SONGWRITING TIPS AND ADVICE ON THE ESSENTIAL INGREDIENTS FOUND IN ALL HIT SONGS

Tag Archives: song writing

BRIAN COXPhysicist, broadcaster and musician Brian Cox (former keyboardist with 1990s band D:Ream, pictured right) is set to chair a special Royal Opera House ‘Insights’ session titled What makes the perfect song?.

The event will explore the relationship between music and physics and will be staged at the Royal Opera House, London on 24 November 2014.

Produced in collaboration with the Institute of Physics, What makes the perfect song? will feature a panel of experts from both disciplines. It will be live-streamed via the Royal Opera House YouTube channel.

“We will look at the structure and lyrics of songs and ask at a scientific level whether there is something in a tune that provokes an emotional response, or just produces something catchy,” said Royal Opera House creative producer Tom Nelson.

He added: “The best arias in opera have some of the simplest tunes, yet some of those arias will last for centuries while other tunes being produced now may be forgotten in a year or two, and we want to ask why.

“You could never forget Luciano Pavarotti’s performance of ‘Nessun Dorma’ being used at the 1990 FIFA World Cup, but are there examples of contemporary songs that we will still be using as the theme tune for the 2116 World Cup? I think it’s a fascinating question.”

Tickets will be available exclusively to people signed up to the Royal Opera House student scheme, but you’ll be able to watch the whole thing live-streamed via the Royal Opera House YouTube channel from 7.15pm (GMT) on 24 November 2014.

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“HOW [NOT] TO WRITE A HIT SONG! - 101 COMMON MISTAKES TO AVOID IF YOU WANT SONGWRITING SUCCESS” is available from Amazon as a paperback and also as an eBook from Amazon’s Kindle Store, Apple's iTunes Store, Barnes and Noble's Nook store, and from KoboBooks.com.How [Not] To Write A Hit Song! – 101 Common Mistakes To Avoid If You Want Songwriting Success” is available from Amazon as a US paperback, UK paperback and as an eBook from Amazon’s Kindle Store, Apple’s iTunes Store (Books/Arts & Entertainment/Music), Barnes & Noble’s Nook store, and from KoboBooks.

Read a FREE sample of the book HERE (USA) and  HERE (UK).


TAYLOR SWIFT2A never-before-heard track off Taylor Swift’s new album 1989 plays in the background during a new Diet Coke TV commercial which shows ‘cat lady’ Taylor getting lost in a sea of kittens.

The 30-second ad opens with Taylor Swift playing with her cute new kitten, but after several sips of Diet Coke she ends up with a roomful of kittens. Every time she takes another sip, the cats multiply. The end line is: “What if life tasted as good as Diet Coke”.

The backing track is a sneak peek at ‘How You Get The Girl’ from Taylor Swift’s new album 1989 which is available from October 27. Taylor also gets to plug the album at the end of the ad.

1989 is Taylor Swift’s fifth studio album. It is being described as “a songwriting and sonic evolution”. Heavily keyboard and beat driven, the 13-track album is very different from anything she has ever done before … and a long way from her country roots.

Earlier this year, Taylor told Billboard magazine: “[The album] has evolved into a new sound, and that’s all I wanted. There’s a fusing of genres that makes me happy and excited.

“I spent two years making 1989. Two years gives you enough time to grow and change and let things inspire you.”

She added: “I was listening to a lot of late 80s pop music and how bold those songs were and how that time period was a time of limitless possibilities. In thinking about that, this album is a rebirth for me. This is my very first documented, official pop album.”

In an interview with the Associated Press (AP), Taylor stressed how important it is for songwriters not to simply put out a retread of songs they’ve already done: “The goal is to continue to change, and never change in the same way twice.” On her new album, she said, this involved writing in ways that she had never attempted before, and using a sonic backdrop that she had not previously explored.

