WHAT IS A SONG HOOK?
A song hook is a line or phrase that catches the attention of the listener and makes a song more engaging. It’s catchy and grabs attention, making the song memorable. Musical hooks are more evident in styles like hip-hop and R&B. They typically last four to eight bars and are repeated many times throughout a song. Hooks may be lyrical and melodic, rhythmic, instrumental, or both. They can be used to support the main idea or song’s lyrics in a shorter format than a chorus.
You need more than a good sense of melody and luck to create a hit song. Songs can become hits when they get stuck in your head. It is crucial to use memorable melodic and lyrics hooks.
What happens when the song hook goes unnoticed or is too complicated to be remembered by the listener? Imagine a comedian telling great jokes. The joke is clever, the story is entertaining, and everyone is interested. If the comedian delivers the punch line too slowly, distracts the crowd by making a strange gesture, or murmurs, the audience might feel confused and disappointed. The comedian’s effort in creating the joke would not be appreciated.
HOW TO WRITE A HOOK FOR A SONG
Music is only as good as the hooks it contains. Hooks are crucial for your music to be remembered. Without them, listeners may lose what they love and not be able grab onto it. Make your hook memorable and easy to remember. You want your audience remember the lyrics, and to be able sing along to a catchy song. Writing a great song hook requires that you use less words. It will be hard for listeners to remember long, complicated hooks. Hooks are usually a single line or a combination between two lines that last 4-8 bars.
It is common to find the hook in the verse, pre chorus, intro, or chorus. Your hook can be anywhere you choose. Make sure that it is repeated at least one time throughout the song. It makes the hook standout! The foundation of the song is what you should be thinking about when hook writing. What is it really about? Why did you decide to write this song in the first place? Answer these questions and you can then distill the answers into one idea that lasts at least eight bars.
There are many different ways to write hooks. A combination of the following is an acceptable approach:
- Lyrical hooks built around a catchy verse, phrase, or lyrical phrase
- Rhythmic hooks, which are based on a repetitive beat/rhythm
- Melodic hooks built on a memorable melody/instrumental phrase
These tips will help you write hooks that keep your listeners on the edge of their seats.
Create Memorable Lyrics
Songs’ lyrics are just the same as their catchy melodies. The hook’s words can bring out emotion, grab attention, and support the story’s main idea. These tips can make your hooks memorable.
- Use song lyrics to evoke emotion or relate to.
- You can try new singing rhythms, or even more creative ones. Use a different rhythm for the verse and chorus.
- Sing melodic syllables, not words. The Bee Gees have a wonderful example: Stayin’Alive. The Ah. ha,before remainin’ active, stayin’ alive would have made the hook more effective.
- Use short and simple phrases. Outkast’s song “Hey Ya”, for instance, is repeated in the hook. It’s simple, catchy, and easy!
- Invent new words and terms such as ” Bless up” from DJ Khaled or ” YOLO” from Drake.
- Find your currency note. This surprising note will grab attention due to the pitch or duration.
The name of the song should be included in the hook, as well as the lyrics. Your song’s name in the hook will help listeners find it and be able to remember it better.
Create A Memorable Rhythm
Next, think about the hook’s underlying beat rhythm. As with the lyrics, the hook should have a simple rhythm. It should be unique. Many music producers alter the rhythm between the verses. This is an easy way to grab listeners’ attention and keep the song moving forward. For a song to have variety, arrange the hook’s beat differently than the verse and chorus. Here are some tips that will help you create a catchy beat.
- You can switch things up by using syncopation
- Let go of all the excesses and make it easy.
- Change the pitch for some drum hits.
- Use fewer or a more complex note pattern.
- Change out drum samples for other ones.
Be careful not to go overboard You need to balance originality with memorability. If the rhythm is too complicated it will be difficult to remember.
Create A Memorable Melody
Melody is the last element that you need to pay attention to. Rememberable melodic hooks are sure to get listeners humming along or whistling to the tune. Hooks do not have to include melodies. There are many hooks for rap that don’t include melody. But is it really necessary to include a melody? It doesn’t matter if the hook has a melody. You can base a melody on the rhythm of the hook if it is feasible. You should also allow the melody to move along with the lyrics. They will complement each other naturally.
