How to Make Pop Music in 6 Steps

Here is a simple guide on how to make Pop music. I have included tips for popular chords, drums, instruments, and song arrangements to make great music.

Are you someone who loves to hum along to the latest pop tunes, or perhaps you’ve got a melody swirling around your head that you can’t ignore?

Making pop music might seem like a magic trick reserved only for seasoned music professionals. Still, with the right guidance, anyone can dive into this sparkling world of catchy beats and mesmerizing melodies.

We aim to simplify the music-making process, making it enjoyable and accessible for all, no matter your experience level.

Even better, this guide isn’t just a wall of words; we understand that learning can be so much more effective (and fun!) when you can see and hear what’s happening.

I’ve included a variety of video tutorials throughout this guide. These visually engaging clips will walk you through every step of making your pop track, from the basics of laying down a beat to the complexities of arranging your masterpiece.

So, ready to unlock your inner pop star? Read on to embark on your exciting musical journey!

How to Make Pop Music
How to Make Pop Music

How to Make Pop Music

1. Play Pop Chords

Most pop music use simple progressions usually made up of 3 note chords.

“Firework” by Katy Perry has the following chord progression: G, Am, Em, C – these chords belong to the C major scale.

Feel free to rearrange these chords over a bass line or come up with your own progression. As long as you use the notes from C major you’re playing it safe. In most cases, it will sound ok.

If you want to spice things up, you can use notes and chords from outside the scale but you’ll need a better understanding of basic music theory to break the rules in your favor.

There are tons of resources and apps out there to help you come up with chord progressions.

How to Play “13 Pop Songs” with 4 Chords

How Demi Lovato & Oak Felder Made “Sorry Not Sorry”

Oak Felder started his beat by playing a couple of chords, then building around them.

2. Add Drums

Many pop beats are simple and straightforward. You should aim for a simple structure, a four-to-the-floor, or some derivation. For that extra flavor, use hi-hat patterns with different types of swings.

After selecting your sounds, start tuning them to your favorite key. When your beat is in key every other element will blend together with more ease.

Add Uptempo Drum Pattern
Add Uptempo Drum Pattern – Photo by Wes Hicks

If you’re still not happy with how the beat sounds, try layering more sounds over what you already have going.

This will certainly spark your creativity and will give your sound that oomph. In most cases, this is a foolproof method to get past creative blocks just make sure your sounds are tuned.

Pop songs can range from 95 to 130 beats per minute.

Related: Pop Drum Programming Tips And Tricks

3. Add Bass

It’s time to build a good bass groove that will keep people listening to your song.

Keep it simple, repetitive but not boring. Alternate between short and long notes and add a subtle change every now and then to keep things interesting.

You need to establish a tonality for your song. You’ve already tuned your drums to the key of C major so try to use C as the first note in your bass line.

If you’re aiming for a different feeling, you can start your line from a different note from the C major scale.

Related: Top 15 Pop Basslines

4. Add Melodies

Try playing different notes on the keyboard and start improvising.

If you’re having trouble you can always record an audio file of you humming and convert that file to MIDI.

Whatever you do keep in mind that pop melodies have a mix of repetition and variation that makes them easy to remember, but keeps them fresh enough to be interesting.

Try using passing tones if the melody is bland. Pick out just one or two notes outside the C major scale and insert them in between the notes that don’t fall on the downbeat.

Keep these notes short and don’t put too much emphasis on them.

Related: Online Music Production Courses

5. Add Variation

Pop songs can have many different beat changes for the intro, hook, chorus, and bridge. So create different variations of your beat to build into a full song.

Related: Song Structure For Pop Music Arrangements

Those are the basics of creating a pop song. Check out the many examples below to see real examples of creating a pop hit.

6. Pop Song Structure

This video shares the basics of Pop song structure.

Learn About Pop Song Structure

How to Make Pop Music – Tutorials

You can see from the videos below there are many talented music producers online. With practice, you can make great pop music also.