A Deluxe version of the new album includes three of Taylor’s songwriting voice memos. These memos are personal audio recordings that will give new songwriters an insight into Taylor Swift’s songwriting process. They show the creation and development of three songs featured on the 1989 album.

Here’s the new Diet Coke TV commercial …

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“HOW [NOT] TO WRITE A HIT SONG! - 101 COMMON MISTAKES TO AVOID IF YOU WANT SONGWRITING SUCCESS” is available from Amazon as a paperback and also as an eBook from Amazon’s Kindle Store, Apple's iTunes Store, Barnes and Noble's Nook store, and from KoboBooks.com.How [Not] To Write A Hit Song! – 101 Common Mistakes To Avoid If You Want Songwriting Success” is available from Amazon as a US paperback, UK paperback and as an eBook from Amazon’s Kindle Store, Apple’s iTunes Store (Books/Arts & Entertainment/Music), Barnes & Noble’s Nook store, and from KoboBooks.

Read a FREE sample of the book HERE (USA),  HERE (UK),  HERE (Australia)  and HERE (Canada).


AVICIIWhile it’s true that the melody and the title are regarded as the most important parts of a song, it would be a huge mistake to believe that the quality of the lyrics doesn’t really matter if your song has a strong melody, a catchy hook and great beats.

As the award-winning songwriter and producer Francis ‘Eg’ White once remarked: “If you’ve got a killer tune and a killer set of chord changes and you’ve got no lyrics, you’re screwed.”

And just to prove that writers should never settle for lyrics that they know are second-best, new research from YouTube shows that lyrics are becoming more important than ever.

According to YouTube, searches for the term ‘lyric video’ are now at an all-time high. The Google-owned video-sharing website claims that some 100 days’ worth of videos with ‘lyric video’ in the title have been uploaded so far in 2014 (attracting more than 850 million views). And more major artists are now creating their own official lyric videos as a teaser for their official music video.

YouTube says Avicii’s lyric video for ‘Wake Me Up’ currently tops the ‘most viewed’ list, having been watched almost 199 million times.

Here is YouTube’s list of the Top 10 most popular lyric videos of all time:

1. Avicii – ‘Wake Me Up (Lyric Video)’: 198,525,542 views

2. Avicii – ‘Hey Brother (Lyric)’: 137,056,523

3. Maroon 5 – ‘Payphone (Lyric Video) ft. Wiz Khalifa’: 117,022,809

4. Adele – ‘Skyfall (Lyric Video)’: 98,440,284

5. Christina Perri – ‘A Thousand Years’: 84,700,444

6. Katy Perry – ‘Roar (Lyric Video)’: 76,791,132

7. One Direction – ‘Rock Me (Lyric Video)’: 67,608,064

8. David Guetta – ‘Shot Me Down ft. Skylar Grey (Lyric Video)’: 73,957,630

9. Ariana Grande – ‘Problem (Lyric Video) ft. Iggy Azalea’: 59,862,736

10. Bruno Mars – ‘When I Was Your Man (Lyrics)’: 57,789,851

Here’s the chart-topping Official Lyric Video for Avicii’s ‘Wake Me Up’ …

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“HOW [NOT] TO WRITE A HIT SONG! - 101 COMMON MISTAKES TO AVOID IF YOU WANT SONGWRITING SUCCESS” is available from Amazon as a paperback and also as an eBook from Amazon’s Kindle Store, Apple's iTunes Store, Barnes and Noble's Nook store, and from KoboBooks.com.How [Not] To Write A Hit Song! – 101 Common Mistakes To Avoid If You Want Songwriting Success” is available from Amazon as a US paperback, UK paperback and as an eBook from Amazon’s Kindle Store, Apple’s iTunes Store (Books/Arts & Entertainment/Music), Barnes & Noble’s Nook store, and from KoboBooks.

Read a FREE sample of the book HERE (USA),  HERE (UK),  HERE (Australia)  and HERE (Canada).

