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Learn the art, craft & business of songwriting from hit songwriter, Brent Baxter!

The Frettie Journal
A collection of interviews, updates, tips and resources for songwriters.

6 Ways To Make Your Songs More Commercial

Tips & Resources by Brent Baxter, Pro Songwriter on May 02, 2018

If your goals are like mine- getting cuts and hits, then your best bet is by writing well-crafted COMMERCIAL songs.  Here are six simple (though not always easy) ways to make your songs more commercial.

1. Write uptempo.

Learn to write tempo!  If you don’t believe how important this is, count the ballads on the radio for an hour.  Or listen to a few of the current top albums and count the ballads.  Knock, knock.  Who’s there?  Math.  Math, who?  Math says major artists record a lot more uptempo and midtempo than ballads.

2. Write positive.

If you’re like me, your natural inclination is to write sad/negative.  When I come up with a hook, my first instinct is something sad.  Maybe for some reason pain is just more interesting than happiness.  But not for radio.  Radio likes happy. Knock, knock...

3. Write from the me-to-you point of view.

“I love you” is just more emotionally powerful than “he loves her.”  The artist wants to connect with the audience, and “I” to “you” is a good way to do that.

4. Write about love.

Love is a deep need.  It’s often our greatest joy and our sharpest pain.  Nothing is more universal. If you want to connect with a large audience, writing about love is a great way to do that.

5. Write in-the-moment.

The present tense- right now- has more power than the past or the future.  “You ARE killing me in that sun-dress” usually beats “you WERE killing me in that sun-dress.”  There’s power in the present.

6. Write with imagery.

Don’t tell me how you feel- show me.  After all, there are only so many emotions.  But there are endless ways to put those emotions into pictures. If you want your song to stand out, writing with interesting, fresh imagery is a great way to do that.

There are obviously many hits that weren’t written in the way I’ve described.  But, from both my experience (my own cuts) and observations, writing songs with these six qualities as your default setting will increase the commercial appeal of your songs.

And if you want your songs to get recorded my major artists, here's a great opportunity for you.

On June 19, I'm hosting Songwriting Pro's quarterly "Play For A Publisher" event with hit music publisher, Tim Hunze of Parallel Music in Nashville, TN. Tim has worked with several #1 hit songwriters, and he's landed many, many songs with major artists. This is YOUR opportunity to connect face-to-face with a hit music publisher and have him hear YOUR song! And since it's an online event, it doesn't matter where in the world you live.


Hunze P4P

God bless,


PS- Thanks for stopping by Frettie! I appreciate it. As a matter of fact, I want to give you a special little something just for your visit. It's my FREE ebook "Think Like A Pro Songwriter," and it reveals valuable I-learned-it-the-hard-way-so-you-don't-have-to tips to help you succeed at the art, craft and business of songwriting. You can download it at

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