See Charlie Puth Break Down Emotional Hit Song, “Attention”

Join Charlie Puth as he reveals the inspiration and process behind creating his emotional hit song, “Attention.” This top-charting track is also a part of his album, ‘Voice Notes.’

How to Make Music Like The Chainsmokers ( FL Studio )

Making A Pop Song From Scratch In Logic Pro

Making A Pop Beat for Mike Posner

Making a Pop Beat

How to Make A Future Bass Pop-Type Beat Tutorial

Learn to create a Future Bass Pop beat in the style of The Chainsmokers, Halsey, and Justin Bieber using FL Studio. This detailed tutorial guides you through the process, showing how to use tools like Omnisphere, Spire, fruity limiter, and iZotope Ozone 7. From crafting the perfect B minor chords to mastering the final track, this video is your step-by-step guide to creating a chart-topping hit.

Watch How a Pop Hit Is Made

Dive into the exciting journey of creating a pop hit! This video takes you behind the scenes to show how Zedd, Maren Morris, and a young songwriter transformed simple chords into the massive hit song, “The Middle.” You’ll get to see everything from voice memos and demos to texts and interviews.

The journey of pop songwriting is indeed an exciting adventure, a process that transforms mere thoughts into songs that most listeners love.

The magic starts when we begin writing melodies, crafting them carefully to create good melodies that touch the heart and linger in the listeners’ ears.

Our goal is to make the songs sound so captivating that they leave an imprint within less than a minute of hearing them.

The process usually starts with the structure of the song.

The pre-chorus verse and verse-chorus are key parts of this structure, forming the foundation on which we build a good pop song.

The digital audio workstation serves as our creative playground, helping us develop and perfect the final version of our pop track.

It’s also essential to note that while pop music has its unique flavor, it’s also influenced by other genres, making it diverse and inclusive.

A great chorus can often be the difference between songs that are successful and those that fall flat.

The memorable chorus and final chorus are important elements that make your song resonate with your listeners.

The best way to create these is by working on your rhyme scheme until you have something that fits the tone and message of your song.

Now, as a bonus, here are ten quick tips to take your pop songwriting to another level:

1. Keep it simple – Simplicity is often the key to creating good pop songs. Make sure your songs are easy to understand and remember.

2. Be Original – While other artists might inspire you, always strive to create a unique sound that distinguishes you from others.

3. Use Catchy Hooks – Hooks are the catchy parts of the song that listeners can’t get out of their heads. Make sure your song has a strong one.

4. Study Successful Songs – Understand what makes other pop songs successful and incorporate those elements into your own songs.

5. Collaborate – Working with other songwriters and producers can be beneficial as they can offer fresh ideas and unique perspectives to enhance your work.

6. Practice Regularly – Writing regularly can help you improve your skills. With practice, you can achieve perfection.

7. Get Feedback – Don’t be afraid to share your work and get feedback from others. This can help you refine your songwriting skills.

8. Be Patient – Good songwriting takes time. Don’t rush the process.

9. Incorporate Emotion – Songs that evoke emotions tend to connect more with listeners. Include personal experiences and feelings in your songs.

10. Enjoy the Process – Have fun while making pop music. Enjoy the journey of transforming your ideas into a pop track.

From start to finish, remember that each step in the process of making pop music contributes to creating a song that can captivate and move listeners worldwide.

I hope you found these tips to be helpful.

Do you have tips for making pop music? Please share below.

Thanks for reading.

Related: How to Make Beats

Mark V.

Written By Mark V.

Mark Valenzuela is a professional blogger, entrepreneur, and educator with more than 15 years of experience in music production. In 2008, Mark founded Hip Hop Makers, a top resource for aspiring music producers and beatmakers. He specializes in content on music production, software, gear, and free music resources. Committed to empowering creators of all levels, Mark continues to inspire and help music creators pursue their dreams.

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