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 […]

Guitar - Songwriter

A Goal-Oriented Approach to Songwriting as a Problem-Solving Technique

Occasionally I write about goal-oriented songwriting on this blog, but haven’t done so for quite a while, and I think it’s worth describing it and encouraging you in that direction from time to time. In songwriting, a goal-oriented approach means that you write one particular section of your song, and then you write the section […]

Pink - Nate Ruess

The Importance of Rhythm in a Good Song Hook

For a lot of people, a song hook is hard to define, but you certainly know it when you hear one. There are many different kinds of hooks (intro hooks, instrumental hooks, lyrical hooks, etc.) but by far the most common kind is the chorus hook. In fact, many songwriters, particularly in the pop genres, […]

Songwriting frustration - crumpled paper

Starting Songs, Then Keeping the Fire Burning

If there is one problem that practically all songwriters deal with, it’s this one: the inability to finish a song. Most songs will start with something captivating: a great little hook, a catchy bit of chord progression, or perhaps a short idea for a melody. And they start with great promise. So for those songwriters […]

Songwriter - Synth

Experimenting To Get a Better Verse For Your Song

You’ll wind up with a better song if you’re willing to experiment and change the things you’ve written. You like to think of your song as being kind of like your “baby” — you’re willing to accept it, warts and all. But before you fall irretrievably in love with your song, experimenting by changing bits […]