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What’s a Song Hook?

What’s a Song Hook?

Updated 10/5/14

Is a hook the same as your song’s title?  What makes a hook strong versus just another line?

How should you be thinking about the overall structure and the role of the hook in your chorus and your song?

We’ll break down the role of the hook and how it fits into the song elements that combine to create your song lyric. We’ll also give you some guidelines on placement!

The song HOOK is the most important part of your song.  As Pat Pattison says, “It’s the hero of your lyric.”

 

Hook
Is A Single Statement Of Your Central Idea

It’s role includes:

  1. Galvanizing your central idea into a single “elevator pitch” statement
  2. Becoming the strongest recallable element of your song
  3. Occupying the most important place in your lyric

 

Because of its role as the “hero of your lyric,” it must be the center of attention. You can’t put the hook just anywhere in the song and hope people find it.

Power positions help you do that.  They are places within a song that draw attention due to the crafting of the language and the structure you’ve chosen for the lyric.

 

Hook Placement
There are several ways to make your hook the spotlight/hero:

  • Put it at the beginning or end of the song element it resides in – or both (i.e., frames the section)
  • Repeat the hook within the song element (think the blues here, e.g., 2x in the chorus)
  • Use a rhyme pattern to tie the hook to the song element but make it stand out. For example, a chorus with A/A/B/C/C/B rhyme, with the last B rhyme being your hook. The separation creates contrast.
  • Use sound to spotlight your hook. Open vowels are a great way to do this, or your rhyme pattern can create a leap for the ear (A/A/A/B) – but the music has to work well with the lyric so it doesn’t sound contrived.

 

Which gets us to Title selection. Since your HOOK will likely be your title, creating a strong one is critical to writing a great song that’s memorable.

 

 







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