How to Write a Hook - Vocal Melody Theory Hacks (for Your Song's Chorus)

Hello, we are Kate Harmony & Ray Harmony (AKA Revolution Harmony), and welcome to the Hack Music Theory show, where you are empowered with notation-free theory for making great music in DAWs.

Do you wanna write a super catchy chorus (for your pop song, EDM banger, or even your rock stadium anthem), which is sure to get stuck in everyone's heads? Then start by taking just a few words that have meaning to you, then say them through a few times on one pitch (like a little rap), to find their natural rhythm. While working out the rhythm, play around with repeating the most important word two or three times to emphasise it. Once you've got the rhythm written, it's time to choose a scale or mode based on the emotion behind your words (we chose the Aeolian mode AKA the natural minor scale). Then, you move the notes up and down through your chosen scale/mode, to write your melody. This is where you turn your little rap into a memorable vocal hook! Remember, great melodies contain both small intervals (which makes the melody singable and catchy) and large intervals (which makes the melody dramatic and captivating).

To summarise, this music theory lesson covers:

  • How to write a rhythm for your vocal hook
  • How to write a melody for your words (i.e. lyrics)
  • Choosing a scale or mode for your hook
  • Elements that make a great melody (intervals, etc.)
  • And more! So why you still reading? Click Play now!

Lastly, do you struggle to finish your music? If you do, then check out our online apprenticeship course, where you’ll learn how to effortlessly write new sections for existing sections, how to transition between them, and most importantly, how to finish your songs! For more info, just head on over to our Apprenticeship Course. Alright, enjoy the video/podcast. But first… tea!

Kate & Ray Harmony (AKA Revolution Harmony)
Music Teachers & Producers in Vancouver BC, Canada

1: Read our free book (below) & watch our YouTube videos
2: Read our "Part 1" book & "Songwriting & Producing" PDF
3: Learn how to become a song-whisperer, and effortlessly finish music!

Hack Music Theory is the pioneering notation-free method for making great music. Taught by award-winning music lecturer Ray Harmony, and his protégé (and wife) Kate Harmony, from their studio in Vancouver BC, Canada. Ray is the author of critically-acclaimed book series "Hack Music Theory", and has made music with Serj Tankian (System of a Down), Tom Morello (Rage Against the Machine), Steven Wilson (Porcupine Tree), Ihsahn (Emperor), Kool Keith (Ultramagnetic MCs), Madchild (Swollen Members), and many more. Kate has the highest grade distinction in Popular Music Theory from the London College of Music, and is the only person on the planet who's been trained by Ray to teach his Hack Music Theory method! While these Hack Music Theory YouTube lessons teach music theory for producers and DAW users, they are designed to accommodate all music makers (songwriters, guitarists, etc.) and all genres, from Electronic Music to R&B, Pop to Hip-Hop, Reggae to Rock, EDM/Dance to Metal (and yes, we djefinitely Djent!).