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Pocketmags Digital Magazines
Pocketmags Digital Magazines

How To Write A Chart Hit

With Ed Sheeran owning the main charts these days, you might think it is an impossible dream to get a chart hit. Not so! With over 80 No. 1 records as one half of Bimbo Jones, Marc JB certainly knows how to get topside of a chart. Here, he details ways in which you can still do the same – and covers some of the production tips and writing tricks you can use to secure chart status…

So you want to write a chart hit? The good news is there are many charts – from national to specialist online DJ charts – so with focus, good music and determination on your side, getting a chart hit is a reality. Here is a step-by-step breakdown of what to consider during the process to get you to the top.

Perhaps you have the germ of an idea or a general inkling of the type of genre that you would like to conquer, maybe you would simply love to have a chart hit and have no idea which genre to go for…

The reality is that no-one topped the charts just by being incredibly lucky. Even though some producers/artists make it look easy, they have huge dedication behind their presence. Take a step back from all your work for one minute and consider this: are you passionate about what you do? Are you going for something realistically achievable? To get true momentum going, it’s best to regroup your thoughts about your music and make a plan – see where you want to be and plot that path there.

By consistently moving in the same, musical direction, such inertia is built up that nothing can stop you! Look at your market, at the successful pioneers in your genre and who you are selling to. Achieving a specialist chart position (eg, the Beatport Glitch-Hop chart), or getting to the top of a playlist on SoundCloud, is going to take a very different plan than getting a No. 1 in the Billboard Hot 100. With Beatport, you can get on friendly terms with the DJs, building up profile and support that quickly gets you to the top. With the Billboard 100 you are most likely to get there if you are working on a production team with a major record company. This latter route is obviously not that easy, but everything is achievable – so set yourself a realistic target for your chart conquest…


DAWs have a plethora of good VST effects these days. If you want to go for something really special, check out these useful tools to inspire your sound design


This combines the pitch, delay, modulation, and filtering that made the original H3000 Ultra- Harmonizer a studio legend. Producers used this to disguise out-oftune vocals before Auto-Tune! Great on thickening vox, guitar chorus, juicy percussion, bringing presence and stereo width. Crazy pitched delays make this a fun plug-in to inspire.


Remix sounds live, use a keyboard to trigger the FX and crush, delay and stutter your vocals, glitch your pads and destroy your drums! This has the FX that makes everyone say, ‘How the hell did they do that?’ I find this amazing on bass and pad sounds.

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About MusicTech

In the new issue of MusicTech magazine we grant you all the tools, production tips and inside knowledge you need to enable you to create a chart hit! Also in this issue we’re hands on with Spitfire’s BT Phobos, we speak to Matt Lange about his career and production ethos. We present 6 of the best modern microphones and review Loopmasters’ Loopcloud, Steinberg’s Cubase 9, AKG C7s, Arturia MatrixBrute and many more. Plus tutorials for Ableton Live, Logic and our latest modular guide.