By: Ty Cohen
As a songwriter, you will constantly be observing the world around you as well as looking deep inside yourself for material. There are several steps you can follow when exploring how to write a hit song. Your first step will be to create a title. From your title you can move either to the lyrical aspect or if you are more experienced as a music composer, you may want start with your melody.
A melody is defined as a rhythmically organized sequence of single tones so related to one another as to make up a particular phrase or idea. In layman’s terms, this is the most recognizable part of your song that people find themselves humming over and over. In fact, isn’t this the idea? You want your melody to play over and over again in people’s minds. You want it to stick!
Even though your song can be born from a chord progression or a set of lyrics, songs are historically written by designing the melody from the beginning. When writing your melody there are a few decisions and steps you must take.
You must first decide what key you would prefer your melody to be in. The two keys are major and minor, this is something every songwriter must know. Normally, minor keys are used for gloomy-like, dissident melodies and major keys are used for the more pleasant, upbeat songs. Next, pick a tempo or speed and you can continue to improve from there.
The process of figuring out how to write a hit song does involve acquiring a general knowledge of music theory and instruments. My suggestion would be to either pick up a guitar or take a piano music theory so you will have an instrument to help you write that ever so crucial melody.
Remember, your melody cannot be weak. Sing your melody in your head, out loud or with an instrument over and over as you write it. This will ensure you hear if it is exciting, is catchy and most importantly, makes sense. Although it is not absolutely necessary to be a music composer to write a melody, those that are, are able to write out their melody on paper to see the shape and contour of the music.
Lastly, if you get to overwhelmed and need a break—take one! No one said that melody writing is easy! You definitely need a clear mind and some serious focus. If you find that you aren’t skilled in music composition or have no idea how to play an instrument then get help. Even if you know how some extra help never hurt anyone. Learning how to write a hit song is a never ending process of discovery so don’t get frustrated and give up. Instead explore other avenues of help in the area of melody writing!