David Brogan Music


Wednesday, 7 March 2012

The Beatles - Melodies and Memories - Why they were Fab

The Beatles- Preview version of supporting text for Lesson Two and Three on Successful Hit Songwriting.

First Lines of  Beatles Songs:-  Written from the 'first person' perspective/viewpoint

A Day In The Life - I read the news today, Oh boy! 

Strawberry Fields Forever - Let me take you down

All I've Got To  Do - Whenever I want you around

Taxman - Let me tell you how it will be

Julia - Half of what I say is meaningless

Think for Yourself - I've got a word or two to say about the things you do

You've Got To Hide Your Love Away - Here I stand with head in hand, turn my face to the wall.

Run For Your Life - I'd rather see you dead little girl than to be with another man

No Reply - This happened once before when I came to your door

Please Please Me - Last night I said these words to my girl

In My Life - There are places I remember all my life

I'm Only Sleeping - When I wake up early in the morning

We Can Work It Out - Try to see it my way

I'm Down - You tell lies thinking I can't see

I'll Follow The Sun - One day you'll look to see I've gone

And I Love Her - I give her all my love, that's all I do

Do You Want To Know A Secret? - You'll never know how much I really love you

Here There And Everywhere - To lead a better life I need my love to be here

Wait - It's been a long time, now I'm coming back home.

Help - Help! I need somebody.

Long Tall Sally - I'm gonna tell Aunt Mary 'bout Uncle John

Ticket To Ride - I think I'm gonna be sad, I think it's today, yeah.

When I'm Sixty-Four - When I get older, losing my hair, many years from now.

I Want To Hold your Hand - Oh yeah, I'll tell you something I think you'll understand.

Let It Be - When I find myself in times of trouble, Mother Mary comes to me.

Helter Skelter - When I get to the bottom I go back to the top of the slide

Yellow Submarine - In the town where I was born

Eight Days A Week - Ooh I need your love babe, guess you know it's true.

Norwegian Wood - I once had a girl, or should I say, she once had me.

Real Love - All my little plans and schemes, lost like some forgotten dreams

I Am The Walrus - I am he as you are he as you are me and we are all together

She's A Woman - My love don't give me presents, I know that she's no peasant

Glass Onion - I told you about Strawberry Fields, you know the place where nothing is real?

Octopus's Garden - I'd like to be, under the sea.

It's All Too Much - It's all too much for me to take

A Hard Day's Night - It's been a hard day's night, and I've been working like a dog

The Beatles -  Songs Recorded with Titles as the first line in the song:

Don't Let Me Down,
Tell Me Why,
I've Got A Feeling,
I Want You,
You Never Give Me Your Money,
Martha My Dear,
I'm So Tired,
Dear Prudence,  
Love Me Do,
In Spite Of All The Danger (Paul song from 1950's performed by early Beatles, aka. Quarrymen),
Here Comes The Sun,
Hey Jude,
Good Day Sunshine,
For The Benefit Of Mr. Kite,
I Should Have Known Better,
Good Morning Good Morning,
I'm Looking Through You,
Lady Madonna,
She Came In Through The Bathroom Window,
I'm A Loser,
What Goes On,
I Call Your Name,
Any Time at all
Can't Buy Me Love
Free As a Bird
Her Majesty
Hey Jude
Hold Me Tight
I call your name
I should have known better
I want you (she's so heavy)
I'm looking through you
I've just seen a face
Lady madonna
Little child
Love me do
Mean Mr Mustard
Oh Darling
Penny Lane
She came in through the bathroom window
She loves you
The long and winding road
There's a place
Why don't we do it in the road?
You never give me your money
You're going to lose that girl

It Won't Be Long, 
If I Fell,
Martha My Dear,
Here Comes The Sun
I'm a Loser
Good Day Sunshine
I Don't Want To Spoil The Party
I'm So Tired
I've Got A Feeling
She Said She Said


A Hard Day's Night
Any Time at all
Can't Buy Me Love
Dear Prudence
Free As a Bird
Goodday Sunshine
Her Majesty
Here Comes The Sun
Hey Jude
Hold Me Tight
I call your name
I don't want to spoil the party
If I fell
I should have known better
It won't be long
I want you (she's so heavy)
I'm a loser
I'm looking through you
I'm so tired
I've got a feeling
I've just seen a face
I want to tell you
Lady madonna
Little child
Love me do
Martha My Dear
Mean Mr Mustard
Oh Darling
Penny Lane
She came in through the bathroom window
She loves you
She said, she said
The long and winding road
There's a place
Why don't we do it in the road?
You never give me your money
You're going to lose that girl

