7 Secrets to HIT Songwriting
4.4 (189 ratings)
Instead of using a simple lifetime average, Udemy calculates a course's star rating by considering a number of different factors such as the number of ratings, the age of ratings, and the likelihood of fraudulent ratings.
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7 Secrets to HIT Songwriting

Veteran Motown writer teaches you how to master the art of Hook, Verse, Melody writing & more. Secrets finally revealed!
4.4 (189 ratings)
Instead of using a simple lifetime average, Udemy calculates a course's star rating by considering a number of different factors such as the number of ratings, the age of ratings, and the likelihood of fraudulent ratings.
2,155 students enrolled
Created by Clay Drayton
Last updated 11/2015
Current price: $10 Original price: $200 Discount: 95% off
5 hours left at this price!
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  • 3.5 hours on-demand video
  • 5 Articles
  • 10 Supplemental Resources
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Certificate of Completion
What Will I Learn?
  • By the end of this course you will learn the secret elements that Motown used to make their songs magnetic and timeless.
  • You will learn the "Power of the HOOK", How to write a catchy Title, How to Hum out a Melody, How to Paint pictures with words and MORE...
View Curriculum
  • Note Pad, Pen/Pencil, Recording device
  • You do not have to be able to play an instrument or have any recording software. Desire is all that is required.

When Clay Drayton instructs songwriters, he comes from a place of experience and longevity. He doesn't want you to be a “1 Hit Wonder”. You will learn the secrets of writing songs that have the potential to become Classics.

What many songwriters today are missing are mentors (Seasoned writers who have "Been there, Done that!") to help them develop their songs with tried and proven methods of creating Hit songs. Clay will give you examples, templates and tools to use in your songs. He will be your mentor. He will help you write songs that everyone will want to hear and singers will want to cover.

Not only will Mr. Drayton instruct you, but he will consult with, critique and collaborate with his students.

Who is the target audience?
  • This class is for those who have a desire to write their first song or those who would like to take their songwriting to the next level.
Compare to Other Songwriting Courses
Curriculum For This Course
74 Lectures
Before You Start
2 Lectures 02:23
5 Lectures 07:25

Many people think that they can't write songs because they don't play an instrument. I explain why you don't have to be a musician to take this course.

Preview 00:41

Taylor Swift's co-writer doesn't play an instrument

In this session I talk about the tools needed for this course and for becoming a professional songwriter.

Preview 04:13
Preparation H.I.T.S.
3 Lectures 19:40

How to find Inspiration

in this session I give the reasons for having the best part of your song being sung within the first 15 or 30 seconds.

Beat the Clock!
SECRET #1 A Great Title
13 Lectures 36:29
Great Titles Intro

What makes a Title GREAT?

Intro to Spotting Great Titles

Finding titles in Cliche's

Finding Hot Titles on Social Media

Finding GREAT Titles on Signs

Finding Titles in Conversation

Finding Titles on TV & Movies

Titles in Life Experiences

Titles beginning with "YOU"

In this segment I explain the process of shortening your song title to make it more attention-getting and memorable. My title is "There's Nothing Like Love". When Sliced and Diced it becomes "There's Nothing Like..."

Slicing & Dicing your title

GOOGLE your Title

I mentioned Googling your title to make sure that there is no other song titles like yours. Here is the Google search of my title "Nothing like love". The results are ... There was only one song with a similar title but NO song with the same title.

My Title Google Search
1 page

Just any Title wont do when it comes to writing a memorable song.

1 question
SECRET # 2 A Powerful Hook
6 Lectures 20:30
Hook Intro

What is a HOOK?

List of SHORT HOOKS from hit songs

This is and example of the Hook used to write "Nothing Like Love"

My Hook
1 page

Students should be able to create an Instrumental Hook

Well known BASS HOOKS

How to create a Hook from a Drum Beat

There are important differences between a Hook & a Chorus

1 question
SECRET #3 The Chorus
3 Lectures 07:06
The Chorus Intro

CHORUS VS HOOK (What's the difference?)


