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Songwriting tips and trix Volume 1 - The 'Hook'

Music was created by God.

In Job 38:7 it states that at the creation of the world all the morning stars sang together and the Angels shouted for joy. Music is a powerful and fundamental part of our lives.

And yet music has diminished in quality in the past few decades. Why? Well in the words of one of my college professors..."it's easier to sell a hamburger than a steak" . In other words it's easier to sell someone a piece of throwaway music than to try and get someone to invest 4 minutes of their busy lives. Peoples attention span has shortened from 30 seconds to 15 making the job of the songwriter even harder. So how do you send someone on an emotional journey in 15 seconds?

The best way is the 'Hook'

The hook is the catchy melody or beat that 'hooks' the listener. It can actually be any sound or melody. As long as it gets the attention of the listener in 15 seconds or less it is an effective hook. Many people start out with a guitar riff that repeats or a cool drum beat or even the chorus of the song (which is one of the most effective ways). The Kinks 'You really got me', The Stones 'Satisfaction' and Led Zeppelin's 'Black Dog' and ' Whole lotta love' all start with a signature guitar riff. Judas Priest's 'Living after midnight', Led Zeppelins 'When the levee breaks' and 'Rock and Roll' start out with memorable drum beats.Some songs start out with nothing but the vocals doing some catch phrase.

These days unfortunately though there's little more to the music than the hook. No interesting guitar parts, no beautiful piano lines, no modulations that take you to a different sonic space that once were so common in bands like The Beatles,or Pink Floyd. Even the concepts behind the songs are very shallow and with very little originality. No one is looking back to rocks formative roots in blues or gospel or jazz or folk to come up with anything truly original. These days artists barely remember the 80s. And even if they did record companies won't sign artists that don't fit their artist 'mold'. So what can be done?

We need a new revolution

It's up to the new generations to pick up the mantle of musical creativity and take it in a whole different direction. It's up to the youth to dig deep into the roots of all music types and synthesize hybrid music styles. To create pieces that stand the test of time. There are more resources than ever to explore the different genres of music and to create fresh and exciting compositions, to plumb the depths of the Aether and to bring down to earth the music of the spheres.

Jimmy Beeson

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