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Songwriting For Dummies by Cathy Lynn Austin, Jim Peterik, Dave Austin

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Chapter 4

Snagging Your Listeners with a Hook

In This Chapter

Identifying the various hooks used in crafting songs

Using hooks without abusing them

Trying your hand at memorable hooks, riffs, and catchy chords

When a fisherman casts his lure, he waits — sometimes all day — for some unsuspecting fish to find the hook. As a songwriter, you don’t have the luxury of having a listener wait that long for the hook, the catchy part that sticks in the listener’s’ mind and just won’t let go. You have to hook your listener right away so that they’ll want to hear the rest of the song — and keep listening to the song time and time again. In this chapter, we look at this important element of a song, see what types of hooks are in the songwriter’s tackle box, and show you how to use hooks in your creation to win fans and irresistibly reel in the listener.

Stocking Your Tackle Box with Hooks

A hook consists of a couple elements. At worst, it’s a boring, repetitive phrase that listeners hear enough to remember. At best, it’s the catchy, short melody — or, more specifically, the part that you can’t stop humming or get out of your mind, no matter how hard you try! The hook is also typically the memorable part that sells the song and makes it commercially irresistible. Some people even suggest that the hook is “the single most important component of commercial songwriting.” It’s usually in the song’s title and is most often found in the chorus. Basically, all the other parts of your song make up ...

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