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The 3 ingredients for writing a hit song!

songwriting Nov 03, 2021

I've been writing music for a long time, and I've been lucky enough to learn from some brilliant writers. I have also been lucky enough to win the Australian Song of the Year award twice, plus I've had many songs on the charts. But ... that wasn't always the case. 

Most of my songs in the early stages sucked! So perhaps you can relate? You write out your Song, put a melody to it and BAM! You got a song, baby! But most times, it's not a good song 👀 you might think it is ... but it's probably not. 

Songwriting is a craft, and it takes time to get good at it. There are formulas to writing hit songs, and some people do this far more naturally than others. For me, I had a little bit of skill, but ultimately it came down to practice. Did you know that songwriting is something that you should practice? So many artists don't realise that it is something we need to work on. It's a craft that needs to be honed. 

But! There are some things that will help you write that hit song! Include these 3 tips below next time you're writing a song. 

1. It's all about the hook! This was the first thing that I learnt. Hooks are everything! What is a hook? A hook is the part of the song that is repeated, it is catchy, and it's the part of the song that most people will remember. The repetition of a catchy hook draws the listener in; it's the part of the song that they wait for so they can sing along. For example, in the latest Adele song, "Easy On Me", the hook is the "easy" and "feel" the melody she uses in the chorus on those particular words creates the main hook for the song. 

A song is nothing without a good hook because it's not memorable, and hit songs are memorable. 

2. You need a strong melody: Many artists, when writing a song, make the mistake of not having a definitive melody, or if they do, it's boring. But, just like with a hook, the melody needs to be strong. Generally speaking, the melody for the verses will be the same or similar, just as with the pre-chorus, which lets everyone know you're heading into the chorus, and again the chorus melody should be the same or similar throughout the song. Changing this around too much will confuse the listener. 

3. Use a rhyming scheme: Have you heard of rhyming schemes? For example AABB, ABAB, ABBA? No I don't mean the band 😆. Using rhyming patterns is a great idea to make sure that youSongng flows well. For example, ABAB means:
Line 1 and 3 will rhyme, and lines 2 and 4 will rhyme like this:
"If you ever feel sad
call me, and I'll be there
If you're ever feeling bad
Just know that I care."

Listeners like familiarity and flow; rhyming your words is a way to tie in your story.
Check out this great blog on rhyme schemes

So next time you're sitting down to write your next hit, make sure you include the above 3 things!

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