Writing and Producing with a Hit Song Mentality

Join songwriters and producers from around the world for this global, online event!

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Saturday and Sunday
October 13 & 14, 2018
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11:00 AM – 2:00 PM EDT
Both Days
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Registration Pricing
Regular Price: $349
Early Bird Price: $279
(The Early Bird Expires Monday, 9/24)
Subscriber? Get your discount code>>

This workshop will provide you with proven techniques culled from recent Top 10 Hits that will help you take your craft to the next level, connect with a wider audience, capitalize on trends and channel your creativity for commercial success.

Watch this video to view excerpts from our last workshops.

Newly updated and expanded, this intensive two-day virtual workshop will explore current trends, the songwriting and production techniques being used craft today’s hits, and how writers put a unique spin on them. We will also have a special focus on non-Hip Hop and Hip Hop genres individually.

Led by Hit Songs Deconstructed founder and editor-in-chief David Penn, this workshop will cover:

  • Current Trends: The state of the mainstream music scene at the compositional level
  • The Influence of Hip Hop on the Top 10: Newly expanded segments that now include a Hip Hop focus such as form/structure/arrangement, dynamics, tempo, key, harmonic progressions, influence fusion (including the incorporation of Hip Hop characteristics into other genres), and hooks.
  • Structure: The most popular song forms, length, tempo and keys found in Top 10 hits; techniques for maximizing engagement and memorability
  • Energy & Dynamics: The three most effective first payoff impact accentuator techniques; “D” (departure) section variation techniques; methods for taking the listener on an exciting and engaging ride
  • Hooking the Listener In: The most popular and effective techniques for cutting through airwave clutter and hooking the listener in. This segment spotlights narration and plugs, intro/chorus hybrids, multipart intros and more
  • Melody & Vocal Production: Melodic structure, rhymes, motives and the K.I.S.S. ME principle; production techniques including vocal layering, delivery types, effects and cross-sectional vocal arrangement
  • Infectious Hooks: The five most effective in-section and cross-section hook techniques and characteristics; post chorus “hook center” multi-hook interaction
  • Lyrics: Key lyrical ingredients, sectional narrative roles, narrative structure and development
  • Genres & Influences: Current trends and fads; fusion techniques for incorporating multiple genre, geographic and time-period influences into a single song
  • Leaving the Listener Wanting More: Methods for leaving the song resonating in the listener’s head. This section spotlights sectional recycling, the “Grand Finale” outro, ending characteristics and more
  • Clever Elements & WOW Factors: Techniques and characteristics that put songs over-the-top and enable them to stand out among their mainstream contemporaries

The songwriting and production techniques covered will be illustrated through case studies utilizing a combination of charts, graphs, notation, commentary, and of course lots of listening. Advanced knowledge of music theory is not required, however, a basic understanding of songwriting is highly recommended.

At the conclusion of each segment, there will be ample time for your questions.

“Even though I’ve been writing professionally for over ten years, I’ve found several nuggets of gold in each presentation that have improved my writing already.”

“Awesome workshop. I have never seen hit songs broken down in such an accurate and detailed way.”

“Tons of fantastic tips and information on how to create hit songs. I learned so much!”

“The way songs are broken down is extremely useful in really solidifying your understanding of what’s happening in the most popular music, and how you can incorporate it in your own.”

“I’ve come away with a really solid understanding of what makes hits work.”

Who will benefit from attending?

Past participants include songwriters and producers with Top 10 Hits in the US and UK, as well as A&R’s and creative executives from major record labels and publishers.

Songwriters looking to successfully channel unique creativity into commercially viable songs, while remaining true to their own unique vision.
Producers looking for cutting-edge techniques to shape songs.
Composers who want to make more targeted pitches to music libraries and production houses that are looking for current sounding music and/or sound-alikes for spots.
Instrumentalists who want to cross over to writing and producing mainstream music.
A&R and Music Industry Professionals looking to expand their understanding of the what, how and why behind today's hits.

What People Are Saying

“Awesome workshop. I have never seen hit songs broken down in such an accurate and detailed way.”
Jerome Baylor

“Tons of fantastic tips and information on how to create hit songs. I learned so much!"
Brett Steelhammer

“You combined elements I've tried to put together through hours of studies, videos, and books into something straightforward and easy to understand."
Reanne Howell

“There is so much you don’t know that you don’t know. This workshop helps fill that gap, and that knowledge is invaluable.”
Bryce Dudzinski

"I’ve come away with a really solid understanding of what make hits work."
Brian Hecht

“Great event. Would recommend for new and experienced writers.”
Summer Edeen

“I would recommend this to producers and songwriters who want to open their mind and improve their way of thinking."
Giulio Cercato