 


ROYAL BLOODIt is generally accepted that the chorus is the part of a song that is meant to get stuck in people’s heads. It’s the section that is really supposed to sell a song and sustain the listener’s interest—usually with a strong dynamic flow in the verse that transports the listener to an emotional lift in the chorus.

The normal means of achieving this is by making sure the chorus has a memorable melodic hook that stands out from the verse and a lyric (with a repetitive title line) that hammers home the message of the song.

But can a conventional chorus be replaced by a riff?

Yes it can, according to Royal Blood, the hotly-tipped two-piece from Brighton, England who are set on “rewriting the rules of rock” by playing an unusual combination of bass and drums.

Royal Blood’s singer and bassist Mike Kerr recently told the BBC’s Mark Savage: “The philosophy behind this band was ‘can a riff be a chorus?’ Can you make verses, choruses and bridges – classic, standard songwriting – out of riffs, without it being disgusting?”

The answer, according to Savage, is a resounding “Yes”—with Royal Blood already being hailed as the “saviours of rock and roll” by several music magazines.

Read the full story by the BBC’s Mark Savage HERE…

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“HOW [NOT] TO WRITE A HIT SONG! - 101 COMMON MISTAKES TO AVOID IF YOU WANT SONGWRITING SUCCESS” is available from Amazon as a paperback and also as an eBook from Amazon’s Kindle Store, Apple's iTunes Store, Barnes and Noble's Nook store, and from KoboBooks.com.How [Not] To Write A Hit Song! – 101 Common Mistakes To Avoid If You Want Songwriting Success” is available from Amazon as a US paperback, UK paperback and as an eBook from Amazon’s Kindle Store, Apple’s iTunes Store (Books/Arts & Entertainment/Music), Barnes & Noble’s Nook store, and from KoboBooks.

Read a FREE sample of the book HERE (USA) and  HERE (UK).


STEVIE WONDER“I think melodies are like angels from heaven expressing a place for the heart to follow …

“You feel moments of passion in a tender way and moments of passion in a way that’s like ‘Let’s hit it’. Different emotions happen at different times. Some days are very mellow, some days are a little crazy, and that’s the same with music.”

—Stevie Wonder

MORE SONGWRITING TIPS

“HOW [NOT] TO WRITE A HIT SONG! - 101 COMMON MISTAKES TO AVOID IF YOU WANT SONGWRITING SUCCESS” is available from Amazon as a paperback and also as an eBook from Amazon’s Kindle Store, Apple's iTunes Store, Barnes and Noble's Nook store, and from KoboBooks.com.How [Not] To Write A Hit Song! – 101 Common Mistakes To Avoid If You Want Songwriting Success” is available from Amazon as a US paperback, UK paperback and as an eBook from Amazon’s Kindle Store, Apple’s iTunes Store (Books/Arts & Entertainment/Music), Barnes & Noble’s Nook store, and from KoboBooks.

Read a FREE sample of the book HERE (USA),  HERE (UK),  HERE (Australia)  and HERE (Canada).


EMELI SANDE + JAGUARWriting songs that are tailored to suit specific artists is as old as Tin Pan Alley itself. And ‘drive-time’ songs have inspired countless themed compilation albums over the years. But multi-platinum British singer-songwriter Emeli Sandé is gearing up to create a tailor-made ‘driving’ song with a difference … it’s a launch song for Jaguar’s new sports car, the Jaguar XE.

Emeli Sandé will be collaborating with Jaguar to create a song based on the kind of experiences that people find exhilarating. This theme is intended to reflect the fact that ‘Exhilaration’ is at the heart of the new car, according to Jaguar.

But before Emeli sits down at her piano to start writing the words and music for the new song, she’s asking her fans to use the hashtag #FeelXE on social media to share words, pictures, sounds and films that express what makes them feel exhilarated.

Emeli will then write the ‘exhilarating’ song based on the responses provided by her fans.

