How to write a chorus with a catchy hook
Berry Gordy Jr. said it best: “Don’t bore me, get to the chorus.” ‘
Even the word “chorus” comes from Ancient Greek theatre’s masked performers, who sang and danced in unison to fill their audience in on the plot. This is similar to today’s choruses in musicals. Make an impact by having your chorus do the same. You provide the verses and have everyone singing along with your overall theme.
How do we accomplish this? Let’s take a look at it.
How to create a chorus that fans will never forget
It cannot be easy to write lyrics that can bring out your chorus’s power. Your chorus lyrics should be concise and poetic. They also need to remind listeners of the meaning of your song.
Simplicity is key when you’re creating a stadium song for thousands of lighter-wielding people to sing along to. Think about how effective Queens’s ‘We Are the Champions’ and ‘We Will Rock You’ are as sing-alongs. You can’t help but know the lyrics after just a few minutes, and they capture the emotions in the verses. After straining your throat, it’s difficult not to feel triumphant.
These killer choruses show us that if you have something to say, it’s worth repeating repeatedly. The lyrics should be fun to repeat so that they are both rhyme table and alliterative. After the tenth recital, ‘Takedown to the paradise town where the grass is green and the girls’ are beautiful’ comes off the tongue well. They will be able to grasp it much faster than they did before. Remember, you must create songs from the heart if you want other people to love you.
A killer melody must accompany your killer lyrics. This will ensure that your listeners are singing along, even when it’s not convenient, such as while they wait at the bank or browsing library shelves. This German term is “ohrwurm” – literally, a song that metaphorically worms its way into the ear. You can catch an earworm if you are a young bird.
Steps and skips are the two main components of a melody. Skips can be anything between a third and a whole tone apart. You should think carefully about the words and phrases you would like to emphasize and then position them accordingly. A melody that jumps from one note to another is a way to convey something deeply felt, such as a declaration of love.
You may have the chance to learn some new chords through your chorus. The home note, or the tonic, is usually the sign that the listener has arrived at their destination. Consider ‘I Believe in a Thing Called Love’. It’s only in the chorus that the Darkness reveals the key we are in – we have been wandering around in F #’s shadow up to this point. The bridge ends with a bright beacon at the far end, a solid, setting us up for a perfect rhythm. The song’s title and central theme are recited ecstatically over a new progression in the home keys. This is the perfect payoff. It was possible!
Many choruses, however, use the same chord patterns as the verse. The classic example is “Don’t Look back in Anger”, but the melody is sung in an upper register. The chorus begins on a major third. However, the verses are sung in a strong fifth. Your chorus will pack a powerful punch if sung louder and higher than the verse.
The ‘hook’ is a popular tool for songwriters. It anchors itself in your listeners’ minds, digging deeper each time they hear it. You can hook your listeners with lyrical, melodic or rhythmic lyrics. It doesn’t matter if the hook is lyrical, melodic or rhythmic. You can load your hook with a delicious earworm like the ‘Yeh, yeah, yeah” that follows She Loves You’ or the keyboard part of ‘The Final Countdown. Then wait for the fans.
You might also consider giving your chorus a rhythm different from the inverse you have. Your listeners will be influenced by your chorus’ unusual or even unique rhythm. Kasabian’s “Fire” plays with this. It moves quietly through each verse, only to pound your ears with its four-to-the-floor chorus. Remember that your chorus is what brings people together through dancing and singing, so let everyone know when it is.
Now it’s time for you to decide how to present your chorus. How will it fit in your song? Are you going to build it up slowly or jump in? While both are valid choices, increasing the anticipation can make your chorus feel like a huge payoff.
Your tidal waves will wash away the listeners’ pre-chorus mud. We have to keep on top of what we have before you think about the whooooooah! We’re halfway there, and the ‘it’s alright. It’s okay before you think about the’ whether you’re a brother or a mother. You’re staying alive’. It’s like waiting for ten unwitting pins to be hit with a bowling ball.
Instrumentation and Dynamics
The maximizing impact is key here. You’ll want to keep it low before unleashing the big guns. You want to get your audience moving, so use high volume and intensity. But don’t underestimate silence or quiet – if you crank it up, it will be like hitting your audience with an iron gauntlet. Parts can drop in and out. It’s all about association. You can say, “Hey, that’s where the strings come in,” or “wait for it…wait for it… NOW’S The Chorus”. “Woo hoo” is a sensible response to the booming bass, deafening guitarists cutting in for the chorus of “Song 2”, not to mention the killer hook.
You now have all the tools to make your chorus a true powerhouse. Now you’re ready for the people to hear what you have to say. Your hooks have been sharpened, and your earworms are hungry. You have the world at your feet, and it is waiting for you to bring it together in song. Knock them dead!