Aidan Williams Capstone

For my Capstone project, I decided to write a short album. I tried to write one song each month which tied into my experience throughout senior year and my High School experience in general. It was fun to work on, and I’m proud of the final product.

I wrote a whole bunch of music, but, as time went on, I tried to slim it down to the seven songs I felt were best suited to the project. I spent a lot of time writing, bits and pieces here and there, and towards the end I started to flesh out a lot of the parts I had written, and trimming many bits I didn’t think made sense. I spent a lot of time recording it through the equipment I have at home in GarageBand. It took a while, but I feel like the recordings themselves turned out well.

The songs are on a broad range of topics, from my experiences throughout my time at SLA, both in school and out, people I’ve met, things I’ve learned, and more. For better or worse, I’ve tried to condense my time here as much as possible.

I’ve posted the music online publicly, and I’m attaching a link to this post. Check it out if you want to.

Pattinson, Pat. (2011). Songwriting Without Boundaries. Writer’s Digest Books.

This book was gifted to me, and it has lots of information on lyric writing in music. I figured it would be a great source for my capstone, as I am going to be doing a lot of work on writing lyrics. I probably won’t read all of it, but the information in it is relevant and I think it will be very useful as I continue my work for the project. Through exercises and practice, this book presents lots of information and assistance which I am excited to discover and use. I don’t know what else to say about it, it just seems like a great source.

“How to Write a Song | 10 Songwriting Tips from the Pros.” Ditto Music Promotion, 10 Nov. 2016,

I have been writing songs for a few years now, but there is always more to learn. This source has several tips from professional musicians that I think I will find useful. There is always more to be learned, and more that can be done when it comes to songwriting, and I think just having an abundance of sources like this one with lots of small tips and tricks will help me a lot moving forward with this project. While not all the tips might be useful, I think that it is still good to have this information, and, again, just the abundance of tips is great to have.

Seydel, Rory. “10 Ridiculous Songwriting Tips That Actually Work.” LANDR Blog, 26 Jan. 2018,

The word “ridiculous” is always an eye-catcher, so when I saw this website, I knew I had to take a look. I am choosing to use this source as yet another small set of tips, “ridiculous” tips, if you will, and, again, having that abundance of information is something that I think I’ll appreciate in the long run. It is written by a musician, which also helps, as it seems to be all from experience. “Ridiculous” might be an overstatement, but I’m excited to use this advice as I move forward with completing my project.

Rubright, Nicholas. “25 musicians share their best songwriting tips, techniques, ideas, and exercises.” Dozmia Blog,

This is like my second source, but more in depth. I am choosing to use it because, while it is still a set of tips and tricks, it seems much more in depth, and, while I haven’t taken time to read it carefully, I think that there is a whole lot to unpack from this. I am excited to delve into it, and I think that it will work wonders as I move forward on my project. Also, yet again, the tips and tricks are from accomplished musicians. I haven’t heard of all of them, so they might not be as accomplished as the website claims, but it should be useful nonetheless.

“Guitar Chord Chart.” TrueFire,

One thing I often have trouble with as a songwriter is picking chords. That’s why I think that having a chart with many chords on it will be very helpful moving forward with the project. It will give me a wealth of new sounds and progressions to explore, and I think that having the information should make my project much more interesting by the end. I’m surprised I haven’t tried to find or use one of these before. It seems very comprehensive as well, and, with some practice, I think that it will be ‘instrumental’ to the completion of the project.

LutzAcademy. “How to Build Chord Progressions on Guitar.” YouTube, YouTube, 22 Dec. 2016,

Like I said before, picking chords and writing chord progressions is one of my greatest weaknesses when it comes to music. So, I am picking this source to try to get better at creating chord progressions. Combined with the chord chart, I should now have more than enough information and expertise to build my very own chord progressions for the project. Also, the video is only seventeen minutes long, so the information should be condensed and easily picked up. I’m excited to use this source as I move forward with completing my project. It doesn’t have a lot of views, but it seems like it is exactly what I need.

seandaniel23. “Building Chords, Easy Music Theory.” YouTube, YouTube, 26 Aug. 2012,

Like I always say, redundancy is the key to success. I’m assuming that this video will be similar to the last one, but the differences between them should help a lot with the process. Information that is in both of them will be corroborated, while information that differs between the two will give me the chance to either use information from both, pick and choose from the two videos, or be able to tell what is more subjective and might not be necessary for my progressions. Doubling up on types of sources I think will really help me moving forward with the project.

Matla, Sam. “The Ultimate Guide to Writing Better and More Memorable Melodies.” EDMProd, 10 Jan. 2017,

I chose this source because, while melody writing isn’t something I usually have trouble with, I think that just having the information will be incredibly beneficial to me. As melodies are usually the guiding force behind a song, it is important to create the best possible melodies when writing music. Having some outside influence and tips for writing melodies will be useful, as, really, one can only get better at stuff like this. I’m excited to learn new things about melody writing, as it isn’t something I’ve sought help for in the past. I think that it will be incredibly useful to my project as I continue to work on it.

Zambonini, Dan. “A Beginners guide to mixing in GarageBand.” New Titles, 24 July 2014,

While I have used trial and error in the past to mix music with GarageBand, which is the platform I plan on using for recording, I have never actually gone in depth and tried to learn more about the platform itself. I am excited to get in deep with the platform and practice mixing and mastering my music, and making it sound as good as I can. I’ve been using GarageBand for a long time, so I’m excited to learn more about it, as recording and mixing music is something that I thoroughly enjoy. This is definitely a source that will be important to my project.

Molenda, Michael. “10 Ways To More Professional GarageBand Mixes.” EMusician, 1 Aug. 2009,

I am choosing this source because, like I said before, redundancy is important. I am going to be doing a lot of mixing, and I would like to get as good as I can at mixing in GarageBand. This isn’t necessarily a very in depth source, but the information in it is useful, and should help me a lot. I would like as much information as possible when it comes to my mixing in Garageband, and I’m excited to improve my skills. Even just these few tips seem incredibly useful, and I’m excited to put them to work while I work on this project.