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.

There’s a songwriter lurking somewhere inside you, peeking around corners, wondering if it’s safe to come out.

Music Music recording Poetry Songwriting

Next cohort starts July 20. Accessible for free. Completion certificates are offered.

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Taught by
Pat Pattison

Offered by
Berklee College of Music

Reddit Posts and Comments

1 posts • 69 mentions • top 46 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/WeAreTheMusicMakers • comment
4 points • Auntie_Beeb

Berklee College of Music have a free course called Songwriting: Writing the Lyrics which is very good.

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/pearljam • comment
2 points • frenchst

Try recording with a click track, it'll help with some of the spots where you unintentionally sped up or slowed down on the tempo.

Your song also builds from the verse through the chorus, and therefore has a pretty significant change in tempo at the end of your first chorus going back into your second verse which starts off slow. Try finding a way to bridge that transition.

You have a good voice! The heavy distorted microphone during the choruses and the end of the song didn't really work for me. Maybe try that without distortion and experiment with a lighter effect on that track in post-processing.

You might also be interested in the free Berklee songwriting class through coursera. I took it a few years ago, and it's great at getting you to think about the song construction (it started today and you can still register!!)

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/WeAreTheMusicMakers • comment
4 points • Auntie_Beeb

I'm surprised that WATMM seems to write off lyrics as just something you do, throw together randomly, or just keep practicing and you'll get good. Maybe so, but there is also a craft to lyric writing just as there is to writing chord progressions, melody etc.
Have a look at Pat Pattison's book Writing Better Lyrics.
The same bloke does a Berklee course on the same subject: Songwriting: Writing the Lyrics

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/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/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/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/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/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/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/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/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/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/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/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 • 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/WeAreTheMusicMakers • comment
1 points • MiddTech

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/WeAreTheMusicMakers • comment
2 points • HashPram

If your writing's too abstract you could try 'object writing' (google it). If you're after a more step-by-step approach then Pat Pattison's material on lyric writing is uniformly good:

  1. Pat Pattison "Writing Better Lyrics".
  2. Pat Pattison's free course on Coursera

OTOH abstract isn't necessarily bad - sometimes it's more about having confidence in what you've written. The lyrics to Black Hole Sun make no literal, or metaphorical sense - it's just a jumble of images loosely tied together by rhymes. It does depend quite a bit on genre though. If you're writing pop/singer-songwriter/country/folk material then the audience is expecting a story, whereas if you're writing for a rock/indie/electronica audience you don't have to stick to more traditional forms.

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/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 • Auntie_Beeb

Have you tried learning the craft?
Search your local library, or Amazon for any books by Pat Pattison.
There is this free Berklee course also - Songwriting: Writing the Lyrics

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/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/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/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/WeAreTheMusicMakers • comment
1 points • Monkeygonetoheaven5
r/Songwriters • comment
1 points • besucherke

Yes Sir! I advice to go through this -- it explains how a chorus should be: like a torch lighting in the night, being able for people to sing it together.

r/Songwriting • comment
1 points • besucherke
r/Songwriting • comment
1 points • besucherke

I've gone through this course: It really helped!

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/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 • Fmaj7sus2

I've been pursuing songwriting for a few years now and I'm about to take it as my major. These are just my opinions, but to me they're kind of the little bits of helpful advice I've sorted out from all the commercial noise.

One; if you want to write good lyrics, you should start by setting the intention to write a LOT. Ed Sheeran says it well here:

Second, there is a technical element to songwriting that can help guide your process. Pat Pattison has a course on Coursera (it's free) that helped me a lot: It's a bunch of helpful video lectures - not too long or short, with text transcripts so you can read them and refer back to them.

And lastly, I personally found it really helpful to document my songwriting process so I know how each song went from an idea to a song. I've also made a bit of a flowchart to represent my process. So learn the value of understanding your process.

I hope this helps! :) Write good songs!

r/Songwriting • comment
1 points • besucherke

The sensitivity needed for song writing is clearly there in you. You just have to know the forms better. I seriously suggest to go through this course (it's free now): -- It helped a lot to me!

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.

r/musicproduction • post
1 points • iamlovingawareness7
I found some awesome FREE Resources for bedroom producers here!!

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 Productioncourse.

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.