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Monday, April 26, 2004

Your greatest hits

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This is a particularly strange piece of mental gymnastics which really
worked for me just the other day.

Imagine that the artist, band or whoever and whatever you are writing for
is completely famous and is being played on the radio the whole time.

If they are already famous than that's a big help and you'll need less imagination for the next part.

Several times a day, one of the radio stations I listen to do a band promotion slot, one of those crazy mixed up pieces of edited 'best bits' of a bands songs, usually accompanied by a deep voiced presenter screaming words like 'Live' and 'In the studio' and 'Only on Songrut Radio' throughout.

Basically, 3 seconds from each of the bands most popular hits, stuck together, with sound fx thrown in and a lunatic who sounds like a bad monster from Star Trek shouting about how good they are. I think these band-promotion-commercials exist on probably every radio station known to man. And woman.

Anyway

AS I was sitting staring into space the other day (which I'm very good at) I imagined the act I was about to start writing for (who currently has NO songs and is unknown) being in one of those commercials.

Something like:

Presenter: 'And in the studio this week...'

Sound effect: Peeeeooowwwww...kabboooom

Presenter: 'Songrut And The Songwriters LIVE....'

>>insert 3 seconds of the best bit of an uptempo hit song here

Presenter: '...featuring their greatest hits....'

Sound effect: Peeeeoowwwwww...kabooom

>>insert 3 seconds of the best bit of a slow but quite big ballad here

Presenter: '...and unheard material...'

>>insert 3 seconds of a beautiful acoustic number here

Presenter: '...only on...'

Sound effect: KerSPLASH

Presenter: '...Made Up The Spot Radio'

SOund effect : ShoooOOM

Now, you may think I'm completely mad. But I did this and let my mind fill in the gaps of the songs. It's surprising what bits of 3 seconds of your imagined greatest hits sound like.

I think this is probably the quickest way of coming up with hooks I have ever stumbled upon. Because your mind is only trying to fill in the catchiest most memorable things you've ever heard, you can ONLY come up with hooks. There's just no time.

I got two song ideas out of using this technique, much to my surprise. I think I'm going to do it a bit more often.

Try it! Let me know if it worked for you!

08:39 PM in Mental Gymnastics | Permalink

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