The short answer is ‘yes’. Writing a catchy hit song and writing a deep, emotive, real song are not mutually exclusive. Whilst there may be many pop stars in the modern world who succeed through ghostwriters, as the industry has learnt how to craft hit songs after years of practice, there are still many bands and artists who have accidentally released a hit single because there was something within the song which really resonated with people.
It’s hard to say whether it’s a matter of luck when it comes to releasing a hit tune. Talent is obviously required, but timing seems to be key. You need to absorb the world around and feed off potential listeners without your style of music, rather than forcing yourself down the road of a genre in which you don’t feel comfortable. If you feel you’re running around in circles with songs which just aren’t making the right impression on people, then here are some tips to writing hit songs and garnering attention from potential fans who’ve yet to hear you.
Start with the chorus.
Writing a hit song isn’t about selling out and using the same four-chord progression that dozens if not hundreds of history’s most popular hits have used. Writing a hit is about getting your track stuck in people’s head, and that means you need to be not only repeating the catchiest moments of the song, but starting off with them. Opening your song with the chorus might be the perfect way to keep listeners interested, as people consume music so greedily in the modern age that they might overlook your song if it doesn’t captivate them within the first ten seconds.
It needs to sound good.
Whilst this sounds like an obvious piece of advice, it can be interpreted in many ways. Perhaps, to you, ‘sounding good’ as a musician simply means writing a great piece of music and performing it well. Whilst this is true, creating a truly professional sound depends on the gear you use as well. You might want to look into sites such as The Box Tiger Music for ideas as to the best guitars, pianos or other instruments out there. You’re only as good as your tools. This may not apply in all aspects of life, but it really does when it comes to creating music. Using an old, battered acoustic guitar, no matter how good you may be at playing it, isn’t going to give you the sleek, powerful sound you want; even if you are going for the ‘raw’ approach.
A diverse sound.
At the end of the day, you’re going to struggle to find success if you don’t diversify. Whilst you may love creating straightforward rock music, and you can always return to that in the future, you’re not going to push yourself out of your comfort zone creatively if you don’t switch things up and head down different avenues. The best way to improve your musicianship and stumble across a musical nugget which can grow into a fully-fledged hit is to mess around with as many different sounds as possible.
You need to push yourself into foreign areas of music so that you can really learn about what does and doesn’t work when it comes to catchy sounds and the right recipe for a hit. There are only so many ways you can rework riffs or power chords on your electric guitar; maybe trying a new instrument or starting a band so as to bring different ideas to the table would really help you to grow your own ideas too. You can learn things from more experienced musicians.