Sometimes you write a song for yourself – something you must express – similar to what I did with “Half Sisters.” But if you want to write for the commercial market, well, there are a few things you need to keep in mind.

This past week I listened to a couple of songwriting podcasts (TaxiTV and The C.L.I.M.B.) and what I took away were these 6 tips for commercial songwriting – at least, this is what the hits of today seem to have in common. Like any kind of writing, what is “in” and what is considered “good” changes as the market changes.

  1. Upbeat
  2. Positive message
  3. First person (direct address)
  4. Present tense
  5. Love songs
  6. Show, don’t tell