John Legend

The Rhythm of the Chorus Hook: It Matters

Even if a song’s chorus hook happens by pure musical instinct, there are several characteristics that are usually present in most of them: They’re rhythmically interesting. It’s usually a short, catchy melodic idea that’s easy for a listener to remember. The chords are simple and tonally strong (they strongly imply the key of the chorus). […]

Classical guitar - songwriting

A Short Excerpt from “Hooks and Riffs”

The eBook “Hooks and Riffs: How They Grab Attention, Make Songs Memorable, and Build Your Fan Base” is part of “The Essential Secrets of Songwriting 10-eBook Bundle.” In it, you’ll learn why the hook is such a crucial part of pop songwriting, and why so many songwriting successes comes down to the success of the […]

Singer-Songwriter

The Snapshot That Represents Your Song

I’ve got several analogies I like to use to represent what’s going on when we write songs. Sometimes I find it useful to compare it to going for a walk or a short journey. That’s a useful comparison because it emphasizes the fact that, like taking a walk, we are aware that songs have a […]

George Harrison

Solutions For the Two Main Reasons Why a Song Might Fail to Impress

In reality, there’s many possible reasons why a song that started with a lot of promise winds up being one where the audience has a ho-hum reaction. But if you’re looking for a likely culprit, here are two of the most common reasons for a song that misses the mark: The hook isn’t doing its […]

Bruce Springsteen

Allowing a Chorus to Grab Attention When the Verse Uses the Same Melody

A few articles back I gave some advice on what to consider when you’re trying to write a good chorus hook (“Creating Effective Song Hooks“). But what do you do when your verse and chorus use the same or very similar melody? How can a chorus hook do its job if the verse is using […]

The Weeknd

Creating Effective Song Hooks

Most of the time when you talk about the hook of a song, you’re talking about the main, distinctive part of the chorus. There are many different ways to hook a listener, but you could argue that the chorus hook is the most important one, as it gives listeners the most memorable part of the […]