Many people sent me a message or commented on my posts: “so where is YOUR hit song?” – or something like this.
I know that these people are not asking an honest question, they don’t really want an answer. And I almost always ignore them. The only purpose of these comments is to “attack” and argue. New ideas like The Rhythm Code can cause serious cognitive dissonance, which means, people have a hard time adopting something new.
And since they don’t have a reasonable argument, the only thing they can do is bring up something that is irrelevant. I mean, if you go to a bookstore to buy a book about basic music theory (chords, scales, intervals, etc) do you ask where’s the author’s hit songs?
Don’t get me wrong, if someone reads my book and tells me he doesn’t agree with anything in it, I’m totally fine with that. But we are talking about people who haven’t read the book, which is ridiculous.
That being said, let me explain how wrong their logic is, and why you actually have to be careful with learning from successful people.
Over the past two years, I have purchased the songwriting course of three successful, Grammy-award-winning songwriters. I won’t write down their names because I don’t want to attack them. I did not learn anything from those courses.
Not because I know so much about songwriting. I did not learn anything from them about songwriting because they did not teach anything about it.
Of those three people, two of them even admitted in the video course that they have zero theory about songwriting, they just throw things to the wall and keep what sticks.
On the other hand, I have spent the last 7 years analyzing 2000 successful songs – chord progressions, melodies, rhythm, lyrics – and I have found several “patterns” that appear in highly successful songs.
I’m not talking about copy-paste patterns but complex patterns, ideas, and systems that you can use to create completely unique songs. In other words, I can teach you several practical songwriting tools that all successful songwriters use.
Here is another story.
Béla Bartók was a Hungarian composer, and pianist (1881 – 1945), and he is considered one of the most important composers of the 20th century. When someone asked Bartók how he creates his music, and what is the music theory behind it, Bartók simply responded “I just liked how it sounds.”
In other words, he didn’t have any theory or method, he just followed his ears and kept what sounded good to him. Does this sound familiar? It is exactly what two of those successful songwriters said in their videos.
Many people heard the name Béla Bartók, especially in the music world, but not many people know the name Ernő Lendvai. Lendvai was a musicologist (1925 – 1993), also from Hungary, and he analyzed the music of Bartók. By analyzing the compositions, he found patterns in them. It was Lendvai who created a music theory and he named it “Bartók’s Axis System”.
Bartók’s Axis System is a theory of how you can use any chords in any key. Today, all jazz musicians are learning the theory of Bartók’s Axis System and I even teach it in my Songwriting Essentials course.
So if you had the chance to meet Bartók, he would have no idea how to teach you how to create music like his, even though he was thousand times more successful and more known as Lendvai.
The secret pattern behind successful songs
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