Cry Baby Cry
It's All Too Much
Two Of Us
Hello Little Girl
Lovely Rita
If You've Got Trouble
Step Inside Love/Los Paranoias
Not Guilty
Hello Little Girl
In Spite of All The Danger

And A Few Further Examples From The Solo Years
Mull of Kintyre
Maybe I'm Amazed
Ram On

The Beatles - Songs recorded (Originals and Covers) with Titles written in 'First Person'

Please Please Me 1963
I Saw Her Standing There
Ask Me Why
Please Please Me
Love Me Do
P.S. I Love You

With The Beatles 1963
All I've Got To Do
All My Loving
Don't Bother Me
Hold Me Tight
You Really Got A Hold On Me
I Wanna Be Your Man
Money (That's What I Want)

A Hard Day's Night 1964
I Should Have Known Better
If I Fell
I'm Happy Just To Dance With You
And I Love Her
Tell Me Why
Can't Buy Me Love
I'll Cry Instead
When I Get Home
I'll Be Back

Beatles For Sale 1964
I'm A Loser
I'll Follow The Sun
I Don't Want To Spoil The Party
Everybody's Trying To Be My Baby

Help! 1965
I Need You
You Like Me Too Much
Tell Me What You See
I've Just Seen A Face

Rubber Soul 1965
Drive My Car
You Won't See Me
I'm Looking Through You
In My Life
If I Needed Someone 

Revolver 1966
I'm Only Sleeping
I Want To Tell You
Got To Get You Into My Life

Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band 1967
With A Little Help From My Friends
When I'm Sixty-Four

Magical Mystery Tour 1967
I Am The Walrus

The Beatles (The White Album) 1968
While My Guitar Gently Weeps
I'm So Tired
Martha My Dear
Don't Pass Me By
I Will
Everybody's Got Something To Hide Except Me And My Monkey

Yellow Submarine 1969
N/A - No tracks

Abbey Road 1969
I Want You (She's So Heavy)
You Never Give Me Your Money

Let It Be 1970
I Me Mine
I've Got A Feeling
Past Masters Volume 1
From Me To You
I Call Your Name
I Feel Fine
I Want To Hold Your Hand
I'll Get You
I'm Down

Past Masters Volume 2
Don't Let Me Down
You Know My Name (Look Up The Number)

Live At The BBC
I Forgot To Remember To Forget
I Got A Woman
I Got To Find My Baby
I Just Don't Understand
I'll Be On My Way
I'm Gonna Sit Right Down And Cry (Over You)
Keep Your Hands Off My Baby
Lonesome Tears In My Eyes
Ooh! My Soul
So How Come (No-One Loves Me)

The Complete Silver Beatles
Take Good Care Of My Baby

Live At The Star-Club, Hamburg
Hallelujah, I Love Her So
I Remember You
I Wish I Could Shimmy Like My Sister Kate
Where Have You Been All My Life

Anthology 1
Leave My Kitten Alone
Lend Me Your Comb
My Bonnie
You'll Be Mine

Anthology 3
Mailman, Bring Me No More Blues

The Beatles With Tony Sheridan
Why (Can't You Love Me Again)


Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Successful Hit Wongwriting - Lesson Two - The First Line

Hitmaker Tim Hawes & David Brogan (Blog author) - Real World Studios
Multiple #1 Hit Songwriter Tim Hawes and David Brogan (Blog author) - RealWorld Studios England.

