Austin, TX – Songwriting Masterclass


Saturday October 22, 2022
9:30am – 4:30pm
Austin, TX.

What makes a great song?
Practice. Craft. Telling the Truth.
Seems easy, right?
Actually, it takes time and hard work.


This workshop will cover:
• An overview of structure — Verse / Chorus / Bridge
• Clarity in lyrics — Get to the point!

• The importance of meter and form
• How to improve melody
• Building on your writing strengths
• Habits of a successful writing life

This session will cover song structure, word choice, lyric clarity, melody and hooks.

In the afternoon we will spend time listening to your songs and looking for ways to make them cleaner, more to the point. After that we will talk about best practices for a writing life.

Limited to 12 participants
$175 (includes lunch from Veracruz Tacos)

**This workshop will be held in in my studio, which is on the 3rd floor of a building with no elevator. Sorry for the inconvenience!


Online Songwriting Workshop

On four consecutive Saturdays in October I’ll be leading a series of online songwriting workshops.
Dates – October 3 / 10 / 17 / 24

All levels of writers are welcome. Whether you’ve been working at it for awhile and are looking for feedback and insight on how to write better songs, or just beginning and need tips on how to get started, By the end of the month you will be writing more songs, with better results (how is that for a sales pitch?). Each week I’ll invite a special guest to give us an inside view into their process and their approach to the writing life.

More than just a workshop on the craft of writing, these sessions are about giving you practical tips on how to kickstart your creativity and how to turn the stories in your daily life into better songs.

“Darden is a supportive, engaging and immensely helpful songwriting instructor/coach. Invited guests are top industry professionals offering insightful advice. Seasoned writers will appreciate his perspective and new writers should take the plunge!” Lara

Here’s how it works:
• Dates – October 3 / 10 / 17 / 24
• Time: 12:00 pm Central / 1:00 pm Eastern
• 2 hours per session (+/-)
• All sessions will be done on Zoom, with each week’s audio of the workshops provided to all participants.
• Fee $275 (Paypal – / Venmo – dardensmith-music-art)
What you’ll need for the sessions:
• A laptop, computer, etc. (Phones work, but I find that it’s not a great experience)
•  Steady internet to stay in the calls and hear the info, and interact with the class!Between Sessions
•  Time to work on your songs between sessions, send updates, etc.
•  A way to record your songs (phones are completely acceptable)

In the sessions, we’ll be covering the basics (Structure / Verse / Chorus / Bridge, Meter, Melody, etc), but the focus of these classes will be digging deep into lyric clarity, how to mine your own experiences for songs, and how to create the habits and practice of a successful writing life.There will be assignments each week. My goal is for each participant is to write and record at least 4 new songs over the course of the month.If you have any questions on the class, feel free to get in touch –