“I always thought it’d be cool to interact with the fans to create,” Emeli Sandé told Mashable.com. “The challenge is I don’t know what’s going to come at me, but it’s kind of like live music—when you get on stage, you don’t know how it’s going to go. My eyes are open to different feelings of exhilaration.”

Emeli’s song for the Jaguar XE will be performed for the first time at a secret location alongside the River Thames in London on September 8. It will be part of a spectacular, audio-visual event to mark the launch of the new car.

“I can’t wait to start collaborating with the world, looking at what defines Exhilaration for them, and premiering the track in London at what is going to be an incredible event!” said Emeli.

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“HOW [NOT] TO WRITE A HIT SONG! - 101 COMMON MISTAKES TO AVOID IF YOU WANT SONGWRITING SUCCESS” is available from Amazon as a paperback and also as an eBook from Amazon’s Kindle Store, Apple's iTunes Store, Barnes and Noble's Nook store, and from KoboBooks.com.How [Not] To Write A Hit Song! – 101 Common Mistakes To Avoid If You Want Songwriting Success” is available from Amazon as a US paperback, UK paperback and as an eBook from Amazon’s Kindle Store, Apple’s iTunes Store (Books/Arts & Entertainment/Music), Barnes & Noble’s Nook store, and from KoboBooks.

Read a FREE sample of the book HERE (USA),  HERE (UK),  HERE (Australia)  and HERE (Canada).


AVICIIThe trend toward songwriters mixing up music genres in order to create something different and fresh—and also help them reach new audiences—appears to be gathering pace.

Swedish dance producer/writer Avicii has just announced that his next album will blend rock with electronic dance music (EDM). This follows his previous flirtation with a combination of bluegrass and big-room house on his crossover hit ‘Wake Me Up’.

Avicii says he plans to add a rock flavour to his next album with guest appearances from Jon Bon Jovi, Green Day’s Billie Joe Armstrong, System Of A Down’s Serj Tankian and Chris Martin of Coldplay. Other guest artists are expected to include Wyclef Jean and Matisyahu (on a reggae/EDM duet).

With his new (as yet untitled) album, Avicii is also echoing the recent call by Disclosure for EDM writers to use a broader range of chords and song structures.

Commenting on the new album, Avicii recently told Rolling Stone magazine: “It’s going to be a lot more song-oriented. True [his 2013 debut album], was an attempt at that, getting electronic music in a song format.”

Other singer-songwriters who are taking this ‘fusion’ approach to writing songs include Taylor Swift who has hinted that her new album will push the boundaries of her sound by featuring greater cross-pollination between different genres.

JESSIE JJessie J also shares this view: “I feel like pop’s taken a really good turn at the moment,” she recently remarked. “I feel like artists are experimenting. That’s what music should be about, pushing boundaries.”

And British singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran’s new hit album, X, features a broad mix of genres, sonic ideas and songwriting styles that stretch his original folk rock sound. Sheeran said he deliberately set out to “rock the boat a little bit” with his new music.

As a possible indication of Avicii’s upcoming collaboration with Chris Martin, here’s his remix of Coldplay’s ‘A Sky Full of Stars’ …

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“HOW [NOT] TO WRITE A HIT SONG! - 101 COMMON MISTAKES TO AVOID IF YOU WANT SONGWRITING SUCCESS” is available from Amazon as a paperback and also as an eBook from Amazon’s Kindle Store, Apple's iTunes Store, Barnes and Noble's Nook store, and from KoboBooks.com.How [Not] To Write A Hit Song! – 101 Common Mistakes To Avoid If You Want Songwriting Success” is available from Amazon as a US paperback, UK paperback and as an eBook from Amazon’s Kindle Store, Apple’s iTunes Store (Books/Arts & Entertainment/Music), Barnes & Noble’s Nook store, and from KoboBooks.

Read a FREE sample of the book HERE (USA),  HERE (UK),  HERE (Australia)  and HERE (Canada).