Home Page

HOOKS 

Hooks get stuck in your head.
There are many kinds of hooks.

Melodic
Lyrical
Musical 
Rhythmic
Sound effect

Most hit songs have multiple hooks. 
One often stands out.  

Too many hooks is not good. 
Some lines should move the music.  
Others should focus the listeners attention.

Include each type of hook in a song. 
It keeps the listener interested.

Hooks work on some people better than others. 

Listen to hit songs
Identify different types of hooks. 


Hook dysfunction

A hook is repeated too much
A crappy hook.

Hooks should take hold without being annoying.  

Melodic hook                                 most memorable  
Part of the song should be hummable.  
It should stick in the listeners head.  
It’s the part of the song they look forward to hearing.  

Lyrical hook  
The title is often called the hook.
The title tells people which cd to buy.

See Title Strategies

Your title has to be catchy, not profound.    

The songs message can enhance a simple title. 
Simple words can become profound. 
Cliches can be re-invented. 

The title may not be in the song.      “For what it’s worth”    Buffalo Springfield.

A title hook should sum up the song. 

Some people don't hear the words.
Place the title carefully in your song.
 

Musical hook                                   2nd most memorable .
It's part of the music. 

Riff      Repeated notes that form a phrase.  The phrase is also repeated.
             It's a patterned line that cycles around on itself.  
             It often describes the music in a rock song.

Lick     A blues or jazz line.  It's more linear.

Figure  Any short, repeated phrase.

 

Rhythmic hook

Rhythm can form the basis of a song, especially in rap and hip-hop.

Some songs play one chord, and get away with it because of good rhythm work. 

“I want Candy”          Strangeloves  
“Bad to the Bone “   George Thorogood  
“Not Fade Away     Buddy Holly

"Wipe out"               Surfaris
"Stayin Alive"          The Beegees

Sound effect hook
Millions of sounds can be added to music.
Car crashs, phones, dogs, crowds, water, metal grinding, etc.

Buy CD's of sampled sounds online.
Find sounds on your synthesizer.
Use a sequencer to add to your music.

These hooks can be in the background,  or they can be the main hook.
Find sounds that enhance the emotion of your song.

Change the speed of the sample to match the song.     
See Slow Gold   (I make no money off this)  

Reverse the tape to make backwards sounds.  
Record with an analog 4  track.  Put the tape in backwards.

The Beatles used many sounds, from circus to orchestra.
Pink Floyd and White Zombie used sounds very well.     

NEXT PAGE:   Poetic devices