Have you ever found hummed to yourself a song that you heard years ago? That song has a catchy hook.
Writing hooks for your song is essential.
Your audience is listening to your song for one. Then they won’t remember your track if they can’t find anything connected to them in it.
However, which way for you to write something catchy? You should have skill and creativity to make a memorable vocal line or instrumental melody.
In this article, we’ll see how hooks work in music, concepts to keep in mind when you write them. In the next part, we will look at how to show your creative identity while making hooks through 6 ideas.
Let’s dive in!
What is a catchy hook in a song?
In music, a catchy song hook is the repeated part of a track or a piece of music that is written to stand out from the rest of the song. It is particularly catchy, pleasing and easy to remember. A catchy hook for a song ultimately captures the attention of a listener.
Hooks are useful in any genre. However, songwriters who create a pop, rap, R&B, country, and rock songs need to focus mostly on hooks.
The right way to write a catchy hook for a song
Always keep in mind, the most important thing when writing a catchy hook for your song is that you should make it simple.
The most important thing to keep in mind when writing a catchy hook for your song is that you should make it simple.
Your goal when trying to write a catchy hook should make it so memorable. The audience can find it easy to remember the lyrics and sing along to the melody.
If you hear yourself humming the hook almost subconsciously, you’re on the right way to create a great and catchy hook.
Keep your hooks melodically simple
It is difficult for your audience to remember a complicated modal jazz run!
Most hooks you hear on the radio don’t use more than three or four notes.
In reality, there’s plenty of examples of massively successful pop songs that used only two notes in the hook.
When creating a song, limiting the number of notes you write, and keep them close together in the scale of the key are the great ways to make your hook easier for your listeners to remember and sing along to.
Just remember one thing that a catchy hook for a song needs to be melodically simple so anyone can easily remember it and sing along.
Use relatable lyrics that mean something to everyone
If you want your hook to be easy for people to sing along in the shower, the lyrics should be memorable.
There’s plenty of ways to write memorable lyrics.
There’s plenty of ways to write memorable lyrics.
You’ll hear relatable statements about love, romance, or heartbreak in many hooks.
Other song hooks are humorous and may even use a punch line.
Many hooks are memorable because they use melodic syllables that even easier to sing than words, or they cleverly rhyme.
Some track hooks might even invent completely new words or terms like Party Rocking or YOLO.
Think about basic human needs when writing a catchy hook for your song.
The one thing about every well-known hook is that it addresses something that most individuals can relate to.
Lyrics about our instinct to communicate, be loved, feel younger, tap into spirituality, be afraid, be joyful, have good time holidays and life events, or be sad are time tested places to start.
Repeat the hook
Repeat it again and again.
Sure, your hook is likely to be so good, the listener only needs to hear it once then they can remember it.
Even so, your track should repeat its hook multiple times.
Your track should repeat its hook multple times.
That’s because repetition can increase the chances of capturing someone’s attention.
And of course, in case your hook sounds that good your listeners will want to hear it repeated throughout the song.
Human ears crave repetition. According to scientific research, our brains keen on listening to pleasing rhythms and notes repeated over and over again.
It’s a secret to stick your hook in a listener’s memory.
Hook vs chorus
Your hook is not essentially the chorus.
There’s even a common misconception that a song’s hook is always in the chorus.
And while many hooks do appear in the chorus, it’s not always the case.
A hook can be anywhere in a song.
When you concentrate on it, to capture a listener’s attention immediately the hook should come sooner than later.
Some of the most well-known hooks in history are the first thing you hear in the track. “I’m looking at you Ice Ice Baby”.
The other problem with relying on your chorus to be the hook is the chorus is often written to be a little bit too long to be a hook.
A hook’s length is usually no more than a few measures or no more than one or two sentences.
For good reasons your chorus should be a little bit longer, it’s meant to deliver the core meaning and be the crux of your track.
A chorus will often elaborate on the song’s hook, which is why many hooks are found in the chorus.
Sample and chop your hook
Nowadays, sampling and chopping is an essential music production technique, so it had better know that this technique is used on a ton of hooks in popular music.
You should take a look at several websites that provide you with free vocal hooks that you can take and chop into your tracks.
Right when you get a hook that’s ready for your song, play with it a little bit in your sample.
Chop it up, reverse it, pitch it up and down, put an effect on it! Just have fun and be creative.
So many producers use this technique on their hooks, and it makes sense.
Every time you put the chopped and screwed version of your hook into your track, you increase the opportunities of listener remembering it.
Every time you put the chopped and screwed version of your hook into your track, you increase the opportunities of people remembering it.