Last week we blogged about cover song success stories, this week we have Jay Frank author of FutureHit.DNA with some tips on how to make a successful song. His book suggests techniques for artists on how to make their music hit worthy, and talks about how playing in to new technologies can result in higher royalties.
If you don’t grab and impress a listener in seven seconds, the chance that your song will be successful will decrease exponentially.
For fear of being too subtle, of course I’m doing the same thing right now as I write this. I’m up front with an important fact that I want to make sure you remember. And thru that, I’ve hopefully engaged you enough to read this whole blog post. And with that, forward this post to your friends and, for enough of you, engage in some form of commerce around my book Futurehit.DNA.
However, this is not just a mere ploy for me to sell books. This is truly what you need to do in engaging audiences with your music. I’d love to tell you that the audience has the time and patience to discover your music, but they don’t. The truth is that there’s just too much music out there for anyone to give time to something they think they won’t like. So they ignore unfamiliar songs that don’t grab them. Like potentially your music.
Don’t look at me too harshly. While most people spent the last decade worrying about piracy, they should’ve been worried about why nobody cared about their music in the first place. The biggest hurdle one faces is nobody hearing your music, talking about your music, or even caring enough to listen to your song past ten seconds. The truth is actually in there: nearly half of all people who discover a song don’t listen past ten seconds.
The good news for you reading this is that about 95% of the music that I hear on a regular basis doesn’t conform to the new digital landscape either. Just thinking about the psychology of the listener will help you better craft a song to be hitworthy. My book goes very indepth into the “why” of the new digital listener, but here are three quick and easy things to think about to get you started.
1) IMPRESS THE LISTENER IN SEVEN SECONDS
Hopefully I’ve done that from the opening sentence of this blog post. Make your intros short, if at all. There’s a reason the big hits have very short intros. They work in the digital discovery process. Avoid this at your peril.
2) REPETITION REPETITION REPETITION
In the songwriting process, repeating things over and over seems simplistic. Reality is that people want to sing songs. If they can’t sing, they generally don’t like. Repeating key words and phrases is the fastest way to get there. Your audience wants this.
3) MAKE SOME COVER SONGS
Your original songs’ biggest liability is the fact that the listener doesn’t know it yet. Ease them in to your originals by covering other songs your potential audience might like. The reason so many YouTube musicians do this is because it works. These songs are the sugar coated morsels before they experience your unique new music and get the listener warmed up.
Keep an eye out on our twitter next week, 3 copies of FutureHit.DNA are available for Zimbalam Producers!