What Is A Hook In Music? How to Write Hooks!

This guide will answer what is a hook in music, provide examples of hooks, and offer tips for creating a hook that stands out.

What Is A Hook In Music?

What is a Hook in Music
What is a Hook in Music

What is a Hook in Music?

A hook is a part of the song that is meant to catch the listener’s ears, and it is a kind of special moment in the song that makes it memorable and makes people want to sing along. It is a catchy combination of lyrics, melody, and rhythm that stays in the audience’s head.

If you have ever felt like a song is stuck in your head, then the part that keeps playing and repeating in your head will likely be the song’s hook.

What Is A Hook? (Songwriters) – Source

A hook in a song can be any of the following things:

  • The first few lines of the chorus in a song
  • The riff in the song
  • Or a distinct kind of sound like whistling

A hook can also be thought of as the memorable part that sells the song and makes it commercially irresistible, and it is an important part of commercial songwriting.

How To Write A Hook: Catchy Melodies Explained

From the perspective of music, a hook is the most dynamic part of the song. Often you will find that hooks are lyrical lines that are generally followed by a musical figure.

Here are some of the types of hooks that can be found in songs:

  • Lyrical Hook
  • Melodic Hook
  • Musical Hook
  • Rhythmic Hook
  • Sound-Effect Hook

Hooks appear in all music genres like Rap, Rock, Pop, Dance Music, and Hip Hop.

Related: How to Write A Song in 11 Easy Steps

What Are Examples of Hooks in Music?

Here are some of the examples of hooks used in songs:

In the song Day Tripper, a sparky electric guitar riff is the central hook of the song. It shifts in pitch as the chord progression goes, and it takes a break when the chorus happens.

So why is that part of the song considered as a hook? If someone hums the song Daytripper, they will probably start with the instrumental riff over the chorus.

Another example of hook can be given considering the song “Don’t Stop Believin’.”

The interesting thing about the hook of this song is that it starts with a basic piano vamp.

What’s the Difference Between a Hook & Chorus?

The simplest way to think about the hook and chorus is that all choruses are hooks, but not all hooks are choruses.

Remember that a particular song can have many hooks within it, but the chorus is generally the only one that gets repeated throughout the song.

A hook can be any catchy musical element, but a chorus is generally the most important hook featured in a song.

How Do You Write a Hook For a Song?

Here are some of the tips that can be helpful for writing the hook for a song:

  • Make sure that the hooks are short, simple, and memorable.
  • Avoid writing too long hooks as it can be difficult for the listener to remember.
  • Try changing the rhythm of your hook to make it stand out more because if the song follows the same rhythm, then the listener can get bored.
  • To make the hook more prominent, you can use a unique instrument.
  • You can repeat the hooks multiple times in a song because the more your listeners will hear the hook, the less likely they will forget it.
  • If you want your hook to be easily recognizable, you can include the song’s name in the hook.

Where Does a Hook Go in the Song Structure?

A hook generally appears in the intro and certainly the chorus of the song.

It is usually found in the song title, or it gets repeated throughout the chorus or bridge and sitting in the most prominent positions of the first or the last line.

What Makes a Hook Catchy?

A hook is based on a great melody along with great chords. There can also be additional harmonies and counter-melodies that but the thing that makes it catchy and makes the listener hum it even after the song has finished is nothing but the main melody.

Firstly to make a hook catchy, it should be simple. The catchy hooks are generally not packed densely with notes.

To make a hook catchy, it also needs to be predictable. It is because if something is about to happen and the listener guesses it, finally, if their guess becomes correct, it gives them satisfaction.

Writing A Rap Hook is Easy If You Follow This Method

In music, that satisfaction makes the listener pleased about themselves and makes them feel warm about the melody.

Note that the hook also needs to have a surprise element along with being predictable to be catchy.

How Many Hooks Should A Song Have?

A hook is generally 8 bars in length, and it is usually repeated around 3-4 times in a song.

Note that sometimes you may also find more than one type of hook in a single song. Many successful songs combine several types of hooks. But generally, one takes precedence over the other.

It would be good to keep your hook simple and remember that less is more. Even if the listener of the song doesn’t know about what a chord is, you can win them and grab their attention if the hook is easy to hum along and hits them emotionally.

How To Write A Hook – Songwriting Tips

It is generally not good to have too many hooks. Just think if every phrase in a song wants the listener’s attention, then remembering the one or two key phrases might be difficult.

Some lines in your song shouldn’t call attention to themselves, but they should move the action along and help tell the story.

It is also important to remember that you shouldn’t have too many melodic hooks that compete with each other. If you have too many melodic hooks that it can obscure the main hook, and it may also leave the listener in a confused state regarding which is important.

Summary of Hooks in Music

Song hooks are short lines of lyrics or melodies that draw the attention of the listener and make the song more engaging. A song can have multiple hooks at different points, such as in the intro, before the chorus, or right at the end.

I hope you found these music hook tips helpful, and we successfully answered what is a hook in music.

If we missed anything, please share it in the comments.

Mark V.

Written By Mark V.

Mark Valenzuela is a professional blogger, entrepreneur, and educator with more than 15 years of experience in music production. In 2008, Mark founded Hip Hop Makers, a top resource for aspiring music producers and beatmakers. He specializes in content on music production, software, gear, and free music resources. Committed to empowering creators of all levels, Mark continues to inspire and help music creators pursue their dreams.

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