Rule Two

The First Line

by David Brogan (c) 2012

  • How to begin - First impressions still count. Following on from Rule One,  first lines will not get a second chance. Dress to impress. Rise and shine. If you were going out on a 'blind' first date, wouldn't you make an effort? I imagine you'd probably invest quite some energy, time, and money into maximising your appeal to a prospective date. After all, this could potentially lead to a lifelong relationship. Likewise, if we were attending an all-important job interview, wouldn't we research the firm, attempt to anticipate every potential question and reply, and ensure we presented ourselves in the best possible light? Wouldn't we want to communicate in a friendly conversational tone and make a lasting first impression on others that outshines all competition?
  • Invest - Your song IS that first date, that all-important job interview. Invest all you can afford - time, energy, and money - After all, you don't want the competition stealing your date, do you? Or taking that job? You must outshine the competition if you want to be a hit songwriter. So, how do we ensure we shine? Well, I suggest doing what we would do on that first date or job interview - Introduce ourselves with an all-winning smile! In song terms, this translates as first lines being simply irresistable, they must make audiences passionately want to hear what is coming next in the second line. (Tell me more, tell me more - from "Grease" -Summer Nights - a song all about that first date).
  • First Person Viewpoint - Would you go on a first date and talk about someone else? In order to write hit songs today, we should predominantly take the first person perspective. Let's imagine that first date or job interview we talked about earlier. Who would we talk about and why? I suggest there would be very slight chances of a second date or job offer if we wasted our listener's time talking about anyone or thing other than ourselves and them. You are selling yourself on a first encounter. Potential hit songs stand a much greater chance of success if communicated directly and personally with the audience. No-one should introduce third-parties or other distractions to an intimate conversation unless it is absolutely necessary.
  • Houston, we have a problem - Communication breakdowns and how to avoid them. We live in an age of attention deficit disorders, fastfood chains, instant celebrities, disposable napkins/relationships/stars- you name it, and all manner of distractions vying for our time and attention. The hit songwriter always establishes and maintains their audience's attention. In today's highspeed modern culture, this is increasingly important, but not so difficult to do.
  • Talk clearly, distinctly, and directly - This sounds like grandmother's advice, but never truer than for today's hit songwriters.
  1. Address your listener with ordinary conversational everyday language and in a friendly tone. Engage them. Make them want to listen to you.
  2. Introduce yourself (the singer's role), introduce your subject and the theme of your song. You may very well decide to establish the title or chorus - your song name or signature - immediately in the first line.  (Rihanna - What's My Name?  - Begins with Chorus)
  3. Try to directly address the BIG FIVE - Who? What? Where? When? and How? Paint a background scene, a canvas or stage on which all the song action and story will take place.
  4. Give detailed descriptions. It may be useful to think in terms of being questioned by detectives, or asked to give evidence in a major trial under cross-examination.
  5. Establish a unique perspective if possible - in other words, your subject matter may be universal in nature, but think of expressing it from another perspective, with a current slant, or new ways of saying it. Be contemporary - NEWs not OLDs.
  6. Be upbeat and positive. Come on! Who wants to go on a first date with a grouch? We are talking about principles and templates for HIT songs here. If you simply insist on being negative in the first line, you should really think about turning this around later in the song to show the singer as a winning role model, someone who can directly face and overcome life's problems.
  7. Remember, the song is about the LISTENER, not YOU, the songwriter. Sure, when you go on a first date, you will talk about yourself somewhat, and try to present yourself in the best possible light, honestly and authentically - (Very important: no-one likes frauds, especially not in songs). But then- well, wouldn't you compliment your date? Wouldn't you ask them questions? Wouldn't you want to know their history, about their thoughts, experience, and feelings on life? Remember, everyone's favourite subject and what they know most about is themselves. As a songwriter, get into your audience's head and write ABOUT them, FOR them, and FROM their perspective.
  8. Don't confuse your audience. Confuse them, lose them. Stay on subject. Don't jump around randomly from point to point. Address only one subject, one event, one feeling or emotion, one thought, and talk deeply about this. Knowledge is power only when actioned. Stay focused and on track - If you are focused as a songwriter, your audience will be too whilst listening to your hit songs.
  9. Give your best - All the time. Don't settle for the first line that pops into your head. Write and rewrite. Is the first line instantly memorable? Is it unique? Does it relate directly to the song title? Would you, as a listener, want to hear the next line? Does it have universal appeal? Is it newsworthy and current?
  10. I wish he would tell you what she is doing to them - Confused yet? Don't change perspectives or point of view. To echo the lyric line - 'Please don't let me be misunderstood.'
  11. Finally, do all of this in the first line, using only single syllable words if possible, and with a maximum of seven words and eleven syllables for the entire line. Impossible? Remember - You, yes! YOU!!  You are a hit songwriter, you are heroic, you are writing the soundtrack to people's lives - In the words of Alice, do five impossible things before breakfast.
  • Just to prove to you it's not impossible- I happened upon an on-going survey on the excellent Why Music Matters website yesterday where they asked people to submit their all-time favourite first lines of songs. Quite a coincidence! Anyhow, the results so far are very revealing. Of the first lines I studied, over 90% of them are written from the first person perspective. Remember, this is a list of people's favourite first lines, so the survey is not restricted necessarily to hit songs. I imagine the percentage may have been even higher if this restriction had been added.
  • Hit Song Examples -  McCartney's Yesterday - "Yesterday, all my troubles seemed so far away..." (8 words, 13 syllables - but one could argue this is actually two lines of lyrics. First line -1 word, 3 syllables. Second line - 7 words, 10 syllables). Neil Young's Heart of Gold - " I want to live, I want to give..." (8 words, 8 syllables - Again, arguably two lines!). From these first lines - wouldn't we want to know what happens next in these great hit songs from yesteryear? Ok, not convinced?? Let's get up-to-date! Adele's Someone Like You - "I heard that you're settled down..."(6 words, 8 syllables - Excellent example, and also already establishes the "I and Thou" conversation between singer and audience). Finally, for the Doubting Thomas's among you - Eminem (ft.Rihanna) - Love The Way You Lie - "Just gonna stand there and watch me burn..." (8 words, 9 syllables - the YOU of the listener watching her burn is strongly implied) - Also, song BEGINS with the Chorus, and Eminem's first line rap - "I can't tell you what it really is..." (also 8 words, 9 syllables) .... I rest my case.
  • Write as you speak. K.I.S.S - Keep it simple songwriter!

