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I Think Hank Would Have Done It This Way

Do you want to write songs but need a push to get started?  In this four-week online course, we’ll learn from the best––Hank Williams, the author of classic songs like "Cold, Cold Heart" and "I Can’t Help It (If I’m Still In Love With You)”. We’ll figure out how he put together his songs, and use the methods we learn to write our own original songs.


Each week, in an opening presentation, we’ll explore Hank Williams’ life and music––his influences, his relationship to his predecessors like Jimmy Rogers, the Carter Family, Ernest Tubb and Roy Acuff, and the personal struggles that fueled his creativity.  Most of all, you’ll learn about his songwriting–his favorite chord progressions, how he shaped his melodies, and the techniques he used to write lyrics.  We’ll study his great songs and those of his contemporaries to learn what makes them tick.


Next it’s time to write.  Breaking up into small groups, we’ll use our understanding of Hank’s technique to come up with a template for our own songs.  We’ll choose a classic chord progression, a tempo and a lyrical theme, and fill in the blanks with our own inspirations.


Each group will write a collaborative song together, and each group member will also work on their own song. There’s no judgment here––have you heard the saying that you need to write a hundred bad songs before you write one good one? Let’s get to it!


By the end of this course you will have  written a song (or songs), and you’ll also be a better musician.  Hank Williams songs are simple three- or four-chord affairs––no Beatles tricks here––but you’ll know these chords, and how they function, intimately.  You’ll also learn basic principles of melody construction that will serve you well in any kind of music.


Requirements:  Shower-singing ability and desire to write a song.  Basic proficiency on a chordal instrument (guitar, keyboards, autoharp, etc.) helpful but not required.


5:30 to 7:00 PM EST, July 29th, August 5th, 12th and 16th. $350 Reply by email to sign up or for more information. Limited to 10 participants

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