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 Wednesday, 9/26)
Subscriber? Get your discount code>>

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.

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.

However, that’s just one part of the equation, or else all songs would sound exactly the same! Most also possess something unique - some quality that helps them get noticed and be remembered. It’s how these unique qualities (melodies, rhythms, dynamics, etc.) are introduced throughout a song that is the recipe for success in today’s charts. By effectively blending the familiar and the unique, they stand out from the pack while still resonating with a large audience.

Using the Hit Songs Deconstructed methodology, we will examine Billboard Hot 100 Top 10 compositional trends and then take a deep dive into the songwriting and production techniques being utilized. Each segment features examples from some of today's most successful songs to illustrate trends and techniques.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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