Stevie Wonder

Creating Hooks in Pop Song Formats

For most songwriters, talking about “the hook” means talking about the chorus, at least the main part of the chorus melody that’s catchy and immediately identifiable. If someone asked you to sing the most identifiable part of Derek & the Dominos’ “Layla”, you’d start with the opening of the chorus (“Layla/ Got me on my […]

Songwriting Inspiration

Four Ways Make a Song More Memorable

A number of years ago Paul McCartney was asked in an interview about writing songs, and particularly, “What if you can’t remember what you came up with in your previous songwriting session?” McCartney’s answer was something like, “Well, John and I thought that if we couldn’t remember it, it probably wasn’t very good in the […]

Sugarland

Finding a Good Chord Progression For Your Song’s Pre-Chorus

A pre-chorus is not a mandatory section of a song. In fact, most songs don’t use them. But in some circumstances, a pre-chorus can be a vital addition to the structure of a song. It sits between the verse and chorus, and its main purpose is to better prepare the listener for the arrival of […]

Shawn Mendes

The Same Melody From Different Angles

This is something that doesn’t necessarily occur to casual listeners to pop music: the number of times we hear a melody that’s really just the same short 4- or 5-note cell that gets repeated over and over with different chords underneath. Like starting the songwriting process by working out the chords first? There are benefits […]

Singer - melody & lyrics

Shaping a Melody to Enhance Musical Meaning

Trying to get lyrics to be more important to your songs? You need to read “Use Your Words! Developing a Lyrics-First Songwriting Process.” Right now, it’s FREE with your purchase of the 10-eBook Bundle. Yes, the shape of a melody really can help or hinder what you’re singing about. To be sure, the way that […]

Jason Derulo

Song Hooks: Most Songs Have Several

We typically talk about a song’s hook as if there is just one. But in fact, most songs have several hook-like elements, all working to make the song attractive to listeners. While one of those hooks tends to stand out as the main one, songwriting success comes from having several of them on the go, […]