Songwriting with adam Holden

What’s next for your songwriting? Thinking about lessons and workshops

From Autumn 2020 we are providing online songwriting lessons, workshops and resources led by Adam Holden which will help you identify where you are on your on your songwriting journey, establish what you want to improve and help you work out how to do it.

Anyone interested in songwriting lessons or workshops is strongly encouraged to sign up for the taster workshop on song appreciation as a first step. Feel free to email me at and discuss in person.

By completing the taster session you’ll have some shared outcomes that better identify your:

  • understanding of how to practise and develop song appreciation
  • current level as a songwriter (experience, knowledge, interest, competence, ambition, need, happiness!)
  • key interests and goals as a developing songwriter

This is a good benchmark for understanding where you’re at in your songwriting and how that fits with a framework for practice, development and progression. The important point here is to suspend (or at least defer) any questions of the quality of your song writing. You may think you’re pretty good or mostly terrible. I may agree, or not. But what you need in terms of practice, technique, knowledge and inspiration will vary, and to a considerable degree. It will depend on at least three things:

  • How experienced you are at practice of songwriting?
  • At practical skills and technical competence you have as a musician, lyricist and performer.
  • How much time and resource you’re willing and able to dedicate to developing the above

To help you explore this in terms of a combination of pre-conditions, aptitudes, abilities and experience you might ask yourself some of the following questions:

  • Can you sing (or play a melody instrument) and what’s your register and range?
  • Can you play a polyphonic/harmony instrument well enough to accompany a song?
  • Can you read music, or follow chord symbols on those instruments?
  • Can you sing/play along by ear, or improvise?
  • Can you make a song up in your head or with little more than a tape recorder or pencil and paper?
  • How many songs have you finished, shared or performed?
  • Are they similar in style and quality or not?
  • How long have you been interested in doing this as against how many hours have you spent doing it?
  • Do you want to write songs to please yourself or to sell ten million singles? Or something in between? (!)
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