The Song Machine (T...
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The Song Machine (The New Yorker)

Guy E. Trepanier
A Night To ReMember
Joined: 5 years ago
Posts: 151
Topic starter  

Here is a great article about writing hit and smash songs.

The Song Machine | The New Yorker

March 19, 2012

There is a excerpt that I noticed:

 “It’s not enough to have one hook anymore,” Jay Brown, the president of Roc Nation, and Dean’s manager, told me recently. “You’ve got to have a hook in the intro, a hook in the pre-chorus, a hook in the chorus, and a hook in the bridge.” The reason, he explained, is that “people on average give a song seven seconds on the radio before they change the channel, and you got to hook them.”


K.I.S.S. Keep It Simple and Singable : in English (my voice + ukulele) : en Français (in french) : songs with lyricists

Gary E. Andrews
Honorable Member
Joined: 5 years ago
Posts: 340

That IS an interesting article, Guy!
It's from 2012, and mentions lots of Songs which one could 'reference' to emulate in one's own Song-Writing.
The music world kept on spinning and those Songs may not be relevant to whatever's happening now, to those who think like that.
To me, I just wish people would write Songs and not concern themselves with whether it 'fits' what's happening 'now'.
I think a good Song could take the music world in a new direction, bend the dominant styles a bit to make something fresh and new.
But this 'manufacturing' methodology is common in pop and country.
Ester Dean's creative method will always be good for the manufactured product. Listen to the track. Get a feel for the beat and changes. Start to conceive a vocalization, a Melody, and suddenly words start to come to 'hang' on the Notes.
Each component has 'Hook Factor'. The Introductory Movement serves that function, to 'Hook' listener interest. It may simply be the percussive beat. It may be a bass riff, or guitar riff, or keyboard arpeggio. It only needs to be long enough to serve that function; Hooking the listener long enough to get to the opening Stanza, whether a Verse or a Chorus.
Then the Lyric has to supply Hook Factor. Words have to be 'sent' so they are 'received' by listeners, engaging them conceptually. I listen for a Singer-Character in the Song, the person telling 'their' story. If I get a sense of someone 'in' the Song, I'm Hooked. I want to know more of the story implied or expressed in that first Line.
As a Song-Writer, YOU are the first 'listener'. You should be Hooked the same way you want to Hook other listeners. You should want to stay Hooked, the same way you want others to stay Hooked.
Good article. Still relevant now, ten years later.

Despite 1,000's of years of Songwriting humans have not exhausted the possibilities. There will always be another Song to be written. Someone will write it. Why not you?