Your melody should be simple. Melodic hooks usually have three to four notes spaced half-tone apart. There are not many leaps between notes. By limiting the melody pattern, it is easier to remember and sing along. Post Malone is an example of this simple melody being used in his hooks. His song, “Rock Star”, features several repeated two-note melodic hooks. Different instrumentation can help your hook melodies standout. Consider using a different synth sound or instrument to the verse and chorus.
Use Careful Word Selection
In general, you should not use the same words as the song hook in the rest. For example, suppose you have a hook with “home” at the end. Do not use this word anywhere else. Instead, you can use synonyms, or even better, related ideas that create vivid images. A fireplace, mom’s apple pie or your old bedroom are just a few examples.
Look for lyrical examples with personal meaning that you. Then you can craft lyrics that are more effective when the hook hits. If listeners have already heard the hook words before you deliver the payoff line, they will be bored. They will tune out if you aren’t giving them something new.
Make your song hook the high point
The “money note” has been an integral part of music’s timeless existence. It is that note that draws the reader’s attention. Because it is either higher pitched than the rest or longer, it is always there. When you combine this technique and a killer song hook, it’s easy to make a hit tune.
It is important that you don’t force this tool on to a song. It can sound strange. Instead, say the lyrics. Words are measured in pitch and meter. Sometimes, the word that you expect to emphasize at the top note might not need to shine as brightly as another.
There are many ways to make your song hook and thus your entire song stand out. All of these can’t be covered in a single article. Songwriting, just like other things, can be a skill. Spending more time on song writing will help you to master these formulas and skills. You’ll learn more about yourself as you improve your craft.
Keep your song hook simple.
It is very unlikely that your audience will be able to recall a complex modal Jazz run. Most of the hooks you hear on radio use only three to four notes. Many pop songs have had huge success using only two notes as a hook. The hook is easier to sing to if you limit the amount of notes that you use. The rest of the track can still make use of interesting melodies and chords . Make sure your song has a catchy hook. It should be simple enough that anyone can remember it.
Try your song hook and then chop it.
sampling, chopping is a common music production technique. This means that you can expect to see it used on many hooks in pop music. There are entire websites that offer royalty free vocal hooks, which you can take and cut into your own tracks.
After you have your song hook, begin to play around with it in your sampler. It can be chopped up, reversed, pitched up and down, and added to it. Have fun and let your imagination run wild. This is a popular technique that many producers use to hook their tracks. It increases the likelihood that people will remember your song if you incorporate the chopped and screwed version.
You Can Repeat the Song Hook To Make It Memorable
Repeat your hook multiple times. Repeating the hook multiple times will increase your chance of capturing their attention. It will also help to embed your hook into a listener’s mind. If you have a great song hook, your fans will want it repeated throughout the song. You should not repeat the hook so often. It can get boring.
THREE TYPES HOOKS IN MUSIC
Three of the most used song hooks for music are Rhythm Hook (intro Hook), and Background Instrumental Hook (background).
1. RHYTHM HOOOK
The rhythmic hook sets both the beats and rhythms. It’s usually a rhythmic hook that grabs you attention. Your rhythmic idea may also be instrumental, lyrical or both. A rhythm hook, even without lyrics, relies on a combination – a catchy beat or chord progression, a melody, and a bottom line. Stevie Wonder’s “Superstition”, a very popular hook, is an example. The guitar line is instantly memorable and grabs your attention.
Words are the driving force behind rhythm hooks. To make it stand out, you need to add some swing or syncopation to your lyrical rhythm hook. There’s no need to make things complicated. But if your hook is only built on strong beats it can come off as boring.
2. INTRO HOOK
The intro hook is the melody introduced in the song’s intro. The melody continues throughout the song and drops in and out. Intro hooks are used to support the primary purpose and function of a hook. Its purpose is to draw the listener in. The song will be instantly identifiable if it has a catchy intro hook.
The first thing that the listener hears will be the one that is heard throughout the entire song. With this in view, ensure your intro hook is catchy and grabs listener’s attention instantly. If they don’t get hooked on the idea immediately, they might not be as excited. Vanilla Ice’s “Ice Ice Baby”, has a catchy opening hook. The song is immediately recognisable by its driving bass line and people get grooving.
