Songwriting 101 – #6: The Hook

This is a series of posts about song formatting and structure. All this week I’ll be writing about the different individual elements that make up a song.


Go to #1 – The Chorus

Go to #2 – The Verse

Go to #3 – The Melody

Go to #4 – The Bridge

Go to #5 – Intro’s & Outro’s


Please bear in mind that these are my definitions and interpretations of the different parts of a song structure. There are no hard and fast rules determining which part of a song goes where.

However, there are generally accepted guidelines. Think of this Songwriting 101 series as the “nuts and bolts” of putting your songs together.

You’ve been refining your songwriting process and you’ve come up with some great ideas and now you are ready to put them all together.

Your journey starts now…


In this the last post in the Songwriter 101 series we’re going to talking today about the HOOK.

The hook is the most important aspect of song construction. It’s the very thing that captures the attention and the imagination of your listening audience the most.

It’s that certain something in a song that enables your brain to keep remembering it long after the song has stopped playing.

Think about it, have you ever had a song spinning around in your head that you just can’t get rid of? Has anyone mentioned a name of a song and all of a sudden you’re humming along a section of it in your head?

If this has happened to you (as it happens to me all the time) then you’ve been influenced by the almighty hook.

In the first instance, the songwriter determines what the hook is but then what the listening audience determines as the hook of the song may be a completely different thing however, if you write a hook that both you and your audience gravitate to then you’re halfway there in creating a song that people want to listen to over and over again.

According to an article written by John Braheny on the TAXI website there are four types of hooks.

  • Structural
  • Instrumental
  • Story
  • Production

For me, reading this article opened my eyes a little bit more to song construction as a whole and I’ve been writing songs for years. As John says in his article…

“… hooks are essential in commercial music. They are points of reference that keep us interested and focused on the song. They’re devices that help us remember and an entertainment in themselves.”

It just goes to show that we are never too old to learn anything new.

The reason why I say that the hook is the most important aspect of songwriting is that as songwriters we want our creations to be remembered, played and listened to over and over again.

The hook is the very thing that will achieve this goal for us. If you give your listener something to remember your song by, it will be with them for a very long time.

A hook can be the chorus line that is repeated many times for effect or a really cool bridge section that makes the listeners ears stand up and take more notice of your song.

A hook can be a lyrical or a musical motif that once heard will never be forgotten or it can also be something that is added to in the studio as the song is taking shape.

Sharpen up your hooks and catch a few listeners with them. Can you think of any great examples of a killer hook. Feel free to let me know.

Until next time, happy writing,

Corey Stewart
All About Songwriting

PS: Read John Braheny’s article here

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