What Makes A Hit Song – Secrets You Should Know

 A man in music studio producing using sound mixers-What Makes A Hit Song – Secrets You Should Know
Photo by Brett Sayles from Pexels 

Many musicians out there will tell you their most significant goal is getting a hit song. When you have a song that’s at the top of the chart, you can comfortably live the rest of your life. Most artists have many hit songs, while others can’t have a song that makes the top ten. At this point, if you’re a musician, you’re probably wondering if there’s a secret recipe to making a hit song. If you’re amongst those wondering what makes a hit song, you’re not alone. Many musicians haven’t figured out what makes some songs resonate with your soul while others slip away. The truth is some secret tips can help you make a hit song. 

Many professionals in the industry have continually studied hit songs and discovered a pattern. This pattern is why some musicians have succeeded, and we never heard of some. There are specific rules songwriters can follow, and it will ensure the songs you write are successful. Although these rules don’t necessarily mean your music will become number one, it maximizes the probability. Today, most hit songs followed this pattern, so it must show that something’s working amongst the rules below. If you want the find out what makes a hit song, check out the secrets you should know below. 

The Song Length

A part of the song that matters when you want to learn what makes a hit song is the song length. Knowing the right song length is integral to write a hit song. You need to note that people don’t have a long attention span to listen to a long track. However, you don’t want your song to be so quick that the listeners forget all about it once they get up. That’s why most hit songs today are usually around 3-4 minutes. It is rare to see hit songs that are more than four minutes or end under two minutes. Therefore, if you want to make the most of your song and maximize your chances, you should keep your song length within these confines.

Don’t Drag Out The Verses

Although many people continually make jokes about this, many artists don’t get it. This rule is self-explanatory, and keeping the verses short is part of what makes a hit song. Average listeners are not looking to hear your long verses. Most of them are just looking out for something catchy that they can hold on to. Many listeners can only remember the chorus or hook of the song without catching the verse. If you drag out the verses, you will lose your listeners’ interest before it gets to the best part of the song. The best way to solve this problem and avoid losing your listener’s attention is to get the chorus as quickly as possible. 

Most hit songs usually get to the hit song within 45 seconds of the song. As a rule, don’t let the verse drag out for longer than a minute before you get to the hook or chorus. Some pop artists open with the hook or the chorus to stay safe with this secret rule of writing a hit song. This action ensures that they grab the attention of listeners who write from the beginning. If you want to maximize your chances of getting a hit song, you can also practice placing the hook or chorus of your music at the beginning. Also, you can time your song when practicing and keep the first verse within 45 minutes or less. 

Hook is Everything

This secret rule is not such a secret as we all know a hook is catchy. However, a memorable hook is amongst what makes a hit song and should be taken seriously. Many artists with hit songs would argue that it is the most crucial part of the song. You can ensure you get the hook right by making it the starting point of your songwriting process. The hook is one of the top things your listener is more likely to remember when listening to your song. Therefore, your hook should sum up what your music is all apart. A tip for writing your song is to think of it as the part your listeners will sing to their friends if they want to describe your music within minutes, honestly. 

Therefore, your hook needs to be quite memorable and catchy. The part of the song ensures your music sticks with the listener after the song is over. You can choose to make your hook lyrical musical or even keep it simple as repeating a few words after the chorus. Whatever you decide to go with, note that every hit song requires a hook. Even if your aim is not to write a song that makes it to the chart, writing a hook is still as important. It is what steers the song’s message and makes it stick with the listeners. 

The Key Choice Matters

Most people are unaware that the key you use in your song is part of making a hit song. Using either a major or minor key can strongly determine your song’s success on the chart. If you examine most of the hit songs today, you will notice a trend amongst them. The majority of number one hits today utilize a major key. You might be wondering why this feature matters and is part of what makes a hit song. It’s simple; most people want to listen to music that gets them pumped up and makes them feel good over a song that makes them feel down. The key that gets the job done is a major key. 

It will make it happen even though your song features sad lyrics. This feature doesn’t mean that songs with a minor key don’t make it to the chart’s top. Many people out there love to listen to sad and melancholic music. However, you will find that this style of music doesn’t make it to the top of the chart quite easily. 

