The Hit Trick
What makes a hit song? Why do some songs resonate through your soul,
while others seem to fall by the wayside, never to be remembered?
What is it that makes people want to hear a hit, over and over?
After all, the music scale is only twelve tones and in pop music,
often only 5 - 8 notes are actually used. And a hit song is really
just some words set to a simple melody. What is the elusive combination
of lyrics and music that produces a hit song?
Somebody said to me, 'But the Beatles were
anti-materialistic.' That's a huge myth. John and I literally used
to sit down and say, 'Now, let's write a swimming pool.'
The music industry is a multi–billion-dollar industry with
the possibility of over night stardom and riches based on one thing,
a hit song. The music, lyrics, song arrangement, production and
performance all fit together in a way that makes a memorable song.
"I always knew I'd be in music in some
sort of capacity. I didn't know if I'd be successful at it, but
I knew I'd be doing something in it. Maybe get a job in a record
store. Maybe even play in a band. I never got into this to be a
- Bryan Adams
But, what is the magic combination?
I wish that I had answers to all these questions (and so do a lot
of others) but the truth is, there are no rules and no perfect hit
formula. In fact what makes a good song is even open to debate.
Ask five different people and you will get five different answers,
"I always record far more than I can
use. There's probably twice as much recorded as comes out. I write
songs. Then, I record them. And, later, maybe I perform them on
stage. That's what I do. That's my job. Simple". -Van Morrison
Stay open to new ideas and inspirations. Some songs get written
almost instantly, and some you carry around with you for years and
years. Some songs only get written under the time pressures of a
studio environment, and some just seem to flow out easily. The one
thing that I know beyond any doubt at all, is that a writer writes.
If you keep writing songs, and thinking about writing songs, you
will write good songs someday. Craftsmen take years to build up
the skill to do a master job, expect the same of yourself. Hits
are re-written and re-crafted by the master craftsmen of the music
industry, so have some patience with the craft of writing.
"I pay no attention whatever to anybody's
praise or blame. I simply follow my own feelings". - Wolfgang
The Hit Trick
The trick really is to just do it! To just get on with the process
of writing. Most good songwriters are simply trying to make sense
out of the world around them, to interpret what they feel through
thier art. Grab all the help you can get and get busy! Probably
the worst mistake you can make is to try to write a hit! Try to
write a song that touches people instead, that connects with your
audience's heart and soul. Hits are really just songs that people
want to hear more than other songs, think about the melodies and
lyrics that are your favourites. Why are they your favourites? The
answer to this question is the what you are looking for.
If you would like more info on Hit Song writing, check out Write