Jump to content

HIT SONG FORMULA


wwwjd

Recommended Posts

  • Members

* intro-verse-chorus-verse-chorus-change-chorus-chorus-end (or slight variation)

* 3 to 4 minutes max

* write about topics or stories >>EVERYONE

* GREAT Title

* Catchy hook

* Catchy melody

* musical tension build up and release

* end chorus on major chording

 

 

did I miss ANYTHING?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Replies 86
  • Created
  • Last Reply
  • Moderators

my recent formula has been very similar to this.

 

miss anything? hmm.. maybe the composition/instrumental? and how well its put together. and also a singer which best serves the song.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members

hehehehe not HOW to GET a hit song, but what are the common factors.

I've read tons, studied tons, listened tons, read more, and the above list is the minimum requirement. Miss any of those and your hit chances are lowered. Nail them all and you are in the ball park. There are probably a hundred other coloring examples but this is the BASIC list. I think.

 

I added musical tension / release

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members

well I specified hit song, meaning it could top charts, sell well.

Writing GOOD music does not mean writing to fit a mold that would make it a hit. Thus it doesn't include a 22 minute orchestrial piece. But to appeal to the common man, be in the mold that ends up defining a hit, is a pretty strait forward deal.

 

A GOOD song formula could include anything, just depends on which audience you aspire to entertain. No?

Not all HITS are good songs. But they are comfortable and listenable to those that are buying them.

 

does auto tune really play into the WRITING formula? seems more of a production effect including which we could list: EQ, Compression, Reverb etc etc but those are not SONG formulas. Even though it is main stream right now and all :)

 

I'll amend my topid to say Hit Song WRITING Format.

My wording might have been misleading

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members

There's nothing wrong with trying to write a hit song.

 

I think your list is pretty dead on...I might add something about the performance/recording but I'm not sure exactly how to word that. Whether it's a performance that is truly passionate and musically solid or whether a producer/mix engineer does an amazing job of making the song sound even more compelling and interesting to the average listener, I think the performance that you end up with on the recording is important. Even a GREAT song has less of a chance of being a hit if it is performed/recorded poorly.

 

But knowing what the components are and being able to actually write a song that actually HAS all of those components are two different things. Many people tend to treat hit songs or popular music with a certain amount of disdain because it often feels/sounds like a cheap, mass produced, artificial product. This is in opposition to the perception of other songs that are NOT hits, but are really cleverly, intelligently written, well-crafted, etc. However, I personally believe that there is at least SOME level of genius in a song that becomes a hit. If it was EASY to do, trust me, just about everyone would be doing it (yes, even most of those that treat pop music with disgust and disdain). I mean, who wouldn't want an easy million bucks to pay off the mortgage, put the kids through school, buy a nice car and live a little bit easier for a while? I have a hard time taking people seriously that act like elite purists and treat hit songs with total contempt as if "anyone could write that crap."

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members

On the reals, I think people put too much emphasis on hits. Just how effective are one of those things these days, anyhow? I love a well-crafted pop song just as much as the next guy, but I can't help but think that many of the artist who wrote songs that became hits did not set out do so. They're a good promotional tool if nothing else. it seems like the less hit-dependent artists tend to have more longevity, in the grand scheme of things.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members

I'm sure you are right that many hit songs were written by an artist that was just trying to write a great song and they just ended up becoming a hit. And there's a lot more to being a great artist than creating art with mass appeal. But while there are many one-hit wonders that fade into obscurity quickly, and there may be a good many artists that have long and wonderful careers without ever having a hit (I guess that depends, in part, on how you define "hit") I was just trying to make the point that there's nothing wrong with setting the goal of writing a hit song and going for it. I think it's a legitimate goal for an artist to aspire to create something that would be loved and appreciated by the masses. Hope I'm making sense at some level...it's been a long day and I'm tired. :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members

I agree. There's nothing inherently wrong with trying to write something that has mass appeal - it's admirable, in fact. I'm just against the "you won't have a career unless you write TEH HIT SINGLEZ" mentality. Or the idea that, sans any recognizable hits, an artist's contribution to music is marginal at best.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members

links to all the top-10 hits you've written using this formula?

 

LOL...that's one of the points I was trying to make. It's one thing to have a pretty good list of the components of a hit song...it's another thing altogether to write one. I think his list is pretty good. Most hit songs contain those elements, and I think that list can be helpful to someone aspiring to write a song that he/she hopes will be a hit. But it's far easier said than done.