3. BACKGROUND INSTRUMENTAL HOOK
Instrumental hooks may be short melodic phrases found in songs, but they are not part of the song’s vocal melody. It’s usually a well-known two or four-beat riff around the lyrics. An instrumental hook can be thought of as an answer to the chorus lyric. In a chorus or verse, there will be some space where an instrumental idea can live. The song then uses that idea throughout. Disclosure’s “Latch,” for instance, has an excellent instrumental song hook. The song starts with the double hits vocal chop. The song continues with the double-hit vocal chop, which is repeated throughout the song. It appears at the most perfect moments.
Hook Vs. Chorus: Which Is the Difference?
This confusion often arises from the confusing distinction between chorus or song hook. What is the song hook? You can answer that yes, but not always. A hook for a song is possible anywhere. Both sections are catchy and help drive the main idea of the song. However, there are differences. For instance, a chorus is a part the song structure and has a repeating melody or harmony.
A song hook is a short musical idea, which can be rhythmical, melodic or even lyrical. You don’t have to include hooks in every song. Instead, they could be riffs that catch the ear. These riffs can be placed wherever you like. It is possible to have many different hooks within a song. You may also find some hooks that don’t fit in with the chorus’ format. They might work better in other parts of a song. The hook may appear in the chorus verse, intro or other parts of the song.
Song hook ideas
There are tons and tons of song hook ideas. These song hook ideas were based on the work of several well-known artists.
1. Combine genres
It’s a great way for multiple audiences to pay attention by combining genres in your song’s hook. Lil Nas X’s Old Town Road was a hit song in 2019. The song combines both hip hop and country seamlessly into a memorable hook that anyone could instantly recognize and sing along to. Collaboration with Billy Ray Cyrus, country superstar, didn’t hinder the track’s appeal to a wider audience.
2. Use an instrumental hook
Is it true that a song hook should only be vocal? A hook can sometimes be a section of music that is instrumental. Phil Collins’ powerful drum fill in I can feel it coming in the air tonight is a great example. It’s easy to know what comes next when that drum part starts. It’s a simple part to follow and we have all heard someone we love air-drum it at parties.
3. Write an anthem
Anthem hooks make it so much more fun to sing along. Sweet Caroline, by Neil Diamond, is my favourite example. The lyrics, especially the Oh Oh Oh part, are so easy. It’s the kinda hook that gets the entire crowd singing at sporting events.
4. Invent a new word
Sometimes it’s necessary to create a new word in order to convey more about your hook, or the message behind your track. Drake is credited as the inventor of the viral internet term YOLO. It stands for You Only Live Once. A simple acronym that embodies a carefree, risk-taking attitude towards living was enough to get the attention of the entire world and make The Motto a huge hit.
5. Use sing-able syllables
The hook is not always just the words. There are many wonderful examples of melodies written in syllables to get people engaged. It removes all language barriers. This is why song hook writing works. You will have a wider audience if anyone can listen to and sing your hook. Ob-La Di Ob-La Da, by The Beatles, is one example. It’s easy and catchy to sing along. I’m certain you’ve heard it before.
6. Use a simple melody
Today’s pop songs use simple melodies. It seems that songwriters are trying to find ways to remove notes instead of adding them. Post Malone uses this strategy in a lot his hook writing. Rock Star has repeated two-note melody lines throughout its entirety. It’s an intentional choice to make the song easy for you to remember and sing along.
Song Hook and line
Songwriting can be difficult. It requires a lot practice and skill. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean you shouldn’t try. You just have to put in the practice time. Get out there and start experimenting to find those elements in your tracks that could make a catchy hook. Sometimes it’s easier to just let all the rules go and create something completely yours. The best thing to do is be authentic in what you create. If you can write song hooks into your music, it will be heard by your audience.
Song Hooks are a key element of modern music song writing. Hooks are essential in modern music today. Your skills in writing hooks will pay off. Be mindful of the principle that less is more and review your basic musical theory. This combination allows you to mix simple music with simple lyrics. This formula is capable of creating the next great single.
Song hook generator
You can collaborate with Boompapers if you have trouble coming up with song hooks. You can make them yourself using an online song generator. It’s not recommended to use this method for music you want to publish, but it is fine for song writing and practice. Online tools will help you to find lyrical hooks. These may be more difficult for rhythmic or musical hooks. Premade beats are available online.
What hook is in your song? Why not challenge yourself and see if you can identify it every day over the next few working days. It’s up to you to find it and identify what makes it standout. Is it a lyrical or melodic melody, rhythmic, instrumental, intro hook, or a mix of all? Next, once you have a good idea of the lyrics, create a song hook.