How to Write a Hit Pop-Punk Song

Written by james gilmore
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How to Write a Hit Pop-Punk Song
(Digital Vision./Digital Vision/Getty Images)

If you want to rival groups like Green Day and the All-American Rejects on the charts, you'll need to know how to write a hit pop punk song. Pop punk ranges from more punk-based bands, like the Ramones, to pop bands who play power chords, like Simple Plan. Write a catchy pop song using punk elements to write a hit pop punk song.

Skill level:


  1. 1

    Study the hits of other pop punk bands to get an idea for the formula of hit pop punk songs. Listen to singles by artists like Green Day, Blink-182, Good Charlotte, Sum 41 and others. Take note of the melodic approaches and lyrical subject matter in hit singles by these artists.

  2. 2

    Write the lyrics to your pop punk song. Typical thematic elements in hit pop punk songs include anxiety (Green Day's "Basketcase"), growing up (Blink-182's "What's My Age Again?"), rebellion (Sum 41's "Fat Lip") and love (New Found Glory's "Hit or Miss.") Be true to yourself, as pop punk fans crave sincerity in artists.

  3. 3

    Write simple chord progressions. A typical chord progression heard in hit pop punk songs is I-V-vi-IV, which is C-G-Am-F in C major. This progression appears in hit songs by Blink-182, like "Dammit" and "Feeling This."

  4. 4

    Write catchy melodies to your lyrics. A hit pop punk song needs to be memorable and easy to sing along to. Make the melodies in your song simple and hookey, such as in the All-American Rejects' "Gives You Hell" or Good Charlotte's "Motivation Proclamation."

  5. 5

    Choose a tempo for your song. Pop punk hits include anthems like Fall Out Boy's "Sugar, We're Goin Down" and ballads like Simple Plan's "Welcome To My Life." Tailor your tempo to fit the mood of the song, but don't go too slow, as some might not even consider your song to be pop punk.

  6. 6

    Arrange the song into a pop format. For example, your pop punk song arrangement could be: verse-chorus-verse-chorus-bridge-chorus. Keep the length of the song down to around 3 to 3 1/2 minutes.

Tips and warnings

  • Stay up-to-date on current trends in pop punk, as what was considered a commercial pop punk sound 10 ago more than likely won't pass today's standards.

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