Online and In-Studio Music Lessons in Dallas
Get Started Today! 888.862.7210
Songwriting Resources

Songwriting/Composition Resources

On this page you will find required materials for lessons on songwriting and composition at Promethean Studios, and various other resources for these topics as well. The resources on this page are specifically for songwriting and composition, more generic resources (music stores, recording studios, etc) are listed here. At the time this information was entered, all links worked and products listed were available. For information purposes only; we won't post resources when we know there might be any sort of problem with a product, business, or person listed but please check out the reliability, appropriateness, and reputation of any resource you plan to use.

  • These lessons: Most students who take these lessons want to learn how to write popular songs like on the radio or YouTube (Songwriting) OR to write more serious pieces, mostly instrumental, in classical, jazz, or movie score styles. However, these lesson could also include a mix of styles.
  • Songwriting. Writing popular songs. These lessons are ½ writing new songs and ½ understanding music theory. The understanding of music theory allows you to create excellent songs independent of others. Songwriting students need to quickly learn to play a chording instrument at an extremely basic level. Learning this is for you, the student, so that someone else isn't writing half of each song for you (the chord structure). You don't have to play well, just enough to make a few chords. Students who do not play a chording instrument (ex., guitar, ukulele, mandolin, piano, etc.) should begin to learn enough of one of these instruments to create very basic chords.
  • Composition and Arranging. This is writing instrumental or vocal music of a more serious nature, normally jazz, classical, or movie score oriented. Game music falls in this category. Instruction includes writing, arranging, scoring & orchestration, form & analysis, chords, chord function & analysis, ear training, music history, 16th - 20th century compositional techniques.

Jazz composition may be oriented towards either songwriting or composition.

Please have these for your Lessons

  • An instrument in fair condition - I can advise you on the suitability of specific instruments. Bring it.
  • 3 ring binder - with loose-leaf paper and pockets for holding handouts. Yes, really. Bring it.
  • Pencil - Erasable, colored pencils are best. Bring it.
  • Manuscript paper music paper, staff paper - Hover over the resources tab of Dallas Music Lessons, select Music and Tab paper and print 5 sheets of ‘medium music paper, treble clef only’, bring them to your lesson. Feel free to download any of the other types of music paper you want and your friends can, too. For assignments and written exercises. Bring it.
  • 5 GB flash drive or larger - suggestions and details below. Bring it.
  • Download Audacity – details below. Leave it home.
  • Metronome or Drum machine - suggestions and details below. Leave your metronome at home.
  • Classical students - Theoretical Foundations of Music, Duckworth and Brown, Wadsworth Publishing Co. This book isn’t needed for the first year for most students.
  • Jazz students - The Jazz Language - Dan Haerle, Warner. And this book isn’t needed for the first several months for most students.

More Details and Resources

  • Pencil - Musicians write with pencils because they make changes to their music and make frequent notations on the pages. Erasable, colored pencils are best.
  • 5 GB flash drive (or larger) - To record your lesson. Bring this to your lesson. When you begin each lesson, give your flash drive to your teacher and they'll record your lessons. Be sure and take the drive with you when you leave and listen to it in your computer the day of or the day after your lesson. This will give you a way to review the lesson and give me a way to send demonstrations of technique or songs home with you. If you'll review your lesson each week, you'll progress about 5 to 10% faster.
  • Audacity - Also, if you'd like to get a even more out of some of your own practices, go back to, this time actually click the Resources tab, go down to ‘recording and editing’ and download Audacity, a free computer-based recording program. It does many great things to help you practice; people even make professional albums with it. You can change the pitch of your song, record yourself, record yourself playing with your song, or isolate sections of songs for practice. Many good things.
  • Metronome - Leave your metronome at home, but you need it to practice. Apps for iphone – Tempo Advance is the best - $4. For Android, Tempo - $2. Standalone metronomes: Planet Waves PW-MT-02 ($15), Korg MA-1 ($20-25). Use the metronome whenever possible. It will develop your sense of rhythm and counting; equally important, it will show you where you should be practicing. If you follow the beat from the metronome in songs and exercises, the areas where you don't do well will be revealed, and you'll know where to spend extra practice time. The metronome is your drummer.
    • When you’re having trouble getting into the metronome, use a drum machine. For iphone, use Garage Band, for Android use Drummer Friend - $3. Standalone drum machine: Boss DB-60. And a little home keyboard with rhythms and metronomic markings works well, too.
    • Students who practice with metronomes or rhythm machines will also progress about 5 to 10 percent faster.
  • Harvard Brief Dictionary of Music - Recommended, but not required. Definitions for many useful musical terms are found here.

More Songwriting/Composition resources


  • Dallas Songwriters Association, Meets the second Tuesday Monthly Meetings at 6:30 PM. A past president was a former student of mine.



Music Notation Software

Music Theory

Recording and editing in addition to Audacity (see above)

If you have any questions regarding Songwriting/Composition, contact us today.

Why Choose Promethean Studios?

  • You’ll love your lessons and have a blast while you learn.

  • You can learn online, in the studio, or in a band.

  • You get to play or sing the music you love while you develop skills.

  • Your instructor is one of the nation’s top private music educators and musicians.

  • All lessons are customized to your goals, your music, your abilities, and your personality – how YOU learn.

  • Over 5000 students from around the world have taken the finest private lessons in the world right here.

  • We teach complete beginners through studio professionals so there’s never a limit to your learning potential.

  • 99.9% of students can learn to play or sing better than they ever imagined. That’s you, buddy.

  • You’ll learn more quickly and save years of wasted effort because we’ll identify and solve key errors in your technique as you develop essential skills.

Contact Us Today!

Fun and Excellence Starts at Promethean Studios
  • Please enter your name.
  • This isn't a valid phone number.
  • Please enter your email address.
    This isn't a valid email address.
  • Please make a selection.
  • Please enter a message.