Question: What is a hook?
"You can't catch a fish when your fishing rod is missing a hook." The same principle applies when crafting a song.
In music the word "hook" refers to that part of a song that catches the ear of the listener. In other words, it's a lyrical line or melodic phrase that makes the song memorable. In this context you can say songwriting is somewhat like fishing; make your hook strong and appealing and you'll be able to catch 'em and reel 'em in.
The hook may be the title of the song, a lyrical line (usually repeated) that summarizes what the song is about, a rhythmic passage or an instrumental part called "riff." It is mostly evident in pop music; songs that have made it to the top of the charts have unforgettable hooks. Here are some examples:Don't You (Forget About Me) by Simple Minds -
"Don't you forget about me
Don't, don't don't don't
Don't you forget about me"With Or Without You by U2 -
"With or without you
With or without you, oh
I can't live with or without you"Nothing Compares 2 U by Sinead O'Connor
Nothing compares to you"I Will Always Love You by Whitney Houston -
"And I will always love you
I will always love you"You're Beautiful by James Blunt
"You're beautiful, you're beautiful
You're beautiful it's true"
Billboard Music Charts
Lesson plan on hooks and riffs