Red Arrow

Get an insider’s look at the songwriting tools used in these mega-hits, and then try them in your own songs. Choose a song from the list below. Watch the embedded video or buy or stream the song and listen as you read the text.

KEEP YOUR BOOKS UPDATED: If you have my books “Shortcuts to Hit Songwriting” and ‘Shortcuts to Songwriting for Film & TV” you’ll find references to the Shortcuts in each song to help you stay up to date.


“ALL ON ME” – Devin Dawson

“HELLO” – Adele

HIT SONGS by Title:

“Adele: Three Songs” – Adele (Genre – Pop, Singer-Songwriter)

“All My Days” – Alexi Murdoch  (Genre – Folk, Singer-Songwriter)

“Almost Lover” – A Fine Frenzy  (Genre – Pop, Singer-Songwriter)

“All Of Me” – John Legend  (Genre – Pop, Singer-Songwriter)

“All On Me” – Devin Dawson  (Genre – Contemporary Country)

“Beautiful Day” – Joshua Radin (Genre – Pop, Singer-Songwriter)

“Brave” – Sara Bareilles  (Genre – Pop, Singer-Songwriter)

“Classic” – MKTO (Genre – Pop)

“Come On Get Higher” – Matt Nathanson (Genre – Pop, Singer-Songwriter)

“Dynamite” – Taio Cruz (Genre – Pop, Dance/Pop)

“Fallin’ For You” – Colbie Caillat (Genre – Pop, Singer-Songwriter)

“Gone, Gone, Gone” – Phillip Phillips (Genre – Pop)

“Grenade” – Bruno Mars (Genre – Pop)

Hands Tied” – Toni Braxton (Genre – R&B)

“Hello” – Adele  (Genre – Pop, Singer-Songwriter)

“Here” – Rascal Flatts (Genre – Contemporary Country)

“Hold Back the River” – James Bay (Genre – Folk/Rock)

“The House That Built Me” – Miranda Lambert (Genre – Country)

“I Drive Your Truck” – Lee Brice (Genre – Pop, Singer-Songwriter)

“I’m Yours” – Jason Mraz” (Genre – Pop, Singer-Songwriter)

“If I Were a Boy” – Beyoncé (Genre – R&B/Pop)

“King of Anything” – Sara Bareilles (Genre – Pop, Singer-Songwriter)

“Let Her Go” – Passenger (Genre – Pop, Folk, Singer-Songwriter)

“Like I’m Gonna Lose You” – Meghan Trainor (Genre – Pop)

“The Other” – Lauv (Genre – Pop, Singer-Songwriter)

“Play It Again” – Luke Bryan (Genre – Country)

“Poison & Wine” – The Civil Wars (Genre – Indie Folk)

“Royals” – Lorde” (Genre – Pop, Singer-Songwriter)

“Set Fire to the Rain” – Adele (Genre – Pop, Adult Contemporary)

“Slow Dancing in a Burning Room” – John Mayer  (Genre – Pop, Singer-Songwriter)

“Smile” – Uncle Kracker (Genre – Pop & Country/Pop hit)

“The Sound of Madness” – Shinedown (Genre – Rock)

“Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You)” – Kelly Clarkson (Genre – Pop)

“Tattoos On This Town” – Jason Aldean (Genre – Rock)

“These Days” – Foo Fighters (Genre – Rock)

“Thinking Out Loud” – Ed Sheeran (Genre – Pop, Singer-Songwriter)

“Why Don’t We Just Dance” – Josh Turner (Genre – Country)

“You Belong With Me” – Taylor Swift  (Genre – Country/Pop Crossover)