Self Belief Patience & Perserverance - Hit Songs.

I couldn't put it any better.
  • Conceive
  • Believe
  • Achieve
There is an old adage that to be an expert in any field you need to clock in 10,000 hours.
It took Diane Warren ten years to make her first cut. She writes up to three songs a day.
It normally took Ralph Murphy to write three hundred songs in order to get just one hit.
These guys are "A" list songwriters. If you want to join their ranks, this is what it takes if you are serious about becoming a successful hit songwriter in today's market.
After all, you do love what you do - creating music - right? So write, write, and write again.
Carpe Diem

David Brogan - Songwriter

Sunday, 4 March 2012

Successful Hit Songwriting Video How To Lessons
    Click Above Link to be taken to Free Video     

Rule One 

Song Introductions Matter Most

David Brogan (c) 2012 

  • A song starts at the beginning - This is the most important element for today's hit songwriter. Glaringly obvious you may say, but some would still have you think otherwise. They would have you believe that the song's most important element is still either the chorus, the title, or the song's main hook, if it is not contained in the title itself. In the past, when radio (and television) ruled the airwaves, this advice was probably correct. But things have changed recently.
  • Write songs that are primarily Internet friendly - not Radio friendly. The rules have changed. Audiences are now primarily searching for and listening to their music online - Youtube, Spotify, iTunes, Pandora, ReverbNation, Myspace, and a variety of other social media platforms. The major difference from traditionally listening to songs on the radio is that internet songs all stream from the beginning.  This has such a fundamental impact on thinking about  how to write your hit songs and is of  huge significance for today's potential hit songwriter. On the radio or television, you can turn on and tune in at any stage of the song - intro, verse, chorus, bridge, et cetera, - not so with the internet. Songs start at the start.
  • You have seven seconds - to grab the listener's attention. Initial attention span on Youtube is seven seconds, on Twitter it is two seconds. If you haven't grabbed your audience's attention in the first seven seconds, they are gone. Once they are gone, they stay gone - you don't get a second chance. Ten years ago the average hit song introduction was 15 seconds, now it is 7.1 seconds. The peak for song intro length was in the late 1980's. One in four hit songs today don't have an intro at all.
  • History repeats itself - Hear Ye! Hear Ye! It could be argued that today's hit songs have their roots way back in the day when travelling minstrels and town criers would announce the current 'hits' to their audiences. Their news began with no long introductions, it was headlines first - maximum impact - and then expansion on the story. Neither did the news begin on a fade in. Think of how television news programmes begin on any major network.
  • What does this mean? - Here are my Rule One suggestions based on today's current trends and tomorrow's songs.
  1. Forget about fade ins completely and long introductions - maximum length is now 7 seconds.
  2. Consider dropping the song intro completely - one in four hits today do this.
  3. Begin with the Title itself, the Chorus, or a Major hook (think Dr.Luke's Gary Glitter drums on Katy Perry's I Kissed A Girl)
  4. Go for maximum impact - Headlines first! Forget the softly softly approach. Introduce contrast when you begin the first verse.
  5. Keep instrumental intros to 2 bars, with a 4 bar maximum.
  6. Don't take my word for it. Do your own research. Check out the current top 10 pop, rock, or country hits on any search engine (although remember that Country music historically has longer intros than either pop or rock songs).
To recap - RULE ONE - If you are keen to join the ranks of the top commercial hit songwriters today- Start at the start.
Please feel free to redistribute this article. I only ask that you acknowledge David Brogan as the author. Email: DavidBrogan@SuccessfulHitSongwriting.com
Successful Hit Songwrting Website

Lesson one Video on Youtube.