 

A Master Chef could give you a list of all the ingredients he/she used to make his famous dish....heck, he/she could even let you use his/her kitchen and everthing in it! But whatever dish you come up with is still probably not going please the critics...at least not in the same way. :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members

A hit song really just needs two key elements: a great melody and good production. All that other stuff is great - but the melody is king.

 

The third key element involves the performance and nature of the performer - it has to come from someone that is compelling. A key reason why so many great songs never become hits is that they're delivered by wet noodles that nobody is interested in...

 

Music, like people, is about personality. Some people are unusually magnetic. Most of us aren't. Music is the same way. Some people are blessed with an ability to project a special kind of charisma through singing, playing, or performing. Most us that feel a calling to create music don't have this ability.

 

So you can be the most accomplished player or greatest songwriter ever... if people don't like YOU, you'll never go anywhere. And there really is nothing you can do to change you.

 

Those multi-million dollar campaigns for all those potential hits songs from new artists that flop? It's kind of the equivalent of an annoying co-worker that's always badgering you to come to his party this weekend.....Sure, there might be a keg with Brooklyn Lager on tap. Even a cool band. But do you really want to hang out with that douchebag???

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members

Also, I'm guessing that a source of disdain artists and serious musicians may have for hits stems from their refusal to recognize that, at the end of they day, they just aren't all that likable. Or likeable enough when it comes to creating music. I mean, I'm likeable enough. Or maybe I'm not. I don't know. But I know I'm certainly not especially popular or magnetic. I'm alright. A regular guy. I think that resonates when I perform: regular guy. Meh. If I happen to deliver a catchy song in an accomplished way - same thing. Song's catchy. He's just kind of boring, though.

 

And that's kind of kind of terrifying to realize when you perform: It's not just the material or your technical skill - it's you as a person that people are responding to. That's often what they're responding to first.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members

links to all the top-10 hits you've written using this formula?

 

I'm just starting..... again.

 

Last time I tried, I landed 4 different songs on 4 different local stations playing "in rotation" (which was impossible in our market), sold out my 500 copies, won a top 10 at ten countdown over national acts. Came in 2nd place behind SLIPKNOT in a local band contest where the radio station (that sponsored the contest) program director was also their manager (hmmmm). I'm sorry I haven't done any better for myself, but maybe this time around :)

 

Hits HAVE TO BE packaged in a certain way for mass appeal. Accidentally having hits is no longer valid since everyone is making music now days, and it all comes down to which company has the funds to market you everywhere.

 

I see it like frozen dinners: They all come in a box, frozen, you know what you are getting, how it fits, how much it costs... but what is INSIDE makes all the difference. You can be as infinitely creative as you want.... as long as it fits in that box.

 

So we're defining the box.

 

Does anyone really think GAGA's "Just Dance" is anything special? If you sat down and analzed it, you'd discover it really isn't. BUT it follows formula, and sold 10 million copies.

 

Not everyone wants to write hits. To each their own. I do. :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members

Wow... I don't know how someone fails - or refuses - to see how a song that tops the charts in five countries while effectively setting the tone of everything that's come out in the commercial pop market for the last 18 months... just isn't that special...

 

Akon and Lady Gaga engineered that song in a fantastically brilliant way to appeal to a global audience - it's pretty astonishing that they achieved that feat. They took a pretty simple F AM C G song and lathered it up with R&B and Euro Dance Trash elements that nobody had really done in a successful way before ... it was aimed at a Global audience - that's pretty damn shrewd. Who else in U.S. pop was thinking like that? And anybody that knows anything about singing can tell she lays down a fantastic vocal that few people are capable of...

 

Not to mention the lyrical hook; it's simple enough to convey meaning to about 2/3 of the global population... David Bowie, for one, understood this kind of thing. Used a similar trick on Ziggy Stardust, grounding everything to two-hook phrases... "Five Years" "Hey Man" in Suffragate City and - "all right" in - and this is no coincidence here: "Lady Stardust."

 

Just Dance is wicked smart and forward-thinking songcraft with a sense of pop history; it also shrewdly sets out and achieves what it was designed to do, as evidence by topping the charts in the U.K., Australia, Canada, Ireland, Netherlands, U.K...That's art.

 

And it's just as special, brilliant and far more spectacular than an artist with no commercial aspirations churning out a difficult record that only appeals to intellectuals and those twats that write Pitchfork... Anybody can make a record that nobody really likes...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.


×
×
  • Create New...