Writing and Producing with a Hit Song Mentality

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Saturday and Sunday
February 2 & 3, 2019
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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
Your Price: $229

Take your craft to the next level, connect with a wider audience, capitalize on trends and channel your creativity for commercial success!

Most chart-topping hits, at their core, have one thing in common: they’re exceptionally well crafted and capitalize on today’s compositional trends to connect with the widest possible audience.

That's why today’s most successful songwriters, producers, creatives and A&R’s recognize the importance of staying on top of trends and continuously honing their craft to give themselves an edge for success in such a fast-changing musical landscape. And one of the best ways to do this is to study today's hits!

During this two-day, 12-segment workshop, through a series of critical listening exercises, we will listen to examples from recent hits, deconstruct the techniques being utilized and analyze why they're instrumental in taking these songs to the next level. During each segment, we will look at examples that illustrate trends and techniques pertaining to the Hot 100 Top 10 as a whole, as well as non-Hip Hop and Hip Hop genres individually.

At the end of this workshop, you will walk away with an in-depth understanding of the songwriting and production techniques that make today's chart-topping songs so effective and develop an instinctual approach to songwriting that will allow you to channel your unique creativity in a way that is primed for commercial success.

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

Videos of all workshop segments will be made available following the workshop.

What People Are Saying about this Workshop

Workshop Segments Include:

Most Popular Song Forms, Harmony and More
Find out which are the most popular and effective Pop and Hip Hop song forms, how harmony is structured in some of today’s biggest hits, and how strategic instrument choices enable hit songs to both blend in and stand out when compared to their mainstream contemporaries.

Creating an Engaging Ride Through Energy Shifts
Learn how some of today’s biggest hits across genres maximize the listener’s engagement through the use of effective energy level shifts. Techniques are visualized with energy arrangement graphs and in-motion DAW examples. The segment concludes with an array of Chorus Impact Accentuator techniques (C.I.A.’s) that you can immediately add to your songwriting toolbox.

Hooking the Listener In
Find out how today’s most successful hits are cutting through airwave clutter, capturing the listener’s attention, and holding their attention until the next section takes over. We’ll examine trends pertaining to how current hit songs begin, and then review an array of effective intro techniques being used in some of today’s biggest hits.

Maximizing the Impact of Your Chorus
This new segment will provide you with an array of techniques to help your choruses stand out, connect, and be remembered. Topics include melodic structure techniques, chorus impact accentuator techniques (C.I.A.’s), lyrical repetition, song title placement, and more.

Maximizing Engagement Through Vocal Production
Learn how to maximize engagement through the use of effective vocal delivery characteristics, structure, and arrangement. We’ll begin by getting in-tune with current trends and then, through an array of case studies, look at how vocals are structured and arranged in some of today’s biggest hits. We’ll conclude by taking a deep dive into one major hit, section by section, to see how the vocals were produced and arranged for maximum impact and engagement.

Melodies the Listener Can’t Get Out of Their Head
Creating infectious melodies that the listener can’t get out of their head is fundamental to your song’s success. Through an array of current hit song case studies, we will look at how repetition and contrast, rhyme schemes, syllable count and the adherence to the K.I.S.S. ME principal (Keep It Simple, Singable and Memorable) all contribute to achieving this.

Developing an Engaging & Memorable Narrative
Learn how to develop the narrative in an engaging, clever, and memorable manner. We’ll begin by getting in-tune with current lyrical theme trends, key lyrical ingredients, and the role that song sections play in the narrative. Then, using an array of hit song case studies, we’ll review how to effectively develop the narrative across sections.

The Most Effective Hook Characteristics & Techniques 
Find out what some of the most effective hook characteristics and techniques are and how they are being used in today’s hits. We’ll begin with an overview of vocal and instrumental hooks and “hook center” characteristics and trends. Then, through a multitude of current hit song case studies, we’ll dive into some of the most effective hook characteristics and techniques, including different types of vocal and instrumental hooks, cross-section hook development and reinforcement, the multi-section “hook fest,” and multi-hook interaction.

Effectively using “D” Sections
This segment focuses on the various methods for incorporating an engaging Departure (“D”) section such as a bridge or bridge surrogate into a song. We begin by looking at where “D” sections occur and the characteristics that put “D” sections into effect. Then, through a host of current hit song case studies, we dive into some of the most effective “D” section techniques used in hit song bridges and bridge surrogates.

Leaving the Listener Wanting More
Here we look at the trends and techniques for concluding a song in the most effective manner possible. Using an array of case studies, you’ll learn how some of today’s biggest hits take infectious material from multiple sections and incorporate it into what we call “The Grand Finale Hook Fest” outro, taking the listener to an excited high and leaving them wanting more.

Standing Out from the Pack
One of the keys to a successful hit song is blending in while standing out. In this segment we will review some standout characteristics and techniques used in recent hits that put them over-the-top and enabled them to stand out among their mainstream contemporaries.

Using Genre Fusion to Heighten Your Song’s Impact
Learn how genre fusion can heighten your song’s impact, help it stand out from mainstream contemporaries, grow your fanbase, and increase sales potential by traversing multiple genres. We’ll begin by getting in-tune with current trends and then take a look at three key influence types in the Top 10 and how they’re being put into effect. We will then review a host of current hit song case studies to understand how multiple influences were woven into the arrangement to heighten the song’s impact and make it in-tune with the trends of today, while concurrently helping the song stand out from the pack.

Who will benefit from attending?

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.

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.