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The Power of the Hook- Motown Speaker Clay Drayton

 Back by popular demand- Clay Drayton, hit songwriter for Motown records talks about what makes a Powerful Hook in a song.  

Clay Drayton has been involved in the music industry for the past 40 years.  He was a songwriter on staff at Motown Records for 7 years. He wrote, arranged,produced and played on songs for some of your favorite singers like Diana Ross, The Supremes, the Jackson 5, Jermaine Jackson, Bette Midler etc and he has multiple gold & platinum records to his credit.

Mr. Drayton is a member of ASCAP, the National Association of Recording Industry Professionals (NARIP), and a voting member for the Grammys.
Clay is currently teaching a Professional songwriting class at The Songwriting School of Los Angeles, CA. He speaks at music schools and conducts Professional Songwriting seminars & workshops nationwide.

Private Consultations available!  Clay will be in town a 1 extra day. 1 on 1 Consultations: $60 for 30 min / $100 for 60 min, whichever works best for you.

Clay will also be listening to a few member's songs and critiquing them.  If you would like a song critiqued send the mp3 and lyrics to [masked] by 5/6.

 Here's what members said about Mr Drayton's presentation in August 2012:

...great points that i will be incorporating...

...easy to understand points about writing a hit song.

Awesome meeting, i learned more in one hour than i ever did from anyone else.

Clay was an awesome guest, great insight.

...shared the technique of putting a melody to a memorable line. Great workshop.

Because seating is limited, you MUST RSVP for this meeting.



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  • Peter M.

    Good and valid points, a lot of songs break rules and
    are good because of it, Drayton was speaking in terms of pop or hit song writing, rock is a lot different, breaking rules should be more encouraged in all art,
    it's a good life philosophy.

    1 · June 10, 2014

  • Scott M.

    I definitely appreciate the lecture from Mr Drayton last month. For me it was nothing new, & I didn’t always agree with him, but he had some info that’s good to know. When the song “Happy” was mentioned, I got the impression he did not condone that formula of songwriting. He implied that the song is a “unusual” example of a hit, and we shouldn’t study that method. I disagree. That song may be a hit BECAUSE it was not formed by the cookie cutter already in use. It’s important to study ALL ways for a good knowledge base, so you can forge your own way. I have a lot of experience composing music and songs. NO “hits”(yet), & I’m virtually unknown, but I have made a living at music. Still, take what I say as one man’s opinion.. that you should always try to invent, or reinvent.. when writing music. Break the mold, be fresh, above all, be true to yourself, & compose to impress yourself. Don’t try to sound like someone else. Blaze a new trail. Thats what I’m trying.. makes me “Happyyyyyyy”

    June 10, 2014

  • Karin K.

    Mr. Drayton's talk was great! I saw him speak two years ago with the SDSW meetup and I learned a lot then and now. He's a good speaker and has a lot to offer. He provided reviews of songs written by members and I found the reviews very helpful. Thanks to Clay and Tammy for coming down to share your expertise with us! And thanks to Resounding Joy for hosting the event.

    1 · May 8, 2014

  • Peter M.

    Great to hear about MOTOWN and his experiences
    working a musician and songwriter, inspiring night.

    May 8, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    Thank you Clay and Tami Drayton, Cliff Keller, and Resounding Joy for allowing us to have this event.

    May 8, 2014

  • Sara Beth C.

    Enjoyed the presentation last night by Clay Drayton, thank you Cliff Keller for arranging this event. Also thanks to all of our fellow songwriters that submitted their songs for evaluation last night - we have a lot of talent in our group.

    May 8, 2014

  • cliff k.

    He really drove the point of writing a good hook. And why it's important. He's right, so few songs these days have a really good chorus that you want to sing along to.

    May 8, 2014

  • Matt S.

    Clay, I want to thank you for taking the time to come speak to the group, I appreciate it very much. I didn't get a chance to speak with you personally but everything you had to say resonated with me in some way and gave me a little push in the right direction towards focusing on the actual song and how the songs affects a person and ingrains itself into their mind instead of just focusing on a "beat" or writing the instrumental parts hoping to fit in the lyrics at some later point.

    I'm also happy I was able to connect with some of you wonderful people last night as well and I look forward to collaborating and seeing you at future events!

    May 8, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    Very Informative. Great advice on coming up with catchy titles , memorable repetitive singable hooks, and examples of songs that tie it all together. Clay and Tami addressed industry standard demo's, good demo presentation, and touched on other ways to pitch songs via Dropbox, etc. So much to digest! Thanks to Cliff and Hannah for organizing this great workshop.

    May 8, 2014

  • Joyce A.

    Thanks Cliff for great meet up session with Clay Drayton

    May 8, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    It was informative and a pleasure.

    May 8, 2014

  • Jeff B.

    Have a special PFC event come up (off the radar). Enjoy, should be a great one.

    May 5, 2014

  • Conrad S.

    Looking forward to it

    May 5, 2014

  • Kimberly Miller (.

    I will be attending this event it sounds exciting

    April 3, 2014

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