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Taking the Song into the Studio

In the previous video, Adam played a basic outline of melody and chords for a version of My Town. In this video, we head to Pig Farm Studios in Sheffield to see how a song can take shape from these…

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Repeat and Fade

In this final video to the free online course 'How to Write Your First Song', Adam takes to the streets of Sheffield to perform a few of the versions of My Town that he has written during…

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Chris Hague and Anastasia Walker: Songwriter in Session

As this playlist is all about putting your song together, we headed to Steelworks Studios in Sheffield to talk to producer Chris Hague, where he was recording with 60s inspired rock band, Bang Bang…

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Tom Ravenscroft: Songwriter in Session

For our final songwriter in session, we talk to radio presenter and DJ Tom Ravenscroft about what makes a song successful and how you can get your songs heard on the radio. Tom is the son of famous…

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Catching Up With Martin Simpson

Martin invites us to join him in his back garden for a performance of his version of My Town. He then talks to us about some of the highlights and challenges of this songwriting task. Notice how,…

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Arranging Your Song

An accompaniment in music is a musical part (vocal or instrumental) that supports or provides background for other musical parts. As soon as we add rhythm to the chords that sit underneath a melody,…

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Catching Up with Martin Simpson

In this video, Martin starts to refine his ideas for the melodic structure of the song and shows us how he will add to this basic structure with instrumental ‘fills’ in between sections. …

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Martin Curtis Powell: Songwriter in Session

Martin is a musician who has spent 15 years playing in heavy metal bands like Anathema, My Dying Bride and Cradle of Filth. Since leaving Cradle of Filth, Martin has studied for a degree in music at…

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Contrast and Repetition

In our investigation into song forms we’ve seen how forms can introduce elements of repetition and contrast to your songs. For example, many popular songs use a verse and a chorus or refrain -…

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Kate Jackson: Songwriter in Session

Kate Jackson is a singer-songwriter, former frontwoman of the band The Long Blondes and a University of Sheffield alumna. She mostly writes lyrics to written music and in this video, she encourages…

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Structuring Your Song

Popular songs often follow simple structures called song forms. These help listeners to follow the music and can give a sense of shape and order to a composition. In this video, Dr Catherine Tackley…

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Writing a Refrain or Chorus

Most popular songs have two main sections-verses and a contrasting section known as a refrain or chorus. In this video, Adam talks about these techniques and explains how they might be applied to My…

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Catching Up with Martin Simpson

Previously, we saw Martin come up with a melodic shape and form for the verses of My Town. This week, he turns his attention to the refrain. In this video, Martin plays around with chord…

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Playing Chords in Sequences

So far, we’ve looked through a range of different chord types - but how do we know which ones work well together? Although there are no rules for what will sound good, there are some principles…

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Neil McSweeney: Songwriter in Session

In this interview, we will hear again from songwriter and musician Neil McSweeney, as he plays us some of the songs he is currently writing. He demonstrates how he has worked through possible…

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While She Sleeps: Songwriter in Session

As members of a band, Mat Welsh and Sean Long can provide a different insight into the songwriting process; that of writing collaboratively. In this video, they talk about songwriting as an organic…

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