Master the theory and arrangement framework behind producing unique and memorable electronic music
What if you could take your unfinished ideas and transform them into fully-finished songs, ready for release?
What if you could write impressive chord progressions & melodies, then arrange them in a way that takes your listener on a journey and leaves them wanting more?
What if you could start each new project feeling confident, motivated, and optimistic?
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Do you want to make music that connects with people?
Music that fans want to share with each other?
Music that impresses your friends and family—who, instead of talking over your demos—ask to hear more of your music?
If you’re reading this, your answer is likely a resounding “YES.”
You want to make music that sounds professional, that engages the listener, and has other people taking you seriously.
So what’s the problem?
If you’re like most electronic music producers… you never get to this point.
Most of the time, you find it hard to even finish music because you get stuck in the songwriting process. When you do finish songs, they tend not to get many streams or gain you new followers because they just don’t connect with anyone.
- But what about all that time you’ve spent learning how to program drums?
- What about all those sound design tutorials you’ve watched on YouTube?
- What about all the money you’ve spent on plugins to get a better mixdown?
All good things.
But they are not the things that are going to make your music memorable, understandable, and catchy.
And this leads us to the core problem that most 21st century electronic music producers face:
You know how to finish a “track”, but you don’t know how to finish a song.
You don’t know how to write and and produce a song that:
- Connects with the listener and invokes an emotion (or several emotions)
- Reminds your listener of something (a past relationship, the last vacation they had, summer, or some other event or person…)
- Makes your listener want to share it with friends so they can take credit for finding something everyone will enjoy.
It's a songwriter's game in 2019
What do popular artists like KSHMR, Illenium, and San Holo have in common?
It’s not just that they have incredible sound design and producing skills…
They’re good at songwriting.
That’s a big part of the reason why these artists are popular.
They’ve got huge followings because their music appeals to a crowd that both likes electronic music, but also want to hear songs that:
- tell a story…
- have meaning…
- and make them feel an emotional connection…
Now, guess which type of music does best on Spotify?
That’s right, well-written music.
Here’s the thing…
People don’t add music to their library or playlists because they see the song title and think, “Wow, that song has a cool name. Better add it!”
They add music to their library because there’s a moment in the song that excites them. It makes them feel something.
Maybe it’s the vocal hook. Maybe it’s the chord progression. Most often, it’s the melody.
Which begs the question: how do you create this type of music?
How do you write and produce songs that get listened to again and again?
The answer: songwriting.
Songwriting has always been important, but it’s even more important now with the rise of Spotify, Apple Music, and other streaming platforms.
Music consumers expect to hear a well-written song. If they don’t, they’ll skip to the next one.
- In 2010 you could get away with just making a heavy-hitting dubstep track that relied mostly on sound design and neglected chords and melodies.
- In 2013 you could make a big room banger that sounded HUGE at festivals but didn’t have much in the way of melodies and chord progressions.
- But now? In 2019? This doesn’t work well for the producer who wants to grow their fanbase, get their stream count up, and build a career that has longevity.
What is songwriting?
If you’ve got this far and still have questions about how important songwriting is, then I can’t help you.
But if you’ve nodded your head in agreement—you know it’s important—but you’re wondering what on earth I mean by “songwriting” …let me explain…
Songwriting is everything.
- How you structure your song for maximum tension and energy…
- How you engage the listener and maintain their interest throughout the song…
- How you write chords and melodies…
- How different sections of your song flow into each other…
- How you use certain notes, chords, or techniques to invoke an emotional response in the listener…
…and much more.
Look at the above list and ask yourself: why wouldn’t I want to get better at songwriting?
I want you to do that, because the unfortunate thing is that while songwriting is more important than ever, most electronic music producers are not good at it.
Some get lucky and write a good song through pure trial and error, accident, or countless hours of inefficient time investment.
But most do not get lucky. They can’t write good songs because they have no idea how to write good songs.
5 differences between producers who know songwriting and those who don't
THOSE WHO DO: Look forward to opening up a new project because they have the knowledge and skillset to effortlessly create new ideas.
— VS —
THOSE WHO DON’T: Avoid starting new tracks because they struggle to create ideas. They spend hours on YouTube and tutorial sites, avoiding actually writing music.
THOSE WHO DO: Confident and comfortable in collaboration sessions with artists and vocalists.
— VS —
THOSE WHO DON’T: Worry about coming up with ideas and looking like a fraud during collaboration sessions.
THOSE WHO DO: Know there are no shortcuts in making a career in music. They invest the time and energy necessary to develop and perfect their craft.
— VS —
THOSE WHO DON’T: Look for the easy way out at every opportunity. They only pour their energy into short wins, rather than long term sustainability. These producers don’t care about a career in music.
THOSE WHO DO: Have both the songwriting and the production knowledge necessary to create a full, professional track. Finishing projects isn’t just a game of chance to them.
— VS —
THOSE WHO DON’T: May have a lot of technical knowledge but barely any songwriting knowledge. They feel as if they don’t have the music to show for how “good” they are at production.
