way if you can't go out and see people/play. They'll be your first resource for promoting your album when it's finished.

Maybe work on some visual art to use for album covers, t-shirts/merch, or social/website designs, or work on a logo if you need a break from practicing or producing on your own (or reach out to other artists who could create this with you if you don't want to create it yourself.) When I get burned out playing, it's helpful to look into ways to express my band's identity through other mediums, so I stay semi-productive, and maybe learn more about what I want my band to be and stand for.

And there's nothing wrong with just practicing like a maniac and working up your skills. Maybe try a new style or genre that you're not already great with, which could lead to new songs. I took a free Berkley online class through Coursera last winter, which really helped jumpstart my lyric writing, that might be a good change of pace too if you're burnt out playing and feel like you're just waiting around. It's always good to have extra songs lying around for future albums.

Hope that helps!

r/WeAreTheMusicMakers • comment
1 points • iamlovingawareness7

Hey friend, I found these resources you might find helpful. It is a copy/paste of a post I made recently. Enjoy!


I wanted to share these awesome resources with my fellow music producers. I am not affiliated to them in any way. I am just interested in learning for free online and I scrolled through this list and it is just so so great.

One of the best educational resource is lists is free online Berklee College of Music courses.

I am taking The Art of Music Production for completely free (just have to unsubscribe before the trial period ends) and it is an awesome course! The videos are straightforward and very informative. You can also download everything which is also good since the trial period is short and I intend on taking the entire course (without rushing).

There are also a well-rated Songwriting course. And a well-rated Art of Vocal Production course.

I also wanted to include this free pdf textbook on mixing which is rated very well. A blogger said it was the best book on mixing he read. Virus-free, checked on virus total.

I hope you guys find these resources helpful! God bless on your music-journey.