The world is jam packed with talented musicians, including lyric writers, great instrumentalists, and more. All sorts of musical genres touch our lives on a daily basis, including country music, which is one of the most historic genres of American music there is. Today’s hit country songs might not share a whole lot in common with the huge country hits of yesteryear, but that doesn’t mean there still aren’t some fantastic songwriters out there putting their pen to deep, moving, poetic songs.
So, how does one write hit country songs? If you found this article, then the odds are good that you want to break into the business. Perhaps you’re already a talented, known writer who just hasn’t gotten over the hump yet. Maybe you’re just starting out and want to learn the craft to graduate from a hobby to an actual business.
Whatever your reasons, just know that you’re not alone. There are thousands upon thousands of people on the Internet right now searching a variety of keywords, seeking out songwriting tips, guides on how to write hit country songs, and more. While there are no guarantees, there are a few things you can do to put yourself in a better position to get your songs noticed. Let’s go over a few tips that you can implement on your journey.
Five Tips for Writing Hit Country Songs
1. Consider Writing Courses
You may have heard that old fable about “pride” and the “fall” and all that. Well, it’s true. You have to swallow your pride. A lot of fantastic lyric writers could still use some lyric writing tips. Why? It’s because publishers aren’t going to suggest songs to recording artists if they don’t fit the sort of formula that is conducive for radio play in today’s world. You don’t have to like it, but you do have to accept it, if you want to write good country songs that get recognized. Writing courses are a great way to figure out what’s going on in the market today.
2. Aggregate some Songwriting Tips
Also consider compiling and following along with songwriting tips. You can find these tips on sites offering courses and writing services, along with blogs from the professionals, various interviews, and other methods. Take heed of these tips. Pros know what they’re doing, or else they wouldn’t be professionals. The world is full of amateurs, to the point that everyone is technically an amateur. Being a professional, however, is a special classification, so following their lead is important.
3. Follow the Professional Format
Speaking of that professional format, you definitely want to follow it. This is stuff that you can easily learn by going with solid writing services that teach you the ins and outs of writing popular country music. You’re going to learn a few things about a “template” that publishers are looking for with songs that they bet on being radio friendly. They want your song:
- To be upbeat and positive, a party vibe
- To appeal to country tropes that are popular (trucks, drinking, women, etc)
- To be under 3:00 in length, short and snappy
- To get to the chorus in under 40 seconds
- To sell a hook that’s unique and catchy
- To be conversational, not overly poetic; it has to be understood
- To be professionally complete as a song, not just a lyric sheet
- Pros can help you follow this format. Going at it alone, without songwriting tips and tricks, means you’re going to have a hard time landing any sort of publishing deal, staff-writing job, or getting an artist interested I your music.
4. Emulate, Don’t Steal
You can find some fantastic country music songwriters on platforms like YouTube, who create great music and are on the cusp of breaking through in radio, in sync, and in other areas where a song really takes off and becomes a hit. The idea here is to listen to those people who are doing it correctly, and copying their format. Don’t steal anyone’s music. If you’re known as someone who just plagiarizes other people’s work, you’ll be black-listed very quickly. You want to see what they’re doing when it comes to formatting their choruses and hooks, their verses, and their format, however. This is what sells today.
5. Dot Your Ts, Cross Your Is and Fingers
Lastly, you need to make sure your ducks are in a row. You need to put your song together in a way that’s radio friendly, following the proper format, by crossing those Ts and dotting those Is. Then you’ll need to cross your fingers. You can do everything right and still have a publisher or artist pass. This is why those writing courses and songwriting tips really come in handy, as they will help guide you with the proper advice. For example, if you put a pitch sheet together wrong, or pitch to the wrong artist, you will be turned down. Everything needs to come together like the perfect storm, and finding help along the way gives you better odds of success.
Writing hit songs is tough to do, but you can find the help out there to guide you in the right direction. Find some other great writers online and see what they’re doing, and find yourself a course to take and collect those songwriting tips. Good luck to you on your journey.