Songwriting

Six ways to make your songwriting more commercial instantly.

by Marty Dodson
Jul 28, 2017

1) Write a better first line. Interesting first lines grab the listener and make them want to hear more. They can be the difference in an artist or A&R person listening all the way through or passing on your song right away.

2) Make your chorus bigger. A chorus that leaps out of the speakers is going to have a better shot than one that limps out of the speakers every time. People want choruses that get a crowd going.

3) Take out red flags. If your song includes something that might offend people, you have to count the cost. Is it worth losing a cut to have your political views in your song? If not, then take out red flags that might be offensive.

4) Take out cliche’s and say things in a fresh way. A lyric that sounds worn out and old is not going to have a very good chance. Make your lyric fresh and exciting. Shoot for people hearing your lyric and saying “Why didn’t I think of that?”

5) Make your melody unforgettable. A melody that gets stuck in your head all day is worth a million dollars. There is no substitute. Make your melody undeniable.

6) Use repetition. When you have the opportunity, repeat in a catchy way. My song “Fire It Up” has a chorus that says “And let your heart say fire it up, and let your soul say fire it up, and let your mind say fire it up, and let love live again”. The first time you play that song live, people can sing along with the 2nd chorus. It’s so simple and repetitive that it draws people in to sing along.

Write on! ~MD

Fire It Up – Example of repetition

I’m Good – Example of catchy melody and interesting opening line

Marty Dodson

Marty Dodson

Marty Dodson is a multi-hit songwriter, co-founder of SongTown, and co-author of  The Songwriter’s Guide To Mastering Cowriting and Song Building: Mastering Lyric Writing

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