Free Courses and Resources.
That’s the promise of this post. If you’d like to share other cool music resources and online courses or tools that are 100% free to use, the comments section is there for you….
What’s the Use of Online Courses?
Open Your Horizons And Get Out Of Your Comfort Zone
Master Tools And Techniques That Help You Write and Produce Music
Get Out Of A Rut and Be More Creative
If you want to kick it up a notch and improve your songwriting skills, music production skills and general creativity skills, you’ll need to set aside some time to STUDY YOUR CRAFT!
Ok so you didn’t enjoy school and you don’t like homework. That’s ok! BUT, being a musician is a constant work in progress and, the more you practise, learn new stuff and explore the world, the better you’ll become in the music studio.
Making money making music is NOT an easy gig.
There’s a lot of work involved and, simply put, if you don’t work like crazy on your craft, you’re going to struggle even more than the rest of us indie musicians who are willing to put in the work!
The overnight successes romanticized on TV shows are anything but! I can GUARANTEE you that even the least talented of all talent-show winners has worked his or her ASS off to get there.
Sometimes literally :p
Anyway, that’s beside the point. I digress….
Let’s get back to business!
You need to realize that 87% of successful music creators and producers know SOME music theory (ok I just made that up but I can’t be that far off!).
Even the ones you wouldn’t normally peg for big intellectual theorists like…..
- the guys from Metallica talking music theory and guitar lessons
- Avicii discussing musical influences and theory
- Miley Cyrus and Lady Gaga are both better musicians than they let out
- Justin Bieber can play the drums!
Even Eminem, who’s as close as it comes to being “a natural”, sure as hell knows plenty about poetry, flow and rhyming patterns!
With that in mind, here are 12 free online music courses that can help you break out of your creative box and reach new heights in the studio. That’s what we’re aiming for here, right?
Option #1 – Learning a Bit of Music Theory
If you have no clue where to start with music theory, these are great courses to take. You’ll learn about scales, harmony, rhythm, modes, arrangements, etc. All good stuff to know.
If you’re an intermediate in music theory, it’s an opportunity to brush up on your knowledge and get some new ideas to try out in the studio.
Side note – Coursera offers course certificates which you have to pay for BUT that’s optional. You can have all the good stuff for free. Select the “Full Course, No Certificate” option when you enroll (or you can purchase the course to earn a certificate if that floats your boat, whatever works for you)
Option #2 – Learning From the Best
Aside from practising, practising, practising, the easiest way to make giant leaps in your music making is to study the best.
Understand what others did and you’ve got a clear roadmap of what you should try next in your own music compositions.
Option #3 – Getting Weird and/or Out of Your Comfort Zone
Want to study music as biology? Yep, you can do that!
Wait whaaaaat? Yeah yeah, this one is a weird one. More documentary, less improving your music production skills.
I’d recommend enrolling BUT skipping videos that bore the crap out of you. I LOVE this kind of things but if you don’t have the time or energy to geek out on this, DON’T!
I’d still explore the section on cultural differences if I were you. There has to be something in there that inspires you to try something new in the studio 😉
Or you could get your jazz on and learn to improvize!
Honestly, even if you hate jazz, TRY IT!
It’s not often you get a chance to learn from A TRUE GREAT like Gary Burton!
His delivery is a bit dry but boy oh boy is he good. He’s a brilliant musician and he teaches at Berklee. What else do you want? Seriously, he’s played with Chick Corea!
Jazz is not everyone’s cup of tea but it’s a great genre to explore if you’re looking to make giant leaps in your music writing.
Gary’s class is pretty high level so if you’ve never tried improv before, you might want to start with the the Jazz Appreciation class on edX.
The blues is another great traditional genre that can greatly open your musical horizons, especially if you’ve rarely steered away from electronic music. The University of Rochester offers a free 7 week course that will help you understand and perform blues music. It’s both theoretical and practical so you won’t be bored 😉
Ok, there were a LOT of recommendations in this post!
Here’s what to do next: pick one and ONLY ONE and go register NOW!
And don’t forget to experiment in the studio! That’s what being a musician is all about 🙂
Now…. just because I loved my “Penny Lane” joke so much, I’ll leave you with this: