$299

Writing & Producing & Thinking with a Hit Song Mentality

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Online Workshop

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Refunds up to 7 days before event

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Proven tools and techniques that will transform the way you approach your craft.

A 2-Day Live, Virtual and Interactive Workshop

October 20 & 21, 2017: 11:00 AM EDT - 2:00 PM EDT

About the Workshop: Using Hit Songs Deconstructed methodology, we will examine Billboard Hot 100 Top 10 compositional trends and then take a deep dive into the songwriting and production techniques being utilized in the songs currently topping the charts. Case studies will include Closer, Despacito, Believer, Shape of You, Side To Side, I’m The One, and Body Like A Back Road, among many others.

This intensive workshop will be led by Hit Songs Deconstructed founder and editor-in-chief, David Penn. Past participants include songwriters and producers with Top 10 Hits in the US and UK as well as A&R’s and creative executives from major record labels and publishers.

Why attend this workshop? Most chart-topping hits, at their core, have one thing in common: they’re exceptionally well crafted and capitalize on today’s compositional trends to connect with the widest possible audience. However, that’s just one part of the equation, or else all songs would sound exactly the same! Most also possess something unique - some quality that helps them get noticed and be remembered. It’s how these unique qualities (melodies, rhythms, dynamics, etc.) are introduced throughout a song that is the recipe for success in today’s charts. By effectively blending the familiar and the unique, they stand out from the pack while still resonating with a large audience.

Led by Hit Songs Deconstructed founder and editor-in-chief David Penn, this workshop will cover:


  • Current Trends: The state of the mainstream music scene at the compositional level
  • Structure: The most popular song forms, length, tempo and keys found in Top 10 hits; techniques for maximizing engagement and memorability
  • Energy & Dynamics: The three most effective first payoff impact accentuator techniques; “D” (departure) section variation techniques; methods for taking the listener on an exciting and engaging ride
  • Hooking the Listener In: The most popular and effective techniques for cutting through airwave clutter and hooking the listener in. This segment spotlights narration and plugs, intro/chorus hybrids, multipart intros and more
  • Melody & Vocal Production: Melodic structure, rhymes, motives and the K.I.S.S. ME principle; production techniques including vocal layering, delivery types, effects and cross-sectional vocal arrangement
  • Infectious Hooks: The five most effective in-section and cross-section hook techniques and characteristics; post chorus “hook center” multi-hook interaction
  • Lyrics: Key lyrical ingredients, sectional narrative roles, narrative structure and development
  • Genres & Influences: Current trends and fads; fusion techniques for incorporating multiple genre, geographic and time-period influences into a single song
  • Leaving the Listener Wanting More: Methods for leaving the song resonating in the listener’s head. This section spotlights sectional recycling, the “Grand Finale” outro, ending characteristics and more
  • Clever Elements & WOW Factors: Techniques and characteristics that put songs over-the-top and enable them to stand out among their mainstream contemporaries


The songwriting and production techniques covered will be illustrated through case studies utilizing a combination of charts, graphs, notation, commentary, and of course lots of listening. Advanced knowledge of music theory is not required, however, a basic understanding of songwriting is highly recommended.

At the conclusion of each segment, there will be ample time for your questions.

Who will benefit from attending?

  • Songwriters looking to successfully channel unique creativity into commercially viable songs, while remaining true to their own unique vision
  • Producers looking for cutting-edge techniques to shape songs.
  • Composers who want to make more targeted pitches to music libraries and production houses that are looking for current sounding music and/or sound-alikes for spots.
  • Instrumentalists who want to cross over to writing and producing mainstream music.
  • A&R and Music Industry Professionals looking to expand their understanding of the what, how and why behind today's hits.




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