Get the Ideal Tempo

One of what makes a hit song is the tempo of the song. It can play an integral part in determining whether a song will rise to the chart’s top. Both slow and upbeat songs are topping the charts today. However, each of these songs has the ideal tempo that makes them a hit song today. A couple of years back, the ideal tempo for upbeat music that becomes a hit song was 120BPM. Recently, there’s been a noticeably rise in song tempos, and songs with a fast pace tend to make it as hit songs. Although things continue to change, 120BPM is still a great starting point; you can also increase it to 135BPM. 

Keep Your Verses Simple and Brief

When it comes to discovering what makes a hit song, the most important thing is making it easy for listeners to digest your track. To achieve this, you should keep your verses simple, relatable, and memorable. When you keep it memorable, the listeners can relate better to your second verse when it comes around. A short verse allows your hook to maintain the center of the attraction and helps you reach it faster. However, your aim shouldn’t just be writing a short verse; ensure it still adds content to the song. Every song has a story it’s telling, and the verse is a crucial part of advancing your song’s story. Therefore, while keeping it simple, don’t forget to make sure it brings ample content to the song. 

A Pre-Chorus Also Works

The problem with keeping your verse short is that sometimes, it makes it hard for your song to reach three or four minutes. Short verses tend to be why your song’s length is short, but it is part of what makes a hit song. So, what’s the solution to this? There’s a part of a song that’s common with hit songs, and that’s a pre-chorus. Adding a pre-chorus to your song will not just add excitement; it works to make the chorus even more enjoyable. Although verse lyrics might change along with the song’s progression, keeping the pre-chorus the same every time is best. Ensuring the pre-chorus stays the same as the song progresses helps to breed familiarity with the listeners.

This rule is part of what makes a hit song and ensures your song is digestible. A great way to make your song memorable is to have a repeating pre-chorus. It is the simplest method to keep your song digestible for the listeners. It ensures that the first chorus is over; listeners also know half of your music and can sing along when the chorus comes around again. It is common in that position because most musicians tend to make it into a type of post-chorus that takes you back to the verse. Sometimes, the hook stays in the chorus. However, either way, it goes, a hook is necessary and belongs somewhere in the song. 

Get the Song Structure Right

While bearing in mind all of the top secrets and rules about what makes a hit song, you shouldn’t forget the song structure. The best method that works for most hit songs today is starting with an intro-verse-pre-chorus-chorus-hook-verse 2-pre-chorus-chorus-hook-bridge-chorus. While most of the parts of the songs shouldn’t change, you can always change the placement of the hook. 

Be Open to New Ideas

One rule that makes up what makes a hit song is your openness to ideas and inspiration. Although getting all the parts of the song right is essential, the story takes a song to the next level. Don’t rush the process of writing your hit song. Some songs are written immediately and end up making it to the top of the chart. However, some songs take much longer and might take you years to polish into a hit song. 

Sometimes, the best place to write a song is in the studio, while sometimes, it flows better outside the studio environment. Being a songwriter is that the more you write, the better you get at it. Artisans sometimes take years to build up a skill; you should expect the same of yourself. Hit songs are usually rewritten and recrafted before they become the memorable songs they are today. Therefore be patient with yourself. 

Do You What Makes a Hit Song ?

There’s no particular path that guarantees that your song makes it a hit song. However, there are a couple of varying factors that ensure that your song becomes successful. There are times when you have the perfect song, but you don’t have the right following to make it into a hit song. There are also times when a song doesn’t follow any of this pattern and still makes it number one. While these are the secrets to writing a hit song, they won’t make you rich quickly. Becoming a hit songwriter is a steady process you shouldn’t try to rush. The best thing you can do as a musician is to follow the guidelines shared above about what makes a hit song. It will prepare your song to become a hit song with the right motivation. 

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on email
Thomas Brownlees

Thomas Brownlees

Ever since I can remember, music has always been my passion.

MORE ARTICLES FROM OUR BLOG