Learn Basic Music Theory & Chart Writing – with Steve Postell

Historically, songs in the folk, traditional, blues, and bluegrass traditions tend to be quite simple harmonically and rhythmically. The large majority of songs in these genres use the same 3 to 6 chords, and very basic rhythmic structures. But these forms can be limiting for contemporary songwriters and musicians. I strongly believe the more musical and theoretical tools you have, the greater the palette of choices and colors to express your artistic vision. The objective of this class is not to prepare you to write an atonal symphony, but to expand your understanding of chord structures, rhythmic and feel possibilities that you can use to bring more color to your music. With this knowledge it becomes easier to get out of a box or a writing block. It really is as simple as giving you more options. We will analyze some of the great songs by artists like Stevie Wonder and The Beatles who explored more advanced forms. Then we will take your original songs and experiment with altering chords, changing temp, feel etc.

In this class we will also take a look at some essential tools needed to write a basic but comprehensive chart for your songs. Having a good chart for your songs is invaluable; you can always put it in front of a good musician and get through the tune with little or no rehearsal. I also think it helps organize your thoughts and have a stronger grasp on what your music is all about.

You will leave this class with printed material that you can refer to after the camp and continue to learn these skills.