Now, Now - SGL

Getting the Most Out of a Song’s Hook

For most songs in the pop genre, the bit that you really love will be some short, catchy fragment. That fragment — the hook — is the bit that you’ll remember forever about that song. Long after you’ve forgotten almost everything else, you’ll remember that hook. “Hooks and Riffs: How They Grab Attention, Make Songs Memorable, […]

Piano and guitar - chords

What To Do With a Song Chorus That Isn’t Working

Let’s say you’ve come up with a hook that you think should be something that works well as the main flag-waving part of your chorus. So then you set about to write a verse that leads into that chorus. But once that’s done, and you play the verse and chorus in sequence, you find that the […]

Audience at a rock concert

The Power of the People

I’m not a photographer (not a good one, anyway), but I’d rather see photos with people in them than without, no matter how exciting the landmark is that I’m shooting. The simple reason is that we make connections to people more so than to inanimate objects. There’s more to a song hook than meets the […]

Love songs

Good Lyrics Create (Rather Than Describe) Emotions

I read an interview with Paul McCartney once where he talked about the choice of words in “She Loves You.” In particular, he and Lennon considered it a bit risky to be singing a song about “he” and “you”, since most love songs put the singer front and centre. In other words, musical logic dictates […]

What Should Happen After a Song Bridge?

In most songs, the bridge will happen after the second chorus. As you’re approaching the end of the bridge, you get two options: do your final chorus repeats and end the song, or do a third verse. What you choose to do will have an affect on what the end of your bridge sounds like, […]

Rob Thomas

Increasing Musical Energy In a Song

It’s a basic principle of good songwriting that musical energy should either stay the same or increase — rarely decrease — as a song progresses. If you listen to the start of Verse 1 end of most songs, and then skip ahead to the final moments, you’ll notice that an energy build has taken place. […]