Top Tips To Writing That Killer Chart Topping Hook!


Written by Mary Woodcock

11 October 2013

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There is always that one song that you just can’t get out your head. Whether you like it or not! These may be all time favourite songs that you love for years and years to come or a simple chart hit which has you singing it over and over in your head for a few weeks. Either way it’s got you hooked with its killer hook – see what I did there? Ok moving on…

So you may be an artist or songwriter wondering this one question. How can I create a hit?

Now we can’t make the song for you but we can give you our top tips to get you started!

Keep it simple – This is the best advice that you can take with you today. The catchiest songs are the simplest. Don’t make it difficult for your fans to sing the chorus back to you. The best chorus’s usually repeating a phrase a number of times that can be remembered and sung back easily!

Have a good melody – This may seem obvious but the amount of artists that make a chorus with no real melody and is more just words put over a backing track. Be innovative and interesting!

Stand out but keep it familiar – This really applies to those chart hits that stay in your mind for a few weeks. If you notice many of the chorus melodies could easily fit over many other tracks in the charts at that particular time. This is done because music lovers like what is familiar. It is easier to remember and they instantly like the song because it appeals to their subconscious. But obviously don’t just copy an existing chorus melody, they won’t like that and you will be found out. Be clever about it.

Relatable Lyrics – If your fans can associate the song with their own life they will feel connected to the song and give further reason for them to learn that chorus and sing it out loud thus getting it into their heads! Isn’t this what music is about anyway also? You share your experiences and your fans relate to it and create that all important artist to fan emotional connection.

Catchy Riffs – Sometimes it isn’t so much the singer/lyrics that create that catchy hit. It may be a guitar riff or synth line that stays in your head! Remember ‘We No Speak Americano’ by Yolanda Be Cool? It’s the synth line that everyone sings back in the song!

Those are some simple tips to get you started. Oh and chuck in that ‘the DJ is playing yo song in da club’ seems to be in EVERY song right now; is it just me that gets annoyed by that? Yes these are just guidelines but go and listen to the charts right now; you’ll notice the pattern.

That does make me think though that maybe these guidelines only apply to short term chart hits. Possibly the all time classics actually take some deep thought and emotion. Surely we want that back?

Join in your views on how to write a killer song in the comments and share and tweet about!


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