No matter where you are in your music endeavors, there’s always a new area where you’re a beginner. If you’re a performer, there are many benefits to learning music business, production, or songwriting. Or if you’re on the industry side of music, learning how to play an instrument or learning music theory will only give you more insight into your field. If you’re considering taking a course with Berklee Online, here are 10 course recommendations for getting back to basics in various areas of music. 

Touring 101

With income related to live performances accounting for 60-80 percent of most artists’ income, never has it been more important for musicians to build and sustain a touring career. Course author Bruce Houghton details tips and strategies on establishing your audience, delivering to that audience, and then strategically growing that audience. 

Lyric Writing: Tools and Strategies

For those who are looking to take their songwriting to the next level, or those looking to begin the art of lyric writing, Pat Pattison will break down the techniques that have helped his students go on to win Grammys. With Lyric Writing: Tools and Strategies, you will master the process of building effective lyrical ideas, and strengthen your craft. From learning how to incorporate effective language to exploring rhythmic content within lyrics, you’ll come away from this course bursting with new lyrics to sing and a number of new songs.

Music Theory 101, Getting Inside Harmony 1, and Basic Ear Training

Better musicianship begins with these three courses. In Music Theory 101, you’ll learn the fundamental concepts of music such as pitch, rhythm, scales, intervals, chords, and harmony. If you’re already familiar with the concepts of music theory, then Getting Inside Harmony 1 will help you take it a step further with your ability to recognize chord progressions and use them creatively in your playing and writing. In Basic Ear Training 1 you’ll take your music theory skills in another direction to become a more interactive and confident musician, so that you can really hear what’s going on while you are performing. 

Music Business 101

Over the past few years, we have seen drastic changes in the music industry. Music Business 101, taught by Berklee Online course author John Kellogg, will create a foundation in key areas of the industry including copyright, publishing, marketing, and creating a fanbase, all while exploring the different structures that currently exist in the music business and the direction it is going. Whether you’re a novice or have a background in music business, this course will provide helpful ways of navigating the industry by looking at how it has changed and what it means for the future.

Guitar Chords 101

Guitar Chords 101 is the perfect entryway into playing guitar. But just because it’s 101-level, doesn’t mean it’s simplistic. Guitar Chords 101 presents an approach to the construction of chords that will help you organize the often-ambiguous guitar fretboard, providing you with the knowledge to confidently navigate the instrument and develop your technique. By taking this course, you will learn how to construct triads, 7th chords, extended voicings and inversions. You will learn the shapes of the chords and how they function in of themselves, so you will eventually be able to read and replicate chords on the spot.

Music Publishing 101

If you have ever written a song, you are a publisher and if you ever plan on monetizing your songs, then you need to learn as much as you can about publishing. With this course, Berklee Online course author Eric Beall guides you through all aspects of the music publishing business, including copyright, performance rights organizations, and different publishing income streams. By the end of this course, you will be equipped to set up your own publishing company and know different strategies to maximize opportunities within this industry. 

Music Production Fundamentals for Songwriters

Learn how to bolster your songwriting skills with the technical skills to engineer and produce your own music in Music Production Fundamentals for Songwriters. In this course, you will learn how to use a DAW of your choice as a powerful compositional tool to help you create the music you want. Learning how to produce your own music will help you with your songwriting, and it will help you become more independent and more involved in collaborative processes with producers, engineers, and other collaborators. 


Drum Set Fundamentals

Have you ever wanted to pick up the drums but had no clue where to start? Yoron Israel, chair of the Percussion department at Berklee and drummer for artists such as Sonny Rollins, Shirley Caesar, and Kenny Burrell, will help you develop the technique to become the drummer you have always wished to be. Drum Set Fundamentals will give you a thorough understanding of the heartbeat of music. You’ll start with the basics, learning concepts such as hand technique, coordination, and rhythm. Then you’ll apply these concepts to different styles and common groove patterns found in R&B, pop-rock, funk, rock, jazz, Brazilian, and Afro-Cuban music.

 Published July 16, 2023