Writing / Arranging Free Lessons

As you grow in your understanding of music, you will eventually want to start writing your own. The free lessons on this page deal with aspects of writing such as texture, form, shape, and style and philosophy.

Free Lessons

Video demonstrations
Video Lesson: What a Friend We Have In Jesus (Part 1)
Video Lesson: What a Friend We Have In Jesus (Part 2)
Video Lesson: What a Friend We Have In Jesus (Part 3)
Video Lesson: What a Friend We Have In Jesus (Part 4)
Video Lesson: What a Friend We Have In Jesus (Part 5)
How to end a song
Arranging demo: God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen
Arranging demo: I Surrender All
Arranging demo: He Leadeth Me (Part 1)
Arranging demo: He Leadeth Me (Part 2)

Hooks and ideas
Making a hook interesting
Improving the ending to a song
Analysis of Heaven Came Down from Portraits of Hope
Analysis of “Shall We Gather at the River”
Hook development
Explaining “I Will Arise”
Cool chords to end a song with
Ending a song on a IV chord
The turnaround in music
The turnaround in music (Part 2)
Four ways to improve left hand arpeggios

Stylistic elements
Developing a style
Rubato as a technique
Rubato – benefits and dangers
The secret sauce of good music
Making the boring more interesting
Understanding dissonance
Analyzing “Hiding in Thee” (Part 1)
Analyzing “Hiding in Thee” (Part 2)

Shape and form
Shaping an arrangement
Nashville charts
Explanation of “When the Saints”
Discussing Heirloom (the song)

What makes a melody good or bad?
Do you always need to hear the melody in your arrangements?
How to write more interesting music
Starting with harmony instead of melody

Philosophical concerns
Introduction to arranging and improvising
Photography tip for the piano
Arranging is storytelling
Arranging tips
Cliche in music
Do you need to know theory to arrange?
Arranging advice from C. S. Lewis
Be an artist
Parallel Fifths
Shock value is overrated
Divine download or craft?
Development thoughts
Tip for writing: develop or stay consistent?
Two lessons from Kenny G
How to write and arrange faster


Arrangers Package