Want to Become a Better Songwriter? Here’s Help

songwriting_small_laura_callaghan_loOver the years we’ve offered numerous seminars on songwriting at the WorshipGod conferences, taught primarily by Steve & Vikki Cook and Mark Altrogge, but also by guests that we’ve had at the conference.

I thought it would be helpful to put them all in one place, so here they are. Whatever stage you’re at in your songwriting journey (and we never seem to “arrive”), I think you’ll find something here that will inspire you to be more faithful with your gifts.

Mark, Steve, and Vikki will be returning with more thoughts for songwriters to this year’s WorshipGod conference: The Gathering, Aug. 10-13. I expect the website and registration to be up within a couple weeks.

Before and After: The Evolution of a Song – Mark Altrogge, Steve & Vikki Cook – PDF
Becoming a Better Songwriter
– Mark Altrogge, Steve & Vikki Cook
How to Revise Your Own Song – Steve Cook
Principles of Songwriting – Stuart Townend
What Makes These Songs Great? – Steve & Vikki Cook – PDF
What the Psalms Teach us About Songwriting – Mark Altrogge, Steve & Vikki Cook
What Will Your Next Song Be? Writing Songs on Purpose – Mark Altrogge, Steve & Vikki Cook – PDF
Why God Wants You to Write Songs – Mark Altrogge – PDF
Writing Songs People Will Want to Sing – Craig Dunnagan
Recording Your Song from Start to Finish, Part 1 – Sal Oliveri
Recording Your Song from Start to Finish, Part 2 – Sal Oliveri

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20 Responses to Want to Become a Better Songwriter? Here’s Help

  1. Tim Bolognone February 11, 2011 at 12:17 PM #

    Hey Bob, thanks for putting these all together in one place. I’m really looking forward to listening to them. Any plans for another invite to re-write an old song?

    • Bob Kauflin February 11, 2011 at 3:31 PM #

      Tim, We’ll probably have another rearrangement contest this year. Thanks for asking.

  2. Bobby Gilles February 11, 2011 at 1:05 PM #

    Fantastic! So glad you grouped these in one place.

  3. Matt Blick February 11, 2011 at 2:31 PM #

    I think I’ve listened and relistened to all of these over the years and heartily concur.

    I’d throw into the ring Paul Baloche’s incredible book God Songs and if your readers want some more general songwriting advice there’s a lot to be learned from The Beatles (shameless self promotion for my blog! – sorry!!)

    looking forward to this years seminars…

  4. David Santistevan February 11, 2011 at 4:25 PM #

    Thanks for posting this, Bob. I’m planning a songwriting retreat with my worship team in April and hope to utilize these for my teaching. Helpful.

  5. Joey February 13, 2011 at 10:05 PM #

    Bob, this might be covered in these seminars, but my thought has always been this:

    There are already so many great song writers that God has gifted out there, whose songs proclaim Christ and a right view of God, why spend the time writing my own songs?

    Is that wrong thinking, or would you say that writing songs is not for everybody?

    • Bob Kauflin February 14, 2011 at 9:13 AM #

      Joey, I’d say both. God is always stirring up fresh ways of communicating the eternal gospel, but I’d also affirm that songwriting isn’t for everybody.

  6. JC September 9, 2011 at 10:46 AM #

    Bob, thank you for your ministry, and especially this post! Not only has it helped me personally, this will help my worship team in preparation for a songwriting event this fall!

  7. Jonathan Edwards March 29, 2015 at 1:06 PM #

    I’m so glad I get to listen to these at work, but could you also possibly put up a PDF summary? I’m thinking particularly of “Principles of Songwriting.” Thanks, and keep up the good work!

    • Bob Kauflin March 30, 2015 at 4:43 PM #

      Jonathan, I’ll try to find the pdfs to post. Thanks for asking!

  8. Amirah July 11, 2015 at 4:34 AM #

    I’ve already listened to the first recording and I really enjoyed it. :)

    It does seem that these resources are for those who are already on their songwriting journey. How do I start from ground zero? What resources would you suggest? (Preferably some free internet resources. )

    Do I need to be musically talented to write songs or need to have musically talented friends? I can’t play any instruments. Can I just write words?

    What advice would you have about how to start when I’m kinda afraid to start?

    Thank you. :)

    • Bob Kauflin July 11, 2015 at 10:32 PM #

      Amirah, I would pick up the book Å by Paul Baloche and Jimmy & Carol Owens. Your can certainly look for musically talented friends and ask them to set music to your lyrics. Many of the hymns we sing today started out just as lyrics. Also, the two messages Why God Wants you to Writes Songs, and What Will Your Next Song Be? would both be helpful for a new songwriter.

      • Amirah July 12, 2015 at 1:44 AM #

        Thanks! I’ll check those out.

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