How to Write a Hit Song:
Top Star Advice
Anyone who wants to know how to write a pop hit song may be offered a number of tricks but even the best mature songwriters don’t know how to write a hit song. A variety of books was written through decades on this subject, but people who aren’t songwriters themselves can’t advise, they say.
Music industry billboards have recently published and revealed all the songs’ features of hot 100 charts.
- Since the 1950s, songs have become longer, 2.4-4.3 minutes.
- The best way how to write and to have a hit pop song is staying away from writing ballads, as they usually play at about 90bpm while the average tempo of chart entrants is 117-122bpm.
- You should also stick to major popular keys, C major.
- It is important to get a cut with already successful artists; the hits are now 25% higher than in the 50s. The 5 most successful artists of all times are; Mariah Carey, Elvis Presley, Madonna, Michael Jackson and Patti Page.
- Jay Frank in his book Future Hit.DNA mentions that the digital age music consumption has changed the ways which make a hit. People discover music more online than via radio, so a song introduction needs to be shorter.
So, who’s right? Maybe looking at songwriters who have had plenty of hits makes more sense.
In BBC2′s brilliant series of Secrets How to Write a Pop Song, a selection of successful artists is trying to shed light on the craft.
A secret formula of Motown legend Lamont Dozier: ‘’I’ve written about 80 but 10 top songs, and I still don’t know how to write a real hit song and what it is. I can only go by what I feel. The world needs no more good songs, we need great songs.”
One of the ‘being a songwriter’ advantages is that the public pays its first attention to the author when it’s a hit. Even most successful writers don’t realize that it is necessary to write non-hits to become the so-called nuggets. But it’s also important to exercise the writing muscles for writing hit lists.
Sting is about not to throw away the seed of a song too early. “As you get older, you get much more refined filters. The critical mind conquers the creative mind. It can take me months, even years, to write one song, because I feel my every idea too much like somebody else has written.”
Thus, the creative process of songwriting is intensely personal, so you need to feel comfortable and relaxed enough to think about intimate experiences.
Analyzing why songs become so popular, one should realize that many of them have been written with just the same ingredients:
- a hook to make people feel good;
- basic chords;
- a repetitive chorus.
But there is one successful thing songwriters have in common: they all love the music they write and they are never cynical about their craft. Don Black believes lyrics brings something new about the human condition; Abba would say you should have at least five hook tracks.
But a conclusion is that even if Abba had been captured at the moment they came up with the eternal hit ‘The Winner Takes It All’, neither we nor they would be any wiser as for the subject how to write a pop and hit song.