Top Tips for Songwriters

Want to create a massive hit single? Read on….
So you know the basics of creating a record, but what does it take to make a ‘timeless classic?’
Whether you’re a classical artist, or a dubstep producer these tips will (hopefully) help you to create that top hit that will be played over and over again…

• A ‘catchy’ song
This may appear obvious, but a hit record must be a great song. You could be the most talented technical producer to walk the planet, but if the songs not catchy, then the majority will not listen. The melody must be strong, as this is what a listener focuses on and this should be accompanied by some great lyrics and a good groove.

• A strong vocal
This is a key asset to any record. A great hit usually has a vocalist who truly engages with the emotions of the song. A good vocalist is a matter of opinion, (a bad vocalist is a matter of fact) but a strong vocalist is someone who conveys the message of a song to the listener through the lyrics. There is a huge difference between a strong vocalist and a good vocalist. The majority can sing… well, almost.

• A creative arrangement
This is what’s going to keep the listener engaged. Be fun, be creative, mix things up. A hit song is never repetitive or monotonous (with the exception of umberella-ella-ella!) Add a counter melody, change the drum pattern or add in that all important key change. The secret is to keep the listener interested, always wanting more, reaching the ‘repeat’ button.

• An accomplished performance
Bring your creation to life in the studio. Be passionate about your work. No amount of editing can replicate this. A lifeless track will not go far. Putting everything you have into performance and play will not only be conveyed in production, but will also make the process a whole lot easier.

• Good production
Although this isn’t true of all hits, generally, songs which aren’t technically good, will not make it. A well engineered track does not guarantee you a hit, but it’s definitely a start. Balanced EQ’s and the right amount of reverb and compression can add an extra dimension. So pay attention to detail, it’s the small things that can often make the biggest differences.

• A timeless factor
If you are following current trends and fashion, then chances are your record will be binned when the next trend hits. Be original, be creative, retro, maybe?

• The most important tip of all….
Analyze past hits… the tracks you love. Take notes. What are the subtle differences in each verse or chorus? What features do you like? But please, no copy cats! Be inspired by your favourite artist, be original, have fun and let’s create some amazing hits!

So there you have it, the secret of a timeless classic in black and white. Obviously, these are not evident in every hit song, there will always be questionable tracks taking the charts by storm, but in general stick to these rules and you’ll be on to a winner. Failing that, you can always make an Xmas single!

Good luck

With thanks to Music Think Tank.
Edited by Jenna Jones twitter/jennaj9289

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