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Earworm: How to Write Hooks That Get Stuck in Your Head
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Everyone knows the feeling of having a song stuck in your head. Once it starts it can be hard to make it go away. But the ultra-catchy tunes that stay lodged in your brain for hours are different. I’m talking about the dreaded earworm. These are the irresistible melodies and musical figures that you can’t help but hum under your breath.
I’m talking about the dreaded earworm. These are the irresistible melodies and musical figures that you can’t help but hum under your breath. But what is an earworm hook exactly? How do they work and how can you write one? In this article I’ll explain what an earworm is and six strategies to create your own. Let’s get started.

What is a hook?

A hook is a snippet of musical material that catches a listener’s attention and sticks in their memory after the song is over. In popular music, the hook comes most often from the vocal melody. But hooks can appear in any musical shape or form. A rhythm, a bassline, a chord progression or even a sample can be a hook in modern music.

Earworm hooks

An earworm is a slang term for the type of hook that seems to work its way deep into your brain and put down roots. Strictly speaking, an earworm is a psychological phenomenon where a musical figure persists in the mind long after the listening experience is over. 
An earworm is a psychological phenomenon where a musical figure persists in the mind long after the listening experience is over. It’s a common occurrence that’s mostly harmless, but it can still cause frustration in severe cases. 
Some listeners complain that earworm hooks are distracting and unwelcome, but most songwriters would be happy to write something with such a powerful effect. In fact, writing hooks is a central part of a songwriter’s craft—especially for topliners and professional songwriters.

What makes a hook catchy?

Catchiness might be impossible to define. If creating catchy hooks were a repeatable formula, it wouldn’t be hard to crack the top of the charts! One reason why is because so many hooks arise from a process of trial and error. With a little luck and experimentation, a great hook might just land in your lap.

Repetitions

Using a unique Steinway Model D fitted with MIDI integration, SonicCouture was able to capture incredibly precise dynamics by sending exact velocities per note—not something a human player could easily accomplish.

Melodic structure

Using a unique Steinway Model D fitted with MIDI integration, SonicCouture was able to capture incredibly precise dynamics by sending exact velocities per note—not something a human player could easily accomplish.

Rhythmic patterns

Using a unique Steinway Model D fitted with MIDI integration, SonicCouture was able to capture incredibly precise dynamics by sending exact velocities per note—not something a human player could easily accomplish.

Lyrics

Using a unique Steinway Model D fitted with MIDI integration, SonicCouture was able to capture incredibly precise dynamics by sending exact velocities per note—not something a human player could easily accomplish.

Basslines

Using a unique Steinway Model D fitted with MIDI integration, SonicCouture was able to capture incredibly precise dynamics by sending exact velocities per note—not something a human player could easily accomplish.

Production elements

Using a unique Steinway Model D fitted with MIDI integration, SonicCouture was able to capture incredibly precise dynamics by sending exact velocities per note—not something a human player could easily accomplish.

Stuck in the Head

Using a unique Steinway Model D fitted with MIDI integration, SonicCouture was able to capture incredibly precise dynamics by sending exact velocities per note—not something a human player could easily accomplish.

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