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Songwriting Process

Brian dissects the makings of a great song. He reminds worshippers what tools you need to find your stride in writing, and what to avoid that could hinder it. He shares great ways to build songs, test out your ideas, and be brave in your process.

Lesson Plan

Lesson Plan

Lesson Plan

Lesson Plan

Lesson Plan

Lesson Plan

Course Overview

Unit 1
The Heart of a Songwriter
Unit 2
Refining Your Skills
Unit 3
Finding Inspiration
Unit 4
General Creativity
Unit 5
Song Stories
Unit 6
BONUS (Exclusive Unit) - Bethel Music Songwriting Retreat

Songwriting Process

Brian Johnson

The biggest killer of songwriting ideas is bitterness.
* Anxiety and bitterness turn our worldview into a small, narrow, negative place.
* Bitterness is the biggest breeder of fear in our life.
* It makes you think you are seeing things clearly in the way God is seeing them.

“Each man is right in his own eyes, but God judges the heart.”

It’s not about being right, it's about being in a relationship with people who think completely different from you.

We need to marry the prophetic & practical.

Great ways to get ideas for songs are co-writing and piggybacking.
* Let the people around you inspire you.
* Sometimes taking a break from music altogether to have a fresh perspective.
* Play an instrument that is not your norm, and is not as familiar to you.
* Don’t overcomplicate your melodies.

Dare to be dumb.
* Sing whatever comes to mind after a chorus to write a bridge.
* A bridge is an expanding expression after the chorus.
* Make sure to make sure your verse works before and after your chorus.

Create a simple melody, with lyrics that move us to think about God in a new way.
* Put lyrics and melodies in the mouths of the congregation so when they go out and live their lives, they sing of their love for God.

Life has a way of making you live out what you’ve been singing to Him.

No matter how you cut up the song, every component should still work.

We have the responsibility as writers to change the way people think about God.
* We are to write songs that move hearts towards Him.
* We have the privilege of putting words into the mouths of the church.

Are your songs filled with so much hope that even the people in the back of the room are moved?

Use songs as prophetic statements.
* Sing songs about what you want the church to look like in ten years.

Every great song is an encounter waiting to happen.

Songs can crack open a glimpse, and a feeling of heaven and even the hardest of hearts cannot bear the weight of that without being moved.

Work that song until you can honestly say you did your best, and if it isn’t finished, have someone else come in and work on the rest.

God will anoint where your passion is.

“Success is being able to get out what is on the inside of you, the exact way you hear it and feel it on the inside.” - Bono