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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!...

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Don't Co-Write Without A Split Sheet!

Split sheets, I don't like them but let me tell you why they are absolutely necessary. Firstly, a split sheet is a type of one page agreement that is signed by all of the parties involved in writing a piece of music. Each writer of the song will agree to a percentage of the song that they will own.

To be honest, I used to feel a little rude asking someone that I am co-writing with to sign a document that details the agreed percentage slip of the work we were creating together; it kinda made things a little awkward to move forward and start writing together, but, that is really just perception. It's not that I don't specifically trust who I write with, it's that I care enough to protect all writers involved. Your music is your creation, and it hurts when it's taken because it was never protected correctly, now why not prevent that by putting this simple measure in place. Trust me; you will thank me if you ever find yourself in a dispute with a co-writer for royalties that...

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Oh Sh#t I Have Writer's Block!

If I know that I have to write x amount of songs for a new project, you can just about guarantee I will have songwriter's block, without a doubt I will sit at a writing session in silence and hope that it will come to me soon, before my co-writer works out that I'm a fraud. Even though I have won 2 Australian Songwriting Awards, I still question myself and I still get the block. We all get it at some point, but it's what we do about it that determines if we will be able to write a song. Here are some tips and techniques I have used to cure songwriters block and write a great song.

1. Be prepared. Many times I have gone into a songwriting session either with someone or even just by myself, and I haven't prepared myself. Have a really good think about what you want to write about, jot down some ideas. Write down some lyrics, ask yourself, what type of song do you want to write? Fast? Slow? What genre will it be? Keep this in a songwriting journal (I call mine the Idea...

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