Writing and Producing with a Hit Song Mentality

Stream it on-demand and watch each segment at your own pace!

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How long will the videos be available?
For a period of two weeks from the day
you sign up.
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What does the workshop include?
Ten workshop video segments totaling approximately
six hours. Each workshop segment is paired with its
own downloadable workshop materials.
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Workshop Price
Non-Subscribers: $279
Hit Songs Deconstructed Subscriber?
Click here to request your discount code

This workshop provides you with proven techniques 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.

Led by Hit Songs Deconstructed founder, David Penn, each workshop segment is accompanied by examples from some of 2017's most successful songs to illustrate trends and techniques pertaining to the Hot 100 Top 10 as a whole, as well as the Pop and Hip Hop/Rap genres individually.

Song Structure & Arrangement

Here we look at 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 mainstream contemporaries.

Energy & Dynamics

In this segment energy arrangement graphs and in-motion DAW examples are used to visualize how some of today's biggest hits, across genres, maximize the listener's engagement through the use of effective energy level shifts. The segment concludes with an array of chorus impact maximization techniques (C.I.A.'s).

“D” (Departure) Sections

This segment focuses on the various methods for incorporating an engaging "D" section 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.


In this segment we focus on how to effectively structure a narrative. We 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, you'll learn how to develop the narrative across sections in an engaging, clever, and memorable manner. The segment concludes with a look at song title characteristics, placement, and trends.

Vocal Production & Characteristics

This segment provides you with techniques to maximize engagement through the use of effective vocal characteristics, structure and arrangement. We 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. The segment concludes 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.

Vocal Melody

Through the use of hit song case studies across an array of genres, you'll learn 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) create infectious melodies that the listener can't get out of their head.


We 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 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.

Hooking The Listener In

This segment provides you with techniques to cut through airwave clutter, capture the listener's attention, and hold their attention until the next section takes over. We begin by examining 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.

Leaving Them 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.

Genres & Influences

We begin this segment by getting in-tune with current trends pertaining to the overall Hot 100 Top 10 as well as the two most popular genres, Pop and Hip Hop/Rap. Next, we take a look at three key influence types and how they’re put into effect. Then, through a host of current hit song case studies, you’ll learn how multiple influences are woven into the arrangement of a song in order to heighten its impact and make it in-tune with the trends of today while concurrently standing out from the pack.

"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.”

Roy Stride

"Some of the ingredients and methods are intuitive, but something magical happens when it is made explicit – you become immediately aware of what is being done and you begin to actively look for it; then incorporating it into your own music becomes effortless."

Alex Vidovic

"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.

Plus it saves a TON of time, not having to study/breakdown the songs yourself."

Omar Zulfi

"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

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

Brett Steelhammer

"I have never seen hit songs broken down in such an accurate and detailed way."

Jerome Baylor

Who will benefit from this workshop?

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.

Frequently Asked Questions

What does the registration fee include?
It includes access to workshop videos paired with downloadable workshop materials.

For how long will I have access to the videos?
You will have access to the videos during a period of two weeks from the day you sign up.

Can I watch the videos more than once?

Do I get to keep the workshop materials?
Yes. There is a PDF for each segment of the workshop which you can download and keep.

How long is the workshop?
The workshop is comprised of 10 segments totaling approximately six hours.

Do I need to have a music theory background?
Advanced knowledge of music theory is not required, however, a basic understanding of songwriting is highly recommended.

Do I need to know how to read music?
While there are sections with notation throughout many of the segments, songwriting and production techniques covered are visualized through a combination of charts, graphs, notation, and commentary.