How to Write a Hit Intro in 2016

If you want to write a hit song at the moment you need an intro with at least two of these features and preferably all three:

    1. A minor key
    2. Lots of echo
    3. This rhythm:

IntroStrum

To illustrate the point I threw together into a medley including Sia’s Cheap Thrills, Shawn Mendes’s Treat You Better, The Chainsmokers’ Don’t Let Me Down and Let Me Love You by DJ Snake and Justin Bieber

Intros Tab

And here’s a Spotify playlist with a few more besides.

But I always associate this rhythm (and the echoy sounds) with the fittingly titled Intro by The XX.

This rhythm might be having a moment right now but it’s also timeless and well worth adding to your strum repertoire. The basic strum (from the video above) goes like this:

d – – d – – d –

The important thing to do is to use chord stabs i.e. stopping the strings ringing right after you play them (much more on the in How to Play Ukulele Strums).

The downside with this rhythm is that it does sound a bit sparse on ukulele. The best way fill it out is with some muted strums. Like this:

d x x u x x d x

This version sounds really funky when you speed it up:

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2 Comments

  1. milko September 8th, 2016 10:54 pm

    cool! I never spot this stuff without prompts.

    The strumming thing is v. Daft Punk’s Get Lucky, innit. Or at least, that’s what springs to mind for me. I daresay there’s other things that came earlier!

  2. Woodshed September 9th, 2016 7:43 am

    milko: That’s a good point. It definitely has that Lucky feel to it. I think the Lucky strum is a bit more complex though.

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