THOSE WHO DO: Have the confidence to call themselves a musician. They have the theory and production knowledge necessary to create a full & exciting song.
— VS —
THOSE WHO DON’T: Struggle to call themselves musicians. They have critical gaps in their musical knowledge that is holding back their ability to write and produce great music.
Go from "average" to "great" producer by developing practical songwriting skills—and make music that gets played again and again.
What you’ll learn in Songwriting for Producers:
- A quick crash course that will teach you all you need to know about basic music theory—without boring you to death
- The easy approach to create more interesting chords (even if you’re a theory newbie)
- A reliable framework for quickly building strong chord progressions that can carry your track through to the end
- How to get unstuck in your chord progression when you don’t know where to go next—without needing to consult Google all the time
- Why you should use unique chord types like slash chords and seventh chords—and when to use them
- Using “harmonic rhythm” to add variety and interest to your chord progressions
- The proven framework for writing great melodies consistently (even if you think you can’t)
- The quantity approach to writing great melodies (I wish I’d learned this earlier)
- How to write chords underneath a melody so you don’t get stuck with a simple idea (but can instead turn it into a full song)
- Why you struggle with arrangement (and how to fix it)
- Three arrangement workflows that take the guesswork out of producing
- Pre-chorus writing techniques—how to build massive tension going into the chorus or drop
- 12 genre-specific breakdowns to take everything you’ve learned and see it in action
Who is this course for?
Songwriting For Producers is for you if:
Songwriting For Producers is NOT for you if:
Here's what you get inside Songwriting For Producers:
The Full 4-Module Course
Module 1: Theory Basics
Module 2: Chords & Chord Progressions
- Diatonic Triad13:59
- Building a Chord Progression07:32
- Functional Harmony in a Major Key11:58
- Functional Harmony in a Minor Key08:07
- Chord Inversions16:14
- Open/Closed Voicing06:24
- Pushes, Pulls, and Repetition08:28
- Using Silence in Chord Progressions05:48
- The Power of Harmonic Rhythm03:19
- Common Tones & How to Leverage Them11:44
- Implied Chords: What, How, Why?07:59
- Chord Progression Walkthrough08:01
- Seventh Chords11:49
- Applying & Using Seventh Chords17:22
- Why, When, and How to Use Chord Extensions14:33
- Suspended Chords12:15
- Augmented Chords09:10
- Slash Chords09:35
- Slash Chords (Continued)07:43
- Added Tones Chords06:42
- Section Overview & Understanding Modes08:25
- Passing Chords: What, How, Why and When?03:15
- Why They Do (and Don’t) Matter02:43
- The “Pop” Borrow04:41
- Picardy Thirds08:12
- Secondary Dominants10:42
- Chromatic Movement & Tritone Substitution10:24
- Extended Progressions16:21
- Extended Progression Examples13:50
- Tonic Substitution07:55
- Harmonic Minor10:18
Module 3: Melody Writing Mastery
- Section Overview01:52
- Chord tones & Non-Chord Tones13:09
- The Core Elements of a Catchy & Memorable Melody18:49
- How to Get Good at Writing Melodies03:26
- Melody Writing Examples23:17
- Putting Chords to a Melody14:13
- Understanding and Using Tonal Center11:29
- Rhythm-First Technique06:45
- Call & Response09:07
- Extending a Melodic Phrase12:54
- The Importance of Note Length03:56
- Borrowing From Existing Melodies12:39
- The Quantity Approach to Writing Good Melodies03:56
- The Importance of Focus04:34
- Melody Deconstruction #1: LSD – Audio12:19
- Melody Deconstruction #2: NVDES – D.Y.T14:43
- Melody Deconstruction #3: Branchez x What So Not – High You Are06:57
- Melody Deconstruction #4: Madeon & Porter Robinson – Shelter16:00
- Melody Deconstruction #5: San Holo – One Thing12:03
- Workshop: Fixing Common Melody Mistakes21:21
- Workshop: Mastering Counter Melodies27:33
Module 4: Structure & Arrangement
- Why do you struggle with arrangement?02:19
- Classic Song Structure03:36
- Song Form & Meaningful Distinction04:49
- Using Reference Tracks like a Pro13:41
- Rearranging Existing Content14:41
- How to Escape the Loop Trap04:26
- Theory Perspective11:20
- Arrangement Pitfalls05:21
- Story Perspective02:03
- Rephrasing – Presentation (Part 1)12:37
- Rephrasing – Presentation (Part 2)13:10
- Rephrasing – Instrumentation06:05
- Rephrasing – Main Takeaways + Examples10:19
- How to Switch Chord Progressions10:07
- Tension & Release02:34
- Arrangement Walkthrough29:07
- Three Clever Arrangement Workflows05:02
- Arrangement Feedback01:25
- Responding to the Arrangement01:54
- Pre-Chorus Writing Techniques21:47
- Post-Chorus Writing Techniques11:20
- Bridge Writing Techniques13:26
- Which Keys Should You Write in?03:12
- Changing Keys01:31
- Modes – Part 1: Intro02:36
- Modes – Part 2: Practical Theory10:25
- Modes – Part 3: How to Write With Them09:37
- Modes – Part 4: Walkthrough12:35
12 Genre-Specific Breakdowns
Illenium - Fractures Flume - Say It
Tchami - Promises Zeds Dead & Oliver Heldens - You Know
Skrillex & Poo Bear - Would You Ever Madeon - Imperium
