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Horton; 2002 Songwriters Market
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Tips On Writing A Winning Song



Is There A "Standard Format" For Commercial Songs?by Kerri Hunt

• Use first and second person ( I, we, you, your). Try to stay away from third person!
• Use conversational writing
• Use great Hooks and Play-On-Words. (Good Hooks & a Play-On-Words will set you apart!)
• Simplify, simplify, simplify
• Most top 40 tunes are variations of love songs! (relationships)
• Try to have a "pay-off" line towards the end of the song. A payoff is a twist to your story line that is unexpected.
• Use titles that create curiosity!
• Have a strong opening line. The first two or three bars are the most important! Try and open the song with music or lyrics that with catch the listeners attention.
• Write feelings! I love you, I hate you but do it in an original way!
• Write stories - Listeners like stories!
• Use word pictures. Paint a picture with words so the listener can see what you mean.
• Write, write, write - This is a tough business. If you can't handle rejection then find something else to do!
• Try and use standard song formats like Verse, Chorus, Verse, Chorus, Bridge, and such... If you don't use a standard format then you're starting with at least one strike against you...doesn't mean you won't hit a home run but the odds go down when you start with a strike. Also keep the song between 2:30 and 3:30 minutes or another strike.
• If you want to get a cut then you must start submitting tunes to a publisher.
• Look out for anyone who wants to charge you money to record your song! They will usually tell you in a nice way that your tape stinks! Then they will try to sell you on their service. They sometimes send you a semi-real looking contract.
• This is what I have been told is wanted by the Labels. I just write from the heart, ignore the restrictions & rules and let the ink keep flowing.

[© 2000 McClure & Trowbridge Publishing; ref. "Lex Non-Scripta" [LVX] Kerri Hunt]



"With flowers You paint,
O Giver of Life!
With songs You give color."
        - NEZAHUALOYOTL (1402 - 1472)
        NAHUATL FLOWER SONGS



 
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