Free Preview: The Hit Equation
(Keep reading for more free previews below!)
Is there a “magic formula” or “secret sauce” for hit songs? Have you been tirelessly working on your songs, but still haven't written that hit? Do hitmakers know something that you don’t? Well, after working for many of the top hit makers in the business for over 25 years - my surprising (or not) answer to that question is “Yes! THERE ARE INSIDER SECRETS!" Either these songwriters have figured it out on their own - or they just intuitively knew how to craft not just great songs - but hits.
Having not just signed, worked and/or developed some of the biggest, Grammy Award winning, top charting writers and producers in the world including: Ryan Tedder, Greg Kurstin, Savan Kotecha, Ariel Rechtshaid, Cirkut, Jake Torrey, Bram Inscore, Lindy Robbins I've also signed artists like: The Lumineers, LMFAO, Overcoats, Ariel Pink, Grimes, Kelly Clarkson, Active Child, Big Freedia, Caroline Polachek, SOPHIE, OneRepublic, Peaches, Tiesto, TOKiMONSTA and Cut Copy, to name a few. And while they weren’t my signings, I also worked closely in the past at EMI Music Publishing with Sia, Rick Nowels, Steve Kipner and Guy Chambers.
I’m going to share the secrets I’ve picked up along the way, not just from my own observations and experiences, but also what I’ve learned from the collective 100 hit songwriters who I've personally worked with.
So if you’re looking for the unfair advantage, the elusive DNA of hit songwriting, or feel there’s a bigger songwriting universe outside of your current knowledge set, you’re right. The “hit songwriting matrix” in my opinion, does exist. And I’d love to share it with you. So, do you want to take the blue pill or the red pill?
"Insider Secrets to Hit Songwriting"
- Melodic Rhythm 101 - The Strange Tale of the Train Whistle (8:02)
- Melodic Rhythm - Human Operating Software 1.0 (aka Hits Are War Chants or Fertility Dances) (5:20)
- Melodic Rhythm - The God Particle of Hit Songwriting (Organizing Your Ideas with Melodic Rhythm) (3:40)
- Examples of Great Melodic Rhythms (11:16)
- Homework: Melodic Rhythm
- Writing Assignment: Melodic Rhythm
- Homework Video: Melodic Rhythm (2:34)
- Secret 4: How to Make "Fire Maker" - Level "10" Songs (26:07)
- Secret 5: Writing Better Verses (HINT - Your Verse Does Not Exist Just To Get To The Chorus!) (30:22)
- Secret 6: Contrasting Sections with Melodic Ranges (Melodic Ranges "Belonging" To Each Section Of Your Song) (6:18)
- Secret 7: Song Vocabulary Expander: How To Become One of the Best! (18:43)
- Secret 8: Document: Songwriting Vocabulary Expander
- Secret 9: Using Space as An Instrument (3:21)
- Secret 10: Crazy Song Fridays (Getting Out Of Your Comfort Zone) (3:56)
- Secret 11: Speaking a Different "Song" Language (Including Production!) (21:20)
- Secret 12: Getting Your Foot in the Room with Inaccessible Artists and Collaborators (6:39)
- Secret 13: Perfectionism and Masterpieces (the Max Martin Mindset) (9:55)
- Secret 14: The Make a Hit in 15 Minutes Hack (5:59)
- Secret 15: Turning on the Hit Radio of Your Mind (9:56)
- Secret 16: Investing In Yourself & Getting the Right Tools (5:07)
- Secret 17: Personal Growth (6:52)
- Bonus Video: Sonic Identity and The Purple Cow (7:55)
Free Preview: Secret #7 - Songwriting Vocabulary Expander
But why should you listen to me? Well, let me introduce myself. Hi, I'm Benjamin Groff, and for some context I’ve been a music publisher for over 25 years. I’ve worked for the majors for 12 years (1994-2006), and in 2006 was hired to start the 1st U.S. office of Kobalt Music Publishing and signed a lot of the key roster over the following decade. Since 2016, I’ve been the 100% owner of my own publishing company, Brill Building, as well as the owner of A&R resource and incubator label, We Are: The Guard, where some of the aforementioned writers and artists are signed.
Additionally, I attended Berklee College of Music (Songwriting and Guitar Performance dual major) and have also written a handful of songs, which have landed on the charts! This is important as it relates to the course, as I’m also a creative musician. Being able to “speak the song language” and have the unique music business experience, along with a deep obsession with songwriting, I believe allows me to uniquely help other creative people like yourself.
But as I mentioned, I do believe there’s a “secret sauce” to hit songwriting. It’s almost like there’s a hidden “matrix” (just like the movie). And much like Neo, once the veil is lifted and you choose the red pill - you just can’t write songs the same way ever again. There’s what I call the internal “DNA” of hit songwriting - and why some songs go all the way to #1 and stay there, maybe even becoming the perennial tapestries of our culture, or just fade into obscurity (if the song is even released at all).
Free Preview: The Hit Equation
And this course is not just for “hit songwriters.” If you’re an artist, this course will give you the unfair advantage and tools to build your catalog of songs that stream, synch, get playlisted and become perennial hits on their own. After finishing the course with hopefully your share of “Aha" moments, you'll be able to clearly understand why some songs are destined to be HUGE, while others never leave the <1,000 streams category (and we don't want that)!
