How to Write a Hit (According to Dave Grohl)
In this short video with Dave Grohl and Kyle Gass, Dave explains how to write a hit. He may make it look easier than it actually is but he makes some good points.
When I’m writing a song I find what I have the most trouble with is keeping my lyrics short and sweet. Paraphrasing my long drawn out thoughts into a quick melody that people can catch on to and sing along with. I love Dave’s view on thinking of it as a bumper sticker. Something quick and simple that will stand out in your mind. Vague enough to make a connection with the audience whoever they may be.
Don’t Bore Us
“Don’t bore us, get to the chorus” is a phrase that I have heard over and over in my life. At about the 2 minute mark, Dave explains that Aerosmith songs are made up almost entirely of choruses and that is why they have so many mega hits! He claims that the form to a hit is “chorus, chorus, pre-chorus, chorus, verse (kinda), chorus, pre-chorus, chorus, chorus, chorus, finale, chorus.”
If you follow that form every time you write a song from now on… You will be a non-stop, money making, hit song writer. You are welcome.
Keep It Simple
I think I can confidently say that a good chunk of the greatest songs of all time are extremely simple. Not all of them… But more than you may think. Sure time changes and crazy chord progressions and things people don’t expect keeps music interesting and every great band needs some of that here and there. But a simple, catchy, 4-chord song with lyrics everyone can relate to is almost always the winner when it comes to making the big bucks off song writing. So don’t think to hard about it. Just let it be.