What Makes a Great Hit Song (part 1)

Posted: August 12, 2014 in Uncategorized

This is one of those questions that is asked over and over and is never really answered properly. In fact, it’s probably unanswerable, which begs the question, “Why am I bothering trying to answer it?” I don’t know, to be honest. The idea just came to me in the shower.

People would disagree on which songs are great and which aren’t anyway.

I’ve written some specific things on musical techniques that could be used to make your songs work but this piece is less about the technical and more about other, perhaps more intangible stuff.

So I’ve come up with a list of 10 things. There is some crossover with some of these things. I could have made this list bigger or smaller quite easily but I thought ten was a good number. Not all great hit songs have all of the elements but most will have quite a few of them.

The order is inconsequential. It’s just what order I remembered them when I started writing them down after I got out of the shower.

In the next post, I will be starting to explain each of the ten points.

  1. Energy/Conviction
  2. Excitement
  3. Emotion/Passion
  4. Groove
  5. Melody/Hook
  6. Familiarity
  7. Novelty – something new
  8. Credibility/Authenticity
  9. Good Lyrics
  10. Sex



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