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Writing a Pop Song

Updated on February 7, 2012

For the second installment in the How to write a song series, we will look at the tried and true pop song. Pop music is supposed to be fun and mindless. In the 50's and 60's, pop music was all about cars, school, and scoring a date to the hop. Perhaps a little dancing, maybe a peck on the cheek, and you were on your way.

Over the years, the pop song has evolved. Today, you will get much more than a peck on the cheek, and you won't have to guess what the song is about. It's still all about a good time, but at what cost? We listen to tails of lust, deceit, cheating, and much more. Pop music is everywhere, at the ball game, in the commercials, and as always, on the radio. Here, we will go through the steps to write a fantastic pop song, sure to be the next big thing.

The Party – Usually the basis of any modern pop song is the party. How you are going to get to the party, how you are going act at the party, who will be at the party, and make sure to sing about the after party. So many parties, so little time. Maybe throw in a line about how much you plan to drink, or how you are going to forget your’re here to party!

Self Confidence -You are a star and you know it. You are different from the others, although your song will sound exactly like the other songs. You can be a shooting star, a lucky star, the brightest star, or a rising star. Believe in yourself and all of your dreams will come true, or something along those lines.

Not giving up- Be sure to mention how you won’t give up. Vague? Sure, but this is crucial. Singing your heart out about how you won’t give up, or be denied is important. Throw in a line about haters. Details aren’t necessary, this is all about the fight, there are people trying to hold you back, don’t let them do it, you’re a star!

Lust – You like to party, and you won’t give up, so what next? Sexy strangers. You just cannot help yourself; the guy/girl at the party is just so good looking. You have to have a sexual encounter with them by any means necessary. You are not looking for a relationship, you may already be in one. You just want to leave the party you have been looking so forward to attending with this hot stranger, consequences be damned.

Heartbreak – Well all of that partying is not going to come without repercussions. Let’s see, you went to the party because your girlfriend/boyfriend was out of town. You were not going to be denied, you hit the dance floor and encountered like, the hottest guy/girl you have ever seen. The night was magical. But now, you feel guilty. The love of your life has heard about your exploits and bailed. Time to cry, cue the rain. You have hurt the one that meant so much to you, and now they’re gone forever..

Okay, here we go, start with some crappy synthesizers, and make sure you have the auto tune ready. Remember, with pop music, most of your listeners are ADD, so just begin with the chorus and repeat it throughout.

Tonight, it feels so right, to shine so bright with you

Tonight, it feels so right to hold you tight like I do.

Tonight, I've only got tonight so let's make it right for you

Tonight, we dance tonight, or we may just fight over you.

[End Chorus]

Goin' to the club, gonna get my drink on

gonna find me someone

gonna find me the one

my boyfriend's out of town

only got one night to get down

so let's leave this club

and do what we came to do

[Repeat Chorus]

So these are the basics, and it usually doesn't get that deep. Pop songs are meant to be mindless and can be quite ridiculous. It’s all about a good time until someone gets hurt. I guess it makes since, after all, if a bunch of girls are out at a club for a girl’s night out, they probably don’t want to listen to a complicated song about the quantum theory. Most of the time, they want to dance and have a good time. Just be careful, these songs are meant to be heard, not understood.

Coming Soon!

Writing A Rap Song

Writing A Rock Song

Writing A Protest Song


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    • Tom Koecke profile image

      Tom Koecke 5 years ago from Tacoma, Washington

      These are some great tips! Let me try:

      You ate the icing off my cake

      The square root of 69 is ate something

      Didn't put a ring on it

      She go low, low, low, low, low

      Probably should work on my rhyming a bit.

    • weestro profile image

      Pete Fanning 5 years ago from Virginia

      Agreed Cosmicbus, when I was younger, I really didn't listen to the lyrics of Prince, Madonna, and MJ all that much!

      Alecia, I agree though some people do not, nobody wants to dance to a lecture!

      Thanks for reading guys!

    • Alecia Murphy profile image

      Alecia Murphy 5 years ago from Wilmington, North Carolina

      I agree that pop songs are meant to be deep but it seems like some people don't understand that concept. I especially like your lyrics about breaking up and then going to the club and getting drunk. That's so unfortunately true. Great as usual, weestro!

    • profile image

      Cosmicbus 5 years ago

      Weestro, so true, I have also noticed lately along with the drinking, drug use and resisting authority come into play as well but if it has a good beat you can dance to, it's all good. There are some positive songs out there, but they are not the norm.