The HOOK is short and repeats but the CHORUS is long and often does not repeat.

What is the difference between a chorus and a hook?
2 questions
SECRET #4 A Great Melody
7 Lectures 23:35
Great Melody Intro

What is the Melody?

The Process of Making Melodies

Exercise: How to compose a Melody for your Title

Exercise: Composing a Hook from a Track Melody

Exercise: How to compose a Hook from a Music Track

Exercise: Composing a Melancholy Hook
SECRET #5 Writing Greating Verses
23 Lectures 01:24:24
Intro to writing great Verses

Building Blocks Intro

Most hit songs have structure. In this lecture I explain the process of using Building Blocks in crafting you songs,

Building Blocks to help create your Verses

This section continues the instructions in the process of using Building Blocks to help you craft your songs.

Building Blocks pt2

We will deconstruct my song "Making Room for Love"

Building Block example #1

This is and example of the Building Blocks used to write "Nothing Like Love"

My Building blocks
1 page

Everyone loves a good story. This talk stresses the importance of having a good story for your song.

Good storyline

Storyline Builders 5Ws

Using your 5 Senses (Sight, Sound, Smell, Touch and Taste) will help pictures in your story.

Verse writng using the 5 Senses


The first verse is extremely important in a song. In this section I show you it's purpose, its' necessity and how to get started writing it.

Intro to the 1st Verse

Creating the 1st Verse

The 1st Line of the 1st Verse

Verse Kick Starters

This is and example of the 1st used to write "Nothing Like Love"

My 1st Verse
1 page

The Lyric Writing Process

Metaphors and Simple phrases

Verses are more than just words thrown on a page, they have a purpose

1 question

This is and example of the Pre-Chorus used to write "Nothing Like Love"

My Pre-Chorus
1 page

Second Verses

This is and example of the 2nd Verse used to write "Nothing Like Love"

My 2nd Verse
1 page

Learning what a bridge is and how to build one

What is a BRIDGE?

This is and example of the Bridge used to write "Nothing Like Love"

My Bridge
1 page

Surprise twist
SONG STRUCTURE - Putting all the pieces together
2 Lectures 08:39
Song Structure (Showing lists of the order of a song)

The student will learn how to create a short INTRO for their song,

Creating the INTRO
SECRET #6 Collaborating
3 Lectures 01:26

The student will learn the value of writing with another writer.

Intro to Colllaborating/ Co-Writing

The student will learn how to co-write with another writer.

The Benefits of Collaborating/Co-Writing

Stories Behind the Collaborating/Co-Writing of Hit songs
1 page
3 More Sections
About the Instructor
Clay Drayton
4.4 Average rating
196 Reviews
2,190 Students
2 Courses
Award winning Motown Hit Songwriter, Producer & Instructor

Clay Drayton has been involved in the music industry for the past 40 years. He was a songwriter on staff at Motown Records/Jobete Publishing for seven years. While at Motown he wrote, arranged, produced and played on songs for Diana Ross, The Supremes, the Jackson 5, Jermaine Jackson, Janet Jackson, High Inergy, David Ruffin, the 5th dimension, Bette Midler, Al Wilson and many others. He has earned multiple gold & platinum records to his credits. Clay’s song “The Life of the Party” is included on the CD entitled “Michael Jackson’s 50 Best Songs.

After leaving Motown, Mr. Drayton signed with 20th Century Fox Music. He is president of his own music publishing companies; Claytam and Troytiaco. He is a member of ASCAP, the National Association of Recording Industry Professionals (NARIP) and a voting member for the Grammy Association. He continues to write and produce today for vocalists which include singer Jesse Campbell from "The Voice" and others. Clay is currently teaching a Professional songwriting class in Los Angeles, CA. He speaks for music schools and music networking groups, has been featured in music magazines and conducts Professional Songwriting seminars nationwide.