Writing a song is an art so there are no rules or are there?

If you want to write a great song there are definitely things you can do to make your song stick out and be better overall.

Attention spans are at an all-time low.

The average attention span is just 8 seconds according to a study by Microsoft. It’d decreased by 4 seconds in the last 20 years.

Doesn’t sound like much but it matters.

Eight seconds is a lot shorter than 30 seconds so to build a song that keeps the listener’s attention is a high task.

5 Things To Do in the First 30 Seconds of Your Song

  1. Hook The Listener Immediately – Sounds easy but it isn’t. Whatever you decide to do make it memorable. Think of your favorite songs and how they start. Some great examples are, “Walk This Way” by Aerosmith, “Sweet Child ‘O Mine” by Gun ‘N Roses, “Rockstar” by Post Malone.
  2. Write Great Lyrics – I talked about this on another podcast but let me explain here briefly. Your lyrics should capture the listeners attention almost immediately. Forget all the clique lines that have been overused. Be specific and paint the picture so that the listener is immediately drawn in.
  3. Get To The Main Hook – Back to super low attention spans – Kids are getting their own smartphone in elementary school. They have a device to entertain them 24/7. This ridiculous attention span gets only slightly better for your audience. In other words, you need to pull the listener in and hit them with the main hook sooner rather than later. You’ll lose them.
  4. Use Dynamics – Even though you want to start with a great hook and get to the main hook quickly, don’t make the mistake of not using dynamics in your songs. For example, if you start with a really pumping intro and get me hooked and then keep it up at that level the entire song I could get bored and it could sound too repetitive. Use dynamics to keep your song interesting. Think “full sound” vs “partial instruments/vocals” and “soft” vs “loud” dynamically.
  5. Be Unique – Back in the 80s and 90s there were a dozen songs that used the same chord pattern. To make fun of this bands would play the chords and just sing the different melodies/lyrics from each of the song. I’m not saying the songs were bad but they all sounded very similar. When you’re writing your song try substituting different chords in your progression and come up with something unique. Create your own sounds. Peter Frampton took the TalkBox and made is super cool.

These are just the tip of the iceberg to making your songs keep the attention of your listeners (regular people, record labels, venues, etc).

How do you keep the listener’s attention in your songs?

How GigFaster Can Help

Write great songs, work hard, hustle and use tools that will make your job easier. Set yourself up for success.

We have a built-in network of over 6,000 venues, music promoters, and record labels. We can help you distribute your press kit and book gigs in cities all around the country.

Start for free today.

Remember, if you want to succeed, never quit!


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Craig Kelley

About Craig Kelley

Craig helps indie artists book more gigs, promote their music and submit to record labels @ GigFaster and GigFaster University . His latest release is his 7th album, Not So Blue. His band has supported Grammy artists including Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Rick Derringer, Gary Hoey, Joan Jett, Fuel and many more. http://craigkelley.com He is also the host of The 5 Minute Podcast For Musicians.

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