Every songwriters dream is to write the next stunning hit song. However, there are tons of weak tracks out there with clumsy and trite lyrics, marketed the fullest. That’s where you’re standing in line to pay at the cash desk and ask yourself: How the hell, can this cheesy song be on the Billboard Charts? Well, we all know that there are some tracks that are simply media-hyped by a big major label behind. But let’s forget about these kind of tracks and talk about real outstanding and well crafted hit songs.
Many of the so called hit songs follow certain rules. What if I’m going tell you certain tricks and give you some insight information? Can you write the next hit song? I tell you: Yes you can learn it. You’re now asking yourself: “But what about my writer’s block? Dude, I’m anyway so unimaginative like an assembly line. Are you kidding me?” I didn’t say it is easy but here are some things you can do to get closer to write a hit song. Whatever you do, just don’t forget to regard your intuition instead of strictly following these rules.
You can come up with ideas just by paying attention to the little things in your daily environment.
Think about a topic you want to write about. Actually, people are always writing about the same topic since centuries. So what makes the difference is how the story is been told. You can simply come up with a monoton ‘I love you’ song or you can try to pack your message into something more interesting. It it is essential that the listener can connect with your story but you still don’t overuse periphrases and confuse him/her. The secret is to say the same things with different words. Your job is to say it with a more novel and new way. So your ideas can come from everywhere you just need to see them. Watch talk shows, go out for a walk, go to night clubs and bars, watch music videos and listen to the radio.
Titles are like making promises of an offer that’s being made for the next three minutes. (Steve Bloch, Publisher/Writer)
You need to know what you want to write about. So, basically start with the title. Here is a superb tip to get great titles. Simply look around you and choose three objects. You might see your television with MTV on, an air conditioner and a sparkling lamp. From these objects you can create great titles like:
- Watch me (television)
- Cold & Fresh (air conditioner)
- Sparkling Light (lamp)
As you can see, these are just simple ideas but they can lead to great titles. Try to find titles that come from your heart. Otherwise the titles will lack of emotions and therefore will not evoke emotions in other people.Every song plays with energy. When your song lacks of energy or locate the energy at the wrong part of the song. The song will be hardly a hit.
Every song needs to build energy and tension. So basically, what you do is, that you need to think of the job that each part needs to fullfill to make it a great song. Using the right structure and follow a story line is essential to write a hit song. There a lot of structures and there is no rule that only one structure works but let’s have a look at one of the most used structure in hits songs:
Intro – Verse – Pre-Chorus – Chorus – Verse – Pre-Chorus – Chorus – Bridge – Chorus
Ok, got it? Let’s fly over the very brief description of each part.
The verse is here to provide the information that leads to the chorus. A verse is most often eight or sixteen bars long. Introducing the characters and the location of the story is typically needs to be covered by the verse. Song titles usually are not included here.
Pre-Choruses are sometimes used to lift up the verse towards the chorus. Make sure that this part connects well to the chorus. Usually, the Pre-Chorus keeps the same lyrics troughout the hole song. Sometimes there are only some single words changed.Make sure to make the chorus as good as you can. Otherwise there’s no need to write the song.
The chorus is the most emotional part where the whole idea of the song title comes together. The Chorus needs to be easy to remember and have a catchy and memorable melody. The chorus is typically eight or sixteen bars long and has the lyrics repeated througout the whole song. As in the Pre-Chorus you might change a rhyming word in the last chorus to bring a certain freshness into the song and keep the listeners attention. This is typically done with almost the same sounding words, so the chorus is just slightly different. The title most often appears in the chorus. A common strategy is to use the title at the end of the chorus. Howsoever, there are many ways.
Sometimes the bridge is an instrumental bridge. In this case, you’re lucky as a song writer, because your job is already done. Lyrically, the bridge releases from the other parts of the song. Let’s compare it like this: You’re song is about hurting someone elses feeling. Then the bridge would be typically describe how someone was good to you to finally come into the sad chorus again. Which even makes it even more sad. Now get your handkerchiefs and dry your eyes. It’s not that bad…
… there will be more soon about How To Successfully Write Hit Songs. In the meantime make sure to check out these books. They are truly great and an absolute oustanding books for any serious songwriter.