1) Buy a 12-string guitar. Record yourself playing open fifths in various keys for 25 minutes. This is the foundation of your song.

2) Call up the bloke who married your sister. Get him to come over to your studio and put a bass guitar in his hands. Splice together any notes he manages to play and put a lot of echo on them. (Notes completely unrelated to the fifths your recorded earlier are a plus.) This is your bassline.

3) Stalk a Royal Academy-trained pianist. Secretly record his private jam sessions. These will become your keyboard lines as well as the basis for your melodies (more on this later).

4) Record the noises made by your roadie as he tunes your guitars on tour. This is your guitar solo.

5) Hire a young drummer looking for a break, then drown him out with a drum machine.

6) Decide the mood for your song: if it’s “happy”, double the speed; if it’s “sad”, halve the speed.

7) Write your lyrics. They must contain at least five of the following words: “cat”, “knees”, “again”, “love”, “grey”, “spinning”, “trust”, “die”, “hate”, “miserable”, “happy”, “scream”, “cold”, “I”, “me”, “face”, “fall”, “fear”, “walk”, “kiss”, “catch”. Imaginary words are a bonus.

8) Shriek your lyrics in the highest, most tenuous portion of your vocal range. If you happen to land on a note that is in the chord, go up a whole step. Shrillness is a must. Make sure that the song ends abruptly on a chord only tangentially related to the chord it started on.

9) Take the most-repeated phrase in your song and make that the song title. For example, if your lyrics say, “Drown me in your eyes/With a kiss and a smile/Catch me in the sky/With a cloud of love/With a cloud of love/With a cloud of love”, your song would be called “With A Cloud Of Love”. Alternately, you could call the song “Treasure” and hope that no one notices.

10) Slap a closeup of your pasty, bloated face on the cover and watch the aging angst-mongers moan on and on about how you’ve repeated yourself so many times that they can only bring themselves to buy four copies of the latest release.

Don’t worry if all of your songs start to sound the same; your hardcore fans will hate anything that sounds different and your casual fans won’t exist.