This course will give you virtually all the collective knowledge I’ve ever had on the subject of hit songwriting. And to be honest, they're unique concepts, strategies, and ideas that either I’ve never heard anyone talk about, or they're completely original theories I've created on my own. My goal is to bring you all the insider information together on hit songwriting... information and insights, which I usually only reserve to my clients and my own personal publishing roster - in one. epic. course.
So if you feel you just need that insider, unfair advantage, and are so close to cracking the code... Well, I’m going to give you the code within these 25 modules. This is the “hit DNA” of songwriting that I continually see - virtually without fail - in every hit song, from any genre or decade.
Lastly, the course contains multiple downloads, supportive playlists, references, homework writing assignments, and specifically designed songwriting exercises created by myself, allowing you to exponentially build your hit songwriting tool kit. Please note that I didn’t say just “songwriting tool kit!” … because these are HIT songwriting tools! By the end of the course, it’s my sincere belief you’ll be able to unlock the hidden matrix of hit songwriting. And at the very minimum, I also truly believe you’ll have a completely new set of special “songcraft tools” to help radically accelerate your songwriting journey.
Again, this course is based on all my 25 + years in the music experience and relationships with over 100 key hitmakers, songwriters and producers, and distill it all here for you.
There’s even an option at check out where can you find out how to get a 1 on 1 session with me. Yes, that’s right! You and I can have a personal, live review critique session with your songs or we can talk about anything from: setting up your own releases, questions on publishing, marketing, publishing deals, general music business or questions about the course!
In closing, I’m incredibly excited to share this course content with you. I hope you enjoy the course and hope to help you on your hit making journey.
I’ll see you on the charts!
Q: Will I be able to write a hit song after taking this course?
A: That result will ultimately be up to you, of course! But you will definitely have an entirely, new and different set of “hit” tools to approach songwriting in ways that you’ve never thought of before. Essentially, it’s my hope that this course will help advance your career and help massively short cut your path to writing that hit!
Q: What do I exactly get in the course?
A: Over 25 video modules and 5 hours of content, where I break down all the juiciest insider secrets to hit songwriting. I mentioned before, but you won’t hear about most of these in any typical “songwriting books.” In each section of the course I also have detailed songwriting exercises (assignments) and course homework. You also get my copyrighted “Songwriting Vocabulary Expander” worksheet, that will provide the path for “being the best you can be” - or maybe even being “amongst the best!”
Q: I’m a punk / jazz / alternative indie, ska, _____ (insert genre name here) artist. My success and genre isn’t “really” about writing a “hit” song. Should I take this course?
A: Yes, absolutely! We’re talking about HITS here, but this course is for anyone who wants to create what I would call “perennial” songs and “career hits” that your fans just continue to stream, playlist, share, and get synchronization requests (have your songs used in film, TV, ads, etc). Don’t forget that as an artist, your level of touring is also predicated on the level of fans you have - which comes down to having the most amazing material. The tools in this course apply to writing #1s, as much as they do crafting that career song in any genre lane.
Q: Can I really get 1:1 personal time with you to hear and review my songs, get personal attention with the exercises or consult on my music?
A: For sure. I’m trying this out - once you've purchased the course, there's a link where you can get extra 1 on 1 time with myself directly for an additional cost. We can schedule this via a Zoom meeting, FaceTime, Google Hangouts, or a phone call.
Q: I’m just starting as a songwriter and I know this is an advanced course. Will I still get value out of it as a ?
A: Absolutely! In fact, I believe a lot of the course material here is going to radically shortcut your journey as a songwriter! I also distill and drill down the simplicity writing hits in just 3 essential elements. Hit songwriting does not have to be “that” hard - though sometimes we make it harder for ourselves!
Q: Is it even possible to have a career as a songwriter?
A: Yes! I even asked myself that question when I was 13, and the answer is not just “yes,” but a resounding “Hell, yes!” Now, I can’t say, of course, that anyone can just do this. You have to have essential talent, drive, inspiration and commitment, but many people I’ve worked with have certainly gone on to earn over $1 Million per year. And most successful songwriters commonly make $250,000 a year. It’s 100% possible and the goal I have for each writer or artist I work with!
Q: Do you offer more courses?
A: For sure I do! I just launched the“Release Blueprint - Digital Marketing Strategies” course that you can check out here. It’s huge! There are over 70 modules and 10 hours of video content, downloadable PDFs, an asset and project management template and all my best strategies and secrets that you’d usually only get if you signed to my label. After putting out over 100 releases and garnering over 100 Million streams on Spotify alone, I’ve assembled a release plan that “just works” for our label! The course starts at 6 weeks from your release and tells you step by step exactly what to do when, all the way up to your release day, as well as post release activities. HINT: The idea of “I’m just going to put it out” is not a plan! Make sure to give your music the best shot at success! Normally $1997. On sale now for $197.
Ryan Tedder Photo by Burtontedder CC0 1.0
Greg Kurstin Photo by Peter Hill CC0 3.0
The Lumineers Photo by Sachyn Mital CC0
Kelly Clarkson Photo by Becky Sullivan CC0 2.0
Grimes Photo by Caitlyn Ridenour CC0 2.0
Ariel Rechtshaid Photo by Wangtime CC0 3.0
Tiesto Photo by nestland CC0 2.0
Cut Copy Photo by Bruce CC0 2.0
Cirkut Photo by Maytruong CC0 4.0