Sam Feldt - Show Me Love (EDX Remix) Disclosure - Willing & Able
The Chainsmokers - Side Effects Calvin Harris - Slide
Zedd - Clarity (feat. Foxes) Deadmau5 - Pets
Virtual Riot - Show Up ft. Virus Syndicate Flight Facilities - Crave you feat. Giselle
Kygo - Stole The Show Matoma & Becky Hill - False Alarm
Jeremih - oui Sam Gellaitry - Shake
Alina Baraz & Galimatias - Fantasy ODESZA - Say My Name (feat. Zyra)
Lane 8 - Little By Little Yotto - Cooper's Cup
Alpha 9 - All We Need/The Night is Ours Seven Lions & Jason Ross - Higher Love
To help you understand all the concepts and put them into practice, we’ve created a 100+ page guidebook that will aid you as you watch the video content and also serve as a reference when you’re working on your own music after taking the course (instead of having to go back and find a specific point in a specific video when you need to jog your memory on something)
SFP Homework Package
The best way to learn is by taking action, which is why we’ve added in a homework/assignment package to get you to apply what you’re learning in each module. You’ll get a bunch of exercises to work through in your DAW (with answers included so you can test yourself and see how well you’re doing)
Ready to get started?
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All EDMProd courses in one (at a massive discount)
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Try Songwriting For Producers 100% Risk Free
Most theory and songwriting courses are not practical, which is why we spent months researching and developing this course to encourage real skill development and progress.
For that reason, we’re confident that it will help you become a better producer and artist.
But what if it doesn’t?
Let’s say you go through the course and don’t find it helpful. Maybe it didn’t make sense. Maybe it was too basic for you. Maybe you just didn’t like my voice.
If it’s not a good fit for you, for whatever reason, all you need to do is email me and I’ll give you a full refund (within 30 days of purchase).
There’s no risk for you. Plenty of upside.
About the author
I’m the product manager and lead course developer at EDMProd.
My original productions have gained over 3 million streams Spotify and YouTube, with features by Billboard and Earmilk.
My track breakdown articles have been read by over 60,000 producers and featured on Vox and Heroic Academy.
I’ve released 4 Beatport Sounds #1 sample packs.
As a songwriter, I’ve placed vocals with artists such as Nora en Pure (Spinning, Enormous Tunes), Kura (Spinnin’), and Going Deeper (Armada, Hexagon).
“Connor has really helped me with the bigger picture. The value of mentorship on this level can’t be recommended highly enough. The knowledge and wealth of real world experience and secondly how to apply it has been invaluable to me.”
— GAVIN KNOX-GRANT
Songwriting For Producers is a comprehensive course. With the genre-specific breakdowns included, it’s over 20 hours long. It will take you some time to get through everything, but there’s no rush. The course is completely self-paced, so you can stop & start however you like. No deadlines. No pressure.
After you sign up and complete your payment, you’ll instantly get an email from our course platform with information on how to access the course. Your bonuses will arrive in a separate email within just a few minutes. You can start the course whenever you please.
EDM Foundations is ideal for the beginner to semi-intermediate producer who wants to master the fundamentals and finish some projects. Songwriting For Producers is a practical, theory-centric course that helps producers of any level develop songwriting skills to produce more unique and memorable music.
Once purchased, you’ll have instant, lifetime access to the course. This includes access to all future updates.
Great! Feel free to use the chatbox to the bottom right of the page, or email us (suppo[email protected])
Join 700+ motivated producers inside Songwriting For Producers
“Thanks to this course, I’m motivated and armed with new tools that I had overlooked for years to create music that I’m actually proud of, less reliant on gimmicks and more reliant on substance, on good songwriting.”
— ARIEL HEARTHEAT
“The easy and coherent way Connor explains complex techniques and methods is second to none. We producers tend to get too tech-nerdy sometimes but we have to agree that a perfect compressor threshold setting won’t make our tracks stand out – whereas a well crafted chord progression could.”
— IAMJURI (JULIAN)
“This course really helped me create new stuff by going through each step with comprehensive video’s on how to do this in a DAW and that really did it for me. I liked it that you can ask questions that get answered and also that it makes you realize that you need to work to progress. Also the track breakdowns on why some popular music is so popular and why their song really works opened my perspective on things.”
— MENNO MEIJER
“I’ve read books and taken other classes that came up short, but this one got it right. If you want your loops to start sounding like music, your tracks signed, and smiles on your fans’ faces, then this is place to go!”
— JUSTIN (EUPHORIC NATION)